BIZAA’s mission is to change the world by offering vulnerable children and young adults in Africa a chance to participate in the global marketplace through sponsored education, technical training and job placement. Giving rescued victims of child labor and child trafficking the tools necessary to develop self-reliance, build stronger communities and create a more sustainable future.
Okey Anyanwu, Founder & President
Okey Anyanwu received his degree in Philosophy from Pontifical Urban University in Rome, Italy. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from St. John’s University in Collegevillle, Minnesota. His graduate field work in Medical Anthropology was conducted at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. He currently is the Director of Pastoral Care and Social Justice at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Okey resides in the city of St. Michael with his wife Onyi and their four children.
Carl Crimmins, Vice-President
Carl Crimmins is a retired president of the Minnesota Pipe Trades Association and is currently a District A Commissioner on the Metropolitan Airports Commission, a member of the Minnesota Rehabilitation Review Panel and the Trustee Candidate Advisory Council. Currently, he serves as Vice-President for the Basic Institute for Zonal African Advancement. Crimmins is also a member of the Product Certification and Standards Council for the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, a lifetime member of the 11th Armored Cavalry’s Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia, and is a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Paul Zimmer, Legal Council & Interim Board Chair
Paul A. Zimmer, is an attorney and shareholder in the Minneapolis law firm of Courey, Kosanda & Zimmer, P.A. Paul’s law practice includes representing higher net worth individuals in connection with estate and wealth transfer planning matters, and representing closely-held and family owned businesses in connection with a variety of business law matters, including business and ownership succession planning. Paul has also served on the board of directors of various non-profit organizations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Area. Paul resides in Maple Grove, Minnesota, with his wife, Ann, and his two daughters, Emily and Elizabeth.
Marci Siers, Board Secretary & Planning Committee Chair
Teresa Robinson, Financial Advisor and Accountant
Teresa Robinson graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1994 with a BA in Accounting and passed the CPA exam in 1994. Before becoming a Board Member for BIZAA, Teresa worked for Honeywell in various financial analyst roles ranging from budget analyst, cost accounting, internal controls, senior analyst, and special projects. She has also lead many fundraising events such as a marathon, book fairs and auctions for the St. Vincent de Paul School. Teresa lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota with her husband and three children, ages fourteen, eleven and seven.
Denice Lacher, Marketing & Public Relations Advisor
Denice Lacher was an image consultant for WCCO Television’s Promotion’s Department, HGTV’s nationally syndicated garden show, Rebecca’s Garden, and ShopNBC. As an independent marketing consultant, she has worked with small businesses and cities on their marketing and branding initiatives, and produced StyleWatch, a trend’s video and recipient of the Maxi Award for Retail Advertising for the Minneapolis Downtown Council. Denice holds a BA in Marketing and Behavioral Science from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her past volunteer experience includes working with a homeless shelter for youth and serving on the Anoka Economic Development Commission.