Garry Gehyigon - Founding Member and Chairman

Garry Gehyigon hails from Kpoahpa Town in Gbannah Clan. Garry started his education at Flumpa Public School in 1967. He also attended Flumpa United Inland Mission School, Dahn Gborwin Elementary School (Constance’s Farm between Gban and Kpoahpa), Dingamo Public School,  Johnny Voker Elementary and Junior High School (Saclepea) and Broad Street Elementary School in Monrovia before going to Sanniquellie Central High School as a seventh grader where he remained and graduated from High School in 1978. Garry received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a minor in Political Science from the University of Liberia, a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University, The Hague, The Netherlands and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 

Garry has more than 30 years of working experience as a senior national civil servant at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (Liberia) and as an international civil servant (with the United Nations) in Eritrea and Kenya (Coordinator for the UN Volunteers Program). He worked as a researcher at the Bonn International Center for Conversion (Germany), conducting much of the empirical work on Demobilization and reintegration in Sub-Saharan Africa, including a field study in Uganda. He is a co-author of “Demobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Development and Security Impacts”, edited by Kees Kingma. He has edited and co-edited several high profile speeches and major development workshop proceedings, including Voluntarism and Development in Kenya; Awakening the Dignity of Humanity: An Approach to Promote Volunteerism, fight against HIV/AIDS and Malaria (A report of former President Jerry John Rawlings of Ghana visit to Kenya as UN 2001 Eminent Person for the International Year of Volunteers and HIV/AIDS) and Strengthening Partnerships for Sustainable Development in Kenya. Garry taught at Dolo Memorial Elementary School in Sanniquellie, Barracks High School in Monrovia and lectured at Zion Community College in Monrovia.

Garry recently teamed up with other professionals from Gbannah Clan to pioneer the formation of an army of volunteers to answer and assist with some of the ongoing socio-economic and developmental challenges of Gbannah Clan. Garry is the Chairman of this group, the Council of Gbannah Volunteers (COGVOL).    

Garry is a founding member and present Executive Director of the Research and Integrated Community Development Center (RICDC), a non-profit organization that focuses on HIV/AIDS and Ebola  awareness for prevention/control, Youth empowerment and Mainstreaming Gender in Development.  Garry served as President of the Nimba University Student Association (NUSA) at the University of Liberia, 1984. Under his leadership, NUSA initiated the erection of a public library in Ganta, Nimba County and took the construction of the project to a window level before he graduated. NUSA under Garry’s leadership also launched a tutorial program in Mathematics and English that prepared prospective students to the University, a result of which boosted Nimba Students enrollment at the University of Liberia the following academic year. Thanks to Garry’s team, including George S. S. Wuo, the Late Wuo Garbe Tappia, Daniel Wehyee, Honorable Larry P. Younquoi and all those who volunteered as tutors of Mathematics and English, including J. Kentoe Tokpah, Joseph S. Kappia, Marcus Sokpah and Stephen Wuo. Garry is a Philanthropist, development practitioner and a born diplomat. Garry is married and blessed with four children (three boys and a girl).

Email: gggehyigon@yahoo.com, Telephone: 215-888-5520.

Emmanuel Benson - Founding Member and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Emmanuel is a partner and practicing Accountant at Musa & Benson CPAs, a Certified Public Accountant Firm in Minnesota.  He is also a Budget Manager and serves on the budget committee at the Saint Catherine University of Minnesota. He is an Accountant and a finance professional with over a decade of experience spanning the entire gamut of accounting and finance, including audit, taxation, strategic planning and budgeting, business valuation, controllership, business payroll management, international finance, strategic initiatives, risk management and business compliance. Emmanuel has worked in different organizations, both private and public, including a fortune 500 company. Emmanuel is also an adjunct professor of accounting and finance at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Emmanuel is an active Certified Public Accountant (CPA), certified by the Minnesota Board of Accountancy in collaboration with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA).

Emmanuel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.  Prior to his matriculation to Metropolitan State University, he attended the University of Liberia, where he served as a Financial Officer /secretary for the Student Union of Nimba.  He is a valedictorian from J.W. Pearson High School of the Class of ‘88’ in Ganta, Nimba County.

Emmanuel hails from Flumpa Town, Gbannah Clan. He is born unto the union of Kou Pailar Blohn and Edward Saye Duleh Ben.

Email: emmanuelnya@msn.com, Tel: 763-639-7880 

Cooper Quoibia - Founding Member and Fundraising and Resource Mobilization Officer

Cooper Quoibia comes from Gban Town, Nimba County. He attended the J. W. Pearson School and the Ganta United Methodist School before moving to Yekepa to work for the mining Company (LAMCO). Cooper received additional training (on the job) as a Trainman (British title for Assistant Locomotive Engineer) while working for LAMCO.  In continuation of his formal education, LAMCO awarded him a scholarship that enabled him to study and complete his General Education requirements at the Bennett Airmail College, based in Reading, England. Upon migrating to the United States Cooper enrolled at the Minneapolis Technical College and completed a Nursing Assistant program in 1987, a profession he now applies at the Golden Nursing Home in St. Paul, Minnesota as a certified Nursing Assistant.

He also completed a recording engineering and production course at MusicTech, now called McNally College of Music Downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. Cooper has more than forty years of working experience, mainly in the private sector.

Cooper is a founder and co-founder of many great bands, including Jungle Boys, Humble Bees, Voice of Liberia and Radical Chant (roots reggae Die-harder). Currently he is an independent artist, with works published by Tune Core and Whotune. He owns a private practice studio with gears capable of professional productions. He is a lover of all musical instruments, a few of which he enjoys playing. Cooper composes songs in both Mano Dialect and English as fond hobbies.

Email: cooperq@rocketmail.com, Telephone: 651-242-9511.

Justin Fohn Yelegon - Founding Member and Secretary General to the Council

Justin Yelegon hails from Flumpa in Gbannah Clan, Nimba County.

Justin grew up in Flumpa where he attended the Flumpa United Inland Mission School and completed his elementary education in 1982, before moving to Monrovia to attend St. Patrick’s High school and graduated from there in 1988.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Liberia, a Master’s degree in Telecommunications from the St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a host of other career-related certificates.

Justin’s career practice spans over 18 years of active service in the private and public sectors, both in Liberia and the United States. In Liberia, he held various positions before coming to the United States, including four years as a project Analyst with the National Investment Commission of Liberia, Homeroom Instructor at the JJ Roberts United Methodist School, and recently as a National Consultant with the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation. He has also held various positions in the United States, including Four years as a project Coordinator with Eschelon Telecom in Minneapolis, Provisioning Specialist with Integra Telecom, and Academic Resource Tutor with the Robbinsdale Area School District in Minnesota. He currently works as a Project Coordinator with CenturyLink in Minnesota, USA.

Away from formal work Justin spends time volunteering with Liberian-based grassroots organizations in Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States, including membership to the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota, served as Secretary General of the United Nimba County Citizens Council (Minnesota Chapter) and as a Board member of the Gbannah Development Organization.  Justin also enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball with friends, and watching TV documentaries.

Email: fyelegon@comcast.net, Telephone: 763-377-0299

 

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