The MEDA Team - Strategic Engagement

Strategic Engagement

BETHANY NUSSBAUM, Senior Development Officer

Bethany is in her 14th year of professional fundraising. She comes most recently from Central Christian School in Kidron, Ohio, where she provided leadership to fundraising and marketing efforts as advancement director. Prior to that, she served as development associate and communications coordinator at Mennonite Mission Network. Bethany earned her bachelor of arts in communication and public relations from Goshen College, a certificate in fundraising management from Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, and her MBA, in leadership from Goshen College.

CHRIS BRNJAS, Associate Development Officer

With his entrepreneurial spirit, Chris co-founded a local non-profit, Pastors in Exile, which works primarily with Mennonite young adults. In addition, he has worked at the Centre for Community Based Research in Waterloo as a Research Assistant and at Conrad Grebel University College as the Interim Student Services Program Assistant. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Waterloo as well as a Masters of Theological Studies from Conrad Grebel University College and a Masters in Arts in Theology: Spirituality and Psychotherapy from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.

DEAN SHOEMAKER, Senior Development Officer

Dean is originally from Elmira, Ontario and has worked in the Mennonite Community early in his career with the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU). After leaving MSCU he worked for 5 years in the private sector for a company called GrowersFlowers Inc. (Thiessen’s Greenhouses) in Leamington, Ontario. There he was responsible for Marketing and Sales. After GrowerFlowers he worked for a non-profit Trade Association called Flowers Canada (Ontario) Inc., in the areas of Business Development and then Marketing. When the Executive Director of Flowers Canada retired, Dean was promoted into that position and continued in that role for 5 years.

Dean has a passion for missions work. He has been to Haiti 14 times on short-term missions. He serves as a Director on the Board of God’s Littlest Angels Children’s Ministry Canada (GLAC), which is a baby ministry and orphanage in Haiti. Dean has previously served on volunteer boards for Active Christians With A Mission, Habitat for Humanity and was a Big Brother.

RUTH LEAMAN, Senior Development Officer, Campaign Director

Ruth brings six years of successful fundraising experience in Mennonite education to her new role. Ruth most recently worked at Hinkletown Mennonite School, where she led a major capital campaign as their director of advancement. Previously, as an executive advancement associate at Lancaster Mennonite School, she launched an international development program.

VANESSA HOFER, Associate Development Officer

Vanessa is a self-described relationship builder with a commitment to, and a passion for, organizations invested in community building endeavors. She previously held the position of Manager at Menno Tea and has writing and editing experience for a variety of clients. Vanessa has spent time living with host families while studying Arabic in Morocco and North Africa. She also worked for PRiMA Theatres in Lancaster, where she was responsible for creating marketing campaigns, building strategic relationships and managing special events and productions. She holds a degree in Writing and Theatre from Goshen College.