Josiah Venture Board
H. Philip Vierling serves as a Director and the Chairman on the Josiah Venture US board, and he is currently the Assistant Dean, Professor of Business, at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN. He is also president of Plumb Line Vision. Philip has over 30 years of management experience in the medical device industry, having served as the CEO/President for both Kalypto Medical (2006-2012) and Empi (1999-2004). His initial involvement with Josiah Venture was as a participant of English camps in Poland, and Philip has served on the Board of Josiah Venture since 2002. He is a graduate of Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee and holds a masters degree from the University of South Florida. Philip and his wife, Becky, have three children, four grandchildren, and live on a hobby farm in Minnesota.
Dave Patty serves as a Director and the President of Josiah Venture, and he is one of its founders. He and his wife, Connie, became missionaries to US servicemen and their families in the 1980s. Through mission outreaches into former Communist bloc countries, they became convinced that young people were ready and eager to hear the gospel, put their faith in Christ, and be discipled and trained up as young Christian leaders. Born to missionary parents (his parents founded Cadence International), Dave has been on the mission field for 25+ years. He is a graduate of Multnomah School of Bible in Portland, Oregon and holds a masters degree in Educational Ministry from Wheaton College. Dave and Connie live in the Czech Republic and have three adult children.
Frank Fernandes serves as a Director and the Treasurer of the Josiah Venture US board. He has been a private asset manager since 1993. Prior to this, from 1980-1993, Frank was a commodities and options trader at the Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. He is involved in several boards and committees, including Josiah Venture, English Language Institute China, Grace Foundation, Wheaton Academy, Wheaton College, HaChotam, and Grace Church. Frank is a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois. He is married and has two children.
Don Christensen serves as a Director of the Josiah Venture US board and the Client Services Director for the Western United States for Ronald Blue & Co., LLC—a full-service financial solutions firm. He is a Certified Public Accountant who provides expertise in financial planning and investment management. Along with being active in various ministries and mission projects, Don is the Chairman of the Board of the Dave Dravecky Outreach of Hope Foundation and a board member for Baseball Chapel of America. Don earned his BS in Accounting from Arizona State University in 1976 and received his masters degree in Christian Leadership from Western Seminary. He and his wife reside in Arizona.
Jack Webster serves as a Director of the Josiah Venture US board and serves on their A-team. He recently transitioned from his role as a Lead Team Pastor at Southeast Christian Church, where he served as a Deacon and Elder of the church before joining the staff. Prior to his role at Southeast, he served 30 years in the Farm Credit System, the last seven as President and CEO of Farm Credit Services of America. Jack’s wife, Linda, also serves full-time in ministry as Executive Director of mPower. Jack is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He and Linda have two married children and seven grandchildren.
Dr. Dann Spader serves as a Director of the Josiah Venture US board and the President of Concentric, an Alliance of organizations committed to mobilizing indigenous movements of multiplying disciples around the globe. Concentric is present in almost 100 countries. Dann also serves as Founder and Chairman of the Board of Sonlife Ministries, a ministry devoted to training church leaders in the ministry priorities of Christ. In addition, Dann gives 4-5 days a month working as a consultant and staff trainer at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. Dr. Spader is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and Trinity Seminary. He has written numerous leadership training manuals, articles, and several books. His latest works include Walking As Jesus Walked and 4 Chair Discipling. Dann’s passion involves teaching people the disciple-making priorities of Jesus while in Israel where Jesus himself walked. Dann and his wife Char live in Louisville, KY. They have 3 daughters and two son-in-laws—all of whom are involved in ministry—along with six grandchildren.
Dean Fuller serves as a Director of the Josiah Venture US board and currently manages personal investments, primarily within the oil, gas, and real estate industries. He spent 40 years in the energy business, devoting the last ten years to restoring underperforming assets. During his career, he worked in various energy corporations, as well as personally building several businesses. He is presently active in several grassroots companies and serves on several social ministry boards. He is a graduate of New Mexico State University, is married, and resides outside of San Antonio, Texas.
Dave Jamerson serves as a Director of the Josiah Venture US board and is a former professional basketball player. After a record-breaking collegiate career, Jamerson played for the Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, and New Jersey Nets in his 3+ NBA seasons. Dave is now the Lead Pastor of Renovate Church in Austin, Texas. Dave became a Christian while playing in the NBA, and therefore, brings a unique perspective to outreach and how to strategically connect the gospel to culture. Dave served as the President and International Director of Champions for Christ, was the founder and President of Champions Academy, and served on the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) ministry team in charge of all outreach activities at the NCAA Final Four and Convention. Dave has helped to plant churches and lead ministry in over 30 countries. He resides with his wife of 25 years, April, and their 4 children in Leander, Texas.
Edgars Deksnis serves as a Director of the Josiah Venture US board, and he also serves as the Country Leader and President of Jauniesu Virziba (Youth movement)— Josiah Venture’s partner organization in Latvia. Edgars was born into a Christian family but, for him, Christ became his personal savior at the age of 19. Immediately following, he was asked to become a youth leader and, soon after that, he joined the School of Leaders, organized by Jauniesu Virziba. This was his first encounter with Josiah Venture’s ministry. Edgars then moved to the capital city of Latvia (Riga), where he still lives and became the youth pastor in a church that had no youth. In 2009, with the help of Josiah Venture, Edgars and his church did the first Fusion camp ever in Josiah Venture history. After camp, he was officially invited to join the Jauniesu Virziba team. He led his Fusion ministry and helped to prepare other churches to start and lead their Fusion ministries for 8 years. Edgars now serves as one of four pastors in Matthews church in Riga and has led the Josiah Venture Latvia missionary team of 21 adults since January 2017. He has been happily married to Anete since 2013 and they have two daughters—Darta and Greta.
John Deedrick serves as a Director of the Josiah Venture US board and is an experienced senior executive, venture investor, board member, leadership coach, and speaker, as well as an early-stage company founder and advisor. His career encompasses venture investments in over 50 companies, a board director or board observer role in more than 35 companies, a co-founder’s role in 22 companies, and various significant operating roles. John serves on the board of GreatDeeds, Resolute Ministries, and Josiah Venture. He also serves on Athletes in Action committees for the Uncommon Award presented by Tony Dungy and the NFL Coaches Fellowship. John has worked with Tee It Up For The Troops in honor of our incredible U.S. military. He holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Business Administration from Northwestern University of St. Paul and an MBA from St. Thomas University. John and his wife, Kelly, live in Minnesota and have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.