Our Team

Executive Board of Directors

Dan Maurer

Originally from Rochester, New York, Dan has a Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Bonaventure University. He has lived, worked, and travelled both in America and overseas. Dan’s main area of expertise is in the construction field, more recently in the solar industry, but he’s always looking for an excuse to grab his backpack and explore unknown territories. St. Bonaventure University recognised Dan as a Distinguished Alumni in 2019 for his work with Elevate Nepal. He currently resides in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

Mark Mertel

Executive Chair
Originally from Buffalo, New York Mark has a Bachelor of Science degree from Alfred University and served in the Army from 1967-1969. An entrepreneur with forty-five years experience in the employee benefits industry, Mark established fifteen companies in the group benefits industry, including those in consulting, third party administration, utilization management, prescription benefit management, and managing general underwriting. With his many years of experience, Mark has been able to provide knowledge and advice to expand the organization and the size of the board. Mark is looking forward to his first trip to Nepal in the near future.

Advisory Board

Sara Parker

Advisory Board Member
Liverpool John Moores University-Reader in Development Studies, Sociology

Dr Sara Parker is a Reader in Development Studies at Liverpool John Moores University UK and has been working in Nepal for over 30 years. She is committed to action research and passionate about using participation in visual methods. She is an advisor on community engagement and impact evaluation for Elevate Nepal. She is currently leading a research project focused on menstruation in Nepal, Dignity Without Danger.


Resham Lama Bal

In Country Coordinator
Born in the Terai region of Nepal, Resham left his village when he was thirteen to make the long journey to Kathmandu, on foot and by truck, on primitive dirt roads. Searching for work, he was recruited by a rafting company as a bucket-bailer, running the raging glacial rivers of Nepal. His career has included cooking for Overland Encounters throughout Nepal, India and Pakistan and portering for trekkers in remote regions of Nepal, working his way up to a trekking guide. He founded Trek Nepal International in 2001.

Resham was determined to assist his country after the 2015 earthquake, distributing food, building materials, clothes and blankets to areas affected by the quake. Shortly after founding Elevate Nepal, Dan and Anthony recruited Resham as a partner and in-country coordinator; with his drive to assist Nepal and willingness to never back down from a challenge, he has been a key part of making Elevate Nepal a success.

Wangchuk Rapten Lama

Project Advisor
Wangchuk Rapten Lama was born in the remote Tsum Valley of the Upper Gorkha district in the high mountains of the Himalayas near the Tibet Border. He left his family at the age of seven to become a monk in a Buddhist monastery in Kathmandu. His mother died in the village from jaundice when he was a teenager, and from that moment Wangchuk dedicated his life to medicine, and providing health care services, with a focus on rural areas. He helped establish the Thrangu Phende Clinic at Namo Buddha Monastery, worked with the Nepal government performing rescue missions after the 2015 earthquake, and distributed food to thousands during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wangchuk has been recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his contribution to health care in Nepal, is an Ambassador for One Young World Foundation, and Founder and President of the Nepal based non-profit Kyimolung Foundation Nepal. He has partnered with Elevate Nepal since 2018, assisting with medical camps and pandemic response Initiatives.

Sally Holcomb

Advisory Board Member
Arizona Complete Health - Regional Manager Community & Government Affairs. Co-owner Cafe Roka

A seasoned executive with over twenty five years’ experience, a skilled organizational and community development professional with management expertise in private, academic, government, philanthropic and non-profit sectors. As a recognized expert in asset based community development Sally's background working in rural communities transfers to community development initiatives in rural Nepal.

Anthony Jones

Advisory Board Member
Encounter Overland-Founder, Himalayan Encounter-Founder (Retired)

Committed to a sustainable future for Nepal, Anthony (Tony) Jones has founded numerous businesses supporting recreation and tourism in the region. With a deep understanding of the nation’s culture and business practices, Tony provides invaluable insight, mentorship and project analysis to support Elevate Nepal’s mission.

Tony first crossed the Western Himalayan range from India into Nepal on his 23 birthday in 1965, in an English Safari Land Rover alongside a good friend from London, England. Having successfully made this journey, Tony founded Encounter Overland, a British, trans-continental expedition company specializing in vehicle-based overland expeditions for adventure travelers. Over the course of three decades, Encounter Overland conducted business in Asia, Africa and South America. In 1983, Encounter Overland formed Himalayan Encounter, offering tours throughout Asia, with a specific mountain criteria in trekking, climbing and white water rafting.

While Tony was very active with these two companies, living and working in multiple corners of the globe, he maintained a strong bond with Nepal. Throughout the 2000s Tony focused on businesses in Nepal with a concentration in restoring classic, derelict buildings in rural locations.

During these enterprises, Tony always collaborated with locals and has been adamant about the learning of practical skills and values to create further opportunities. Tony lived a dedicated lifestyle in Nepal for 25 years.

Marguerite Swift

Advisory Board Member
Nepali Seeds (Retired)

Marguerite (Peg) Swift has a long-standing commitment to Nepal, including a thirteen-year tenure as a Board Member with Nepal SEEDS, and several years as Assistant Director/Anthropology Instructor for Naropa University Study Abroad Program in Kathmandu. Her Asia experience includes teaching for Naropa University in Gangtok, volunteering for the Ladakh Society of Traditional Medicine in Leh, and the Flagstaff International Relief Effort in Ulanbaatar, plus extensive travel. A writer and photographer, with an M.S. in Forestry/Multi-Resource Management, she previously worked with indigenous populations in the American Southwest, focusing on socio-cultural, educational, and natural resource concerns. Originally from the East coast, she currently resides in northern Arizona.

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