Stephen Anderson MPA
Founder and director of FEG Consulting (formerly the Food Economy Group), Stephen specializes in capacity building combined with extensive technical experience in the operational and strategic management of large-scale food security programs, and disaster preparedness & recovery. Recently he has facilitated and coordinated the multi-agency Safety Nets process for poverty alleviation in Ethiopia which targets 8 million chronically food-insecure people. He continues to work at the policy level and has designed a global conflict and livelihoods tool kit for USAID. Stephen has worked as a food security and emergency preparedness specialist in Asia and primarily Africa for over twenty years, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Eritrea, Malawi and Kenya.
Dr. Chuck Erickson MD-Phd
Dr. Erickson received his MD degree from the University Of Nebraska College Of Medicine and completed his residency at The University of Colorado School of Medicine and Denver Children’s Hospital. Dr. Erickson retired in 2003 from general and behavioral pediatrics after 37 years and sought new ventures. He received a Yale Scholarship in International Health in 2003 and served at the Livingstone General Hospital at Livingstone Zambia for 6 weeks. Dr. Erickson has since returned to Zambia on ten separate occasions to teach Community Health Workers and develop collaborative relationships with non-government organizations in Zambia. With funding from Rotary International and District 5650 he is working to provide additional borehole wells and health and nutritional education. Dr. Erickson is the recipient of the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service and the Nebraska Wesleyan University Alumni Humanitarian Award.
On the Ground
Daniel F. Blankenau PG
Dan Blankenau is President of Great Plains Energy, Inc. an oil exploration company he established in 2004. He has also co-founded CGP Inc., an environmental consulting and contracting firm specializing in characterizing and remediating groundwater contamination, and Great Plains Well Service, which specializes in the installation of domestic water wells. Dan is a past president of the Nebraska Geologic Society and a board member of both Shallow Exploration Drilling Clinics and the Department of Geosciences Alumni Advisory Board at the University of Nebraska. He is licensed as a geologist and water well contractor. For the past five years Dan has served as a consultant to the East Lincoln Rotary and the SAM Project’s Zambian water supply initiatives. Drilling new wells, investigating potential water catchment dams, and refurbishing old wells have all been part of this process. Dan hopes to continue to support these efforts as well as to characterize area aquifers, and link new information to a data base in hopes of increasing the success rate of future drilling projects.
Leah Blezard Project Manager, Nutrition
Leah has been a recurrent SAM Project intern since 2015, working primarily for SAM's Nutrition Program. She is currently in her final year of study at McGill University, where she is completing a Bachelors of Arts in International Development. She hopes to eventually pursue a medical degree or a Masters of Public Health. Though she is not certain where exactly her career path will lead her, she has chosen to dedicate her life towards better understanding the cyclic nature of how health and poverty affect one another, and the devastating outcome that the commodification of healthcare has had on the world’s poor. She is also very passionate about gender issues in development.
Taylor Josephy Project Manager, Water Operations
Taylor first volunteered for The SAM Project in 2014. The experience solidified in him a passion for rural water development and, since then, Taylor has been returning to Zambia to design and implement SAM’s water programs. In Canada, he studies Geo-Science and Environmental Restoration at the University of Victoria. Taylor enjoys combining classroom theory with village experience in order to increase the sustainability and impact of rural water initiatives. After completing his Earth Science degree, Taylor plans to continue studying hydrogeology and its potential to assist in alleviating poverty.
Rachel Lynch Project Manager, Micro-enterprise
Rachel Lynch is currently writing her master’s thesis while volunteering in Zambia. She studies Economics at the University of Victoria where her research focused on the impact of education on women’s fertility. She is also interested in microfinancing and business development programs, and the impact these programs have on poverty reduction. She has led the delivery of business workshops and small-scale loans to women’s groups in the community as a means of improving women’s economic empowerment. Rachel also works closely with SAM’s partner co-operative, Lubemba, on agricultural diversification and incomegenerating projects. Rachel plans to continue to work with Zambian farmers on developing market knowledge and analysis that contribute to establishing sustainable linkages between rural farmers and urban consumers.
Hilary Fraser Project Manager, Water Operations
Hilary Fraser is a graduate of the University of Victoria, having obtained a BSc in Biology. Post-graduation, she has split her time between travelling and working in remote settings. Hilary has spent two seasons volunteering with SAM, implementing the water programs and overseeing the women’s shelter project. She is interested in the practical application of academic theory and its capacity to affect social change. She enjoys the challenges presented in blending academic insight with on-the-ground experiences, and looks forward to continuing to explore this in the future.