Our Leadership

Board of Directors:

Bol Aweng:  Lost Boy of Sudan. Graduated December 2009 from The Ohio State University, Major- Fine Arts, with a focus on Art and Technology. Has painted pictures of his and Jok’s “Journey of Hope” and illustrated a children’s book, Maluak’s Cows, the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. His paintings and rocks are available for sale. Bol is available as a speaker on his story as a Lost Boy. He also assists schools interested in service learning programs on South Sudan, the Lost Boys and the Buckeye Clinic. President of the Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan Board of Directors.

Jok Dau:  Lost Boy of Sudan. Graduated December 2009 from The Ohio State University, Major- International Studies, with a focus on International Relationship and Diplomacy, Minor- International Economics and Social Development. Current resident of Juba, South Sudan assisting with implementation of Buckeye Clinic goals.

Malcolm Cochran: An artist and Professor Emeritus, Department of Art, The Ohio State University. Cochran met Bol Aweng as a student, and they have kept in touch. In addition to being moved by Bol’s story, Cochran is motivated to help establish the Piol clinic by having experienced village life in Guinea (Conakry), West Africa. In 2005, he visited his daughter there when she was a Peace Corps volunteer. Vice President of the Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan Board of Directors.

Dr. Dale Svendesen: Dale Svendsen, MD, MS, is Professor of Psychiatry at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Wexner Medical Center and Director of the OSU Division of Public and Community Psychiatry.  For 17 years he served as Medical Director for the Ohio Department of Mental Health.   Dr. Svendsen has focused much of his career on improving clinical quality, implementing evidence based practices and integrating physical and behavioral health care. Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee of the Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan.

Nathan DeRoos: Co-Treasurer of the Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan Board of Directors.

Meagan Johnston: Co-Treasurer of the Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan Board of Directors.

Elizabeth Westley: Fundraising Committee Chair of the Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan Board of Directors.

Alex Van Schoyck: Data Engineer and Freelance Web Developer.  2018 Graduate of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.  Met Jok & Bol through the Strides for Sudan Service Learning Project at Upper Arlington High School as a student.  Website manager of the Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan, serves as Communications Committee Chair on the Board of Directors.

Linda Miller: Retired middle school language arts teacher from Hilliard Weaver Middle School. She has two grown sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. Linda is involved in Scioto Ridge United Methodist Church in organizing monthly Box lunches and a Crockpot ministry at Clair UMC on the south side of Columbus. She also serves as the secretary of the Board for Community Development for All People, 946 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, OH 43026. In addition, she coordinates two mission trips to Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Kentucky; one trip is for the youth in March and the other for adults in September.

Ajiel Wal: Member at Large of the Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan Board of Directors.

Friends of the Buckeye Clinic:

Jason Barger:  Has been an advisor and supporter of the development of the Steering Committee from early on and loves the mission. Jason is founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting and writes books, speaks and consults with teams and organizations about mission, vision, leadership development, and culture. He also has been involved with numerous mission projects around the world. www.JasonVBarger.com

Gracie Bergdoll:  A current student at Ohio University and a graduate of Upper Arlington High School. Gracie was a four-year member of the Strides for South Sudan Club which has raised $56,000 for the Buckeye Clinic. She is thrilled to be taking yet another step forward to help Bol, the people of Piol, and South Sudan in general. She started a Club at Ohio University and can’t wait to do what she can for the Buckeye Clinic in Athens, Ohio.

Kelly Cantwell: A licensed real estate agent with Keller Williams Classic Properties Realty, Kelly has a strong foundation rooted in community engagement. Currently she serves as a board member for the Upper Arlington Education Foundation, is past President of the Northwest Area Realty Association, and served as Chairperson for Columbus Realtors® Realtor Care Day. Kelly met Bol & Jok through her daughter’s global history project at Upper Arlington High School in 2010.

Cynthia Decker: 1973 OSU graduate in Family and Consumer Science. Retired secondary school teacher in 2010 after 35 years. Served as Co-Coordinator of Scioto Ridge U M church homeless meal outreach for 14 years. Currently volunteers for CAPA. Member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

Rebecca Doss: Graduate of Case Western Reserve University, 1991, N.D degree (Nursing). Graduate of The Ohio State University, 1983, BS degree EMCE (Early Middle Childhood Education).  Met Steve and Bol at OSU during a conference on South Sudan. Interested in health and education in places of need.  Past medical help in Nepal.

Eszter Gozon: LMT, AHC, RYT – Eszter is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Ayurvedic Health Consultant and Registered Yoga Teacher. She left a 20-year career as a Quality Engineer to pursue a passion for alternative medicine. She owns Pranamyra LLC, a holistic health practice, with her husband Troy Pyles, offering western and eastern massage therapy plus complementary services and products. Eszter is certified in prenatal yoga and has a passion for promoting education on women’s health.

Mindy Hall: Retired teacher (elementary and middle school social studies), Bexley City Schools. Helped coordinate the South Sudan Service-Learning Project at Bexley Middle School (BMS) from 2012-2017 and continues to volunteer working with BMS teachers and students to raise awareness and money for the Buckeye Clinic. Created and operates South Sudan Awareness Facebook page.

Beth Jax: Social Studies Teacher, Bexley Middle School. Lead teacher of the South Sudan Service-Learning Project, 2012-19. In three years, the programs have raised over $51,000 for the Buckeye Clinic.

John Lytle: Former Peace Corps Volunteer in Brazil (1974-1975) and a former owner of Stone Environmental Engineering & Science, Inc. A professional engineer, chemical engineering graduate of The Ohio State University, and environmental sciences graduate of Miami University, he has 39 years of experience in consulting engineering and environmental work. Former Treasurer of the Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan Board of Directors.

Allison Mellor: Student at The Ohio State University. Currently studying for a major in communication, with a focus in strategic communication. Allison is a graduate of Upper Arlington High School, where she was a four-year member of Strides for South Sudan Club, and President during the 2015-2016 school year. She has loved working with the Buckeye Clinic the past couple of years, and is excited to continue working to improve maternal and child healthcare in Piol, South Sudan.

Angie Plummer:  Angela Plummer, Executive Director, Community Refugee & Immigration Services, a resettlement agency for Church World Service and Episcopal Migration Ministries, which provides social services to refugees and immigrants in Central Ohio. 

Janet Prior: Graduate of The Ohio State University in 1984 with duel majors in Marketing and Transportation/Logistics.  Owner of Allrite Logistics, a 3rd party warehousing and fulfillment service provider in Columbus Ohio.  Met Bol and Jok at Scioto Ridge UMC.  Member of SRUMC.  Board Member for Buckeye Basset Hound Rescue.   Blessed to able to volunteer with this worthy organization.

Troy Pyles: AHC, RYT – Troy is a full-time Manufacturing Engineer at Honeywell. He is also a certified Ayurvedic Health Consultant and Registered Yoga Teacher. He enjoys teaching people about healthy lifestyle one-on-one and in workshop settings with his wife and business partner, Eszter Gozon. He enjoys herbology and creating custom herbal preparations and natural skin care products. He originally served as Treasurer for the Buckeye Clinic and helped establish its status as a non-profit.

Linda Stephens: Retired elementary teacher, received Masters Degree, Reading Recovery and Literacy Coordinator training from The Ohio State University, participated on several mission trips to the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Mexico, Member of Scioto Ridge United Methodist Church, Worked with Bol Aweng in assisting him in writing his children’s book, The Journey of Hope. Organized the Lost Boy’s Fun Run that was first held in 2019.

Jenny Walker: Retired elementary teacher and school librarian. Sponsored Bol’s sister in school in Kenya from 2008-12. Member, Scioto Ridge United Methodist Church.

Steve Walker: Retired. Former State Coordinator of Refugee Services for the State of Ohio, and Contract Monitor for the U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Former CEO of a family trucking business. Former YMCA World Service Worker in Uruguay. Member, Scioto Ridge United Methodist Church. Former President, Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan Board of Directors. In 2010, 2013, and 2018, visited South Sudan to assist in the development of the Buckeye Clinic.