FOM Board of Directors
Sixty years ago, a small child with lively brown eyes picked up my LIFE magazine and held it upside down to “read” and look at the pictures. Education for Haiti’s rural mountain children has been my passion since that day. Apart from brief interludes in Haiti, my professional career focused on U.S. social policy, first working in HUD’s Model Cities Program, then leading a division of a policy research firm, and finally as President of TERC, a not-for-profit education R&D organization. Since 2001 I have been deeply involved in, and remain an enthusiastic supporter of, Matènwa’s progress and dreams.
Founder & President Emerita
Barbara C. Sampson
Now on Sale
Chris W Low is the Executive Director of Friends of Matènwa and the co-founder Matènwa Community Learning Center. She received her BA in Psychology from Vassar College and M Ed from Lesley University. Chris taught in the Cambridge Massachusetts Public Schools for 9 years. She currently splits her time between Cambridge MA where she lives with her daughter, and Haiti.
Founder & Executive Director
Chris W. Low
I first met Chris Low in the late 90s. I was working at a small college in Lynchburg, Virginia and had a desire to partner with a school in Haiti. The rest, as they say, is history. I have visited Matenwa at least ten times, most recently this past summer of 2022. I retired from almost 35 years of working in higher education, primarily as a chaplain and director of service and social justice programming. I was fortunate to bring students as well as family and friends with me on many of my visits to Lagonav. Since leaving the board of Beyond Borders after six years, which is a primary partner with FoM, I spend most of my days caring for grandchildren which brings me great joy. And working with FOM brings me great hope.
Heather Yow is an actuary with over 35 years of experience in the property/casualty insurance industry. She has a B.A. in Economics from Hamilton College, is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Heather is a lifelong friend of Chris Low’s and longtime supporter of MCLC, and is committed to helping Friends of Matenwa achieve their mission for supporting education at MCLC and across Lagonav and all of Haiti.
After undergraduate and graduate studies in Boston, my professional career took me first to the financial world in Tokyo, then to the international athletics world. For the past 28 years out of Boulder, Colorado, I have worked with athletes from around the world on their training and competitions, as well as representing many in their professional activities. From my experiences particularly with athletes from Kenya and Romania, I have seen the value of strong local communities and schools in economic development, and the parallels I see with the goals and achievements of MCLC are why I am excited to serve on the Friends of Matènwa Board.
For the past few years, I have been developing my new fitness company, NouFlex LLC, with the intent of bringing needed changes to the health and fitness industry. I am doing my part to increase the US’s physically fit population. Strength is a beautiful thing, and fitness brings a lifetime of health and happiness!
Being a FoM board member lets me expand my desire to help people beyond the fitness industry, and to my home country of Haiti. Education and literacy are so connected to opportunity, and I am passionate about enabling Haitian children to have as much opportunity as possible, so that they, too, can make positive changes in their own communities and the world. I wish I had joined the FoM board sooner, and look forward to the great work we will do in Haiti.
Krystel Armand Kanzki is an Author-Entrepreneur who was born and raised in Haiti. She started her career as an auditor for KPMG in the US then since 2011 has been running the Accounting-Finance Department of her family owned insurance company in Haiti. She launched her book series for children, La Petite Pétra, in December 2018 in Haiti. The bilingual Creole-English versions were launched in the US in November 2019. This book series has attracted the interest of many large organizations, schools, educators, foundations, and parents. She feels honored to serve on the Board of the Friends of Matènwa to contribute her skills and talent to the benefit of children in Haiti.
Krystel A. Kanzki
I am co-founder and CEO of GreaterGood.com, (www.GreaterGood.com) the largest “click-to-give” network (including www.thehungersite.com); and one of the leading resellers of equitably-sourced artisan products in the USA, including jewelry and gifts from Matènwa and Haiti. We have supported the Matènwa Community Learning Center’s Upper School from its inception, and I have visited Lagonave numerous times; including attending the first MCLC graduation. Over 20 years, GreaterGood.com has given over $60 million dollars to charity and paid over $50 million to artisan partners. The staff and students of MCLC inspire me, and I am proud to be an FoM board member.
As the child of parents who were both educators, I have always understood and appreciated the crucial role education plays in childhood development. I was also raised with the idea that we all have a social responsibility to look out for others, which has shaped my life to this point. When I was approached with the opportunity to contribute my time to FoM, I was immediately drawn to its social and educational missions. I am proud to support the organization, its goals and most importantly the children of Haiti and I have seen the difference it makes.
Friends of Matènwa’s Executive Director Chris Low and I met in 1976 in high school and we’ve been friends ever since. Through this friendship I have been following the development of the MCLC school on Matènwa since its inception and visited MCLC on La Gonave in 2015. It was my pleasure and honor to serve the board as Treasurer from 2015 to 2020. Now as board member I am committed to help Friends of Matènwa serve the wonderful students and families at MCLC, La Gonave and Haiti.
Tim R. Boysen
Pierre Rolex St. Louis is the CEO of Power Forward Int. In 2019, He completed entrepreneurship and business negotiations courses at MIT. He is a proud Haitian who continues to dedicate his life to impact Haitian youth and local communities through sports and education.
Pierre Rolex St. Louis
Josiane Hudicourt-Barnes has been a teacher, teacher trainer, administrator, and researcher in the field of bilingual education and language development. She studied psychology at the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico, Creole Linguistics at Indiana University Bloomington, and Language Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is one of the founding members of the Haitian Studies Association. In Haiti she has been a consultant on education at Fokal and the Open Society Foundation, Friends of Matènwa, and Blue Butterfly Collaborative. She has been an advisor to Prime Minister Michele D. Pierre-Louis and to the USAID education office. She has worked on early grade reading at RTI Haiti, World Education Benin, and the Boston Public Schools.
Kenia Selamy, CPA, MBA. is a management and accounting professional with over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Ms. Selamy holds a BS in Management from University of Massachusetts Boston and an MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Suffolk University. Ms. Selamy has a passion for working with small businesses and individuals on financial well-being and healing. When not working, she enjoys Haitian folklore dancing and gardening with her family.