Watoto Read is run entirely by volunteers, a team that works together to advocate and fundraise for refugee children in Sub Sahara.

Rev. Claudine Leary, Executive Director, Co-Founder
Rev. Claudine Leary was born and raised in Rwanda, East Central Africa. She moved to Zimbabwe in 1997 to attend Africa University. After her graduation in 2001, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business studies, she moved to the United States in 2003 and enrolled at Fairmont State University in West Virginia. She earned her MBA from Fairmont in 2009. Claudine earned her Master of Divinity degree from Methodist Theological School in Ohio in 2014. She was ordained an Elder in the West Ohio Annual Conference in June 2016, and currently serves as the Director of Development at Methodist Theological School in Ohio.

Claudine co-founded Watoto Read in 2016 in response to the growing refugee crisis and overwhelming need for improved access to education for refugee children. Watoto Read resources and advocates for elementary education of refugee children in refugee camps in Sub Sahara, Africa.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Crystal R. Clark, Ph.D., Professor of English
Dr. Clark is a Professor of English at Columbus State Community College.  A Distinguished Teaching Award recipient and a Distinguished Full Professor Award recipient—she has taught composition, creative writing, and literature for more than twenty-five years.  Dr. Clark holds a Master’s of Arts in English from The Ohio State University, a Master’s of Theological Studies from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and a PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of Toledo.  Serving on a plethora of educational committees over the years and  recently inducted into the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Leadership Institute, Dr. Clark believes in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams through hard work, perseverance, and service to others.
Aside from her friendship with Claudine, Crystal believes the Lord planted seeds for this ministry in her heart many years ago.  She didn’t understand them then, but she embraces the Father’s call now.

Chet Cox, Accountant
Chet retired after 45 years in the accounting profession. The last 15 years he was a partner and owner of a small business consulting firm. Chet continues to work part-time performing accounting services and business management for a small number of auto dealerships. Chet also keeps busy volunteering for a number of charities including acting as Director of Accounting for Watoto Read.

Chet joined the Watoto Read organization after meeting with Claudine and learning of the deep lack of availability of education for refugee children as well as the critical importance of helping these children break the cycle they are unwillingly caught in as refugees.

Dr. Kerry Dixon, PhD
Kerry Dixon is the Executive Director of Civic and Global Engagement for the College of Education and Human Ecology (EHE) at the Ohio State University. Dr. Dixon’s work also involves building EHE’s strategic partnerships with a multitude of stakeholder groups across OSU’s 15 colleges and its many centers, and with the larger community. In this regard, she overseas diplomatic protocol and cultivates mutually beneficial relationships with local, state, and national leaders, and with nonprofit organizations, government organizations, and industry. She also oversees EHE’s international partnership agreements, its Fulbright scholars’ program, and its suite of study abroad programs.

Dr. Dixon joined Watoto Read because she is committed to advancing educational equity for all children as a part of her research as well as professional and personal activities.

Patrick Dunkley, Director of Media, Co-Founder
Patrick works with an architecture firm in Cincinnati, Ohio and has been working with IT, Web and Graphic design for over 20 years. When Watoto Read was founded, Patrick joined the board and designed their current website, logo and other marketing materials. Patrick is married and has two children. He attends the First United Methodist Church in Mount Sterling, Ohio where he is actively involved and even directs an annual theater program to help raise money for Watoto Read.

H. Dean Gibson
H. Dean Gibson is a retired Partner of Aon Hewitt, one of the world’s largest Human Resources, actuarial and risk management consulting firms. Dean feels truly blessed to have the opportunity to give back by working to ensure Sub-Saharan refugee children receive an education thereby increasing their opportunities for a better life. Dean serves Watoto Read in a number of ways but is particularly focused on building relationships with various organizations as a part of our Development and Institutional Partnership teams.

Rev. Dr. Thomas Hanover
Rev. Tom Hanover is the Lead Pastor at Lewis Center United Methodist Church where their tag line is “Real Life, Real Impact.” Watoto Read offers the church an opportunity to have real impact with real life issues for a special group of people on our planet. He believes “Where else can we make so much difference!”
Rev. Tom H. joined the Watoto Read Board because of the compelling vision of changing the lives of young refugees which could potentially change the course of an entire continent. And he says “Who can say to “No” to Claudine?”!

Allan Leary, President, Co-Founder
Allan Leary is a U.S. Navy veteran and native of Morgantown, West Virginia. Allan formerly served the General Board of Global Ministries as a missionary to Mutare, Zimbabwe for “Missioners of Hope for the Children of Africa”. Currently, he serves as a Senior Energy Engineer for The Ohio State University’s Office of Student Life with goal of “Creating the extraordinary student experience”.

Allan serves as the President of Watoto Read where we are “Creating Hope” for the hopeless. When a person becomes a refugee, they generally have lost everything: their home, livelihood, and often their family. Allan believes that by providing education to these children, we not only provide them hope for a better future but also something that can never be taken away from them.

Michael Mattox, Director of IT, Co-Founder
Michael is a US Army veteran currently working in the healthcare IT field. He holds a master’s degree in network communication from DeVry University.
Michael met Claudine through their daughter’s friendship, and she approached him for help in starting Watoto Read. Michael believes education is the single greatest factor in shaping a young person’s future, which is why he supports the work of Watoto Read.

Diane Rosebrock, CPA (inactive)
Diane Rosebrock is a retired accountant after 40 years working in public accounting and in the restaurant industry. Retirement has been filled primarily with helping with family needs and enjoying sports. The decision to join the Watoto Read team was prompted by the contagious, strong determination of Claudine to help refugee children.  Diane has helped with Amina’s Dream sewing initiative and wants to continue to change the future for those who struggle on the margins.

Diane’s father was on the school board for 12 years and ingrained the importance of education for rising out of poverty. Every child deserves a chance in this world. Any opportunity to further education around the world and in our own country is a cornerstone to her beliefs.

Michael Rumbaugh
Mike is a widower and a father of three college-aged children. Mike is a 1988 graduate of The Ohio State University. Mike spent his career in the Food/Beverage/Nutraceutical Industries in a variety of capacities including manufacturing, research and development, sales, as well as owning multiple businesses within these industries.

When Mike’s late wife passed away, he started a foundation to recognize charities and outreach programs that their family had an interest in supporting. Mike’s wife had done mission trips to Africa and was a teacher, so Watoto Read was an organization she would have loved to have supported. Mike feels it is an honor and privilege to be able to serve as a board member of Watoto Read.

Sharon Ryan, Co-Founder
Sharon is an experienced marketing professional who is excited to tell the story of Watoto Read and connect others with the opportunity to help. Sharon has an MBA from Wharton (UPenn) and is director of marketing science at Omnicom Group. Sharon was introduced to Claudine through her husband, Rev. Casey Wilson, and was inspired from the beginning by Claudine’s first-hand refugee experience and her drive to speak for those who cannot advocate for themselves.

Katie Djimtebaye
Katie pursued her position as a global citizen first through her education at Ohio Wesleyan and then at Ohio University, where she received her MA in International Development specializing in African Community Health. She spent the beginning of her career working as a humanitarian in Africa for Carter Center (Chad), Lutheran World Federation (Chad), Brown University (Kenya), and finally served as Deputy Regional Director for Jesuit Refugee Service, covering West Africa and the Great Lakes Regions. It was during this time that Katie came to know and love the passionate team of Watoto Read, first meeting with the WR team in Ohio and attending one of their fundraising events. Later, Claudine and Kerry visited Goz Beida camp in Chad, a mission that Katie supported. There, they bonded over the endless ways our teams could support refugees’ pursuit of their own potential.

Now back in the US working as Lead Technical Grant Writer for a faith-based organization in her home state of Michigan, Katie is honored and excited to join the Watoto Read team and contribute to their mission!

Rev. Casey Wilson, Vice-President, Co-founder
Rev. Casey Wilson is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church (UMC), currently serving as the Lead Pastor at Centenary UMC in Granville, OH. Casey has a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and French from Ohio Wesleyan University. Casey is married and has an adult son. Casey loves music, especially playing the French horn.

Casey initially connected to Watoto Read through his friendship with Claudine Leary but he remains connected because of his love for children and because he values the importance of education. Through Watoto Read he feels he is making a positive, life-changing impact on one of the most forgotten refugee populations on the planet and if he were ever in such a situation, he hopes someone would do the same for his children.