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Christel House International Elects New Board Members

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - In its efforts to help children and families in communities around the world escape poverty, Christel House International (CHI) has elected four new board members. They are:

  • Guido Neels, Managing Director of Essex Woodlands, Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Marcia Rowley, Co-founder, Executive Vice President of International Cruise & Excursions (ICE), Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Gail Shiel, Principal of Shiel Design Company, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Dr. Matthew Will, Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Indianapolis, Ind.

“Christel House has indeed been fortunate to find individuals whose passion for helping impoverished children is complemented by strong business acumen and a global point of view,” said CHI Founder, Christel DeHaan. “These new board members join a group of highly committed and energized directors who are intent on expanding the scope and impact of our organization.”

Neels currently resides in Indianapolis and is managing director of Essex Woodlands in Palo Alto, Calif. He joined Essex Woodlands as a partner in August 2006 and became Managing Director in 2008. Neels previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Guidant Corporation, a world leader in the development of cardiovascular medical products. While at Guidant he also served as Group Chairman in the Office of the President, responsible for corporate communications, corporate marketing, investor relations, and government relations; as President of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Canada; and Vice President of Global Marketing for Vascular Intervention. Neels also held various general management and sales and marketing positions at Eli Lilly and Company in Europe and the U.S., as well as positions in information technology, finance and manufacturing at Raychem Corporation in Belgium and the U.S.

Rowley co-founded International Cruise & Excursions (ICE), Inc. in 1997. As Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Rowley is noted for successfully negotiating a key partnership with Carnival Cruise Lines, the largest cruise line in the world. That partnership helped propel ICE into a global organization and one of the largest cruise booking agents in the world today. Rowley plays an integral role in ICE’s worldwide operations. She oversees all B2B and B2C marketing initiatives including brand management, customer engagement and retention. She also plays an active role in product design, business development and client relations. Rowley also takes an active role in directing the company’s philanthropic initiatives, including its robust support of Christel House.

Shiel is the principal of Shiel Design Company located in Indianapolis, Ind., and serves as an adjunct professor of interior design and architectural technology at the Purdue School of Engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Shiel was an owner of Shiel Sexton until November 2011 and has practiced interior design extensively in the Indianapolis area with both Rowland Design and Archonics. She has a passion for education and philanthropy, having taught at Butler University and Purdue University, and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Damar Services.

Dr. Will is an Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Indianapolis. In this role he oversees the Center for Business Partnerships, developing the school’s external business affiliations. He also serves as curriculum coordinator for the MBA program. Will previously served as Associate Dean of the School of Business and Director of Graduate Business Programs, both at the University of Indianapolis. He has provided finance and technology consulting to a variety of non-profit and charitable organizations. In 1997, Will received the "Excellence in Teaching Award" from Johns Hopkins University Business Division.


About Christel House International

Christel House International (CHI) is transforming how kids, their families and future generations permanently escape poverty. Much more than a school, CHI was established in 1998 by founder Christel DeHaan and currently serves over 3,800 impoverished children around the world. By providing high quality education, nutritious meals, regular health care, character and life skills development, and career counseling, CHI helps students grow into confident, hardworking and ethical young adults who give back to their families and communities. CHI operates five learning centers in India, Mexico, South Africa and the U.S.A., as well as a career development program in Venezuela. For more information, please visit