Board of Directors

Seeds of South Sudan operates with an all-volunteer board. The president, Arok Garang, receives a modest stipend to cover his expenses and time.
Sue Counterman
Sue CountermanSecretary
Thomas Pond
Thomas PondTreasurer
Arok Garang
Arok GarangPresident & Founder
Byron Flateland
Byron FlatelandVice-President
Timothy Sielaff
Timothy SielaffAsst. Treasurer
Jeri Lou Maus
Jeri Lou MausBoard Member
John Gonder
John GonderSpecial Projects
Eileen Steeg
Eileen SteegBoard Member
Wendy Satsky
Wendy SatskyBoard Member
Karen Markham
Karen MarkhamBoard Member
Peggy Gonder
Peggy GonderCommunications Director

All individuals pictured are volunteers, with the exception of our President and Founder.

Sue Counterman

Board Secretary and College Scholarship Program Director

Sue has been teaching science in the Denver area for the past 27 years. Through her work in the middle school social justice program, she came to know Arok Garang, the founder of Seeds of South Sudan. Sue is privileged to know Arok, and through him to gain a deep understanding of his trials as one of the original Lost Boys. Sue stated, “not only is Arok a remarkable, resilient individual, he is a leader in supporting orphans from South Sudan, as recognized by the Dinka leaders of the Kakuma Refugee Camp. For me, it is a privilege to contribute in a small way to helping these most marginalized children in the world.” Sue has been a board member since 2012, supporting SOSS as board secretary, and has developed the College Scholarship Program. Sue traveled with Arok and another supporter to visit the SoSS program and the Kakuma Refugee Camp in the summer of 2017 where she saw firsthand the positive impact of the Seeds of South Sudan program. SoSS is changing lives for children that otherwise would have no hope for an education or healthy meals to sustain their bodies. The support of the caring SoSS community is providing all the necessities for a productive life and giving students the opportunity to develop their capabilities.

Karen Markham

Seeds of South Sudan Board Member

Karen, a Colorado native, practiced as a Physician Assistant in the fields of Pediatrics, Allergy and Asthma for 35 years. After retiring, Karen sought volunteer activities as a way to give back to her community. She and her husband, Dan, have sponsored a student through the Seeds of South Sudan College Scholarship Program for several years.

After meeting Arok Garang, Karen was so inspired by his remarkable life story, his passion for rescuing, educating, and mentoring orphan children from the Kakuma Refugee Camp, and his sheer kindness and humbleness, Karen wanted to increase her involvement with the Seeds of South Sudan and joined the Board of Directors. “I often am reminded of the quote my daughter used to tell me, ‘To the world you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world.’

I hope my small contributions to this fantastic nonprofit may help change the world for at least one person.” Karen believes that the impact that this foundation has had on the lives of these orphan children and their capacity to become future leaders of South Sudan is truly changing the world one person at a time.

John Gonder

Board Member, Special Projects

In his advice to his children, Professor Stephen Hawking said, “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet; and that work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it.” My own father gave me the same advice. Although I am now retired, I still look at the stars and find meaning and purpose in volunteer activities that help others reach for the stars in their life.

My work life has included many fulfilling adventures: high school math teacher, US Air Force weather officer, city planner in Denver, commercial real estate sales and research, and economic development manager for counties and cities. My personal life includes a loving wife, son and daughter-in-law, and two grandsons.

My volunteer activities now include Montview Presbyterian Church, Seeds of South Sudan, Model A Club of Colorado, Habitat for Humanity, many family and grandchildren activities, as well as camping and travel to distant places.

I got to know Arok Garang when I sought a speaker for a church forum on “The Lost Boys of Sudan”. Arok had a compelling story to tell, and I soon joined him in seeking to fulfill the hopes and dreams that he has for the Seeds of South Sudan nonprofit organization. The refugee orphans that he rescues from the Kakuma Refugee Camp are given the opportunity, through education, to reach for their stars, and become future enlightened leaders in their home country of South Sudan.

Seeds of South Sudan