In the United States, an all-volunteer team provides legal, financial, accounting and promotional support. MGRC is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit in the United States. It is a registered non-government organization (NGO) in Tanzania. MGRC is governed by a USA board and a Tanzania board.
Bruce is an engineer with an entrepreneurial bent and proven leadership track record. He is the founder and CEO of GrowthPoint, a B2B Marketing Services corporation in Clarkston, Michigan. Prior to founding GrowthPoint in 2003, he worked at ABB as a Division President and Rockwell Automation for 21 years, serving as vice president and general manager. He has a degree in electrical engineering from Ohio State University and grew up in the Midwest.
Bruce met MGRC founder Rick Morro 20 years ago through work. A few years ago, Bruce saw a social media post about Rick’s volunteer work with the Maasai girls and got in touch. Before long, Bruce and his wife, Joyce, arranged a visit to the center in 2019. Later, they joined the board, with GrowthPoint providing pro bono marketing, social media, business systems and database operations. Bruce was elected board president in 2020. “Once you get involved and understand the need, it’s hard not to help,” he said.
Joyce brings her financial and business systems expertise as well as her big heart to MGRC, serving as board treasurer. Since 2003 she has worked as chief financial officer for GrowthPoint, a boutique firm in Clarkston, Michigan, founded by her husband, Bruce. The Hammonds share a commitment to transparency in MGRC’s financial operations. No money goes to executive compensation because the work is all volunteer.
Joyce also is a mother and grandmother. Through years of volunteer tutoring and coaching junior varsity tennis, she knows the difference adult support can make in opening doors of opportunity to young people. Joyce wants to help the Maasai girls achieve their educational goals and learn critical life skills through the development of the ecoVillage and farm. “Being involved in MGRC is an honor and a privilege,” she said.
Dan has had lifelong interests in international affairs, law, real estate, philanthropy and volunteerism. Raised and educated on the East Coast, he graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and practiced corporate law for seven years. He moved to Colorado to raise a family and went into real estate development, also serving on local civic boards and volunteering. In 2004, the family moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where he continued in real estate and civic involvement. Dan also manages a family charitable foundation that supports education in underserved communities.
Dan met MGRC founder Rick Morro in Scottsdale through a church men’s group. In 2018, Dan embarked on an adventure to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and go on safari. He dropped by to visit his friend Rick at the Maasai Girls Rescue Center. “That visit had a huge impact on me,” Dan said. “My heart was so touched by the helplessness of these girls, and the true miracles that Rick has brought to their lives.” Dan volunteered to establish a non-profit organization based in Scottsdale and to help organize the board, on which he serves as secretary.
Rick Morro founded the Maasai Girls Rescue Center in Tanzania in 2012. At the time, he was a retired businessman, an engineer, with a comfortable life in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. A search for meaning led him to a Scottsdale church doing outreach in Tanzania, land of safaris, exotic animals and international adventure travel. When Rick visited, he found all those wonders, but he also witnessed poverty and hardship among the Maasai people. The plight of the girls was especially profound. “I knew this was where God wanted me to be,” Rick said. And so he moved halfway around the world.
Rick has worked diligently since then to support girls who come to the center through local social welfare officials and family members. Some girls are orphaned, some abused, some are runaways from forced marriages to much older men. Most are starving and without healthcare, and many have been subjected to a tribal custom of genital mutilation that has been outlawed but is still practiced.
Rick’s initial goal was to provide safe haven, operating for nearly a decade at an abandoned hostel in Longido. In early 2021, Rick, the girls and the staff moved to Karatu, where a permanent ecoVillage is under construction on 15 acres owned by the center. There, Rick does it all – as a leader, builder, engineer, farmer, father figure, fix-it man and diplomat.
“Why do I do this? The answer is simple: I found what I was looking for,” Rick said. “I am more fulfilled than I have ever been in my life. We are planting the seeds for future generations of these girls.”
Randall (Randy) Freeman joined Allen-Bradly/Rockwell Automation out of university and didn’t leave for 35 years. Educated as an engineer, his career started in technical sales and progressed to global marketing and sales leadership using specialty sales resources to penetrate new markets. He retired in 2008 as vice president, global industry solutions.
Retirement brought the opportunity to get involved in his Catholic parish in Brookfield, Wisconsin, where he serves as the trustee treasurer. His church has a partnership with a Catholic parish in Piura, Peru. Since 2013, Randy has gone on annual mission trips to Piura, working with a team there to help poor families. Sponsored church programs include a rice co-op with microloans; a family-to-family sponsorship program for food; and a trade school that teaches a broad array of skills ranging from construction to computer programming to nursing. Randy was drawn to work with MGRC because of its similar mission to extend a hand up. “Young women, armed with knowledge and self-confidence, can do more to advance a culture than any other group,” Randy said.
Jay is a retired senior manager with 40-plus years of experience in financial services, insurance, technology and non-profit management. His corporate experience includes technology management with Wells Fargo and MicroAge, where he led multi-million-dollar corporate initiatives. Jay’s background also includes management consulting in the United States and Europe. His areas of expertise include program and project management, productivity and quality improvement, client services, credit card processing, and call center operations.
Over the years, Jay has served in various non-profit capacities, volunteering and consulting for organizations such as Make-A-Wish, Elevate Phoenix, and Arizona Urban Youth Ministries, serving the needs of at-risk youth in Phoenix, Arizona. He also has been involved in Christian ministry outreach, organizing and staging large public outreach events featuring PGA professional golfers and MLB baseball players. Jay and his wife, Mary, have been supporters of MGRC since its inception. “Rick’s extraordinary commitment to the safety and welfare of these young girls is an inspiration to all of us,” Jay said. “I am honored to help him in any way I can.”