Originally from Sheffield England, Paul left family and friends behind to venture to the U.S. after completing a Master of Science degree in Geographic Information Systems from Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of London, England.
Paul successfully launched his own company in 1992 starting with only a single employee – himself. Geographic Solutions, which is based in Palm Harbor, Florida and has a satellite office in California, now employs over 90 people. The company develops workforce and labor market information products for state and local governments.
Married for over 11 years, Paul now resides with his wife and two children in Palm Harbor. When he is not working, he plays tennis and soccer and spends as much time with his family as possible. He has a huge heart for the orphans at the Treasures of Africa Children's Home, and recently donated the funds to purchase and equip a computer lab for the orphanage which the children use daily in their educational activities. His company is also a quarterly financial supporter of the TOA Children's Home.
Born and raised in Rye, New York, Deane moved to California as a teenager, completing his education with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism with an option in Advertising from California State University, Fresno.
Deane started his professional career in advertising, starting a small advertising agency in Fresno called MarketStreet. After selling the agency to an agriculture-based software firm, Deane then took a position directing marketing for the OneStop Career Center of Monterey County, California where he first came in contact with Geographic Solutions in 1999. Deane joined Geographic Solutions in 2000 and today is the Director of Marketing, overseeing operations from the West Coast office in Salinas, California.
The father of four children ages 8-21, Deane and his wife Lisa spend free time at their kids' sporting events and tending to their goats, horses, and chickens. Deane is an active cyclist who raised over $5,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in 2007 while he trained to complete his first century ride in America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride, held in Lake Tahoe. When Deane first learned about the Treasures of Africa Children's Home and read the stories of the children whose families had been devastated by the AIDS virus, he realized there was an opportunity to make a huge difference for the children by raising money to help with their food, education, medical care, and shelter. Deane is excited about the challenge of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and is looking forward to meeting the children at the orphanage.
Rita Leongomez Langeland
Formerly a Tampa Bay resident and graduate of St. Petersburg Catholic High School and Florida State University, Rita now lives in Tustin, California with her husband David. Rita started Hidden With Christ Ministries in 2000. Its mission is to bring the word of God to people around the world. Originally ministering by radio broadcast to the U.S., Europe and Africa, she was contacted by a Tanzanian Minister in 2003 to come and speak at a conference. After numerous trips back to Africa her mission became clear – to help orphans that had been so severely affected by the AIDS crisis. In 2007, she established the Treasures of Africa Children's Home, which now cares for 26 orphaned and abandoned children. The orphanage feeds, clothes, provides medical care and an education for the children. The hope is that these children will become a productive part of African society and possible future leaders.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Rita has immersed herself in a strict physical training regimen to prepare herself for her first mountain climbing expedition up Mt. Kilimanjaro. Locating one of the top trekking companies, Tusker Trail, known not only for their climbing expertise but also for their interest in helping charitable organizations, she organized the climb to help raise money for the orphanage. The goal is to raise enough money to offset costs of running the orphanage for at least one year, of which costs are substantial.
The TOA charity climb in December of 2008 will be using the expert services of Eddie Frank, a 29-year veteran of Mt. Kilimanjaro climbs and the owner of Tusker Trail expedition company. Tusker Trail started running charity climbs in 2001. Since that first trip, over $5,500,000 has been raised for charities including such well known groups as the Make-A-Wish Foundaton and The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. TOA's climb is listed for November 2008 on their Charity Fundraising Treks page.
When you see Kilimanjaro you understand why it brings so many visitors from around the world. Its beauty is compelling. It is the highest peak on the African continent and also is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Kilimanjaro has one of the world's most accessible high summits, for which most climbers reach the rim of the crater with little more than proper clothing, a walking stick and some determination.
As you ascend Mount Kilimajaro you are treated to an amazing tour of climates which can range from the tropics to the Arctic. Before you even set foot in the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the aesthetic foot-slopes give way to verdant forest, populated by elephant, leopard, buffalo, small antelope and even the endangered Abbot’s duiker. As you continue your trek up the mountain you will find the moorland zone, which is covered in giant heather with huge lobelias.
Climbing to about 4000m, you encounter an alpine desert which has little vegetation. As you break away from the desert world you find an incredible snow and ice filled winter setting, which is the splendor of the roof of Africa. There is no questioning why this incredible mountain attracts so many climbing enthusiasts and adventure seekers each year.