|Cindy Douglass, Founder and Executive Director
Cindy lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband Drew and their two boys. She has been a teacher for the last fourteen years and is very active in her local church. Ethiopia has found a special place in her heart that was developed through multiple mission trips working with the people in Addis Ababa. It was during one of these trips that she met a group of amazing girls who shared a very similar life story as herself and where God began to lay the plans for something great. After much prayer and complete obedience to God, Addis Jemari was established. It is her desire that she, along with other local community leaders, will walk alongside of these girls, allowing them to understand there is purpose in their lives and that they are valuable and loved. “Let us love one another, for love comes from God.” 1 John 4:7
|Suzanne Shoaf Ward, Founder and Director of Operations, USA
Suzanne Shoaf Ward was born and raised in Raleigh, NC where she still lives with her husband, Wes and two children, Taylor and Will. She is a freelance communications and public relations specialist and has more than 16 years of experience in this field. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s also very involved in her local church, particularly on the missions committee and in the children’s ministry program. It was during a mission trip to Ethiopia in 2014 that she felt God calling her to help long-term in orphan care in the city of Addis Ababa. She is humbled to be a part of Addis Jemari and is excited to watch the girls grow and flourish under this program.
|Semere Fekadu, Program Director
Semere was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He graduated from Mizan-Tepi University with a BA degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology. Semere is currently working on obtaining his Master’s degree from Addis Ababa University in Urban and Industrial Sociology, where he is close to submitting his thesis. Semere comes to us with much experience as he has previously worked as a social worker, program director and as a part-time Sociology instructor at several colleges. In those roles, he has gained much knowledge in working with orphaned and vulnerable children, as well as working with their families. He oversaw and supervised many projects, out of which two are very similar to our vision and mission here at Addis Jemari.
His involvement in working with orphaned and vulnerable children and in family empowerment related programs is not fortuitous, but is because these issues are close to his heart. His previous experience will allow the added advantage of overseeing Addis Jemari in the best possible way and give great insight into allowing Addis Jemari to be successful in meeting the needs of the girls in our programs.
He is honored to be a part of the Addis Jemari team, and is excited for the future as we seek to make a difference in the lives of young girls and the community in which they live.
Board of Directors
|Lynne Bedini Lewis, Chairman of the Board
Lynne received her BA from Smith College and spent a decade as a marketing manager and sales team leader for a large insurance company. Actively looking to make a difference, Lynne served in different capacities on numerous charitable boards and committees, including serving as past PTA President and President of the Junior Woman’s Club of Raleigh, as well as Co-Chaired the Great Day of Service involving more than 600 members for several years at Edenton Street United Methodist Church. Married for more than twenty years, Lynne is the mom of four kids.
|Cynthia Jernigan, Board Secretary
Cynthia has been married for 30 years and has 2 teenage boys. She is active in her church and involved in the women’s ministry there. On her first visit to Ethiopia in 2015 she began to feel a burden for the older teenage girls that she encountered. She felt the Lord calling her to come along side these young women to equip them in the knowledge of the Gospel and the assurance that they are loved by their Father, Almighty God.Through discipling and advocacy, Cynthia believes that tremendous improvements can be made in the lives of these young women. She considers it her privilege to partner with Addis Jemari in equipping, empowering, and educating these young women who will in turn do the same with others.
|Dana Roberts, Board Member
Dana has called Raleigh, North Carolina home for more than 22 years. She has been married to Stephen for 20 years and they have two wonderful sons, Jack and Connor. Stephen and Dana built their family through an extraordinary adoption journey, having adopted both of their sons domestically as infants. Dana and Stephen met at Clemson University, where she holds a degree in Accounting. She is a CPA and is currently the Finance Director of the North Carolina School Boards Association, a non-profit organization that provides services to public school districts across the state.Dana has traveled to Ethiopia on mission trips and has been uplifted by the spirit and joy of the children she has met along the way. However, meeting many teenage girls that will soon find themselves without a stable home, whose fate is unknown and future is uncertain, has affected her deeply. She’s proud and honored to serve on the Addis Jemari Board of Directors and is excited to see where God leads this incredible journey.