Quyen is a Vietnamese-American entrepreneur who is driven by a strong passion for social justice and philanthropy. She feels that she had received a special gift in 1998 when she was granted an opportunity to come to the United States at the age of 18 and to attend college at Texas A&M University. Inspired by her own experience witnessing disparity as a child growing up in Vietnam and following the call to serve, Quyen now founds and directs The Village Project International. She feels driven to break the cycle of poverty for the orphans and children with disabilities across the developing world. Quyen believes she has been called to aid children considered by many in those countries to be damaged goods, and most likely will not receive a formal education. She has made it her personal mission to do all she can to enable those children to have a chance at a better and more independent life.
Quyen holds a BA in Management from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and has been working in the Oil & Gas Industry for over 10 years. Her love for travelling has taken her across many continents and she is grateful for the opportunities she has experienced while living in the U.S. Motivated by many kind people that she has met and by the desire to make a difference to others when she can, Quyen wants to give those underprivileged kids in the developing countries the kind of opportunities she has experienced, and reveal a brighter future for them despite the circumstances that they may be born into.
Quyen loves Muay Thai boxing and good food. In her spare time, you can find her at a beach or hiking up a mountain accompanied by her beloved dog Nema, a Chihuahua Jack Russell Terrier. Quyen also enjoys biking and rafting on a white water river, or just relaxing and reading a good book. She currently resides and works in Salt Lake City, Utah when not traveling to her home in Katy, TX.
Thao brings highly sought after experience to VPI with her financial savvy which includes 16 years of experience as a successful business owner in the cosmetic industry. Thao was born in Vietnam and took advantage of an opportunity to come to the U.S. at the age of 20. She is highly aware of how difficult life is for the poor, often hungry, vulnerable and potentially victimized children in a developing country. She joins VPI with the desire to use her experience growing up in Vietnam to help deprived children wherever they may be, and assist those children with access to education and skills training as well as with the basic areas of health and nutrition.
Thao holds an Accounting Certificate from the College of Southern Nevada; she has lived and worked in Las Vegas, Panama City Beach, and Chicago. Her entrepreneurial, accounting knowledge, and creative talents are just a few of the many skills Thao brings to VPI. She and her husband Hoang Phan currently reside in the suburb of Chicago; they have one son and regularly attend Sunday service at the St. Lambert Catholic Church in Skokie, IL.
Passionate about cooking, Thao takes great pleasure being in the kitchen creating something that can be shared and enjoyed with family and friends. She also loves interior decorating - making a vision a reality, as well as travelling and meeting new people. Thao's objective is to help others as she travels and expands her own knowledge base through VPI.
ROBERT B. SOWELL
Robert (Bob) Sowell comes with over 30 years of experience in engineering and construction planning and scheduling, primarily for the petrochemical industry. His extensive career had taken him across Texas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Utah, California, Washington, Virginia, France, Canada and Germany. Bob joins VPI with a passion and commitment to social change and making a positive impact in the lives of children.
Bob was born in Phoenix, Arizona. His father’s training in the United States Navy to service and repair heavy equipment attracted his family to locate near copper mining communities in Arizona. He lived in Arizona for 25 years, and since graduation from Texas A&M University in 1978 with a B.S. in Building Construction, his home base has always been within the Houston, Texas area. He and his wife, Sandra French Sowell, have been married for twenty-seven years with no children. They currently reside in Baytown and regularly attend the 1st Baptist Church in Pasadena, Texas. His hobbies include fishing, hunting, off-roading and traveling.