Board of Directors
John joined the board in 2016 as board chairman and treasurer, but his involvement with aym began indirectly back in 2001, when his daughter Amy went on a short-term mission trip to the White Mountain Apache Reservation. Amy returned in one capacity or another for the next 6 years, but John's first trip to the Whiteriver community was in 2004 with his other daughter Ali and then again, in 2005, with his son, Nick. In 2007, while living in Jacksonville, FL, he and his wife, Laura, welcomed their "native son," Rainey Bourke, from Whiteriver into their family and he's been a part of it ever since. John is a 1983 graduate of the US Naval Academy and earned a Vanderbilt MBA in finance in 1991. He spent 8 years on active duty in the us navy and 21 years in corporate finance working for Procter & Gamble and then Coach Leatherware. He has been working in education field for the last five years and is currently a special education teacher working for Greenville county schools in South Carolina. He and Laura have been married for 32+ years and have three adult children/two grandchildren of their own.
Vanya grew up on a small farm in Bulgaria under communism. She holds a Master’s degree in Forestry. She came to the United States in 2000 and began working in Whiteriver in 2001. She works for Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and has coordinated various projects, such as Feast for the Future, Native Vision and the Training of Field Staff (TOFS) programs. She currently manages the business incubator for Arrowhead Business Group. She aids participating students in development and execution of a business plan tailored to their interests, manages funds awarded to students for supply costs, keeps inventory of business operating materials, and connects students and incubator members with community resources including training.
Eileen Hill is an enrolled member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe from the McNary community. She joined the board in June 2016 with a passion to serve her tribe and the youth of our Apache Nation. For the past 7 years, she has lived in Baltimore, MD and has worked for Kennedy Krieger Institute providing specialized child care for families experiencing homelessness. Prior to moving to Baltimore, she attended Global Frontier Missions in Atlanta, GA serving among refugee families. Her education background is in Early Childhood Education and she spent most of her young adult life working for tribal education programs. Eileen was married in February and is moving to Northern California to serve among the Native peoples there.
Mike Gallagher is a retired Army officer, lawyer and federal executive who joined the board in 2017. During the last 12 years of his working life, he occupied various jobs as an Associate General Counsel, Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Commissioner for Management and Administrative Appeals Judge for a large federal agency. Mike is a member of Mountain Christian Church in Harford County Maryland and traveled to AYM in 2016 and 2017 with a short term mission team. He left those trips dedicated to the success of AYM's mission and the children they serve. Although retired from active employment, Mike is redeployed with other retirees from Mountain Christian Church and serves on its Go Trips Leadership Team and in the church's jail ministry as well as several county non profits.
Jeff Prine was born and raised in the Baptist Church and came to know Christ at the early age of 12. His Damascus moment came during a mission trip to Scotland where a missionary there impressed upon him her methods of serving and loving on others. He then joined the Missions Committee at First Baptist Monroe and within a year was requested to chair the committee. Seventeen years later, he is amazed how GOD has blessed him with growth as his servant in the missions field. He has had the opportunity to travel the world from Thailand to South America working with a host of different ministries and partners. Jeff’s dominant spiritual gifts are leadership and administration. Combined with his professional skills of project management and architectural design, the Lord has engaged him in a host of different ways working with First Baptist’s missions partners. Jeff is blessed with a wife Amy, three daughters; Caitlyn, Leah and Halle, and one son-in-law; Shon.
Denise High joined the Board as Treasurer in March 2019. She graduated cum laudefrom Trinity University in San Antonio with a degree in French. She has worked in accounting/administration for over 40 years, with a four-year break to serve on active duty as an Army signal officer and an eight-year stint as a legal assistant in Kansas City. Originally from Texas, she and her husband currently live in Maryland where Howard works for the Army as a DOD civilian and Denise is working in premium tax accounting for an excess/surplus lines insurance wholesaler. Baptized in 1993, Denise has made a number of trips to the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation, both on mission through her church and individually to assist in accounting/administrative tasks. She is the blessed mother of two: Katja High, who was an AYM intern and continues to mentor WMA youth; and Lincoln High, who went home to be with his Lord in 2011. “In Christ, all will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22.