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Meet our team

We are a small but dedicated board, comprised of Nepalese Sherpas and several individuals who have lived in or spent a good bit of time in Nepal and other Himalayan countries

Meet the Team

Our Board



Val Burnell



Vice President:

Ang Danu Sherpa



Nima Lhamu Sherpa



Arlyn Macdonald 


Kelvin Kent



Carol Parker



Wayne Quade


Advisory Board

Terry Burnell



Danika Gilbert



Furba Sherpa


Jigchen Tso


Marv Ballantine


Kelvin came to the US in 1976 after a career in the British army, serving mainly with the Gurkhas from Nepal. He has been to Nepal 17 times and participated in two major Himalayan climbing expeditions. In the US, he owned small businesses and has always been active in his community and with non-profits


Arlyn Macdonald has been a supporter of WCFH for the past 15 years  and is a past president. She has a BA in Community Arts Non-Profit Management and a Ph. D in Spiritual Education Management . She is the senior minister of the Montrose Spiritual Awareness Center and Dean of the Spiritual Development Institute. She is also the founder of the Week of Unity and Peace and originated the WCFH annual Peace dinner in Montrose. 

Carole Parker, MEd., has served for many years on this board. She has visited some of the Altrusa Club of Montrose's International Committee and has partnered with WCFH on many different community endeavors. SHe remains active in numerous local organizations and has recieved the WCFH International Peace Award.

Ang Danu hails from the Sherpa village of Khumjung in northeast Nepal. Prior to coming to the US in in 2005 he served as manager fot the Khumbu Bijuli Company, which was the first hydro electric plant to supply electricity in the Mount Everest region. He attended Mesa State College and became a registered nurse. He has worked at Montrose Memorial Hospital in the Acute Rehabilitation Unit since 2009. Together with his wife, Nima, they help coordinate many of our projects in the Solukhumbu area.

Nima Sherpa's family home is in Khumjung village, Solukhumbu. She is the grand daughter of famed Sherpa artist Khapa Kalden Sherpa. Nima is also aThanks artist herself, an art that she learned from her father. She moved to the US in 2002 and attended Mesa State College where she obtained a bachelor's degree in nursing science. She now works at Montrose Memorial Hospital as Nurse Manager of the Acute Rehabilitation Unit. She returns to Nepal regularly and helps oversees some of our projects in that area.

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Val emigrated to Colorado in 1968, with her husband Terry, from England, where she enjoyed a career in education. They both worked with the Colorado Outward Bound School in Marble and Lake City for 8 years before setting up a business in Montrose and becoming involved with several local non-profit organizations. Inspired by Terry's 1964 experience with a British mountaineering expedition to the Himalayas, Val ventured to Nepal with him in 1967 and since then they have both undertaken numerous treks and assisted with humanitarian projects in the region. Val has served as president of WCFH since 2006.

Wayne had a distinguished career with the US Forest Service and has served with distinction for many decades in Scouting, where he continues to be active in many roles. He has been to Nepal and visited some of the WCFH projects on the ground.

Danika is a multi-talented outdoor enthusiast , mountaineer and teacher who has served on many boards and has recently led expeditions to remote areas of Afghanistan to help teach leadership skills in a mountainous environment to Local. Muslim girls from villages in Taliban controlled areas

Furba comes from the Sherpa village of Chhulemu, southwest of Namche Bazaar. He  worked in the US for many years in the construction industry and is now back in Nepal where he serves as our "man on the ground" for our many ongoing projects in his and other local villages.

Jigchen is originally from Eastern Tibet but came to the US as a refugee, where she had to receive major medical attention and was helped by our founder Bill Duckworth, to obtain schooling and college education. She now works at Montrose Memorial Hospital as a phlebotomist. She is married to another Tibetan (both now US citizens) and has two young children.


Terry was trained in England as a tool and dye maker but became very active in the early 60s climbing scene. He climbed with the best British climbers and was part of the 1964 British expedition to scale Gauri Shanker. Later he emigrated to the US with his wife Val and worked with Outward Bound for 8 years before his family moved to Montrose, where he established a successful construction company, specializing in foundations and micro-pile technology. He has been to Nepal numerous times and has strongly supported his wife with all aspects of WCFH.


Marvyn is retired from owning a property appraisal business in Montrose. He is a long-time community activist and has been on our board for several years, where he served as treasurer.

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The main trail from Namche Bazaar to Everest Base Camp with Ama Dablam in background


Monks in local monastery

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