Message from the Founder
I initiated Otara Foundation just prior to my exit from the company I founded. Fortunate to have experienced the rise of retail in Sri Lanka through the Odel brand, I found that people seemed to care about what I stood for – not just as a business person, but as a woman, a mentor, an animal lover and more. To be in a position of influence over people’s life choices is a responsibility I have always taken seriously, which is why I formed the non-profit venture that is the Otara Foundation.
Since 2015, the Otara Foundation –the parent organisation behind Embark – has grown to become a quiet yet dedicated channel of change in this country that I love. The Foundation is comprised of a talented, dedicated team of Sri Lankans who have committed to mindful progress. Driven by Passion, the scope of our work has evolved to cover environmental protection, livelihood development, education, community upliftment and our distinctive expertise – animal welfare. In our daily work, we too often see tremendous cruelty toward innocent animals and that is why we advocate for the Animal Welfare Bill to become law – Sri Lanka has yet to pass laws protecting animal rights.
We drive progress in all that we do, understanding that with it must come greater responsibility, not just toward each other but to the world around us. The Otara Foundation is a diverse organisation, working with individuals, communities and community stakeholders throughout the island. We are patriots with a clear vision for ourselves and our island nation. I am grateful to the thousands of volunteers, hundreds of collaborators, countless special interest groups and international organisations that have trusted us to facilitate sustainable development.
The Otara Foundation is 100% Sri Lankan and proud. We are here to be the change we wish to see in our world.
Our time is now.
Board of Directors
Sanjay Kulatunga [MBA, CFA]
Chairman and a Founding Partner of LYNEAR.
Founding Director of Amba Research Lanka, Sanjay began his career at Jardine Fleming. He has experience in founding, growing, and running companies in diverse industries. He has served, as a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, on the Financial Sector Stability Consultative Committee of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, and as President of the CFA Society Sri Lanka. Sanjay is responsible for the overall strategy of LYNEAR.
Sanjay is a natural born leader with as good an understanding of people as of investment. He believes in not taking life for granted and revels in trying new things. Sanjay is passionate about family as well as the outdoors.
Dr. Arittha Wikramanayake
Dr. Arittha Wikramanayake is the Precedent Partner of Nithya Partners. Prior to founding the Firm, Dr. Wikramanayake held several senior positions in the public sector including Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, State Counsel with the Attorney General Department of Sri Lanka and member of the Public Enterprises Reform Commission of Sri Lanka amongst others.
He is also actively involved in corporate governance, corporate social responsibility issues and has a true passion for nature and wildlife. His grandfatherE. B. Wikramanayakewas founder president of the Wildlife Protection Society of Sri Lanka. Dr. Wikramanayake has several publications to his credit, including Company Law in Sri Lanka Wild Flowers of Sri Lanka and is co-author of Philanthropy and Law in South Asia and Butterflies of Sri Lanka. He believes in making a positive difference in the lives of animals and the community and through the work of the Foundation he hopes to do just this.
British Milliner, London
Stephen Jones burst onto the London fashion scene during the explosion of street style in the late seventies. An uncompromising style-blazer at the legendary Blitz night club he was always seen crowned with a striking hat of his own design.
By 1980, Jones opened his first millinery salon in the heart of Londons Covent Garden. These premises soon became a place of pilgrimage and patronage, as everyone from rock stars to royalty, from Boy George to Diana, Princess of Wales, identified Jones as the milliner who would help them make the headlines. Thirty five years later, Jonesa era-defining edge continues to attract a celebrity clientele which includes, Rihanna, Dita von Teese, Mick Jagger and the Royal Family.
Born in Cheshire and schooled in Liverpool, Jones was a past student of St. Martins. Jones strongly believes in what Otara Foundation does and was happy to be a part of making a difference in the lives of animals and communities through the work of the foundation.
Owner of Pearly King & MishMash
Karl Hoversj, is a Swedish citizen residing in the United Kingdom, with many years of experience in the Fashion trade. He is the owner of the two clothing brands, Pearly King and MishMash, which operate outside of the United Kingdom and have international presence. In addition to his expertise in fashion retailing, Karl also runs a garment manufacturing factory in Sri Lanka which employs over 500 people, and supplies his two brands and other fashion retailers worldwide.
An avid dog lover and owner of three dogs himself, impressed with Otara relentless work with the street dogs in Sri Lanka and other animals alike, Karl is delighted to be a part of the Foundationa work, helping to improve the welfare of both animals and local communities in the future.
With a love for street dogs from a young age, Steve is channeling his passion into the work he does at Embark; overseeing the team, fieldwork, budgets and operations. This includes managing; Mobile Clinics, Adoption Days, Hospitalizations, Sterilization Programs and Rescues.
Kemashi provides support across all projects of rescue and adoption within the team. In addition to that, she also oversees the social media platforms of Embark and oversees our volunteer programs..
Rashmika plays a key role in emergency Rescue Operations, Mobile Treatments, assisting at the Embark Clinics and providing treatment for the puppies being rehomed at Adoption Days.
Anthony assists with the Rescue Operations and provides support in all other areas such as Adoption Days, Sterilizations Programs and other daily operational activities.
Dr. Iresha Ratnayake
Dr. Iresha provides direct medical consultancy services for Embark in terms of; Veterinary Care for the Embark Clinic with Vaccinations, Sterilizations and other treatments. She also joins the Embark team on Mobile Treatment Clinics and overlooks the medical treatment required for the dogs at the Embark Kennel.
Warunika plays a key role in the organization of Embark Adoption Days and the Embark Clinic. She also maintains Operation Databases and the Adoption follow-ups, Clinical and Statistical Reports.