Board of Directors
Sean Marchant grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah where he attended Granite High School and then graduated with a degree in Horticulture and Business from Utah State University.
He is married to his best friend, Angie. They have been blessed with eight wonderful children, five boys and three girls from ages 5-17 who keep them busy.
Sean is currently employed as the Sales Director for U.S. Novelty & Party Supply, and is involved in various chambers of commerce, including as an ambassador for the Sandy Chamber.
Seen is also involved in the refugee, education, and faith communities, serving on multiple boards and volunteering his time throughout the Wasatch Front.
He enjoys spending his free time playing tennis and other sports, kayaking, reading, and spending time with family.
Jeff & Sonia Henkel
Jeff and Sonia Henkel are the Founders of Columbus Adult Education Center (CAEC). They currently serve as Board members for CAEC (Jeff as Vice president). Sonia has a master’s degree in Accounting and has worked as a manager for Hertz in fleet management for many years.
Jeff worked over thirty-five years in the Interior Design field in the Washington DC area. He changed fields after moving to Utah in 2010, retiringin January 2022 after working 13 years with Utah Transit Authority (UTA) as an Electro-Mechanic, maintaining UTA’s light rail TRAX trains. He attended the University of Utah studying Communications and Information Systems.
Jeff and Sonia also serve 7 years as Inner-City missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the Columbus Branch (Refugees from Myanmar) in the South Salt Lake Stake. They are currently serving a full-time mission in the Utah Salt Lake City Headquarters Mission in the Discovery Zone at Family Search.
John and Muriel Lilly
Administrative Directors / Board members
John, originally from Lowell, Mass., is a graduate of University of Massachusetts Lowell, with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature. He has worked for over 30 years in the Food Service industry, retiring as an Executive Chef. He also worked for ten years in in the Financial Services industry. He has served in various volunteer leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
John and Muriel have been married for over 30 years and are the proud parents of two children, adopted from Kazakhstan in 2002.
Dr. C. Matthew Peterson
C. Matthew Peterson, M.D. has worked closely with the Karen and Karenni refugees in Utah the last five years with his wife, Pauline. They appreciate the strength and courage shown by the Karen and Karenni refugees, as well as other immigrants, as they assimilate into America, learn a new language and work hard to provide for their families.
Dr. Peterson received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude from Brigham Young University and his M.D. from the University of Utah. His residency training in obstetrics and gynecology was accomplished at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. He completed a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Miami in Florida. He joined the University of Utah, and previously served as the John A. Dixon Presidential Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1992. His academic, grant experience and financial experience will be beneficial to the Board’s activities.
As President of Reading Horizons, Tyson Smith has guided the North Salt Lake-based company into becoming a national and international education publishing enterprise. Since its inception over 35 years ago, Reading Horizons has had a firm focus on its goal to publish and market industry-leading education products, centered on the Reading Horizons reading strategies.
Pook Carson, PhD
Pook Carson has spent the last fourteen years helping people from a wide variety of backgrounds lift themselves up as a Professor of Business Management at Salt Lake Community College and an Adjunct Faculty Member of the University of Utah. Prior to returning to Salt Lake City, Pook was on the Business faculty at the State University of New York.
Amber Feigleson is an avid reader and has been as long as she can remember. Her parents started her early with “My Goodnight Book,” “The Hobbit,” and everything in between. Her love for the written word led her to pursue and receive a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Brigham Young University.
Silvia Araoz grew up in Lima, Peru. She came to the United States in 2013 and graduated in Legal Studies. She serves as Executive Director at Everywhere Hope.
Silvia is currently working at Salt Lake Community College and is involved in different organizations helping immigrants to become American citizens.
She enjoys spending time with her son and family and is very passionate about helping disadvantaged people with language and cultural barriers, looking for social justice, equal opportunities, and access to education.
Luz Gamarra obtained a Master’s and Ph.D. in Law and Political Science from Peru, where she worked as a prosecutor for over 7 years prior to moving to the United States. Luz went on to pursue a second Master’s degree in Social Work, with an emphasis in International Social Work from the University of Utah, and soon after began working at Salt Lake Community College.
Luz is the founder and pioneer of SLCC Amigos Mentors and ESL Legacy Mentors, both of which are multigenerational peer mentoring programs. In addition, Luz serves on the Board of Directors of Generations of Legacies and Everywhere HOPE.
Luz has been awarded the SLCC Outstanding Staff award, the NASPA Innovation Award for 2015 and 2017, the Peruvian Congress award, and the TUMI USA award, among the many other distinguished recognitions she has recieved, all acknowledging her commitment and dedication to serving underrepresented students and her local community.
Rolando N. Ruano is an Associate Attorney at Barrera Legal Group Immigration and Criminal law firm in Idaho and New York where he serves as the lead attorney in the Nampa Idaho office. Rolando was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, but moved to Salt Lake City, Utah at age seven.
As a first-generation immigrant, Rolando understands what it means to live the immigrant experience in a foreign land and the value of helping others succeed in this country. He was one of the founding members of “Manos Amigas” (Amigos Mentores), a peer mentoring group at Salt Lake Community College. While completing his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Utah, he was part of student government where he served as assistant director of student outreach. While in law school, Rolando interned at Andrade Legal, (currently Immigrant Justice Idaho), where he solidified his passion for helping the Immigrant community navigate through the immigration legal system. Rolando served as president of the Reuben J. Clark Law Society chapter at Concordia Law School.
Rolando enjoys spending time with his family, helping coach his sons’ wrestling teams, and Latin dancing with his wife.
Blair and Marco Kunz
Blair and Marco serve as the Self-Reliance Directors in the South Salt Lake Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After working in New York City for several years, they settled in Utah to raise their family.
Blair grew up in the Washington DC area. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering. Blair owned and operated an advertising production and photography company in New York City and Salt Lake City for over 30 years, which was involved in producing print and digital catalogs, videos, point of purchase displays, billboards, and other media.
Blair and Marco retired from their careers in production and law, and currently write and manage a travel and lifestyle blog. Spending time with their children and grandchildren is their greatest joy.
Madeleine Clark grew up in Sacramento, California and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah for college in 2010. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Utah in Anthropology with a Health Emphasis, and minor degree in nutrition. While studying at the University of Utah, Madeleine conducted research on diet changes in Congolese refugees, spending time with women cooking and observing grocery choices.
Zeyad Al Mafraji
Zeyad Al Mafraji, had Bachelor degree on business management from Iraq, Certificate of Accounting Clerk from Salt Lake Community College, Case management certificate from University of Utah, Leadership training Certificate from Salt Lake Community College, Married and has four children, two sons and two girls, and four grandchildren, he came to USA, Utah as refugee after he and his family had threatened in Iraq.