Team & Board of Directors

The Heart for Africa Team


Ian Maxwell - Co-Founder and C.E.O.


Ian Maxwell works at Heart for Africa, a faith-based organization focusing on bringing hope to the people of Africa in the areas of Hunger, Orphans, Poverty and Education. Ian’s vision for self-sustainable food security for all people is at the core of community transformation. Ian successfully unites and partners people from many nations to work together for comprehensive and lasting solutions.


Ian has a degree in economics from Bishops University in Lennoxville, Quebec and is the former vice-president of operations for Onyx Marketing Group in Toronto, Canada.


Read Ian's Full Bio



Janine Maxwell - Co-Founder and C.O.O.


At the age of 24 Janine Maxwell founded what would become one of the most successful marketing companies in Canada. For 16 years Janine led Onyx Marketing Group boasting some of the most well known companies in North America.


On 9/11 she found herself a part of thousands fleeing New York City. This life-changing event sent Janine on a search for the meaning of life. Her journey took her to Africa where she encountered the AIDS pandemic, hunger and disease. Janine was stirred by the faces of children, mothers and grandmothers fighting daily for their lives. She turned from her boardroom savvy to be the voice sounding an alarm for those too weak to cry for help.  Together Janine and her husband Ian co-founded Heart For Africa, a faith based organization focusing on Hunger, Orphans, Poverty and Education in Eswatini.


Janine is a graduate of Evangel University. She is the author of two books, Is It Okay With You? and It’s Not Okay With Me.  You can purchase both of these books in our online store by clicking HERE.  For more information about booking Janine to speak at your event, please send an email to

Read Janine's Full Bio


John McCarthy - Director of Finance

John lives in Chattanooga, TN with his wife of over 20 years, Tracye, and their two sons, Calvin and Connor.  John joined the Heart for Africa team after a trip to Eswatini with his family in the summer of 2012.  The McCarthy family was moved and inspired by the work that God was doing through the staff and volunteers in Eswatini.  John has over 20 years of Accounting and Operational Management experience in the business world.  In addition he has extensive non-profit experience.  He has served on boards of several nonprofit organizations as the Finance Chairman including Hickory Valley Christian Church, Hickory Valley Christian School, Tres Dias of Southeast Tennessee and Christway Community Church.  He believes that God has provided him with all those opportunities to prepare him for this role at Heart for Africa.


David Bryant - Chief Development Officer

David has been building relationships and raising money since 1999.  He's managed successful direct mail programs, special events, major gift campaigns and other initiatives that have generated millions of dollars for programs for men, women and children struggling with disabilities, homelessness, hunger, addiction and inadequate resources.

Most recently, David served as the Chief Development Officer for United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham and the UCP Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama, overseeing marketing, annual giving, public relations, special events and planned giving strategies that supported programs and services to people with disabilities.  While serving as the Chief Philanthropy Officer for Appalachia Service Project in Tennessee, he managed the ministry's fundraising campaigns, raising more than $2.5 million annually to build relationships and secure support for home repair for Appalachian families in need of warmer, safer and drier homes and to provide a transformational experience for thousands of volunteers from across the nation each year.

When asked why he's so passionate about fundraising and ministry, David shares, "It's all about change.  My passion, vision and commitment to a nonprofit's mission and its success in creating outcomes that change people's lives is something that's highly contagious.  It infects everyone with whom I come into contact.  Ultimately, it's always about building relationships and discovering the place where an organization's mission and donor's philanthropic vision come together.  Because when you change the lives of others, they have a way of changing you." 



Annie Metcalfe - Administrative Assistant, Atlanta Office


Annie was raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and moved to Alpharetta, Georgia with her husband and their 3 children, Mollie, Zach and Sophie, in June 2000.  She has her Bachelor's of Commerce in Management which was obtained at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  Annie joined Heart for Africa in hopes of making a difference in the lives of the children at Project Canaan and to assist Janine, Ian and the staff in accomplishing its goals and aspirations of a brighter future in Eswatini.  She recently returned from her first trip to eSwatini where she was able to take in exactly what HFA is all about!  She was so touched by what she saw - the quality of love that these children receive and especially how happy they are.  She understands how the love and support of our staff and donors enriches the children’s lives.  God has pulled them out of their unbearable conditions and brought them to Project Canaan where they can learn to achieve the purpose that God has for them!    



Sarah Windham - US Guest Relations

Sarah first traveled to Eswatini in 2011, after hearing about Heart for Africa from her brother and sister in law.  Since then, she has had the opportunity to travel several more times and loves seeing the growth and progress each year!  Sarah has a passion to share the HOPE and vision of Heart for Africa, and is honored to join alongside an incredible staff.  After teaching choir and general music for the past ten years, Sarah is excited for this opportunity to use her gifts in a new way.  She resides in Dwight, IL with her husband Luke, their two children Whit and Everly, and their miniature daschund Lucy. 



 Tara Boyer - US Guest Relations Assistant

Tara lives in Minooka, IL with her husband, Kyle, and their 2 children, Riley and Callie.  She learned about Heart for Africa when she started attending The Village Christian Church in the fall of 2016.  In the winter of 2016 and 2017 she sold Khutsala ornaments through the church.  Wanting to learn even more what Heart for Africa was all about, in early 2018 she signed up for her first trip to Project Canaan and joined the team in late 2018.  She is excited to be a part of something bigger than us.



Mandy Wallick - Sales Manager for Khutsala Artisans


Mandy is a wife and mother to 3 beautiful children, ages 4, 5, and 7.  She started to learn more about Heart for Africa through the Village Christian Church and was interested in raising awareness for Heart for Africa through her triathlons.  She was also going to help others fundraise to go to Africa, then learned that there was one spot left for the November 2017 trip.  She decided to join in and start helping other organizations fundraise using Khutsala keychains and ornaments.  She is blessed that God has laid out a path for her to be able to serve on the Heart for Africa team.



 Nathan Naidu -Director of Engagement


Nathan Naidu has spent most of his professional life working on political campaigns and serving around the world.  While his dad is from South Africa and mom from Wisconsin, he is a native of Marietta, Georgia, and attended the University of Alabama, where he received his BA in Communications and History.


After college he lived/worked in Washington, D.C., Wisconsin, Tampa, New York City and spent much of 2011 & 2012 on the road for nationwide presidential campaigns.  While living in these places, he found time to annually travel to Estonia and/or South Africa on mission trips.


In 2015, Nathan returned to Atlanta to help open the new College Football Hall of Fame.  After a couple years getting the Hall up and running Nathan moved into the non-profit world where he spent over three years at TMS Global, in Norcross.  TMS is a Christian based non-profit that helps place people into work projects around the world.


Nathan is a political junkie, as well as a film buff, who loves to sit around and discuss either.  He loves travel, trivia, stupid jokes, and hearing stories about people.  His continuous bucket list goal is to keep the number of countries he's been to above his age and thus far has been successful.



Hannah Gaddis - Hunger Initiative Program Director


Hannah has spent the majority of her adult life working in full time ministry or living abroad on the mission field. At the age of 18, Hannah went on her first mission trip to Africa and spent 7 weeks there teaching abstinence in the high schools with Dream for Africa, now Heart for Africa. That was her first real exposure to life outside of her current life in America. She came home with a new desire, purpose, and calling to pursue full time ministry. She has been on many mission trips to over 13 countries and has a real heart for the people around the world. 


She grew up in Fayetteville, GA and moved to Alpharetta about 7 years ago. She started attending North Point Community Church and quickly got involved with their missions department, Global(X). She had the opportunity to travel to Nepal to work with women rescued from sex trafficking. A year later she was asked to lead a trip to Project Canaan. For the last 5 years she has been leading trips through Global(x) to help equip and train leaders in Eswatini to implement a children’s curriculum for church on Sunday mornings. Hannah has been a raving fan of HFA for the last 5 years. She was very eager and excited to join the HFA team to work on the new Hunger Initiative to expand the feeding program in Eswatini.


Other than being a follower of Jesus, she considers being an Aunt to be her greatest title. She has 1 niece, Mollie and 2 nephews, Maddox and Miles that she LOVES so much. She spends a lot of time with her family. She is a sucker for romantic comedies, chia tea, and is always down for a spontaneous adventure. 



Spencer Maxwell - Interim Marketing Manager


Spencer has been involved with Heart for Africa since 2005 where he first went to Swaziland and served for 10 weeks.  Since then, he has travelled back every year to volunteer, as well as see his family who now live there full-time.  To say he loves Eswatini is a gross understatement!


Prior to joining the Heart for Africa team, Spencer completed his double-masters-degree's in Marketing Management from ESADE Business School and International Business from Queen's University, and his BBA in Marketing at Georgia State University.


Spencer currently lives in Chicago and is engaged to Jane Balasz, who he met at the age of 14 IN Eswatini!




Maggie Lian - Marketing Coordinator


Maggie first traveled on a trip with Heart for Africa in 2007 and immediately fell in love with the children. Her mother, Donna Taylor, was one of the Trip Coordinators for Heart for Africa which opened up great opportunities for Maggie to volunteer and for the next six years all of her friends knew where they could find her in the summer months…across the Atlantic, among some of her favorite people. When she was in high school, she was honored with the chance to go with Janine Maxwell to Taiwan where she spoke about students getting involved with volunteer work. When the time came for college, she chose a degree in graphic design in hopes that one day God would use her gifts to somehow help the hurting in this world. She graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2013 at the top of her class and dove headfirst into her first job the day after graduation.


Overtime she immersed herself in the world of design, doing anything from print layout for posters and books to website creation and digital marketing. While always thankful for her work, Maggie never felt she had great purpose in what she was doing but knew God had her where she was meant to be in each season. When a position with Heart for Africa became available she jumped at the opportunity and has never felt more at home in her work. She finally gets to create and serve alongside people with the same heart and passion for helping those in Eswatini. 

 Maggie lives in a small town in the North Georgia Mountains with her husband and best friend, Ray, and their two remarkable sons, Gunnar and Barrett.


Lisa Borders - Social Media


 Lisa lives in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and is married to Shay.  They have 3 beautiful children:  Hanna, Cameron and Chayton.  Lisa made her first trip to Eswatini in July of 2013.  She loved the vision of Project Canaan and was overwhelmed by the incredible things that were happening there.  She is thankful for the opportunity to play a small part in God's plan through Heart for Africa and to work alongside a team that is truly changing the world.


Volunteer Staff


Norma Tibshirany – Travel Coordinator


Norma Tibshirany manages all airline bookings for our volunteers.  A full time travel agent, Norma has been instrumental in ensuring that the hundreds of volunteers traveling to Africa each year have a seat going to Africa and coming home from Africa.  Originally from South Africa, Norma lives in Alpharetta, GA.




Board of Directors


Chad Gregory, Chair, came to work for United Egg Producers in 1998 and currently serves as President and CEO.  Chad spends all of his time managing UEP, which represents 95% of the U.S. egg production.  Chad also represents UEP's interests on the International Egg Commission.  

Chad earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Southern Illinois University in 1993.


Nate Ferguson, Vice-Chair, serves as Lead Pastor for The Village Christian Church in Minooka, IL.  He and his wife and 25 of their friends started The Village in October of 2004 meeting at a local school gymnasium.  God has blessed the church tremendously and they are now reaching 700 plus people every week!
Nate was challenged by his brother and sister-in-law (Jeremy & Raelenna Ferguson) to visit Heart for Africa in 2014.  On that trip, Nate’s heart was touched by the incredible work being done each and every day.  Nate is passionate about getting other churches and pastors to visit Heart for Africa and helping the ministry in any way they can!
Nate has a bachelor’s degree in ministry from Lincoln Christian College and a Masters Degree in Leadership from Lincoln Christian Seminary.
Nate is married to the love of his life (Rachelle Ferguson) and has two incredible sons (Kaden and Carder) and one really cool dog (Rascal).












Dr. Mark McGee, Secretary, became involved with Heart for Africa in 2007 when he met Janine & Ian Maxwell.  They invited him to travel to Eswatini to provide dental care for the children and caretakers.  After reading Janine's first book and spending many months praying about his invitaiton, God put it upon his heart that his services were needed in Eswatini.


Dr McGee's first trip to Eswatini was in the summer of 2008.  He traveled with his three children and worked out of a horse trailer and with a folding chair in the field treating patients.  He has since returned to serve in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2017.  Dr. McGee considers traveling to and working in Eswatini with Heart for Africa an opportunity and his Christian obligation to serve.  He feels privileged and honored to serve God, His children, those in great need, and to serve alongside the volunteers and individuals involved with Heart for Africa.


Dr. McGee lives in Alpharetta, GA with his beautiful wife Kim.  They have five children between them.  He has an undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from LSU Dental School in New Orleans.  He served as chief resident of his medical/dental post-doctoral residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. He has been in practice for thirty years and currently maintains a private restorative dental practice in Alpharetta.




Ian Maxwell works at Heart for Africa. Ian’s vision for self-sustainable food security for all people is at the core of community transformation. Ian successfully unites and partners people from many nations to work together for comprehensive and lasting solutions.


Ian has a degree in economics from Bishops University in Lennoxville, Quebec and is the former vice-president of operations for Onyx Marketing Group in Toronto, Canada.




Janine Maxwell works for Heart for Africa.  At the age of 24 she founded what would become one of the most successful marketing companies in Canada. For 16 years Janine led Onyx Marketing Group boasting some of the most well known companies in North America.


On 9/11 she found herself a part of thousands fleeing New York City. This life-changing event sent Janine on a search for the meaning of life. Her journey took her to Africa where she encountered the AIDS pandemic, hunger and disease. Janine was stirred by the faces of children, mothers and grandmothers fighting daily for their life. She turned from her boardroom savvy to be the voice sounding an alarm for those too weak to cry for help.  Together Janine andher husband Ian co-founded Heart For Africa, a faith based organization focusing on Hunger, Orphans, Poverty and Education in Eswatini.


Janine is a graduate of Evangel University. She is the author of two books, Is It Okay With You? and It’s Not Okay With Me.













Hayley Todd went to Denison University in Granville, Ohio and graduated in 1990 with a BA in Economics and a minor in Psychology.  she then went to Vanderbilt University and graduated in 1992 with an MBA.  She went to work for Procter & Gamble Company in finance in Cincinnati, Ohio; progressing through several jobs.  Over the last 20 years, she held several other jobs but has mostly been focused on raising her five children as a stay at home Mom.  She has been married for almost 25 years to Paul Todd, who is currently the CFO at TSYS, a credit card processing company based in Columbus, GA.  Hayley currently works part-time at a sauce bottling company where she is responsible for onboarding new customers.  She also manages her non-profit business, Bake'In Time, to support the foundation she and her husband created in 2014 called Orphan-Aid.


Hayley learned about Heart for Africa through a friend.  Heart for Africa spoke directly to Hayley's heart because of her passion for orphans.  She has been donating the profits from the sales of products she makes to Heart for Africa for the last 3 years.  She has traveled to Project Canaan twice over the last four years.


Hayley is passionate about using her experiences and skills to help orphaned children have new opportunities, new experiences, and maximize their potential.  Her education, work experience and her experience as a biological and adoptive mother have given her a unique perspective into ways that can help children grow and mature.  


Hayley has 4 biological children ages 20, 18, 15, and 13.  She and her husband adompted their fifth child in 2013.  She was an abandoned child, left in a box.  She is a special needs child and is now 8 years old.  They adopted her right as she was turning 4.  Hayley loves being a mom and feels that it is what God made her to be.



Kathy Willis was introduced to Heart for Africa through her employer's charitable giving and Heart and Soul employee programs.  The mission of Heart for Africa aligned with Kathy's faith imperative to be the hands and feet of Christ on earth, to help orphans and children in His name and deliver His light and hope to the world. Kathy is a Heart for Africa Angel and has gone on two service trips with one planned for February 2018.  On her first visit to Project Canaan, God imprinted on Kathy's heart a deep love for the children and people of Heart for Africa and Eswatini.  Kathy and her husband Mike are blessed to financially support the ministry of Heart for Africa and hold the people and ministry close in prayer. 


Kathy is currently Senior Vice President, Patient-to-Payment Solutions at nThrive and a credentialed healthcare professional with client development and operations experience in revenue cycle including HIM and information technology.  Kathy's operational and business development experience includes hospital department management, service organization management and development of healthcare enterprise solutions and outsourcing.  Kathy specializes in complex, strategic initiatives that require stakeholder adoption and commitment at all levels. She has 25+ years of healthcare experience and has been with nThrive since 2012. 


Prior to joining NThrive, Kathy led data quality at Rush University Medical Center, was a Director of HIM and Quality Assurance at St. Bernard Hospital, co-founded a medical transcription and coding company and led sales and business development initiatives at PHNS/Anthelio where she served in a player/coach role with responsibility for 26 states and a $20M+ area quota including HIM, business office and information technology sales.


Kathy is a Past-President of the six thousand-member Texas Health Information Management Association and past Delegate to the American Health Information Management Association.  She previously served as an advisory board member for the Texas Community College Consortia, Texas Collaborative Grant; Region D Community College Consortium, HITECH Workforce; Collin College, Health Information Technology Program and DeVry University, Health Information Management Program.  Kathy is currently engaged in numerous volunteer activities including Heart for Africa and The people of The United Methodist Church.












Alan Hill is the founder of J.A. Hill Group which provides political and policy intelligence to their clients.  Alan has over two decades of high level and wide ranging expertise from government, corporate and association work.  His experience and bipartisan contacts extend to the House, Senate, White House and executive departments and agencies.  During his congressional career, he served as a staff member on the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce and worked on key issues under the committee's jurisdiction including telecommunications, energy, financial services and healthcare.


Following his committee work, Alan served as Legislative Director for Representative Cliff Stearns, then Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, with jurisdiction over digital trade, privacy, data security, and cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous vehicles.  Alan also let the Congressman's efforts on telecommunications and energy/electricity issues, trade, and national security; including authoring numerous pieces of legislation and amendments that were passed into law.


In 2005, Alan left Capitol Hill to work on the business side of public policy representing the competitive telecommunications industry (made up largely of companies formed after the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act). He would serve as Director of Legislative Affairs at XO Communications, one of the largest competitive telecommunications companies at the time, creating and implementing the company's legislative, political, and grassroots operations.


Most recently, Alan served as the Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Strategic Business Development for COMPTEL/INCOMPAS, the premier trade association representing the competitive telecommunications and tech community.  In this role he expanded and increased the trade association's influence on Capitol Hill as well as created business opportunities for both the association and its members.  In between his positions in the telecommunications/tech industry, Alan served as Vice President of Federal Business Development for CORE Construction, where he let the creation of the company's internal division that focused on federal government contracts.



Robert Holmes is senior vice president and chief human resources officer for nThrive. He is responsible for elevating organizational effectiveness, strengthening talent and leadership capability, and enhancing employee engagement and relations.


A 25-year veteran of human resources, Holmes has successfully implemented strategies to develop and attract top talent, improve organization effectiveness and increase employee engagement, and brings experience partnering with executives to acquire and integrate large businesses. Prior to joining nThrive, he served as senior vice president of global human resources at AVINTIV which is now a part of Berry Plastics.  Before AVINTIV, he held executive roles with Applied Materials, Nokia and Nortel.


Holmes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from The Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Indiana University.  He is also a national board member of INROADS.  Holmes currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina and is active in several professional and community-based organizations.



Ted Watson lives in Watkinsville, GA with Cissy, his wife of 33 years. They have 3 grown children, Hunt, Ali and Jessica. Ted and Cissy attend Athens Church, a partner church to North Point Ministries. For over 30 years, they have been actively involved in mission work in Honduras with HOI, Inc. (Honduras Outreach), a Christ-centered missions organization. Other favorite ministries include Everlasting Love in Cambodia and Thailand, FCA Cheer, Athens College of Ministry, Asian Christian Academy in Bangalore, India, Coates Ministry in Kenya and Heart for Africa.


Ted is originally from Owensboro, Kentucky and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1980 with a degree in business and subsequently received his Masters Degree from the University of Georgia. 


After graduating from UK, he spent 25 years in the oil and gas industry living in Houston, TX, Richmond, VA and Decatur, GA.  He held positions in human resources management with Texas Gas Exploration and CSX, and sales management with Entrade Corporation. Most recently, Ted spends his time on his investments in franchise restaurants and apartments.


Ted and Cissy enjoy traveling and spending time with their children who live in Denver and Nashville. In June 2019, they visited Project Canaan and Coates Ministries in Kenya. Ted’s hobbies are golf, snow skiing and scuba diving.



Kristen Johns is a partner of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP where she leads the firm's distributed edger/blockchain practice. A transactional patent attorney in the firm's Intellectual Property Practice Group, Kristen provides counsel to healthcare, life sciences, emerging technologies, aerospace, retail, and manufacturing clients. Before joining Waller, Kristen served in in-house counsel roles at Emdeon (now Change Healthcare) and Orion Genomics. Kristen was recognized in the Nashville Business Journal’s Women of Influence 2019 and the Nashville Medical News’ Women to Watch. She earned her J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law, and her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University’s School of Engineering.


She and her husband, Andy, live in Nashville, TN with their three children, Ansley, Frank, and Luke, and their Australian shepherd. Moved by the Maxwells’ story, Kristen and Ansley went to Eswatini in 2019 to celebrate Project Canaan’s 10-year anniversary. 



Jill Wood is a Certified Public Accountant with over 20 years of experience in tax and accounting.  She is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Steele Consulting LLC ("Steele").  Steele is a tax consulting firm headquartered in Atlanta that generates over 80 percent of its revenue from Fortune 1000 clients.  In her current role as Steele's Chief Operating Officer, she oversees the Atlanta, Silicon Valley, Detroit and New York Metro offices.  In addition, Jill is responsible for the firm’s financial operations, strategy, business development and expansion into new markets.  

Prior to joining Steele Consulting in 2012, Jill was the Director of State Tax Planning & Audits for The Home Depot, Inc where her responsibilities included Internal Revenue Service examinations, state income tax audits & litigation, and tax restructurings.  Prior to that, she was employed by  Cox Enterprises, Inc. and PwC, where she built her experience in tax and financial management.  


Jill earned her Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Furman University and her Masters of Taxation from Georgia State University.  She is an Atlanta-area native and still resides in the Metro Atlanta area.  


Jill is passionate about supporting orphaned and abandoned children and using the gifts and resources she has been given to extend the love of Christ where it is most needed.  Jill has traveled to Eswatini twice and looks forward to visiting Project Canaan as soon as International travel resumes.  Jill is excited to serve with Heart for Africa to bring HOPE to Eswatini in the areas of Hunger, Orphans, Poverty and Education and believes God has been preparing her for this role.