Staff

Philip Peters (President) first met Pastor Lafleur (founder of Restoration Ministries Haiti) while on a Teen Mania missions trip at 17 years of age. Restore Haiti is the result of that encounter and his commitment to keep his promise to support his friends vision of seeing Haiti revitalized and restored. Thirteen years, lots of prayers and fundraising, and several missions trips later, this strategic partnership remains strong and is continuing to move forward to see Haiti revolutionized by the practical expression of Gods love provided by the local church in Jacmel. Philip currently resides in Nashville, TN where he works in the music industry and serves as the youth pastor at his local church. Email Philip at philip@restorehaiti.com

Rufus Howe (VP) is determined to bring assistance to those in Haiti who need proper nutrition, clothing and life skills. He has made multiple trips to Haiti over the past 7 years, and is convinced that through a program of child sponsorships, health programs, and vocational training, the people of Haiti will improve their quality of life.Rufus is committed to Gods direction to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and look after the widows and orphans. His service to Restore Haiti is one way to do this. Rufus and his wife, Ruth, reside just south of Nashville, TN.

Theresa Swain (Executive Director) made her  first trip to Haiti as a leader on a missions trip the youth group she was working with went on. Not seeing herself as someone who had a heart for missions, it took some serious arm-twisting by the youth pastor at the time, as well as some clear direction from God, to get her on the plane. During that initial trip her heart was won over by the warmth of the people there and the young children whose  smiles expressed true joy in the midst of their desperate circumstances. In addition to serving as Restore Haiti’s Executive Director, Theresa coordinates the Restore Haiti Child Sponsorship Program which enables people in the  U.S. to be connected with a Haitian child in need of food and education. Theresa lives in a suburb of Nashville, TN with her newly-adopted son, Jonah. Email Theresa at theresa@restorehaiti.com or visit her blog at theresaswain.wordpress.com.

Gary Bailey (Director of IT) is a board member and oversees projects in the technology area. Gary helps maintain the website, and continues to help with computers in the lab in Haiti, specifically the Intel Grant Project. Gary also helps out with other various projects on the ground in Haiti. Gary resides in Franklin, TN where he works as a consultant in the IT industry.

Joy (Okeefe) Fitterer  has been committed to restoring Haiti’s future through education since her first trip in 2008.  Some of her educational activities include teaching English to Haitian’s ages 3 to adult, consulting with Restore Haiti’s preschool teachers to build curriculum, and working with local elementary and secondary teachers and administrators to train them in differentiated instruction and behavioral strategies.  Most recently, Joy has been working with secondary students who are hoping to pursue higher education to help accomplish their dream of going to college.  Joy has a BS Degree in Secondary Education and English from Butler University.  She also holds a MS Degree in Language, Literacy, and Specialized Instruction from DePaul University and a MS Degree in Cultural and Educational Policy from Loyola University-Chicago, where she conducted extensive research on the Haitian education system. It is her privilege and goal to use her knowledge of literacy, culture, and education policy to raise up a generation of young people who will become leaders and make positive changes in Haiti.  Joy currently lives with her husband near Nashville, TN, where she works as a middle school Reading Specialist for Williamson County Schools. In 2013, Joy become a member of Restore Haiti’s Board of Directors.

John Oliphant (Director of Medical and Dental Operations) works to coordinate the efforts of US-based medical and dental professionals who volunteer their time to provide care to the people of Jacmel. In addition, John is overseeing the development of an electronic medical records system which will track medical care and special needs for those in the Restore Haiti sponsorship program. John also works closely with Restore Haiti staff and volunteer committees to coordinate, develop, and implement the organizations comprehensive healthcare strategy for the future. John is an Assistant Professor at RIT’s College of Health Sciences and Technology in addition to working as a Physicians Assistant near his hometown of Rochester, NY. John graduated from the Physicians Assistant Program at Northeastern University. He also has a Masters of Education from Elmira College and a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Medicine from Messiah College. In addition to his role with Restore Haiti, John does similar work in Africa. Reach out to John by emailing medical@restorehaiti.com

Juli Wendt (Director of Team Training and Support) has been working with Restore Haiti since her first trip there after the earthquake in 2010. Having lead multiple teams to Haiti since that time, she has carefully documented and created documentation for team members, learning tools, and preparation packets to help team members get ready for their time at our project. Juli is a great resource for anyone going to Haiti, whether a team member or a leader looking to bring a group. Juli is a very gifted and compassionate teacher of children. She has been serving in Children’s Ministry as a worker, leader and Pastor for 25 years. She has been trained by Willie George Ministries/Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK, Willow Creek, Saddleback and Group Publishing. Her creative approach really helps her express the truths of God’s Word to these young hearts. After the Haiti earthquake in January 2010, Juli was given a new mandate from God to reach out to children on the mission field as well. She now leads short-term missions trips to Haiti with Restore Haiti and Democratic Republic of Congo and trains teams to go and serve. She has taken courses from The Chalmers Center at Covenant College on Poverty Alleviation/Economic Development and also MIT – Challenges of Global Poverty. Juli is happy to answer any of your trip-related questions by emailing her at juli@restorehaiti.com