• THE MAD LEADERSHIP TEAM

    Our MAD UK and MAD USA Boards

  • JOHN LAWLER FRGS

    John spent his gap year teaching in Ghana, living in a remote village in the Volta Region where he worked to build and improve education in the community. Due to his extensive work in developing this community, the village made John a Chief of Development, and renamed him Chief Torgbui Mottey I, which means Pioneering Pathfinder of the Forest. On returning from his gap year in 1998, John set up Madventure and the MAD Foundation.

     

    John has a BEng in Environmental and Ecological Engineering from Newcastle University and has served as Chair of the WYSE Work and Volunteer Abroad Association whilst also on the Executive Board of the World Youth and Student Educational Travel Confederation. John is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

    CHRISTA WELLE DONKER

    Christa is Head of Operations and leads on Projects globally. She is a firm favourite with all corporate, school and university groups and supports the Chief of Madventure from her base in Cape Town.

     

    Born in the Netherlands and having worked as a Special Needs Teacher she is a real asset to Madventure and its development.

     

    When she is not planning or implementing MAD Projects she can be found trekking the world's mountains and travelling to remote places with her partner Stephen who is a professional travel writer.

    LIAM MCGOUGH

    Liam hails from Durham in the North East of England and was a Youth Patron of MAD for 8 years. More recently Liam has joined the Board of Trustees to help further the work of the MAD Foundation. Liam has helped on MAD Projects in Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.

     

    Liam trekked to the top of Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the MAD Foundation along with his other 'housemates' from the TV show Big Brother (BB8 in UK). During a contestant in the Big Brother House he won the prize fund for being nominated the most worthy housemate.

     

    Liam continues to help raise cash for projects and is hoping to build a tree house hotel the likes of which have never been seen before at one of our Project Sites. In his spare time he also works as a tree surgeon, writer and presenter.

    RUPERT PATE

    Rupert worked at MAD for globally and was one of the first ever 'madventurers'. In a previous life he managed the Forth Hotel in Newcastle, was trained at Sandhurst as an Army Officer, and after heading up MAD Ghana for a few years he was head-hunted as the Managing Director of of Ghana's largest travel company that has many networks across Africa.

     

    Rupert competes in catamaran sailing and always puts out the red carpet for MAD visitors. He has been a MAD Trustee for many years and continues to support and advise on all African MAD Projects.

    CARLA FERREIRA

    A born and bred South African, Carla is passionate about tourism, travel and sharing her love for her country. After studying tourism and spending a year travelling America, she returned to South Africa in 2004 to open Saltycrax – the first ever backpackers in the Table View area of Cape Town.

     

    Carla chaired Backpacking South Africa for 5 years and played an active role in the transition from Backpacking South Africa (BSA) to the now South Africa Youth Travel Confederation (SAYTC). She has also served on the boards of the South Africa Tourism Services Association, International Police Association, South African Police sports club, and TLC, a large non-profit organisation.

     

    SARAH LOVE

    Sarah was an early Madventurer Volunteer, joining the first project in Ghana back in 2000. She loved it so much she returned the following year to lead another group of MAD volunteers.

     

    She completed a Masters course in economics for development at Oxford University in 2004 and then lived in Rwanda where she worked for the UK Department for International Development as their country adviser on climate change and environmental issues, and is now based in a similar role in Beirut, Lebanon. In her spare time she likes exploring the countryside and searching for rare species and MAD Project opportunities!

    NICK WELLS

    Nick began his first great Madventure back in 2000, a day after graduating from University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Nick lived and worked with the local communities to build amenities and infrastructure, taught in the local schools and helped the local people establish their first library and computer facility.

     

    As a Trustee Nick hopes to inspire more people, young and old, to strive for success and to smash the barriers of socio-economic limitation. For those who have enjoyed a privileged upbringing, to realise the hugely positive impact they can have on the world, especially for those less fortunate, both on their doorstep, and across this amazing world we share. His wife Vic Wells has trekked up Kilimanjaro to also support MAD Foundation Projects. Nick is a successful entrepreneur and is the Managing Director at Webber Chase.

    KAJZA EKBERG

    Trustee and Founder of BoxingYoga.com, Kajza has volunteered in Fiji and helped teach Yoga in Primary, Junior and Secondary Schools throughout the Islands.

     

    Kajza is the creative brain on the MAD Board and has a great passion for travel and making a difference through hands-on volunteering.

    CHRIS FIORENTINO

    Chris is Director of the Jan & Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learing at California State University, Fresno, and co-led the first Fresno State MAD Project in Fiji in 2014. His son Devin followed in his footsteps and also served on a Project in Fiji in 2018.

     

    Chris lives, eats and breaths Service and has supported many thousands of US Students to engage in both local and international volunteering opportunities, and is a member of the MAD Board in the USA.

    DON R. SIMMONS

    Distinguished Lecturer at California State University, Fresno, Don led the first Fresno State Service Learning Project back in January 2014 and has been an Ambassador of MAD ever since. Don teaches on Engaging Persons with Disabilities as Volunteers, Administration of Volunteer Programs, Entrepreneurial Approaches to Sustainable Community Benefit Organizations, Governance, Leadership and Financial Literacy for Community Benefit Organizations, Contemporary Social Issues, and Civic Leadership and Community Engagement.
     
    Don also consults with Community Benefit Organizations in Volunteer Management, fund development, strategic planning, forecasting and conflict mediation, volunteer engagement, conflict mediation services, team building and staff professional development - so is a fantastic asset to the USA Board.

    REINIER KOBUS

    Reinier is the Finance Director of Siemens Energy Inc, and volunteers his time for the Board of MAD USA. He has a proven track record in managing teams delivering high quality results in complex multi-cultural international environments. He is a seasoned professional with strong focus on people development, audit/accounting/compliance/forensic related engagements, driving organizational change, leadership, collaboration, and improving client relationships.

     

    Reinier has key experience in Project Management and Team Leadership, External and Internal Audit, Organizational Development and Leadership, Accounting & Reporting (US GAAP/IFRS), Forensic accounting investigations, Talent Development (people), Internal Control Frameworks, and Financial Integration / change management. His specialties include Investigations, Accounting, Anti-Corruption, Internal Audit, Compliance Review and Remediation.

    JASON NOBLE

    Jason Noble, MBA, PMP is Financial Controller at Siemens Digital Grid and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and volunteered on the first Siemens Corporate Finance Audit CSR Project in Ghana back in 2014 and his wife Selena also volunteered in Ghana a year later.
     
    Jason has a proven ability to lead teams in solving complex, multi-discipline technical and financial problems for business and communicate the results clearly and concisely to executive management. He has 15 years of proven leadership experience in financial and technical topics including corporate audit and project management. Nine years experience in leading international teams to achieve their objectives. He is a Siemens Top Talent program member, Advance Management Course (AMC) alum.

    His specialties include Project Management, Operations, Risk Management, Crisis Projects and Financial Reporting - so is a valuable part of the MAD USA Board.