Helen Little, Vice-Chair/Founding Member/Board of Directors
I am 83 years old. I have lived in the Clayton area all of my life. Have made several mission trips to other countries but made Haiti my 'country of choice'. I am the mother of 3 children, 5 grandchildren + 1 step grandchild who has 3 children who are my great grandchildren. At Christmas I received the "picture" of my great grandchild" scheduled to be born in July 2009. I am a member of Horne Memorial United Methodist Church for 40 years now and active in Johnston County Extension and Community Association (formerly known as Extension Homemakers). I love to garden, sew, cook and talk about Haiti. My first trip to Haiti was in 1986.
Patrick Tormey Member/Board of Directors
A native of Rhode Island, Patrick has been in North Carolina since 1990 and actively involved at Horne United Methodist Church since 2004 after arriving in Clayton, NC. For many years, Patrick and his family sponsored the travel of the Youth to Haiti in an effort to create a change in the lives of the local young people by experiencing the blessings associated with Service. After the earthquake, Patrick decided to focus his attention more deliberately on the children of the Ryan Epps Home by actively participating in the recovery effort and then the re-building effort.
P. Albert and Valerie M. Carpenter, Chair and Secretary/Board of Directors
Al and Valerie began serving in Haiti with Mission To Haiti teams in 1986. It was during Valerie's first year in Haiti that she met Yvon Pierre, who would eventually become the director of Ryan Epps Home For Children.
Valerie graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She taught French for 30 years at Clayton High School, her high school alma mater. Valerie retired from teaching in 2004. Since retirement, Valerie has been an interim teacher and has volunteered at her church and various local ministries. Al earned degrees from Catawba College and North Carolina State University. He was a geologist for 31 years with the North Carolina Geological Survey in Raleigh, NC. He retired from State service in 1999. Since retirement, Al has worked part time at a funeral home and volunteered at various local ministries and at his church.
Al and Valerie's daughter, Michele, son-in-law Jody, and 2 grandsons, Caleb and Tyler, live in Bethel, NC. They also volunteer with Ryan Epps Home teams.
Al and Valerie are members of Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC.
Gwen Frazier Member/Board of Directors
On her first mission trip in March 2009, the country and people of Haiti quickly captivated Gwen’s attention and heart. She was inspired by the commitment and energy of the founders of the Ryan Epps Home for Children and the organization’s belief that “the safety, nourishment, education and spiritual growth of children is the future for a sustainable society in this impoverished country”. Gwen felt an aspiration to get involved – to work to make a difference in the lives of Haitian children and provide hope for their future.
A veteran marketing executive with over 27 years of experience, Gwen has worked successfully to coordinate branding, marketing plans and strategies for businesses and non-profit agencies to promote their missions. A passion for serving others and helping those in need has been a driving force behind her life and career. She has served on numerous non-profit organization boards and assisted non-profit organizations with their marketing and development plans. Gwen is president of Frazier France Incorporated (1983-present) and was Director of Marketing for The Redwoods Group from 2004-2010. She is an alumna of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Gigi Nelson Member/Board of Directors
Gigi Nelson has volunteered through Mission to Haiti since 2006, having been associated with the organization through child sponsorship since the 1980s. Each trip to Haiti has been made with her son, Alex, who was 12 years old on their first trip. Gigi and Alex love the Haitian people and the country of Haiti.
Gigi’s career has been in the Human Resources profession, and she has worked with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline since 1988. She holds a BS degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from Meredith College. Gigi and her family live in Clayton, NC and are members of Horne Memorial United Methodist Church. .
The other Board member is Allen Wellons of Smithfield. Additional information will follow.