Our Board

Opening Village Doors Foundation Board of Directors


Fred Bw’Ombongi , President & Board Chair

Fred-150x150Born and raised in Kenya, Fred moved to the United States in 1999. He attended Aquinas College and graduated with an International Business degree and then proceeded to complete his graduate studies from Grand Valley State University in Healthcare Administration. Fred is currently pursuing a PhD at Central Michigan University and works with KentuckyOne Health. Fred has served on the board of The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan and a board member with an organization he co-founded West Michigan Refugee Education & Cultural Center ( The Refugee Center).

Recognized as a 2014, 40 UnderForty business leader by Grand Rapids Business Journal, 2015 Henry Dunant Impact Award, Hometown award with American Red Cross of Greater West Michigan,  and 2010 Community Champion in the Leadership Skills platform by Center for Community Leadership.

Paul Brink, Secretary

Paul.bink_-150x150After earning an engineering degree from Purdue University and a law degree from Indiana University Paul pursued a career with Dow Chemical where he was Director of Taxation and Director of Risk Management and Insurance. He is a certified arbitrator with the AIDA Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society in New York. Currently he maintains a part time legal practice in Traverse City, Michigan, specializing in alternative dispute resolution and not for profit organizations. In addition to serving on the board of directors of Opening Village Doors Foundation he is also President of Warm Hearts Foundation and is a board member and secretary of Malawi Connection, board of directors of Forever After Project in Chicago. Formerly he was board member and Treasurer of the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce and President of the Midland Economic Development Corporation.

Bob Garvey, Board Director

bob.garveyBob is a trial lawyer residing in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. He is a past president of the Michigan chapter of the American board of trial advocates and is a fellow of the American College Of Trial Lawyers. Bob’s family foundation, The Garvey Family Foundation supports educational and environmental causes.




 Kathleen Ponitz, Board Director

Kathleen Ponitz new max

Kathleen is Founder and Principal of The Stewart Ponitz Group, LLC, a consulting practice dedicated to fostering greater communications and dialogue through community participation and leadership. For 30 years, Kathleen served as Principal and Director of Marketing for Progressive AE, an award winning architectural, engineering and planning firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she still serves as a consultant.  This extensive experience in developing a knowledge-based service organization honed Kathleen’s expertise in the areas of marketing, business development, strategic planning, client advocacy, public/media relations and community philanthropy.

Kathleen has served on a variety of boards locally and nationally and was instrumental in developing 3 community based leadership programs in West Michigan. Currently, she serves on the Economic Club of GR Board of Directors, as past chair, and in the same capacity with Experience GR.  In addition, she is development committee chairperson and board member for the Grand Rapids Symphony. Her awards include the Distinguished Leadership Award from both the National Association for Community Leadership, and the Holland Chamber of Commerce, 40 Most Influential Women in West Michigan,(GRBJ) Most Influential Women of Western Michigan( WM Business Review) and is a recipient of the Athena Award.

A University of Michigan graduate, Kathleen is a lifelong learner whose continuing education experience includes the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Harvard Business School, and the National Design Charrette Institute (NCI), based in Wash DC. She is accredited in both the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and as a facilitator with NCI.

She is married to Jim, lives in Holland and has two grown and married children.

Richard Funnell, Board Director
Chief Administrative Officer, Cancer Service Line
University of Pennsylvania Health System

As Chief Administrative Officer at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Richard is the senior executive for Penn Medicine’s Cancer Service Line. In the role of CAO he is responsible for administrative oversight for clinical operations at the Abramson Cancer Center an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Penn Cancer Network, patient & family services, integration of care across the continuum and advancement of strategic program imperatives of the service line. Previously he was the executive responsible for the Spectrum Health Regional Cancer Center. Prior to joining Spectrum Health in 2008, Richard was the senior administrator for medical and pediatric oncology services at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, one of 41 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. He also served in various administrative roles at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; the Johns Hopkins Health System; and at University Hospital S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook.

Richard holds a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is certified as a medical practice executive by the American College of Medical Practice Executives.