Board of Directors

Ms. Jill I. Weller, Director, CEO/Chairperson, President – jillweller@walindwa.org

Born and raised in San Diego, Jill currently works as a Grants Manager at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) for the past 14 years. She went on her first mission trip to Kenya in November 2006 and discovered her true passion in life, the children of Kenya. She quit her job and moved to Kenya in April 2008 to pursue her calling as a missionary and to work at Elma Barnett Children’s Centre. She returned to UCSD in 2009 and now makes frequent visits to Kenya, maintaining residences on two continents.

 


Ms. Carole Ericson, Director, Secretary
Carole is a member of Rancho Bernardo Presbyterian Church who visited Kenya in 2011 and fell in love with the children at EBCCK. She has become an asset to our organization as our wonderfully organized Secretary.

 


Ms. Martha E. Nidzieko, Treasurer – bnidzieko@walindwa.org
Beth Nidzieko grew up in the southern suburbs of Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Biochemistry. She retired in 2007 after a 34-year career with Hewlett-Packard and is now the owner of Sierra Stars Quilting Vacations. In addition to serving on the Walindwa board, she is a past-chairperson of the Missions Committee of Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church and a past-President of the Board of Directors of the Hewlett Packard Retirees Club of Southern California. She has been on mission trips to Bolivia, in 2009, and Kenya, in October 2012.

 


Dr. Keith C. Edwards, Director, Vice President
Born in Pasadena, California, Keith attended UCLA, receiving BA and MD degrees, followed by specialty training at UC Irvine in Radiology.  He sub-specialized in Interventional Radiology, working in La Mesa, California, for 20 years, and is currently working at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego, helping to train new speciality positions for the Navy.  Keith has been married for over 20 years to Lori and they are parents to three children (Griffin, Graham, and Avery). Keith has been involved in mission work in various locations throughout the world from Costa Rica to Mexico to San Diego.  His interest in Africa began in 1997 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but when civil war made working in the Congo impossible, his focus changed to Kenya. The Village Church and Rancho Bernardo Presbyterian Church’s mission connection to the Elma Barnett Children’s Centre grew out of a deep friendship with David Richmond MD, a former colleague, who was a MK (Missionary Kid) in Kenya and knew the Barnett Family growing up.  Richmond is Godfather to the Edwards children and currently lives in Idaho.

 


Ms. Lori B. Edwards, Director
Lori has served on the Walindwa team since its inception, helping to create and sustain the child sponsorship program. Her passion for the children at EBCCK grew from life-changing visits to the Children’s Centre in 2009 and 2013, along with her husband Keith, and their three children. She has a BS in Occupational Therapy from The Ohio State University, and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years, but her most important and rewarding job was guiding and nurturing her children into young adults who love the Lord.

 


Ms. Virginia JacksonDirector
I grew up in Rhode Island and loved to read books about people.  The book that I loved in my teen years was Out of Africa written by Isak Dinesen (later made into a movie with Robert Redford and Meryl Streep; the book is better!)  Isak Dinesen was a Danish author who was living in Kenya and she wrote about the people in Kenya and especially in the Rift Valley.  She wrote about the dignity and abilities of these people and she helped many to go to school. There was the hand of God that directed me to the Rift Valley where the Elma Barnett Children’s Centre (EBCCK) is located.  I met Jill Weller and I said I would want to go to Kenya someday.  In 2012 my husband and I went to Africa where we worked with the children and staff at EBCCK.  I fell in love with Kenya and the people. After our first time in Kenya, we knew that we would go again.  We have made several more trips to EBCCK and we hope to continue in the future.

 


Kevin-Keller

Mr. Kevin Keller, Senior Advisor
Kevin has built a broad array of successful marketing communications programs for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. For the last eight years, Kevin served as a marketing communications and fundraising development consultant for the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology.  From 1987 to 2001, Kevin served as the founding partner and CEO of Goss Keller Martinez (GKM), a San Diego firm specializing in corporate communications and publication design.  Kevin has served on a number of corporate and non-profit boards, including Freedom is not Free.  He currently serves on the advisory board of United Through Reading.
Kevin is part of the initial group of people who visited Kenya in 2004, for the purpose of determining whether EBCCK was a viable and suitable mission that could be sponsored by The Village Church of Rancho Santa Fe, California. Kevin’s leadership role at Walindwa encourages us to expand our services while maintaining our focus on the children of Kenya.
Kevin earned his B.A. from San Jose State University, and he studied at the University of South Carolina.

 

 


Dr. Gary Jackson, Director

Gary joined the Walindwa board in 2017. He received his primary education in Moscow, Idaho, and received his Phd from the University of Arizona. Recently retired, his research involved fusion thermonuclear physics for nearly 40 years and this “day job” included numerous collaborations in Europe, China, Korea, Russia, and Japan. He has a passion for serving the under-privileged and has been active in prison ministry in the San Diego area for 15 years. Beginning in 2012 Gary and his wife Ginny first traveled to the Elma Barnett Children’s Centre. They currently sponsor two Kenyan children, one of whom has gone on from EBCCK to attend university. Gary has participated in numerous activities at the Centre and even taught physics to the high school students on short term mission trips.

 



Ms. Anne Murigu, Program Manager
Anne was born and raised in Central Kenya, about 100 miles from Nairobi.  In her early 20s, she gained a sponsor and was able to move to the San Diego area to pursue higher education as an international student.  She completed her undergrad from Cal State and her graduate degree from Texas A&M with an MBA and a minor in International Business.  She works as a project manager for Becton-Dickinson’s Engineering Department.
Anne was introduced to Walindwa by her friend, Jill Weller.  Anne contributes to Walindwa through both her project management experience and her unique awareness of the Kenyan culture.
She feels blessed to be able give back to her native community.