Board of Directors

Sean Marchant
Board President

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.


Sonia was involved in the 2002 Winter Olympics as the head of the Cultural Ethnic Village. She was also the co-author of the Hate Crime bill for the City of Sandy.

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.


Muriel was born and raised in Rigby, Idaho. She served a proselyting and welfare services mission to the Philippines. She received her bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix and worked in several medical practices for over twenty years. She has also served in several volunteer leadership positions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints most recently as the Stake Relief Society president where she worked with numerous immigrants and language learners from many countries.

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 is honored to serve on the Board and help facilitate the English classes that are critical to their success.

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.

Tyson Smith

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.


Tyson received his undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Utah and his MBA from Brigham Young University. He first joined Reading Horizons in 1998 as Executive Vice President with an emphasis in marketing and sales. He assumed the role as President of Reading Horizons in October 2001 and since that time has overseen steady sales growth and a myriad of improvements to the Reading Horizons line of products. Tyson has worked with thousands of educators across the world to help make dramatic improvements in literacy rates for their students. He has also presented at education and technology conventions throughout North America and Internationally.

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.


She has also taught at Brigham Young University and Westminster College. Pook holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Utah as well as two Master’s Degrees. Before starting her career in education, she worked for Sumitomo Mitsui, a multinational Japanese bank. Pook grew up in her native Thailand before moving to the United States to pursue her education and career. Pook is passionate about helping all individuals improve their lives and giving back to the community that has given her so much.

Amber Feigleson

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.


She has since found that she has a flair for business and has loved merging the worlds of Literacy and Business as Development Director for RISE Institute for Literacy, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to building paths to sustainable literacy improvement. She is currently enrolled in an MBA program, loves to travel, meditate, color, and visit Disney Parks as frequently as possible.

Silvia Araoz

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 has been involved with the Hispanic and Refugee communities delivering speeches and workshops about the importance of becoming citizens, promoting educational resources, teaching citizenship classes, and advocating for immigrants, women, and elderly people to become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community.

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

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.


Currently, Luz serves as the Academic Advisor for Humanities and ESL students at SLCC while dually pursuing a second Ph.D. in Education, Culture and Society, ECS, from the University of Utah.

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 Ruano

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.


Rolando graduated from Kearns High School in 1998. After working in sales and holding various management positions, Rolando decided to return to school in the fall of 2013 and fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a licensed attorney. Rolando earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Business from Salt Lake Community College in 2015, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from the University of Utah in 2016, and a Juris Doctorate from Concordia University School of Law in 2019.

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.


Marco grew up in Salt Lake City and taught high school family and consumer studies before earning her law degree at the University of Utah. She practiced law with private law firms in New York City and Salt Lake City. She was a Senior City Attorney for Salt Lake City, serving as chief legal counsel for the Salt Lake City International Airport, which included acting as legal advisor to the Airport Board.

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

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.


This experience taught her about the cultural and linguistic diversity in Salt Lake City, as well as the many inequities faced by many local families. After graduating, Madeleine served as the operations manager for Utah Refugee Connection, which led to her current position at Granite School District in the Family Engagement Centers program. Madeleine helps manage a team of coordinators in 33 schools that focus on strengthening the partnership between schools and families to enhance every child’s education. Madeleine has been honored to cultivate friendships with local refugee community leaders to help address the needs of families. These friendships have provided opportunities for her to travel in East Africa and the Middle East. Madeleine finds joy in her daily job as well as camping, hiking, and walking her dog, Eros.

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.


Zeyad had Elected from his community in 2015 as chairman of Mesopotamia Community and one of Iraqi leaders, his mission was to help  the refugees and migrants, solve their issues, translation, financial help, develop their education and improve their lives by creating many programs; English classes, Health, conflict management, help youth to prep for jobs, the other aim of these programs to help new refugees to understand the new culture and integrate with the new society, reduce the refugee trauma, participate as board member of Interfaith Council to achieve the approach in the society, and  board member in Columbus Education center.

Start Learning & Subscribe Today!




1860 South 300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84115




1860 South 300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84111