Joanne made her first trip to WISE Zambia’s headquarters in Kaoma in 2013. That adventure led to a lifelong commitment to the nonprofit. She visits every year — except during the worst of COVID-19 — and has taken several small teams and individuals from the US to Kaoma and environs. Her relationships with staff and students in Zambia provide the inspiration for her advocacy and devotion to the work.
Joanne was Board President for one three-year term and in 2022-’23 serves as both Secretary and Interim Board Chair as WISE transitions to a governing board. She presents the WISE Zambia story for schools, churches, and civic groups, and on radio and television. In addition, she tours the US occasionally, creating friends for WISE through presentations and fundraisers.
Joanne enjoyed a career as a singer, music educator, and choral director, with a degree in music from Indiana University. She’s grateful to the many individual donors who provide the majority of WISE Zambia’s funding; to her home Rotary Club of Lewiston-Auburn, ME and its activism in facilatating District International Grants for WISE; and to HDR Foundation for its generous support. With two grown children who live in Maine, a son in Austin, TX and two grandchildren, she is also known as “Kuku Jo-Jo” to her many “grandchildren” in Kaoma.