Josiah Venture Board
Director and Chairman H. Philip Vierling 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.
Director and President Dave Patty is one of the founders of Josiah Venture. He and his wife, Connie, became missionaries to U.S. servicemen and their families in the 1980’s, and through mission outreaches into former Communist bloc countries, became convinced that young people were ready and eager to hear the gospel, put their faith in Christ, 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. He and his wife, Connie, live in the Czech Republic and have three children.
Director and Treasurer Frank Fernandes 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.
Director Don Christensen is 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.
Director Jack Webster serves on the A-team with Josiah Venture. 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.
Director Dr. Dann Spader is President of Global Youth Initiative (GYI), an Alliance of organizations committed to mobilizing indigenous movements of multiplying disciples around the globe. GYI is presently in almost 100 countries. Dann also serves as Founder and chairman of the Board of Sonlife Ministries, a ministry devoted to training church leadership 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 where he lives with his wife Char. They have 3 daughters, two son-in-laws, all of whom are involved in ministry, along with six grandchildren. 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 taking people to Israel and teaching the disciple-making priorities of Jesus while in the Land.
Director Dean Fuller 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 has worked in various energy corporations, as well as personally building several businesses. He is presently active in several grass roots 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.
Director Dave Jamerson is a former professional basketball player who was selected by the Miami Heat in the first round of the 1990 NBA Draft. 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. Before launching Renovate, Dave served as the outreach pastor for seven years at the 8,000 member Traders Point Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. 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. Prior to coming on staff at TPCC, Dave served as the President and International Director of Champions for Christ, was the founder and President of Champions Academy--a world-class basketball training academy that uses sport to reach and influence the next generation of basketball leaders, 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, who was a first team Academic All-American while getting his Communications Degree from Ohio University in 1990, 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.
Director Edgars Deksnis is 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. Right after, he was asked to become a youth leader and, soon after that, he joined 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. He has also lead the Josiah Venture Latvia missionary team of 21 adults since January 2017. He is happily married with Anete since 2013 and they have two daughters - Darta and Greta.