• Samantha Brueggeman

Transitions and Addition to GPiH Board of Directors

In the month of June, GPiH added a new member to its Board of Directors, as three other members cycled-off per newly implemented term limits. Roger Atwood, Trent Wachner, and Kevin Murphy stepped off of the Board this month for at least a one-year period before they can/will be asked to serve one more three-year term.

Roger Atwood is a co-founder of the organization and was one of the last original remaining Board members from when the organization was formed. Roger served as the Chairman of the Board for twelve faithful years, and was highly involved with the development and growth of GPiH’s partnerships and programs into China. Roger may have lost count of how many trips he made to China, but a good estimate would be in the neighborhood of 20. We will be forever grateful to Roger, and his wife Jill, for their service, selflessness and commitment to GPiH!


Trent Wachner joined the Board of Directors in 2012, in part due to his love and passion for reaching China. As a global marketing professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Trent introduced GPiH to several students that later became summer interns, and one student that eventually became a GPiH team member (Brenna Sauer). 

GPiH is thankful and grateful to these three men and their families for all the support and encouragement they have provided over the years!

Bob Scharf, current GPiH Board of Directors member, has been elected to serve as the new Chairman of the Board.

Also taking place during the June Board of Directors meeting, Dr. Coleen Stice was elected to serve as the newest member of the Board. Dr. Stice is a renowned plastic surgeon in Omaha with over 30 years of experience. Dr. Stice is also the founder of Salama Stoves, a new safe stove that GPiH is partnering with to deliver a safe cooking alternative in Africa. The inspiration for the stoves came from a trip to Guatemala that Dr. Stice accompanied on with a medical team during her residency. She witnessed the terrible burns, respiratory problems, and eye disease caused by cooking over open fires. Since then, Dr. Stice has put together a team that comes from development, engineering, and medical backgrounds to tackle the issue from all angles and in several different countries. The stoves that have been designed are durable, adaptable, and easy to assemble. Most importantly, the stoves are safer for children, hence the name “Salama”, which means “safe” in Swahili.

With Dr. Stice’s impressive resume, she joins the Board with high hopes ~

“I have been involved in global medicine since 1987 and have taken medical teams to Guatemala (33 years), Russia (10 years), Kenya (14 years), and Ethiopia (recently). We have always tried to work with the local medical community wherever we go to train them in skills they choose to learn. I have organized multiple trips on my own, and although its always been a labor of love, its been difficult and sometimes hair-raising. GPiH has the same goals and is a much larger organization. So joining with GPiH is a natural progression.” 

“I have successfully established a medical team with a number of qualified volunteers who are anxious to travel with GPiH. I hope my 33 years of experience and my team members will add to the already great work going on with GPiH. Salama Stoves also seems to be a natural fit for GPiH. Adding Salama Stoves to GPiH will help generate donations, but also add another service to improve the lives of those in developing countries.”

GPiH is very pleased to welcome Dr. Coleen Stice to its Board of Directors!

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