Managers & Committees

Executive Advisory Group

PETER AND KATHY LACEY

Executive Advisors

Peter and Kathy have been supporting A Better World for many years; both have traveled with A Better World to view the projects that they continue to invest in and support. Click here to see one of their projects.

“I have traveled several times with A Better World to see our projects. It gives us great satisfaction to know that local people are empowered and engaged in solving problems”
– Kathy

GORD AND KATHY BONTJE

Executive Advisors

Gord and Kathy have supported projects since near the beginning of ABW and volunteered with us since 2006. A founding partner of Laebon Developments, Ltd., Gord has traveled several times to see the projects that he and Kathy support in Kenya and Rwanda. Their most recent project is Gilgil Primary School in Kenya. Click here to see one of their projects.

DALE AND MAJELLA RUSSELL

Executive Advisors

Dale and Majella, owners of RE/MAX Real Estate Central Alberta, have volunteered with A Better World since 2007 and invested in Educational projects in Kenya and Afghanistan. They have traveled several times to Kenya and Rwanda to see the projects that they support and meet the communities that are impacted. Click here to see one of their projects.

Program Managers

KEITH LEAVITT

Education Program Manager

Keith Leavitt, a retired Education professor from Burman University, manages ABW’s Education Program along with the help of a team of highly qualified educators, Graham Mulligan, Gail Misek, and Jennifer MacArthur. Keith makes annual education trips to Kenya to assess the schools that we are supporting. Often, he brings a team of fellow educators and support staff to provide training seminars for local teachers.

DR. WAYNE CHURCH

DR. PAULETTE COMEAU

Health Program Managers

Dr. Wayne and Dr. Paulette have been family physicians for over 30 years in Red Deer, AB. The married couple has traveled extensively around the world dedicating their lives to medical service. We are pleased that they volunteer as the managers for ABW’s Health Program. In this role, they coordinate all of the medical services that ABW provides, including dental, rehab/physio, surgery, training services, and medical trips. Dr. Church is the chair of the Health Advisory Committee that is made up of all health project managers.

STU MACPHAIL

Water Program Manager

Member, Board of Directors

Member, Marketing Committee

Stu is the volunteer Water Program Manager for ABW. He has
volunteered with A Better World since 2004 and sits on the Marketing and Communications Committee and Board of Directors as well.
A partner in Advanced Systems in Red Deer, he has been on more than ten trips to various project locations. Stu has been in the oil industry for the past 25 years. He recently retired from his position as VP of
Business Development for Parkland Fuel Corporation.

PAT ROMERMAN, P.Eng

Civil/Structural Department Manager Rangeland Engineering Company, Calgary

Engineering Consultant

Pat has traveled with A Better World more than five times, visiting Kenya, Sudan, Haiti, Tanzania and Rwanda since he became a volunteer in 2007. Pat consults with A Better World on construction, site plans and design of buildings.

“I volunteer with ABW because it’s time to use my professional talents to give back to those in need of my expertise.”

Pat and Bev Romerman have also contributed to many Projects.

Project Managers

WARREN SCHNOOR

WARREN SCHNOOR

Kenya Project Manager

Warren joined A Better World in 2013 and travels to Kenya regularly to manage projects. Warren and his wife Sara Jane are dedicated and long-time supporters of ABW. They have owned Co-operators Insurance Agency in Lacombe, AB since 2006.

 “I believe A Better World is making a significant, measurable difference in Kenya and other parts of the world. I wanted to play a small part.”

DEBRA BROSSEUK

DEBRA BROSSEUK

Kacyiru Project Manager

Debra is a former Special Education teacher and stay-at-home mom. She has recently become a proud Grandmother of a baby boy named Jacob! Debra has been involved with ABW since 2007 and travels every year to Rwanda to visit Kacyiru. She visits her students at the Primary School, interacts with the teachers and parents/caregivers, and visits the home setting of the children. She ensures the needs of the kids are addressed both at school and home; many children have been taken to medical facilities to receive care.

AZALEA LEHNDORFF

AZALEA LEHNDORFF

Afghanistan Project Manager

Member, Board of Directors

Azalea Lehndorff has been an advocate for education for all since she was a young girl. Graduating from the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine in 2018, she strives to impact lives through both education and healthcare. Starting the 100 Classrooms Project in 2009, Azalea raised over $1 million to build a total of 101 classrooms for students in Afghanistan—the project was completed in 2018.

“I am passionate about bringing opportunity to girls in Afghanistan. A Better World made it possible for that dream to be realized.”

DR. RAY COMEAU

DR. RAY COMEAU

Medical Service Manager

Dr. Ray is a physician with training and experience in international medicine who practises at Horizon Clinic in Sylvan Lake. He and his wife Deryl, who lead the health services team, have been involved with A Better World since 2008 and made 13 trips to project countries around the world.

 “I joined ABW because it is volunteer-run and delivers on its promises to both the donors and the people it serves.”

DERYL COMEAU, RN, BScN, OHNC, MN

DERYL COMEAU, RN, BScN, OHNC, MN

Community Health Manager

Deryl is an RN with a Master of Nursing in transcultural care and community health and development; she has extensive international experience. Since starting volunteer work with A Better World in 2009, she has led 10 multidisciplinary healthcare trips to Kenya and worked in Peru, Rwanda, and Bolivia.

 “I am passionate about nursing and global health, and feel very fortunate to have traveled to about 75 countries to date.”

KAREN LEUNG

KAREN LEUNG

Rehab Service Manager

Karen has supported A Better World since its earliest years, and recently took on a formal position as a volunteer. A physiotherapist with Alberta Health Services in Lacombe, Alberta, she traveled to Kenya in 2012 and 2013 overseeing physical rehabilitation projects. Now, she makes annual trips leading a team of professionals to provide rehabilitation for children in Kenya and Rwanda.

“I have seen disabled children transformed and believe that we can make a difference one life at a time.”

DR. LEN WADE

BARBARA WADE

Medical Training Service Managers

KELVIN HILL

KELVIN HILL

Dental Service Manager

Secretary, Board of Directors

Kelvin has volunteered with ABW since 2004, traveling annually over the last few years as the leader of Dental Service trips to Kenya. He has also traveled to Belize and Louisiana for relief efforts.

 “I find inspiration from being associated with such a dedicated group of volunteers who are committed to making the world a better place.”

KEITH CLOUTEN

NEVILLE CLOUTEN

Rapogi Project Managers

Keith, originally from Australia, has spent his life as a librarian. Now retired and living in Canada with his wife Ngaire, a retired primary school teacher, the couple has travelled to more than 100 countries. Keith and his brother Neville work together to manage the Rapogi Primary School and they have also provided substantial financial support to the project’s needs. Neville is an accomplished architect living in Australia with his wife Norene, a physiotherapist. He has taught architecture at Andrews University (Berrien Springs, Michigan) and Lawrence Technological University (Detroit, Michigan) where he was also the Dean of the School of Architecture.

RICK WIEBE

RICK WIEBE

Kenya Project Manager

Rick Wiebe is a long-time businessman and humanitarian volunteer. Owner of Carpet One Floor & Home in Red Deer, AB, Rick has extensive business knowledge and strategic planning expertise. A Project Manager with A Better World, Rick connects these skills with international humanitarian development. He and his wife Sharon also provide pre-marriage counselling. They have 3 kids and 4 grandkids.

“I love to see people moving forward with our help, and I know where every donor’s money goes, and that’s what I like about A Better World.”

ROB WEICH

ROB WEICH

Bolivia Project Manager

Rob has travelled to Kenya, Haiti, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Bolivia. He currently works as an EMT in Central Alberta and is a volunteer firefighter.

ERIC RAJAH

ERIC RAJAH

Rwanda, Tanzania, and India Project Manager

Executive Director and Co-founder

Eric Rajah co-founded A Better World in 1990 with his friend Brian Leavitt. Since then, he has held the role of Executive Director. Eric is passionate about helping and inspiring people both around the world and at home. He’s traveled with over 2,800 volunteers to project sites in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Bolivia, and Afghanistan. Eric loves enabling and encouraging young people to follow their dreams of helping others as well.

 “I want to give back because much has been given to me.”

SHANELLE ADAMS

SHANELLE ADAMS

Thailand Project Manager

Shanelle, an administrative assistant with Advanced Systems, has volunteered with A Better World since 2006. She lives in Lacombe and has traveled once to Kenya. Currently, she manages the She Has a Name Project at the Home of New Beginnings in Thailand.

 “I enjoy helping others and being part of an organization dedicated to creating relationships and sustainable change locally and internationally.”

RONDA ZIAKRIS

RONDA ZIAKRIS

Neighbours Project Manager

Ronda has volunteered with A Better World since 2009. She initiated the Neighbours program in 2012 to provide support to Central Alberta. She is a teacher in Lacombe, and has travelled to Kenya.

“It’s about the people – the opportunity to be the change I wish to see in the world.”

In-country Project Managers

LAWRENCE MATHEA

Kenya Project Manager

Lawrence has been working with A Better World since 2009. He started out as driver guide and now manages our projects in Kenya.  As project Manager he is responsible for implementing the approved projects, monitor and evaluate the progress, manage the funds and liaise with the project partners.  Lawrence visited Canada in 2015 to meet donors and learn about the Revenue Canada Rules in completing overseas projects.

CHARLES RIOBA

Kenya Water Program Consultant

Charles Rioba, Engineer owns Solar World Kenya.  Solar World specializes in water and power related solar products.  In 2007, Charles in partnership with A Better World purchased a water drilling rig and has been drilling wells since then for A Better Worlds and other organizations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Sudan.

JUMA SAMPUERRAP

JUMA SAMPUERRAP

Kenya Healthcare Consultant

Juma is a clinical officer working in the Maasai Mara at ABW-supported Sopa Clinic. Juma came from a big family; his father was married to 7 wives and Juma has 58 siblings. Juma helps with on-the-ground logistics for ABW healthcare trips and project management at Sopa.

“The reason I admire working with ABW is because they are really helping the needy and reaching the unreached areas and people who are underprivileged.”

RAMA KAONEKA

RAMA KAONEKA

Tanzania Project Manager

Rama was born in Lushoto Usamabara Mountain and grew up in Mlembule village in Tanzania. He went to Mbogoiyola Primary School at Mombo and later attended Dar Es Salaam National Vocation Centre where he studied plumbing. From 1995 to 1996, Rama played professional soccer for the Tanzanian National Team (he loves soccer). After that, Rama went to school to become a professional safari guide and has been guiding people on safaris for the past 20 years. He comes from a family of 14 siblings and has 3 children of his own, two boys and one girl.

“In July of 2014, I met Eric Rajah on his first visit to Tanzania and joined A Better World as a project liaison. I continue to manage various projects in Tanzania and to take guests on safari. I am excited by the work done by A Better World in their efforts to help others through health and education.”

Marketing and Communications

Committee

CARL HAHN

CARL HAHN

Chair, Marketing Committee

Volunteer CoordinatorCarl began volunteering as a project manager with A Better World in 2006, establishing the M&C committee in 2013. The operator of Grammar Guru Writing and Editing Services in Red Deer, he has travelled to East Africa four times.

“I was attracted by ABW’s approach of helping those who are genuinely trying to help themselves. I stayed because of the incredible quality and dedication of the volunteers.”

STU MACPHAIL

STU MACPHAIL

Member, Marketing Committee
Member, Board of Directors
Water Program Manager

Stu is the volunteer Water Program Manager for ABW. He has volunteered with A Better World since 2004 and sits on the Marketing and Communications Committee and Board of Directors as well. A partner in Advanced Systems in Red Deer, he has been on more than ten trips to various project locations. Stu has been in the oil industry for the past 25 years. He recently retired from his position as VP of Business Development for Parkland Fuel Corporation.

Laura Tester

Laura Tester

Journalist

Laura Tester while working at the Red Deer Advocate as a reporter travelled with A Better World to Kenya.  Since then she has been writing articles for A Better World publications. Laura lives in Calgary, Alberta.

RAJIV EMERSON

RAJIV EMERSON

IT Manager & Webmaster

Rajiv has volunteered with A Better World since 2011. A business manager with Advanced Systems in Red Deer, he has so far traveled only virtually with A Better World.

“I volunteer because it was a generous person like those that support A Better World that helped my parents get an education, break the cycle of poverty, and migrate to Canada.”

JACQUI MCCARTY

JACQUI MCCARTY

Communications Support

Jacqui graduated from Burman University in 2016 with a Bachelors in English. She had been interning with A Better World for 3 years before, and began working full-time after graduation as the Communications Specialist. She has travelled to Kenya 5 times, living near Nairobi for 10 months as a high school teacher. Currently, she lives in Palau as an elementary teacher.

SHANELLE ADAMS

SHANELLE ADAMS

Desktop Publisher
Thailand Project Manager

Shanelle, an administrative assistant with Advanced Systems, has volunteered with A Better World since 2006 doing graphic design and publishing. She lives in Lacombe and has traveled once to Kenya. Currently, she manages the She Has a Name Project at the Home of New Beginnings in Thailand.

“I enjoy helping others and being part of an organization dedicated to creating relationships and sustainable change locally and internationally.”

Volunteer Committee

CINDY WRIGHT

CINDY WRIGHT

Member, Volunteer Committee

Cindy and her husband Richard started volunteering in 2004 and have traveled with A Better World over 10 times to Kenya and Rwanda. They live in Red Deer, Alberta where Cindy is a legal secretary with Warren Sinclair LLP and Richard works for Baker Hughes Canada.

“After our first trip, we realized how much we enjoyed humanitarian work and loved working with ABW both abroad and at home.”

CANDI RAJAH

CANDI RAJAH

Member, Volunteer Committee

Candi has volunteered for ABW since its very beginning, helping her husband Eric in many areas. From event planning and decorating to supporting volunteers, she is always willing to lend a helping hand. Candi, Eric, and their sons Brenden and Jaden have traveled to East Africa many times with ABW.