Former Business Executive and Founder of “Friends of Ngong Road” to Speak at TLU Tuesday, Feb. 1

January 24, 2011

After more than 25 years as an executive in the financial services industry, Paula Meyer decided to leave the corporate world behind and apply her business savvy to deliver results in a different way – a way that has made a difference to 240 children living in poverty in Nairobi’s slums. On Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011 from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. in TLU’s Dunne Conference Center in Tschoepe Hall, Meyer will discuss her non-profit organization, “Friends of Ngong Road” and how it is providing education and other support services to Kenyan children who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. The lecture is open to the public.

Founded almost four years ago, Friends of Ngong Road is a non-profit organization established by Meyer, a woman from Edina, Minnesota, who is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and a teacher. She graduated from high school in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and received a bachelor’s degree in history and German from Luther College in Iowa. She earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and began her career with The Vanguard Group of Mutual Funds in Pennsylvania. When she left her career in the financial services industry in 2006, she was President of the mutual fund and certificate businesses at Ameriprise Financial (formerly American Express Financial Advisors).

Friends of Ngong Road is based on a vision by Peter Ndungu who grew up in the poor villages of Nairobi and was orphaned at the age of 11. Ndungu was befriended by a Lutheran pastor who arranged funding for his education. Through hard work and determination, he graduated from primary and secondary school in Kenya and received a master of arts degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. Ndungu’s dream of helping children living in poverty to prosper through education came to fruition when he met Meyer and her family in 2006. He shared his dream with Meyer and she decided to make it a reality. Today, Ndungu is the executive director of Friends of Ngong Road and leads the Kenyan-based operations, board of directors, and staff while Meyer leads the U.S. operations and board.

“We are excited to host Paula and learn more about her efforts and the efforts of her colleagues and donors to bring hope to the lives of children living in poverty in the Nairobi area,” said Dr. Annette Citzler, TLU professor of business administration and economics. In addition to the lecture on Feb. 1, Meyer will speak at Chapel on Monday, Jan. 31 at 10 a.m.

For more information about Paul Meyer, Peter Ndungu, and Friends of Ngong Road, visit www.ngongroad.org.


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