Meet The Team

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Susie Halsell

Founder

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Susie has over 10 years of experience working with street children in Bangladesh. She has studied the Bangla language at a Bangla institute in Dhaka. She has also studied Anthropology at BRAC University in Bangladesh. Susie holds a Bachelor's in Liberal Arts from Antioch University Santa Barbara with her concentration being Business and Entrepreneurship.  Susie's business plan for Bangladesh Street Kids Aid was chosen as a top ten finalist in the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship in Santa Barbara, California in 2019 Susie has recently (February 2021) been offered the position of Technical Advisor to the Bangladesh Skateboarding Committee under the Roller Skating Federation of Bangladesh.  Susie will be offering advice and providing the Committee with the knowledge and resources needed to prepare the skaters of Bangladesh for the Skateboarding Olympics now set for 2024.

She is also certified in Permaculture Design for International Development and deeply cares about preserving the natural environment at every level of BSKA's programs and operations.

 Throughout the years, Susie has made many valuable contacts in Bangladesh who have helped her bring this project to its current state. She thoroughly enjoys the Bangladeshi culture and lifestyle and spending quality time with the kids. 

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Heidi Lemmon

Key Advisor & Board Member

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Heidi was a pioneer in the now booming business of building commercial skate parks.  Not only was she an instrumental part of getting the Venice Skatepark built, she was part the entire movement from the beginning, and, not least of all, helped to establish construction standards for skate parks in general. What started as an effort to keep her son and his friends out of trouble turned into a full time gig.  Now with the Olympics involved, the movement is most definitely world wide. 

Heidi also has her own skate board company that specialized in professional quality boards for kids.  The brand “Salt Rags,” builds small boards for the little rippers of the world. Heidi and her comrades have put together tons of contests.  The Old Guys Jam, put together by Heidi and Jeff Greenwood, is a community favorite.  As well, so is the Venice Ladies Jam, which is going on its second year on July 29. 2017. Another one of Heidi’s projects with Greenwood was to set up a national skatepark directory, www.concretedisciples.com, which now lists over 3,500 parks. 

 

And, Heidi was also in Germany in 2002, working with World Cup Skateboarding, to help set up the ISF, which is still running strong today. When asked about the current skateboard scene, Lemmon said that kids and the girls movement are inspiring, and that more coaches are always a good thing.

Some other causes that Heidi supports are education, animal rights, and being educated on who you are voting for.  “Voting if you are not educated can be worse than not voting,” says Lemmon. A chill day in the V for Heidi might include a morning coffee from Cow’s End, perhaps a few walks with her dogs, reading a book, and taking photos at the skatepark.

Heidi summed up some of favorite philosophical quoted for us with:  Life is an adventure, and we will forever be known by the tracks we leave.

(Taken from the article "Skatepark Advocate Heidi Lemmon" by Alexander Stowell of Venice Paparazzi) 

Anonna Rahman

Anonna is working at BSKA's residential facility in Dhaka as a counselor, educator, and outreach worker.  She loves spending time with our participants and helping them to obtain overall physical and mental wellness.

Kakoli Tripura

Kakoli is working with BSKA as an administrative assistant, outreach worker, and overall program support in Dhaka at BSKA's residential facility for addicted street-based youth.  She has many years of experience doing social work in both the NGO and government sectors.

Board of Directors

Margie Halsell

Margie Halsell is currently the owner and administrator of a residential care facility for elders with memory loss and dementia.  She also founded a non-profit that provides various services for elders.  Margie is the main donor to BSKA and we are forever grateful to her for her support.

Trent Benedetti

 Trent J. Benedetti is Public Accountant and Financial Planner. He is volunteering as BSKA's Chief Financial Officer.  He serves as chairman of the St. Louis de Montfort Parish Finance Council and as Treasurer for the Los Padres Boy Scout Council.

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Jessica Scarffe

Jessica Scarffe has a B.A. in Political Economy and a M.A. in Political Philosophy. Prior to her teaching career (15 years at the community college level), she worked in politics and business.