2013 Convention Plenary Speakers

Global Food Production and Security:  Solutions Creating Hope for the Planet

Thursday, November 7, 7:00 p.m.

Robert L Thompson

Robert Thompson, a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University and long-time professor at the University of Illinois, brings his experience on global food issues to the 2013 MEDA Convention in Wichita.

Thompson, who is also a senior fellow for global agricultural development and food security at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, will address the perspectives of both small holder farmers in the developing world – like those MEDA works with – and of North American farmers who face unique challenges and opportunities. 

Robert, who has spent four decades researching global agriculture, previously served as the World Bank's director of agriculture and rural development and as the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) assistant secretary for economics.  He was recently featured in an article in Johns Hopkins Magazine, From farm to plate to policy, which discusses how, to feed our growing world, we need to apply the same healthy sustainable food practices used in developing countries to the global food systems in order to avoid the looming food crisis.


Baritone Tony Brown and Hesston College’s Bel Canto singers, under the direction of Bradley Kauffman.

The Hesston College Bel Canto Singers CD "Songs of a Wayfarer" is for sale for $15 with proceeds going to the Hesston College Inclusion Scholarship and MEDA's financial inclusion programs assisting small businesses in Latin America. The CD can be purchased through the Hesston College Bookstore by calling 620-327-8105 or going to books.hesston.edu. For more information on this partnership, you can read the article here.

MEDA’s 60th Anniversary Celebration

Friday, November 8, 6:30 pm

Plenary resizedWe invite you to celebrate MEDA’s 60th anniversary with an evening of storytelling, jazz and a fundraising auction! Reflect on MEDA's long history of creating business solutions to poverty and connecting faith and business in the marketplace with storytellers Tim Penner, a MEDA board member from Kansas; Kim Pityn, MEDA’s chief operations officer; and Wally Kroeker, MEDA’s director of publications. The Bethel College Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Jim Pisano will provide music while we enjoy scrumptious buffet selections from around the globe.
A live auction featuring unique and sought-after items will cap the evening. Auction proceeds will benefit clients and their families in MEDA's GROW (Greater Rural Opportunities for Women) project in Ghana. 

An auction catalog will be available soon.


Bethel College jazz musicians, under the direction of Jim Pisano

MEDA Year in Review/Annual General Meeting

Saturday, November 9, 9:00 am

PAllan Sauder resizedresident Allan Sauder and staff will highlight the major accomplishments of the past year, including stories from clients and partners from around the world. Officers of MEDA’s board and staff will present reports on MEDA’s finances, investments and future directions. Voting members of MEDA will also take actions on several items of business.







Dreaming of Synergy: Leverage for Impact Beyond Our Success

Saturday, November 9, 6:30 p.m.

David HaskellMEDA has succeeded as never before. Yet our world’s desperate problems dwarf the individual efforts of any organization, business, or government alone.  This stark truth has compelled David Haskell to innovate in hard places and to weave networks for collective impact. David will illustrate principles from his experience and research that unlock the power of networks to dramatically improve transformational outcomes.

David Haskell strengthens social entrepreneurs in the world's hard places, as Dreams InDeed co-founder and CEO. David holds a Harvard MPA and UCLA MA, and has presented published research at AUB, Berkeley, Duke, Harvard, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, and Tufts.


The Sunflower Trio, which includes tenor, Matthew Schloneger, violinist, Rebecca Schloneger, and pianist, Kenneth Rodgers

Overcoming Obstacles on the Path to Hope

Sunday, November 10, 9:00 am

Marion Good resizedWe all face challenges – and like MEDA clients around the globe – look for ways elude the barriers we encounter on our life's path. However, many lack the tools, networks and affirmation needed to surmount life’s hurdles.

Marion Good, a regional director of resource development at MEDA’s Waterloo office, will draw on her years of experience as an entrepreneur, branch manager of Mennonite Savings and Credit Union and MEDA Board member to share stories of overcoming obstacles and realizing success and new hope from many places around the globe. Plan to be personally touched and inspired as you hear these true stories that will make you understand the power of having faith and believing in your dreams.

All proceeds collected in the Sunday morning offering will benefit clients and their families in MEDA's EDGET (Ethiopians Driving Growth through Entrepreneurship and Trade) project in Ethiopia.


The Sunday morning session will also feature Tabor College’s Concert Choir, performing under the direction of Bradley Vogel.