The Deeper Missions Board

Board President, Executive Director
Derek’s day job is as a Program Analyst with the Veterans Benefits Administration. He served 20 years on active duty with the USAF with assignments as pilot and flight instructor, an operations officer and a policy officer; he has lived and served in England, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

Since retiring from the Air Force, he traveled as a United Methodist Volunteer in Mission (UMVIM) team member and team leader to Sierra Leone starting in 2005. While traveling, he conceived Deeper Missions which he founded in 2010 and it gained 501(c)3 tax-exempt status in 2011. As part of Deeper Missions’ leadership team, Derek continues working with communities in West Africa to facilitate energy, water and sanitation projects and partnerships which reduce poverty for children and their communities.

Jerry Van Rennes

Board Vice President
Jerry retired from Intel after fourteen years in a diversity of responsibilities which spanned product definition to final product shipment.  This included design, software development supervision, factory process development and deployment, training, and many other responsibilities.

For the fifteen years since his retirement from Intel he has been very active in the American Red Cross primarily in Mass Care at various levels of leadership. He has also taken leadership roles in disaster exercises and responses. He has also worked with Red Cross partner organizations and government groups. About six years ago he became active in missions work within his local United Methodist Church. His group designed, assembled, tested, and shipped a plug and play solar and wind powered medical storage capability for a health center in Sierra Leone. He has also participated as an advisor on another solar power project in Sierra Leone. As a member of the Deeper Missions leadership team he will participate in the promotion and facilitation of culturally correct sustainable green energy, water purification, and sanitation systems which lead to healthier and less impoverished communities.

Michelle DeFreese

Board Member, Secretary

Mohamed Nabieu

Board Member, Sierra Leone

Ross Meglathery

Board Member
Ross Meglathery is a recent graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, earning a Masters in Public Administration. He currently serves as a lieutenant colonel in the US Marine Corps Reserve. Prior to earning his MPA, Ross spent over 15 years as a leader, facilitator and motivator in defense, national security, energy, international civil affairs and international relations, and public policy.

While on active duty, Ross served as a United Nations Military Observer in Western Sahara, Africa where he saw first hand the effects of conflict and the importance of water availability for sanitation and quality of life. These views were reinforced when he served in Iraq and conducted numerous civil affairs projects dedicated to enhancing medical and educational opportunities, in addition to providing clean water and sanitation to a population caught in the middle of a devastating conflict. Ross is the recipient of the Purple Heart Medal. Ross also earned a MS degree in the management of information technology from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. He joined the board of Deeper Missions in July of 2014.

Garima Gupta

Board Member, HR and Volunteer Management

David Dean

Board Member, Finance

Kim Hanson

Board Member, Development