Mark de Blois
Mark de Blois is CEO of Upande Ltd. He worked as a GIS specialist for more than 19 years. Having started in the Netherlands providing consulting services and GIS training to largely government organizations, Mark eventually joined Google Kenya where he was the Geo Lead and was in charge of geo-related work across Africa. Mark left Google in June 2009 to inaugurate Upande (a name refers to ‘location’, ‘direction’, ‘destination’, ‘alongside’ and ‘up’, all of which are terms commonly used in GIS).
Co-founder and CROSS CULTURAL TRAINER
Jody Eijsenga is cross cultural trainer at Upande who has a passion for making diverse organizations work the way they should. Jody holds a degree in cultural anthropology (MSc), social work (BSc), and recently added a degree in education. She has experience in training both individuals as well as teams, and she loves to see people and teams not only recognize and understand diversity, but also celebrate and strategize it.She offers these trainings through Interact.co.ke She enjoys hosting and connecting people, organizing events and exploring Kenya. You can follow her on twitter @JodydeBlois
Product Manager ViPiMo
Luchiri is product manager of Upande's latest product ViPiMo. Prior to that he was a GIS Consultant at Upande. Before joining Upande, he had a stint at entrepreneurship having established GISasp Kenya to capitalize on the emerging opportunities of GIS as it grew in Kenya from a very technical discipline used in mostly climatic studies, to one affecting all sectors including health, transportation, city planning, tourism, etc. Prior to that he has worked with Google.org promoting the use of Google tools and applications by organizations such as UN-Habitat, Uganda Bureau of Statistics and local NGOs. He started off this professional journey with an initial team of Geo Specialists at Google Inc., involved in creating Google Maps content for most of Africa and parts of Asia.
Product Manager WaSHMIS
Grace is the product manager for WaSHMIS.com. She brings several years of WASH sector specific, managerial and product development expertise to the team from her time as a technical advisor to the Water Services Regulatory Board on secondment by GIZ. Her experience and competency is in diverse fields of civil engineering and project management. Specifically in preliminary and detailed structural designs, construction project management, water services regulation and streamlining processes.
Remote Sensing Expert
Simon Gathuru is a remote sensing expert able to translate the physics of light reflection into interpreted imagery and information. He is currently exploring the suitability of Infrared Modified Cameras as low cost tools for monitoring Vegetation health. He is also looking to determine the suitability of different Sensefly drone compatible sensors in the area of vegetation monitoring. Before joining Upande, Simon trained several students from The University of Nairobi on how to use image processing software, such as ENVI and ArcGIS, and apply them in spatial data analysis.
Kevin is our webmapping expert who is able to translate GIS data into valuable online map applications. At Upande, he has already done digitization and correction of roads, streets, lanes and avenues using OpenStreet Map for Enugu, Nigeria Navigation System. Currently he is involved in installation and maintenance of Geonode sites, preparation of GIS datasets in various formats for use in WebGis applications, development and documentation of WebGIS applications, and testing of GIS tutorials.
Paul Kimani is a Python/Django developer who also doubles as a Systems and Networks Administration for the company, joined Upande in March 2015. He has been involved in MaMaSe, SIB Kenya, WRMA Naivasha and WashGIS among other internal projects.
Levyne recently joined the Upande team as a Java developer. He is still pursuing his Software Engineering degree from University of Eastern Africa, Baraton and is working with Upande to gain more experience in his area of expertise and become a better software developer. Levyne enjoys travelling, driving, watching soccer and looking after his poultry. You can follow him on twitter @LevyneOti
Gideon recently joined Upande as a Webmapping and GIS expert to further his experience. He previously worked with Map International. He is currently involved in installation and maintenance of Geonode sites,GIS programming and development and GIS analysis. Gideon holds a Bsc. in Geomatic Engineering and GIS from Dedan Kimathi University of Technology.
Vincent recently joined the Upande team as a Python developer. He has recently finished his undergraduate studies on Computer Science at the University of Nairobi, and is now working at Upande on various web applications. Vincent enjoys reading books, watching movies and getting caught up on the latest science and tech news. You can follow him on twitter @Vinmuchai
Caroline Anyienda Matsalia
Cross Cultural Trainer
Caroline Anyienda Matsalia is one of the co-trainers at Upande, working together with Jody on developing our product InterAct. She brings over 15 years post qualification experience to the InterAct team. She has extensive experience in social work, community development, program management, capacity building, behavior change communication, counseling psychology and transformation coaching. Caroline holds a counseling psychology degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA), and a degree in social work, community development and program management (KISWD).