By Mike Tenbusch | November 19, 2020

One of the unique features of International Samaritan is the faithfulness of the families who have been giving to the mission—and leading it—since our inception over a quarter century ago.  We have only had three board chairs in our 26-year-history, a testament both to their commitment and also to the solid foundation they have built.

At the board’s annual meeting in October, we welcomed five new members to the team—a pretty big leap for a board of eight people who have served an average of ten years each.  As a donor to International Samaritan myself, I am encouraged to know the breadth and depth of talent, experience and perspectives of the people who lead this organization.  You can read more about our entire board by clicking here, and a brief description of our new board members follows:

From Left to Right: New board members Dr. Tsion Firew, Betelhem Negussie, Dan Smoke, Dr. Dawit Teklehiamanot, & Markeith Weldon

Dr. Tsion Firew, an emergency physician and assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University in New York and an advisor to the Ministry of Health for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. 

Betelhem Negussie, who owned and ran a traditional Ethiopian restaurant in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, Michigan and is currently working at Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation while also raising four extremely gifted children. 

Dan Smoke, a former a CFO for both public and privately held manufacturing companies whose service with International Samaritan on a medical and dental mission trip to Guatemala in May 2018 was a life-changing experience.

Dr. Dawit Teklehaimanot, a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain management, and regenerative medicine who has been practicing as a solo practitioner in Oak Park, Michigan for the last 20 years.

Markeith Weldon, the president and CEO of Weldon IT, an IT-managed service, engineering and professional staffing firm for private and public-sector enterprises who attributes his success to the importance of faith, education and perseverance that was instilled in him growing up. 

Long-time board members and new ones helped lead the way in the great IntSam Global 5K.   Dan Smoke’s team, Half A Dozen Cousins, took home the trophy for fastest family in the world while fellow board member, Fr. Jim Gartland, SJ, did the same for St. Mary Student Parish as the fastest church in the world.  You can see more highlights and other winners from the race in the video below.

Clicking this image will take you to our race thank you video on International Samaritan’s Instagram page.

A Tale of Two Sons

By Mike Tenbusch | April 13, 2021 Last week I received an email from Kevin Lopez, our team leader in Nicaragua, about Mateo, one of our scholarship students in Managua.  One picture he sent of Mateo instantly reminded me of a picture taken years ago of my own...

Finding Light in Loss

Finding Light in Loss Presented in collaboration with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan By Mike Tenbusch | March 30, 2021In August of 1927, President Calvin Coolidge visited the construction site of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  While there, he...