GFP International


GFP International is governed by a board of directors iincluding the following individuals.

Michael J Vallez, P.E.,

Chairman, CEO

Mr. Vallez is the Chairman and CEO of GFP International and its affiliate, GFP Tanzania. He earned a BS Degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1975 with an emphasis on structural and geotechnical engineering, and an MBA from the University of Utah in 1983. His master’s project was a study of managerial leadership in construction and methods of creating high levels of motivation and productivity. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which was On Time and Under Budget – The Ultimate Power of Team Leadership. 

From 1975 to 2017, Mr. Vallez gained broad experience in engineering, construction, project development, construction management, design, and project execution under various methods including fast-track; lump sum; design-build; design-bid-build; engineer-procure-construct (EPC); and construction management. In 2016, he formed Vallez and Associates, an international project management, expert witness, and claims consulting firm. From 2017 to 2023, he served on the board of directors of Long International, a “top 3” construction claims consultancy where he provided expert witness consulting services to construction attorneys on cases with disputes ranging from $15 million to $850 million, and construction

management consultation to other clients. He has managed people and projects in multiple sectors including commercial, industrial, civil, and mining projects that included oil and gas facilities, mineral and chemical process plants, power plants, bridges, highways, transmission lines, high-rise hotels and offices, educational facilities, condominiums, stadiums, retail malls, performance halls, underground mine shafts and tunnels. He has completed projects in all regions of the U.S., and consulted on projects in Australia, Africa, Canada, and Mexico.
In addition to a list of confidential expert witness clients, he managed and worked on major world class projects for power companies, international mining companies, energy companies, commercial developers, and other institutions including:

  • ExxonMobil
  • Kern River Gas
  • Rio Tinto Mining
  • Union Carbide
  • Monsanto
  • Kennecott Utah Copper
  • Anaconda Mining Company
  • Molycorp Minerals
  • Graymont Lime
  • Rocky Mountain Power
  • Tata Chemicals
  • Xcel Energy
  • IBM
  • Duke Energy
  • Berkshire Hathaway
  • Ormat Technologies
  • Walter Resources
  • Air Products and Chemicals
  • University of Minnesota
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Vivint Solar
  • Al Johnson Construction Company
  • Dravo Engineers and Constructors
  • McDevitt & Street
  • Bor-Son Construction
  • The Woolfolk Companies
  • Shelard Real Estate (CB Richard Ellis)
  • Thor Construction
  • Adolfson & Peterson
  • Casey Industrial
  • Bodell Construction
  • DMC Mining Services
  • Big-D Construction

Consulting Website:

Nancy Halden

Board Member

Nancy Halden is a molecular biologist and owner of Getting to Granted, a grant writing service that works with non-profit organizations to help fund their projects by seeking grant funds from charitable foundations. She has been successful in supporting the growth of several non-profit organizations by securing key strategic funding from foundations in multiple sectors.
Nancy earned dual BA degrees in English and Biology from Rice University in Houston Texas, and a MS degree in Molecular Biology/Genetics from the University of Utah.

Dunford G. Mpelumbe,

Board Member

Dunford G. Mpelumbe is a leading human rights lawyer and advocate of the High Court in Tanzania currently working with the Ministry of Energy of Tanzania as a Legal Advisor. Before joining the Ministry of Energy, he worked for 6 years as Clerk Assistant at the National Assembly of Tanzania serving at the Constitutional and Legal Affairs and Energy and Minerals Standing Committees of the Parliament. He is also an Associate Partner in charge of Business Development at Breakthrough Attorneys, a leading law firm in Tanzania. He has vast experience in research, consultancy and training spanning over ten years and has worked with several institutions in and outside Tanzania including the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands,United Nations Inter-Regional Crime and Justice Research Institute in Lisbon, Portugal, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in London, United Kingdom and Asylum Access International to mention but a few. He has a master’s degree in human Rights Practice (2012, Sweden, UK, and Norway), a master’s in international Relations (2010, Sweden.) and currently he is a candidate of Master degree in Oil and

Gas Law at Aberdeen University, Scotland due to be completed in December, 2023. He also served as Private Secretary to the Minister for Energy of Tanzania for one year (October 2021-November,2022) before taking a study leave.

Brian Singer

Board Member

Brian spent 2 years in Tanzania as a math teacher with the Peace Corps. Since that time, he has returned to East Africa more than twenty-five times while guiding charitable groups and starting Project Zawadi. He has a graduate degree in Social Change and Development and has spent more than 15 years assisting low-income entrepreneurs in the USA.
He has more than 20 years’ experience lending to small businesses while also running a non-profit organization and a small business. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Public Speaking, Fundraising, Economic Development, and Program Development. Strong finance professional with a Master of Arts in Social Change & Development from The Johns Hopkins University – Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Maria Burquest

Board Member

Maria Burquest is a Marketing and Communications professional with 30+ years of experience leading strategic communications for a range of corporate initiatives, consumer brands, health care, arts & entertainment, and non-profit organizations. Recently retired from one of the world’s leading consumer goods companies, Procter & Gamble, her assignments have been global, national and local in scope.

Since 2013 Maria has served on the board of Karama Connection, a small Tanzanian organization based in Arusha that cares for children affected by HIV. She earned a BA degree from University of Dayton in 1987 and resides in Cincinnati OH.

Barbara Gentry

Board Member

Barbara Gentry is a retired schoolteacher and administrator. She specialized in biological sciences with a strong interest in environmental studies. She currently is on the board of the Gun Violence Prevention Center and the GFP International. She is active in her local Presbyterian church and enjoys sports of many types.

Barbara earned B.S. Degree from Utah State University in 1976, and a M.A from Western Governors University in 2009. MEd from the University of Utah in 2011.

Marie Allen

Board Member

Although Marie Allen is a retired schoolteacher, she continues to each in various capacities in the community. Since visiting Tanzania in 2008, she has been an advocate for GFP International, helping to establish a partnership between her church in Wisconsin and one in Ifakara, Tanzania.

Marie earned a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and an M.S. In Guidance and Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Stout