Altruistic Odyssey (AO) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing cultural preservation to underserved communities around the world. Our first project is formed to preserve the vital Sherpa culture in the Khumbu region and other remote areas of Nepal. AO raises funds to address needs identified and managed by local communities. AO funded projects include educational programs and repair of culturally significant structures. AO may fund additional needs, such as healthcare or shelter, by supporting other nonprofits with respective expertise. Most projects will be in areas that are not easily accessed or served by major NGOs. AO is dedicated to empowering communities to sustain these projects over time. The Sherpa project in Nepal is and will continue to be the AO foundational project.
In 2015, a series of mega earthquakes struck Nepal. The first 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck on April 25, followed by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in May, not to mention the hundreds of high magnitude aftershocks. This natural disaster killed over 8,000 Nepalese people, injured another 22,000, and destroyed over 500,000 homes, displacing nearly 3 million people.
This tragedy ignited a passion to take action, and a group of likeminded but diverse professionals came together to form Altruistic Odyssey, Inc (AO). The name of the organization represents giving through altruism, as defined by renowned author Matthieu Ricard, and the united journey we are all on to improve the lives of others. Major NGOs do a remarkable job in getting most aid to most people in large urban areas where people can be more easily reached. AO seeks to help those in more remote, smaller villages that are difficult to access. By engaging with those communities, we support the preservation and strengthening of indigenous cultures. AO has direct connections with local stakeholders who can execute life-changing projects in real time. AO financially supports projects that are impactful, sustainable, and that the local community feels are critical. Rather than imposing our own priorities as outsiders, we listen and learn from our on-the-ground partners.
Although AO was formed out of a tragedy in Nepal, our goal is to help other communities around the world facing similar situations in dire need of assistance. The AO Board of Directors is “hands-on” and each has personally made the trip to Nepal and trekked into the Himalayan Mountains to meet with local people affected by the devastation in order to vet and approve projects first-hand. The Board has filed a 501c3 application with the U.S. IRS, pending approval. AO is dedicated to place 93% of donations directly in the hands of those in need, with the other 7% used for IRS approved administrative support.
Board of Directors
Ed Antoine, Board of Directors PresidentEd is the CEO and Founder of Team Global Network Inc. and Director of Team Global Network France, a business, individual and team coaching global boutique company. He has been an executive coach for over 20 years, working with executive teams in global corporations and start-ups, providing insight into navigating the complexity of an ever changing business world. Previously, Ed served as the President of the International Coach Federation’s New Jersey chapter. In 2010, Edmond launched the Legacy Odyssey Coaching Treks of Nepal, taking executive clients to the Amadablam Base Camp. During this transformational journey to an elevation over 15,000 feet, clients acquire the tools to create their own “Hero’s Journey”.
In 2015, after the devastating mega earthquake in Nepal, Ed was moved to create an organization that could not only provide immediate relief to the Nepalese people, but that could also support underserved communities in other regions of the world. Ed’s passion is to give back in the form of education and preserving and strengthening significant cultural elements, that all contribute to building a better society for tomorrow.
Craig Frischling, Board of Directors TreasurerCraig Frischling is an angel investor and member of The New York Angels. His portfolio focuses on B2C companies including travel, fashion, e-commerce, health and wellness businesses. He is a board member or advisor for startups, including DermApproved, Stylinity and Selvera. Additionally, he has over two decades of operating and leadership experience in specialty chemicals (cosmetic ingredients), wellness (weight loss and nutrition), and brand marketing.
As president of Lipo Chemicals, Craig led a network of fifteen affiliated companies in thirteen countries which distributed, marketed, produced and developed a broad line of ingredients for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Previously, Craig worked in brand management for Weight Watchers International and consulting/field marketing for American Consulting Corporation.
Craig holds degrees in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and Economics from The Wharton School.
Craig visited Nepal in 2012 on a trek led by Ed Antoine. After the 2015 earthquake, Craig joined Ed in his mission to support the rehabilitation and preservation of unique historical sites in Nepal. Through Altruistic Odyssey, he hopes to have the opportunity to help other threatened local cultures maintain their identities as they become more connected with the global community.
Puspa Kumari Tamang, Board of Directors MemberPuspa was born and raised in Nepal and is fluent in 5 languages, including Nepali, Tamang, Sherpa, Hindi, and English. She received her certification as a C.M.A (Community Health Assistant) from the Madan Memorial Academy, and has worked in community and hospital settings. Her innate knowledge of Nepalese culture and local women’s issues is a significant asset to Altruistic Odyssey, and she brings this breadth and depth of knowledge as a Nepal-based board member. Puspa is also serves as a board member of Hello Himalayan Homes, a Nepalese travel advisory resource for mountain climbers. Puspa is passionate about supporting the remote Sherpa and Tamang communities of Nepal and serves as a local ambassador for Altruistic Odyssey and an advocate for her community. Through her advocacy, she hopes to inspire other Tamang women to feel empowered to develop their skills and talents.
Jacques AusendaJacques met Ed during his own Heroes’ journey in 2014 in Nepal. As Biochemistry Engineer Jacques worked for more than 35 years in a big Pharma involved in Industrial Operations, around the world, from the Production facility to the management of several Industrial Sites in China. Spending its time and energy to lead projects and building teams to develop the Company’s growth. Jacques ended his career in 2014 as VP in charge of a Global Transformation Mission for all the Industrial Sites in the SANOFI Human Vaccine field.
Passionate and warm, Jacques retirement in the south of France allows him to rehabilitate a beautiful old fortified house, and, that was not enough, so he traveled with us in November 2015, and chose to be committed to make a difference in supporting the projects we have in Nepal.
Jacques is also building the “french” team of our organization. There may be an Altruistic Odyssey France one day.
Nepal Operations Team
Pasang Tshering Sherpa, Field Operations LiaisonPasang is considered a rising leader in the Sherpa community and is the local liaison, advisor and representative for Altruistic Odyssey’s project execution. He was born and raised in the high mountains of Nepal and therefore holds a unique and highly valued understanding of the local Sherpa community. Pasang is fluent in 5 languages, including Nepalese, Sherpa, Tibetan, Hindi, and English and is a tremendous asset to the success of Altruistic Odyssey’s work that requires significant translation and cross-cultural communication. Pasang holds a Bachelors Degree in Humanities and Social Sciences from Tribhuvan University, the first national institution of higher education in Nepal. He has held several board positions and executive roles with Nepalese organizations, and is the author of a book entitled Sherpas, the Ultimate Mountaineers about the Sherpa process of preparing climbers to summit Mount Everest.
Binod Tamang(Bio Coming Soon)
Chandra Rai(Bio Coming Soon)