Meet our Board
Founder and Managing Director
Suzanne is an innovative change maker, capacity builder, executive level manager, serial entrepreneur and educator committed to global development, equal opportunities and a better world for all. Her passion for Tanzania began in 2010 when she first spent four months teaching business start-up to 48 village women in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. Recognizing the impact of the training, she founded OneLove and continues to spend time in both Canada and Tanzania building partnerships that expand the outreach. She considers the countries around the globe her own ‘life-long’ classroom and thrives on making a positive difference ... while having fun at the same time. Having raised four daughters as a single mother (all of whom started their own businesses) Suzanne has a deep connection to “women supporting and empowering women”.
"I continue to learn more each day from working with our African mamas. Their ongoing positive attitudes, gratitude for each new day and ability to thrive - while living in difficult situations - inspire me on many levels."
Academically: MBA, Certified Management Consultant (CMC), Professional Project Manager, Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education. Professionally: Business executive experienced in managing leading-edge community and economic development initiatives around the globe. Educator skilled in teaching, and curriculum developer with a focus on train-the-trainer materials. Having established seven successful companies in both Canada and the U.S., she brings a practical and ‘hands-on’ perspective to her classroom (be it a university setting or African village).
Board Member - Director of Operations (Tanzania)
Jumanne Issondo is an experienced senior-level executive with over 25 years experience in government, education and the transportation sector. In addition to having a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a wealth of experience in sales, finance and operations, he has a strong entrepreneurial focus and has owned several small businesses. Jumanne spent 10 years as the Managing Director of two leading private secondary schools in the Kilimanjaro Region where he had full responsibility for strategic planning, financial and operational management, human resources (40+ teachers) and student recruitment (500+ students). A local Tanzanian, Jumanne is committed to the development of those less fortunate in his community. He is the Chair of Kibo Education and Liberation Sympathy Organization (KELASO), a registered NGO he founded in 2018. Additionally, he joined the board of directors of OneLove Africa Foundation Tanzania in 2020.
Board Member - Communications and Fundraising
Laura Smithson is a Tourism Management and Business Administration graduate, an entrepreneur and an experienced business manager. She offers 20 years business experience in a diverse range of areas including business administration, event and project management, fund development and communications. In addition to the work communications and fundraising work she does with OneLove, Laura keeps herself active in the community with the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Victoria Mental Health Association. She spent seven years as a member of the YM-YWCA Women of Distinction and was the Co-ordinator for the Victoria Hospitality Awards program for six years.
Board Member - Graphics and Marketing
Nancy has spent the past 23 years as Creative Director and owner of Seaside Designs, a Victoria based visual communications firm. She uses photography as a means of creative expression and integrating it into commercial work for clients. Nancy is an avid hiker and also specializes in environmental photography. She has had a deep personal connection to Africa for many years and is thrilled to be involved with the encouraging work being done by OneLove. While most of her energy is spent on the Canadian side of the operations, she recently had an opportunity to visit Tanzania and see the program in action.
Dr. Colin Nelson
Colin first travelled to Tanzania, East Africa in 1998 where he became involved with the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Opthamalogy. Dr. Nelson was in ophthalmology practice in Victoria since 1980, specializing in corneal and cataract surgery. He was a director and head surgeon at the Victoria Corneal Laser Centre from 1994 until his retirement in 2013. Apart from public practice, he actively volunteered around the globe working with Medical Group Missions (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras), St. John Ophthalmic Hospital (Jerusalem) and the International Eye Foundation (St. Kitts). Colin continues to spend time in Tanzania providing aid and support to a variety of individuals and organizations.