Board of Directors
Dr. David Harmon has been a Family Practitioner with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group since 1992 and serves as Chairman of New Hope Board of Directors. He has an undergraduate degree in Biological Science from University of California, Irvine, and completed his medical training at University of North Texas’ Osteopathic Health Sciences Center in Fort Worth, Texas. As a graduate student, he conducted research which resulted in a number of journal publications.
He is a diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine and member of the California Medical Association and Kern County Medical Society. He has held seats on several Boards including the American Red Cross, and is the Medical Director of the David L. Harmon Health Services Center at the Bakersfield Homeless Center.
Over the years, he has participated in volunteer medical missions to Guatemala, Ethiopia, and the Philippines, and is a founding Board Member of the New Hope Homeless Children’s Center in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.
At Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Harmon is also Chair of the Credentialing and Balloting Committees, and is a physician in the Urgent Care Center. Dr. Harmon and his family live in Bakersfield, California. He has a college age daughter and is an avid golfer. He is also a musician and enjoys camping and fishing.
Dr Abdul Barre is a native of Ethiopia who as a young man and a refugee migrated to the United States in 1981. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of California, at Berkeley; and soon followed with his Medical School education at the University of California, at Davis. His post-graduate medical training was done at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, California.
He has been Board Certified in Family Medicine since 1993. He was a practicing physician at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group for 10 years prior to resigning in 2003, to pursue his dream of establishing a modern medical center in his native country of Ethiopia. During his tenure with the Permanente Medical Group, he served as the Chief of the department of Family Medicine in Bakersfield.
In 2003, Dr Barre’ embarked on his life-long ambition of bringing modern medicine to his birth place of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. To that end, in a mutual decision with his wife, Nejah, they invested their entire life saving to set up a 40-bed Hospital, named Bilal. Currently, he devotes 2/3 of his time a year working in Ethiopia as the Medical Director of Bilal Hospital, while the remaining time at Kaiser Permanente, Bakersfield.
Meanwhile, his wife Nejah who has been touched by the dire situation of poor children in Ethiopia, have established a Homeless Children’s / Orphan Center. To that end, Dr Barre’ along with friends and colleagues, has founded a non-profit organization, named New Hope Dire Dawa, and chairs the Board. Dr Barre’ and Nejah have two young daughters. He enjoys reading, music, and political discussion.
Nejah Abdusamed is a native of Dire Dawa. She is the visionary and founder of New Hope Dire Dawa Orphan Centre. The orphanage is built on the site bequeathed by her late father. She is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist and Operations Manager of Bilal Hospital. Nejah is a loving wife and mother of two daughters. She is also “Mommy” to the children of the New Hope Orphan Centre.
Beverlee Armistead was raised and worked overseas in places such as Thailand, England, Dubai, Canada and Ethiopia. Beverlee first traveled to Ethiopia as a student in 1974 when she fell in love with the country’s rich history, culture and people. However, due to the changing political climate she was forced to leave and was not able to return until 1999. Upon returning to the United States, she attended college at Texas A&M and California State University Bakersfield earning her undergraduate degree in Finance. She is currently working towards an MBA degree.
After graduation Beverlee took a position with Arco International as an accountant. This position entitled to her to traverse the globe and obtain valuable information that would later be beneficial to her future. After several years with Arco she decided to hang up the hard hat and start a printing business in CA. In 1999, Beverlee purchased a deli, to try her hand in the restaurant industry. Once she had a taste of the restaurant industry, pun intended, she then constructed a 50’s nostalgia diner. The restaurant was an immediate success and continues to this day to be one of Taft’s signature landmarks.
In the fall of 2007 Beverlee traveled to Dire Dawa to live with Dr. Barre and Nejah for three months. During this time she spent time working in the Bilal Hospital and teaching English in a Catholic school. Beverlee currently lives in Tempe, Arizona where she owns and operates a landscaping business.
Abdi Ahmed a native of Ethiopia, Mr. Abdi Ahmed migrated to the United States in 1983 where he studied Computer Science. That same year, while doing his undergraduate work, Mr. Ahmed landed on a job with Apple Computer as a programmer where he participated in the development of key design features of the Macintosh computer. In 1991 Mr. Ahmed joined the Orange County Retirement System (OCERS) as a consultant where he designed and developed an automated system that maintained over a billion dollar in asset and collected millions of dollars in retirement contributions from various municipal employees. Over the years, Mr. Ahmed developed multi-million dollar state-of-the-art technology solutions for various department of the County of Orange including Social Services Agency, Superior Court, and Planning and Development Services Department.
Upon realizing the need for cost-effective outsourced IT services, Mr. Ahmed founded NetServe Systems, Inc. Today NetServe provides comprehensive IT services to numerous small and large corporations including American Honda Motors. NetServe Systems, Inc. specializes in software engineering, remote network managements, technical support services, web design, development and hosting as well as project management.
In addition to running the day-to-day operations of NetServe Systems, Inc., Mr. Ahmed is also an adjunct professor of Computer Science at Chapman University and Santa Ana College where he has been teaching since 1999. Mr. Ahmed holds BS and MS in Computer Science from Azusa Pacific University. He also sits on the Advisory Board of BioInformatics at Chapman University and Santa Ana College’s Business Division/Computer Science Advisory Board.
Abdo Ali is a founding member who serves as Financial Officer to New Hope Orphan Centre. His humble and generous spirit have made him a priceless asset to our efforts. He is a native of Ethiopia who was born just outside of Dire Dawa. His formative years were spent between Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa where is father owned and operated an oil trucking business. He came to the United States for college and started a family and small business. Mr. Ali’s warm hospitality has led to making his home a favorite meeting site for our Board functions.
Shakib Ali is a graduate of Cal State University and UC Davis. He manages the bottling operations for LangTwins Winery in Lodi, California. He is one of the original members of the New Hope Dire Dawa Board and has served on several other Boards.
Shakib is a first generation Ethiopian American, whose father was born in Dire Dawa. He has had the privilege of traveling to Dire Dawa and visiting other cities in Ethiopia. He has volunteered in the Bilal Hospital in Dire Dawa as well.
Lynnette Bailey is a retired health care administrator. Mrs. Bailey currently serves as Secretary to the New Hope Orphan Centre of Dire Dawa Board of Directors. Through her service as a United Way Community Investment Panel Volunteer, Mrs. Bailey became involved with non-profit events and organizations in Kern County. In 2005, she was named the Community Action Partnership of Kern’s Individual of the Year. She has also served as a Giving Campaign Coordinator and Relay For Life Co-Captain. She is a proud graduate of Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Leadership Bakersfield.
Rashid Ahmed works as a Network Administrator in Irvine, CA based IT firm. From an early age, he has always been deeply interested in technology. He is currently pursuing a career in the IT field. He has been an active member of this worthy cause since early 2009.
Rashid has volunteered to redesign and regularly maintain the New Hope Orphans website. He currently serves as the webmaster to New Hope Orphans Centre. He is a humble and family oriented individual who enjoys spending quality time with his family.