Meet the Staff and Volunteers
Kara Ulmer, Executive Director
Kara is Executive Director of Freedom Stones International. She lives in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Kara earned a Bachelor's in International Business and spent 10 years in the Telecommunications and Banking industries. She earned a top certification in Process Reengineering, and most recently held the position of Director, Strategic Planning & Analytics for Barclaycard's Global Operations (Barclays) in Northampton, England, before joining Freedom Stones in February 2010 as a volunteer. Kara and Leah, the Founder, were close friends in university and spent a semester abroad as roommates. Kara admires the social enterprise concept foundational to Freedom Stones, and believes empowering men and women to recognize their intrinsic value and fulfill their gifts is one of the most important ways of living out the gospel of Jesus. She loves to discover new ways of seeing life, herself, and others through travel, reading, and listening.
Allison Louie, Cambodia Regional Coordinator
Allison Louie is the Cambodia Regional Coordinator for Freedom Stones. Allison currently lives in Cambodia but is originally from Vancouver, Canada. She holds a Bachelor's degree with a double-major in International Relations and Psychology. Her academic focus has been on post-traumatic growth, and she has a particular interest in standardized program assessment and the monitoring of artisan psychosocial well-being. Allison first came to know Freedom Stones through Kevin Fryatt, a seasoned development worker and friend who was impressed with Freedom Stones' vision and model of implementation. She started interning for Freedom Stones in November 2010, and has since helped to establish Cambodia operations with Freedom Stones' partner in Poipet. Allison has a deep appreciation for the social enterprise elements of Freedom Stones in its approach to healthy, empowering development. She treasures working with the artisans in Cambodia and counts every moment with them as a blessing. Allison is especially interested in creative solutions and is passionate about photography, crafting videos, writing, and striving to understand people.
Gail Ulmer, Office Manager
Gail serves Freedom Stones as their Office Manager. Her background as a legal secretary and a human resources administrator are an asset in handling the various office duties required for Freedom Stones. Gail first learned about Freedom Stones through her daughter, Kara Ulmer who is the Executive Director. Gail has a passion for the work of Freedom Stones and a strong sense of helping those who are in need. “…whatever you did for the least of these, you did for Me.” Matthew 25:40
Gail has been married to Karl Ulmer for 40 years and besides Kara, has two other daughters Lori and Jena. Gail lives in Wadsworth, Ohio and loves spending time with her three grandchildren whenever possible. Gail is also involved in researching family genealogy and leading ladies bible studies.
Sok Leng In, National Cambodia Project Coordinator
Sokleng In is the Cambodia National Coordinator for Freedom Stones International. He lives in Poipet, Cambodia and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture and Rural Development at Maharrishi Vedic University (MVU), Cambodia. Leng's skill focus is working with the community. He has worked as a researcher in communities to do surveys such as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), focus groups, data collection and analysis. He has also worked as a facilitator to lead the community in setting up self-help groups, home gardens and workshop trainings with the people to understand about society and recurring community issues. Leng views holistic skills training as a valuable component in supporting vulnerable families. He believes that Cambodia's tragic history has aggravated widespread poverty, and has adversely affected the mindset and attitudes of the rural poor from generation to generation. Daily hardships put pressure on children to leave school to find extra income for their families which puts them at risk for being trafficked. When these children grow up, they believe that their own children should do the same. Leng acknowledges that real transformation is difficult as it requires a holistic community change in mindset, but he believes it's possible and this is why he is passionate about his work with Freedom Stones.
Jan Bailey, US Chain Breaking Event Coordinator
Jan lives in Akron, Ohio. Jan actively volunteers for hospice care on a weekly basis in addition to her work with Freedom Stones. Jan recently left a role on the Women's Board of Akron General Hospital, which she held for 7 years. During her tenure on the hospital board, she conducted fundraising through business endeavors such as the hospital café and gift shops. Jan began volunteering with Freedom Stones in the Fall of 2011 through her connection to Gail Ulmer. Jan appreciates the camaraderie of the organization and the connection it allows her to have with the artisans even from far away.
Kristy Lawrence-Ross, Volunteer Coordinator
Kristy Lawrence-Ross is the Volunteer Coordinator for Freedom Stones in Canada. Kristy lives in Central Alberta with her husband and two daughters. She has worked in customer service for ten years, and has also filled roles such as supervisor, and trainer, along with volunteering, and sitting on the board for a local non-profit as a secretary. She first heard about FS when Amanda Moore came to her church, and spoke on the work she was doing. She was deeply moved and instantly inspired to make a change. Her good friend encouraged her to give her time and help develop FS within central Alberta. The rest is history! She loves sharing the story, informing concerned women, and knowing that even from a small city in Canada, that she CAN make a difference. Kristy loves to sing, play guitar, and write music, but mostly cherish time with her family, and with the Lord.