Michelle Mann

executive director


MichelleMann.jpgMichelle has worked in the international world of non-profits for over 30 years. Her specialty is organizational development and the establishment of accounting and internal control systems for non-governmental organizations.  

Widely travelled and having lived abroad for a number of years in various countries including Albania, Germany and India, she is experienced in public speaking in  multilingual settings and is able to bring business skills into culturally diverse settings.  Whether through teaching accounting skills in a mud and grass hut in South Sudan, training entrepreneurial leaders in the mountains of North India or reviewing non-profit practices in the Balkans, she seeks to help enterprises and leaders grow in integrity, transparency and effectiveness as they serve their local communities and society. Michelle also teaches as a guest lecturer at Nehemiah Gateway University in Pogradec.

It was during her years in Albania in the late ‘90s where she was first introduced to the expanding and impactful work of Nehemiah Gateway.  

She currently lives in Colorado with her husband, Doug, and has three grown children.

James Leithart

Communications director

james headshot.jpg

After graduating from Covenant College (Lookout Mountain, GA) with a degree in Community Development, it was a year living in Hawaii led James to discover his passion of storytelling. Initially through photography, then video, and in more recent years in writing, James has spent the years since college honing his skill and developing his craft.

Realizing the power that impactful stories have to move and motivate people, James traveled around the world for a number of years, learning and experiencing new cultures. He spent this time growing his personal brand and social media following through Instagram and YouTube, using his platforms to tell stories of the overlooked, under valued, or under appreciated. It was this that led him to Albania.

Originally from the United States, James moved to Albania in 2018 to work as a Video Editor and Social Media Manager, with his role expanding into the areas of campaign strategy, public relations, copywriting and more, taking on different roles through the entire NG organization.

Board of Directors

Stephen Kaufman


Chairman of the board

StephenKaufmann_01.jpgStephen Kaufman is the Chief Technology Officer for BlueSoftware, and has served for ten years as the Vice President of GBA/Nehemiah Gateway USA currently holding the position of the organization’s Treasurer/Secretary. Stephen is an engaging speaker featured at many technology and industry conferences around the world and is a visionary leader able to connect technology enablers to real business and social challenges in an approachable way.

Professionally, Stephen manages all aspects of product strategy, product roadmap, and product development for BlueSoftware LLC. Stephen also brings a passion for assistance to the world's poor through education, sanitation, economic development and access to clean water. He has led training on topics of marketing and entrepreneurial pursuits in Sudan, Ghana, India and the US and has also been involved in assisting with the establishment of microfinance programs in Western and Eastern Africa. 

Stephen came to BlueSoftware from Schawk/Matthews where he served as the CTO of this pre-media concern for eight years. Kaufman served multiple terms as Chairman of the Intelligent Packaging Consortium (IPC) which created XMLs standards for the packaging supply chain that evolved into full GS1 standards. 

Stephen lives in Saint Charles, Illinois, with his wife and three daughters.

Lazaron Gusho



Lazaron Gusho, CCM, EIT, is a native of Pogradec, Albania, and a Civil Engineer and Construction Manager who has been living and working in New York City for the past 10 years. After graduating from Nehemia High School as valedictorian of that school’s 1st ever graduating class, Lazaron moved to the US in 2008 to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and an Associate in Architecture at Idaho State University. He went on to earn his Master of Science in Construction Management from New York University School of Engineering.

Lazaron started his career working as a project manager for a general contractor operating in the New York Tri-State Area. He is currently part of a construction management team which operates mainly in the public sector. Lazaron manages technical, design, financial and legal aspects of construction and has delivered a variety of multi-million-dollar projects in New York City area over the past few years.

In 2018, with fellow Nehemia School alumni, Lazaron co-founded Lyhnida Fund, a scholarship program run in close collaboration with Nehemiah Gateway which supports outstanding students in his hometown of Pogradec, Albania. Lazaron is passionate about education, sports and helping others develop their potential.

Scott Cufr


Scott Cufr.jpgScott is the Business Development Director in the Healthcare Life Sciences Sector for Plexus Corp, a multi-national corporation.  He received an undergraduate BA degree in Business/Marketing from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois.  He went on to earn his MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in Lake Forest, Illinois.  Scott has also been the Youth Pastor at his church in Crystal Lake, Illinois for 27 years.  In that role, along with his wife Michelle, he has provided leadership and mentoring to countless numbers of teenagers and young adults.  Scott travels internationally extensively not only for his job, but also by leading youth group outreaches to a variety of countries including China, Albania, Israel and several Central American nations.  He served as school board president for a private K-12 institution for over ten years in Cary, Illinois.  Scott has been married to Michelle for 30 years.  Michelle is a junior high teacher at Rockford Christian School in Rockford, Illinois.  Scott and Michelle have four children and are almost empty nesters with the oldest three in universities and the youngest in his last year of high school.