Ben’s shared passion for community service and the hospitality industry prompted him to start EGBOK. When he visited Cambodia in 2006, he was struck by the warmth and hospitality of the country’s people. During his travels he recognized that, despite Cambodia booming in tourism and economic growth, deep down it is a country rebuilding itself from the Cambodian genocide. During his travels, he began to ask himself how a developing country like Cambodia can utilize this growing hospitality industry to alleviate poverty in local communities. Ben realized that he and others could use their backgrounds in hospitality to make a difference for the underprivileged young adults in Cambodia. A year later, while still a student at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Ben founded EGBOK.
In 2009, Ben moved to Cambodia and began teaching hospitality classes at various orphanages in the Phnom Penh Province. Later that year EGBOK incorporated in Chicago, Illinois and in January 2011 received its US federal tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) status. EGBOK began expanding its programs to the Siem Reap Province and eventually set up a team, school, and Living Centers in the Siem Reap city center. In 2012, EGBOK expanded to our new facility and began offering additional services to the rural underprivileged communities in Cambodia. Ben now serves as a volunteer Board Member and mentor for EGBOK. He is the General Manger for Sonder in his hometown of sunny San Diego.
It’s an immense pleasure for me to be back in Cambodia and I’m very honored to be taking over as the new Executive Director at EGBOK Mission. I arrived just in time to see our 2018/19 class graduate from the 11 month Training and Internship Program. Fifty happy and excited young people eager to start their new careers and I understand that this is the largest number of students ever to go through the EGBOK program. It was wonderful to see the results of the past year’s efforts of both the students and the EGBOK team.
I am looking forward to connecting with our wonderful supporters, partners and friends from around the world. I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to connect; even just to say hello.
Laurie holds a Master Degree in Global Leadership and has worked most of her career within the Not for Profit industry. She has lived and worked in many places across Canada from big cities to small communities including Toronto, Winnipeg, and Whitehorse. She also worked with a USAid team in conjunction with UATALCO, and North Carolina State University on the ground in Eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya & Rwanda).
Laurie previously spent a year living and working in Kracheh, Cambodia so coming to Siem Reap feels much like a homecoming.
Sophany has over 6 years of professional experience working with young adults at various NGOs. Her roles have included social work management, community development, education and vocational training, and professional counseling.
At EGBOK, Sophany is responsible for overseeing the social work department and Education team. Her duties include supporting the Executive Director and ensuring the Introduction to Hospitality and the Training and Internship Program meets the training objective sand the welfare of students is cared for appropriately. She pays particular attention to empowering the students to be strong and responsible people in their lives and careers.
Sophany graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), Cambodia. She is from Prey Veng province.
Janet joined EGBOK in 2019 and has been working in NGO’s in Australia and USA for over 15 years. Having had a corporate background in sales and general management, Janet made a conscious decision to move into the Not for Profit industry, to use her skills to benefit others.
Her primary focus has been to support vulnerable women, children and families who are living in poverty or those who have been affected by family violence, abuse and neglect.
Janet has worked for varying organisations including World Vision Australia, Australian Childhood Foundation, ACT for Kids and SIDS and Kids. Janet brings a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of fundraising, donor management, campaigns, senior leadership and marketing. She will be managing the fundraising and marketing for EGBOK Mission and our social enterprise restaurant Spoons.
ADMINISTRATION AND ACCOUNTS SUPERVISOR
Kimsroy joined EGBOK in 2019 and brings 9 years experience in finance, accounting and administration. Kimsroy has worked in both international and local NGO’s and is a valuable asset to the organization.
ADMINISTRATIVE & HR OFFICER
She's originally from Kralanh district, Siem Reap province.
After graduating high school in 2013, she received a scholarship from Pepy Empowering Youth for two years. She was provided training in soft skills, English language and computer skills. During her studies she worked as a volunteer to survey school drop outs and hygiene at local community schools. From 2013 - 2017, she pursued her bachelor degree in accounting at Vanda Institute. Prior to joining EGBOK in July 2017 Bunty gained experience as an accountant with a local non-profit organization.
SOCIAL WORK SUPERVISOR
Kandara brings her experience in business administration and project coordination to support and manage EGBOK’s project and program operations. Kandara focuses her efforts with EGBOK on strengthening relationships with the communities in which we partner, recruiting students for our training program, and supporting the students through their transition into life at EGBOK.
Kandara is pursuing her Masters degree in Business Management at Build Bright University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Asia Euro University as well as an Associates degree in Financial Management and Accounting from Build Bright University in Cambodia. Kandara is from Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
FUNDRAISING & MARKETING ASSISTANT
Somang joined EGBOK in 2019, having most recently worked at Angkor Children's Hospital for the past five years in the Communications team and prior in the Logistics team. Somnang will be supporting Janet in fundraising, social media, events and administration.
Suon has worked in the Cambodian hospitality and tourism industry for over 10 years. Since 2007, he has also worked in the education field as an English teacher. He brings his valuable hospitality and education experience to his role of Hospitality Trainer in EGBOK’s Education Department, where he leads our practical hospitality classes and prepares the students for their internships and future careers.
Suon is currently earning his bachelor degree in English at Cambodia Mekong University in Siem Reap. He is originally from Banteay Meanchey Province.
Originally from Siem Reap, Long was a student of class 2012-2013 at EGBOK. Since graduating from EGBOK, he has worked at Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor and as a bartender at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa resort for over 2 years where he was promoted to Bar Controlling.
He currently pursuing his bachelor degree of Managements at South-East Asia University. Long joined EGBOk in March 2018 and brings significant experience in the Hospitality sector to the EGBOK team.
Teav is from Siem Reap, she was a volunteer and later became a teacher at Heart Foundation Free Learning English Center for 3 years. She joined EGBOK as a student in the class of 2015-2016. After graduating from EGBOK, she worked for Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor for 1 year as a waitress and at Sofitel Angkor Phokeetha Golf & Spa for over 1 year. She joined EGBOK in August 2018 as a Housekeeping Trainer, bringing significant experience in Hospitality to the team.
CAREER & ALUMNI DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
Tep is originally from Prey Veng province and has lived in Siem Reap for 10 years. He started as a volunteer English teacher and was subsequently promoted to English and Life Skills Trainer at Salariin Kampuchea. Before joining EGBOK, Tep worked as a Social & Education Manager at École du Bayon. At EGBOK Tep is in charge of career counseling, internship and job placements, as well as alumni engagement.
Seiha brings to EGBOK his experience as a Social Worker. Before joining EGBOK as our Student Development Officer, Sehia worked for two years with another NGO in their social work department. At EGBOK, Seiha focuses on the life skills component of our program, which includes conducting weekly workshops to teach students the skills needed to live independently. He also assists with social work matters such as one-on-one counseling and assisting students with transitions.
Seiha graduated from Build Bright University with a Bachelor’s degree in English for International Business and is currently pursuing his Master degree. Seiha is from Banteay Meanchey Province, Cambodia.
STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
Polin is from Siem Reap and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Major of Management from Build Bright University. She has 6 years of experience working as Social Mobilizer at Room to read Cambodia and Correspondent Facilitator at World Vision. She joined the EGBOK team in August 2018 as a Social Worker.
Narong joined EGBOK in October 2012 as a part time housekeeper. She ensures that our facility is kept clean and tidy so that students can focus on their studies. In the afternoon, Narong works at a local café in Siem Reap. Originally from Battambang Province, Narong spent many years living in Phnom Penh and Kampong Chhnang Province before moving to Siem Reap. Narong has two sons and hopes to own a small business one day. Her favorite thing about working at EGBOK is watching the students learn throughout the year and receive jobs after graduating.
Po has been working with EGBOK since 2012 as our gardener and security guard. He has a passion for gardening and also works as a groundskeeper for a boutique hotel in town. Po has nine children and recently saw his son-in-law graduate from EGBOK. His favorite thing about working for EGBOK is helping other Cambodians to be successful. Po grew up in Siem Reap and has worked as a farmer and gardener.
Ly Pock Heng
Heng brings to the team 9 years of restaurant management experience working in hotels and restaurants throughout Siem Reap. Heng spent 5 years with Borei Angkor Hotel and Spa, working his way up from waiter to restaurant supervisor. He then went on to serve as a restaurant manager for both Blue Moon Café and Temple Bakery before joining EGBOK to manage Spoons. As Spoons restaurant manager, Heng oversees the restaurant’s operations as well as the recruitment, training and management of Spoons staff.
Heng has received specialized training in wine service and restaurant management. He was born in Battambang and moved to Siem Reap at the age of 19.
Phary has been cooking for over five years at various restaurants in Siem Reap, including Mission Bar and Khmer Queen Restaurant. Her passion for cooking extends to every style of cuisine, and she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with new flavors. Phary grew up in Battambang Province.
Songim joins the EGBOK team as a cook for Spoons. He has 3 years of cooking experience in various properties in Siem Reap including Jasmine Boutique Hotel, Popular Boutique Hotel, and Rambutan Hotel + Resort. At Spoons, Songim will assist in the kitchen with meal preparation.
He is originally from Siem Reap.
Sun Sam Oath
Sam Oath is originally from Siem Reap and graduated from Sala Bai vocationl training in cooking. During her studies, she honed her cooking skills at Le Resident Ankgor and Raffles Grand Hotel. Before joining Spoons, she worked as a Cook for Borei Angkor Resort and Spa and Annadya Restaurant & Bar. Besides cooking, Sam Oath has also previously worked with the Apsara National Authority to protect the Angkor sites.
COOKING TRAINER & KITCHEN SUPERVISOR
Vicheka is originally from Siem Reap province. She used to work at Spoons as a Cook for 7 months and rejoins us having completed a cookery course at Ecole Paul Dubrule. She rejoined the team at EGBOK in August 2018 as a Kitchen Supervisor and Cooking Trainer.
Originally from Siem Reap, Rath graduated from a tourism and hospitality college. Before joining Spoons, he worked at several restaurants in the positions of Server and Cashier.
Samoeurt is originally from Banteay Meanchey province. He worked in a number of factories in Thailand for 7 years. Then in 2017 he moved to Siem Reap and joined the Spoons team as a steward and was later promoted to a Cook.
Before joining Spoons, Chhet worked in the construction and carpentry sector. He is originally from Siem Reap.
Sophan joined the Spoons team in late 2017 after having lived in a local pagoda for several years. He is originally from Siem Reap and is also currently pursuing short course in electronics.
Darith graduated from Angkor High School in Siem Reap and went on to work at Anadia restaurant as a cook for a year. He joined the Spoons team as a steward in May 2018.
Pianit is originally from Siem Reap and joins the team at EGBOK in May 2018.
He used to work in a number of factories in Thailand for 2 years.
He is originally from Banteay Meanchey province. After graduating high school in 2012, he went to Ecole D'hôtellerie Et Tourisme Paul Dubrule pursuing vocational training in the field of Restaurant & Bar Management from 2012-2013. He went to Thailand for internship for 2 months. In 2014, he worked as server at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort for over 2 years and then he was promoted as F&B Captain at their French fine-dining restaurant. for over one year. Sambo joined the EGBOK team in June 2017 as a restaurant supervisor.
Borey joins the Spoons wait staff, bringing with him ten years of experience working at Blue Moon Café and Pacific Hotel in Siem Reap. He is originally from Battambong Province and lives in Siem Reap along with his wife and six-year old son.
Saven joins the Spoons team after several years working in hotels and restaurants including Angkor Miracle Hotel in Siem Reap, and Glorious Hotel and Spa in Kampong Thom Province, where she is originally from. Saven studied at Sala Bai Restaurant School, graduating from the Restaurant Program. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband and five year old daughter.
Tola joins the Spoons team after having built his Food & Beverage skills at Little Red Fox Espresso for the past two years. He grew up in Siem Reap and is always happy to share his favorite places in Siem Reap with the team and visitors alike. Tola enjoys music, spending time with his friends and chatting with customers from around the globe.
Sokhean joins the Spoons team after several years in the hotel industry in Siem Reap. She is originally from nearby Thnol Ta Seth village, and moved to Siem Reap in 2009 with her sister. She began working at Royal Angkor Resort and Spa, and then after two years moved on to Angkor Palace Hotel and Spa where she remained until joining Spoon. In her free time, Sokhean is an avid tennis player and enjoys spending time with her two sisters who live with her in Siem Reap.
Sokhak joins Spoons as a waitress after having previously worked in restaurants and travel agencies around Siem Reap. Aside from working at Spoons, Sokhak is pursuing Chinese language studies at Chong San School. She is originally from Kratie Province and moved to Siem Reap with her family at the age of ten. When not at work or school, Sokhak enjoys reading and practicing her Chinese.
Lek is originally from Siem Reap. From 2011 - 2015, she was trained in Khmer traditional weaving and sewing skills at Kamonohashi Project. In 2016 Lek graduated from EGBOK's vocational training program and joined Angkor Village Resort as Food & Beverage Service staff. She returned to EGBOK in June 2017 as Server/Bartender at Spoons.
Channa is originally from Pursat Province and was part of EGBOK’s 2016-2017 program. Since graduating from EGBOK, she has worked at The Royal Crown Hotel & Spa in Siem Reap in their Food & Beverage service team. She returned to EGBOK as a Server/Bartender at Spoons in February 2018.
ADVISORY BOARD CHAIRPERSON
Barbara has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry and presently operates B. Lang Consulting, a public speaking and professional development coaching business promoting a hospitality mindset – an awareness allowing each of us to be of benefit and service to those who cross our paths. Barbara began volunteering at EGBOK in 2010 and continues today as the chairperson of EGBOK's International Advisory Board.
Barbara holds a Bachelor's degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and a Master of Professional Studies in Food Marketing from Cornell University's Department of Applied Economics and Management. Barbara presently lives with her husband and fellow EGBOK volunteer, Dave, in Ithaca, New York.
Annie’s nine years of experience in the non-profit realm has been primarily focused on fundraising and international development. Her development roles include working for organizations such as Chicago-based Designs for Dignity, fundraising for children’s and women’s rights in New York City with the US Fund for UNICEF and UNFPA, education research in Argentina, community development in Ghana, and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Annie perviously worked with EGBOK from 2010-2013 leading our fundraising and development.
Annie holds a Master of Art’s degree in International Affairs from The New School in New York City and received her Bachelor of Art’s degree in Journalism from Indiana University. Annie is from Chicago, Illinois.