Board and Staff

site_images_staff_bethBethelhem Tessema, Executive Director


Bread and Water for Africa®‘s mission is very personal to me. As a veteran of our parent organization Christian Relief Services Charities, Inc., I do know the accountability and efficiency of our programs. Having been born and raised in Africa, I know firsthand the struggles that many of Africa’s children face every day. In addition, I know how a little support can make a big long-term impact for many people across Africa. I am also a big advocate for sustainable programs and from my years at Bread and Water for Africa®, I can proudly say that we focus our mission and efforts towards that goal. (Read full bio)

site_images_staff_phyllisPhyllis Keino, Volunteer Spokesperson and Founder and Director of Lewa Children’s Home and Kipkeino School

Phyllis began caring for orphaned Kenyan children in the early 1960s. Since then she has been a tireless advocate for Africa’s children, founding the Lewa Children’s Home and the Kipkeino School. For the last seven years she has also served as the volunteer spokesperson for Bread and Water Africa®, travelling all over the world to spread the message about our work – she was recently being honored in Canada with the International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference 100 award for her unwavering commitment to the children of Kenya.


Jos Creemers, Baraka Farm Manager


Dutch farmer Jos Creemers first came to Kenya in 1994 as a volunteer through the VSO program. He has never looked back. Over the past seventeen years, Jos has turned what was once a barren tract of land into one of the region’s most successful farms and dairy processing facilities. He and Phyllis make up the heart and soul of the Lewa projects and inspire us each and every day with their commitment to improving the lives of those in need in Kenya and across Africa. (Read full bio)




Bethelhem Tessema, Executive Director

The Bread and Water for Africa® Board of Directors is a supervising entity comprised of volunteer board members who perform the following functions in their respective governance roles.


  • Participate in quarterly board meetings and monthly executive governance meetings to keep apprised of Bread and Water for Africa®’s latest developments in programs, financial health, audit status, staff changes, and overall progress in the pursuit of the charity mission.
  • Review the Bread and Water for Africa®’s mission and purpose articulating the organization’s goals, means, and primary constituents served.
  • Select the chief executive and supporting officers for Bread and Water for Africa® .
  • Support and evaluate the performance and compensation of the chief executive and officers.
  • Ensures effective planning and generally supervise overall planning process and monitoring the plan’s goals.
  • Protects assets through financial oversight by:
    • Reviewing and approving the annual budget
    • Reviewing financial controls
    • Selecting and overseeing independent auditors
    • Reviewing annual audit required of all nonprofit organizations
    • Reviewing the Form 990 prior to filing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
    • Designating an Audit Committee and Financial Committee to directly supervise the audits and assets and report back to the Board members and organization officers.
  • Articulate prerequisites for Board candidates, orient new Board members, and periodically and comprehensively evaluate their own performance.
  • Set policy and controls to ensure legal and ethical integrity.
  • Disclose any personal interests that could rise to conflicts or compromise integrity.
  • Annually review and approve Board’s good governance policies including whistleblower policy, conflict of interest policy, and document and destruction policy.
  • Review, protect, and set policy in order to enhance the organization’s public standing.
  • Perform such other duties and have such other authority and powers as the Board may from time to time prescribe or as the Chairperson may from time to time delegate

Board of Directors:



James J. O’Brien, Esq., Chairman

Eugene L. Krizek, Col. USAF (Retired)

Clyde B. (CB) Richardson, Treasurer

Robert J. Hisel, Jr.

Elayne Silversmith

Rear Admiral Eric C. Jones

Thomas M. (Tom) O’Brien

Reverend Dr. Ketlen A. Solak

Frank Stitely, C.P.A.

Colonel John F. Williams


Corporate Officers:

Bryan L. Krizek, CEO

Paul E. Krizek, Esq., Vice President

Nhi Cao, Secretary