Board Members

Ephraim Lucien

Executive Director of the Board

(Co-Founder of YAWH)

United N.E.S.T. Foundation

 

“I have difficulty writing a bio about myself because it doesn’t start with me. I have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and aside from the strength I find in Christ all credit belongs to my father Sidoine Lucien who, along with my mother Athenienne, lived a sacrificial life for me and my eight siblings. My father believed so much in education that he sent us to school 40 miles away and he WALKED those 40 miles twice a month carrying corn meal and beans to feed us. He labored in the sugar cane fields from before the sun was up until the last light, always putting his family first. Not only did my father take care of us, but he and my mother continuously gave shelter to children who were on the streets. I remember hearing my brothers ask my dad, “Why do you bring more kids home? There is already not enough food for us!” What we didn’t know then we understand now…. It’s better to be poor together then alone. I hope you can see that my parents are my role models teaching me to love God and to believe in dreams. My father has always said, “Ephraim, it costs nothing to dream.” “

In 1991 Ephraim received a soccer scholarship from John Brown University, in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. He transferred to Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois where he studied sports medicine. He ran a construction company in the United States, worked in the airline industry, started a telemarketing company, and finally felt the calling to come back to his home country of Haiti to help make an impact.

After the earthquake in 2010 he truly accepted the call to return.  Ephraim has been pivotal in providing mission groups with on-the-ground details when in Haiti.  He has worked alongside his brothers leading communities in Haiti toward sustainable change.  His background in both the United States and Haiti has allowed him to bridge the two cultures.  Currently, Ephraim and is wife Nandy run a consignment shop in Hinche, Haiti and provide food on Saturdays to the elderly. 

In 2016 the first soccer training camp for Young Athletics With Hope was held and shortly after, the first season started in early 2017. We currently have twelve schools participated with twenty-two total teams and two age divisions (U11-U13).

Most importantly, Ephraim started United N.E.S.T. Foundation because of his relentless dream to bring real hope to children and the elderly living in rural Haiti.  He has been working toward this mission for twenty years, even saving soccer shoes and tee-shirts for the day he could use them.  His enthusiasm is so contagious that he’s been able to assemble a dynamic team to come around his vision. 

His board of directors believe strongly that the immediate success of United N.E.S.T. Foundation and Young Athletics With Hope is due to Ephraim’s ability to lead others with unselfish integrity.  We have watched him work with groups for several years and we know this is his time.  His mother and father are now in their 80’s and we are so proud that they are here to witness his work.  

Ephraim can be directed contacted at ephraim@unitednest.org

 

Onlee Bowden

President of the Board

United N.E.S.T. Foundation

 

 In 1985 Onlee received her Master’s Degree from Central Michigan University in organizational and public communication.  She remained on CMU’s faculty until the early 1990’s teaching courses in advanced public speaking, leadership, organizational communication and teamwork.  She left CMU to begin her own consulting firm and specialized in professional speech coaching, organizational development, and executive consulting. 

In 2008 Onlee authored Another Great Story, a Grand Traverse Chamber of Commerce book that tells the back stories of thirty-seven entrepreneurs who live and work in the Grand Traverse area. In 2015, Onlee wrote Flip It On Its Ear, A Radical Approach to Public Speaking; a book based on her 35 years of teaching, writing, and speaking on the power of the spoken word. 

Professional roles include: Vice-President of Organizational Development for Grand Traverse Resort, President of Training and Development for Horizon Enterprises Inc., Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Traverse City State Bank, and owner of Onlee Bowden LLC, In Your Own Words. Training and Professional development.

Her passion work involves serving small mountain villages in the Central Plateau in Haiti. “To be the President of United N.E.S.T. Foundation is both humbling and exciting.  Since 2011 I’ve been supporting, living, and working in a rural mountain village located in the central plateau of Haiti.  These folks are now my family and friends and I love them more then I can capture.  What I’ve come to believe is Haiti’s true spark lies within these villages.  We think of each village as a nest that contains an abundance of ability and talent to Nourish, Empower, Strengthen, and Transform. United N.E.S.T. Foundation believes that small is a really big idea and we are committed to supporting the power of small in these communities.”- Onlee Bowden

Onlee can be directly contacted at onlee@unitednest.org

 

Taylor Ardis

Vice President of the Board

(Co-Founder of YAWH)

United N.E.S.T. Foundation

In 2016 Taylor earned his Bachelors of Applied Arts degree from Central Michigan University in Sports Management and Athletic Coaching. While earning his degree, Taylor was the junior varsity boys’ basketball and baseball head coach for Sacred Heart Academy; and in 2016, he was offered a position as an Assistant Coach for the Mid Michigan Community College Men’s Basketball team.  Taylor has been accepted into the Sports Administration Graduate Program at Central Michigan University and will begin his program the fall of 2017. His professional goals are to teach and coach at the college level while always giving back and encouraging kids to be involved in sports both in the United States and Haiti.

Taylor’s first trip to Haiti was in 2016 where he, Dylan Lucas, and Ephraim Lucien launched the first official YAWH soccer training camp. Together they offered a three day camp teaching soccer basics, advanced skills training, and organization for the youth in the community who participated.  Approximately 110 children ranging from ages 8-13 participated.  From this, YAWH was founded. Currently, 22 teams are participating in the YAWH interscholastic soccer league, which come from 12 different rural area schools.  

This is how Taylor captures his commitment. 

“Ever since I landed in Haiti, I knew something special was going to happen. I had no idea how big of an idea this was until we sat down with Ephraim and listened to his wonderful words and visions, yet I knew immediately that I was in. My background with kids and athletics really drew me in to the concept of YAWH. Within a few years, I cannot wait to see where we will be with our foundation and have the opportunity to have some of these talented athletes come to the U.S. and be playing soccer on a collegiate team. God puts everyone on this earth for a reason and I truly believe this is one of the biggest reasons why He put me here.”- Taylor Ardis

Taylor can be directed contacted at taylor@unitednest.org

 

Lee Torrey

Treasurer of the Board

United N.E.S.T. Foundation

Lee Torrey is a local certified public accountant with over 40 years of public practice in his field.  He a graduate of Central Michigan University and has lived in Traverse City, Michigan for over 58 years. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

 

He has served on numerous nonprofit boards ranging from the American Red Cross – Grand Traverse Chapter, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Grand Traverse Area Junior Golf, Kiwanis Club of Traverse City, National Cherry Festival, North American Vasa, Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce and Wheels of Hope (local Rotarian nonprofit assisting polio survivors in Nigeria). 

 

He has traveled to Haiti many times and has worked on projects including the build of a kitchen/dining room, garden irrigation, and assisting with a local orphanage. He enjoys traveling to Haiti and meeting new friends. He feels that his background in the financial world can help others and wishes to share those gifts with nonprofits and United N.E.S.T. Foundation.

Lee can be directed contacted at lee@unitednest.org

 

Gabrielle Bohrer

Secretary of the Board

United N.E.S.T. Foundation

Gabrielle first went to Haiti in 2012, on a mission trip with her local church. She was part of a team that worked with 40 girls, ranging in ages from 5-17 that were rescued from Port-Au-Prince after the earthquake of 2010. She spent time working on curriculum that empowered and guided the girls to become pillars in their own communities.

She returned in 2013 with the same local church to continue her work with the young girls and start other projects in nearby communities. Gabrielle and the team also traveled to a nearby village to educate others about maintaining a garden, along with working with the locals hand in hand to build a garden of their own.

Both trips left an effect on Gabrielle that guided her into knowing she wanted a life revolved around missionary work. She was so deeply affected by the people, the culture, and the faith; She knew meeting and learning from the people in Haiti and other developing countries was her life goal. 

“It seems God knew my heart was in Haiti even before i did.”- Gabrielle Bohrer

Gabrielle can be directly contacted at gabrielle@unitednest.org 

 

Dylan Lucas

Sitting Board Member

(Co-Founder of YAWH)

United N.E.S.T. Foundation

 

Dylan Lucas graduated from McBain Northern Michigan Christian School in 2014 and is currently working on getting his degree in Physical Education K-12 at Cornerstone University.  Dylan participated in many sports in High School including soccer, basketball, baseball, and golf.  In 2014, Dylan became the middle school soccer coach at McBain NMC and was the coach for 2 years.  The second year coaching he was the middle school head coach, Junior Varsity boys head coach, and assistant coach for the Varsity team. 

In 2013, Dylan went on his first mission trip to the Dominican Republic with his junior class.  While he was there, his team helped build a roof for a school and helped a man in need build his house.  During Christmas break of 2016, Dylan was invited on his second mission trip to Haiti to run a soccer clinic for 3rd-6th graders.  These mission trips have had a huge impact on Dylan’s life and has really helped him grow closer to Jesus Christ.  While in Haiti, Dylan was asked to join the team in making United N.E.S.T. Foundation come alive and without hesitation he joined. 

“I think UNF will provide an opportunity to those who otherwise wouldn’t have it and i want to be a part of changing lives by providing that platform of opportunity. I had the opportunity to run a soccer clinic through the UNF and was able to give coaching to children who might not have received it elsewhere.”- Dylan Lucas

Dylan can be directed contacted at dylan@unitednest.org

 

Julie Greene

Senior Adviser to the Board

United N.E.S.T. Foundation

 

A special education teacher by training, Julie fell in love with the country of Haiti during her first trip following the devastating 2010 earthquake.  She returned a few months later to facilitate a grief and trauma recovery program for earthquake survivors.

Fueled by a newfound passion, Julie created an international missions program with a strong, holistic approach to sustainable development that was culturally sensitive and focused on bringing independence to individuals living in abject poverty.  Since that time, Julie has trained and led 14 international teams to Haiti and India. She created and implemented empowerment curriculum for individuals living in poverty, held crisis intervention training workshops for safe house staff in India, and facilitated self esteem workshops for young survivors of sex trafficking.

“I do not see Haiti as a country in need of hope, but rather a country FILLED with hope, and in need of practical means by which individuals and communities can achieve financial independence.”- Julie Greene 

Julie can be directed contacted at julie@unitednest.org

 

 

Other Team Members

 

Claude Fanor

On the Ground Project/ Account Manager

United N.E.S.T. Foundation

 

“Born in a Christian family with 7 kids in June of 1981. I started school when I was five years old. My mom and dad sacrificed themselves to cover my school fees; suddenly in 1988 my dad got sick and was paralyzed in his leg and still suffers from this today. It has been hard for me because my mom had to work in gardens and collect wood to make charcoal to pay for my school fees; until I received a scholarship when I was in eleventh grade to finish my secondary school in 2003.  

After finishing high school, life still wasn’t easy for me. I would say it was the hardest time for me to find a feasible way to attend a university. I spent 3 years thinking about how i would be able to attend, without doing much. One part of my life that i had figured out though was leading a worship team and became the leader of the youth association in my church. After those 3 years, in 2006, God blessed me by his grace and had found someone that accepted to cover my college fees for four years to study Business Administration at Haiti Northern Christian University in Limbe. I graduated in June of 2010.

So, in September of 2010, I started working with Bright Hope/ JBM by overseeing a micro-loan program for seven years. In December of 2012, God blessed me with a beautiful wife and the most handsome boy that the world has ever known. Currently our family is looking to expand once again as we have a baby girl on the way. So I am so grateful for what God has done in my life and I surrender my life to Him. God is great.”- Claude Fanor

 

Nandy Lucien

Thrift Store and Mary’s Nest Manager/ Director of Feeding the Homeless

United N.E.S.T. Foundation

 

If you want to see the face of God look into the eyes of a Haitian woman.  Nandy Lucien is a woman of great heart.  She is the hands-on person for our thrift shop, she feeds the elderly on Saturdays and soon will be managing our guest house.

Nandy was born in Port-au-Prince and has a background in banking as a customer service manager.  She is committed to her family and to the vision of United N.E.S.T. Foundation.  Along with raising her two sons and her step-daughter, she is the hands and feet of Jesus in this mission.  She dropped everything and left Port-Au-Prince to join Ephraim.  When Ephraim tells us her story he says, “You should just see how her eyes light up when she talks about being able to feed the elderly.” This part of the mission started one day when an elderly woman showed up at the thrift shop hungry and Nandy fed her what she could. The next day two showed up and then more and more.  Nandy said to Ephraim, “We need to start now, we can’t wait until we have more money; our time to help is in front of us.”  This began the Saturday feeding program.  Today there are roughly 60 to 80 people who show up to receive the only guaranteed meal of the week. 

Nandy’s passion is on her sleeve along with her heart.  She is truly beautiful inside and out.  She is a role model to other women. We are so honored and grateful to have her beside us on this journey.     

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