The current KKOOM Board of Directors presently consists of 6 members, and each director is elected to a one-year term. Directors may be re-elected to serve additional terms. The Board meets monthly via Internet teleconference and once annually in person. Directors are responsible for paying for their own travel expenses to the annual meeting. KKOOM’s Co-founder, Erika Senneseth, is an honorary board member. Since 2007, a total of 20 people have served at various times on the volunteer-driven Board of Directors.
President/Co-Founder, since September 2007
Aimee was born in South Korea and adopted by a Detroit-area family as an infant. In 2004, she made her first return to South Korea on a Fulbright teaching grant. Aimee spent her free time in Korea volunteering at Samsungwon, the orphanage in Gumi, and developing basic Korean language skills. She never expected that the 2004-05 ad-hoc holiday fundraising drive would evolve, with the help of great friends, into KKOOM three years later. She has bachelor’s degrees from Western Michigan University and a juris doctorate from Wayne State University. From 2011-2013, Aimee took a break from her legal career to serve as KKOOM’s first Chief Administrator. She currently practices corporate and international law as an attorney at Miller Canfield.
Secretary, since September 2007
Born and raised in Los Angeles County, California, Leanne graduated from Pitzer College of the Claremont College Consortium in 2005. At Pitzer, Leanne double majored in Psychology and English & World Literature, played varsity softball, was active with Pitzer College’s student senate, and spent a semester studying abroad in Botswana. After graduating, Leanne was a 2005-2006 Fulbright ETA, teaching English to the boys at Gyeonggu High School in Gumi. Leanne spent her free time volunteering with the Samsungwon Orphanage preschool children, first and second grade elementary school girls, and a middle school boy. Leanne earned her Masters in Communication Disorders and Sciences from California State University, Northridge. Currently, Leanne lives in Los Angeles and works as a speech-language pathologist. Leanne has served on KKOOM’s Board since the beginning and is strongly committed to KKOOM’s mission.
At-large, since January 2012
Helen Shin is a corporate attorney in New York. In addition to legal experience, she brings to the Board a passion for social justice and international human rights matters. Her experience includes co-supervising an international human rights clinic at Fordham University School of Law and researching and doing fieldwork on various humans rights issues in Sierra Leone and Malawi. She has devoted significant amounts of time to legal pro bono work, and looks forward to utilizing her talents and resources to benefit KKOOM and the children in Korea.
At-large, since January 2012
Sara Shin was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in South Korea in 2006-07. During her time in Cheonan, she volunteered at Samil orphanage where she taught English to elementary school-aged girls. Since returning from Korea, she has worked in nonprofit fund development in New York and brings a wealth of operational expertise to the KKOOM board. She currently resides in the Bay Area. Sara has been a strong advocate for KKOOM since its inception and looks forwards to helping KKOOM achieve its mission: to improve the lives of orphans in South Korea.
At-large, since March 2015
Bill Downey is an information technology specialist and professional photographer based out of Boston, Massachusetts. After completing his career in the U.S. Army, Bill has performed in various roles from senior IT manager with Harvard University, commercial pilot with a private aviation firm and adjunct professor with Lasell College. Bill completed his undergraduate degree at Western New England University, holds various technical certifications as well as being a commercial pilot and certified scuba diver. Bill’s keen interest and passion for Korean culture formulated during a four-year tour of duty in Korea during his army career, and previous experience with various non-profit organizations led to his desire to support the KKOOM mission. Bill has also supported KKOOM by making volunteer trips to Korea and is committed to continuing his direct engagement with the kids and the orphanages through multiple visits each year.
At-large, since October 2015; Treasurer, since October 2016
Tina is a legislative analyst for the Connecticut General Assembly, and she is also licensed to practice law in Connecticut. In her free time, she enjoys watching Korean dramas and studying the Korean language. Tina’s daughter is adopted from South Korea, so she brings a unique perspective to the KKOOM Board as an adoptive parent. Her desire to help children in Korean orphanages is a very personal commitment, and her background in finance and strong analytical skills serve her well as KKOOM’s Treasurer.
At-large, since 2016
Grace Lee was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Sejong, South Korea in 2015-2016. Before Fulbright, she graduated from Georgia State University in 2012 with a Public Policy degree, concentration in Non-Profit Leadership. While at GSU, she was a Welcome Center Tour Guide, Vice President for Student Government Association, and crowned the 3rd Asian Homecoming Queen. She found her calling in teaching through her Fulbright experience and is currently a Preschool teacher at a private Christian school near Atlanta, Georgia. She has volunteered at the annual Samsungwon Christmas party and has supported orphans and kids on service trips to Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Jamaica. Her hobby is photography and does photos for a cause, where half of the profits for every photo shoot goes towards KKOOM. Grace hopes to adopt a child in the future so she is passionate about KKOOM’s mission to improve the lives of orphans.
Co-Founder / Honorary Board Member
After graduation from Connecticut College, Erika spent the 2004-2005 school year teaching English as a foreign language at the all boys’ Gyeonggu High School in Gumi, South Korea. Her favorite times in Korea were working with preschool and early elementary children at Samsungwon orphanage. She now uses her Masters in Education to coordinate the educational components of KKOOM’s 360 degree giving campaign. She is originally from Minnesota but is currently the Assistant Head of School at Sandhills School, a school for students with dyslexia and ADHD in Columbia South Carolina. She served on the KKOOM Board of Directors from 2007-2013.