Weng Amper, Program Director
Weng is an engineer by training, with 25 years of experience in Community Development work. She is passionate about bringing holistic development to the hearts and lives of individuals, their families and their communities.
Her current role overseeing our Child Sponsorship, Literacy and Livelihood training. Before joining our efforts, Weng worked for World Vision and The Navigators.
Weng is a self-supported staff member, relying in personal supporters to fund her work. You can enable her by becoming a monthly supporter! Support Page
Jelon Billion, Tribal Advisor
A pioneer and tireless advocate, Jelon has served Badjao communities for almost two decades.
Having grown up in a tribe in the rural Philippines, Jelon’s heart for indigenous people was formed early on. In his early 20’s and without formal training, Jelon made the decision to live among the Badjao where he learned the language and befriended the tribal clan leaders. He is a respected leader and mentor to many in the tribe and over the years he has worked as a government liaison, often mediating issues between the tribe and the local authorities.
He has advocated for educational opportunity and worked to raise funds for the first three Badjao youth to attend college.
Jelon has partnered with Badjao Bridge since 2011 and serves as our special advisor concerning tribal affairs.
Dan Johanson, Founder and Executive Director Badjao Bridge (U.S.) email
Dan lived in The Philippines for more than 10 years, just a few miles from a Badjao community. He was disturbed by the degree of suffering, much worse than any other poverty he had witnessed before in his travels.
After approaching large development organizations that could not adapt their programs to help, Dan founded Badjao Bridge in 2009.
Dan is conversant in Tagalog, Visayan, and is learning Badjao. His wife Hazel is from The Philippines and they have two children. He derives his income through photography and personal donor support.
Board of Directors
Wency dela Vina, General Director (email)
After earning his Masters in Agricultural Engineering, Wency coordinated international training on water management and taught high school before joining The Navigators, an international Christian ministry. He eventually became the National Director in 1998.
Having stepped down from that position in 2007, he now helps oversee The Navigators work in six counties and serves as Director of Community Hope Alternatives, an organization he founded to help the rural poor in The Philippines.
Nadia Wirolubowich, General Director (email)
Nadia Wirolubowich immigrated to the U.S. as a child and grew up bi-culturally. This experience shaped her world view, her global interest, and her ability to speak several languages fluently. A graduate of both UC Berkeley and Pepperdine University, she earned an MBA in management and has worked as a consultant in I.T. education for Fortune 500 companies for over 20 years, designing, developing, and deploying systems training and communication programs globally.
Pursuing her avid interest in global concerns and multicultural contexts, Nadia has been involved in secondary and university education programs in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Latin America. She also has enjoyed involvement in numerous multicultural outreach endeavors for the under-served.
Janet Tsuchiya, Treasurer (email)
Janet Tsuchiya was born in Chicago, Illinois. She received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University and an MBA - Finance from UC Berkeley. In 1983 she became an enrolled agent. Janet left engineering to become a full-time homemaker while working as a part-time tax preparer. She has been involved in various community activities, including board member of a women’s shelter and treasurer of several youth organizations.
She and her husband, Gordy, have two adult children and reside in Oakland, California.
Kim Huggett, Chairman (email)
Kim Huggett is president and CEO of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce and a longtime supporter of ministry in the Philippines. As the former director of government relations for California State University, East Bay (Hayward, Calif.) he spoke at universities in the Philippines to promote international student exchanges on behalf of the university’s Center for Filipino Studies.
Past career positions include working as director of public relations for the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District and as a reporter for the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union newspapers. He is an elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Hayward.
Board of Directors - PHILIPPINES
Ronnie Saguit (email)
Licensed Civil Engineer –Agricultural
MA in Urban and Regional Planning
PhD. Candidate in Public Administration
Recently, Ronnie has worked as a part-time Instructor for Civil Engineering Dept at the University of San Carlos while serving as Area Coordinator for Visayas area with the Navigators Ministries. Ronnie’s gift of teaching and clarity of mind make him effective in every leadership position given him. His working experiences in different field can contribute a lot to the development of the people that we are serving as the interim Executive Director for Badjao Bridge Philippines.
A Certified Public Accountant with a MBA, Jonar has an extensive background in finance management, human resource development, systems and processes improvements. He has expertise in business planning, forecasting, budget management, product development, project evaluation and auditing.
Having served in various capacities for 15 years at World Vision, he has been equipped with both leadership and people management skills in diverse settings. The combination of extensive professional experience and education in finance and accounting has equipped him with a strong command of operations, administrative, system and finance management in an organization gearing for growth.
Marie Demafelis, Secretary (email)
A Business Entrepreneur. Been a Christian professional with over (20) years’ experience in development and relief work, She has also significant knowledge and experience in NGO management. She has developed good inter personal or people skills, good leadership and management skills.
She has been an effective resource person/trainer, a team play and people enabler. She is also willing to innovate and adopt trends relevant to ministry and advocacy.
Her field of specialization matters to our group:
➢ Strategy management
➢ Human Resource Administration
➢ Training and Development
➢ Coaching and Mentoring
➢ Cristian Commitment and Integration
➢ Change Management, Program and Project Management