Our Team

Ellyn M. Ito, Executive Director and Trustee 

For almost 20 years, Ellyn Ito has used her background in human resources management to mitigate risks and enhance operations in organizations experiencing growth and contraction. Having worked with start-up and mid-sized telecommunications, technology, and healthcare companies, as well as Fortune 500 corporations, Ms. Ito has held multiple leadership positions helping companies leverage their human capital.

As well, she has led programs in training and development, employee relations, international recruitment and relocation, and relocation of “commodity” labor (such as call-center activities and manufacturing) both domestically and abroad. Having served in executive roles, Ms. Ito has had broad operational experience including sales/marketing, business development, mergers and acquisitions, and business restructuring. From her experience in management, Ms. Ito has the keen perspective of how seemingly small business decisions impact the human element and how this, in turn, directly impacts the success or failure of a work community. Ms. Ito believes that it is important to create opportunities for those less fortunate — particularly women and girls whose sphere of influence is so critical to the well-being of their children, their children’s children, their homes, and communities. Ms. Ito has long been active in working with non-profit organizations with missions to serve underprivileged, at-risk women and children. Ms. Ito is SPHR certified and holds a dual-major Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She lives in Hopewell, New Jersey with her husband, Daniel Sigman, and her two school-aged children.

Nina Moukova, Operations Manager

Nina joined Seeds to Sew on the inaugural trip to Kenya in July/August 2011 to document the visit and the initiation of the first program in our first community, Enoosaen, Kenya and has been involved with Seeds to Sew ever since. In her role of Operations Manager, she is instrumental in everyday operations both in Kenya and in the US, business development, record-keeping, public relations, website administration, graphic design, sales and marketing. Nina grew up in the Czech Republic and now lives with her husband in Pennington, NJ.

Alice Kimaru, Kenya Program Manager

Alice is our Program Manager for the programs in Kenya since 2018. Alice grew up in Nyeri, which is in the central region of Kenya. She graduated from Nyeri Technical Training Institute with a diploma in accounting. She joined Seeds to Sew in the spring of 2018. Alice is instrumental in the Kenyan operations, serving as a liaison between the women and girls in our programs and our US headquarters, making sure school fees are paid on time, and that the program participants have the support that they need. Alice lives with her husband and children in Naromoru.

Student Ambassadors

Emily Ix

I am an undergraduate student at Wake Forest University and I am studying Business. I began volunteering at Seeds to Sew in 2019 and co-founded the Seeds to Sew club at my high school, Stuart Country Day School in Princeton, NJ. We raised over $5,700 over the course of 3 years to fund the tuition and school fees for girls in Seeds to Sew education programs in Kenya. I am extremely passionate about advocating for women’s rights around the world, in particular their education. Seeds to Sew has inspired me to positively impact my community by working to help girls feel empowered to advocate for themselves.

Kathryn Ix

I am an honors student at Villanova University majoring in computer engineering and minoring in computer science. When I first visited the Seeds to Sew shop, I knew that I wanted to do whatever I could to support the organization. Its mission has always been important to me because I have taken my education for granted, and I strive to do whatever I can to help provide those same educational opportunities to other women. In 2019, I co-founded the first ever Seeds to Sew club at my high school, which runs fundraisers for the organization. The club has remained active after my graduation, and continues to give scholarships to girls and young women in Seeds to Sew’s education program.

Eliza Rosenthale

When I learned about the inhumane situations that women in the developing world face, such as young marriage, young pregnancy, genital mutilation, and physical and mental abuse, I was compelled to take action. From this experience, I learned how small the world can feel. I am so grateful for the opportunity to give hope to women in rural Kenya so that they can gain independence, gain access to education, and take on leadership roles in their own communities.

Hana Sigman

I am an undergraduate student at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I am majoring in marketing and minoring in media studies. I have worked with Seeds to Sew since it was founded and have been lucky enough to travel with the organization to Kenya on three different occasions. In being able to volunteer and travel with Seeds to Sew I have gained a broader, more realistic perspective of the world. And, in witnessing Seeds to Sew’s impact in both the U.S. and Kenya, I have become interested in socially and ethically guided businesses and nonprofits as well as passionate about advocating for women’s rights.