Meet Our U.S. Staff

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Emily Blackledge 
President

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Bill Sullivan
VP Finance & Operations


Meet Our Board of Directors

PETE RATHBUN
Chairman

Pete Rathbun is the retired General Counsel of American Bible Society and a former President of the Christian Legal Society. In addition to chairing the board of African Leadership, Pete also sits on the board of Advocates International, a global network of Christian lawyers devoted to working for religious liberty, justice for the poor, and other biblically aligned missions. A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Mr. Rathbun has counseled nonprofit religious organizations for almost 30 years in private practice, in-house, and now as a consultant. Prior to law school, he spent 15 years in corporate IT management in California. Mr. Rathbun and his wife Peggy reside in Greenville, South Carolina and are members of Brookwood Church. They share a passion to see God’s kingdom built in Africa and are grateful to be able to serve God’s people through African Leadership.


JANE CARROLL

Since she was a teenager in Indianapolis, Jane Failey Carroll has felt drawn to the people of Africa.  As a student at Vanderbilt University, Jane continued to pray for and support friends and others who were ministering throughout Africa while she herself worked with children and families in Nashville's struggling neighborhoods. 
 
After graduating, she married Carlyle Carroll and spent many years being involved in church activities and acting as a busy mom of four. In 2006, Jane took three of their children on a three week trip around Kenya to visit various missionaries, a clinic, and an orphanage. While there, Jane was convinced that the structure that African Leadership uses -- strengthening local church leaders and supporting them as they help their communities -- is the best way to affect Africans for good and for the long haul. She has since traveled back to Kenya and South Africa, as have her now grown children who are involved in various missional activities. Jane is also one of the founding Fabulous Friends for Africa.


REVEREND WILLIAM MUGFORD

Bill Mugford has served as a Senior and Associate Pastor in multi-denominational settings in the United States and Canada, radio and television speaker/host, adjunct college educator, liaison to government, journal author and substantive editor of the Encyclopedia of Christian Worship, and founder of the Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice and Palliative Care, Toronto, Canada. In occasional roles as church consultant and seminar speaker, Bill has broadened his experience and served the larger church.
Bill has been serving at Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, California since August 2011 alongside Rick and Kay Warren as program visionary, director and primary educator/trainer to build a global/local HIV&AIDS Initiative that ministers to people living with HIV&AIDS and their friends and families in Orange County and surrounding counties in California.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bill met Rose - his Italian-born sweetheart, spouse and ministry partner of 33 years - in Toronto, Canada. They have two married children and Fenway, a gregarious Maine Coon kitten who lives to play tag, hide-and-seek and snag flying objects off the wall like an outfielder.

Bill loves music of all kinds and plays competitive sports; is a railroad steam-engine aficionado and train collector; and hunts and collects fossils as an amateur paleontologist.
Over and above all, Bill's life has been and is dedicated to presenting Jesus Christ, the Hope of the World.


JAMES O'DONNELL

Jim O’Donnell spent 30 years at ConAgra Foods, Inc., where he rose to become Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary. Prior to that, he was Manager of Cash and Banking Operations for Borden, Inc., and a Commercial Banker with First National Bank of Cincinnati. Throughout his career, Mr. O’Donnell has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards. He currently is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Williamson College and a Board Member of African Leadership, Inc. He holds a B.S. in Finance and Economics from the University of Kentucky and an M.B.A. from Xavier University.  Jim and his wife Pam live in Franklin, TN and are the parents of three sons. 


CLEMENT SASEUN

Clement Aderemi Saseun is currently the Vice President of Quality and Technical Services for Haliburton International Foods in Ontario California, and immediately previous to that, the Vice President of Quality and Food Safety for Cacique, Inc. (the leading producer of refrigerated Hispanic-style Foods in the country). Clement has also served in various quality leadership positions at companies like Golden State Foods, Taco Bell, Heinz, Nabisco and Seven Up Bottling Company.

Since coming from his homeland, Nigeria in 1982, he earned B.S. degrees in Agricultural Science and Foods and Nutrition, a Masters in Food Science and an advance degree in Business Management. Dr. Saseun is very active in several Food Science professional organizations such as the Institute of Food Technologists, where he holds a Premier membership (with a designation of Certified Food Scientist by the International Food Science Certification Commission -IFSCC), Food Safety Summit Professional and The American Society of Quality. He has also served as the Chairman of the Southern California Section of the Institute of Food Technologists and the Chairman of the organization’s By-Laws Committee. 

Clement is currently a Member of Sani Professional Food Safety Advisory Council.

In 1989 he joined the African Christian Fellowship (ACF) where he has served in various capacities in the Southern California Chapter as the Secretary, Financial Secretary, Vice President and President of the Chapter. He has also served as the Secretary of the West Region of ACF, and finally on the ACF National Board of Directors as Director of Membership.

He served for several years on the Board of Director of Global Missions International (as the Chairman) and on the Board of Director of The Institute of Biblical Ministries.

Clement is a passionate believer in African Christians in the diasporas having a huge responsibility not only in giving back to the home land, but also in building (and rebuilding) the broken walls of the continent. To this end, he supports several ministries on the continent, especially in the Franco-phone Central African Republic.

Clement lives with his wife of 37 years, Catherine Oluremi in Rancho Cucamonga, California. They are blessed with three grown up children Christopher Adekunle, Dr. Christine Aderonke and Charles Ademola. They also have one grand-son - Adewale


DR. CATE LOES

Dr. Cate Loes, is an Assistant Professor of Management at the Jack C. Massey College of Business Administration.

Dr. Loes has taught courses in management, services marketing, non-profit marketing, service learning, business communications, and multi-culturalism in business. She is also an instructor for the Center of Executive Education at Belmont University specializing in Business Communications, Listening, and Writing, Generations.

She is a Sam Walton Fellow for the international student organization, Enactus. Through this organization, she mentors students and the greater business community in developing sustainable social enterprises. She enjoys traveling both domestically and internationally with her students. She currently works on projects with students in Ethiopia and Guatemala and across the United States.

Dr. Loes graduated from North Dakota State University with a B.S. in Mass Communications and Speech Communications. She earned an M.B.A. from the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business and her Doctorate of Management from University of Maryland.  Her research focused on Organizational Selection of Expatriates.

She is an active member of the Nashville non-profit community having served on the boards of The Our Kids Center, Nashville's Table, and The Virtual School of Music, and as an examiner for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. Dr. Loes is also a certified State of Tennessee Rule 31 Listed Mediator.


STEPHEN GAUSE

Stephen Gause has lived in Nashville since 1993, working professionally in the music business for 20 years as a producer, engineer, mixer, artist, and songwriter. He studied studio production, studio engineering, and music performance at Belmont University for his first four years in Nashville, graduating in 1997. After graduation, Stephen toured full time with various musical acts, his longest tenure being with the band Jars of Clay with whom he crossed 48 states, Canada, Europe, and Africa. By the early 2000s, Stephen had come off the road to settle into his studio business.

As a music producer, Stephen has been honored to mentor and develop many young musicians over the years, helping them to refine their artistic voices and reach their greatest potential. These experiences birthed a passion beyond his vocation for discipling young men in their Christian faith, whether through business or the church. Stephen also has a heart for the continent of Africa, having spent some of his formative years (in the early 1980s) living in Zambia, where his parents served as missionaries.

He and his wife Kara married in 2002, and together, they have 8-year-old twin girls, Odette and Rowan. Their family has called Midtown Fellowship (PCA) their church home since 2004, where they have enjoyed serving in various capacities.


DUANE MURRAY

Duane started his twelve-year career in healthcare developing a statewide management services organization for private and Baptist-owned practices in Central Kentucky.  He then transitioned to middle TN to become CEO of a 12 doctor Orthopaedic Surgery group in Franklin, TN, where he led them to consecutive years of their highest profitability and expansion.  This included the successful development of a free-standing, physician-owned surgery center. 

But instead of taking the next career jump when it came in 2005, Duane made the courageous decision to leave a promising healthcare career to support the growing ministry of his church.  He went from health care to soul care.  Duane became the Executive Pastor at Thompson Station Church.  It was a fulfillment of a calling from when he was 13 years old.  Over twelve years as Executive Pastor, the church developed locally, launched an international missions plan, started a satellite church, and planted churches in Las Vegas and Cincinnati.  More than that, he developed a passion to be a disciple who makes disciples who make disciples.  

Discipleship started at home where he partnered with his wife Kristen to intentionally pour into their three children.  These three children have developed their own passion for a personal relationship with Christ that includes ministering to others.  All three children are pursuing business degrees with the plan to use their business as a platform for ministry.

Duane sees his contribution to the mission of Christ (to reach every nation) is through discipleship in the marketplace.  In this season of life, he utilizes his gifts for facilitation and insightful inquiry to spur business leaders to build great businesses for a greater purpose as a chair in C12’s Greater Nashville area.  

Duane partners with African Leadership Inc. because he sees that AL is making disciples who are making disciples.  He has witnessed disciples of Christ in Rwanda, DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Malawi.  He has worked to connect churches and leaders in Africa who are impacting their communities with the life of Christ.


TIM HUMERICK

Tim Humerick serves as President of Humerick Environmental Construction, Inc., a full service site development company established in Ohio in 1993 which he relocated to TN in 2007. His focus on integrity has led to great success for the company.

Tim has traveled to Africa multiple times and has invested heavily in Congo with Sister Alvera's Flame of Love orphanage and African Leadership's South Sudan program.

Tim and his wife Serena have 5 children, Travis, Samantha, Tabby, Heaven, and Kolton.  Heaven's adoption from Ethiopia is a story of great faith and miracles!

The Humericks are active members of Thompson Station Church where they serve in multiple ways including the special needs program.