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Head of Virginia firm sees success through flexibility, trust

By Jesse Huxman

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017

Devon Anders is all about building relationships. Anders is CEO of InterChange Group, a Harrisonburg, Va-based logistics firm. From the outside, you might think the business is just a warehouse company. It’s really about relationships.

Devon grew up in a Mennonite family near Souderton, Penn. Much of his business education came from watching how his father, a banker, treated others. “I learned that it was about treating people right. …My approach has always been, ‘Hey I’m going to try to be upfront with where I’m at with you, and I want you to do the same back to me.”Devon Anders

GreenHouse helps students build skills, test dreams.

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017TaniaTania Del Matto

Tania Del Matto has a ringside seat on the next generation of people who want to change the world.

As director of the St. Paul’s Uni- versity College GreenHouse program, she walks alongside students who want to start businesses or non-profits, as well as folks who have an idea that they don’t know what to do with.

Centre for Peace Advancement has helped non-profits and businesses

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017

Several registered charities — Pastors in Exile (an Anabaptist-rooted movement that connects young people in Waterloo Region with vibrant faith experiences outside and inside of church walls) and Theatre of the Beat (a travelling social justice theatre troupe) re-organized or developed their existing structure through work with Conrad Grebel University College’s Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement.

Centre for Peace Advancement supports peace entrepreneurs

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017Paul 2 with Grebel logo backgroundHeidebrecht is energized by mentoring young people who are committed to change.

Paul Heidebrecht is a different kind of business coach.

Heidebrecht is director of the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement, an inter-disciplinary organization that takes multi-sector approaches to the advancement of peace.

In a region that has many organizations working to encourage and support business start-ups in a variety of sectors, CPA is unique. It is currently the only university-based program in the world supporting peace-building related start-ups.

Steve Schroeder has found the transition to the business world to be “way harder than being a pastor.”5 Steve Schroeder


Practical solutions, integrity, building trust

By Allan Sauder

As Printed in The Marketplace - September/October 2017

One of the things MEDA holds very important is our values. For us, it’s a faith-based value system that calls us to unleash what we believe is God-given potential in all people to earn a livelihood.Girl with Apricots Tajikistan 6 049

Faith prints, wisdom exchanges part of TourMagination trips.

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in The Marketplace - September/October 2017

Even in her childhood, travel was a passion for Audrey Voth Petkau.

“I always had a dream to see the world,” she recalls. “I remember early on, looking at a map of the world, and pointing to Switzerland, and saying, some day, I’m going to get there.”Audrey pita shotPetkau enjoys local hospitality in Ak Metchet, Uzbekistan in 2013

MEDA staff encounter a variety of experiences during travels to countries where the agency works. As these stories show, trips can take unexpected turns.

Planes, strains and automobiles

Of all the travel MEDA president Allan Sauder has done with MEDA over the past three decades, the scariest took place on a visit to Peru 20 years ago.

Sauder and his wife, Donna, were visiting agribusiness projects in Peruvian jungles. After travelling all day to the main airport in Lima, they met a driver who would take them to a small airstrip atop the Andes. From there they would fly into the jungle to visit a palm heart project.Alan and Donna SauderAllan and Donna Sauder

Tech innovators, charities need to understand each other to tackle social problems

As Printed in The Marketplace - September/October 2017

Rapidly increasing wealth and inequality in North American high-tech hubs is forcing charities to reach out to technology entrepreneurs for solutions to societal problems as well as donations.

That new, uncomfortable reality means that both sides need to understand each other’s challenges, a forum on technology and inequality in Kitchener, Ont. heard recently.

The event was held at the offices of Vidyard, a fast-growing firm which provides a platform that helps companies analyze the performance of their online sales videos. It was organized by FaithTech, a nascent movement operating in three tech clusters across Canada (Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto and Vancouver).

Armed conflicts reinforced by social instability

As Printed in The Marketplace - September/October 2017

By Mike Strathdee

Dr. Samantha Nutt, the founder of War Child Canada, is one of the keynote speakers at MEDA’s upcoming convention: Building Bridges to Enduring Livelihoods — Business as a Calling 2017, to be held November 2-5 in Vancouver, B.C.

The excerpt below is from her book: Damned Nations: Greed, Guns Armies & Aid.

Business shows “everybody wins” when a country embraces newcomers.

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in The Marketplace - September/October 2017

HALIFAX — A Syrian refugee says his family’s thriving chocolate business should serve as an example of the value of Canadian “openness” in a world that has increasingly closed off its borders to refugees.12975869

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in The Marketplace - September/October 2017

Southwestern Ethiopia reveals an entire value chain at work. First, there’s the cotton plants along the road, their bolls bursting like popcorn. Village women spin the fibres into yarn. In the next town people bleach the yarn pure white so it will better accept dye.010 Werkinesh 01

As Printed in The Marketplace - September/October 2017

Welcome to So What?, a periodic look at MEDA’s long-term impact around the world. What really changed as a result of our development efforts? What got better for families and communities? This issue looks at the EDGET program in Ethiopia, which ran from 2010 to 2016.'


Wally and MikeMEDA editors are a rare breed, partly because there are so few of them. Thus far the organization has had only two people occupy the editor’s chair — Calvin Redekop, who founded The Marketplace in 1980, and Wally Kroeker, who came on board in 1985 and will retire on June 30.

We are delighted to announce our third. Seasoned journalist Mike Strathdee joined MEDA on May 1 as publications editor.

Feeding the spirit, feeding the hungry — for Bob Engbrecht, both are God’s will

As printed in The Marketplace July/August 2017

For many people, one “calling” in life is enough. Bob Engbrecht has had two — one to pastoral ministry, the other to feeding the world.

Today, at age 78, Engbrecht has retired from one but not both.bob

GORPFuel for the journey: Colleen Dyck in her basement kitchen where protein, fibre and Omega 3 are packed into tasty GORP bars.

Popular adventure product has a dual mission — furnish clean energy and get people out into God’s creation

Colleen Dyck got a call one day from a retailer: “Did you just pay three people to come into our store and urge us to sell your bars?”

It’s a business owner’s dream — to have customers help with marketing.

That’s what has happened in the four years since Dyck started manufacturing GORP Clean Energy Bars.

Who would have thought the soy fields of Africa could yield benefits in a seniors’ home across the globe

by Linda Whitmore


At first blush, you might wonder what a Canadian organization of seven long-term care homes could learn from women soy farmers in Ghana that they could apply back home. But learn, they did, and the experiences of a dozen peopleCare staff who visited MEDA's Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project in 2014 have been incorporated into its culture and practices.