Mr. Joseph Garcia, Board Chair
Mr. Joseph Garcia is a three-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO), including his current position for the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in Washington, DC. Previously, he was the CFO for FEMA Gulf Coast Hurricane Katrina Recovery operations in their New Orleans, Louisiana office, where he served in this Senior Executive Service position for three years. He established a Good Stewardship Council and his mantra was “to not sacrifice the recovery mission, but to honor the sacrifices of the American taxpayers who provided us with their resources.” His efforts dramatically improved resource management across the Gulf Coast.Joseph spent 28 years in the Air Force where he served as a squadron commander, spent a tour at the Pentagon, was deployed for six months in the Middle East, and served in numerous overseas assignments including South Korea and Germany. While assigned to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he taught a leadership course to upper-division cadets, in addition to being a Training Director and a Regional Director of Admissions. He retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.In addition to his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Arizona, Garcia holds a Masters in Executive Leadership from Georgetown University, Washington DC. His awards include: 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. On a volunteer basis, he serves as Board Chairman of a national non-profit that supports women and children recovering from human rights abuse such as trafficking. He also served on a national non-profit board that provides job training and job placement for military spouses, wounded warriors, and National Guardsmen.
He is a Certified Government Financial Manager and a Certified Defense Financial Manager. Garcia authored a book, The Leader’s Pyramid: a balanced and consistent approach to leadership. He and his wife, Brenda, reside in Bowie, Maryland.
Shelli Krunic, Director
Shelli has served on the board of Hagar USA since January 2011. She was introduced to Hagar by a close friend who was working for a non-profit in the area of human trafficking. Hagar’s model of care resonated with her, and along with other people from the US, Shelli traveled to Cambodia in June of 2010 to spend three days visiting several of the aftercare sites. “I was so impressed with the mission, the entire organizational structure, and everyone’s enthusiasm and commitment to the organization,” she says of the experience. When asked to come on board, it was an easy decision. “I wanted to find a way to support those who work for Hagar in all the field offices: Cambodia, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, and this felt like the right way to do it.” Shelli lives in the San Francisco Bay area and is employed by a medical device company as a Sales Trainer. She has three grown children. Shelli likes to read, travel and spend time with her family when not working or volunteering to represent Hagar at various events.
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.
Mari K Eder, Board Member
Mari K. Eder is a career public relations and communications professional with over 30 years of government service with the US Army and Department of Defense. She is the author of
numerous articles on strategic communications and a book of children’s stories. She published a book on strategic communication with the U.S. Naval Institute Press in 2011.
While serving as the Deputy Chief of the Army Reserve, she developed the Reserve communications enterprise, including recruiting and marketing communications and legislative liaison, the Reserve ambassador program, and family programs. Prior to this assignment, she served on the Army Staff at the Pentagon as the Deputy Chief of Public Affairs. Maj. Gen (Ret) Eder has had additional joint experience, serving with the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) in Stuttgart, Germany where she was assigned as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs. There she directed theater media relations during Kosovo and at the inception of Operation Enduring Freedom.
As a civilian, she served as the Director of Public Affairs at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. There she built the Center’s strategic plan for marketing communications and taught the role of a free press in democratic societies to government officials from over 36 nations.
Major General Eder holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in English from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and the Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. She is also a graduate of the advanced program in mass communication at the University of South Carolina and completed the Training With Industry fellowship program with Fleishman-Hilliard Public Relations in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of senior executive and leadership programs at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School of Business, the National Defense University, and the Army War College.
She has served as an adjunct professor and lecturer at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, the NATO School, Sweden’s International Security Command and at Norway’s military Command and Staff Centre. She also consults and lectures at universities, colleges and U.S. military schools on communications and ethics.
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.