Leann Breed has been a strong advocate for ETI since its inception in 2010. After years of support, Leann was elected unanimously to the ETI Board in March of 2022, filling a vacancy left by the heartbreaking passing of her husband, Mel. Both Leann and Mel were deeply connected with the people of Tanzania for nearly 20 years starting when the Breeds were introduced to Bishop Bagonza and the work in Karagwe by mutual friends, Don and Gloria Barnes of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. Leann and Mel and members of their church had been invited to the consecration of Bishop Bagonza and dedication of Imani School in Karagwe, Tanzania. The Breeds accepted the invitation and have never looked back.
Leann visited Karagwe in 2003, 2006 and 2012 along with Mel and their church traveling team. With a keen interest in education, Leann was especially inspired by the progress at Imani School, Nkwenda Training Center and various other development projects including a hotel and a business center. Both she and Mel were encouraged by the progress they witnessed and they committed to stay involved. ETI and the people of Karagwe have benefited greatly from their commitment as the Breeds helped support the establishment of KARUCO College of Agriculture on 1000 acres in NW Tanzania and the Rural Opportunity Centers (ROCs). Leann and Mel were named ETI Partners of the Year on more than one occasion and were instrumental in capital campaigns and shaping funding programs to enable training and start-up businesses in Karagwe.
Leann brings compassion, depth and pragmatic solutions to the ETI Board as a philanthropist with experience as a professional educator and deep appreciation for the arts and social services. She is especially mindful of how ETI decisions affect the broader community, families and individuals living in Karagwe.
Leann and Mel were married for over 50 years. Their daughter is Amy and their son, Joel. They have four grandchildren – Berit, Harrison, Emerson and Jackson. ETI is honored to have Leann Breed on its team.