Our Team

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

ERIC RAJAH

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.”

“A dream was developed 30 years ago to do something to make the world a better place. ABW has been the fulfillment of that dream.”

BRIAN LEAVITT

Project Director and Co-founder

In 1990, Brian Leavitt started A Better World with his friend Eric. Since then, he has traveled many times to East Africa to assess projects and project sites. Meeting with community leaders, teachers, and medical professionals, Brian ensures that each community we serve is working toward their development priorities. Brian is currently retired and working as a volunteer with ABW; he lives in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada.

“A dream was developed 30 years ago to do something to make the world a better place. ABW has been the fulfillment of that dream.”

Board Members

RON SYDENHAM

Chair, Board of Directors

Ron is a retired head pastor of College Heights Church in Lacombe, AB. He has volunteered for ABW since 1998, first as the head of the
Steering Committee, now as the Board Chair. He has traveled with ABW several times to East Africa and Belize, as well as to Haiti and Louisiana for relief efforts.

“I volunteer for the privilege of learning from other people and cultures, and to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”

DR. KELVIN HILL

Secretary, Board of Directors

Dental Service Manager

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.”

LARRY GASCOYNE

Treasurer, Board of Directors

Larry has been the Treasurer for ABW since 2008. Initially on the
Steering Committee, and now the Board of Directors. Larry is retired and volunteers for ABW from Lacombe, AB.

AZALEA LEHNDORFF

Member, Board of Directors

Afghanistan Project Manager

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.”

RAY LOXDALE

Member, Board of Directors

Ray and his wife Kelly live in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They have two grown children, Julia and Zachary. Ray’s international travels while volunteering have taken him to humanitarian projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti, India, Kenya, Peru, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Thailand. Ray says his most rewarding experiences while working with humanitarian groups is seeing the change in ordinary Canadians as they begin to understand people of other cultures. By educating Canadians on how they can make a beneficial difference in the world and then engaging them in community-based partnerships, the world will become a better place. When Ray isn’t traveling, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends and participating in many outdoor activities, especially fly fishing and boating.

STU MACPHAIL

Member, Board of Directors
Water Program Manager

Stu has volunteered with A Better World since 2004 and sits on the marketing and communications committee 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. Stu is also the Water Program Manager for ABW.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to volunteer with A Better World. Seeing lives changed and saved through the water program has inspired me to give back.”

Our Staff

JULIE STEGMAIER

JULIE STEGMAIER

Director of Operations and Donor Relations Coordinator

info@abwcanada.ca

If you’ve ever called the ABW office, you’ve probably talked to Julie. She holds down the fort in Lacombe, AB, managing project finances, humanitarian trips, and more. Starting in 2010, she first volunteered with ABW before becoming a full-time employee. Julie has traveled many times with ABW to Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda to visit project sites and work with the communities that we serve.

CHEYANNE WELCH

CHEYANNE WELCH

Communications Intern

Cheyanne graduated from Burman University in 2018 with a Bachelors in International Studies. She has been on many adventures around the world, including short humanitarian trips to Mexico and India, and living in the Marshall Islands for 8 months while teaching Kindergarten. She loves writing and story-telling and hopes to become a human rights journalist some day. She began working with A Better World in January 2019 and looks forward to traveling with them in the future.

SPENCER PAGE

SPENCER PAGE

EDGE Student Intern

Spencer is currently in his fourth year at Burman University where he is pursuing a degree in International Studies. At Burman, he has had the opportunity to travel abroad multiple times and to serve in leadership roles in which he implemented the university’s first student health plan as well as proposed a public transit pass for students, accepted by both the City of Lacombe and Town of Blackfalds. He is passionate about development, writing, peace, and justice and has been working with A Better World since September 2018.