Mr. Joseph Garcia, Board Chair
Joe is the current Vice President for Finance/Chief Financial Officer at the Citadel Military College.
A previous three-time CFO, Garcia has been responsible for the strategic development and oversight of budgets ranging from $20 million to $4 billion during his career. Most recently, Garcia served as the CFO for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service, in Washington, D.C.
Garcia spent 28 years in the Air Force where he served as a squadron commander, spent a tour at the Pentagon, was deployed in the Middle East, and served in numerous overseas assignments including South Korea and Germany. While assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy, he taught a leadership course to upper-division cadets, in addition to being a Military Training Director and a Regional Director of Admissions. He retired in 2004 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Garcia holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arizona, an MBA from the University of Central Oklahoma and an Executive Masters in Leadership from Georgetown University. His awards include the Federal Woman’s Program “Male Boss of the Year”, Department of Defense Comptroller of the Year, and a Superior Mission Achievement award from the Department of Homeland Security. He is a Certified Government Financial Manager. He and his wife Brenda are proud grandparents of 13 grandchildren.
Clarisse Chung, Board Secretary
A Bay Area native, Clarisse has practiced law in both the private and non-profit sectors. Clarisse began her career working as a general commercial litigation associate at Foley & Lardner LLP, an Am Law 50 law firm, where she worked on cases for Fortune 500 and medium sized companies on matters ranging from business contract and insurance coverage disputes to employment and antitrust matters. Following this, Clarisse felt called to invest her time and training in serving individuals on the margins of society. A passionate advocate against the modern evil that is human trafficking, Clarisse served as legal counsel for California Against Slavery, a non-profit organization that was working to strengthen California legislation against human trafficking. While there, she assisted with the drafting of an initiative that would become Proposition 35 (passed by California voters in 2012). She has also provided pro bono litigation and appellate services for indigent individuals as a Volunteer Attorney with Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, and has counseled non-profit organizations on issues including governance and policies. In 2011, Clarisse was presented with a Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services by the State Bar of California.Clarisse graduated with a degree in History from the University of California at Berkeley. She then went on to attend law school at the University of California-Hastings College of the Law, where she graduated cum laude in 2008 and externed for Justice Joyce Kennard at the California Supreme Court. She has also externed for Judge Garrett Wong and Judge Curtis Karnow at the San Francisco Superior Court. Clarisse is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
Mr. Jason Mather, Director
Jason Mather first heard about Hagar’s work in 2008 and has seen the impact of their ministry to women and children firsthand: “I love Hagar’s commitment to the individual. ‘Whatever it takes for as long as it takes to restore a broken life’ is more than a mission statement, it’s a lifestyle and mindset that directs everything Hagar does.”Jason serves as pastor of King’s Church in Long Beach, CA. He and his wife Olivia have three beautiful children.
Mr. Talmage Payne, CEO, Hagar International
Talmage, a United States citizen, was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Cambodia most of the last 20 years, serving in both the non-profit and social enterprise sector. His educational background is in economic development and environmental sciences, and his early career was primarily involved in humanitarian relief operations within Asia. Before joining Hagar in 2006, he was the Executive Director of World Vision Cambodia. Talmage was the founding Chairperson of Vision Fund Cambodia. He is also co-owner and founding Chair of First Finance PLC and Urban Village PLC, both low income housing social enterprises, as well as Cambodia’s largest integrated organic farm – Discover Farms. Talmage is married to Finn and has three teenage children. He enjoys gardening, reading history and the color purple.
Mr. Frank Thomas, Board Member
Mr. Frank Thomas joined Cummins Engine Company, in Columbus Indiana, after graduating from Western Michigan University with a BS-Economics and an MBA. He worked for Cummins in both manufacturing and corporate environments for twenty years. Most of his experience was on the finance side of the business where he worked in cost analysis, managed worldwide price development, financial planning, strategic analysis, and M&A activity. Frank was later in charge of managing Cummins distributors, and directly managed six Cummins-owned distributors in an effort to turn around their profitability in preparation for resale. He traveled extensively in this work to UK/Europe, India, Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong. In 1993, Frank bought the Cummins distributorship headquartered in Phoenix and was its sole owner for ten years.
Since then, Frank has worked with many start-up companies to help them develop business plans, provide financial expertise, and prepare for funding. The companies’ products ranged from fuel savings devices, computer screen companies, and portable drug testing devices, to graphic design.
On a volunteer basis while in Indiana, Frank was on the board of the sixth largest credit union in Indiana, and worked with Junior Achievement.
While in Arizona, Frank was part of a four-person team which developed a white paper for how the 6,000 member Scottsdale Bible Church would work in Africa. He took an early investigative trip by himself and visited orphanages, HIV/AIDS centers, and rural schools in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. They eventually chose a remote Maasai village and a Muslim village, both in Tanzania, where Frank led the project for five years, during which time they improved local health and hygiene, provided a water well, and built two primary schools which now provide above average education for over 650 children. Besides taking twenty trips to Africa for those projects, Frank has also done volunteer work in Russia and Argentina. He worked for several years on a Mission Review Board where he helped manage fifty missionaries, and he is on the Imara Ministry Foundation Board which oversees the work in Africa. Frank and his wife, Carol, live in Scottsdale, Arizona.