The Mother Maryam Foundation Board of Directors

Awad Abdelgadir

Awad Abdelgadir, President and Chairperson
Awad A. Abdelgadir grew up in Zawrat village in Northern Province, Sudan. He is the son of Mother Maryam and dedicates projects to his mother's memory and to all mothers. He runs Nile Valley Herbs, Inc., which produces and markets hibiscus tea and supports humanitarian activity. He also teaches at St. Edward's University in Austin Texas. He is a member of South Austin Rotary Club.

Steve Hake

Steven R. Hake, Treasurer and Board Member
Steven R. Hake is an attorney engaged in the practice of business law in Austin, Texas. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. He is admitted to the Bars of Massachusetts, Washington, and Texas and has been in private practice since 1978. Steve is a member of the Rotary Club of Austin and has established close ties with Rotarians in Africa, Australia, and Mexico. After working many years to assist projects in the village, he and his wife visited the village and a welcoming celebration at the Kolomiseed Health Clinic.

Keith Smith

Keith G. Smith, Vice Chairperson and Board Member
Prior to the formation of Mother Maryam Foundation, Keith Smith assisted in securing grants and raising money for the water project in the village. He has held most officer positions with South Austin Rotary Club and Rotary Club of Westlake Hills. He is a Trustee for The Girls School of Ausin. He is a Private Mortgage Banker with Prosperity Mortgage, and lives in Westlake Hills with his wife and two children.

Linda Boxberger

Linda Boxberger, Secretary and Board Member
Linda Boxberger is a researcher and consultant specialized in Southern Arabia and Sudan. She has a Ph.D. in Modern Middle Eastern History from the University of Texas at Austin and is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies. Since 1988, she has documented village life and the various projects.

Dr.  Abdelaziz

Dr. Abdelaziz Osman, Board Member
Dr. Abdelaziz Osman is Chairman of Zawaya Group, an industrialist group developing industries in different sectors of the Sudanese market. He recently retired as CEO of Sudatel, Sudan’s largest publicly owned company. He has a PhD in engineering from Oklahoma State University. His business interests have always supported philanthropic activities and community development.

Leah Goetzel

Leah Goetzel, Board Member
Leah Goetzel is a student at University of Texas at Austin. She has been working with the Mother Maryam Foundation since third grade, primarily by organizing school supply drives, and raising money to build a middle school. Leah has also raised money for the foundation through connections with the Rotary Club in Marburg, Germany.

Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, Board Member
The Mother Maryam Foundation mourns the loss of Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, Professor Emerita of The University of Texas at Austin. During a prolific and active career, Professor Fernea taught, lectured, and created numerous books and films on the Middle East. As the Chairperson of ECHO (Expanding Cultural Horizons and Options), she was essential to the success of our water project and a valued advisor. She is much missed.
Link to Elizabeth Warnock Fernea obituary

Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

Laraine Kentridge Lasdon, Board Member
Laraine Kentridge Lasdon has nearly 30 years experience working with engineers, architects, land planners and construction companies and others who specialize in working with community colleges, universities and other public and private sector projects. She is active in the international work of the Rotary Club of Austin and the Austin Community College Center for Public Policy and Political Studies Abroad. She has served on the boards of American Youthworks, Envision Central Texas, Austin's Commission on the Status of Women, Austin's Board of Adjustment, and the Austin San Antonio Corridor Council. Laraine was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kyle Overby

Kyle Overby, Board Member
Kyle Overby earned a BA in Global Studies with a concentration in Latin America from St. Edward's University in 2009. He graduated with a Master's degree in Global Policy Studies with a specialization in International Development from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin. He is the Director of AESA Prep International Online, AESA Prep Academy, Barcelona.

back to top