Our Board of Directors is made up of volunteers who have experienced serving the people of Nicaragua and believe in
the mission of Amigos for Christ.
Mr. Michael Curling
Michael is the Director of Investments at New Kent Capital, a family-run private investment firm dedicated to creating financial returns from socially-conscious, community-sensitive investments in the Southeastern United States. On his first trip in 2005, Michael met families who were living in “champas,” or temporary housing, after being relocated away from living in the city dump. On his most recent trip, he saw these same families living in Villa Catalina as a connected community full of small businesses, livestock, crops, clean water, schools, and all-around brighter and happier lives.
Mr. Bob Seymour
Bob is a residential realtor with Keller Williams Buckhead. He was first exposed to Amigos for Christ on a personal level when his daughter, Paige, went on a mission trip with her high school in March of 2008. When she returned her passion was contagious, and Bob made his first trip in 2009. His favorite part about Amigos for Christ is that the organization does the work of Christ with a servant’s heart and with relationship building as their purpose.
Mr. Ben Chu
Ben Chu is a CPA and the current CFO of A-1 Express / 1-800 Courier in Atlanta after spending 6 years in California at Google as the Finance Lead of its advertising business. Ben is passionate about the vision of Amigos For Christ and the life-changing work the organization is bringing to the Nicaraguan communities. He is excited to contribute and assist the team and dreams of the day when his 2 young toddlers are old enough to go on a Amigos trip with him and serve the community together as a family. Ben is inspired by what Amigos For Christ has accomplished since its inception in 1997 and blessed to be in a position to contribute.
Mrs. Chrissie Fontaine
Chrissie is a CPA and recruiter with Vaco. Her favorite thing about Amigos for Christ is that the money donated actually goes to the cause, as well as the great people involved. Since Jim Tapp originally introduced Chrissie to Amigos, she has seen the hearts and minds of American volunteers opened by their experiences and the lives of people in Nicaragua be changed immensely.
Mr. John Berry
For over 10 years John Berry has been a tireless advocate for people in poverty and has championed national, state, and local efforts to fight poverty, dependence, and need. As the Chief Executive Officer of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia John has led an organization that delivers programs and services to people in need across the State of Georgia and has impacted poverty by over $14.0 million every year for the last 10 years. John has been a vocal advocate for the poor at the National and State level working with Congress and the Georgia State Legislature on issues related to the poor. He also serves on a number of boards and policy committees that are involved in program delivery and issue advocacy. John has attended Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, and Stanford Graduate School of Business programs on Outcome Measures, Nonprofit Strategy, and Nonprofit Executive Leadership. He holds a degree in business and served in executive level positions in the private and governmental sectors for over 20 years before starting his nonprofit career in 2006.
Mrs. Amy Metzger
Amy works as the Director of Music at St. Gabriel Church in Fayetteville, GA. In 2002 she went on her first mission trip with her church, and has taken a trip to Nicaragua every year since. Amy’s favorite thing about Amigos for Christ is the family atmosphere, and the fact that the organization is about walking the walk, not just talking the talk.
Mr. Jeffrey D. Long
Jeff is the President of Long and Cox Properties, Inc. He first became involved with Amigos for Christ in the summer of 2009 when his son, Marty, invited him to join him on a mission trip. Jeff loves the adventure of the developing world, and the ability to be part of something that has such a positive effect on people.
Dr. Sue LaFave
Sue is an itinerant teacher of the visually impaired. In 2001 her daughter was preparing for her first mission trip and John Bland asked her to collect medical supplies. The next year, Sue made her first trip to Nicaragua and hasn’t stopped volunteering or visiting Nicaragua since. Amigos captured Sue’s heart from the very first time she set foot on Nicaraguan soil, and it continues to be an organization that she is passionate about helping.
Mr. Russ Turco
Electrical engineer Russ Turco has been friends with the Bland family since college, and took his first trip to Nicaragua over spring break in 2002. Russ’s favorite thing about Amigos is building new relationships and keeping old ones alive, which he believes is at the core of what Amigos does and how they go about it. He loves getting to know the people in the communities, and trying to understand their struggles, what they want for their families, and how we are more alike than different.
Dr. Kevin Aukerman
Interventional radiologist Kevin Aukerman was previously the director of a medical mission organization in South Africa. As a lifelong friend of John Bland, he first visited Nicaragua with Amigos for Christ in 2005. His favorite thing about Amigos is the flexibility and variety of serving opportunities for people of all income levels and skill sets. Kevin believes that Amigos impacts the spiritual life of everyone involved and teaches young adults how to be life-long servers.
Mr. Mike Ryder
Mike is a senior law partner at Swift Currie, a law firm in Atlanta. He first came to Nicaragua on a men’s retreat through Amigos for Christ and was instantly “enamored.” He returned to Nicaragua with his two daughters and has been hooked ever since. From then on, Mike has been organizing men’s retreats and analyzing any legal issues that come up.