Founder and Director of The James Place-
Tina Weir is HEAL’s heart, hands and feet on the ground in Uganda. Her deep commitment to the abandoned women and orphans there is both inspiring and daunting. Her personal story is one of grief, healing and faith that God has used to impact lives across the globe. Read more of Tina's story here!
Director of Operations-
Trey Weir has been the glue that keeps the James Place running! He loves working with his hands and because of his passion to build and to love others well, the James Place is a warm and inviting place!
Assistant to Operations & Management Staff-
Joshua Isiko is a trustworthy employee that helps us with the day to day operations. His joyful disposition at the James Place is contagious!
Manager of Women's Ministry Programs-
Juliana Tumusiime is a diligent employee who oversees all of the women in our programs. She’s versatile and can be found pitching in where needed in every department!
Diana Ann Salaamu is a hardworking employee. She interviews every family involved in our program and plays an essential role in monitoring the case files and legal requirements.
Sharon Kalifa is our first university graduate at The James Place! Sharon is our newest social worker and her love for others is evident to all that meet her. We are proud of her commitment and loyalty to the James Place.
Director of Sewing Department-
Sylvia Matovu is a dedicated leader that has moved up to management. She loves to teach the women sewing and encourages them to never give up.
Supervisor of Nutrition/Cook- Babiyre Hajire is an incredible employee that cooks all of the meals for our children, women, and staff. She prepares delicious and nutritious meals for everyone at the James Place, literally cooking hundreds of meals a week!
Jennifer Ajok oversees the childcare program. She is a reliable employee who knows and loves all 55 children and makes sure everything runs smoothly. We appreciate her deep love for the children and her devotion and passion for the James Place mission.
Childcare Supervisor and Quality Control of Products -
Regina Wandera is a joyful employee who has many gifts. She oversees the childcare schedule and works with the women making sure all products pass quality control inspection. She deeply loves the Lord and that is expressed in the way she works and leads the bible studies at the James Place and in Masese.
Preschool Director –
Aisha Wanyenze is an awesome teacher who believes in the value and importance of our preschool program. She does an amazing job teaching our four and five year olds to get them ready for Primary 1!
Childcare Teacher & Preschool Assistant –
Jackie Musekwa is an ambitious employee who helps teach our preschoolers, teaches in childcare and attends night classes while working on her social work degree.
Childcare & KIDS Club Activities Director –
Godfrey Mukwaya is an energetic employee who enjoys playing with the kids and making them smile. You will find Godfrey singing, dancing, and praising the Lord with the kids throughout the day.
Childcare Teacher –
Rebecca Ndyesinga is a passionate employee who works very hard. She helps take care of all of the children in our program and is a great mom to her two kids.
Childcare Teacher –
Oliver Kaudha is a kind employee who helps take care of the children in our program. She’s gifted in singing and often leads worship at Bible studies.
Childcare Teacher –
Sylvia Nandera is positive and creative, finding new games and activities to keep the children entertained. Her son was one of the first preschool graduates from the James Place and he’s excelling in Primary school!
Childcare Assistant -
Justine Nambooze is a strong James Place staff employee who helps with chores associated with the children. She makes sure that the childcare department has the proper diapers, towels, mats and sheets for the children at the appropriate times.
English Teacher –
Pamela Tino loves teaching English to the women in our program during the week. She also tutors kids in Preschool so that they are ready for school.
English Director and KIDS CLUB Curriculum -
Ruth Kitego has a love for children and educating others that is amazing to watch! She loves teaching her fellow Ugandans the native language and loves teaching our hundreds of kids about Jesus.
Supervisor of Cleaning Services – Harriett Naisanga is a hardworking employee who makes sure every building is clean and ready for all who enter it. She’s a trustworthy mother of 4, and is always looking to help others.
Laundry Services & Childcare Floater – Gloria Apio is a humble employee that’s always kind and ready to serve. She makes certain that all uniforms are clean and all childcare needs are met for the day. Gloria is always smiling with a twinkle in her eyes!
Laundry/Cleaning Services – Lydia Nayga is a friendly employee who helps with laundry and cleaning different areas on the property. Her adorable twin boys can often be found trying to get to her while she’s working throughout the day.
Laundry Service -
Nora Lala is one of our hardest workers and sings with joy while assuring that hundreds of diapers are cleaned daily. Nora is very flexible and willing to work where needed in any department.
Supervisor of Property/ Shamba –
Edward Duhiirirwe is an entertaining employee who cleans our compound and helps with any projects around the James Place. His biggest joy is making others laugh and you’ll catch him singing while he’s working.
Shamba/Property Upkeep – Wilber Byansi is a joyful employee who can always be found with a smile on his face. He is hardworking and genuinely cares about the upkeep of the compound. He is a great male role model for all of our children
Supervisor of Security/ Guard Dennis Okello is a dedicated employee over our Security and gate. Dennis is the first friendly face seen by all who enter the gates and he monitors and takes this job very seriously for the safety of everyone on the property.
Fortunate Amupaire is our female security guard and is a joyful employee to have around. Fortunate has a smile to greet every person as they enter the gates .
Robert Kaakamwa is a gentle and trusted James Place staff employee who works through the night to protect our compound. He loves his family and loves what we represent. “I love that families are important at the James Place.”
Director of Pottery-
Brenda Namuwaya - is the potter at the James Place and her enthusiasm for the artisan programs is contagious. She is training with special potters in town and willingly goes the extra mile for the ladies to reach sustainability through arts.
(Ever wonder where the heck in Uganda we are?! Check out our town above!)
Meet the U.S Board of Directors!
President and Chairman of the Board - Rodney Syler has a quiet and humble leadership quality that serves HEAL Ministries well. He was passionate about the mission and vision of HEAL for five years serving as a board director before visiting the James Place. After his visit in 2015, he discovered the reality of God’s work firsthand. Rodney became more dedicated and agreed to accept the position of the chairman after seeing God’s work in action in Jinja. Rodney brings field experience to HEAL. He has served in mission work in the field in Kentucky and in the Dominican Republic. He has worked in engineering the last 30 years and has 13 U.S. patents. Rodney is full of innovative ideas and is always looking for ways to improve the James Place. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Lisa. They have three children and three grandchildren and are active role models in their lives. Rodney loves family and has a natural fit with HEAL Ministries.
Secretary/Treasure - Lisa Syler is an educator, artist, mother of three and grandmother of three. Lisa is the epitome of hard work! She is a natural leader and has a strong passion for what HEAL Ministries stands for. It is at the James Place where she learned about the important needs and focus of family preservation and sustainability. Her favorite thing about being a part of HEAL is building relationships with the women and children that we serve. Lisa has experience serving with several other organizations and churches. She served in the Dominican Republic for 14 years and has served with HEAL Ministries for five years in the field. Lisa states, “There's no place I'd rather be, besides home, than at the James Place, serving the women, children and staff. I return home overflowing with blessings bestowed upon me by those I have come to love in Uganda.”
Marketing and Fundraising - Karen Jones brings enthusiasm and innovative ideas to HEAL Ministries. She believes that the greatest job she has ever had is that of a volunteer and cheerleader for a worthy cause. Her creative input has changed the course for marketing and fundraising for the ministry. Karen was raised by a single mom and found a natural connection to the James Place. She knows first hand the importance of faith and encouragement to help fragile families grow strong. She loves visiting the James Place and seeing the ideas become realities. Her passion is evident when spreading awareness about the James Place in America. She is a licensed Real Estate Agent and is active in her church, serving as a lay reader and having served on various committees including the missions and outreach board. She is past president of St. Anna Chapter of Daughters of the King and is founding member of the Haut Gap Angel Program supporting middle school students and their families in her community. Karen lives on Johns Island, South Carolina with her husband Tim and their two cocker spaniels.
Marketing and Fundraising - Jill Rhodes is a mountain girl turned southern since marrying in November, 2014. She relocated from Colorado Springs to Franklin with her husband, Rex. She loves the adventure and traveling involved in her husband’s career. Jill is a current grad school student studying Practical Theology at The King's University. She has a deep passion for the people of Uganda and serving women. Jill brings experience to the board in fashion and marketing. She is involved with a fashion company called Coast To Coast Central, whose mission is to use fashion to challenge, inspire and empower women to connect, dream, and change the world. She has also served with Be for Nine, whose heart is to lead women to walk intimately obedient with the Lord daily, through the nine fruits of the Spirit. Jill states: “There's nothing that I love more than sitting with women who have gone before me and are willing to pour out wisdom and knowledge about Jesus over my life.”
Legal Adviser and Liaison to the Ugandan Board of Directors - Tim Jones has such a strong passion and love for the James Place. He serves as HEAL’s legal adviser and is senior partner in the Firm and Partner-in-Charge of the Charleston, West Virginia office. Tim’s dedication and loyalty is evident by his 46 years of service at the same law firm. He served as a U.S. Army Captain in Vietnam and brings diligence and order to the board. Tim served as President of the Board of the Leukemia Society of Georgia in 1980. From that, Tim has spent his years supporting various non-profits in Atlanta, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina. He is best known for his deep commitment and passion. Just when you would expect Tim to start thinking about slowing down, he joined the Heal Board and travels to Jinja as often as his schedule will permit. When he isn’t trying to plan his next trip to Uganda, catching a plane for work, checking out the ball scores or helping with the mens’ breakfast at his church you will find him trying to find ways for more people to learn about Heal Ministries and The James Place. He and his wife Karen are parents of two adult children, Reg and Kaleigh.
Board Adviser-Marti Scudder has served as a board adviser to HEAL from the very beginning. She served with the founding board members and brings wise counsel and advice to the current board regarding HEAL’s history and development. Marti is the co-founder of MDI (Missions Development International). Since 1990, Marti has lent her leadership to multiple ministries and boards, and she has served as Director of World Missions for a large church. Marti believes in the mission and vision of HEAL Ministries and counsels our Founder and Director of the James Place in the field. Marti and her husband, Gary, live in Nashville and have two adult children. Becoming grandparents has been one of the biggest blessings in their lives.
Board Adviser - Steve Lorenz has served as HEAL’s board adviser since 2007. He was the first to advise our Founder that HEAL would evolve and look very different down the road. Steve’s wise counsel has been most valuable during each transition the ministry has experienced. In 1991, Steve retired from the music industry work and went on to a senior staff position of a large church as Director of Missions Development. He has worked in international missions ever since serving on twenty-three different corporate and industry boards. We are thankful to have his experience guiding our board and our founder. Steve lives with his wife, Marilyn, in Nashville, Tennessee and they enjoy visiting their adult children and grandchildren across America.
Meet the Ugandan Board of Directors!
Chairman of the Ugandan Board - Surjit Bharj is a successful business man in the Jinja community. Surj is a definite strength of the James Place. He assures that all legal requirements are timely and in order. He also oversees the Ugandan Board of Directors. Surj has a passion for helping those less fortunate and is a firm believer in the James Place mission, vision and goals. He has been instrumental in getting the James Place operating under all appropriate licenses on a yearly basis.
Vice Chairman of the Ugandan Board - Trey Weir not only serves as the Director of Operations at the James Place, but also serves an important role on the Ugandan board. Trey works with Surjit closely to assure that all documents and licensing are renewed on time for the NGO and CBO. Trey oversees the budget and staff of the James Place and gives quarterly operational reports to both the Ugandan and U.S. board directors.
Treasurer- Carolyn Jacobsen has a love for family preservation and it is no accident that her organization (JPCC) and HEAL got together. Carolyn has wisdom in keeping young girls with their babies and adds tremendous value to the James Place programs. Her 15 years experience in the field is an asset to the board.
Secretary- Diana Ann Salaamu is a social worker at the James Place who has a passion for order, policies and procedures. Her business administration experience is an asset to the Board of Directors. Diana believes in the core values of the James Place and believes that the mission and vision is what Uganda needs.
Board Director - Tina Weir is the Director of the James Place. Tina’s goal is to make certain all programs run with accountability. Tina reports to the board quarterly about all activities and goals. She is a direct liaison to the U.S. board in reporting monthly updates. Tina’s passion and love for the James Place is evident and you can read more of her story here.
Board Director - Adviser of Programs - Sylvia Matovu is a part of the management staff at the James Place. Sylvia is a wealth of information for the Ugandan board. Sylvia assures that all programs line up with the mission and vision of HEAL. She gives quarterly reports to the board about the women’s progress in the programs.
Board Director - Medical Adviser - Dr. Charles Kalumuna has a passion and desire to treat the community of the James Place medically. He serves as a board director and makes sure that all medical clinics are approved by the government as well as making sure all programs of the James Place are Ugandan specific and appropriate.
Board Director - Social Worker for Amani Baby Cottage - Agatha Orena comes to the board with an unbiased viewpoint. She loves the vision and mission of HEAL and adds helpful ideas and policies for the James Place. Agatha’s years of serving in the field produces wise counsel to the board when making decisions that are best for each program.
U.S. Board Representative - Tim Jones is the only board member who also has a seat on the U.S. Board of Directors. Tim visits the James Place annually and gives legal advice as well as passion and love for all the women and children in the programs. His hands on approach helps the U.S. and Ugandan boards make the best practice decisions.
Ugandan Board Adviser for Social Media - Tripp Weir. Tripp has a passion for HEAL Ministries and loves the James Place. He has a desire for the ministry to be best represented in social media. Tripp's tenacious skills help the board in strategic marketing ideas.