Ms. Chinarat Nakhasathien
Ms Chinarat Nakhasathien, Fon, was elected as Chairperson of the Board of Kids Ark Foundation in 2013. Born in Bangkok she holds a BA degree in Hotel and Tourism Management from Bangkok University and worked in the hotel business in Thailand andthe Cayman Islands for six years. She holds a Master of Counselling Psychology. Fon has been a member of the Kids Ark Board since 2005.
Ms Rita Holm Gustafsson
In her native Sweden, Rita Holm Gustafsson is a registered nurse and nurse educator. She has worked in various fields ranging from 25 years of teaching to information about HIV policy. Furthermore she has worked several years in managing positions at the Foundation Noaks Ark´s department for people living with HIV and their relatives as well as at a Red Cross center for migrants, refugees and people living with disability. Together with her late husband Allan Gustafsson she founded Kids Ark Foundation Thailand.
Mr. Thomas Westheimer
Thomas Westheimer has been a volunteer with Kids Ark since 2008 and a board member since 2015. He helped to start a Kids Ark USA charity in the US and is a former US (Iran 1970-72) and Canadian (1973-76) Peace Corps volunteer. He ran a computer company for 20 years in the United States. He and his wife lived in Thailand from 1973 – 1983 and still see it as their second home. He also volunteers with The Foundation to Encourage the Potential of Disabled Persons and has been a Rotary member for over 24 years.
Mr. Philip John Parry
Dr Parry is a UK and Thai-registered chiropractor working in hospitals in Bangkok and Chiang Mai for the past 20 years. He has an MSc in Chiropractic Paediatrics, a diploma in Child Development Psychology and is currently completing a PhD. Philip is a board member since 2004
Ms Supajee Nilubon
Khun Supajee Nilubol is the Honorary Consul of Sweden in the North of Thailand. She is also the Advisor to the Ministry of National Resources and Irrigation Project for the Northern and Northeastern Regions of Thailand and Advisor to the National Legislature, and Commissioner for Energy. She holds a Masters Degree in Economics from Boston University, Massachusetts,and with a Bachelors Degree in Economics from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. She studied finance at Harvard Business School, Harvard University and Engineering of Energy Programmes at Princeton University. She is a board member since 2007
Thianchai Sukthiang is a well known singing teacher and the owner of Voice Studio Performing Art Academy Chiang Mai. He has trained many well known singers and actors in Thailand. Mr. Thianchai Sukthiang has been a board member since 2005
Ms. Weena Thanachaisakul
WeenaThanachaisakul (Goi), is Head of the Department of Art Education at Chiangmai University, Thailand. She holds a Masters degree in Education (Arts Education ) from Chulalongkom University, Bangkok, and a Bachelor degree in Art Education from Khonkaen University, Thailand. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies in curriculum and instructional education at KhonKaen University. She is a widely travelled guest lecturer, and a winner of the 2005 Award, Book Festival for Young People,from The Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand, Non-fiction category.
Mr. Lester Cohen
Lester Cohen retired in 1994 after a 32-year career with the United States Government in health care. He has expertise in developing and operating projects to test health care options. He has also served as a member of the Jewish Family and Children Services Board including an extended period as Vice President. He moved to Chiang Mai in 2012 and became involved with Kids Ark through a grant that a family foundation made to sponsor House of Hope 3. He has been a board member since 2014.
Mr. Suthee Chivaphongse
Suthee Chivaphongse is a qualified Certified Chartered Accountant from the UK and a member of the Thai Institute of Directors. He lived and worked in the UK for over 10 years before returned home in Thailand. His role as a senior management in the global manufacturing and oil & gas industry provides him opportunities to travel to many countries around the world. Traveling abroad allows him to see the differences on the culture, standard of living and education between Thailand and those countries. With the aim to close these gaps, he, therefore, decided to join Kids Arks in 2017 as a volunteer.
Mr. Stephen Wheat
Stephen Wheat was born on his family’s farm in North Dakota, USA. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting. He co-owned an import/export company (1981-1998) in Vanuatu (South Pacific) dealing mostly with educational materials and toys. He subsequently co-founded and co- owned a company (1998-2016) in Hawaii shipping fresh produce to the United States mainland. He served on the board of a State-run Agricultural cooperative on the Big Island of Hawaii (2011-13). He moved to Chiang Mai July 2016 and began his involvement with Kids Ark in December of that year.
Mr. Viroj Lerdrash
Mr Viroj Lerdrash is a graduate of the Executive Master of Business Administration Program of the National Institute of Development Administration, and presently the Managing Director and CEO of Unitrade House Ware Co., Ltd. He has also worked as the Key Account Manager with Hansa Industrial (Thailand) Co., Ltd. and formerly President NL Stationery & Export Co., Ltd
Johan Öström has an MBA degree in Hospitality management from Les Roches Hospitality Management School in Switzerland, as well as a bachelor in marketing from IHM Business School in Sweden. While Swedish worked internationally for most of his life; in the Nordics, Switzerland and Asia where he was based in Thailand.
His digital expertise has taken him around the world representing brands high-end hospitality brands like Centara Hotels & Resorts, Soneva, Six Senses and Leading Hotels of the World. His current role as E-Commerce manager for the Nobis Hospitality Group he combines with being CEO & Digital strategist.
As part of inspiring others he also speaks for entrepreneurs and at business schools. “A challenge most companies have today is what marketing channels to use in an ever-growing media landscape. Working with digital strategies is an integral part of my tactic to develop a competitive edge in the global hospitality industry“
His profound interest in different cultures, human behavior and a genuine connection to Thailand and its people resulted in him joining Kids Ark in 2018. He sees this role as a challenging opportunity to add value and bring a new skill-set that will accelerate the organization into the digital age.
Marisa is a certified professional in Program Management. She has over 6 years of consultancy and professional experiences across Australia, China, Germany and Southeast Asia. With a background in business consulting, she has work extensively in a diverse range of business strategy, transformation and program management. Marisa holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from University of Mannheim in Germany and Mahidol University International College.
She has a global interest with a local lens. When not advising corporations, you can find Marisa busy doing voluntary works and travelling around. She has a long association with non-profit organizations and humanitarian work. Prior to joining Kid Arks Foundation, Board of Directors, she served as Amnesty International Human Rights Activist, nominated as AIESEC Vice President of External Relations, elected as MUIC Alumni Association Board Member and volunteered with UN Women to arrange the biggest fundraising event – Gala Dinner. The previous gala benefit has raised to support the critical work of UN Women in stopping oppression and violence towards women. Most passionate about Gender Equality, Women Rights, Education and Economic Growth.
Founding Board Member
Joint founder of Kids Ark, Allan Gustafsson (1929-2009) started his career in the Swedish Institute of Business Activity, after which he worked as an international executive for the Swedish pulp and paper industry for over 30 years. He subsequently volunteered for the Swedish Red Cross for several years. Allan held an MA from the University of Uppsala. He was the Economic Director of Kids Ark Foundation.