Thrive Board Members

Priscilla Hefflefinger

President, Co-founder
Priscilla moved to Dhaka in 2012. Her A-ha! moment? It came unexpectedly when she and her friends felt genuine joy at seeing the impact made by giving a banana to a hungry child. Priscilla feels crazy lucky that Thrive took root; she can’t imagine a better way to spend her time than by helping Thrive thrive. Having worked in the development sector for more than 20 years, Priscilla is ready at the Thrive helm in Manila now. When not handing out bananas you’ll catch her hiking with her family of six (plus two big furry dogs). Make her day: Ask how you can join Thrive. Seriously, she gets totally giddy!

Gina Gabel

Vice President, Co-founder
Gina received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from John Carroll University and master’s degree in special education (LD) from Michigan State University. She began her teaching career in Detroit’s inner city. Gina moved to Bangladesh in 2012. Little did she know that two months after her arrival, the baby stroller she had brought to cart her young children through Dhaka’s bumpy streets would be used to deliver Thrive’s first meal! These days Gina lives in Michigan. She consistently uses Thrive’s stories to get her daughters to eat their veggies.  

Shelley King

Shelley is an entrepreneur and marketer. She’s grown companies, products, and teams and is passionate about connecting brands to their audiences via innovative channels. Shelley is currently co-founder and CEO of a technology startup, Mobile STIR, a cloud platform built for marketers to deliver engaging, customized content to their mobile audience. Shelley and her family live in Atlanta, Georgia. Both her sons are Thrive fan club members. Shelley gets giddy thinking about a strenuous hike in the mountains and dreams of living in Montana (home to plenty of strenuous hikes!)

Regina Landor

Regina is an elementary school teacher who moved to Dhaka in 2012 with her husband (who works for USAID), her mother, their two boys, and their tabby cat. Regina is American but has lived in England, Scotland, and Macedonia for three months with the Peace Corps until an evacuation sent her to Romania, where she met her husband. With USAID, their first post was Serbia. Now residing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Regina teaches at the International Community School with hopes of bringing Thrive to this part of the world, too.

Sadia Moyeen

Board Member, Volunteer
Sadia was born and raised in India. She married a banker and moved about the Far East before coming back to Bangladesh.  Sadia operates a beauty business and has been writing a beauty-related column for Dhaka’s Daily Star newspaper for over a decade. Her family’s tea and garment businesses sponsor Operation Cleft (Australia) in Bangladesh. Along with a local charity, Jaago, they’ve created an online school at their tea garden in Sylhet for 300 students. Sadia’s family’s businesses also help Children of Hope, a Dhaka charity that gives free education to deserving students and free medical care to their families. Sadia hopes to use her talents at Thrive and reach out to society’s most vulnerable. “Life is a test for us all – we can fail, score average marks, do well or, if we are lucky, get a distinction!”

Kanwal Baghat

Board Member, Volunteer
Kanwal has an undergraduate degree in physics and a postgrad in computer science. She’s lived in Dhaka for the last 17 years with her husband and two teenaged boys. A wearer of many hats she’s worked in banking, as the registrar of American International School of Dhaka and, most recently, as an entrepreneur. Kanwal runs a wellness studio that incorporates her reiki and yoga training. She’s been supporting ABC School, a space for the underprivileged, for the last eight years and been a board member for the last three. Kanwal has always had a knack for getting people (and their money!) to support worthy causes. She’s honored to be part of the board and excited to take Thrive to another level.

Shannon Young

Board Member
Shannon is a population, health, and nutrition officer with the United States Agency for International Development. She has her master of public health in global health, specializing in program design and quantitative research methods. Shannon lived in Bangladesh from 2011-2014 with her husband and two daughters. She now lives in Tanzania (for the sole purpose of adding another time zone to Thrive board meetings. Just kidding.) Originally from New York, Shannon has also worked in Honduras, Costa Rica, Peru, Namibia, and Myanmar. She’s passionate about good food – which causes her to be equally passionate about exercise!

Rebecca Arnold

Board Member
Rebecca is a global public health professional specializing in health communication and behavior change. She works for Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs and has a master of public health degree in community and behavioral health. This active Rotarian and her 9-year-old son have lived in Bangladesh since 2012. Rebecca is originally from Rock Island, Illinois – home of The Blues Brothers! She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar and has lived and worked in Tanzania, Indonesia, and Turkey.

Ali Arsalan

Board Member
Arsalan is a Bangladeshi national. He attended Shrewsbury School in the UK followed by an undergraduate degree at University College London in construction management. Ali is the Bangladesh country manager of Swiss-based commodity trading firm ECOM Agroindustrial Corp Ltd., and since 2006 has overseen sales of raw cotton to Bangladesh. In 2010 Ali opened the Japanese fine-dining restaurant, Izumi, in Dhaka. Next, he and his friends and the Izumi team launched Holey Artisan Bakery and O Kitchen, both Dhaka-based eateries. Ali is a director of Bangladesh’s first and largest digital ad network, Green & Red Technologies Ltd. It serves over 5 million ads daily on local websites. An avid supporter of Arsenal F.C., Ali loves to golf and DJ in his spare time.

Adele Millard

Board Member
Adele is a mother of two (with one on the way) and a supportive wife of a Foreign Service Officer. She has a background in music, dancing, fashion, and art. Working with Thrive provides a wonderful outlet for her passion for volunteer work, which she first developed delivering meals to the homeless in the United States as a young girl. She is excited to facilitate linkages between the children in Bangladesh and those around the world to help them to learn and grow. She has an undeniable affection for the Bangladeshi children. Adele truly believes in their potential and will work tirelessly to ensure that Thrive continues to bring much needed nutrition to these growing children. 

Brian Harman

Board Member
Brian is a professional fundraiser and graduate of Ohio University. He builds corporate and community partnerships for multimillion dollar campaigns with voluntary health organizations and children’s hospitals. Brian is the director of affiliated organizations and events of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. He spends weekends with his wife, two sons, and dog – all who double as his test audience for his amateur stand-up comedy career.

Rich Watson


Rose Blanchard

Board Member
Rose is a public health professional specializing in water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion. She received her master of public health degree in environment and health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Earlier, she worked for USAID in the Bureau for Global Health and also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in The Gambia, West Africa. While living in Bangladesh for two years, Rose worked for Population Services & Training Center (a local NGO) as a technical adviser for a project focusing on improving environmental health in poor urban communities. This Raleigh, North Carolina, native and her family have since left Bangladesh for Morocco. Rose is an outdoor enthusiast and loves exploring the wonders of the world with her husband and three children.

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