Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Leading the Team

Our skilled and multi-disciplinary Board of Directors are passionate about providing hope and healing for children and families caught in the cycle of poverty and disability. The vision and direction they give to Hope and Healing International is clear and compelling.

Brenda Ben

Board Chair

Brenda is a Chartered Professional Accountant and has spent the majority of her career in the insurance sector in a variety of capacities, including most recently as VP, CRM and Business Solutions. Brenda has a passion for service and has been a member of the Hope and Healing International Board since 2014. She has also served on several other charity and non-profit boards. Brenda and her husband Michael spend time in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo where they support a Congolese-run orphanage, school, and health clinic. They live in Waterloo, Ontario and have two adult daughters.

Brad Cross

Brad has 20 years of experience consulting and leading internal and financial control audits, both within a major Canadian accounting firm and an Ontario utility company. He joins us with great experience, having served on local boards in the non-profit sector. He’s passionate about serving both his local and global community and is inspired by Hope and Healing International’s commitment to local partnerships. What excites him most about Hope and Healing’s work are the programs that not only support families of children with impairments, but also provide them with education to further empower them. Brad and his wife live in York Region with their three children.


Robert E. Evans

Robert (Bob) has a PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He has four decades of experience in finance, investments and accounting, primarily as an expert witness in regulatory proceedings. Bob serves on the Finance and Audit Committees. He is also a Director and Secretary of Nia Technologies Inc. and Chairman of Rundle College Education Foundation. Bob’s favourite chapter in the Bible is Matthew 6 – he often finds himself inspired by its profound message. He and his late wife Kate have a son, Jack, who works in Toronto in the same downtown office building where Bob began his career over 40 years ago.

Tigabu Gebremedhin Kassa
Tigabu is one of the leading experts in community based rehabilitation in Africa. With a Master’s degree in Public Health and another in Special Needs Education, he has focused his research and life’s work on mothers of children with disabilities and children with disabilities. For over 25 years, Tigabu has worked in the non-profit sector as a project officer, country director, regional program manager and deputy regional director. Tigabu is constantly looking for ways to make a difference in the lives of those who have been affected by disabilities. Tigabu and his wife live in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Together they have five children.

Don Gerke

Don has over 30 years of financial, regulatory, human resources and operational experience. He has a Commerce Degree from the University of Alberta and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. Don brings a wealth of experience as a member of the Hope and Healing International Board. He has served as a board and committee member in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Don lives in Edmonton, Alberta with his wife and daughter.

Adela Goredema

Adela is a product development scientist with a PhD in chemistry from the University of Waterloo. In her career, spanning more than 20 years, she has developed materials for many applications, including inkjet printing, printed electronics, 3D printing, coatings, and hard-surface cleaning. She is a named inventor on over 90 US patents. Currently, she is a research and development manager at a chemical company. She brings a wealth of experience in innovation, project management and leadership. Adela finds great joy in serving others. Born and raised in rural Zimbabwe, Adela has always had a heart to help those in need. She has volunteered with a number of charities in a variety of roles. Adela and her husband, Ron, live in Ancaster, Ontario with their two daughters.
Don Klaassen
Don obtained his Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Saskatchewan and has over 15 years of experience working as a lawyer with the Department of Justice Canada. Don lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where he has served on the boards of both a local non-profit organization and his church. Don has lived experience with the physical and social barriers facing many Canadians with disabilities, since a hockey accident resulted in quadriplegia when he was 17. He has been inspired by the work of many individuals and organizations who seek to meet the needs of people with disabilities in places where they would otherwise be forgotten.

Jonathan Liteplo

Jonathan is a lawyer and partner in Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, one of Canada’s largest national law firms. He has practiced energy and utility regulatory law for more than three decades and represents a number of Canada’s major energy and utility service providers. He has been a long-time supporter of Hope and Healing International and member of the Board, and is passionate about our mission to break the disability-poverty cycle for the forgotten children of our world. Jonathan and his wife live on the West Coast and have three adult children.

Harry Reinders
Harry is a Partner and General Manager of RM Construction, providing rehabilitation and restoration of streams, rivers and lake shores. Harry has served on church and school boards and is a founding board member of CANIECA (Canadian International Erosion Control Association), a faith-based environmental organization. Harry has always had a heart for the hurting and those left behind. He and his wife live near Guelph, Ontario and have 5 adult children, and 3 beautiful grandchildren.
Ashley board
Ashley Vaughan
Ashley has always been passionate about supporting the local church. For the past 15 years, she has led worship teams and has found joy and fulfillment in training and empowering other worship leaders. In 2015, Ashley’s daughter was born with physical disabilities and complex needs. This began her journey of advocacy for accessibility in their city and in community schools. Ashley understands the beauty of raising a child with complex needs, as well as the struggles, heartache and exhaustion. Ashley has a growing on and offline community of moms in similar life situations, who draw strength and encouragement from Ashley’s story and ongoing insights. Ashley and her husband, Jarrett live in Vancouver, British Columbia and most days can be found chasing after either their 3 kids or 4 chickens.