Board Members

Lee Darter, President
Lee Darter is the daughter of Ron Abney, she has worked with her father over the years to understand the Cambodian people and the system in which he set up and ran the Takeo Orphanage charity. Mrs. Darter is married to an army soldier and has one son. She has a BFA from Sam Houston State University and an M.Ed. from the University of Houston. She is currently taking classes at Virginia Commonwealth University. Mrs. Darter currently resides in Woodbridge, Virginia where she teaches elementary school art in Prince William County Schools. Mrs. Darter has been a teacher for 8 years and before teaching she worked as a restaurant manager for Chili’s.

Kathy Higginbotham, Secretary
Ron's first cousin Kathy Higginbotham currently serves as secretary for the Ron Abney Educational Fund. Kathy has a BSED in Secondary Education from Georgia Southern University, a Masters of Education from Georgia Southwestern University, and an Educational Specialists Degree in Language Education from the University of Georgia. She enjoyed a long and fulfilling career in Georgia as a high school Honors English teacher and a middle school assistant principal in charge of instruction, as well as being a part-time college instructor in public speaking, before retiring in 2008 to marry Rick Higginbotham and move to Houston, TX. She loves being a step-mom to Rick's four adult children and "Granny Cake" to their two grandsons and baby granddaughter. Since moving to Houston, Kathy has been actively involved in the Greater Houston Soap Box Derby organization. Kathy and her husband recently started up an online business called HIGGebooks, where she works as an editor and does voice-overs on their e-learning products and e-book conversions.

Sandra Parker Swindal, Treasurer
Sandra Swindal, Ron Abney’s first cousin, holds a BA in Economics with High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Florida in Gainesville. Sandra has 45 years of management, administrative and financial work experience. She worked for 10 years as a Service Club Director with the US Army Special Services in Germany and for 10 years as Vice President of Administrative Services for Charles Schwab & Company in San Francisco. She then offered voluntary administrative service for 25 years to the SYDA Foundation at Shree Muktananda Ashram in South Fallsburg, New York. Sandra retired in 2012 and currently lives in Longboat Key, Florida.