MEET OUR TEAM
It takes quite a large staff to run any school, and Kokrobitey is no different. Since its inception, Ms. Neblett has assembled from the local and international population, an exceptional staff that is loyal to Kokrobitey, hard-working and excited about making an impact in education and development. At Kokrobitey Institute, our staff works our hearts out to drive change in the creative arts and educational system in Ghana while remaining conscious of environmental sustainability.
This team of passionate, talented and dedicated professionals loves to collaborate together and with teachers, students, corporate entities in the spirit of “MERGING LANDSCAPES” by creating and fostering links between the rich traditional Ghanaian culture and that of the emerging market economy.
RENEE C NEBLETT
FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Born in Boston, Massachusetts 30 August 1947, has lived in Ghana for the past twenty two years.
Ms Neblett studied at the University of Massachusetts, 1969 Montessori Education Practicum, 1969 Goddard College M.ED, 1971, Akademie Les Beaux Arts, Valence (exchange program), 1981 Kuenst Akademie Duesseldorf BA and 1983 MFA, Bunting Fellow – Radcliffe College, 1984 Visiting Scholar, 1985 Researcher – Project Zero Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
She is the founding director of the Kokrobitey Institute, a private, research and development facility that began its work in 1992, with the goal of expanding the perimeters of American education to include study in Africa. Kokrobitey Institute offers short-term and long-term residential programs that explore the linkages of Art and Design, Environmental Studies, History and Culture for their role in advancing Education and Development. Projects, including a Fellows Program and Teacher Training among other activities that take place throughout the year alongside internships and production. Current initiatives include the manufacturing of the GSB, a school bag made of recycled materials and the Maker’s Workshop: Advancing literacy through supporting critical thinking by teaching teachers to produce experiential learning tools for village classrooms.
Florence Amerley Adu is CEO and co-founder of LEAP Transmedia Limited, a content development and production company based in Accra, Ghana. LEAP, an acronym for Learning, Education, Arts and People, is an expression of Florence’s passion for seeding and sowing a vision for improving education and economic outcomes for Ghanaians and Africans across the Diaspora. By nurturing future minds with foundational learning, thought provoking audio-visual experiences and accessible technologies, LEAP is in the forefront of content creation targeting children and families in Ghana and the region.
A graduate of New York University where she studied urban policy and economics and Stanford University, where she received her undergraduate degrees in Management Science and Engineering and Industrial Engineering, Florence has spent the better part of her career focusing on community and economic development. Merging her interest in improving the built environment with her technical background, a highlight of Florence’s career accomplishments is facilitating the development of over 1,000,000 square feet of commercial, residential and institutional space in New York City.
Florence is a vocal advocate for work-life balance and is an avid runner, yogi, traveler, and lifestylist.
Elise McMahon is an artist, designer, and teacher based in New York and Kokrobite. Having graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA from the Furniture Department, she has spent the last 10 years teaching furniture skills & resourceful design courses in various schools and studios, including Bard College at Simon's Rock, The Textile Arts Center, 3rd Ward Studios, and more. Alongside teaching she has maintained an independent art and design career, designing and making custom furniture and interior spaces for clients like Artsy, Kwambio, Basilica Hudson, and showing installation work in galleries in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco & Chicago.
She has a deep interest in how designed spaces and systems can improve quality of life for creators, consumers, and observers. With each object & project she aims to challenge the mass produced interiors and experiences that we commonly accept in our modern world.
Edison Gbenga is is the director of AGRIPRO, a consulting firm for the Agribusiness industry in Africa that helps farmers increase the quality of their products and find buyers for their produce in order to increase their overall productivity/income. He is currently Executive Director/Founder of African Recovery, a radical multi-stakeholder approach to furthering considerable economic expansion in Africa. Edison is the Country Director of YALDA in Ghana. http://www.yaldafrica.org. YALDA (Youth Alliance for Leadership and development in Africa), an organization formed in Harvord University in 2004 with the goal of encouraging youth to network and take on leadership roles. Edison also produced a movie in 2007, and does branding and business development for start-ups and small scale enterprises. He is a social entrepreneur focusing on adding value to people and places.
Originally from Sri Lanka, Chamil joined the Kokrobitey Institute ‘s staff in 2012 as the manager of the Design Center. He studied at Richmond College, Galle where he received a GCO Advanced Level Degree. Chamil manages a team of thirty locals that manufacture KI’s innovative designs and recycled products
Agnes (Aggie) began working for the Kokrobitey Institute in 2003. She studied cooking at the Adomfie Institute of Vocational Studies. Agnes is the Kokrobitey Institute’s chef who can cook for student groups as large as fifty or small company retreats. Her signature dish is curried lamb with coconut rice and bisap (hibiscus) drink, but also cooks traditional Ghanaian food wrapped in a steamed leaf with homemade piña colada. Agnes says, “She likes working at KI, because she is always learning and enjoys all the friendly guests who visit campus”.
HEAD OF GROUNDS
Musa started working with the Kokrobitey Institute in 1999. He is the supervisor of grounds and head of housekeeping. Musa’s work is fundamental to the operations and maintenance of our campus that allows us to host successful programs. Musa says “[He] is glad to be a part of the KI team, because KI is always improving every year. And [he] is very happy working”
hHEAD OF eadGARDENS
Jonas has been working for Kokrobitey for 14 years, and has been farming his entire life. He “likes gardening, and dyeing batique."
HEAD OF DRIVING AND PROCUREMENT
Kassim was born and grew up in Accra, and is new to the Kokrobitey Institute this year. He has experience as a driver for the last 15-20 years, and also teaches riding lessons at the Accra Polo Club. He is excited to join the team and "wants to contribute to this company as it grows up."
LIGHTING AND FURNITURE
Yaw majored in Business Management and Economics in Senior High School , and has been working for Kokrobitey Institute for 2 years. He says about him and Ezekiel: “Our plan was to do business, but somewhere along the line we ended up here and we have achieved a lot. Learned a lot of skills, experience, and we really understand the world. Now if we look at objects in the world we see where it comes from and how it is made. Being here I am like a teacher, because when we have programs I teach the students. There's nothing impossible in this world, and Kokrobitey has made me understand that. "
Ezekiel is from the Eastern part of Ghana, and majored in Business Management in Senior High School. He has worked here for two years. He "enjoys learning about glassmaking, woodwork, metalwork, and sewing."
TEXTILES AND SEWING
Gifty (Adua) has been working for 6 years as a seamstress, and 2 years at Kokrobitey, and she “enjoys sewing and making jewelry.”
Veronica (Abina) has been working at Kokrobitey for 3 years, and learned sewing here. She says, “My favorite job here is sewing the bags.”
HEAD OF ACCOUNTING
Emmanuel Addison went to University of Ghana and Institute of Accountancy Training. He is an experienced Financial Manager with over 41 years of experience. He wants to "provide the vision and leadership required to ensure a high quality of financial management" for Kokrobitey Institute.