Board Members

Karen Leonard, OAM

Karen Leonard is an Australian who has resided in her home town of Essendon in Victoria all of her life. For the past 42 years she successfully ran a small business, the Karen Leonard Music School, which has afforded her to be able to volunteer her time to Lifestart Foundation projects.

Several years ago while backpacking in Vietnam, Karen met a young street kid and they had an instant connection. He introduced Karen to his world; his fellow street kid-friends and their families. It wasn’t long before Karen was supporting a number of these street kids by encouraging them back to school and paying their education costs.

After returning home from her first trip and deeply affected by the plight of these people, Karen made a commitment that she would return to Vietnam and support this young boy along with a few others. Read full story >

Richard Brown, Vice President

Richard first became involved in the Lifestart Foundation through his professional association with Karen Leonard. After an invitation to the annual dinner dance he expressed interest in the work of the Foundation, which lead to a family trip to Hoi An. The trip involved a visit to the Lifestart Foundation Free School, a day out with the children, and involvement in the educational scholarship interview process. As a passionate advocate of education and development, Richard has extended his involvement to become a Lifestart Foundation board member.

Richard Brown holds a Bachelor of Business in Accounting, is a certified practicing Accountant and a certified financial planner. Richard is a senior financial adviser and has extensive experience in accounting, tax and financial planning matters. He is one of the founding directors of Abound Financial & Lifestyle Planning . He has been involved in his own business in accounting and financial planning since 1993.

Ken Hopkins, Treasurer & Secretary

Ken was conscripted into the Australian army in 1969 and spent one year in Vietnam during the war. His interest in Vietnam developed in the 1990′s through tourist visits back to Vietnam. In 2005 he saw a television documentary on Lifestart Foundation and made contact with Karen. He made a commitment to support the Lifestart Foundation after a visit to Hoi An to view first hand work being done by the organisation. Ken is a chartered accountant who is now easing out of the workplace to spend more time in support of Lifestart Foundation projects and its financial and administrative matters.

Larissa Tyler, Board Member

Originally from Australia, Larissa currently lives in Vietnam with her family. Larissa has a background in service and hospitality industry. Larissa initially became involved with Lifestart Foundation as a volunteer in early 2013 and accepted a full time position as In Country Manager on a 12 month assignment in August 2013. Covering the development of projects, administration, capacity building, overseeing local staff, guiding volunteers and much more. Since completing her placement and the arrival of her twins in 2014, Larissa is now working for the Foundation from her base in Hanoi assisting with administration.

Sherry Berger, Board Member

Sherry Berger currently resides in New York and is creative director for her own design and branding firm, SB Designs.

When she is not working, Sherry’s priority is to learn from the world through travel. To this day, she has explored over 50 countries as an adventurer, designer and philanthropist. Inspired by this experience she has established blogs, local community projects and creative art exhibitions to raise funds for charities around the world. Examples can be found via the non-profit (no name) Art Group, a charity she founded inspiring local artists to make a social impact. Sherry’s mission is to incorporate a “worldly perspective” in both her life and career and has been an active volunteer with Lifestart Foundation since 2007.

Andrew Lambie, Board Member

Andrew has been living in Vietnam for just on 8 years now. He moved to Da Nang with InterContinental Hotels Group to open the Crowne Plaza and hasn’t looked back. His professional background is Hotels and Resorts and has successfully launched his owns businesses in Vietnam. Andrew is a diverse, energetic and generous individual who loves to give back to the local community in a number of facets.

dev_syedsqBoard Members