Mel Bio Pic.png

Melody Murray
Executive Director,
business mentor

Mel grew up in the Kansas City area and graduated from John Brown University. She spent a decade working for two global marketing agencies and managing sales for a textile company employing artisans in Tibet. Motivated by her long-term passion to connect artisans with markets, Mel and her husband, Dave, moved to northern India in 2010; there, she founded JOYN, a company employing artisans from difficult backgrounds who produce block-printed textiles by hand. In 2013 she and Dave launched JoyCorps to support the growing needs of their businesses and community. After five years in India, Mel and Dave expanded JoyCorps’ mission to the Golden Triangle. They have two young sons and live in northern Thailand.

Shweta Kakkar.jpg

Shweta kakkar
director of initiatives

After a decade spent working in business and development sectors, Shweta joined JoyCorps to identify resources that provide leadership, development, and specialization training to our fellows. She is also developing an impact assessment process for JoyCorps’ Accelerator Program. Shweta's passion is to see good businesses and handwork processes compete successfully in the local and global markets. She believes that businesses and nonprofits should work hand-in-hand to create sustainable and just societies. To that end, she is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Development Studies in India. When not working or studying, Shweta enjoys being at home with her husband, Ajay.

Luke.jpg

Luke Gilbert
Director of Development,
business mentor

Luke grew up with British parents in India, attended university in England, and has since worked for and coached SMEs and NGOs in the UK, India, China and Thailand. Luke has also founded or co-founded four businesses: an adventure travel company, a blockchain provenance project, and two coffee companies. Having undergone training for Leadership Coaching and Strengths Coaching with Clifton Strengths Assessment, Luke is drawn to help individuals see the connection between their innate talent and untapped capacity. He is a capacity builder for JoyCorps and is also integral in coaching our fellows in the Golden Triangle. He lives in northern Thailand with his wife and three children.

 
dave murray.jpg

david Murray
co-founder,
business mentor

Dave grew up in the mountains of Tennessee and spent his childhood teaching himself woodworking and how to play several instruments. After graduating from John Brown University, he worked in city planning, construction management, and civil engineering. He then attended luthier school, which would equip him to found Dehradun Guitar Company in India in 2011. After five years mentoring young men from backgrounds of addiction and teaching them to become world-class instrument builders, Dave and his wife, Mel, are expanding their work in the Golden Triangle. Dave helps artisans from maker traditions launch their own ventures. He and his wife, Mel, have two young sons and live in northern Thailand.

Sean Tuckey_square.jpg

sean tuckey
business mentor

Born into a farming family in rural Zimbabwe, Sean grew up following his grandfather around the farm and learning the art of frugal innovation. To innovate with limited resources and high quality is still a primary goal of his. Sean studied microbiology and philosophy at university in New Zealand. After moving to India, he moved into digital anthropological research and developed methods of analyzing large sets of data to extract meaningful insights for clients. Sean helps JoyCorps' fellows recognize and hone their messaging for specific markets and strategies. He is committed to working in the area of enterprise development to make the world a better place, both socially and environmentally. Sean and his wife live in northern India with their young daughter.

 
Ally Hongkham.jpg

ALLY HONGKHAM
PROGRAMS, THAILAND

Ally grew up in a Thai-Laotian community in Texas and graduated from Sam Houston State University. While working for Mercy House Global’s Fair Trade Friday project, she developed a passion to work in job creation and empowerment. In 2017 she joined JoyCorps and moved to Thailand, where she helps with administration and staff support in the Golden Triangle. Ally uses her gift of language and culture to translate for local entrepreneurs and leaders. She loves working alongside Thai locals to empower and support sustainability. With a passion for textiles and ethical fashion, Ally is currently working to launch a venture to advocate Thai artisans and expose their products to the global market.

Nikhil Dwarka_square.jpg

NIKHIL DWARKA
PROGRAMS, INDIA

Nikhil is part of the JoyCorps team in India. He is also a mentor for young Tibetan men and women who have been, or continue to be, dependent on drugs and alcohol. Nikhil loves working with people from diverse backgrounds. He believes that there is much to learn from the underprivileged and the marginalized. He is able to relate to people on the margins because he himself has experienced hardship and poverty in his life. A newlywed, Nikhil lives with his wife and parents in India. He loves cooking and meeting new people.

Rachel Meisel.jpg

rachel Meisel
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

Rachel has worked as a writer and English teacher and spent six years as the editorial director of fiction for a publishing company. In 2013 Rachel joined Mel and Dave Murray in their effort to launch JoyCorps. She loves working with an intercultural team of people who share a dream to transform communities through sustainable venture formation. Rachel handles JoyCorps’ communication, marketing, grant writing and operations, and she works with fellows to develop their storytelling and communication skills. She holds an M.A. in English Literature and lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children.