Doug Mann


DouglasMann.jpgDoug is the founder of Global Business Assist, a humanitarian organization dedicated to the empowerment of the world’s poor which has now become Nehemiah Gateway USA. With thirty years of international non-profit management experience, Doug has served on the board of directors of seven non-profit corporations. Doug’s familiarity and shared passion with Nehemiah Gateway for empowering indigenous nationals in the developing world motivated him to join the Nehemiah Gateway Team in 2015.

While presently serving as President of Nehemiah Gateway USA and working out of the organization’s U.S. office, much of Doug's career has been spent living in Europe, and assisting those in need throughout Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. During the late 1990’s while stationed in Albania, Doug facilitated the networking of over eighty international organizations during the Kosovo refugee crisis. 

Doug is an ordained minister, certified educator, experienced speaker and extensive traveler. Doug and his wife, Michelle, reside near Boulder, Colorado directing the international efforts of Nehemiah Gateway USA.

Michelle Mann, CPA

Director of Finance

MichelleMann.jpgMichelle has worked in the international world of non-profits for the past 25 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. 

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

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

Sarah Pita

Development Director

Sarah_Pita_final.jpgSarah has helped many non-profit organizations grow their programs and capacity through her expertise in grant writing and fundraising. A lifelong writer, she is passionate about using her skills to help organizations that are making a positive difference in the world.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language and Literature from Swarthmore College, and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Sarah has lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and the United States, and currently resides in Estes Park, Colorado with her husband and two children.

Beverlee J. Atwood

Head OF Examination office

Beverlee_Atwood_final.jpgBev Atwood oversees student examinations at Nehemiah Gateway University and helps coordinate N.G. campus communications in Buçimas. Before coming to N.G. University, she was the Registrar at New Saint Andrews College in Idaho. For ten years she served as an administrative assistant in the Department of Architecture at the University of Idaho. 

She has traveled extensively and for extended periods internationally, including Europe and Africa. 

She has a life-long passion for choral music and served as the president of the Washington-Idaho Symphony Chorale for several years which included a tour with the choir to Austria and Hungary in 1988.

Beverlee and husband Roy have been married forty-five years and are blessed with two married children and twelve grandchildren. They live in Pogradec, Albania.

Roy Alden Atwood, Ph.D.

Vice Rector and Head of Faculty

Roy_Atwood_final.jpgDr. Atwood (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is a professor and administrator at Nehemiah Gateway University in Buçimas, Albania. Before coming to N.G. University, he was the Abraham Kuyper Distinguished Professor at Morthland College in Illinois. He was the founding president of New Saint Andrews College in Idaho. He also served as a professor and director of the School of Communication at the University of Idaho. 

He has twice been a Senior Fulbright Scholar—first, at the Institute of Journalism at Warsaw University, Poland (1991), and then at the Institute for Communication Research at North West University in South Africa (1998). He has taught, consulted, lectured and conducted research extensively internationally: as an International Development and Training (USAID project) Professor at Egerton University, Kenya (1992), as a funded media policy researcher in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, and as an invited lecturer in China, South Korea, Mauritius, South Africa, Australia, England, Kosovo, and Albania. 

He served two terms as an elected accreditation commissioner with the US-based Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). He first came to Nehemiah Gateway University as the chair of its TRACS accreditation site visit in 2013.

His curriculum vitae and a selection of his published works can be found at Academia ( and ResearchGate (

Roy and wife Beverlee have been married forty-five years and are blessed with two married children and twelve grandchildren. They live in Pogradec, Albania.

Board of Directors

Stephen Kaufman

Secretary and Treasurer

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.

Dr. iur. Elis Tarelli

Corporate Vice President

ElisTarelli_17.jpgAfter completing his law studies at the University of Tirana in Albania and his Master studies in International Trade Law at the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom, Elis Tarelli worked as legal counsel for the Austrian law firm Wolf Theiss in Tirana, Pristina and Vienna, where he specialized in Company, Contract, Tax and Real Estate Law.

In 2006 he started working as Legal Advisor to the Governor of the Albanian Central Bank. Some of the most important projects which Mr. Tarelli led or co-led were the preparation of the regulatory framework for the creation and operation of the first Public Credit Registry in Albania, the drafting of the current Albanian Banking Law, the preparation of the regulatory framework of the Bank of Albania private pension fund, as well as the drafting of several regulatory acts on the functioning of the Albanian banking and financial sector.

Elis Tarelli has been a part of Nehemiah Gateway in Albania for more than twenty years. Over time he assumed a multitude of tasks, mostly in a voluntary capacity. Since 2013 he is responsible for legal issues of the international work of Nehemiah Gateway and in October 2017 he took on additional responsibilities as rector of Nehemiah Gateway University and Executive Director of Nehemiah Gateway.

Elis Tarelli received his Ph.D. in Banking and Company Law from the University of Hamburg in Germany. He has also published several articles on Company, Tax and Non-Profit Law issues.

Arnold Geiger


arnold_geiger_12.jpgArnold Geiger and his wife, Esther, have five children. Having finished his studies in public administration he occupied different functions within the German federal police force for nine years. 

Following several relief-goods transports and humanitarian missions to various countries including Sudan, Eritrea, Malawi, Ethiopia, Russia, Romania, Turkey and Iran, Arnold and his family moved to Pogradec, Albania after the opening of the borders in 1991 to actively and sustainably invest in the long-term development of that society. 

A multitude of projects and services of all types came into being: emergency aid, spiritual support through churches, medical and social aid as well as educational institutions ranging from kindergarten to the university level. 

Arnold is the founding member of various national and international organizations. He was awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz) for his multifaceted service in 2008. On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Nehemiah Gateway in Albania he received the "Mother Teresa" award, honoring his outstanding achievements for the country of Albania.

Arlinda Merdani, M.A.


ArlindaMerdani_05.jpgArlinda  Merdani studied German language at the “Aleksander Xhuvani” University in Elbasan, at the University of Vienna, Austria and Leipzig, Germany. In September 2005 she began working as a translator and later as an assistant to the management of Nehemiah Gateway in Albania. During an internship at the German Bundestag and subsequent studies and graduation as „Master of European Studies“ at Leipzig University in 2010, she continued to work on a voluntary basis for Nehemiah Gateway. She contributed to the creation of Nehemiah Gateway’s headquarters in Nuremberg, acquiring experience in donor liaison, office management, as a recording clerk for partners’ meetings and in human resources management.

She was involved in the work of the opening of Nehemiah Gateway University and teaches there as a guest lecturer with focus on methods and scientific research. As Head of Global Operations for Nehemiah Gateway she is responsible for the buildup of N.G.’s international project work and also manages the organization’s office in Berlin. The development and care of the international scholarship program of Nehemiah Gateway University is of special concern to her. From October 2017 she holds additional responsibility as an Executive Director with Nehemiah Gateway.