Who We Are


Wisdom Stoves designs cookstoves that hugely reduce the health risks for women and children in Kenya who cook over an open fire.

Around 3 BILLION people in the world still cook and heat their homes with open fires or poorly made stoves that burn solid fuels. Our organization works to provide a long term solution to as many people as possible, which in turn addresses the impact of deforestation.

It is important to us that your donations are used to support long-lasting change for the greatest number of people possible. To that end, we use donated funds in two ways: to purchase needed tools & stove materials to support stove production, and to provide clean cookstoves to those who have the most to gain.

We are committed to life-long learning of the science behind -- and worldwide benefits of -- the process of gasification. Feel free to visit us, on either side of the Atlantic!



Nathan PufferNathan Puffer

Co-Founder, Stove Design & Engineering (VT/Kenya)


Nathan grew up in Groton, VT where he lives today. His competitive, positive “I can and will” attitude was cultivated early by his family and his basketball coach, Ron Brown. After high school, Nathan developed an interest and then, a passion to know how and why things work. He established Groton Timberworks, Inc. a timber framing company in 1992 which squarely located him in the problem solving business. After returning to Kenya in 2002 with his wife, Merry and their three girls, he started thinking about how the Kenyan people could be helped economically, physically and environmentally. He started diligently working on a cook stove design in 2009, launching pilot programs with the help of Francis Waithaka Kairu’s son, Dan. The subsequent design changes and problem solving have led to the establishment of Wisdom Stoves, Inc.



Meredith Puffer    

Meredith Puffer

Co-Founder, Coordinator of Finance & Planning (VT/Kenya)


Merry grew up in North Haverhill, NH. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire, she joined the Peace Corps in 1983. She was assigned to teach school at Mwenda-Andu Secondary School in North Kinangop, Kenya. Her headmaster there was Francis Waithaka Kairu. Leaving Kenya in 1985, she and her best friend, Nathan, took the scenic route home, traveling through 10 African countries south of the Sahara. Back in the US, she started teaching high school and middle school math. She and Nathan married in 1987 and now have three awesome daughters. She returned to Kenya several times since her Peace Corps years, reacquainting with the Kairu family. Merry currently teaches at River Bend Career and Technical School, helps manage Groton Timberworks, Inc. and is involved in launching Wisdom Stoves, Inc.





Daniel Waithaka

Daniel Waithaka

Workshop Manager (Kenya)


Dan Waithaka is the son of Francis Waithaka-Kairu, who was Merry's headmaster while teaching english at Francis' secondary school in 1983. Dan recently married Nelly Waithaka, who is also native to the Kinangop area. Together, they currently live in Nairobi, Kenya. Dan has become a great advocate for Wisdom Stoves and has been managing Wisdom Stoves based in Kinangop, Kenya since early 2012. Dan has put an incredible effort into transforming the local attitude about the benefits of upgrading to a stove manufactured by Wisdom Stoves. Many of his sales efforts have been deisplayed at local markets, stores and community field days. As well as working as the local salesman, Dan also assists in the daily manufacturing and distribution of the stoves throughout Kenya.




Anne Hatch

Communications & Development Director (VT)


Anne's first experience with volunteerism was at age 10, checking out books in the children's room at her local library in Connecticut. Since then, she has volunteered and worked with numerous domestic and international social service organizations and schools. Through staff positions with Bard College at Simon's Rock and St. Michael's College, Anne had the opportunity to lead service trips to Peru, India, New Orleans, NYC, and Mexico. During her years living in Peru, she co-founded and co-directed the nonprofit organization called “Peru 109,” which linked volunteers with host families, language learning, and service sites. After completing a Master's Degree in Education at the University of Vermont, Anne happily settled in Groton, VT, where she currently lives with her husband and daughter.  She is proud to also be the Librarian at the Groton Library.


Joshua Smith


Joshua Smith

Cultural Consultant (VT)


Joshua Smith is a native of Vermont and has spent the past 12 years working overseas in various humanitarian relief organizations; including the Peace Corps and Doctors Without Borders.  He has lived and worked in Project Coordinator roles in Niger, Pakistan, The Philippines, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia, Libya, and Nigeria.
He has a Masters Degree in Education and is currently working on a second Masters in Business Administration.






John Kibiru



John Kibiru

Workshop Foreman (Kenya)


John was born in 1964 in the town of Engineer. After his years as a student at Mutaithia Primary School, he trained to work with steel and started in his first metal craftsman job in 1983. Ten years later, John married his wife, with whom he now shares 7 children, several grandchildren, and goats, cows & sheep. His diligent craftsmanship, attention to detail, and dry sense of humor are great assets to the workshop. He loves his job with Wisdom Innovations – and – is also a pastor of his own church!










Kimani Maina

Craftsman (Kenya)


Paul Kimani Maina was born in Kinangop in 1988. He attended primary school in Kahuru, and later attended Wisdom Secondary School. Kimani now works for Wisdom Innovations, where his sharp aptitude for learning, gentle manner, and organizational skills are much-valued. He lives just two houses down from the Kinangop workshop. In his spare time, Kimani enjoys cooking, playing & watching football, and traveling.





Brian Wohlleb




Brian Wohlleb

Website Design and Development (VT)

Brian was born in New Jersey, and when he was young, his family moved to Bath, New Hampshire. In middle school, he had an opportunity to train with the U.S. National Team in the sport of luge. Brian competed internationally until he decided to set down his own roots. He is a man of great skill, intelligence, and integrity. He works for Groton Timberworks, Inc. in Groton, VT and is a devoted husband and father of two.