Our Team

BOARD MEMBERS

Christophe Dessaigne

Christophe Dessaigne is the Senior Executive Manager of the Non Profit Portfolio for Ambassador Enterprises. He joined the company in 2014 and moved to Fort Wayne after living and working in London, England for the past nine years. Christophe’s previous business experience has spanned several sectors, from education to event planning and entrepreneurship to international network development. In each of his previous posts, Christophe was responsible for providing strategic oversight and direction.

Christophe received his master’s degree in Management from SKEMA (Sophia Antipolis, France), which included an MBA program in IESA (Caracas, Venezuela) and a BA in Business Administration from Humber College (Toronto, Canada). He holds a Leadership and Management certificate from International Apostolic Bible College (Kolding, Denmark). He currently serves on the boards of Vennli and HealthQuest Alliance and Junior Achievement. 

Christophe has been married to his wife, Melissa, for nearly ten years, and together they have a seven-, five-, and four-year- old to keep them busy! They both served as part of the leadership team of Equippers Church in London and now worship at Pine Hill City Church in Fort Wayne. Christophe enjoys traveling, snowboarding, mountain climbing and cooking…and when time allows, he fully supports Arsenal Football Club.

Jan Diaz

Jan Diaz is an incorporating board member for Innovative Education International. Jan brings management and sales experience from a variety of previous positions: Branch Manager and CRA Officer of STAR Financial; Sales Manager of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Director of Recruiting for New York Life Insurance Company; and at Ambassador Enterprises on the organizational health assessment team.

Jan is a magna cum laude graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies. She is co-founder and Director of Tehillah Spirit & Truth Ministries, Inc., a 501(c)(3) offering music, worship, and biblical teaching events to the Fort Wayne community and beyond.

Mike Erler

Mike works for Ambassador Enterprises on the For Profit Optimizing team as well as assists the Treasury and Finance team. Prior to joining Ambassador, Mike was a CPA and partner for 34 years with the national CPA & advisory firm BKD, LLP where he provided financial and consulting services to closely-held businesses and the families that owned them. He obtained his B.S. in Business Administration in 1976 from Indiana University in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In addition to serving on Innovative Education International’s board, Mike is on the boards of Anthony Wayne Council of Boy Scouts, Fort Wayne Downtown Development Trust, and the Indiana Business Law Survey Commission. He and his wife Barb have been married for 43 years and have three children and five grandchildren.

Mike Erler

Mike works for Ambassador Enterprises on the For Profit Optimizing team as well as assists the Treasury and Finance team. Prior to joining Ambassador, Mike was a CPA and partner for 34 years with the national CPA & advisory firm BKD, LLP where he provided financial and consulting services to closely-held businesses and the families that owned them. He obtained his B.S. in Business Administration in 1976 from Indiana University in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In addition to serving on Innovative Education International’s board, Mike is on the boards of Anthony Wayne Council of Boy Scouts, Fort Wayne Downtown Development Trust, and the Indiana Business Law Survey Commission. He and his wife Barb have been married for 43 years and have three children and five grandchildren.

Eric Kellerer

Eric Kellerer has been the Director of the Doceō Center at Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) since its inception in January 2013. He is passionate about personalized learning that leads to systemic change in schools, districts, and nations, and has led several small and large pilot and implementation projects in education. 

Eric is also the Director of International Relations at NNU. In addition to his educational role internationally, he has made more than 30 trips to creative access countries for the purpose of ministry.
Prior to directing the NNU Doceō Center, Eric was the Executive Director of Information Technology at NNU. He received his Doctorate in Education in 2002 in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on technology in distance education.

Eric and his family served as missionaries to Thailand from 1992-1996.  His life’s passion is to proclaim God’s Kingdom for all nations and ethnic groups around the world.

USA Staff

Leon Amstutz

Leon Amstutz joined Innovative Education International as a technology specialist. Leon is a gifted computer scientist and engineer with multiple certifications.

For many years, Leon was a telecommunication systems engineer and manager at Raytheon Company (formerly Magnavox) in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1999, he transitioned from the corporate world to higher education, helping establish the computer science program at Taylor University Fort Wayne. In 2006, he was offered a position on the Taylor University Upland campus, where he served as the Academic Technology Specialist, designing and implementing classroom and computer lab technology. He taught Computer Science and Engineering Physics at Taylor University for 15 years before retiring in 2015. He has continued after retirement as an adjunct instructor.

Throughout this time, Leon continued his own education, earning two Masters degrees and a Doctorate in Applied Science. 

Leon formerly served as a missionary radio engineer in Haiti and has traveled back to Haiti annually as a volunteer engineering consultant for the past 30 years.

Mike Dworak

Passionate about all things missions I’ve lead over 40 trips to more than 25 countries and lived in Prague working with nationals throughout Eastern and Central Europe. The trips I lead were through churches but also while working for various ministries like Compassion Intl., Reach Beyond,and Bible League.

I have served on several missions boards of large churches crafting their strategic missions plan as well as missional core values.

A couple of the main highlights of what God has allowed me to do was publish the latest Operation World book along with developing all the content for and launching the latest website and prayer movement.

Bible acquisition campaigns to both Kenya and Nigeria were also highlights as we watched the Lord double our goals for getting much needed bibles to reach Muslims in Africa.

My wife, Ellen and I are honored to be working with IEI. We love the mission and being a part of how innovation can make a huge impact in restoring a county, a country, and a continent.

Gary Friesen

Gary Friesen leads Innovative Education International’s programs, bringing hope and opportunity to students in under-resourced areas of the world. 

Gary graduated from Taylor University in 1975. He earned an M.A. in mathematics from Miami University of Ohio, and from 1977-1984 taught math and coached basketball at a public Indiana high school.

In 1984, he and his wife, Janet, moved to the Philippines, where they served for 12 years at a mission school. The family returned to the U.S. in 1996, and the following year, Gary accepted a position at Taylor University, where he served as director of academic technology until 2014.

In 2014, Gary joined the Ambassador Enterprises team and helped establish the 501(c)3 nonprofit, Innovative Education International.

Charles Kirkpatrick

Charles Kirkpatrick is the world’s leading expert on the life of Samuel Morris. Charles was born and raised in Burundi, Africa. He speaks fluent English, French, and several African dialects.

In 1985, he earned his Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. Radio broadcasting is Charles’s specialty. Following his graduation in 1961 from Asbury College, Kentucky he and his wife spent 14 years in Bujumbura, Burundi where he served as Station Director for the Central Africa Broadcasting Company. Returning to the U.S. in 1977, Charles was offered a professorship at Taylor University (TU), where he taught radio, television, and communication studies until he retired in 2002.

For years, Charles has been passionate about the story of Samuel Morris. In 1989, he and a videographer from TU traveled to Liberia to research Morris’s roots, and published a compelling documentary film. Since 2006, Charles has represented TU in the joint TU-SCAA mission to “take the story of Samuel Morris back to his homeland.”

Liberian Staff

BJ Bah

BJ graduated from Harbel Multilateral High School, Margibi County, Liberia. 

His recent work experiences include Mamba Point Car Rental Services, Monrovia (2013-2015), Trust Enterprise, Monrovia (2015-2016), and Innovative Education Liberia (2016-present).

BJ is the trusted and hard-working “Logistics Coordinator and Technology Assistant” for IEL. In October 2017, he assumed leadership of the Elijah Tarpeh Saturday Service (ETSS) program at the Samuel Morris Center in Greenville, Sinoe County.

BJ has three children and two adopted children. His desire is to “live a Spirit-filled life and inspire people.”

James Freeman

James Freeman serves as Instructional Technology Assistant for IEL in Sinoe County, Liberia.

In 2014, James graduated from St. Paul Episcopal School in Greenville, Liberia, where he excelled as a student and leader. After graduation he assisted the school with teaching and administrative duties. In September 2015, IEL launched its computer-based program in the Sinoe schools and James was selected to be the computer lab facilitator at St. Paul School. His faithful and competent service over two years led to his being hired by IEL in May of 2018.

Shadrach Geelar

Shadrach Geelar serves as Instructional Technology Assistant for IEL, facilitating the Samuel Morris Scholars Program in the Sinoe County schools.

Shadrach graduated from secondary school in July 2012 and went to the Webbo Rural Teacher Training Institute (WRTTI) in the same year. He graduated in August 2013 from WRTTI and earned a “C”  Certificate in Education.
In September 2013, he was employed at the St. Joseph Catholic High School and taught at two additional schools, Nimely Brothers and SJC Davies. In November 2014, he was assigned as administrative assistant to the District Education Office in Tarjuazon and served for one year.

Shadrach loves to watch football (soccer) games. He is a baptized Christian and a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church. Shadrach brings to the team a positive spirit, organizational skills, and leadership.

Joe Harleyson

Joe Harleyson serves as Instructional Technology Assistant for IEL in Sinoe County, Liberia.

Joe is a 1999 graduate of the Protestant Methodist Resource School System of Danane, Ivory Coast. Joe spent three years at the Centre de Langue Français (French language studies) in the Ivory Coast. In 2012, he graduated from the Humanity First Vocational & Technical School with a certificate in auto mechanics and professional driving.

Prior to joining the IEL team, Joe worked for Quench Your Thirst as a warehouse supervisor from 2008-2009, and at Firestone Liberia as a contractor from 2009-2010. Joe is an avid football (soccer) fan and was a professional referee for several years as well. Joe is a serious thinker with a kind heart and willing spirit.

Joseph Kromah

Joseph Kromah serves as Instructional Technology Assistant for IEL in Sinoe County, Liberia.

Joseph was born in Liberia, but spent most of his growing up years in the neighboring country of Guinea. He speaks fluent French. Prior to returning to Liberia, Joseph earned a 4-year bachelor’s degree in accounting and business, bringing valuable skills to our team. Joseph was hired by IEL in May of 2018.

Gabriel Panton

Gabriel Panton serves as Instructional Technology Assistant for IEL, facilitating the Samuel Morris Scholars Program in the Sinoe County schools.

In 2010, Gabriel received a certificate in General Education from Licosess Mobile Teacher Training College, along with a diploma in Computer Software from Inter-Digital Computer Institute. In 2012, he earned a diploma in accounting from the Arthur Barclay Business College (ABBC). In 2013, he earned certificates in computer software, purchasing and supply management, and youth empowerment. In 2015, Gabriel earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from ABBC. 

From 2011-2015, Gabriel served as a Catholic Archdiocesan Youth Secretariat at the Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia. From 2014-2016, he served as a finance/administrative officer for the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights Project at the Sinoe County field office.

Owen Sarpee

Owen Sarpee serves as Instructional Technology Assistant for IEL in the Sinoe County schools.

Prior to joining the IEL team, Owen served as co-supervisor for a project with the Liberia Reconstruction and Development Company. He also attended the University of Liberia to study Economics and Management. In 2011, he left university to go into the teaching field for a semester. After completing that semester, he attended computer training courses at the Broagnet Computer Services Foundation, obtaining a certificate in MS Word and Excel. From 2013-2014, Owen was a project supervisor at Munazamat Al-Dawa Al-Islamia Liberia Chapter.

In August 2016, Owen joined the IEL team as an intern and was hired full-time in February 2017. Owen is married with two sons (one adopted). He brings energy and creative thinking to the team.

Stephen Swen

Pastor Stephen Swen is a gifted communicator and is passionate about sharing the message of Jesus. He leads gospel Y-Clubs in nine Greenville area schools, and has an active ministry in the jail and hospital. In October 2017 he was appointed chaplain for IEL.

Stephen graduated from Johnny Voker High School, Saclepea, Nimba County. He has studied at several Bible schools and earned a certificate from the Bible Training Center for Pastors, Saclepea, Nimba County. 

Pastor Swen’s work experience includes classroom teaching at P. Y. J. Educational Foundation, Paynesville, Monrovia; counselor at Samaritan’s Purse, Saclepea, Nimba County; and nurses’ aid at National Foundation Against Poverty & Disease, Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.

Pastor Swen established two churches in Zwerdu and one church in Saclepea. His life mission is to train young people to passionately follow Jesus Christ.

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