Haiti Awake Board Members
David Rutland, Chairman of the Board
From the time David initially arrived in Haiti in July 2017, he was drawn to the people. Days after returning home from that trip, he had decided to return in October.
Since then, he's become a board member and the Lead for Economic Development for Haiti Awake, and most recently he was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. David and his new friends are working to develop various sustainable jobs, training and other opportunities that will contribute to community development.
A resident of Hampstead, NC, and a member of St. Matthews Lutheran Church, he stays busy with his very patient family, serving with Trail Life USA as a troop leader and a member of the local board. He has also helped with the Wilmington Food Bank family days and various NC events put on by the NC Arthritis Foundation Chapter. He also volunteers as a Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Advocate for the Humira SPEAK network. In his remaining spare time, David works as a Senior Operations Instructor at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant.
A team player who values the opinions of others, David's interaction with the people of Haiti Awake could best be summarized with these words from Craig Greenfield: "True love flows out of mutuality, where we blur the lines between those who are serving and those who are receiving, and where we humbly acknowledge that we all have something to offer and something to receive from one another."
Becky Graves, Executive Director
Wife to Rick and mom to Justin, Jared, and Ethan, Becky's first trip to Haiti was in March of 2012 with her family. Since then she's traveled to Haiti over 30 times and worked with many short-term teams made up of team members from across the United States.
Steeve Derard and Becky met on that first trip, and over the next year became close personal friends. Through daily conversations, a mutual love for Haiti, and shared vision for development, Haiti Awake was born.
Becky is thankful for the privilege of loving and learning cross-culturally and finds great satisfaction in the mutually-beneficial relationships growing between Haitians and Americans.
She truly believes these words from Craig Greenfield:
Local people are at the heart of what God is doing in any particular place.
Our role is to come alongside them, and strengthen their hand. As outsiders we are called to amplify their voices, lighten their load, equip and support them. For they are the true change-makers.
Wendy Rohm, Member at Large
A teacher at Wilmington Christian Academy and a member of Grace Baptist Church, Wendy grew up with a love for missions and missionaries. Her first "missions trip" was when she went to live in South Africa for two years to teach in a school and assist church planters.
In 2012 after talking to Becky about what was happening in Haiti, Wendy wanted to go see for herself. And she did, taking her first trip to Haiti in the summer of 2013.
Since then she has been to Haiti several times where she is loved by both the children and the staff of Haiti Awake.
Wendy counsels and encourages Becky and enjoys finding ways to support the people of Haiti Awake through things she can do here in Wilmington, NC, like shopping to find things needed in the Children's Home at bargain prices and sewing dresses for little girls.
Wendy embodies this quote from Jean Johnson, "The most powerful thing a short-term visitor can do is to boost the self-esteem of the local believers."
Kaitlyn Stephens, Secretary
Kaitlyn went on her first missions trip to Haiti in June 2016 alongside Haiti Awake. She fell in love with the people and the country almost immediately. Since then, Kaitlyn has traveled back and forth to Haiti several times a year – working to establish long-term relationships within the community.
As Executive Director of Mission Made Jewelry, Kaitlyn has shown her passion for missions and poverty alleviation efforts through her work. Most recently, Mission Made has been working to train the Haiti Awake staff on metal stamping jewelry to provide additional employment opportunities. Additionally, Kaitlyn is the Director of Marketing for 401(k) Rekon | Excel 401(k).
Kaitlyn and her husband, Whitty reside in Wilmington, NC and enjoy serving their local community through their church, Port City Community, and other various volunteer organizations.
Alexandria Augi Treasurer
Alexandria first visited Haiti on a Haiti Awake mission trip with members from her church, Moores Creek Baptist, in the spring of 2018. As soon as she exited the Port au Prince Airport, Alexandria sensed something special about Haiti and felt the trip would be life-changing. Following the mission trip, she had the opportunity that same summer to intern at Haiti Awake. While there, she realized God was placing Haiti on her heart beyond the short term.
Alexandria is currently a student at UNCW studying mathematics and working with an afterschool martial arts program. In the summer of 2011, she created the Purple Carpet Event: Hope in LIFE (a non-profit day event for children with life-threatening illnesses to celebrate their life and to be loved by people in their communities while also hearing the gospel message of the unwavering love of Jesus Christ). Along with a strong leadership team, she co-organized this event for six years. She prayerfully decided to transition from the leadership team after this year’s event knowing God was calling her to a new ministry, yet not knowing what the ministry would be. It became apparent this past summer that God was opening a door for Alexandria within the Haiti Awake ministry. She looks forward to serving on the board and continuing to travel to Haiti as often as she can.