Meet the Staff
Founder and President, HTN
Andrew Sievright has shown entrepreneurship and vision from a young age. His father, a successful businessman (who also wrote symphonies, training Andrew in music), mentored Andrew in principles of management and operation. When Andrew was eighteen, he started and oversaw several businesses. One such business grew into a thriving communications company with 40 employees. After seeing success and growth in the business realm, Andrew turned his attention to international development and aid. Andrew joined Youth with a Mission (YWAM), one of the world’s largest relief and mercy organizations where he worked for 5 years donating his time in the role of ‘base director’.
Andrew oversaw one of the largest YWAM bases in North America with 110 staff. He applied years of business experience to the base’s training center and ten schools, (composed of twenty-six departments). The schools taught skills such as desktop publishing and printing for third-world countries, writing, journalism and music. These schools became the training ground for students who would later be dispatched to 250 locations across the world.
Andrew’s base sent out many international aid teams to developing nations. When Andrew heard of the orphanages that the teams visited, he knew that, given the opportunity, he would one day build an orphanage based on a self-sufficient business model. The orphanage would empower orphans to be leaders through excellent education and leadership training. The campus would be financially self-sustainable through local business ventures. The vision for ‘Heroes of the Nation’ was birthed.
After five years of working with YWAM, in 1999 Andrew invested into a home in California and started also started an internet search engine business. He devoted time, money and energy into remodeling the house and developing his search engine. He decided to sell the house and give the ‘lion share’ of the profits to start the orphanage-school Heroes of the Nation in Kenya. Andrew was able to donate several hundred thousand dollars to start the orphanage from the sale, and founded Heroes of the Nation the following year. He began the process of buying land, hiring staff (now at 60) and beginning construction. He mentored Dr. Weston and Violet Gitonga in the leadership of the HTN campus. They would carry his vision to create a campus that would equip and empower future leaders for Africa.
The Heroes of the Nation campus has grown to be the largest orphanage in Kenya, educating and caring for over 500 children. Government officials have applauded the successful model of HTN, recognizing its impact on orphans and in the local community. Andrew continues to offer insight into the growth and development of an orphanage prototype that is truly revolutionary in its scope.
His internet business started in 1999 began thriving and he opened offices in Newport Beach, CA. and in Romania. His company (a staff of 25) was supporting as much as 100 million searches a month, which at the time was quite successful, and brought in millions of dollars in profits.
Andrew has downsized his business in order to follow his humanitarian pursuits and spends most of his time trying to find solutions to humanities most pressing needs. On a daily basis he studies trends, latest technologies and how to apply some of these new breakthroughs into solutions for the poor of the world. The STTR, is in it’s development stages as an organization with plans to provide a data base of the latest solutions from think tanks the world over. The STTR will be used by collaborators of these technologies who want to work together for altruist purposes to provide long lasting solutions for mankind’s pressing needs of today. Besides being a humanitarian and technologist, Andrew is a published songwriter and continues to write songs.
Weston and Violet Gitonga
African Directors, HTN
Violet Gitonga is the African Director of Heroes of the Nation. She and her late husband, Weston Gitonga, were born into disadvantaged families in Kenya. They met at a teachers’ training college and were married in 1984. Both Weston and Violet started their careers in education: Weston taught high school and Violet became a school administrator.
Weston continued his education in Theological Studies, and also received an Honorary Doctorate. In 1997, with the help of well-known author, Harold Eberle, Weston established Leadership Training Colleges to train native pastors to reach their communities. Colleges were established in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zanzibar and the Congo. Weston is respected throughout many African nations as a man of integrity, compassion, leadership and vision.
In 1997, Violet served as head administrator of an elementary school of 1,000 students when she became burdened with the growing number of AIDS orphans in her country. Violet began to carefully consider how she could provide a home and education for abandoned children. In 2000, a few members of their close community died of HIV/AIDS related illness, leaving 7 orphaned children with no surviving family to care for them. Violet applied for a loan through her school’s credit union in order to build classrooms and dormitories for the children.
Over the years, two visions emerged in their Weston and Violet’s journey together – developing orphanages for abandoned children and establishing Leadership Training Colleges.
In 2002, at the invitation of Harold Eberle, Andrew Sievright went to Africa to interview potential directors for Heroes of the Nation – a new concept orphanage and school that he had planned. When Andrew met Weston and Violet, he knew he had found the perfect leaders for HTN in Africa. So began a heartfelt partnership to develop and operate orphanages and schools throughout Africa. With Violet’s substantial administrative experience and Weston’s leadership abilities, they made a “Dream Team” as African Directors of Heroes of the Nation. In 2012, due to health issues, Weston stepped down from his active duty at Heroes of the Nation to take an advisory role instead. Violet continues to grow and enhance the programs and experiences offered to the children.
Board Member, HTN
Joel Taylor is a businessman with expertise in marketing and business development. He received his masters degree in business from Point Loma Nazarene University, where he focused his studies in the nonprofit sector. His education combined with years of experience as a successful corporate executive has made him an excellent contributor to HTN. His background in technology and his experience in internet marketing is a wealth of understanding and help to the board. Joel’s wise input has been excellent and has enabled HTN be more effective and more relevant in its operations. He has participated in YWAM, traveled internationally, and shares the board’s passion for orphans. Joel currently resides in Redding, California.
Board Member, HTN
Wesley and Stacey Campbell, founders of BE A HERO, have a long history of working for mercy and social justice globally, speaking at more than 50 conferences a year and traveling to over 50 nations. They are authors of four books, including “Be A HERO: The Battle For Mercy and Social Justice”, and producers of 20 CDs. Wesley and Stacey are members of the teaching faculty of the Wagner Leadership Institute and serve on various Boards. Wesley and Stacey live in Kelowna, BC with their 5 children.
HTN International – Advisory Board
Patrick and Emily McDonald
Patrick McDonald is the Director of Viva Network and the Senior Associate for Children at Risk for the Lausanne Movement. He began his career as a worker with a street children’s project in Bolivia. In 1994, Patrick founded Viva Network, an international network for people working with children at risk. He has written and published the book, “Reaching Children in Need”. Patrick has traveled widely in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe in an effort to bring unity and create networks of organizations whose aim is to help children at risk. Patrick’s goal for Viva Network is to establish functioning childcare networks throughout the entire world by the year 2014.
Patrick and his wife Emily have two sons, Isaac and Lukas.
HTN USA Headquarters Staff
Director of International Operations
Susie brings an unbeatable skill set to HTN. 28 years of running a business in the SF Bay Area has cultivated her administrative gifts and love for systems and organization. She is a proven catalyst and dynamic team member who enjoys coordinating and seeing projects to completion. Her love of children and heart for the orphan is evident in how she does life here is the US, either as a foster mom or caring for the homeless. Susie is passionate about our mission and addressing the wake of devastation that AIDS has left for the children of Africa. She adores Kenya and says that Heroes of the Nation is her favorite place to be.
After her first trip to Africa, Sarah became passionate about the plight of orphans around the world. As a previous keynote speaker and business owner, she was the perfect candidate to champion social justice issues, coordinate the child sponsorship program, and execute fund-raising projects at Heroes of the Nation. Her recent trip to Kenya solidified her love for the 530 children at HTN and a desire to see them succeed in every area of life. Sarah brings creativity, solidity and energy to the multiple projects that the HTN US office oversees.
Accounting Department Manager
Bio Coming Soon.
Assistant to the President
Emily began working with HTN President Andrew Sievright in the summer of 2011 while completing her Associates Degree in Business Administration. Emily spent the summer of 2008 in Mozambique, playing in the African dirt with the children at Iris Ministries. Soon after, she returned to Africa to visit Heroes of the Nation where she fell in love with the children and the organization. With a passion for business and a heart for missions, Emily has found her niche working for Andrew and assisting the HTN staff.
Social Justice Interns
Our interns play an active part in the development of programs at HTN. We look for rockstars with a passion for social justice and international development. Below are interns that have served HTN with passion!
Sarah participated in the Youth with a Mission program in South Africa in 2007 and spent 6 months falling in love with Africa’s children. She has a passion to see the children of Africa come above their physical situation and embrace their true potential. As an intern, Sarah uses her administrative and organizational talent to impact the children of Kenya. She is involved with the daily inner-workings of a busy non-profit, contributing much to HTN’s sponsorship program, online presence, and donor correspondence. Sarah is planning on taking a trip soon to visit HTN first hand.
David is an entrepreneur and musician, creating IOS apps, third world business models & movie soundtracks. David is crazy enough to think that he can change the world, so he fit right into the HTN office. During his internship, David oversaw the expansion of HTN’s online presence. He improved online communication, oversaw web development, performed market research, produced a promotional video and coordinated technical improvements. David interned with HTN during the 2010-2011 school year. David is now a founder at RMA, a record label helping artists make their way in the new music industry.
When Jessica visited Heroes of the Nation in 2009, she instantly fell in love with the children on campus. Her enthusiasm and passion for international issues is contagious and we loved having her as part of the HTN team. As an intern, she has developed curriculum, organized child updates, and coordinated fundraisers. She is currently an undergrad student, pursuing a degree that will enable her to spend her life assisting children around the world.
Jessica interned with HTN during the 2009-2010 school year.
African Executive Directors
Dr. Weston Gitonga
Violet W. Gitonga
African Board of Directors
Elijah Gitahi Ndegwa – Business Manager
Martha Wambui Kiriungi – Accountant
John Kareithi Muriuki – Accountant
Joy Kuria – Communications
Primary and Secondary School
Paul Mwangi – Principal
Mary Wangui Mwangi – Deputy Principal
Christopher Rotich Koske
Peter Maina Gatiba
Elijah Muraya Mureithi
Rahab Njoki Wanjiru
Irene Wanjiku Ndungu – Principal
Samwel Kareri – Web Design and Director of Photography
Emmanuel Njuguna – Video & Office Messenger
Joy Wambui – Entertainment
Alice Wangui Gitonga – Cateress & Purchasing Officer
Mary Muthoni – Home Matron
Susan Kanyora – High School Matron
Jane Wangu Njeri
Stephen Muchiri Chege
Joseph Maina Mbugua
Posho Mill Supervisor
Jane Mwihaki Mwangi
Julia Kirigo Kirika
Nyahururu Leadership School
Samwel Mwangi Chege – Principal
David Mwangi – Curriculum Head
Michael Elemisi – Dean of Students and Teacher
Monica Wairimu – Teacher and Matron
Dominic Karanja – Vocational School Coordinator
Joh Kagema – Cook
Eunice Njeri – Office Messenger
Alex Mathege – Groundsman and Caretaker