VoiceFlame Board of Directors
Mary Tuchscherer, MA, is the founder and CEO of VF, a non-profit organization that is changing the world through writing and education, one voice at a time. She has thirty plus years of working cross-culturally through foreign adoption placement, refugee resettlement, foreign exchange students and more. She is a teacher, leader, mentor and entrepreneur.
Mary is certified as an Amherst Writers and Artists workshop facilitator and trainer and is adjunct faculty at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA. She brings her longstanding passion for empowering women to her work with females in Malawi, Africa and the U.S.
In 2009 Mary was the recipient of the Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista award for “Women Making A Difference,” given for her work with disenfranchised women in Malawi, Africa.
Currently a licensed professional counselor, Sue uses writing and narration as a healing modality in her practice. She has a passion for helping homeless and low-income women find their voices and brings that commitment to the women of Malawi.
She is a certified Amherst Writers and Artists facilitator who leads writing workshops in her east coast community as well as Malawi, Africa.
Sue was recognized in 2011 as a Ruby Award winner by the Alexandria, Virginia Soroptimist Club for her work with women in Malawi.
Susen I. Hickman, CFO for VF, brings over thirty-five years of business experience serving both national and international companies specializing in administration, finance, advertising and human resources. Her experience encompasses a wide breath of interests in the arts including painting, writing and music.
Susen serves on the Board of Directors and is Recording Secretary for Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista, an international organization in ninety-eight countries striving for the betterment of girls and women throughout the world. She serves on the Board of Directors, East Bay Services to the Developmentally Disabled, providing elder day care programs and HUD financed housing to foster and enhance independent living skills.
Julie Gardner, MS, Community Events Coordinator for VF, has been an advocate, educator, counselor and mentor for children, women and families in early childhood, adult education, counseling and social services positions in rural and urban USA for over thirty years. She was a founder and director of three non-proﬁt organizations, a preschool, childcare center and rural community and cultural center.
An Amherst Writers and Artists Affiliate since 2010, Julie has led writing sessions, some with homeless women, in Seattle and Malawi . She has personally experienced the healing power of storytelling, writing, reading and being heard. She regularly witnesses women becoming empowered to improve their lives leading to healthy and strong families, businesses and communities.
VoiceFlame Support | Malawi
Emily Phiri Aluziya, In-Country Director of Writing Programs for VF, holds diplomas in Rural and Community Development and Secretarial Studies. She is trained as an Agricultural Extension and Home Economics Officer and is currently studying a degree course in Rural and Community Development. Emily serves as Executive Secretary/Board member for Kunyanja Development Organization (KUDO).
Emily has a passion for working among the rural poor of the Nkhata Bay District in Malawi where she grew up. She was recently trained as a VF writing workshop facilitator and is now leading writing groups with village women. Emily believes that if women do not record their stories, valuable family histories will be lost to future generations.
She is an award-winning journalist who was twice voted Malawi’s best female journalist; she has also received honors for being among the country’s three best journalists. Her stories have won both local and international awards.
Pilirani is passionate about women and developmental issues. She believes that given the opportunity women in Malawi can move mountains.