Who We Are

Who We Are

We are our volunteers.  We are people from all walks of life, across all orientations, faiths and politics, from teenagers to retirees, who share the simple conviction that children deserve a happy future.  People who want to make a difference at a grassroots level.  Who are committed to forging partnerships and beating corruption.  

Are you ready to join us?



Sarah Tarvin-Global Roots Program Development Consultant

Sarah joined Global Roots in 2011 as a volunteer while still in graduate school. She had been searching for a way to make a global impact to aid vulnerable children when she stumbled upon a Tweet praising the work of Global Roots. A little investigation and a phone call later, she was brought onto the team as the volunteer Global Outreach Manager and was thrilled to immediately dive into concrete projects with undeniable results in social change for children. She joined Global Roots founder, Rick Montgomery, and a team of volunteers on a project trip to Kenya in 2012. Following graduation, Sarah began life as an expat, teaching English in countries around the world and building skills in international development. She returned to Global Roots in early 2017 and is thrilled to be back with an organization turning grassroots project ideas into reality.

Beth Holnacki-Lead Botanist & Plant Pathologist 

Beth, along with her family, owns and operates Goodfoot Farm, a small, diversified market farm whose mission is to provide unconventionally grown food for the local community. The farm takes a systems approach in an effort to balance food production with responsibility for the local forest, field and river life. The farm is certified organic and Demeter certified Biodynamic® and works hard to minimize the use of off-farm and petroleum dependent inputs. Rather, the farm practices a method of regenerative agriculture that strives to emulate a natural system. Fundamental to the success of the production system is the integration of animals for fertility and weed management, the selection of crops and cultivars for pest and disease control and the practice of “farmscaping” which provides habitat for native pollinators and natural predators of pests. Along with growing food for people, Beth engages in on-farm research with scientists from Oregon State University to evaluate crop varieties for agronomic and culinary traits within organic production systems. She also collaborates with the OSU Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems to identify areas for program development and support for small farmers. Beth received her PhD in Botany and Plant Pathology from Oregon State University. Beth joined Global Roots earlier this year and will assist in trouble shooting any sudden problems related to our world-wide greenhouse, vegetable garden, hen house and rabbit hutch operations.

Caroline Stoebuck-Secretary/Treasurer

Caroline Stoebuck is Global Roots’ secretary/treasurer. She comes from a background in accounting and tax, with an emphasis in the nonprofit sector. The executive director met her over a decade ago in China on one of her many travel adventurers throughout the world. As he told her about his dream of saving children, she knew she had found a kindred soul, and joined in the journey. In the years since then she has volunteered in various ways, and now is serving as an officer.  She believes that children are our future and since they are unable to choose the circumstances they were born into,  those with the means should help. Caroline kept the books for large nonprofits with over a million in revenues so she is the right officer to help us scale up in 2017.

Rick Montgomery-Executive Director

Rick graduated with a degree in International Studies at the University of Washington in the late ’80’s before beginning a career in journalism and expedition leading that would take him to more than 75 countries. He has led expeditions for several of the world’s top expediton companies, including Geographic Expeditions, and his stories have been published in an assortment of magazines including Outside, Men’s Journal, Travel + Leisure, and Canada’s Georgia Straight. A piece Rick penned for Georgia Straight helped to doom a billion-dollar plan, funded by Canadian Brookfield, to build long distance power lines through Chilean Patagonia — one of the last truly pristine places on the planet. Rick worked with environmental legends Yvon Chouinard and the late Douglas Tompkins on a successful strategy to protect Chilean Patagonia from industrial encroachment. A chance encounter with a Tibetan woman in Gyalzang, Tibet prompted Rick to change his life focus. Though he still dearly loves the outdoors, he believes that children who grow up without any nutritional or emotional support pose the greatest problem to humanity when their anger blossoms as adults.

Rick started to support Tendol and other local humanitarians like her in 2001, finally founding Global Roots in 2007. Rick would put Global Roots on the aid-giving map when he traveled to Afghanistan in 2010 to launch the Baharak Children’s Garden. The US Air Force supported Rick by providing helicopters for his first few Afghan missions — something that would prompt Colonel John “Oly” Holm to join the board of Global Roots in 2017. Rick cites the precipitous fall from grace of fellow philanthropist Greg Mortenson as a key moment in his development as a nonprofit manager. Global Roots is now ten years old and Rick has helped it achieve the highest rating possible at Guidestar.com, the world’s largest watchdog of grassroots charity.

Country Directors:

Anthony Kikondu-Country Director, Kenya 

An accomplished photographer, Anthony has shot photos all over the world — but mostly in his native Kenya. Anthony joined Global Roots in 2012 and has since led supply and oversight trips all over Kenya. His main role, however, is to make sure that every dollar we wire to our partners is spent on target. Anthony once served as a photographer for the global NGO, Transparency International and he also spent 15 years managing safaris for CC Africa — one of the world’s top safari companies.

Kyila-Program Director, Tibet

Kyila is a blind Tibetan woman who has singlehandedly changed the way Tibetans regard sightless children. Sneaking out of her home as a child, Kyila showed that she can do whatever a sighted child can do — just in a different way. She learned braille as a teenager and was the first blind Tibetan to attempt a climb up Everest and to study abroad. We learned about Kyila’s dream to create a kindergarten for sightless Tibetan children and we funded her from the very beginning with a 45K cash grant.

Janagha Jaheed-Country Director, Afghanistan

Janagha Jaheed has been making dreams come true for Afghan children for more than 20 years. Credited with building more than 20 schools, “JJ” is one of the top humanitarians active in war-torn Afghanistan. We love working with JJ because he understands the importance of transparency and oversight. This year we  are working closely with JJ to create a project in Faizabad that will support more than 150 orphaned children.

Board of Directors:

Sheila Capestany

Sheila has worked extensively with diverse communities and with government, social services, public health and education. She will provide strategic direction and project management for Best Starts for Kids, an initiative that would provide funding for prevention and early intervention programs, starting with prenatal services through age 24. Sheila most recently served as executive director of Open Arms Perinatal Services, a human services agency assisting low-income women and families. Under her leadership, Open Arms became nationally recognized as a model for community-based services and was the first doula program to become accredited in the United States. Her work experience includes strategic planning, budgeting, policy development, and health and human services outcomes design. She has worked with infants and toddlers as well as with teens and young adults.

Jim Gearhart 

Jim has worked at Quorum Review since 2005. Quorum Review provides ethical reviews of medical research. Jim was a Director of Study Management and Customer Relations. He now sits on the Board of Directors andcontributes to the Knowledge Center, Quorum’s award-winning blog about ethics and policy in medical research. Prior to Quorum, Jim served as a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Department of State. He served in a variety of positions, including as a political officer and in administration, during assignments in Thailand, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, Washington, D.C., Malta, and Panama. Jim graduated from the University of Washington’s Henry Jackson School of International Studies with a concentration in East Asian Affairs.  

Mark Buchanan

Mark Buchanan has spent the last 5 years on the Cisco Global Brand team. He brings an outside-in view to find root causes to complex problems then develops and delivers solutions that drive meaningful results. At Cisco, he helps uncover opportunities then designs, tests, implements, and operationalizes programs that transform the Cisco experience, drive revenue, reduce costs, and shape perceptions of the $31 billion Cisco brand. He is currently leading a program to change the way the people of Cisco communicate, so that they work together better, stand out in the market, and sell more in 96 countries around the world. Prior to Cisco, Mark was Creative Director at Oregon Public Broadcasting and a member of the PBS brand leadership team. Mark graduated with Dean’s honors from the University of California at Berkeley and has won the prestigious Gold Quill Award and the CXPA Global Innovation Award for improving customer experience at Cisco.

Rick Montgomery, Board Chairman

(See Bio above) 

Joining the board in Q3, 2017:

John Holm — Col US Air Force retired, now Life Flight pilot

Kelly Hibler — VP, Nike Inc.