New Life for Haiti operates primarily through volunteers and our incredible Haitian staff team to ensure that the majority of our resources can be put to work directly in Haiti. Right now, we support thirty Haitian staff members and two American staff members.
Our board of directors oversees all New Life for Haiti activities and is made up of fifteen members from various backgrounds and church affiliations.
Vilex Plaisir—Haiti Field Director
Vilex is New Life for Haiti’s Haitian field director. Newly married in December 2021 to his beautiful wife, Lovelie, Vilex is responsible for the huge task of overseeing day-to-day operations in Haiti. From coordinating purchase and delivery of materials for all programs to acting as a liaison between the Haitian people we serve and employ and the American operations team to representing New Life for Haiti in all aspects of Haitian operations, Vilex has been a loyal employee and friend for over fifteen years. His specialties are navigating tricky negotiations and successfully troubleshooting almost any situation with his “it can be done” attitude.
Marnie Van Wyk—Executive Director
Marnie Van Wyk is New Life for Haiti’s executive director. Marnie brings a unique balance of mission focus, fundraising, and analytical strength to New Life for Haiti. Marnie has served in multiple capacities for New Life for Haiti, including trustee for the board of directors responsible for overseeing the School of Hope project, then as faith missions director responsible for many aspects of the organization’s operations. Experienced working with both our Haitian staff and American donors, Marnie oversees global ministry efforts. You can email Marnie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fran Leeman—Founder/Board Director
Fran Leeman is the founder of New Life for Haiti and serves on the New Life for Haiti board of directors. He and his wife, Linda, live in the Chicago area and have two grown children and multiple grandchildren. Fran has played an instrumental role in building New Life for Haiti's relationships in the United States and the Grand Anse River valley. Fluent in Kreyol and a regular visitor to Haiti, he is known for his authenticity and Christ-centered engagement wherever he goes.
David Larson—Operations Manager
David Larson serves as New Life for Haiti’s operations manager. David brings his education and experience in emergency management, public safety, communications, and logistics to assist New Life for Haiti’s operations, governance, and programming efforts. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two teenage children, all of whom serve in their local church. You can contact David at email@example.com.
Wesh “Pachou” Ezechiel—Architect/Construction Lead
Pachou, an architect by trade, leads New Life for Haiti’s construction team. Whether it’s constructing a school or a cistern or repairing buildings after a hurricane or earthquake, Pachou coordinates with volunteer engineers in the US to ensure that all New Life for Haiti structures are built to US specifications to keep the children and staff we serve safe and secure. Pachou is married with a wife and two children and resides in Jeremie.
Daphterlande Michel—Village of Hope Administrator
Daphterlande is the administrator of the Village of Hope orphanage, serving as a liaison between Village of Hope orphanage staff, Village of Hope School staff, and US and Haitian staff leadership. Daphterlande brings her skills as a trained nurse to the Village of Hope in overseeing the growth and health of our orphans, their care, and fulfillment of their variety of physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Junior Thelisma—Social Worker
Junior serves New Life for Haiti as a social worker, working primarily with our Village of Hope orphans in helping them navigate recovery from past trauma and in understanding and finding the path and unique plan that the Lord has for each one of them as individuals. He also serves as a resource in disaster response and in helping families navigate reunification when children are able to do so.
Mike Hoffman—Board President
Mike Hoffman serves as New Life for Haiti’s Board President. As a vice president at Teska Associates, he strives to help people, places, and communities thrive through creative planning and design. That work is focused on listening to the needs of residents, learning about unique local history and culture, and leading the community in solutions to address those needs. Mike is an active member at Crosswinds Church in Plainfield, Illinois, where he serves as treasurer, worship team member, and gardener. You can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.