Hope for Korah Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Hope for Korah's Board of Directors Guides our Efforts in Serving the Korah Community

Our board of directors is made up of ten passionate and diverse members who all have one goal in mind - to loosen the yoke of extreme poverty in Korah.


Photo of Eve Pohl R.S.W.

Eve Pohl R.S.W.

Founder & Executive Director HFK

As Executive Director, Eve acts under the HFK Board of Directors to oversee all HFK’s programs and operations. She was born in Germany and spent her early years living in Europe including 2 years in Sardinia, Italy, where she was exposed for the first time to people existing in very poor circumstances and children living in orphanages. These childhood experiences influenced her and after attending Aldersgate Bible College in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, she obtained a social work degree from the University of North Dakota. Here she met her husband David and they subsequently settled in Orlando, Florida, where they adopted their three sons. In Florida Eve worked as a facilitator for the U.S. Navy’s Alcohol & Drug Addictions Prevention Program, and in juvenile corrections.

In 1995 Eve and family resettled in Canada. Shortly thereafter she and her husband travelled to China to adopt their daughter. Eve homeschooled her children for 14 years and provided private tutoring as a certified Multi-Sensory Language Therapist for children with learning disabilities. She later became a Registered Social Worker (RSW), working over six years in domestic and international adoption. During this time, while facilitating Ethiopian adoptions to Canadian families, she first became aware of the desperate levels of poverty in parts of Ethiopia.

In 2010 the seeds for HFK were planted when Eve went on a 2-week medical mission trip to Ethiopia and unexpectedly ended up in Korah. Observing a level of poverty that is difficult to imagine, Eve’s heart was deeply touched and hurting for the people of this community. After returning to Canada, Korah never left her mind - how could she help and encourage these people? God led her on a journey of prayer for many months. In July 2011, with the encouragement of family and friends HFK was founded. For the full HFK story click here.

Eve’s vision is to come alongside community leaders for the development of long-term sustainable change. Her hope continues to be to see families break out of poverty and find hope for today and tomorrow – trusting God with all her heart.


Photo of David Pohl

David Pohl

President

David was born in Omaha, NB and grew up in the mid-western United States. He met his wife Eve at the University of North Dakota and they have been married for 36 years. After graduation, they moved to Florida where they began growing their family through adoption. They now have four children. The Pohl family moved to Abbotsford, B.C. in 1995, where they are still living today.

David is the Director of Strategic Development at an aerospace company in Surrey, BC, International Water-Guard Industries, where he has worked for the past 16 years. During this time, David has become an expert in aircraft water systems and water quality. He has an engineering degree from the University of North Dakota and a Masters in Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology. His experience as a lay leader and as Chairman of the Board of Elders at his local church has prepared him for helping to lead HFK and our partner NGO in Ethiopia to better serve the poor and needy in Korah.

David has been drawn to Korah from the very beginning. Since Eve’s first visit to Korah in 2010 he has been supportive and encouraging of her pursuing God’s heart for this ministry. David was part of the initial team who fervently prayed for Korah and God’s direction, which eventually led to the founding of Hope for Korah. He has played an integral role in the leadership, development, and visioning of this ministry and spends several weeks in Korah every year. In his role as president, David works with the other board members to help define and refine the vision, purpose, and plan for HFK. He has been profoundly “wrecked” by what he has seen in Korah, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.


Photo of John Ridder

John Ridder

Vice-President

John was born in Holland and moved to Canada as a teenager. While attending university, he met his wife Charlene and they have been married for 30 years. They have two wonderful daughters and a new son in law. John and Charlene have lived in Lynden, WA since 2008. Prior to this time, they raised their family in British Columbia and Ontario. John travels annually to Ethiopia and has a huge heart for the people of Korah. And he has passed on that passion to his children – his daughter is an RN and joined John on one of his trips to Korah, while his other daughter is in pre-med school and has served in Uganda.

John began his career in sales and marketing and is currently the Senior Vice President of Lynden Door Inc. and Alliance Door Products. He has a Bachelor Degree in Commerce and Business Administration and has sat on numerous boards including World Millwork Alliance, Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and WDMA of B.C., the New Life Christian Reformed Church Board, and the Abbotsford Christian Development Board.

John joined the board in May 2015 and has not only been offering his talents and expertise to the board, but he has also helped to equip and train our leadership staff in Ethiopia. John’s passion is strategic visioning and setting direction within organizations and he has been instrumental in helping to guide the visioning process for HFK in North America and in Ethiopia.


Photo of Mark Brandsma

Mark Brandsma

Treasurer

Mark joined the board in May 2015 after living in Ethiopia for 9 months with his wife Tammy, and their 3 children. During this time, he served as HFK’s In-Country Director of Program Development. Through participating firsthand in the work of Hope for Korah, Mark has developed a big heart for the people of this community.

Mark has a Bachelor of Business Administration Honors and has been working in the financial services industry since 1997. Presently he works as a Relationship Manager with Covenant Family Wealth Advisors, assisting families in areas of business succession, estate, and philanthropy planning. His experience sitting on the Board of Governors for Trinity Western University from 2001 – 2008, has been invaluable in developing his understanding of organizational governance and strategic planning.

While living in Ethiopia, Mark put his business background to good use and was actively involved in further developing the Income Generation, Self-Help Groups, and Business Planning programs. Mark and his family now live on a hobby farm in Abbotsford, B.C. He has always loved a variety of sports, and while the days of playing competitive sports are ending, he is turning his talents to coaching.

Mark continues to be actively involved with HFK, especially in areas of strategic development, leadership, and financial expertise. His passion is to see Korah families develop in ways that allow them to gain independence from external financial assistance. Mark returns to Ethiopia annually, to be reacquainted with friends and colleagues, and to provide insight and support in seeing that organization objectives are fulfilled.


Photo of Tammy Brandsma

Tammy Brandsma R.N, M.S.N, B.S.N.

Secretary

Tammy was born in Edmonton, AB but spent her elementary years in Malaysia as the youngest child to missionary teacher parents. This early exposure planted a seed in Tammy’s heart to advocate for the poor and to work internationally. Thus, she became a Registered Nurse and travelled throughout Asia in her young adult years.

In 2014, Tammy served with Hope for Korah in Ethiopia for nine months, along with her husband Mark and their three children. During this time, she helped further develop HFK’s Income Generation Program as well as coordinate healthcare for HFK beneficiaries. While in Korah, Tammy was instrumental in transitioning a free-standing medical clinic into a Primary Health Centre serving the HFK community. Upon return to Canada, Tammy joined the HFK Board, bringing her 20 years of expertise in nursing, project coordination and education, along with her deep compassion for the poor and strong desire to see them equipped to break the cycle of poverty. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Tammy volunteers her time as HFK Medical Coordinator overseeing the ongoing work and development of the HFK Medical Clinic, health education and medical service to HFK beneficiaries, and she leads a medical team to Korah each year.

Currently, she lives with her family in Abbotsford B.C. where she is a wife and mother, and works casually as an Emergency Nurse at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, and as a Clinical Instructor for Trinity Western University.


Photo of Guy Miller

Guy Miller

Member at Large

Guy has been a strong supporter of Korah for many years and is one of the original founding board members. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for 10 years as a CF-18 fighter pilot followed by 12 years in Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific Airways as a 747 pilot and simulator instructor. Currently he is managing the Langley Regional Airport in Langley, British Columbia.

Guy is a graduate of Trinity Western University in Langley. He has travelled extensively around the world, lived in several countries, and served on numbers of boards such as Cold Lake Baptist Church Elder’s Board in Alberta, the Hong Kong Evangelical Community Church Elders’ Board and Missions Team in Hong Kong, New Life Christian Reformed Church Missions Team in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and the Canadian Museum of Flight, also in Langley.

Guy was born in Quebec, Canada. While attending university he met his wife Elizabeth and they have been married for 34 years. They currently live in Abbotsford, B.C. and have two beautiful daughters, Miranda and Maddison. Guy is extremely passionate about flying and family, but above all is his love for God and compassion for the poor, needy and suffering. His own life challenges have greatly deepened his own faith. His perseverance and steadfast trust in God through prayer has been a gift to the HFK Team.


Photo of Berhanu Tenker Mekonnen

Berhanu Tenker Mekonnen

Member at Large

Berhanu was born and raised in Korah, Ethiopia. As a member of the local church in Korah, Berhanu and his friends saw the great need among the families living there. Due to their own childhood experiences of living in extreme poverty, these young men were compelled to help the community they grew up in. After starting a small feeding program to support the children in Korah, Berhanu and his friends were blessed to meet Eve Pohl’s medical team in 2010. This relationship was the beginning of what would eventually lead to Hope for Korah’s partnership with Kore Great Hope Charity. In 2011 Berhanu was instrumental in helping to found Kore Great Hope Charity, which then became a recognized non-governmental organization in Ethiopia. Later that same year, Berhanu became the first in-country Project Manager of Hope for Korah.

Berhanu met his wife Emily in Ethiopia when she came from the U.S. to serve in Korah as a nurse and where she eventually started a small clinic which grew into the HFK Medical Clinic we have today. They were married in Addis Ababa and later moved to Oregon in December 2013. The couple welcomed their first child Selah in July 2015 and recently welcomed their son Asher to the family in October 2017. Berhanu remains in constant communication with his friends and family in Ethiopia. His knowledge, cultural expertise and personal experiences have been invaluable and greatly appreciated on the HFK Board and in the development of our programming. Berhanu is determined to continue helping and serving Korah because it is what he feels God has called him to do. 


Photo of Berhanu Tenker Mekonnen

Jake Boner

Member at Large

Jake was born and raised in a small farming community in rural northeastern Pennsylvania. It was here that he learned the fulfillment that comes from offering a helping hand and the importance of hard work. Jake’s first missions trip to Korah took place in early 2011, and since that time he has embarked on over 22 trips exclusively to Kore in various volunteer roles and for different lengths of time. Through his 6 years of experience in Ethiopia, Jake has grown in his understanding of the culture, and language as well as learning how to holistically serve those living in extreme poverty. Early on, Jake met David and Eve Pohl who established Hope for Korah. He describes that God truly used their passion and influence to teach him how to effectively and humbly come alongside the poor.

In between trips to Ethiopia, Jake works as a professional independent painting contractor. At home, Jake has served actively in his church with teen outreach, and in children’s ministries. He now serves on the HFK Board of Directors and is an active missionary on the ground in Ethiopia, serving as HFK’s North American Liaison. His role in Ethiopia includes coming alongside our Ethiopian staff in areas of ministry, especially in youth programs and development, as well as income generation. He has started a mentorship group with the young men in Korah and is passionate about improving the quality and depth of our programs. In addition, Jake helps to assure the quality and progress of HFK funded programs, collaboratively evaluating with our Ethiopian leadership staff current project outcomes, and communicating those outcomes to HFK Canada.

Additional Members At Large; David Neill, Jim Parussini and Connie Loewen


Special Recognition to Founding Board Members:

As Founding Board Members, George and Christel Miller provided much insight and prayer in HFK’s formative years. Having retired from the board in 2017, they both continue in an advisory role and will always be strong supporters of Korah.

Photo of George Miller

George Miller

George served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for 35 years, both in flying and command positions. On promotion to Colonel he was appointed Canadian Forces Attaché to Egypt and Sudan and completed his career as Commander of Canadian Forces Base Moose Jaw. Subsequently he spent two years with Spar Aerospace in Brazil, followed by responsibility for development of Langley Regional Airport as Airport Manager for the past 20 years. He has chaired several boards in BC, the most notable being the BC Aviation Council.

George’s background reflects a strong ability and interest in organizational development, leadership, and marketing. His experience throughout Sudan, following Arabic language training, including time spent in Khartoum, Juba, Darfur, and Port Said adds to his better understanding of transformational development needs inherent in the HFK ministry and as recommended in Bryant Myers’ book ‘Walking with the Poor’. Having visited Korah he is committed to help the organization determine and carry out God’s will for the people of Korah.


Photo of Christel Miller

Christel Miller

Christel was born and raised in Germany and has resided in Canada since 1958. She has travelled extensively and has lived in Europe and Africa for many years.

After completing the Attaché training course and Arabic language to bilingual level at the Government Foreign Language School in Ottawa, she and her husband served a three-year term of duty in Cairo, Egypt and the Sudan. Her responsibilities included assisting in diplomatic matters and hosting dignitaries of many nationalities. This task also continued during postings to Germany, Italy and Canada.

Her heart is for indigenous people and cultures of poor and developing countries. In Egypt, she became involved in raising financial and practical support to improve the living conditions and health of the many needy Christians living at Cairo’s massive ‘Garbage City’ dump. While in Upper Egypt, she joined an initiative to teach women how to weave baskets to earn money for the first time in their lives and to help generate family income. She was also active in the village of Beba in overhauling the living conditions and sanitation of a young girls’ orphanage that had become disconnected from its supporting agency.

Now, deeply touched by her daughter Eve’s passion for Korah, and having served in Korah with her, she provides ongoing practical support, guidance, and prayer.


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A Mother's Heart In Korah
‘No matter where one lives, a mother’s heart can be seen through her tears; tears of joy and tears of sadness.’



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