Meet Our Team

Our Founder

Joyce Tannian
Founder/Executive Director

Joyce is the heart and soul of Water is Life Kenya. Read more about her story and how she came to start our organization here. Joyce spends most of her time in Kenya directing the day-to-day operations of WILK. Joyce not only designs water and livestock projects, she also loves creating beautiful jewelry. Joyce continues to inspire us all with her passion to serve others.

Board of Directors

Dr.Dr T Headshot Francis Tannian
Retired Professor of Economics at the University of Delaware
Francis now devotes his time to volunteer for various causes, including Water is Life – Kenya, putting his Ph.D. in Water and Sewer systems to use in helping the people of Kenya.

Mark HeadshotMark Manniso
President of Forte Marketing
One of the original “volunteers” to help the foundation, Mark provides imaginative engineering and help in all areas to further the cause.


Retired School and Public Outreach Educator Specializing in Water Resource Protection
B.A. in biology with education minor and Masters of Applied Sciences in Environmental Engineering. Worked as biology teacher and in the non-profit sector in environmental education, land conservation for habitat and wildlife protection. Most of the latter work involved protection and conservation of waterways through public outreach and advocacy for improved watershed management.

Leilani Walker
Leilani is actively involved in her church, Calvary Baptist in Newark DE and is a member of her church missions board.  After reading “The Hole In Our Gospel” she had a strong desire to help others obtain clean water.  Leilani’s focus for WILK is on selling beads.  She recently retired from DuPont Human Resources with over 39 years of service.

yolanda headshotYolanda Chetwynd
Yolanda is a talented artist and you can see her work here. Yolanda supports our local donor relations, event planning and bead sales.

suresh headshotDr. Suresh Advani
Dr. Advani is the department chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Delaware.  He serves as a strategic planning adviser and also supports our grant-writing.

Our Staff

Josephlarasha headshot crop Larasha
Field Manager
Larasha is our main-man in the field.  He comes from the Amboseli area and has a deep understanding of and relationships with the community.

Colleen Leithren
U.S.Program Director
Colleen works out of the US office and manages communications, grant-writing, the beaded handicraft division and just about everything else!  She is also a digital storyteller who is currently sharing her expertise with WILK  so others can be inspired to help make a difference.