Merle and Edith Burkholder, staff pastor

Merle Burkholder

Open Hands Staff Pastor

Merle provides pastoral care for the Open Hands team. Merle transitioned into this role after his retirement from leading the organization as the Administrator for 13 years. Merle and his wife Edith live in Sioux Lookout, ON, Canada.

Joe and Marilyn Kuepfer family

Joe Kuepfer

Executive Director

Joe serves as the Administrator / Executive Director. He and his wife Marilyn and their family live in Detroit, Michigan. Joe previously served as the East Africa Regional Director from 2015 - 2020. Joe transitioned into the Administrator role upon Merle's retirement in 2022. Joe began with Open Hands in 2014.

Jason Croutch

Director of Public Relations

Jason serves as a link between Open Hands and our partners. Jason also maintains the head office accounting and office work. Jason is available to give presentations about Open Hands to your church, community, or youth group. If you wish to schedule an Open Hands presentation, you may contact Jason at [email protected] or 570-863-9080.

Lyndon Swarey

Lyndon Swarey

Director of Monitoring and Evaluation

Lyndon serves the organization by managing systems and platforms to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our work, and the effectiveness of the self-run savings and credit groups. He mostly works remotely from where he is based in Virginia and makes field visits from time to time. Lyndon began serving with Open Hands at its inception in 2009. He took a break in 2018 order to pursue his degree in statistics and then rejoined in 2021.

Darin Hershberger

Darin Hershberger

Latin America Regional Director

Darin and his wife Maria are based near San Salvador, El Salvador. Darin oversees the work in El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia. Darin has served with Open Hands since 2015.

Verlin Torkelson

East Africa Regional Director

Verlin and his wife Bethany and their family are based in Nakuru, Kenya. Verlin oversees the work in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Verlin began serving with Open Hands in 2022.

Bruce and Shelia Wagler family photo

Bruce Wagler

East Africa Assistant Director

Bruce and his wife Sheila and their family are based in Nakuru, Kenya. Bruce tackles specific projects related to the management of the program and workflow in East Africa. Bruce began serving with Open Hands in 2020.

Walcus and Deb Vital family

Walcus Vital

Haiti Country Director

Walcus and his wife Deb and their family are based in Cadiac, Haiti. Walcus oversees the work in Haiti. Walcus previously served as a facilitator in Haiti, and took his current position in 2019.

Delvin Zimmerman

Delvin Zimmerman

Asia Regional Director

Delvin is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Delvin oversees the work in Nepal and Thailand. In 2017, Delvin began with Open Hands as a Program Liaison in Nakuru Kenya, while simultaneously launching a program in Nepal. Delvin transitioned to being based in Thailand in 2021.

Paul and Dorcas Smucker

Paul Smucker

Communications Coordinator

Paul serves as a link between Open Hands and our partners for the western half of the United States. If you are from this region, Paul is available to give presentations about Open Hands to your church, community, or youth group. If you wish to schedule an Open Hands presentation, you may contact Paul at [email protected] or 541-520-5815.

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