William Mark Cotham is the President and Founder of Books for Development. Since 2008, Mark has been actively engaged in work in Northwest Uganda, including work with the schools, orphans and vulnerable children, handicapped children and adults, and most extensively the building of school libraries. In this capacity, he has organized dozens of volunteers, helped to gather largely through donations over 500,000 books and helped to establish over 240 libraries.
Mark has worked extensively with non-profit organizations, including helping to found Urban Harvest (Houston's community gardening organization) and serving as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Houston Zoo. Mark is familiar with operating a business, having been the President of an established Houston law firm, Cotham, Harwell & O'Conor for seventeen years.
Peggy Burck is the Vice President of Development. She became involved in the mission to "end the book famine that exists in developing countries" in 2010 and made her first trip to Uganda in 2011. Having worked with numerous non-profit organizations and being an eager world traveler, she was moved to action by the simplicity of the mission - taking a discarded or under-used resource and putting it into wanting and appreciative hands in developing countries.
Geeta Kadakia is the volunteer director and coordinator. She works closely with "Volunteer Houston" to engage the many, many volunteers needed to sort, box and prepare the books for shipment. She also helps coordinate book drives for individuals seeking community service hours. As a frequent volunteer herself, she’s had the opportunity to build libraries in Belize, and hopes to continue her mission of spreading literacy to those most in need.
David Salako is the Project Coordinator-Malawi and lives in the Houston, TX area with his wife Zola and two little boys Caleb and Declan. He has a background in Biomedical Informatics and Public Health and is passionate about reading, education and experiencing and learning about various cultures. David has lived on 3 continents (North America, Europe and Africa), is half Malawian and maintains very close relationships with familial and social capital networks he has built in Malawi over the years. His involvement with helping to build libraries came about from seeing first hand the effects on a society a shortage of books can have and juxtaposing that with surplus of books often times taken for granted in his country of residence. He believes these two worlds can learn something from each other and help each other out.
Kevin Dubose became a board member at Good Steward in 2016. In his day job he is a civil appellate lawyer, an author and speaker on oral and written advocacy and legal ethics and professionalism, and an intermittent part-time professor at the University of Houston Law Center. While his sons were growing up he served as a PTO President, Assistant Scoutmaster, and church leader. When they left home he entered the non-profit world by joining the boards of Main Street Theater and the Houston Urban Debate League, ascending to leadership positions in each. In 2014, while working on a case with Good Steward founder and CEO Mark Cotham, he heard the Good Steward story and was an immediate convert. He became a regular Saturday morning book-sorting volunteer, and he and his wife, Glenda Owen, went to Uganda at the first opportunity, in June 2015. They returned in 2016, and are committed to making this annual trip for the foreseeable future. Kevin brings to Good Steward a life-long love of books, an admiration for non-profits that accomplish much with limited administrative costs, an awareness of the importance of books and literacy in developing countries, and an enthusiasm for making a difference in the lives of people who desperately need it and greatly appreciate it.
Dana Gary is the Project Coordinator-Kenya. She first went to Kenya with her son, Marcus, who was following his dream of visiting Kenya. She instantly fell in love with the people of Kenya and has returned every summer for several years. During her time with Good Steward, she has helped establish libraries in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi. After experiencing firsthand the joy and excitement of placing books into the hands of East Africans, she will continue to spread that same joy and the life giving power of literacy to others. She believes in helping others to help themselves and Good Steward does just that.
Jane Moser is the newest Board member. She will be organizing and coordinating several fund-raising events throughout the year.
Oyiomungu Deogratias "Deo" is the West Nile Library Association Coordinator
Nanette Gabriel is our Special Advisor on Library Science