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We are global philanthropists and adventurers  dedicated to helping others less fortunate in the international community. We are Basa Village Foundation USA, a nonprofit organization committed to bringing out positive change in Basa, Nepal and elsewhere.


Our vision is to create healthy, sustainable and model communities in remote rural Nepal so that local culture and heritage is maintained.


Our mission is to create opportunities for remote international communities to help themselves improve their lives by collaborating with INGO's by proposing projects for review and potential funding around health, education and well being.


Basa Village Foundation USA consists of a Board and members. Each volunteers their time in the review and discussion of proposed international projects and initiatives. We collaborate with Basa Foundation Nepal in defining needs, determining solutions and creating budgets. We monitor progress and provide resources and feedback.


1.  The local community will own any project in that it will provide all labor, materials and management to the extent it is able, and will own and operate as a co-op any structure, institution or system of a completed project.  The corp provides needed capital and advice for development, execution and operation of a project.

2.  Local leadership develops the budget and plans for
construction, operation, ownership, management and maintenance of all projects in consultation with the corp.  The corp provides advice and monitors the budget in re capital contribution from the corp.

3.  Every project is scrutinized re sensitivity to local culture, traditions and customs and care is taken not to impose changes on the community from the outside.

4.  All donations to the corp are used for project work.  No member is reimbursed for travel to Nepal or elsewhere on behalf of the corp, and only expenses advanced by members necessary for project work, such as shipping or purchases of materials, will be reimbursed. Volunteer time on behalf of the corp should be considered as valuable and essential as monetary contributions, so members will not be paid for time volunteered.

5.  There is no expectation that corp members visit Nepal, but some member(s) should volunteer to make a visit to monitor ongoing projects.  We would try to have at least one annual visit and first hand report from a member,

Meet The Team


Jeff Rasley

Founder and President

Jeff Rasley is the founder and president of the Basa Village Foundation USA and co-founder of the Jeff and Alicia Rasley Internship Program for the ACLU of Indiana. He is also the president of the Scientech Foundation of Indiana and a board member of the Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center and the University of Chicago Indianapolis Alumni Association. Jeff is the US representative of the Nepal-based outfitter company, Adventure GeoTreks. He is the author of fourteen books and numerous articles, and has appeared as an expert guest on over 150 podcasts and radio shows. Jeff is a retired lawyer, and is a member of the US Supreme Court Bar. He has taught classes at Butler and Marian Universities about philanthropy and community development.


Joel Meyers

Vice President-Secretary

Joel is our current Secretary and held Board President for 6 years. Joel has been involved in Basa Village Foundation since its inception in 2011 at 14,000 feet in a tea house in the Himalayas. He has visited Nepal and Basa village multiple times, the latest was in the Fall of 2023.

Back in 1996 Joel joined the tech world, working for Adobe Systems in Seattle, joined several startups, then in 2001 he co-founded a web design and tech company servicing nonprofits, foundations, higher education, and government, which he helped run for over 18 years. He now works at Global Washington, a support association for global nonprofits, foundations, and companies focused on positive social impact.

Joel has been on the board of Sahar Education and American Insitute of Graphic Artists - Seattle.

Joel has been a Seattle native for over 30 years having escaped from New York City in the late 80’s, has a Bachelor’s in Architecture, is an avid photographer, rock climber, and a world traveler. He likes to spend time travelling internationally with his wife and two sons.


David Culp


Dave is the current Treasurer of Basa Village Foundation, USA and has been a board member for several years. He did a trek to Basa Village in 2013 along with Jeff Rasley and college students from Marion University in Indianapolis.  He loved the mountains, the culture, and especially the people of Nepal.


Dave is a retired mechanical draftsman, who enjoys hiking, backpacking, and playing pickleball. He leads the Hoosier Backpackers club in Indiana.  He has a  BA degree from Purdue University and an Associate degree from Indiana Vocational Technical College.


Jeff Aaron

Jeff Aaron was born and raised in the Dayton, Ohio area.  He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky and master’s degrees from the University of Utah and University of Notre Dame (MBA).


Jeff started his career in the health care industry.  Having started in clinical physiology and research, he later moved into various management and administrative roles within multiple health care systems in the Midwest and later in San Diego, CA.  Jeff later transitioned into health care related technology and software development where he served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer of various health-oriented software/technology companies.


Jeff later moved to the Lake Tahoe area where for the last 23 years he has been involved in building his own general contracting business.  As a Nevada licensed general contractor and President and C.E.O. of his own company, he has been building and renovating high end custom homes in the Lake Tahoe, Reno and northern Nevada area.


Jeff and his Wife, Pamela Aaron, enjoy the Lake Tahoe area lifestyle and Sierra Nevada mountains in northern Nevada.  They are avid motorcyclists, ride bicycles, hike, snowshoe and ski.  They have five children and seven grandchildren.  Pam and Jeff were introduced to Nepal during a wonderful trekking experience in the Annapurna region in 2015.  Nepal holds a warm spot in their hearts where they were touched by the spirit of the Nepalese people, their culture and especially those they met from Basa Village.  


Eric Durfee

Eric Durfee joined the Basa Village Foundation board in 2021 after making two trips to Nepal accompanied by his wife, Helen. The first trip was in 2015 and the second was in 2018. Eric is fond of Nepal and has met many of the people in Basa.


Eric grew up in Bethel, a small town in central Vermont. After graduating from Cornell University Eric returned to Vermont where he and Helen married and soon after started raising their three children. In the mid nineties, they moved to the north end of Lake Tahoe where Eric and Helen continue to enjoy living.


In Vermont, Eric ran the family lumber yard, was the assistant chief of Bethel’s Volunteer Fire Department, served on the Advisory Council for the Personal Enterprise Program at Cornell University,  was a board member of the Vermont Retail Lumber Dealers Association, and was on the board of The Killington Ski Club.


Eric now enjoys skiing, cycling, hiking, kayaking, traveling and spending time with their grown children and grandchildren.


John Volbers

John Volbers was the first Treasurer and one of the founding board members of Basa Village Foundation.  A lifelong adventure traveler, he traveled to Nepal with Jeff Rasley in October of 1995.  This was the first of many adventures he and Jeff experienced together and in John’s opinion, one of the most life changing, and profound destinations reached by the pair.  
John is back on the BVF Board and is now retired from active Chiropractic practice.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Logan University in Chesterfield, Missouri.  He studied Automobile Crash Reconstruction through the Traffic Institute and its effects on the human body at the Spine Research Institute of San Diego.  He is a member of Scientech Group in Indianapolis, a 30+ year member of Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and a member of the Loyal Order of Moose.

Born in Erie, Pennsylvania and raised in Pittsburgh, John is an avid Steelers fan.  In 2023 he began another chapter in adventure travel by becoming a “snowbird” and traveling in his motorcoach from October to April each year. John looks forward to many future projects with the Basa Village Foundation.  



Chris Taylor

Chris is the Founder and President of OneMove Advisory, a go to market advisory firm that focuses on the marketing, sales and customer success motions of B2B software companies.


He and his wife, Jeanne, have trekked the Manaslu, Langtang and Solukhumbu Regions of Nepal, where they met and became close to Basa villagers who supported those adventures. Their last trek was to Basa Village itself with members of the founding group of Basa Village Foundation USA. Since that trip, they have been raising three children and plan to take the family back to Nepal in the not-too-distant future.


Chris and Jeanne are inspired by the generous and kind people of Nepal and the magnitude of the beauty of their country. They recognize that Nepal will need to go through change as it modernizes and that this change will bring better health, lower infant mortality and greater opportunity to the people, but also risks negatively impacting the culture and other beautiful parts of Nepal that are evident in thousands of villages.


Basa Village Foundation was formed to find ways to create the model that can bridge the way things are today and the way things will be as modernity continuously approaches Basa and the rest of Nepal. They love being part of it.


Dennis Mathews

Dennis Mathews is a retired university educator and researcher. He received a BA and MA from Indiana University followed by a PhD from the University of Wisconsin in Plant Pathology. After working as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate on several plant biotechnology projects at the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin he held a position as a Research Faculty at the University of New Hampshire working on aspects of plant physiology and genetics. Upon retirement he has continued an involvement with education as a substitute teacher in local public schools. Dennis stays active physically through biking, swimming, and cross-country skiing.


Dennis made his first visit to Nepal in 2011 along with other founding members of the Basa Village Foundation. That trek included a stay in Basa Village and an attempt to climb Mr. Mera, which was precluded by weather. A second trip was made in 2017 with a similar agenda. Favorable weather allowed Dennis, a fellow climber, and their guides to reach the summit. Those trips left a lasting impression of the challenges faced and the tenacity exhibited by the people living in Basa and other remote, mountainous regions of Nepal. Other impressions were of the generous, gentle, and good-natured spirit of the Nepali villagers. Dennis is happy to serve on the Board of the Basa Village Foundation and proud to be part of an organization that has worked with Basa residents to help bring welcome improvements to their community.


Tim Meyer

Retired cabinetmaker Timothy Meyer had backpacked many trails in the United States, lugging a 45 pound pack, cooking his own meals, setting up camp each night ……. until …….. he was invited to trek in the Himalaya in 2008. There in Langtang National Park he experienced the stunning beauty of the highest mountains in the world with the incredible hospitality of the Rai guides and porters of Adventure Geo Treks attending to his every need.
He did carry his own 12 pound daypack.

I have never seen people work so hard, have such simple lives, and smile so much.  And I never did carry a backpack again.  I did provide some small assistance to BVF leader Jeff Rasley in establishing the first of many projects to benefit the Rai community thru our Quaker meetinghouse in Indianapolis.

Resigned now to car camping on flat lands with a very comfy hammock, I look back on a truly magical time in Nepal — and look forward to helping the very capable people of Basa to help themselves through the works of Basa Village Foundation.


Susan Holewinski

Susan Holewinski is currently serving a second term on the Basa Village Foundation Board.    Her connection to Basa began in 2009 when a friend convinced her to go on a trekking trip with Jeff Rasley.   The challenge of the trek, generosity of the Nepalese and the camaraderie of the trekking group left an impression on Susan, and she is honored to be part of a group that supports the Nepalese. 


Susan owns and operates Indy Pilates Plus, a fully equipped Pilates studio in Indianapolis, Indiana.   She serves as an elder in her church as chair of the Mission Team.  She believes education is the key to a better life and has served on the Cottey College scholarship committee with the Indiana State Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood.   She has a B.S. in biology from Alma College, an A.A. in chemistry from Cottey College, an NCPT (Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher) and a Franklin Method Educator. 


She enjoys travel, reading, hiking, swimming and creating adventures with her family – especially her three grandchildren. 

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