ECHO's Mission and Vision
ECHO's Mission is to equip people with resources and skills to reduce hunger and improve the lives of the poor.
ECHO Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is responsible for the governance of ECHO, including establishing its mission and policies, approving its budget and annual goals, and overseeing its operation to assure its financial health and the fulfillment of its mission. Directors are elected for a three-year term and may serve two successive terms before rotating off the Board for at least one year. All Board members are committed to ECHO’s Statement of Faith, and all members serve on a voluntary, unpaid basis supporting the ministry of ECHO through their time and resources.
Having earned two Bachelor's Degrees in Social Sciences and Psychology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Ron Tschetter pursued graduate studies at the College of St. Thomas, and subsequently became the receipient of an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters Degree from the College of Charleston.
Ron spent 33 years in the investment arena where he ascended through the ranks to become President of the Dain Rauscher, Incorporated, Private Client Group in 1997. Later he became President of D.A. Davidson & Company, the largest full-service investment firm in the Northwest. In 2006 Ron was nominated by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate as Director of the Peace Corps where he skillfully directed the efforts of 8,000+ volunteers in 74 countries between 2006 and 2009.
He and his wife Nance have two married sons and five grandchildren.
Jimiro Feliciano, D.Min.
Dr. Jimiro Feliciano serves as the Senior Pastor of the Rosa De Saron Church, a large Assembly of God church in Fort Myers, FL and he serves as the Executive Treasurer of the Southeastern Hispanic District of the Assembly of God. He has earned a Doctorate in Theology and Pastoral Ministry from Latin University of Theology. He is active in community Faith-based programs. He is also known internationally as an inspiring speaker. He has a local/international television program boadcast by the Christian Television Network. Pastor Feliciano brings to ECHO an international perspective, extensive experience in ecclesiastic team management and cultural diversity.
"It's a great joy to serve as one of the Board members and witness God's blessing through ECHO."
Gerri Westlund served on the ECHO board from 2001-2008, and for five years she served as Board Secretary. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education from Macalester College and a Masters in Special Education from St. Thomas University, both in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was a teacher and church choir director for 24 years, and was a member and soloist with the Valley Chamber Chorale of St. Paul, Minnesota. She has served as the Program Director for the annual Minnesota U.N. Rally and as Program Planner for the International Relations Program of the St. Paul Branch of the American Association of University Women. Gerri currently serves on the Mission and Justice Committee of the Peace River Presbytery, sings with the Southwest Florida Symphony Chorus of Fort Myers, Florida, and the Faith Presbyterian Church Choir of Cape Coral, Florida. She also volunteers at ECHO.
"ECHO's mission to help people by providing sustainable agricultural training, resources, seeds and information is truly worthy of support."
Wendy is a Manager of Horticulture at Walt Disney World. She has a Master’s of Agronomy from the University of Florida with a focus on weed sciences and forages. She had the opportunity to attend the first ECHO Asia conference in 2007 and the first ECHO East Africa Symposium in 2011.
“The impact that Echo has on the lives of people around the world is exciting and humbling to me.”
Jane R. “Janey” Burruss has three degrees in business [BBA, MBA, Ph.D.] as well as a JD from The University of Texas at Austin, has worked in multiple disciplines recently focusing on financial and legal planning for individuals, but also has served as an educator at the university level with The University of Tulsa, The University of Texas, Wright State University and St. Edward’s University, and has worked as a consultant with firms such as Hughes Aircraft Co., the Mead Paper Co., Twentieth Century Investors [now American Century], the Ayco Company, a Goldman Sachs private wealth management division subsidiary, and as an attorney for Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. Jane now consults individuals and their families through Jane Burruss Advisory Services and is affiliated with Paratus Financial, Inc., a fee based family advisory services firm. As important to her is service on multiple social profit boards, each of which she has served as an officer and her work with the stewardship area of her church. Although single, she is the “aunt” to numerous children and delights in time with them on a routine basis.
Doug Carlson M.D.
Doug Carlson is an ophthalmologist with Associated Eye Care, a large eye care practice with offices in St. Paul, MN., eastern Minnesota, and New Richmond, Wisconsin. He received his BA degree from Bethel University and his M.D. and residency training at the University of Minnesota. He has served as managing partner of Associated Eye Care as well as chief of staff of Lakeview Hospital and board member of Lakeview Hospital. Dr. Carlson has participated in numerous medical and surgical mission trips to the developing world with the goal of creating permanent centers operated and run by doctors and staff native to that country. Doug and his wife Linda have three children and three grandchildren.
William (Bill) D. Hutchison, Ph.D.
Bill Hutchison is a Professor and Extension Entomologist with the Dept. of Entomology, University of Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984), M.S. from Mississippi State University, and B.S. from the University of Arizona. Since coming to Minnesota, he developed a regional Vegetable Research and Outreach program for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods that rely on less insecticide use, and minimize economic risk to growers. He created the VegEdge web site to rapidly deliver IPM information to crop consultants. Bill recently served as President of the Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section of the Entomological Soc. of America, and serves as an Editor for the journal, Crop Protection. He has visited with scientists in Kenya, South Africa and Columbia, about priorities for IPM research on maize and vegetable crops, and is part of the Harvest Choice program at the UofM. With two children transitioning to college life, Bill and his wife Margo are anticipating opportunities for more international work. Bill and Margo are members of North Heights Lutheran Church, where they support the “ECHO Demo Garden” and ECHO Ambassador activities.
“Ever since my agricultural missions experience in Honduras (1980), I have had a strong desire to deliver long-term solutions to hunger and poverty in developing countries. With ECHO, I see unique ways to meet the challenge. We spent part of our 25th wedding anniversary touring the ECHO Farm in 2009—well worth it! I am excited about serving on the board, and learning more about the connections ECHO has established with community development professionals worldwide.”
Having retired from a career in insurance brokerage, Jim has a second calling to missions where he came across ECHO. He serves on the Board of New Harvest Mission International, an African led church planting ministry in West Africa. He also serves on the Board of Remember Nhu, a ministry dedicated to preventing young people from the horrors of human trafficking. He is also the Mission Team Leader for Crossgate Church.
"ECHO embodies the values I search for in mission organizations in that they seek after excellence, are cost effective and reflect the heart of Jesus in serving the poor and afflicted".
Grace Ju Miller
Grace Ju Miller is a professor of Biology at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, IN. She was the Director of the ECHO Seed Bank from 2002-2006. She was on the faculty of Gordon College from 1991-2001. From 2006-2008 she and her husband and two children lived in Morocco. She has been teaching a college course called Sustainable Tropical Agriculture since 2002, this class spends 9 days at ECHO and 10 days in either, Haiti, Honduras or Nicaragua. She has taught Tropical Marine Biology courses in Belize, Kenya, Venezuela and Malaysia. She was a past Board member for HAFF ( Haitian American Friendship Foundation). She was born and raised in the Philippines and speaks Mandarin.
Denny Morrow, Ph.D. is the President/CEO of Renewal Associates (a coaching & training organization for licensed professionals). He is the former Executive Director of Daystar University’s U.S. office and a lifelong Educator. His international experience also includes Associate Executive Director of ReachGlobal and principal of Hong Kong International School. He and his wife, Pat, are parents of three adult children. They live in Minneapolis, MN.
Brenda Tate is a community volunteer in SW Florida serving as a Student Advocate and Fund Raiser for the Take Stock in Children Scholorship Program: Founding Member and Chair of the SW Florida Community Foundation's Women's Legacy Fund; Board Member of Global Partners for Development (East Africa); Member of ECHO's Community Garden Advisory Committee; Gulfshore Life 2009 Philanthropist of the Year - Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser. Previously she served as Georgia Department of Transportation's Enhancement Activity (TEA) Advisory Panel Chair and Founding Member. She was the Trust for Public Land's Coordinator for the Ocmulgee Heritage Greenway in Macon, GA and other community based land conservation initiatives in Georgia.
“I'm honored to support ECHO's mission of providing resources and skills to reduce hunger and improve the lives of the poor. With our time, talent, treasure or touch, we can make great strides to reduce hunger and enhance nutrition. Witnessing ECHO's impact around the world convinces me of the power of a hand up to sustain lasting change.”