LEADERSHIP - Keeping God’s Word reliable and relevant.
Chief Executive Officer
Before joining Global Bible Initiative as CEO, John served as the Chief Strategy Officer for Grey Matter Group, CEO of the Gravity Alliance, and Vice President of Bible Marketing for Zondervan. He was also a group leader for Global Media Outreach, an online evangelism ministry. He received his theological training from Kuyper College, Grand Rapids School of the Bible, and GR Theological Seminary. John is passionate about both parts of the Great Commission—evangelism and discipleship.
Chief Operations and Marketing Officer
Born in Romania, Alex has also lived in Libya, Austria, California, Illinois and Wisconsin before settling in Grand Rapids, MI. Alex began his career with Kohl’s Department Stores in the marketing area, where he helped open more than 500 new stores and launch a private label credit card loyalty program over the course of his career there. He then had two careers at Family Christian Stores, first serving as Director of National Marketing and then Senior Buyer of several departments including books, music, movies, kids, church and finally Bibles. He was the key driver in Family Christian’s industry leading market share in the DVD business. Alex is passionate about putting the Word in the hands of people around the world.
Chief Philanthropy Officer
Over the past nineteen years, Mike has served several ministries in Donor Care, with the last six years as the Regional Director of Donor Engagement for Bethany Christian Services. Prior to that Mike enjoyed outside sales roles with Diamante Music Group, Applied Imaging, and Endless Designs. Mike is excited to be part of God’s work at Global Bible Initiative, and brings a Pastoral heart to blessing and deepening relationships with GBI’s partners. Mike attended Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and graduated from Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa. He and his wife Vanessa have been married for twenty five years, and are blessed with two daughters.
Dr. Andi Wu
SVP of Linguistic Research
At Microsoft, Andi applied technology to solving linguistic challenges. His work in computational linguistics and natural language processing started from syntactic parsing, and gradually branched into machine translation, machine learning, and linguistically-based search. Over the past 12 years, he has focused on creating treebanks of the original Hebrew and Greek texts and their translations, tree-aligning the translations to the originals, acquiring lexical knowledge from the data, and developing meaning-based search of Biblical texts. His passion is to produce accurate, readable and balanced Bible translations.
Dr. Randall Tan
VP of Biblical Research
Randall received his formative training in Biblical, Theological Studies (M.Div.) and New Testament (Ph.D.) at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Prior to joining Global Bible Initiative, he was Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Kentucky Christian University. His focus has been on developing new and improved digital resources that bridge the gap between the original Greek and Hebrew texts to modern audiences all around the world in their native languages. His passion is to make the Bible more understandable and accessible to all people groups around the world.
Director of Publishing and Donor Engagement
Ken graduated from Mars Hill College in North Carolina and did graduate work at Southeastern Theological Seminary and Florida International University. Ken and his wife Nancy served as missionaries to the Dominican Republic prior to his joining Thomas Nelson for 15 years, finishing his career there as Publisher of the Thomas Nelson Book Division. He then served as President of Broadman and Holman Publishers, a division of LifeWay, for 12 years. He then accepted a call to join the headquarters staff of The Gideons International where he has traveled to over 50 countries. After having served on the Board of Directors of Global Bible Initiative, Ken joined the staff as Director of Publishing and Donor Engagement.
Habakkuk’s vision is that the earth “be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14) For our translators, this expresses their calling to make God’s Word clear and accurate. For our technologists, it’s their calling to leverage tools and data to improve and accelerate Bible translation.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mike Otis, Chairman of the Board
Mike is the president and founder of Double O Supply and Craftsmen, Inc., distributors and installers of Commercial Glazing, Windows & Doors. He has a passion for the rehabilitation of distressed properties in urban neighborhoods. A graduate of New Tribes Institute, Mike has a deep interest in Bible translation and Evangelism. Mike also served on the board of RBM Ministries, formerly Rural Bible Mission, previous owners of Anchor Pointe Camp. He was Chairman of the board and served as Interim Executive Director. For many years, Mike served as an elder and a member of the Outreach Leadership Team for his church.
Craig Klamer, Vice-Chairman of the Board
Craig served for almost 30 years in corporate management at the national retail chain, Family Christian, in various roles in Merchandising, Marketing, HR, and Supply Chain at Buyer, VP, and SVP levels. His specialty and passion was Bible merchandising. He was part of the leadership team that grew the chain grew from 45 stores to 360 stores in 36 states, centralized purchasing and distribution, developed catalog and e-marketing programs, and, through the profits, brought hope to hundreds of thousands of orphans in a dozen countries. Craig is now the President of Horizon Springs Business Resources, where he consults on vision, mission, goals alignment, and process improvement. He has deep expertise in customer-focused strategies, building and updating business plans, supply chain analysis, cycle time improvements, process mapping, inventory planning and financial stewardship. Craig has also served as a trustee on the Calvin College Board and as Chair of Council for Brookside Christian Reformed Church.
Jeannette Taylor, Treasurer
Jeannette has done extensive research of Bible readers. She is also known for her strategic marketing for Bibles, which was instrumental in the success of the NIV Bible translation. Early in her career, Jeannette held several management positions at the Zondervan Corporation. While General Manager of Bibles at Zondervan in the late 80’s and early 90’s, division revenues grew by 53% over a four-year period with profits increasing by 121%. Later, as Vice-President of Marketing at Zondervan, Jeannette was responsible for managing all market research, market strategy, graphic design, advertising, and media relations for six diverse product groups. Since 1994, in addition to her strategic consulting work, Jeannette has been an Adjunct Professor at both Calvin College and Cornerstone University, teaching courses in marketing, applied research, and strategic management. She has a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration from Hope College and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan
Dave Sawyer, Secretary of the Board
Dave graduated from Wheaton College and went on to earn a Master’s Degrees in Theology and Clinical Psychology from Fuller Seminary. He served as a psychologist for 7 years. He then went on to complete another Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management at Michigan State. He took a job with Shell Oil in HR where he worked for 8 years. He and his wife Jill wanted to move closer to home in West Michigan where he has spent the past 21 years working as Director of Human Resources for Howard Miller in Zeeland, MI. Dave has been involved in various leadership positions in his church and other ministries.
Ted Kallman, Board Member
Ted is a business consultant and Enterprise Agility Coach. He is also a frequent guest speaker at churches and Christian conferences on the topic of listening prayer. Ted has worked as CEO, COO, CMO, and PMO for various companies both in Europe and in the USA. Key talents include understanding and operating at the executive level using advanced program, project and change management tools and skills to focus and drive the customer’s vision, definition and strategic planning through to the task level. He has a proven success record implementing organization change with measurable results, on-time, on-scope and on-budget. Ted is also a well-known author and speaker who has presented to over 350,000 people in seminars and conferences over the past 30 years. He serves as president of the Western Michigan Chapter of the Project Management Institute.
Tom Sudyk, Board Member
Tom is an organizational development specialist who understands the importance of reliable and risk-managed solutions to achieve long-term success. He has become an internationally recognized expert, coaching clients on strategy, operations and communications. As the President and CEO of EC Group International, Tom builds dedicated software teams that work directly within his client’s existing development structure. He uses his business to eliminate poverty and help disadvantaged people in India. For the past two decades, he has also been deeply involved in developing Bible translation technology.
Shuji Kondo, Board Member
Shuji began his ministry as a missionary with Trans World Radio in Guam for four years. In addition to his preaching and teaching ministry to Japan through the radio, he started a ministry directed at local Japanese, which eventually became a church. His pastoral ministry at Hamadera Bible Church began in 1983 and continued for six years. He has since been the senior pastor beginning in 1992. He is a graduate of The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley, California.
Ken Steensma, Board Member
Ken first served as a therapist at Pine Rest Christian Hospital. He transitioned into education by serving multiple area colleges as professor and Assistant Dean. Later he empowered small and family owned businesses to continuously improve their performance and sustainability. Currently, he serves as the Director of Help Build Community, where he is implementing a model for urban residents to direct their continuously improving personal and neighborhood prosperity. Ken also serves as Coordinator for Do More Good Faster, where he empowers a team that helps philanthropy to improve its matching, managing, and measuring activity with recipients.