Pilot Light's Board of Directors comprises a passionate group of experienced professionals who believe in sustainable development through economic independence. 

Board of Directors

Franco Simplicio
Food & Health

Born in Bari, Italy and raised in the restaurant business. Moved to California as a teenager. Educated at UCLA undergraduate and went on to get a doctorate degree from USC. My destiny was the restaurant business and I have opened many successful restaurants in the LA area, including Padri, Allegria, Tanino, Ca Del Sole, Il Pastaio, Frascati, Moonshadows and the latest The Sunset.  My passion is Seafood with a Mediterranean influence. I love making people feel welcome in my restaurants and will always have a great bar environment where people can be casual and gather with their friends or make new friends while they enjoy exceptional food and service.

Alyssandra Lupo
Nonprofit Management

As a Public Policy major with an emphasis on Nonprofit Management at the University of Southern California, Alyssandra became involved with Pilot Light through a class assignment. She advocated for Pilot Light, eventually receiving a $2,000 grant from the Learning by Giving Foundation. Alyssandra's passion for community service has led her to travel and volunteer all over the world. Alyssandra hopes to bring awareness to her generation and the college community, expanding and supporting the amazing work that Pilot Light does.

Nicola Goode

Born and raised in Los Angeles is an artist and educator whose practice includes photography, printmaking and architectural installation. She holds an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design and a BFA from Yale University. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in numerous public and private collections. As a member of The International Cinematographer’s Guild and The Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers, she has worked as a still photographer on feature and documentary film productions around the world. Her first memories of using a camera were while traveling in Africa as a child with her filmmaker father. When she is not elsewhere, she can be found in her Venice studio.

Matt Orr
Media & Storytelling

After gaining appreciation for working teachers and small-town America, Matt became a card carrying adult interested in politics and how it affects clean food and water, rights for all people, climate, and health. He's a lover of people, sustainable farming, community, and human rights. He spends his work life in the media, writing for sites like Upworthy and Distractify hoping to help change the world for the better. 

Anne Kelly
Nonprofit Organizations

Anne Kelly has spent her career working in nonprofit organizations, managing programs and raising funds. Most recently she was the Regional Managing Director for the U. S. Fund for UNICEF for 16 years, overseeing fundraising efforts in Southern CA. Prior to that she spent 7 years managing U. S. Programs, the domestic poverty programs division of World Vision, an international relief and development organization based in Southern CA. Earlier in her career she spent 10 years as Director of the Calvin College Social Research Center, a management consulting firm for regional and national nonprofit organizations based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

How can you light a spark?

We help the people of Africa through our curated funding, direct support, and decades of regional expertise. Your support will ensure delivery of transformative micro-loans to aspiring entrepreneurs in Africa's most economically disadvantaged areas. Your support changes people's lives directly - from one Ugandan honeybee farmer who improved his family's life forever, to the Rwandan Mother-Child Development Center that continues to empower young women through entrepreneurship training and education. Pilot Light is the trusted channel for transforming lives throughout Africa. Get involved, say hello, and donate in any way that is meaningful to you. 100% of your donation will be directed towards winning the fight to improve lives. Send us a secure email to the right, or click below to visit our Annual Fundraiser.

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