AFARI Supports ARI
American Friends of Asian Rural Institute ( AFARI ) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization registered in Connecticut. We welcome your donations in support of the Asian Rural Institute’s efforts to nurture and train rural leaders at the grassroots of Asia, Africa and the Pacific.
J.B. was born in Kentucky, the land where many people use initials to identify themselves. He left the Bluegrass state, via the Hoosier state (Earlham College in Richmond, IN) to accept a fellowship at KEEP in the middle of rural Japan. He spent six months struggling with Japanese, followed by six months in Tokyo studying it, which is probably not the preferred order. Far east winds blew him back and forth from Japan to the Philippines, where he eventually settled for four years working with Indochinese refugees from the Vietnam War.
ARI members – Ex-officio
ARI Director, Nasushiobara, Japan.
ARI Ecumenical Relations, Nasushiobara, Japan
Secretary, Byron Center, MI
Bev Abma is a long-term overseas development worker. With a B.Sc. in Nursing, she participated in pediatric nursing in Canada; overseas development and domestic disaster response with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (now World Renew); founding Foods Resource Bank
Vice President, Tokyo, Japan
Paul Hastings is the Executive Director and CEO of the Japan ICU Foundation. He joined the JICUF staff in 2006, and served in numerous positions before assuming the Executive Director role in September 2015.
Board President, Branford, CT.
Rev. Margret Hofmeister is a Connecticut native, born and raised in Branford, where she was a member of the First Congregational Church. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary, she is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ
Ellen Palmer Marsey
The Rev. Ellen Palmer Marsey had a career in office management and accounting prior to entering the ministry in 1997. For ten years she served churches as an associate pastor, senior pastor and as an Interim/Transitional Ministry Specialist. Rev. Marsey has served on committees and boards within the United Church of Christ
Beth is a retired educator living in Fremont, Michigan. Her career spanned more than 35 years in three countries. Most of her experience was as an elementary teacher in Fremont, Michigan, but she also taught in Tokyo, Japan, and at the end of her career worked as a librarian and dorm parent at a boarding school near London, England. Living with and teaching children from different cultural backgrounds has enriched her life and encouraged her to continue to appreciate and explore diversity in our world.
Bob is an Electrical engineer with extensive project management and system design experience in software systems. He began his career at AT&T Bell Labs, moving on to Northern Telecom, Sanders Associates(BAE systems), Digital, Sybase, Lucent Technologies and IBM. Now retired, he is currently doing web design work, maintaining and updating 10 websites.
Treasurer, Northfield, MN
Craig is Director of Enterprise Infrastructure, in the Information Technology department at St. Olaf College
Kathy Tegtmeyer Pak
Kathy teaches in the Asian Studies and Political Science departments at St. Olaf College. Don Tarr, college roommate of Takami Sensei who taught at St. Olaf for 31 years, first introduced her to the Asian Rural Institute, when she moved to Northfield in 2003.
Bay City, MI
Prior to retirement, Gene taught math and was the Director of Technology at the American School in Japan, Tokyo, Japan from 1977-2016.