Our Board

Rais Bhuiyan

Rais Bhuiyan

Founder & President

Rais is a peace activist and an IT professional. After graduating from Sylhet Cadet College, a military School in Bangladesh, he joined the Bangladesh Air Force and was commissioned as a pilot officer following two and a half years of vigorous training. He received a BS in Aeronautics from the National University in Dhaka and completed numerous information technology courses in New York and Dallas where he continued his education, taking courses in computer system engineering,Show More

    programming, and database administration. In 2001, he was shot in the face by Mark Stroman, a white supremacist seeking vengeance for the 9/11 tragedy.

    Bhuiyan responded to this by forgiving his attacker and attempting unsuccessfully to prevent his execution. Bhuiyan currently holds a position with Sabre Holdings, a global technology company, in Southlake, Texas. His time is divided between managing a team of system engineers and data centers in Europe and touring the globe giving talks about the regenerative power of forgiveness.

Bruce J. Charendoff

Bruce J. Charendoff

Board Chair / Consultant / Mentor and Coach

As an anti-hate activist, Mr. Charendoff chairs two nonprofit organizations, World Without Hate and Lev B’Lev (Heart to Heart). Both organizations are committed to understanding hate, transforming those who hate, and replacing hate with compassion, empathy and forgiveness. He also serves on the steering committee of JAM-AT (Jews and Muslims Acting Together).Show More

    As Managing Director of BlueWave Merchant Partners, Mr. Charendoff consults with companies to help them become more competitive in their pursuits abroad and accelerate their business growth opportunities overseas.

    As a mentor and coach, he works with the Abramson Scholarship Foundation (District of Columbia) and Montgomery College’s Achieving the Promise Academy (Maryland), where he helps college students and job seekers strategically position themselves for educational and career success.

    In his previous corporate career, he was the Chief Public Policy Officer and Senior Vice President of Sabre Corporation, a $3 billion travel technology company. In that role, he led Sabre’s worldwide public policy and government outreach initiatives.

    Mr. Charendoff chaired Sabre’s foundation and helped develop Sabre’s Passport to Freedom initiative to combat human trafficking and give hope (and jobs) to its victims. He was the chairman and founder of the Travel Technology Association, the trade group representing global distribution systems, online travel companies, and short term rental companies; he served on the executive committee of the US Travel Association; and he was a board member of the European Travel and Technology Services Association.

    He was a founding board member of the Urban Alliance, a Washington, DC based mentoring and workforce training program, which has over the last 20 years placed over 3,000 students in professional internships.

    The American Society of Travel Agents awarded him its Lifetime Achievement Award. He previously worked in positions of increasing responsibility at American Airlines and Shipman & Goodwin, a Hartford, Connecticut law firm. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with his wife, Sally Rosenberg, who is a lawyer, novelist and aspiring theatrical producer. He has two daughters and two stepsons.

Stephanie Steel

Stephanie Steel

Secretary

Stephanie specializes in Organizational Development for Dell and has rotated through a variety of roles since she joined in May, 2014. She has experience in strategic planning, training, research, teaching, managing and coaching. Compassion and creativity drive her result-oriented approach to empower and utilizing human capital for organizations and society.Show More

    Stephanie is especially interested in educational praxis and how organizations can foster learning most effectively, whether for adolescents or executives. Her experience as an educator convinced her that people are any organization’s greatest asset, worthy of investment and a source of competitive advantage.

    Stephanie has a passion for education and ministry. She served as a Director of Youth Ministry for St. Rita Catholic Community and a faculty member for Ursuline Academy of Dallas. She holds a BS in Child Learning and Development & Psychology (BA) from the University of Texas at Dallas, a Masters in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas, and a Masters in Human Resource Management from Texas A&M University.

Mark Wright

Mark Wright

Evening News Anchor, King5 News

Mark is an award-winning anchor for KING 5, the NBC affiliate in Seattle, Washington. He is a four-time Emmy winner for his work as a documentary producer, anchor and reporter.

Mark was born in Seattle but raised on his family’s organic vegetable farm in Whatcom County. Mark started working in the fields in grade school – weeding, cultivating and irrigating the crops. He and his family cut their own wood for heat and raised their own livestock. Growing up on a farm taught Mark the value of hard work. It also instilled in him a love of locally-grown food and a sustainable lifestyle.Show More

    Mark attended Ferndale High School and Washington State University. At WSU, he fell in love with broadcasting and his future wife. Mark’s professional broadcasting career began while attending the Murrow College of Communication at WSU. He worked as a reporter and anchor for the university-owned public radio station. Attending the same college that legendary journalist Ed Murrow attended has always served as an inspiration to Mark. Throughout his career he has tried to apply Murrow’s commitment to integrity and innovation to every position he’s held. Mark graduated from WSU in 1989 with a BA in Communications and a minor in Business Administration.

    Mark’s early career was in Public Radio. He worked as a legislative correspondent for KBSU-FM in Boise, Idaho. He later worked as a reporter for Spokane Public Radio. In Spokane, Mark transitioned from public to commercial broadcasting at KXLY Radio/TV. In seven years, Mark rose from a radio “board operator” (fancy name for button-pusher) to evening television news anchor. In 1998, Mark left Spokane to anchor the morning news for KSTU Television in Salt Lake City. In 2003, Mark returned home to Seattle to work as an evening news anchor, first for the Fox affiliate and now NBC.

    Mark is the Immediate Past President and a board member of the Rotary Club of Seattle — the 4 th -oldest and one of the largest Rotary clubs in the world. Mark led the club of 450 members from June of 2017 through June of 2018. Rotary is a service organization that works to improve the lives of those in need at home and around the world. Mark also dedicates many hours a month volunteering his time as an emcee for non-profits, including — Growing Veterans, Food Lifeline, Bloodworks Northwest, American Red Cross, Plymouth Housing and various hospice organizations.

    Mark’s philosophy on life is to keep an open mind, learn something new every day and bring understanding to the issues he covers for the people of western Washington. Mark is married to his college sweetheart Jamie and has two boys. He loves working in the “big city” but feels most at home walking the fields in Ferndale that his great grandparents settled more than a century ago. In his spare time, you’ll find Mark playing the drums, golfing and practicing Jiu Jitsu.

Marisa Barthel, Retired

Marisa Barthel, Retired

In a non-traditional sense, Marisa Barthel has been involved in building bridges with “others” for decades. She is quick to acknowledge that many of the successes during her career – particularly those accomplished with international partners — were not in spite of the differences of the those involved but BECAUSE of them.Show More

    Marisa retired from the U.S. Intelligence Community in December 2014, following 32 years of public service, during which she built, led, and managed multi-agency/multi-national programs that delivered results. As the leader of each of these programs, success was achieved by: fostering strong relationships with U.S. Government colleagues and/or foreign partners; aligning resources with priorities; leveraging expertise of officers from multiple organizations; identifying solutions to address challenges; advocating for action; garnering decision-maker support to dedicate scarce resources to the effort at hand; and ultimately implementing the needed change or executing the operation.

    Since retiring, Marisa has applied her skill set & experiences to a variety of her passions – fostering dialogue between people of different faiths & cultures, advocating for rights of victims of sexual assault (from the emergency room to college campuses), and helping Veterans create strong resumes that showcase the depth & breadth of their military experiences in language that the civilian world can understand.

    Marisa and her husband, John, are both driven by a desire to “give back” to the community, and they embrace the belief that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” They have two grown daughters, who grew to respect other cultures during the years they lived and vacationed abroad.

Advisory Board

Munir “Mark” Kamal

Munir “Mark” Kamal

Senior Vice President Commercial Financing & Marketing

Since 2001 Mark has been Vice President of Finance and Marketing for Enterprise America, Inc. a commercial real estate and mortgage brokerage firm headquartered in Dallas, TX. In his role, Mark specializes in commercial financing with a focus on SBA, Conventional, Bridge, Non-Recourse Financing and Business Development. He has vast experience in many industries including hospitality, Auto Repair, gas station and all types of commercial businesses. During the recession of 2009 to 2014 Mark worked in the IT industry as a Support Team Lead for CompuCom and MEDHOST providing support to corporate end users for their IT needs.Show More

    During this time Mark continued to work part time at Enterprise America keeping up on the changes of the commercial real estate and finance industry. He re-joined Enterprise full time in 2015.

    Mark grew up in Dhaka, Bangladesh and he always had a passion for helping others and contributing to the society. He was an active member of the Lions Club International and participated in number of events to benefit the poor and helpless. As an adult and as member of a youth music band, he participated in number of benefit concerts to help the flood victims in Bangladesh which is a natural occurrence there. He has participated in employer sponsored programs for the united way, Red Cross and others. He is also a member of the Amnesty International.

    Mark completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dhaka University and also attended University Of Oklahoma to pursue his higher education in Engineering. He also completed number of IT related courses in Big Data, and Database Administration in Dallas.

Robert Bell

Robert Bell

Robert is an IT consultant for the multinational corporation Hitachi Consulting. Before that he was very active in the DFW film community working on several local productions since 2003.Robert has received two bachelor degrees from the University of North Texas; one in Business Administration Decision Sciences and another in Radio/TV/Film. During his time in the U.S. Army, Robert also received a wide variety of technology and electronics training along with leadership and team management certifications.Show More

    After his time in the military Robert decided to become an advocate for peace. He joined the professional organizations Iraq Veterans against the war and Veterans for Peace. He developed close personal and working relationships with local activist Leslie Harris, and journalist Nathan Diebenow; assisting them in creating video content from numerous protests and speaking events. Along with Nathan, Robert created the underground news channel Standard Rebellion. Highlights of the channel are short documentaries covering the Rally for Bradley Manning, a nuclear awareness piece for the PAX Christi, and covering guest speaker events for Chis Hedges and Col. Anne Wright.