Board Of Directors
Chairman: Mr. Don Ghostlaw
Don Ghostlaw has been the driving force in the creation of Africa Education Partnership and has served on the AEP Board since its inception in 2009. He has visited Nigeria once, and has participated in all AEP fund-raising activities.
Don also serves on the Board of The Rob Branham Foundation, a non-profit organization serving leukemia patients and their families, and is legal guardian for several mentally handicapped adults.
In his work life, Don is a practicing attorney specializing
in non-patent intellectual property matters, with a focus on technology clients. Don has a B.S. in Computer Science from Boston College, and a J.D. from Western New England College School of Law. He is a member of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York state bars, and has been practicing for over twenty-six years.
Don is married with one child.
Elaine has a Master's degree in Special Education from Westfield State University. She is retired after a 35-year teaching career. Her assignments were split between the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) at Two Rivers Middle Magnet School and the Granby Public Schools, both in Connecticut. After serving as a special education teacher, she finished her career in Granby as a Consulting Teacher for grades 7-12.
Elaine has been married to husband Bob for over 40 years; they have two children, Nathaniel and Andrea, son-in-law Brad, and three granddaughters.
Elaine is passionate about Nigeria and treasures the friends she has made there. She has completed ten trips, traveling to check on the progress of various school projects, providing opportunities for teacher dialogue and sharing of ideas, facilitating conversation, and brainstorming solutions. She has been involved with Africa Education Partnership since its beginning in 2009.
The Rev. Peter Dewberry
The Rev. Peter Dewberry was born in South Africa. After Seminary, he received ordination from the Baptist Union of Southern Africa. In 1971 he began a Church planting ministry. During the next 32 years, he planted and pastored four churches including two in South Africa- Goodwood Baptist Church, in the suburbs of Cape Town and Emmanuel Baptist Church in Durban.
In 1985 Peter and his family moved to the USA. He became the founding pastor of White Marsh Baptist Church in Gloucester County, Virginia. In 1992, Peter became the founding pastor of NewLife Christian Fellowship in Glastonbury, Connecticut. In the summer of 2003 Peter founded Free Inside, a non-profit charity working for the rehabilitation of prisoners facilitating their reintegration into society.
Peter is married and has three children, a son and two daughters, and seven grandchildren. He traveled to Gusau, Nigeria in 2009 with Don Ghostlaw and Bob Chagnon to help establish AEP and has served on the board since that time.
Angela DiMezza trained in the UK as an RN and subsequently worked in medical clinics in Akron for 24 years. After retiring in 2006, Angela volunteered with Hospice, parish nursing, community meals and Stephen Ministry to name a few.
She has had a special interest in Africa since she was a young girl in England. In 2011 she traveled with a humanitarian team to Nigeria. Her first week with the team was spent in the medical clinic in Kateri, Kaduna State. In the second week she joined another group and traveled to Gusau in Zamfara State, to learn more about the educational needs of the region and to view the progress of the building of Graceland International School.
Angela has served on the AEP board since 2014. She is married to Peter, a cognitive-behavioral therapist in Akron. She has two sons, Matthew and Daniel, and two grandchildren.
Paul Frank, Emeritus
Before retiring, Paul was the President of Gilbert Lumber Company, a manufacturer of industrial wood products. His adventures in overseas work for the Episcopal Church include Chairman of the Diocese of Ohio Companion Relationship Committee with Brazil, member of the Joint Standing Commission on World Mission of General Convention, member of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church and its committee on world mission, and member (for almost 25 years) of the Covenant Committee with the Diocese of Liberia. He also represented Executive Council on the UTO board and the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief (now called ERD).
He was a valued member of the AEP board, serving from 2014-2019.
Secretary: Barbara Hoff
Barbara Hoff is retired from a career in software project management for financial service companies. Supporting education is a passion of hers, from volunteering in classrooms to leading the parent-teacher organization, to advocating for school building projects in her town.
Barbara has served on the board since the organization was started.
The Rev. Beth Frank
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our dear friend and board member, Rev. Beth Frank, on January 21, 2022.
Beth had an extraordinary impact on many, serving as an attorney, pastor to many churches, and public servant working with numerous organizations and non-profit groups.
Her talents were many and she shared them freely with Africa Education Partnership. She was best known for her wisdom, breadth of perspective, and innovative solutions. Her sense of humor was unparalleled.
It is at times like these that we question, “Why?” and cannot understand. However, we must trust that God’s plan is perfect, if not at times painful.
While Beth’s passing leaves a giant hole in our hearts, we are grateful for the time that we shared together. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her father, Paul, as he navigates this loss. Please read her obituary below:
The Rev. Elizabeth (Beth) Frank of Uniontown, passed away on January 21.
She was a professional interim Episcopal minister. In a sermon to a new parish she talked about her life as follows.
A Yiddish proverb says, "Man plans. God laughs." Beth believed her path to the priesthood provided plenty of material for God and God's angels at their weekly comedy nights. She graduated from Bexley Hall Seminary and served in five parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio. Prior to seminary, she was a "legal beagle" serving as an attorney and litigator with the Federal government in Washington, specializing in fair housing and civil rights litigation. Before attending law school in Cleveland, Beth lived in Beijing, where she taught English and in Hong Kong worked as a Chinese business consultant. Beth's call to ordained ministry also involved another vocational stop: Special Olympics where she coordinated athletes and volunteers. In addition to parish ministries, Beth was involved in global mission. She served as Vice-Chairman of the Standing Commission on World Mission of the national church and has been active in the Diocese of Ohio companion relationship with Belize. She also served as a Trustee of the Diocese of Ohio.
Beth is survived by her father, Paul A. Frank, Jr. and uncle John V. Frank of Akron; brother Paul A. Frank III, sister-in-law Lucinda and their children, Gwen and Paul IV of Pennington, New Jersey; and uncle Dr. Edmund Frank, his wife Dr. Jo Su of Portland, Oregon, and their daughter Valerie of San Francisco.
Published by Billow Fairlawn Chapel on Jan. 28, 2022.
Treasurer: Robert Chagnon
Bob has B.S.B.A. from Western New England College majoring in Accounting. Now retired, he served as a controller for several Connecticut companies including Schaller Auto World, Inc. and DATTCO, Inc. both of New Britain, CT, where his last 25 years of employment were enjoyed.
Bob is married to Elaine and they have two children, Andrea and Nathaniel, son-in-law Brad and three wonderful granddaughters.
Bob has served as Senior Warden, Assistant Treasurer and several other leadership roles at his church. Bob has traveled to Nigeria five times. His experiences have included traveling to and observing distant villages, establishing accountability with Nigerian partners, working numerous roles in medical outreach programs, and visiting school sites with Elaine. In 2009, he traveled with Don Ghostlaw and Peter Dewberry to assist with the start-up of Africa Education Partnership in Gusau, Nigeria. In January 2021, Bob accepted the role of treasurer for Africa Education Partnership.