Governing Board of Directorsimg_3875

Diane Laakso, BASc, MSc


Diane’s love for Africa began in 1986 when she spent 6 months backpacking through 13 African countries.  Diane’s vision is to see Kenyans have access to clean water and opportunities for education and employment.  She has a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master of Science in human nutrition and certificates in Christian Education and in Co-operative Management.


Laurel Laakso, BMSc, MD, CCFP


Laurel has been involved with GAM since it’s very beginning in 2005. She has traveled extensively in eastern and southern Africa. She has a keen interest in community and global health and is an alumni of the Global Health Education Initiative at the University of Toronto. Laurel is a family physician.



Michael Phillips, PhD

Director of Fundraising

Michael is an internationally recognized expert with more than 30 years experience in the field of forensic mental health and the criminal justice system. He is a recipient of the Amethyst Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Ontario Public Service. He is Chairman of the Inter-national Institute on Special Needs Offenders and Public Policy, and is a member of the Ontario Justice of the Peace Review Council.

Michael has a special interest in child sponsorship and would like to see African children expand their understanding of the world through short term visits to Canada.

IMG_2014 (1)

Karen Marie Gariba 


Karen-Marie has travelled extensively throughout Africa and around the world. During her eight years living in Hong Kong, she worked for UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) and World Vision. Her heart is to use her humanitarian and fundraising experience to bless GAM in helping to fulfill the mission, vision, and programs.  Karen-Marie and her husband Zak are the founding Pastors of Jubilee Celebration Centre in Orillia, Owen Sound and Alliston.


Brian Treleaven

Brian Treleaven

Director of Volunteers

Brian has extensive experience in leading short-term missions in developing countries. In 2012, Brain led a team to Kenya to construct a Sunday school building, and minister and encourage many Kenyans. For over ten years, Brian has been chairman of the board of directors for Alliston Alliance Church, Alliston Ontario.



Paul Roberts, HBOR

Sustainable Business Specialist

Paul has a wide variety of experience in the Co-op sector. His most recent endeavour was to establish a worker co-op coffee roastery in Stratford, Ontario, To Bean or Not to Bean. Paul is certified in Co-operative Management and Advanced Business Analysis. He currently teaches Business Foundations and Sustainable Business Planning at Fanshawe College, London Ontario. He is the SW Ontario Manager for the Ontario Co-operative Association.


IMG_1528 (1)Heather Laakso – BMSc, MD, CCFP

Member for Gender Equity

Heather was profoundly impacted by her travels in Africa as an adolescent and young women, and has a strong interest in social equity and justice. In particular, Heather has become an active advocate for gender equality in both Canada and Kenya, and is passionate about GAM’s gender equity programs. Heather is a family physician in Ontario.


Holly Laakso – BMSc, PhD

IMG_6130 (2)Member for Public Relations

Holly was only thirteen years old when she first came to Sub-Saharan Africa, and her experiences there have been foundational in both her personal and professional life. After seeing the devastating affects of infection, such as HIV, on human health in developing countries, Holly pursued research in infection and immunity. She has a desire to see Kenyans overcome every obstacle to becoming successful leaders. She is currently finishing her PhD in Microbiology & Immunology at the Western University of Canada in London, Ontario.




GAM Conflict of Interest Policy

GAM Complaints Policy

GAM Code of Conduct Policy

GAM Fundraising Policy

GAM Privacy Policy


Gam Financial Statement 2016