Board of Directors
Jason Pierce, Ph.D | Chairperson
Jason is an associate professor and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Dayton. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin (2002) and B.A. at Southwestern University (1994). He serves as the faculty advisor to the University of Dayton’s student group Determined to Develop, a group that raises awareness of Malawi and opportunities for students to serve and learn there. He and his colleagues also administer the university’s Malawi Research Program on Rights & Development, a summer experiential learning program for University of Dayton students to conduct development and human rights fieldwork and research.
Matt Maroon, M.A., Founder
Matt is the founder and previous Executive Director of Determined to Develop. He now serves as the Senior Education Advisor for USAID Malawi and lives in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital. Matt is a 2006 graduate of the University of Dayton, USA. Before going to law school, he decided to undertake a year of service abroad. He arranged a one-year program in Malawi, with the help of the Marianist brothers from the University of Dayton. What was meant to be a one-year stay in Malawi turned into two. During his time with the Marianists, Matt served as Chief Financial Officer and Acting Director of Miracle Technical College for Orphans. Concurrently, he taught social studies and biology at Chaminade Boarding School and was in charge of a women’s empowerment program which allocated micro-credit loans to widows and orphans. During the hunger months, which is the time in Malawi before harvests when country-wide food storages are low or emptied, Matt managed a grain distribution program that provided sustenance to over 1,500 families who would have otherwise risked starvation. Following the completion of his graduate studies in Cultural and Applied Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati, where he also worked full-time as a residential house parent in a group home for inner-city boys, Matt returned to Malawi. He established a lodge called Maji Zuwa, which means “water and sun” in the local language of ChiTumbuka, which serves as a community hub where people can come together to work on development projects. At the same time, Matt founded Determined to Develop to support the development work of surrounding villages and Malawi as a whole. Matt formerly lectured at the University of Livingstonia in Malawi, where he held the post of Dean of the College of Social Sciences. In recognition of his work and collaborative spirit, Matt has been inducted by traditional leaders as a chief in the Mwakhwawa clan.
Matt is the founder and previous Executive Officer of Determined to Develop and serves as a non-voting member of the Board of Directors, without fiduciary responsibility. Matt is currently a Senior Education Advisor for USAID Malawi working on national education policy and programming and lives full-time in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital.
Lawrence Kondowe, M.A. – Vice Chairperson
Lawrence graduated from the University of Dayton with a Masters in Financial Mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. After graduate school, Lawrence started working as quantitative risk analyst at The AES Corporation – a global energy company. Born and raised in Malawi, Lawrence attended Chaminade Catholic Secondary School in the Northern Region of Malawi just a few kilometers away from Determined to Develop’s headquarters. Having grown up in Malawi, Lawrence knows first-hand that getting an education can determine one’s wellbeing. Serving on the board of directors is an opportunity for Lawrence to help impact the lives of young Malawians through Determined to Develop’s many development projects.
Roy Burgoon – Treasurer
Roy is a small business consultant in northwest Ohio. He received his business degree from Miami University in 1984 and entered the insurance business in the 1988. After starting and growing several health insurance agencies over a 22 year period, he recently sold his most successful business and decided to focus on assisting small businesses and charities in achieving their short and long term goals. He splits his time between for and non-profits, and is an active participant in several local and international charities. He currently works and resides in rural northwest Ohio with his wife Shelli. If not working or volunteering, he can be found at a Grateful Dead concert, golfing or traveling with his wife and their two grown children.
Clemmie Newton, M.I.D – Secretary
Clemmie is a University of Otago graduate in social anthropology and holds a Master of Science in International Humanitarian Aid from University College Dublin. Clemmie is originally from New Zealand, and met Matt while working for a volunteering organization. In 2014, Clemmie moved to Malawi to work as the program director for D2D, focusing on strategic development and project management. Clemmie had the privilege of living at Maji Zuwa during her time working with D2D and remains passionate about D2D’s approach and unique standing within the community. Clemmie currently lives in Vanuatu, a small Pacific Island nation, and works as program manager for a New Zealand based NGO.
Daniel is a native of San Antonio, Texas and currently serves as Assistant Vice President for a large financial services company. He attended Central Catholic Marianist High School and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Sul Ross State University in 1992. He has worked in the insurance industry for more than 25 years, spending a majority of the time in Internal Audit and Regulatory Compliance. Daniel is also actively involved in several enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives at his company, serving in various leadership and advisory roles. While Daniel has lived throughout Texas and Illinois, he is happy to call San Antonio home with his wife Rachel and two children. He is honored to be part of the Determined to Develop’s Board and the amazing work for the beautiful people of Malawi. He also greatly appreciates the shared passion and support of his family. Go Spurs!
Chad Hahlen, M.B.A
Chad is a North East Ohio native. He grew up in Alliance and then attended the University of Akron where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1994. He completed his Masters of Business Administration at Ashland University in 2006 where he graduated with Honors. Chad is Senior Vice President for EverFi, a financial education software firm whose goal is to change lives through financial literacy and awareness. In 2008, Chad and his wife Tricia and two children relocated to San Antonio Texas. As a friend of Matt Maroon, Chad was involved with Maji Zuwa from its inception.
Kevin Keller, M.B.A, C.P.A
Kevin graduated from the University of Dayton in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Kevin continued his studies at the University of Dayton, and in 2008 graduated with a Masters in Business Administration. Upon Graduation, Kevin joined PricewaterhouseCoopers corporate tax group in Cleveland, OH. During his time with PwC, Kevin consulted for domestic and multinational companies in the public utilities, power generation, manufacturing, automotive and technology industries. In 2013 Kevin relocated to PwC’s Chicago office to provide corporate tax services in the greater Chicago market. In the fall of 2015 Kevin joined Regulated Capital Consultants, an Atlanta based consulting and technology company. Kevin continues to consult in the areas of corporate taxation, tax accounting, tax technology, and other areas of accounting within the public utilities and power generation industries. Kevin remains a resident of Chicago, IL, but roots for all Cleveland sports teams…even the Browns.
Laura Limarzi Klyn
Laura first became involved with D2D as a volunteer in the fall of 2012 during her gap year. After completing her undergraduate studies, Laura returned to Malawi for two years to work on several NIH-funded research grants on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and cervical cancer in rural Malawi. Laura is currently an Associate at Colbeck Strategic Advisors, a non-profit strategy consulting firm, and has previously worked on health equity projects with the Center for Ethical, Social and Cultural Risk in Toronto, the World Health Organization in Geneva, and Baylor Scott and White Health in Texas. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in the Control of Infectious Disease from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Lynn is the mother of Matt Maroon and currently works for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Cleveland, Ohio and takes care of her 88 year old father. Lynn has been visiting Matt in Africa since he first went in 2006 and continues to make the journey as often as time allows. When she is in Malawi, Lynn lovingly takes on the role of Mum and will tackle any project deemed necessary, but her favorite pastime is to interact with everyone at Maji Zuwa, in the village, at the schools and in the community. She is anxious to retire someday so that she can devote more time in Malawi. Lynn has seen firsthand the amazing impact that Determined To Develop’s projects and programs have made and the positive change in so many lives.
The second of eight children, Julie was born and raised in the Cleveland area. She became interested in special education because she had a profoundly deaf brother and received her undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University. She began her career as an intervention specialist in Lakewood City Schools and then went to Open Door Christian School in Elyria where she taught in a regular education program. In 1993 she developed the Drama Club for students in grades K-12. To support student programs and initiatives, Julie became a successful grant writer and received over $138,000 in grants and donations her first year. As a result, she was appointed to the Administrative Team and became the Development Director for Open Door. In 2005 Julie received her Master of Administration degree from Ashland University. She taught as a math specialist in the Cleveland Municipal Schools and went on to become a building principal in Avon. There she focused on grant writing and fundraising. She raised money to supply the school with new computers, classroom supports, and to build a new playground for students who had special needs. She has since worked in Westlake City Schools and is currently working in North Ridgeville City Schools since 2008. Julie is married to Patrick McAulay and they live in Avon Lake. They have raised three children of their own and two who became their legal wards. They have fourteen grandchildren.
Eddy Rojas, Ph.D., M.A., P.E.
Eddy completed his graduate studies in civil engineering (M.S. and Ph.D.) and economics (M.A.) at the University of Colorado at Boulder and his undergraduate studies in civil engineering at the University of Costa Rica (Lic.). He is also a registered professional engineer (P.E.) in the State of Michigan. Throughout his academic career, he has led numerous research studies in modeling, simulation, and visualization of construction engineering and management processes; engineering education; and construction economics. He is also the editor of two books in construction productivity and construction project management published by J.Ross Publishing. Born and raised in Costa Rica, he was the first in his family to graduate from college. After completing college, he learned English as a second language through intensive evening classes while working full time. Following two years of language instruction, he emigrated to the United States with his wife Denise for his graduate studies. Since finishing school, he has served as a professor and researcher at several institutions of higher education in the United States.