Paula Meyer left a successful career at Ameriprise Financial in 2006 and has since focused on building Friends of Ngong Road,, a non-profit organization whose mission is to fund education and provide support for children who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS living in the impoverished urban communities of Nairobi, Kenya. As President of Friends of Ngong Road, Paula leads a talented team of senior executive volunteers from a variety of business backgrounds. Under her leadership Friends of Ngong Road has grown from an idea to a vibrant organization delivering improved health and education for over 330 children in Nairobi.
Meyer is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and teacher. Her growing-up years were spent in several communities in Iowa and Minnesota as her father’s duties changed. Meyer graduated from high school in Council Bluffs, IA and received a B.A. in History and German from Luther College in Decorah, IA. She earned an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in 1982 and began her career with The Vanguard Group of Mutual Funds in Pennsylvania.
Paula spent 25 years in the financial services industry, primarily in the mutual fund business. After eight years with Vanguard she and her family moved to Appleton, WI where she served in an executive position with SECURA Insurance. While in Appleton, she co-founded the Fox Cities Children’s Museum (now known as The Building for Kids), which is still a thriving organization today. She returned to Minnesota in 1993 and served in executive positions for Piper Jaffray and American Express Financial Advisors (which became Ameriprise Financial). Meyer served as President of Piper Capital Management, the investment management affiliate of Piper Jaffray and as President of the mutual fund and certificate businesses at Ameriprise Financial.
Since 2006, in addition to leading Friends of Ngong Road Meyer has engaged primarily in board service. She currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Luther College, having served as a regent for eleven years. She serves as a member of the board of directors for Mutual of Omaha, Omaha, NE; the Federal Home Loan Bank – Des Moines; and First Command Financial Services, Ft. Worth, TX.
After many years as a corporate executive, Meyer’s belief is that the skills she and the organization’s board of directors learned in business can be applied successfully to deliver results in a different context. Friends of Ngong Road work is done on a volunteer basis, allowing 98% of funds raised to be sent to Kenya.