Sherbro Foundation Board of Directors
The Sherbro Foundation is an all-volunteer board that receives no compensation for their services. They are volunteers from around the United States.
Arlene Golembiewski, Executive Director & President
Arlene is Founder, Executive Director and Board President of Sherbro Foundation. Her involvement in Sierra Leone started as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1974-76 where she served as a secondary school science and English teacher. She retired from a thirty year career at Procter & Gamble as Associate Director of Health, Safety & Environment. Her P&G career often took her to developing countries where the company was starting or expanding new business. Arlene returned to Sierra Leone in 2011 and re-engaged with Bumpeh Chiefdom where she earlier taught, and started a girls scholarship fund. Return trips surfaced more opportunities and led to founding Sherbro Foundation in 2013. Arlene has a B.S. degree in Zoology, University of Michigan and a Masters of Public Health in Industrial & Environmental Health, University of Michigan. She gained experience running a nonprofit as a 3-year president of her neighborhood 501(c)(3) community council. She serves on the Boards of the Hillside Trust and the East End Adult Education Center (where she also tutors for the GED) all in Cincinnati, OH.
Cheryl Farmer, M. D., Treasurer
Cheryl is a physician who recently retired after 30 years in private practice in Internal Medicine in Ann Arbor, MI. Following an early career in environmental science and air pollution, she turned to medicine. Cheryl has long responded to public service needs. A member of the Michigan State Medical Society Bioethics Committee for over 20 years, she has helped define statewide positions on medical ethics issues. She balanced her medical practice with 12 years of service as mayor of Ypsilanti, MI, when she saw her city needed economic development opportunities and infrastructure improvements. Her hands-on experience in health and governance are invaluable to the Sherbro Foundation. She has degrees in Air Pollution – M.S., School of Public Health, University of Michigan and a medical degree at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. She remains Board certified in Internal Medicine.
Chris Golembiewski, Vice President & Secretary
A lifelong interest in writing and social issues led Chris to a career in journalism. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism and communications at the University of Michigan. She was a co-founder of the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan (PIRGIM), an independent citizen-funded organization advocating for the public interest, now a member of U.S PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups. She also served as U-M’s chapter president of Women in Communications and later was active in Ann Arbor’s National Organization for Women chapter. After working as assistant public relations director at a Denver, CO college, Chris joined the Lansing State Journal, handling investigative reporting and various levels of government coverage in Michigan’s capital. She was an award-winning reporter on a range of in-depth topics, including environmental and health issues, urban sprawl and regional planning, politics and state social policy. Chris serves as a reading tutor for Cincinnati Public Schools, and continues to advocate for women and social justice around the world. .
Steve Papelian, Director
Steve also served in Sierra Leone as a Peace Corps Volunteer, teaching secondary school science in Rotifunk in 1974-76. He recently retired from the Arlington, VA school district as an Earth Science teacher, where his talent for teaching and love of science made him a valued teacher throughout his career. Steve earlier taught at a school in Scotland for two years and spent two years in Lima, Peru where his then-wife was in diplomatic service. Steve joined a 2011 Friends of Sierra Leone trip, visiting villages across Moyamba District with fellow Peace Corps friends. Rural Sierra Leone will greatly benefit from Steve’s experience as a science educator, a discipline currently lacking in rural parts of the country. Steve earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern Connecticut State University and later studied at Antioch University New England.