Little Ripples Make Big Waves

Our Team

Founder/Chair Emeritus
Nia Z. Sherar

As a young girl, Nia dreamed of planting corn in Africa to feed starving children. As an adult she learned about Mohammad Yunus and microcredit (small loans to women), followed her dream and founded the Opportunity Fund for Developing Countries (OFDC). Initially, believing she could "save the world" she established programs in Bolivia, Guatemala, Nepal, Malawi and Kenya. Now more realistic and with volunteer power, OFDC focuses on Kenya - little ripples, making big waves.
Kenya Senior Advisor
Simon Nikoitoi

Simon is proud of his Maasai culture. He was raised in a manyatta (traditional mud and cow dung hut of the Maasai), had two mothers and 14 siblings. Since Simon is a male, his father sent him to school. Simon worked and saved money so he could attend teacher's college. Simon taught at Talek Primary located on the Maasai Mara. He was also Headmaster for several years before joining Friends of Conservation (FOC) as programs director, later worked for a tree conservancy organization and as Executive Director of Koiyaki Guiding School, a European Union funded NGO that trains Maasai to be tourist guides. Simon currently works at Ol Kinyei Conservancy as the Manager, Employed by Porini Safari Camps which is sister to GameWatchers Safaris. OFDC's founder has worked with Simon for over 25 years.

Executive Director
Dalton Wilson


Throughout Dalton's entire life, service to others has been a high priority. He's constantly on the lookout for everyday opportunities to help someone in need. From preparing and supplying food to those without a proper meal to simply helping someone onto the bus, he's always overwhelmed with love and joy when he can have a positive impact on someone's life. When Dalton heard of the opportunity to get involved with the OFDC, he couldn't let it pass. "The work that the OFDC has done has impacted so many lives and there was no way I could let it dissolve and stop its mission. The amount of time and effort Nia has put in is nothing short of incredible."

Dalton served many leadership roles while attending college for various clubs. These include External Vice President and Chair of New Member Education, Philanthropy, and Community Service. Responsibilities for these offices include the oversight and organization of new member education, fund raising for various charities, reaching out to the local Cache Valley community to find projects in need of assistance (such as highway clean up twice a year and collecting 3.4 tons of food for the Logan Food Pantry), and ensuring all members perform service as required for membership.

Dalton is a native to Utah and enjoys being in the mountains either snowboarding, hiking, or biking. Dalton has a BS in Management Information Systems from USU. He served an internship at the Bradford Teaching Hospital in Bradford, England and is currently working in the Research Informatics department at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City as a Software Design Engineer.

Board Chair
Barbara Richards, MS
Development Chair

Barbara is a Professor Emeritus with the University of Utah where she retired as an adjunct professor of photography. She remains active as a freelance photographer. Barbara has had numerous exhibits and been published in various publications. She joined OFDC's board because, "I prefer a smaller organization like OFDC where funds are not lost on administrative expenses and overhead. The projects of OFDC are selective and doable. We can't help everyone who is in need, but those supported by OFDC are a step in that direction."

Board Member
Book Keeper
Matthew Cichoski

Matthew was born and raised in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Growing up he enjoyed football, baseball, basketball and golf. At an early age he got involved with the Boy Scouts of America, which fueled his passion to be outside enjoying the beauty that nature has to offer. In 2010 Matthew completed his Eagle Scout project,  a group service project that is planned, organized, and supervised by the scout himself. With his love for the outdoors, Matthew choose to cleanup and re-landscape five canoe landings along the Minnehaha Creek that flows through his hometown, making them more accessible for the public and visually appealing for the cities patrons. At the age of sixteen Matthew acquired his Eagle Scout Award.

In the spring of 2016 Matthew graduated from Utah State University (USU) with a BS in Business Administration. While at USU he joined the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and served as their Community Service Chair. Matt organized over 20 different service opportunities for his fraternity members achieving over 800 hours of community service during his yearlong term. Matt now resides in Salt Lake City and is excited to have the opportunity to use his skills to give back and volunteer as OFDC’s book keeper and enjoy the gorgeous Wasatch mountain range.

Board Member
Mary Cannella, JD
Legal Consultant

Mary is an immigration attorney, and practices in Omaha, Nebraska. She received both her Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Creighton University. During law school her studies focused on International Law, including Int’l Human Rights Law, Int’l Criminal Law, and National Security and Foreign Relations. Additionally, she served on the Int’l Moot Court Board and was the President of the Environmental Law Society.
Board Member
Nick Lyle
Data Manager

Nick was born in Fort Worth, Texas and grew up in Asheville, North Carolina. He enjoys golfing, skiing, hiking, and anything that involves the outdoors. Nick attended Utah State University, where he received a Bachelors of Science in Business administration and later received a Masters of Science in Financial Economics.
While in college, Nick enjoyed getting involved in the community and participating in opportunities to continue learning outside the classroom. His involvement with volunteer activities at Utah State helped him realize that partnering with others to make a difference was one of his many passions. Nick currently lives in Salt Lake City and is working at Morgan Stanley as a Financial Analyst.
Board Member
Kristy Chambers, MBT
Board Treasurer

Kristy earned her BA in Economics, cum laude, from UCLA and her Masters in Business Taxation, with honors, from The George Washington Institute of Law. She is the Executive Director of The Carmen B. Pingree Foundation for Autism in Salt Lake City, Utah. From time to time she instructs classes for the University of Utah's Academy for Non Profit Excellence. She is the proud mother of twin young ladies and a precocious teenager. Kristy enjoys running, yoga, and a good book.
Board Member
Elizabeth Denman, MD
Health Committee Chair

Beth is an Internist practicing in Omaha, Nebraska. She has a special interest in Women's Health Issues and Preventive Medicine. Beth received her MD from the University of Nebraska Medical Center where she also completed her Internal Medicine Residency. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Creighton University. Beth loves her family, her patients, reading and knitting.