The MEDA Board of Directors is composed of volunteer members who bring together diverse skillsets in areas including entrepreneurship, finance, business operations, and investment. The board develops and guides organizational strategy, provides governance oversight, and proactively monitors risk (fiduciary, operational, reputational, etc.). Members serve a maximum of three 3-year terms. Four core committees operate within the board: executive, finance, audit, and nomination. For more information on the work of each committee, click on the links below.
The Executive committee meets 5 times annually to review the organization status, ensuring alignment between strategy and performance. The committee reviews board nominations and supports the board chair in setting meeting agendas.Close
The Finance Committee is responsible for overseeing MEDA's administrative and financial activities.Close
The Audit Committee is responsible for ensuring that reliable financial and management audits are carried out on MEDA projects and that audit policies are current, safeguarding the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.Close
Human Capital Committee
The mandate of the Human Capital Committee is to review, report on and, when appropriate, provide recommendations to the Board regarding human resources matters.Close
The Board Membership and Nomination Committee is responsible for identifying, recruiting, nominating and training new members of the Board and its committees. It ensures the recognition of the services of retiring directors, staff, advisors, and others who merit recognition by MEDA. In addition, this committee ensures performance evaluations are completed for the Board and individual directors.Close
Chair and Executive Committee Member Ontario, Canada
Jenny Shantz retired in 2018 after 27 years at Mercedes Corp and Stone Crock Inc. These family businesses developed a diverse portfolio of enterprises across the food, retail, hospitality and real estate sectors until they sold the majority of their assets in 2018.
Jenny was critical to the development of the St. Jacobs region as a tourist destination and was closely involved in multiple aspects of her family’s ventures over the course of her career.
Jenny describes MEDA as a creative and effective organization that partners with those in need to become economically active and create sustainable livelihoods for their families. She says, “The world needs more MEDA because it's a positive force for good.”
Jenny is vice chair of the Grand Philharmonic Choir, past president of the Waterloo Region Centre for Family Business, St. Jacobs Daycare, and currently serves on the board of The Mennonite Story Inc.
Jenny and her husband, Willem Moolenbeek, live in Waterloo, Ontario. They attend St. Jacobs Mennonite, and St. Paul's Anglican in the summer months.Close
Vice Chair, Finance Committee Member, and Executive Committee Member / Kansas, USA
Greg Gaeddert is a managing partner with B12 Capital Partners and B12 Real Estate Advisors - private equity investment firms located in Kansas City, Missouri. He has experience in investments focused on manufacturing, distribution and real estate-related entities. Greg has an operational background in manufacturing and commercial banking, with equity investment and fund management roles at Capital for Business and the B12-related entities. He has an MBA from the University of Kansas, and serves on the boards of numerous manufacturing, distribution, financial services and non-profit entities.
Greg is a firm supporter of MEDA and resonates with its work in blended finance. Greg and his wife, Terri, live in Leawood, Kansas. They have three sons and are members of Rainbow Mennonite Church in Kansas City.
Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair, and Executive Committee Member / Alberta, Canada
Karin Krahn works for an oil and gas company (Nexen, A CNOOC Limited Company) in Calgary, AB. She is currently the Manager, Operations and G&A Accounting for the Canadian Operations. Previously she was the Manager, Risk Management and Internal Controls for the company. Karin received her Canadian CPA designation in 2002 after graduating from University of Saskatchewan with a BA, majoring in Psychology and a BComm, majoring in Accounting. In between degrees, she worked with adults with developmental disabilities placing them into wage-earning positions.
While serving on the Abundance Canada (formerly Mennonite Foundation of Canada) board, Karin met Abe Fehr, a current MEDA board member. After many conversations about similar values and interests, Karin found herself drawn to the mission that MEDA has to reach out globally to assist people to enhance their livelihoods and support their families through business opportunities that they see, but need a little assistance.
Karin and her partner, Harold, enjoy watching sports, specifically football, both Canadian and the NFL. Both have spent time travelling with previous jobs and roles so spending a little more time around home and at their little place in Radium Hot Springs, BC are high on their relaxation list.Close
Secretary and Executive Committee Member / Ontario, Canada
Gary Leis is President and CEO of Leis Pet Distributing Inc., which distributes pet food and supplies to independent pet retailers across Eastern Canada. Between the head office in Wellesley, Ontario and a second location in Moncton, New Brunswick, Leis Pet employs 65 full and part time employees.
As a long-time social and peace activist, Gary has always struggled trying to justify feeding pets for a living but has found comfort in MEDA. "Belonging to an organization like MEDA, meeting other business people and financially supporting the poorest of the poor in an entrepreneurial setting has given me a sense of social responsibility. What better way to achieve world peace by meeting the basic needs of people around the world?"
Gary was first introduced to MEDA through the local Waterloo chapter, where he became a member of the local board for nine years and served six years as Board Chair. As a semi-retired person, he felt the need for a new challenge. It was his belief in MEDA's mission, coupled with his business experience, that made MEDA a natural fit.
Gary says it's not only important to help people start businesses, but also to complete the value chain from producer to the end user, as MEDA does. He added how rewarding it is to see their lives improve in a sustainable way. "My MEDA dollars are multiplied many times over by government and other funders. The management and staff at MEDA are second to none. I trust them with my donated dollars."
Gary and his wife, Brenda Sauder, have three children and six grandchildren. Active in his community, Gary is a member of the Wellesley Lions Club and is a member of Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church. His hobbies include golf, hockey, camping and fishing.Close
Chair and Executive Committee Member, Human Capital Committee Chair / Ontario, Canada
Vice Chair, Finance Committee Member, and Executive Committee Member, Human Capital Committee Member / Kansas, USA
Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair, and Executive Committee Member / Alberta, Canada
Secretary and Executive Committee Member, Human Capital Committee Member / Ontario, Canada
Board of Directors
Audit Committee Chair / Ontario, Canada
Abe Fehr is a serial entrepreneur and founder, owner and President of Uni-Fab, one of Ontario's largest metal fabricators. Uni-Fab has the expertise to custom manufacture to the finest detail and the highest tolerance required for any size application. A family business which began over 28 years ago with fabrications for the machine tool market has grown to become one of the automotive industry's premier providers of fabrications in North America under Abe’s leadership.
Uni-Fab has grown and expanded its capabilities and equipment and is now housed in an 103,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, with a portfolio that includes machine enclosures, hydraulic reservoirs, platforms and mezzanines. Uni-Fab serves the automotive, aerospace, machine tool, and oil and gas sectors in Canada and internationally.
Abe believes in MEDA’s approach of building business solutions to poverty, and has visited several of MEDA’s projects internationally. Seeing projects first-hand reinforced Abe’s support for MEDA, and has added a valuable dimension to his role as the chair of the MEDA board audit committee.
Abe and his wife Lisa, have three adult children and one grandchild. They reside in Leamington, Ontario and attend Leamington United Mennonite Church.Close
Past Chair and Executive Committee member / Manitoba, Canada
Albert D. (Bert) Friesen is founder, CEO and Chairman of Medicure Inc. He is also founder of Genesys Venture Inc. (GVI), which provides the expertise for launching and managing emerging health and biotechnology ventures.. Dr. Friesen has been instrumental in the founding and development of several health industry companies, including ABI Biotechnology (now Apotex Fermentation), Canada's first profitable biotech company, and the Winnipeg Rh Institute, where he led the development of Canada's first biotech product, WinRho. Bert has also played a key role in a number of regional and national organizations, including a founder and first Board of Director Chair of the Industrial Biotechnology Association of Canada (now BIOTECanada). He holds a Ph.D. in protein chemistry from the University of Manitoba.
Bert was attracted to MEDA by its mission to explore the intersection of work and faith, and its emphasis on efficiency and sustainability in building business solutions to poverty. His appreciation for the organization’s work deepened when he visited MEDA’s projects in Paraguay, Peru and Bolivia, witnessing the entrepreneurial spirit and impacts of the projects there first-hand. Bert and his wife Lee live in Manitoba, Canada, and attend Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship in Winnipeg They have 3 children and 9 grandchildren.Close
Andreas Quiring has served as the managing director of Andreas Hermes Academy in Germany since 2008. The Academy offers continuing education for individuals and their companies, with a focus on agricultural studies, the food industry, and rural areas. Andreas studied Agricultural Economics at the University of Bonn.
Andreas brings Agricultural and Development Experience and the German/European Mennonite Perspective to the MEDA board.
He was drawn to engage as a director by MEDA’s passion for its work and a desire to contribute to MEDA’s continued presence in Europe.
Andreas has 3 daughters and lives with his family in Bonn, Germany, where they attend Ev. Mennonitengemeinde Neuwied church.Close
Bethany Fosdyck is the founder, owner and president of Bushbaby a children’s outfitter offering functional apparel and gear. Bushbaby operates with the goal of fostering healthy outdoor activities for youth and their families.
After graduating college, Bethany worked in Kenya with Mennonite Central Committee as a handicraft design liaison with Ten Thousand Villages. She has served on several boards in her community, including the Illinois Mennonite Conference’s Missional Leadership Team and the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum fundraising committee. Bethany brings experience in management, merchandising and business operations to the MEDA board.
Drawn to MEDA by its work enabling sustainable livelihoods, Bethany holds a deep respect for the organization’s vision and mission.
Bethany lives in Illinois with her husband Russ, and attends First Mennonite of Morton Illinois.Close
Nominating Committee Chair and Executive Committee Member / Pennsylvania, USA
Crystal Weaver is a visionary entrepreneur who thrives on creating businesses that contribute to the social landscape of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is passionate about creating job opportunities within the hospitality sector that are meaningful, empowering and forward-thinking while also connecting people to places in ways that have lasting impact.
Her strong work ethic and commitment to the city have been evident in the success of Prince St. Cafe, Passenger Coffee Roasting, as well as prior city business ventures in a market stand and residential housing. Crystal is co-owner of Commons Company, Passenger Coffee Roasters, Prince Street Café, Surveyor Hotel and Blue Line Lancaster. She is active on multiple organization boards, including Fields of Hope and the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design.
Crystal brings expertise in human resources and business management alongside a background in psychology from her studies at Westminster Theological Seminary. Her experience running a B Corp Company and leveraging the capacity of business to address social issues brings a social entrepreneurship lens to her role with the board. Crystal became a director in 2017, led by her belief that business is a force for good.
Crystal lives in Pennsylvania and attends The Worship Center church.
Dallas Steiner is CEO of Venture Products Inc. with its headquarters in Orrville, Ohio. Venture is a global company that designs and manufactures two product lines: VENTRAC, a compact tractor with over 30 commercial grade, and TILMOR, a small agricultural tractor built for small-scale farms. With more than 40 years of experience in designing, manufacturing, and marketing outdoor power and agricultural equipment, Dallas is responsible for leading product growth in global markets and provides leadership to expanding export sales. He has vast experience in global networking and relationship building around the world.
Dallas’s first acquaintance with MEDA goes back to the late 1970s when he served with Mennonite Central Committee in Bolivia and worked collaboratively with MEDA's agricultural team. "MEDA provides that spark of hope in a person's life that can ignite into a flame," Steiner says. "When that flame ignites, it makes such an impact and changes their own personal life, their families, schools, churches, communities and countries. I am honored to be a part of this type of activity!"
Dallas lives in Ohio with his wife Rhoda. They have 5 children and 11 grandchildren, and attend DaySpring Christian Fellowship in Massillon OHIO.Close
Donovan Nickel enjoyed a 30 year career in the high technology industry, primarily in semiconductor and enterprise computer system development. He served as VP at Hewlett Packard, leading global business divisions providing enterprise IT servers and storage equipment. After an early retirement, he has been involved with business and investment management, consulting, home construction, a farm operation of wheat, corn, and beans in Kansas, and engagement with nonprofits. Donovan has BS and MS degrees in Electronics and Computer Engineering, and an MBA from Lehigh University College of Business.
Donovan appreciates MEDA’s track record of effectiveness in creating positive development outcomes in frontier market countries. His values align with MEDA’s focus on sustainable economic and opportunity development through market based business principles and investments.
Donovan and his wife Jewel live in Colorado, and have three daughters. They attend church in Crested Butte.Close
Elke Horsch is a teacher at the Gerhardinger Schule in Schwandorf, Germany. The school has an emphasis on teaching kids with a migrant or refugee background.
Elke has a Master’s in Psychology from the University of Mannheim. She was born in Romania in a German family and emigrated in 1981 with her family to Germany. Elke is fluent in English, German, French and Romanian.
Elke has been an active member of MEDA for many years. She is thrilled by the idea of helping people to make a sustainable living, and has chosen to engage as a MEDA director out of this passion.
Elke lives with her husband Philipp in Schwandorf, Germany. They have three children. In 2005, they joined with 4 other families to establish the Mennonite church Evangelische Freikirche, Mennonitengemeinde Schwandorf where they continue to attend.Close
Nominating Committee Member / Washington, USA
Jeremy works in global sales and scale engagement with nonprofit customers in the Microsoft Philanthropies Technology for Social Impact group. He has worked for both Microsoft Ireland and Microsoft Vietnam, recently serving as Chief Operations Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft Vietnam. Jeremy is an avid learner, earning degrees from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, George Washington University, and Rose-HuIman Institute of Technology.
Jeremy first connected with MEDA when he was in college through the Northern Indiana chapter. He appreciates MEDA's intersectional values of faith and development through the medium of business with a focus on vulnerable populations in emerging markets. Jeremy has acted as advisor of several technological improvements at MEDA over the years prior to joining the board.
Jeremy and his wife Pa'lee have enjoyed raising their three children across different cultures and being active members of church communities wherever they are living. Currently they are members of Soma Eastside Church in Seattle, Washington.
Finance Committee Member / Indiana, USA
Jim Alvarez is chief financial officer of Everence, a financial institution with over $3 billion dollars in assets which offers banking, insurance and financial services with community benefits. Jim joined Everence in 2006 after gaining broad industry experience in food processing and international grain markets in Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Texas. He got his start in the family grain and feed business in 1988 after earning an MBA in Marketing from Pennsylvania State University and a BA Economics from Goshen College. Jim has served as Goshen College’s Director of Family Business, and as an Assistant Professor of Business. He brings expertise in strategic planning, finance, and economics to the MEDA board.
Drawn to MEDA by its focus on business solutions to poverty, Jim appreciates MEDA’s close connection of donors, staff and board members to project clients around the world. Jim describes his involvement with MEDA as a fulfilling experience, and the interactions with clients as bringing him “tremendous joy.”
In addition to his role as a board director with MEDA, he serves as board member for the Goshen Health System in Goshen, Indiana, and Mennonite Health System in Puerto Rico.
Jim lives with his wife Diane in Indiana. They attend Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship in Goshen, Indiana.Close
Audit and Nominating Committee Member / Florida, USA
Jim Miller is founder and CEO of JMX Brands, a Florida e-commerce company recognized as one of the top 1,000 internet retailers in America. The company’s flagship brand, DutchCrafters, is the largest e-commerce brand of Amish-made furniture.
Jim was also founding director of Goshen College Sarasota, and has taught at Goshen and Eckerd colleges. He served as associate pastor at Bahia Vista Mennonite Church (1993-1998), in various capacities with Southeast Mennonite Conference, and in a transitional role as bi-vocational pastor at Covenant Mennonite Fellowship (2011-2013), where he still attends.
A graduate of Goshen College, he earned a Master’s Degree in management from the University of South Florida, and studied at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Eastern Mennonite University and Bethel Theological Seminary.
Jim gives generously of his time through community service, including twice as president of MEDA’s Sarasota chapter and playing a formative role in the chapter’s development. He is currently a member of the board of directors at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana.
“For me MEDA’s faith perspective is compelling. MEDA blends compassion with effective solutions to change economic systems. While this is not the only appropriate response to poverty, it certainly resonates with me as a way to use my gifts as a business leader to following the way of Jesus in a complex world.”
Jim and his wife, Linse, have two adult sons, James and Alexander, and two teenage daughters, Alysa and Brielle. His interests include tennis, boating, fishing, reading and traveling.Close
Nominating Committee Member and Executive Committee Member / British Columbia, Canada
After graduating from UBC with a BSc degree in horticulture in 1980, John and his wife, Kelly, established Valleybrook Gardens Ltd. This wholesale perennial nursery grew into one of Canada's leading nurseries, with locations in British Columbia and Ontario. Recognized for its innovation and marketing, Valleybrook successfully created several plant brands to build leading market share. After forty years in the industry, John and Kelly sold their last nursery in 2019. They retain ownership of the plant brands and the perennials.com website, and continue to lead garden and nursery tours around the world through Valleybrook International Ventures Inc. John and Kelly were finalists in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year program, and winners of the Canadian Outstanding Young Farmer competition, among other awards and recognition.
John has been involved with MEDA since his university days. MEDA's work with small-scale producers in developing countries resonates with his own entrepreneurial spirit. "I love to see opportunity, get something started, get in there and be hands-on," he says. "I've always been a great fan of using good business principles to solve problems," he says. "I'm passionate about helping to identify and remove road blocks preventing enterpreneursentrepreneurs in developing countries from reaching their potential as well."John and Kelly have four daughters and twelve grandchildren. They attend South Abbotsford MB Church in Abbotsford.
Joyce Bontrager Lehman
New Hampshire, USA
Joyce Bontrager Lehman has been working in international economic development for the past 20 years, first with the MEDA Consulting Group and most recently as a Program Officer with the Financial Services for the Poor team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she managed a $100 million grant and contract portfolio that funded projects throughout the developing world. From 2003 through 2007, Joyce spent most of her time in Afghanistan working with the World Bank, USAID and other bi-lateral donors to establish and support a microfinance sector. Currently, she is an independent advisor with a focus on financial inclusion using digital delivery channels.
Joyce has a Master of Science in Taxation from Bentley College Graduate School of Business, and serves on the board of several organizations, including MiCredito (a microfinance institution in Nicaragua), First Microfinance Corporation of Egypt (a microfinance bank), and IMON (a microfinance bank in Tajikistan).
Joyce aligns closely with MEDA’s work, and appreciates the intentional involvement of board members in field projects and investments. "The business approach to poverty encourages, even demands, innovation and flexibility in project design. Things change quickly in the industry and MEDA has been good at responding to new priorities...if I didn't love and believe in what the organization is doing, I wouldn't be able to support it.”
Joyce loves to travel, and is nearing her goal of travel to 100 countries. Living in New Hampshire, she has two adult children who live on the west coast – one in Seattle and one in Portland, Oregon. Joyce is a member of the Mennonite Congregation of Boston.
Audit Committee Member / California, USA
Marianne Unruh is a serial entrepreneur and the owner of Fresh Solutions. Fresh Solutions provides fresh fruit and vegetable quality inspections for retailers and food service customers throughout North America. Prior to starting Fresh Solutions, Marianne worked for Loblaws, as the fresh grape and tree fruit category manager. Marianne brings expertise in the agri-food sector, business planning and operations, and an entrepreneurial spirit to the MEDA board. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where she studied biology.
Marianne joined the MEDA board because of its alignment with her faith values and commitment to collaboration, accountability, transparency and innovation. She lives in Selma, California, USA and attends First Mennonite in Reedley.
Audit Committee Member / Indiana, USA
Myrl Nofziger has had a 54-year career in real estate. He is board chairman of Hoogenbomm-Nofziger, which has led the development of has developed many properties in the vicinity of Goshen, IN, including apartments, commercial, retail, office, bank and industrial buildings. Myrl holds several residential and commercial real estate certifications and brings expertise in business management to the MEDA board.
A graduate of Goshen college and Indiana University, Myrl has served on many boards in his community - churches, businesses, banks and public companies. He is passionate about philanthropy, estate planning, deferred giving and working with endowments for non-profits. A long-time MEDA supporter and Sarona investor, Myrl has attended many conventions and traveled to various MEDA projects.
Myrl and his wife Phyllis, split their time between Goshen, where they attend College Mennonite Church, and Palm Springs California. They enjoy spending time with their four children and six grandchildren.Close
Finance Committee Member / Ontario, Canada
Rick is general manager of Wallenstein Feed & Supply Ltd., Ontario's largest feed mill. The business his father began in 1958 provides a complete range of nutritional solutions for Ontario's livestock and poultry farmers. WFS currently feeds about 25% of the farm animals in Ontario. WFS’s 240 employees include Rick’s wife Nancy, their youngest daughter Stephanie Rempel, and her husband Brian Rempel. Rick joined WFS in 1981 after working six years at General Motors. He has a Bachelor's in Math from University of Waterloo and an MBA from York University.
Rick sits on the board of directors for several organizations, including Kids Ability, Chesley Lake Camp and Hallman Chapel. Rick is an enthusiastic supporter of MEDA’s approach to “creating business solutions to poverty”. Rick and his wife Nancy, live in Elmira, Ontario and attend Floradale Mennonite Church. They have two adult daughters and two grandchildren.Close
Audit Committee Member / Florida, USA
With a background in Property and Casualty Insurance, following her graduation from Hesston College Verda established her own agency, Mutual Aid Services, working there for 20 years and overseeing day to day operations, human resources, fiscal management and marketing. Verda has belonged to several associations over the years, including the Professional Insurance Agents Association of Sarasota/Manatee County, the Professional Insurance Women’s Association of Sarasota/Manatee County, as well as several civic organizations and church boards in her community. Verda was recognized as Woman of the Year of Sarasota County based for her involvement with professional, civic, church, and child advocacy organizations.
Verda's 25 years of involvement with MEDA has inspired a passion and interest in international development, experiencing different cultures, and meeting new people. Prior to serving on the MEDA board, Verda engaged as a board member with the Sarasota, FL MEDA hub, assisting with audits and helping plan MEDA board tours to Tajikistan and Tanzania.
Verda lives with her husband, Dale, in Florida USA. They have 2 children and 6 grandchildren, and attend Cape Christian Fellowship in Cape Coral, Florida.Close
Nominating Committee Member / Kansas, USA
Yvonne Sieber is the Chief Philanthropy Officer of Bluestem Communities, a growing corporation of retirement communities in South Central Kansas. An alumnus of Hesston and Bethel Colleges, Vonnie obtained her MBA from Friends University in Kansas and has worked as Vice President of Advancement at Hesston College. Her career has spanned several executive roles across the healthcare industry, including positions in human resources, finance and philanthropy.
Yvonne was drawn to MEDA by its results-oriented business approach to poverty solutions, its focus on innovation, and the quality of leadership in the organization.
Yvonne and her husband, Gerry Sieber, live in Kansas. The couple has two adult daughters and 6 grandchildren. They attend Hesston Mennonite Church in Hesston, KS.