Our Team

Our leaders have been passionately called to help deliver lasting hope against hunger around the world.

David Erickson

President/CEO

David is originally from Rochester, Minnesota. From 2005-2010 David served as COO of World Hope International, a relief and development organization working with the poor in 23 countries. Prior to this, David served for 20 years as President & Co-Founder of Samaritan Inns, Inc., an award-winning community and faith-based organization providing alternative treatment, housing, and support services to formerly homeless men and women in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.

In 2001, David was named an Ashoka Fellow for social innovation and entrepreneurship. In 1999 he was recognized by The Meyer Foundation as “one of the region’s most visionary nonprofit leaders for the 21st century.” Previously he launched the economic and demographic forecasting firm Woods & Poole Economics and served as Economic & Policy Analyst at the U.S. EPA. David holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Morris.

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  • Alyssa Barrett

    Donor Services Coordinator

    Alyssa grew up in a small town in south Mississippi. She attended Mississippi State University where she received a Bachelor’s in Agricultural Science and a Master’s in Agricultural and Extension Education. While in college, she studied agriculture in Brazil, Nigeria, Ghana, and Japan. After graduation, she completed the ECHO Internship Program and then chose to extend her time working at the ECHO East Africa Impact Center in Tanzania for 7 months. She moved back to Fort Myers after her time in Africa and accepted a position with ECHO as the Donor Relations Associate. Alyssa enjoys having the chance to share the heart of ECHO’s work and the practical ways in which people’s needs can be met through agriculture. She also enjoys singing, reading, spending time with her church family, and walking nature trails.

  • Amy Wiggins

    Advancement Director

    Before joining ECHO, Amy Wiggins worked as a Language Arts teacher and saw how hunger impacted a child’s ability to learn. Having a passion for making a difference in the lives of children, Amy also served on the Board of Trustees for the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes for many years, eventually joining their staff as the Director of Church Relations for Southwest Florida.

    God opened her eyes to the need for ECHO’s work while serving on short-term medical mission trips with her husband Stan, who is a pediatrician, and their three sons. They would return home from their work in Guatemala and Ecuador with broken hearts, knowing that the health and nutritional needs of the children they were serving weren’t being addressed with long-term solutions. Amy considers it a joy and privilege to be working for an organization that brings life-changing opportunities and lasting hope to families in need.

  • Andy Cotarelo

    Farm Manager

    Andy Cotarelo has been with ECHO since 2006 when he was an ECHO Intern. Andy has a BS in Biology. His background includes teaching High School science both domestically and abroad for 6 years. His overseas passion is focused in Senegal and his experience is growing as he manages the many aspects of ECHO’s Global Farm.

  • Ariana Santos

    Accounting Clerk

    Ariana is originally from Long Island, NY. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Public Relations, as well as a Minor in Music. In addition, she is earning a certification in Exotic Animal Behavior Training. She graduated from the Ramp School of Ministry in Alabama, majoring in Worship and minoring in Dance.

  • Beth Ockenden

    Ag Operations Assistant

    Elizabeth “Beth” Ockenden holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Administration from Oregon State University. Beth studied abroad in Denmark for four months, during which time she was actively involved with a local church. She has also participated in the mission’s trips stateside. Prior to coming to ECHO, Beth has been involved with her church’s missions, which included spending 11 weeks volunteering at a mission station in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

  • Bob Hargrave

    Technical Research Coordinator/Agricultural Consulting Services

    Bob has a background in agricultural missions in Kenya, Africa, with expertise in drought-resistant crops and famine relief distribution. Bob works with ECHO’s Technical Response Unit answering requests from missionaries and development workers overseas. His interests include dry land and tropical agriculture.

  • Charles Thibodeau

    Retail Nursery Coordinator

    A native Floridian and hobbyist gardener, Charlie and his family recently moved over from the Fort Lauderdale area. With a background in education and health science, he was attracted to ECHO for their commitment to developing sustainable agricultural practices in poverty-stricken areas of the world. He is a firm believer that optimal health begins with what you eat thus the importance of having a reliable and nutritious food source.

  • Chris Jordan

    Director of Major Gifts

    Christopher “Chris” Jordan is a graduate of Southeastern University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Leadership and Religion. While still in school, Chris participated in a mission trip to Italy with McGregor Baptist Church. Chris was a Captain in the U.S. Army until June 2016, during which time he served in Afghanistan and participated in a discipleship ministry within the military. Chris felt God’s call to go into missions, and in 2015 he and his wife founded A Voice in the Wilderness in Amman, Jordan, where they lived with their family for two years. While in Jordan, Chris studied Arabic as well as Permaculture Design and Ecological Building.

  • Cody Kiefer

    Agricultural Training Manager

    Cody is from rural Alabama and has degrees from Auburn University in Animal Sciences (B.S.) and Horticulture (M.S.). Cody’s areas of research and expertise include animal management, organic substrate amendments, root ecology, and urban ecology. Cody has traveled to and worked in, Honduras, South Africa, and Japan.

  • Danielle Flood

    PR and Communications Manager

    Danielle came to ECHO in December 2007 after serving as a missionary in Niger, West Africa for two years. She has a degree in Spanish and enjoys learning languages and cultures, kayaking, picnicking and basically anything outdoors. She and her husband look at ECHO as an opportunity to serve the missionary community and want to be faithful to serve God wherever he plants them.

  • Dr. Tim Motis

    Agriculture Technical and Research Director

    Tim Motis grew up in Ethiopia and Liberia and served as an agriculturalist in Ethiopia for two years before earning his Ph.D. in Horticulture at the University of Florida. He has been on staff with ECHO since 2003. Currently, he oversees ECHO’s Agriculture Technical and Research Division. His team coordinates ECHO research activities, produces informational resources relevant to small-scale farmers, responds to inquiries from ECHO’s international network, and maintains a library of resources pertaining to tropical agriculture.

  • Elliott Toevs

    Appropriate Technology Manager

    Elliott was born and raised in Idaho. His passion for agriculture began at an early age as he was actively involved in the family farm and in his parents’ irrigation and implement business. He earned his B.S. in Agriculture Systems Management and M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Idaho, where he also met his wife Alexa. After interning at ECHO from 2011 to 2012, God called them to the Peruvian Amazon to serve alongside the indigenous church. Elliott rejoined ECHO as an Appropriate Technology Manager in February 2017. He enjoys traveling, outdoor recreation, and spending time with friends and family, especially his wife and children.

  • Ginni Dillihay

    Retail Manager

    Ginni is from Kentucky and received her BA in Missions from Harding University. During her studies, she completed a Missions Internship in Togo, West Africa, and led a development ministry course for undergraduates. Ginni has several years of experience managing her family farm store, market garden, and CSA program. She also spent many years working for HR & Block as a tax professional and office manager.

  • Greg De Haan

    Director of Agriculture

    Greg’s first contact with ECHO was in 1988, when he was selected as ECHO Intern # 16. Originally from Hollandale, MN, Greg has a Bachelors from Dordt College in both Environmental Studies and Agri-business.
    After his internship, Greg spent two years in Sierra Leone with World Renew (CRWRC) training, advising, and supporting national ag staff. World Renew then asked him to move to East Africa as their Horn of Africa Relief Coordinator. Based in Nairobi, Greg was responsible for designing and implementing emergency food and ag rehabilitation efforts for Somalia and Southern Sudan in collaboration with local church partners. After Kenya, Greg returned to the US to pursue an MBA in International Economic Development from Eastern College.

    In 2000, the Reformed Church in America (RCA) asked Greg to be the Farm Adviser for an 80-acre church-mission farm in the Gambia. In 2003, the RCA moved him to Nairobi as their Program Director. Here Greg provided leadership in relief and development efforts for South Sudan under the umbrella of Across. His focus was on programs in education, agriculture, health, and micro-credit. Greg then moved back to MN where, for the past 9 years, his family has been operating a 500-acre corn and soybean farm.

  • Holly Sobetski

    Seed Bank Manager

    Holly grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and a love for gardening grew in her as she worked with her mother in the backyard. She went on to get a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Missions from Lubbock Christian University. She was an ECHO intern (Lowlands/Seed Bank) from 2005 – 2006 and served as the Assistant Seed Bank Manager for a month following her internship. From 2007 – 2012 Holly worked in Cambodia teaching sustainable agriculture and basic nutrition to students, as well as working with CAMA Services to run a moringa business. She joined ECHO as the Seed Bank Manager in 2013 and spends her time managing the storage, regeneration, and distribution of seeds, as well as training interns and visitors about seed saving.

  • Jayne Forbes

    Finance Manager

    Jayne is originally from Virginia Beach, VA and has a BS in Business Administration, Accounting, from Old Dominion University. She has a background in finance/accounting, project management, and financial systems implementation and support in both large public companies as well as small private organizations. In addition to over 30 years in the corporate world, she served as a volunteer staff CFO with ORPHANetwork for 8 years and has been an active volunteer at church and with various non-profits.

  • Jhon Ayazo

    Physical Plant Supervisor

    Jhon joined Echo in 2012 after spending 20 years in construction and landscape maintenance. Jhon came from Columbia in 1998 and enjoys spending time with his wife, Sandra and family. Jhon has recently become a grandfather and he and Sandra enjoy helping with their new granddaughter. Jhon is the leader of the Hispanic Ministry at his church and serves on the church board.

  • Kristen Musko

    Executive Administrative Assistant

    Kristen is from Ohio and received her BA in Psychology and Sociology from Bowling Green State University. She has a background in social work, business administration, small group leadership, and worship ministry. In Ohio, Kristen operated a property management business, homeschooled her two boys and served as a vocalist/ worship leader at her local church. Kristen, her husband Garrett, and her two boys moved to Florida in 2015 and have watched God rebuild their lives in a new community. Prior to joining ECHO, Kristen filled the dual role of Executive Assistant and HR Project Manager at Living Waters Church.

  • Melissa Hall

    Propagation Manager

    Melissa grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota and attended Iowa State University where she studied Global Resource Systems and Environmental Science. During her studies, she spent two summers in Uganda with the Iowa State Uganda Program. While in Uganda, Melissa worked with the school garden programs, and irrigation and agroforestry systems. She also helped conduct a water quality and accessibility study in the nearby communities. After graduating, Melissa became ECHO’s Lowlands and Propagation intern (intern #230). Melissa moved back to Minnesota upon the completion of her internship and worked on a permaculture pizza farm. Most recently, she ran a small business where she provided garden installations, consults, maintenance, and gardening classes.

  • Nate Flood

    ICT Manager

    Nate Flood is from suburban Detroit and is a graduate of Cedarville University. With a background in broadcast management and production, he came to ECHO after 10 years with WAY MEDIA, where he first served as Director of Marketing, and later as the Director of Operations for the Southwest Florida market. Nate specializes in software development with an emphasis on real-time systems integration but is also truly passionate about the outdoors.

  • Renee Gill

    Internship and Training Manager

    Renee holds a B.A. in Community Development from Covenant College with a specialization in International Micro-Finance. Having worked for organizations such as FINCA International and Lionbridge Technologies, Renee earned many years of experience in training and international development.

  • Russ Luther

    Tour Coordinator

    After college and seminary, Russ and his family served as missionaries in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. After their time in Africa, they were called to church ministry back in America. It was during that time Russ heard about ECHO. Aware of the needs of small scale farmers in difficult climates, when he read ECHO’s Vision: Honoring God Through Sustainable Hunger Solutions, Russ gladly accepted to move to Florida and join our staff.

  • Stacy Swartz

    Research & Publication Associate

    Stacy is from Pittsburgh and graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a major in Biology and a minor in International Studies. During undergraduate studies, she researched Switchgrass as a biofuel and the tri-trophic interactions among Monarch caterpillars, Mycorrhizal Fungi and Milkweed. Stacy was an ECHO intern in 2014. She has traveled to Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana and Burkina Faso for various short-term endeavors and has spent time as an agricultural consultant in Tanzania.

  • Steve Kelly

    Physical Plant Associate

    Steve is originally from the Cincinnati/Kentucky area. He has a B.S. in Biblical Studies from Cincinnati Christian University. He served as a Sergeant in the Marine Corps for six years, responsible for the training of over 250 Marines – also serving as a diesel mechanic. He later pastored three churches (two in KY and one in FL). He is a skilled mechanic with additional expertise in whole-home construction and information technology.

  • Steve Snyder

    ICT Specialist

    Steve grew up on small farms owned by his parents and grandparents in NW Pennsylvania with little exposure to a worldview of agriculture or missions. While attending Penn State (where he met his wife, Marcy), Steve was exposed to a broader view of agriculture through his studies in Ag Economics and to Ag missions by his Mennonite fraternity brothers who took him to meetings at the local Alliance church. Steve and Marcy have been married 43 years; have 2 children, and 2 grandsons. Steve was employed 40 years by the PA Farm Bureau and served in his church. Looking back, Steve sees God’s fingerprints across the decades, preparing him for this new season of contributing with his AG and IT background to the work of ECHO.

  • Tim Albright

    Chief Operations Officer

    Tim joined the ECHO staff in August of 2009. He graduated from Nyack College with a BS in Missions and also met his wife, Ruth, there. He earned a Master’s degree from Columbia International University. Tim, a missionary kid from Mali, worked for 23 years in community development. Based in Burkina Faso, he served as a regional consultant for CAMA Services in health, education, micro-enterprise, and food security.

  • Tim Watkins

    Head of Agriculture Operations

    Originally from Duluth, Minnesota, Tim was an ECHO intern in 2001. He served as ECHO’s Nursery Manager from 2006 to 2010 and is currently overseeing ECHO’s Agriculture Operations Team which includes the Seed Bank, Global Farm, Propagation Nursery, and Appropriate Technology areas. Tim has a Masters of Science in Natural Resources with an emphasis in Agroforestry from the University of Missouri and holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN.

    His agriculture development experience includes serving for one year (2002-2003) in the Central African Republic (CAR) managing the Centre d’Agroforesterie, a project promoting fruit trees and tree planting among the Gbaya and Fulani farmers of Western CAR. Throughout his time at ECHO, Tim has had the opportunity to travel to many African countries for ECHO events and some agricultural consulting. Tim’s primary areas of interest include agroforestry, tropical fruits, nursery management, and plant propagation.