Our Team 2018-08-16T08:58:04+00:00

Our Team

We’re serious about our shared passion for investing in the dreams of the poor and caring for those affected by disasters.

We also love ADRA’s ministry of compassion and are committed to spreading hope in Canada and around the globe. With our unique skills, diverse backgrounds, and life experiences, we have created a dedicated team of hard-working development professionals.

Stephen MatthewsExecutive Director
Coming from Newfoundland and Labrador, Stephen has some impressive designations that will serve him as he continues the good work of those who have gone before him. These include Professional Engineer (P. Eng.), Biology (BSc.), Project Management Professional (PMP), LEED Green Associate (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and he has a GSC (Gold Seal Certified), which is a Canadian Construction and Heavy Civil management professional standard of excellence.

“I feel greatly blessed and very excited to be joining ADRA Canada as the new executive director and look forward to the work God has in store for the team I will have the fortune to be a part of.” Matthews continues, “Being called by God to undertake this responsibility is humbling, and I look forward to serving in this role. I solicit the prayers of the church membership for ADRA Canada’s work, for wisdom, guidance, and direction as we reach out to the world around us.”

Anita M. Odondi
Anita M. OdondiEmergency Program Director
Anita comes from Uganda, where she first started working with ADRA in 2000 as an intern. She loved the work so much that she stayed on as a volunteer after her graduation. Six months later, ADRA Uganda recognized her contribution to field operations, and promptly hired her as a Programs Officer. Later, she went on to get her MSA in International Development.

In her 15 years of working with ADRA, Anita has experienced good memories and nightmares. “I thank God for the blessing of strength He provided for us to serve through difficult disasters,” she says, “because I know that we could not do it on our own.”

Anita ensures that ADRA Canada responds quickly and appropriately to disasters around the world. When she is not in the field coordinating operations, she is ensuring that ADRA is prepared to meet the next disaster.

Analynn Bruce
Analynn BruceDevelopment Program Director
For Analynn, ADRA isn’t business, it’s personal.

“I came to know the Adventist faith through ADRA,” she says. “I was impressed with the behavior of the Adventist workers at ADRA Sudan, and I eventually got baptized in the Nile River in Sudan.” The story gets better: she met her husband at an ADRA training event, they worked together at ADRA Somalia, and their wedding was organized by ADRA colleagues.

Before ADRA, she worked as an economic and development analyst, and market researcher. She’s always watching the trends of international development to ensure that ADRA Canada stays relevant and successful.

As ADRA Canada’s Program Director, Analynn uses her BS in Statistics, MA in Demography, MSA in International Development, and approximately 20 years of ADRA experience to ensure the smooth operation of our development programs.

Stephen Keys
Stephen KeysChief Financial Officer
From annual reports to tax exemption paperwork, Stephen is responsible for maintaining, and reporting, ADRA’s financial position. Stephen obtained his BBA in Accounting from Andrews University in the United States, and later completed his CPA. Before joining ADRA Canada, Stephen worked for the General Conference Auditing Service, providing auditing services to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Since beginning as a Junior Accountant in 2003, Stephen has served as an Accountant, Senior Accountant, and acting Executive Director.

As a fastidious steward of expenses, Stephen streamlines our operations to ensure that the ADRA Canada office runs efficiently. He is also responsible for planning and budgeting for our operations, and ensures that we operate within that budget.

Sharmilla Reid
Sharmilla ReidSupporter Relations Director
Originally from Jamaica, Sharmilla was a child when she immigrated to Canada with her parents in 1989. After years of working with non-profit organizations in Canada, including the Canadian Cancer Society, Sharmilla joined ADRA Canada in 2014. Sharmilla first worked here as a Supporter Relations Associate, before taking on the role of Supporter Relations Director.

Sharmilla obtained her BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and is currently pursuing an MBA from Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh School of Business.

“I’m blessed,” says Sharmilla, “to be able to work with an agency that does so much good, to so many people, in so many places in our world.”

Support Staff by Department

David Kozarichuk – Associate Director for Development Program, Monitoring and Evaluation

Prior to joining ADRA Canada’s Development Programs department, David worked for 7 years in programming and project management. He worked in a fast-paced corporate environment before switching to the humanitarian sector.

David is using his MS in Software Engineering and BS in Computer Science to develop monitoring and evaluation protocols, build and update project management databases, and increase project sustainability by improving monitoring and evaluation.

David has also been to Mexico and Argentina on mission trips, and serves as an elder in his local church, where he leads a small group in Bible studies.

Anthony Da Rocha – Senior Technical Advisor, MNCH

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Anthony moved to Canada in 1990. His passion for international humanitarian aid began to develop when he took trip to Laos in 2007 with ADRA and Burman University. During his 6 weeks in Laos, Anthony came face to face with the urgent need for international relief and development.

After graduating from Burman University, Anthony went on to study medicine. As a medical professional, Anthony brings unique skills and knowledge to his position at ADRA. As Senior Technical Advisor, Anthony is responsible for the day-to-day management of technical matters related to MNCH programming and policy, including program-based and applied research. He will provide technical guidance and lead in the coordination and collaboration with other key stakeholders in maternal health including research institutions, professional associations and academic entities, international development partners, and host country governments.

He says, “I am very excited to be part of the ADRA network, working together with other ADRA offices, towards the common goal of humanitarian aid.”

Calvin Okello – Project manager/Monitoring and Evaluation (PROMISE)

Calvin Okello is originally from Kenya. He obtained his MS in Information and Telecommunication Systems Management from Capitol Technology University, Maryland, USA and a BA in Technology Management Studies from Moi University, Kenya.

Calvin is passionate in empowering the youth and the vulnerable through mentoring, training and engagement in community activities that prepare them for leadership roles.

Daniel Cho – Project Manager

In this role, Daniel Cho provides technical and administrative support to all development projects, with focus on the EMBRACE Project. Daniel supports the implementation of the project’s volunteer plan, coordinates travel arrangements and ensure the smooth functioning of Canadian community events. He also supports the review and finalization of reports and assists in exploring funding possibilities to grow the program portfolio.

Daniel completed his undergraduate studies in nutrition and a Masters in Public Health from Loma Linda University School of Public Health. Daniel is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian who is passionate about sharing God’s love to the less fortunate in Canada and around the world. He has volunteered and lead humanitarian projects to Zambia, China, Cambodia and the homeless in downtown Toronto. A long-time vegetarian, Daniel is also passionate about the health benefits of plant-based eating. In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading and exercising.

Kimberley Whyte-Jones – Project Manager, Public Engagement (EMBRACE)

A communications professional with over 7 years of experience and a passion for solving sustainability, environmental and social development challenges, Kimberley has a lifelong goal of positively impacting lives. She focused on public participation while completing a Master of Arts in Environmental Policy at Memorial University of Newfoundland, which complemented her BA in Media and Communication from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

Kimberley has a professional affiliation with the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) in Canada and has previously been involved in youth engagement initiatives in her native Jamaica. She is enthusiastic about her role at ADRA Canada, which involves engaging the public in order to increase awareness and engagement in global maternal, newborn and child health.

Sherry Leonard – Gender Advisor

Sherry ensures the integration of gender equality and protection in all ADRA Canada projects. Prior to joining ADRA in 2005, she worked for 10 years in the business management sector, and has received training in business management and gender equality methodologies. “I left the business sector to do work that was more spiritually enriching, and my life has been forever positively changed by this decision,” says Sherry. “Now, I enjoy the opportunity to do work that I am spiritually connected to, and that reflects God’s love to those in need.”

When she’s not working at ADRA, Sherry enjoys sports, spending time with her family, and eating chocolate! Sherry’s international experience includes travel to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, Thailand, Cambodia, and Mongolia!

Thokozani Njoloma – Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Technical Advisor

Thoko comes to us with a rich background of engagement and knowledge of monitoring and evaluation of program activities in developing countries. Thoko brings to ADRA Canada a solid understanding of the determinants of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, and their management in developing countries.

Thoko is a Public Health specialist with a Nursing and Midwifery background. She recently graduated from the University of Melbourne in Australia with a Master’s in Public Health (Global Health). A native of Malawi she dreams of a world where poverty is never a limiting factor to choice, and where equality means equality for all.

She is the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Technical Advisor at ADRA Canada, ensuring that M&E systems are up and running for both Development and Emergency Programs.

Alain Normand – Senior Manager, National Emergencies

Alain is a recognized emergency management professional known well in Canada and a recipient of the National Award for Emergency Management, the highest award in Canada in this field. He is currently the Emergency Manager for the City of Brampton, teaches emergency management and is a regular speaker at many conferences and seminars in Canada, the US, and China.

Alain is also a volunteer with the Red Cross and has been deployed to emergencies and disasters such as the Calgary floods and the Haiti earthquake.

Alain and his wife Nicole have three adult children and are now empty nesters.

Avish Raj – Senior Manager, CFGB Program

“The world is one family, we need to grow with love and care”, says Avish, who hails from the largest democracy, India.
With 4 years of offshore corporate work experience with UK and US based companies and 6 years of development experience with World Education Consortium Thailand and with ADRA offices in Thailand, Rwanda, and Papua New Guinea, equips him with diverse knowledge and skills to work with the communities in need.

Avish holds an MA from Andrews University and BA from Spicer Adventist University. His services in the past included appointment as a Volunteer, Field Asst., Program M&E Officer, and Program Director. In 2015, Avish joined ADRA Canada. He works as a Senior Manager, supporting development and emergency related projects funded by Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

“ADRA Canada’s undaunted service towards communities in need and distress through seamless integration of Theology and Development is what keeps me going!” says Avish.

Diana Opollo – Gender Equality Specialist

Diana joins the ADRA team in the capacity of Gender Equality Specialist from Nairobi, Kenya.  She obtained a BA in Psychology (2005), a Master of Science (MSSW) (2007) and PhD in Social Work (2011) all from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) in the US. She has several years of experience lecturing courses in Research Methods, Gender, Development and Policy Studies at the University level and has worked on several projects as a Research Consultant with various organizations in Kenya. Her interests include gender issues, evaluation of systems, and sexual and reproductive health matters. She is trained in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and has published several articles and presented in various conferences around the world. Diana has worked with diverse and marginalized populations from refugees, the homeless, to poor women and children in rural and urban slums. Her passion is aligned to ADRA’s mission of working with people is poverty and distress to create just and positive change through empowering people and responsible action. Diana is committed to enhancing effective, efficient and quality service delivery through gender and cultural sensitive and responsive policies and programs amongst the ADRA Canada team, our stakeholders and the clients we serve.

In her free time, Diana enjoys traveling, reading, listening to music, and spending time with vulnerable populations in service.

Kaily Lima – Project Manager

Kaily is a professional with over ten years of experience in IT Administration and Operations. Before arriving at ADRA she worked for a multinational marketing agency, leading technology projects. Her new role at ADRA Canada will include supporting domestic and international emergency programs.

Originally from Brazil, Kaily knows full well the need that many people face in developing countries. She is enthusiastic about her role at ADRA Canada and is passionate about sharing God’s love through service, helping those in need.

Kaily says, “It is with great honour and a humble heart that I offer myself in service to God and to others in this new role”.

Kaily serves at her local church as a worship ministry leader and in her spare time she enjoys singing, camping and spending time with her husband Sam and two children, Emelie and Daniel.

Nadine Ramsay – Administrative Assistant

Originally from the Island of Jamaica, Nadine is happy to support the work of ADRA Canada as Administrative Assistant.

She previously served the Church, while working at the Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica for 17 years, where she also earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Studies.

Her desire is to live by the Golden Rule, ‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them’.

Ingrid Schwinghammer – Junior Accountant

Ingrid is known for her organizational skills and multi-tasking abilities that have well equipped her for what she actually does in the office: keep everything going. Her eye for design and love of organization ensure that our office looks, and performs, its best. She likes working at ADRA because the agency has a mission, and “projects and partners are our success stories!”

Ingrid originally joined ADRA Canada in 2004, working part-time to help process donations for the tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Before that, she garnered 15 years of experience in payroll, reception, and production scheduling, but primarily in accounts receivable. She’s lived in Alberta, Ontario, and Michigan.

Lauren Clarke – Information Technology Manager

Lauren might be our resident tekkie, but at heart, she’s really a people person. “I love working with my colleagues,” says Lauren, “they’re a great bunch to be around.”

After getting her degree  in Computer Information Systems from Andrews University, she began troubleshooting anything with an electric cord (“power supply line”) or screen (“graphical user interface”) here at ADRA Canada in 2001. Before joining us, she was a computer lab consultant and software developer. Hopeless in the kitchen but skillful with a keyboard, she’s happy for a husband whose talents complement her own.

Theresa MacMaster – Accountant

Theresa hails from Nova Scotia. She obtained her Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.  Not only is Theresa an Accountant in Finance, she also has a role in our Project Finance unit for our CFGB and GAC projects. Her role includes preparing and examining ADRA’s financial records to ensure our organization and projects run efficiently.

Theresa has three lovely teenaged daughters. Her favourite Bible verse is 2 Timothy 1:7 and she loves sharing about the love and grace of Christ!

Richard Novlesky – Associate Director for Project Finance

Richard joined ADRA in 2012 after returning from overseas where he served as Treasurer of Middle East Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Beirut, Lebanon. His MBA studies and years of experience have been a strong contribution to the finance team.

The accounting profession often includes demanding deadlines and Richard’s unflagging patience to help those around him, while bringing a smile or a chuckle to every situation, is very much appreciated by his accounting team. Richard says, “Accounting is pretty much the same everywhere, but working for ADRA is a unique opportunity to combine my skills and experience with helping people make the world a better place.”

Alice Muthuri – Senior Manager, Compliance

Originally from Kenya, Alice begun her career in ADRA South Sudan after completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Management – Accounting major in the University of Eastern Africa – Baraton. She served as an accountant in ADRA South Sudan until her move to Canada in 2006.

Alice was employed in the corporate industry in Toronto until joining ADRA Canada in May 2017 as Senior Manager, Project Finance for the MNCH project. She holds the designation CPA – CMA.

“I thank God for the privilege to work in His vineyard at any capacity and I pray that He blesses the work of my hands as together with ADRA we empower communities and change lives.  I am so glad to work with ADRA again.”

Charmaine Williams Tate – Manager, Project Finance

Charmaine migrated to Canada in 2012 from the tropical Island of Jamaica; motivated by the desire to make a better life for herself and her family.  She has high aspirations of making a difference, striving for excellence and always doing what God expects.  She is a Finance Professional, that holds a Master’s Degree from Northern Caribbean University, and has given over 10 years of her expertise in the banking and communications industries in Jamaica.  Since coming to Canada she pursued further studies in Profession Management at York University.

Having a passion for learning, she enjoys reading, researching and having stimulating conversations. She is known for her meticulous organizational skills and unconditional love for people.  She is excited to take up her position of Manager, Project Finance here at ADRA.  She believes that each one can reach one. This has been the mantra that fuels her motivation in doing all she can to make a difference in the lives of the people she encounters daily.  Along with her professional accolades, she loves being a mother, wife, friend, confidant, singer, writer, christian and motivational speaker. She embraces each day as an opportunity to make a difference.

“I am happy to be apart of the ADRA team.  I embrace the vision that this organization was built on – ‘proclaiming Christ, nurturing believers and serving humanity’.  I look forward to playing my part in enhancing the quality of life of those who do not have the opportunities that we take for granted.”

Della Nhiwatiwa – Manager, Project Finance

Della Nhiwatiwa is a seasoned finance and accounting professional who has joined ADRA in May 2018 as Manager Project Finance on the EMBRACE Project. Della comes to us from Zimbabwe where she has held Accountant and Finance Manager positions in various corporations and industries. Della has the passion for the work of uplifting humanity and the underprivileged in society. She served as the First Female President of a Rotary International Club in Harare, Zimbabwe where she championed the cause for maternal health and child welfare on her signature project which supported the cause for vulnerable women, mothers and children at Mbuya Nehanda Maternity Hospital. She is delighted that she can continue this type of work here at ADRA Canada.

Della was educated at Solusi University, in Bulawayo Zimbabwe, which is one of the biggest Seventh Day Adventist Institutions of Higher Learning in Southern Africa where she attained her Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA Accounting) degree. She holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Zimbabwe. She has part ACCA and is studying towards her Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification.

During her leisure time she likes to engage with people and have a good laugh. She also enjoys watching football, swimming and athletics.

Laura Oke – Manager, Project Finance

Laura joined ADRA Canada in 2007.  Laura received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Ottawa, and gained Human Resources experience while working at the Hudson’s Bay Company.

“Working with ADRA has opened my eyes to the world around me, to real people with real needs,” says Laura. “I’m so thankful that the work I do each day is contributing to making a difference in someone’s life!”

Zeny Cooper – Manager, Project Finance

Zeny joined ADRA Canada in 2016 as a part time accountant for the emergency unit. Her role is to provide support to the financial management of emergency funded projects in liaison with implementing offices.   Having been in the network for over 20 years, she has served as a Financial Consultant or Finance & Admin Director in ADRA offices across Africa and Asia.  She has also participated in many financial programmes across the agency facilitating finance training sessions in country and regional offices.  Prior to joining ADRA Canada she worked for ADRA UK.  She is currently an active member of the network’s emergency response team, deployed as Finance Manager to oversee the rapid and transparent disbursement of funds to provide immediate relief to those in need during emergencies.

Zeny says, “I am passionate with the work that ADRA does because I find it very fulfilling helping other people.”  A native of the Philippines, she currently lives in Thailand where her husband is serving ADRA Thailand.

Alicia Dooks – Engagement Coordinator

Alicia is a recent graduate of Andrews University with a BA in French Studies and minor in Community and International Development.  During her course of study Alicia spent a year in France attending Collonges and travelling around Europe.  As part of her course work in International development she spent a month in Madagascar visiting ADRA projects.  She says, “It was great to see the work that ADRA is doing in developing countries and to see how much positive change was brought to these communities. The trip really inspired me to pursue a career that helps those in need.”

Alicia has always been interested in a career that directly helps others and has a growing interest in political and environmental issues.  Her other interests include gymnastics, travel, and listening to audiobooks and podcasts.

Crystal Weststrate – Supporter Relations Assistant

Accuracy, attention to detail, organization skills and a creative flair are assets that Crystal brings to one of the most important parts of our agency. Crystal has lived in France and worked for several years in customer relations as a bilingual representative. Being fully fluent in French will enable her to serve our supporters from all over Canada.

Crystal loves baking decadent treats, scrapbooking, and planning events for her friends and family. She has organized bake sale events to fundraise for local humane societies and for an ADRA mission trip with area church groups. When she isn’t hard at work being a mom, Crystal finds her relaxation enjoying quiet moments in nature and her love of music.

Frank Spangler – Communications Specialist

Frank has been working with ADRA Canada on a contract basis since 1989. He has been traveling the world, visiting ADRA programs, taking photographs and producing ADRA report videos. In 2014 he joined the ADRA staff as a Communications Specialist. He says, “My work in the documentation of the programs of ADRA has taken me to the ghettos and remote villages of many developing countries of the world. I am always saddened by the poverty, amazed at the resilience of the people and inspired by the children who smile through their pain and hunger.”

After earning his MDiv from Andrews University, Frank stayed on to continue studies in International Development to help him have a greater awareness and sensitivity to the work that ADRA does around the world. He is delighted to officially join ADRA Canada and looks forward to sharing the mission and vision of ADRA with the world.

Kayla Casey – Social Media and Website Coordinator

After graduating from Andrews University with a BS in Sociology with an emphasis on Community and International Development, Kayla then joined the ADRA Canada team in 2017. Kayla is responsible for the design and strategy of our social media and website and curates content designed to engage our supporters and share the work of ADRA.

She is a big fan of podcasts and enjoys being a contributor to the ADRA Canada Insider podcast.

Michael Kirkby – Design and Communications Coordinator

As the Design and Communications Coordinator for ADRA Canada, Michael is responsible for creating many of the visuals that ADRA Canada uses at events and in publications across Canada. As a graduate of the International Studies program at Burman University in Alberta, Michael is now happy to use his degree at ADRA. Before taking this position with ADRA in 2014, Michael honed his organizational skills at an asset management firm in Toronto.

Michael is enthusiastic about his role: “ADRA has been the organization I have wanted to work for since I was young, hearing stories of their work while ingathering. My ADRA trip to Nicaragua in 2008 reinforced my desire. My position here allows me to help others from around Canada experience and see the great things that ADRA is doing.”

Sonja Fraser – Stewardship Coordinator

Born and raised in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sonja knows the joys and struggles of growing up in a developing country. Because of this she has a passion for sustainable development and equal access to development opportunities for all. She came to Canada and graduated with B.A. in International Development Studies from Saint Mary’s University Halifax, Nova Scotia.

During her time Saint Mary’s she worked at its Annual Giving Centre. She knows how important it is for any organization to create and maintain healthy relationships with its supporters and enjoys talking to them when they call.

When asked about how she feels about working at ADRA Canada she says “I love the fact that I am part of an organization whose goal is to be the hands and feet of Jesus and assist those in need.”

Outside of work she is a fan of everything South Korean which include watching South Korean dramas and listening to K-pop. Her favourite quote is: ‘Give a man a fish he will thank you for today; Teach a man to fish and he will thank you forever.’

ADRA Canada is led by a committed and multi-talented board.

They give so much of their time to help ADRA Canada grow and fulfill its mission of lifting up those in poverty. For that, we are so grateful!

Board Chair: Mark Johnson

Daniel Stojanovic
Lowell Cooper
Donna Lee Lehmann

Ulysses Guarin
Brian Hawes
Jean Levy

Gary Hodder
Joseph Richards

Christine Hwang
Stan Jensen