Bart Smelley – Founder

Bart Smelley
Bart is a lifelong entrepreneur and has been blessed with the gifts to make ideas come to life. During his corporate career, he started numerous companies in a wide variety of business sectors. Over the years he has received several honors for his coaching, business success, and community service. Bart has traveled extensively to third world countries and is now devoting his life to creating lasting, meaningful change in the lives of people living in abject poverty. He and his wife Sissi are the very proud parents of three children (all who happened to have earned college athletic scholarships). Bart and Sissi live in Northport, Alabama and are "Mia and Papa" to their four precious grandchildren.

Don Johnson – Director of Sales & Partnerships

Don Johnson
Don comes to Filter of Hope with a wide background that has prepared him to work with our various types of partners. He spent 25 years working on a local church staff, 10 years at Fortune 1000 company as a regional sales manager and several years working as business consultant. Don has developed the unique skills required to work with churches, mission organizations and individuals of all types. He directs the sales efforts at Filter of Hope, manages all our partner relations and leads our Intern Program. Don lives in Northport, Alabama with his wife Christy.

Davis Looney – Director of Development

Davis Looney
Davis was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee where he was blessed with wonderful parents and a great family. He graduated from the University of Alabama, where as a student, he became a Christian. While there, Davis became very involved in Greek ministry through Cru. It was one of the most formative seasons of his life. Upon graduating, he spent a year in Uganda before returning to lead a college ministry in Alabama for two years. Davis now gets to combine his passion for missions with his heart for college students by leading Campus Partnerships and Development for Filter of Hope.

Morgan Bryant – Ambassador Program Director

Morgan Bryant

Morgan was born and raised in North Carolina. She attended the University of South Carolina where she studied International Relations and Foreign Policy, along with a minor in Spanish. Throughout her time in college, Morgan began fundraising and leading trips, made up of other college students, to serve in Haiti. She is currently serving as our Director of the Ambassador Program where she trains and advises our current ambassadors. Through her position she is able to combine her passion for Christ, third world development and travel while serving alongside the Filter of Hope staff. 


Cheryl Ashurst – Ministry Coordinator

Cheryl Ashurst

Cheryl grew up in a small Alabama town. She majored in Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Alabama. There she met and married Jeff, her husband of 35 years.  Cheryl has held positions as Camp Counselor, Program Director, and Director of the Therapeutic Recreation, serving the physically and mentally handicapped.  She has also sold real estate for 24 years. She is passionate about gathering people together to love others in need. Cheryl and Jeff live in Montgomery, AL. Their daughter, son and daughter-in-law all work in health care. They love riding bikes, spending time with family, friends and their two dogs. 



Orlando Buck – Ministry Coordinator

Orlando Buck

Orlando comes to Filter of Hope with a background in pastoral ministry, as well as other work experience. As a bi-vocational pastor, he heard God calling him to help churches and individuals experience and obey the Great Commission. This led him to Filter of Hope. Already leading teams on mission trips to the Dominican Republic, Orlando’s ministry and other work experience provide the necessary skills for him to be a valuable asset to Filter of Hope’s church and individual partners. He enjoys nature, hiking, amusement parks, and spending time with family. Orlando and his wife Kelly live in Luverne, Alabama with their children.


Jason Coorts – MInistry Coordinator

Jason Coorts

Jason joins Filter of Hope after 23 years as a field staff and missions coordinator with Cru. He loves taking people on short-term mission trips. Between Jason and his wife, Nikki, they have led or taken part in missions work in 10 countries on all 5 major continents. Before they ever met, they first went overseas with separate college student mission teams to the same city of Hungary in the mid-’90s. They, with their three kids, reside in Nixa, MO (famous for being the revealed hometown of Jason Borne). Born and raised in small-town Nebraska, Jason loves just about any outdoor sport.


Scott and Amy Mathison – Ministry Coordinators

Scott and Amy Mathison
Scott and Amy have over 19 years experience working in the college campus ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru).  They both grew up in the Midwest, met while students at Butler University, and have served with Cru as local campus staff at Butler, as long-term missionary field staff in East Asia, and as Operations/IT leaders at both Cru’s world headquarters in Orlando, FL as well as at Cru’s Indianapolis Office.  For the past 10-plus years they’ve served in Overseas Missionary Care working with Cru staff serving in the Middle East, Central Asia and East Asia.
Scott and Amy are passionate about many things - Scott enjoys photography, golf and working with his hands, while Amy loves music, finding the next great podcast, reading and volunteering.  But most of all, together, Scott and Amy are called to pour out their lives to be a blessing to others.  They reside in Carmel, IN with their 4 beloved children and Louie, the sweetest four-legged family therapist you’ll ever meet!

Charles J (Chuck) Roeper, M.Div, Ph.D. – Ministry Coordinator

Charles J (Chuck) Roeper, M.Div, Ph.D.
Chuck Roeper, originally from southwest Michigan, has lived across
the U.S. He graduated from the University of Michigan School of
Architecture and from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with a Master of Divinity. He earned his Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies (Missiology, Ethnology, Education). Chuck and his wife, Dianne, have been married for 37 years. During their years on staff with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) they led movements with university undergraduates, U.S. military, and for the last 26 years with Master,
Ph.D. and Professional School graduate students at the University of
Michigan. Chuck has a heart for communicating the gospel personally
and globally and discipling those who come to faith in Christ towards
spiritual maturity. He’s authored a series called "Firm Foundations" to
help new believers become well-established in their faith (Colossians
2:6-7). The Roeper’s live in Ann Arbor, MI and have three married
daughters and four grandchildren. Chuck enjoys working with his hands
on home remodeling projects, witty repartee, and laughing a lot!

Scott and Lisa Santee – Ministry Coordinators

Scott and Lisa Santee

Scott and Lisa come to Filter of Hope after working for over 25 years with Jesus Films and Campus Crusade.  Scott & Lisa grew up in Ohio and currently live in Indiana with their two sons. They went to Ohio State where they participated in a missions organization and later joined them full-time. When Scott went to Honduras during his Freshman year with the Christian Medical and Dental Society God began showing him a call to reach the world.


Armed with blow torch and chisel, Lisa served on a team her Junior summer to rehab a school in Mexico. She saw firsthand the needs of the world and wanted to be a part of helping them. On Lisa’s first trip to Cuba with Filter of Hope she knew she’d return with more of her friends. They have served on several multinational teams: Europe, Central Asia, Middle East North Africa, Africa, South Asia, and Central/South America. They value these experiences of working alongside people with various cultural and communication styles. They have a passion for sharing with people the hope and love of Jesus.



Seth and Whitney Swindle – Ministry Coordinators

Seth and Whitney Swindle

Seth and Whitney come to Filter of Hope having spent the past 3 years living in Washington D.C. working with Cru’s ministry to young professionals.  With over 10 years in ministry, they have worked with middle and high school students as well as college students at the University of Georgia.

Seth was born and raised in the panhandle of Florida where he also attended a Christian college.  As a teenager his life was drastically changed by coming to know Jesus and ever since then has had a heart to serve others in full time ministry. With a background in both church ministry and Cru, Seth is passionate about seeing the body of Christ link arms to meet the needs of the least of these while also sharing the best news they could ever receive, the Gospel.

Whitney learned to walk with God in college through being a part of Cru and has loved sharing the life-transforming gift of God’s grace with young women over the past 10 years.  Seth and Whitney live in the Atlanta area with their two children, McClain (3) and Shep (1).  On the weekends you can find them at the park or watching college football! They are thrilled to work with Filter of Hope in bringing clean drinking water and the hope of Jesus to the world.  


Andrea Geisinger – El Salvador Country Director

Andrea Geisinger
Andrea was born and raised in El Salvador. Before becoming on staff with Filter of Hope, she worked as the Missions Coordinator for La Red Ministries serving the marginalized beach communities and coordinating development projects in partnership with US churches and nonprofits. Working together with her husband Josh, she desires to see transformation in her country by meeting physical needs and introducing people to the love of Jesus Christ.  She also enjoys traveling, surfing and going on adventures with family and friends.

Josh Geisinger – El Salvador Country Director

Josh Geisinger
Josh grew up in San Diego, California.  Before working for Filter of Hope, he served as the director of a community development ministry focused on Hispanic immigrant families in Orange County, CA.  He recently moved to El Salvador to join his wife Andrea and they began to work in the marginalized coastal communities of her native country.  Josh and Andrea work together to build relationships with local leaders, distribute water filters to those in need, and share the Gospel with families who do not know Him.  Josh enjoys travel, trekking, and time with his family and friends.

Gabriel Polanco – Dominican Republic Country Director

Gabriel Polanco
Gabriel was born and raised in La Vega, Dominican Republic. Gabriel was introduced to a relationship with Jesus through a local church and has never turned back.  Gabriel is finishing up his college degree with a focus on Modern Languages and his desire is to share the Gospel of Jesus in multiple languages. He would say his prized position is his Bible.  Gabriel directs ministry programs in La Vega, leads and trains church leaders in the communities, and also leads our prison ministries in La Vega and Moca.

Dr. Bony Barrineau – Board Member and Medical Director

Dr. Bony Barrineau
Born and raised in the small country town of Demopolis, Alabama. Bony, which is his given name, dreamed of becoming a doctor. His dream became reality as he attended medical school at the University of Alabama and University of Alabama at Birmingham and began his practice in 1981. Dr. Bony Barrineau retired from orthopedic surgery in 2009 and is currently the Director of Rehabilitation for Northport Health Services. He has been involved in ministry projects and missions for the past 10 years and has participated in mission trips all around the world. His education and passion for micro-biology, health and serving the poor makes him a valuable part of the Filter of Hope team. Dr. Bony Barrineau also teaches Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Alabama. Bony resides in Northport, Alabama with his wife of 31 years, Robbie and has four children.

Steven Crew – Board Member

Steven Crew

Steven Crew is a native of Lauderdale County Alabama and graduated from Brooks High School. Steven earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama in 1985. Steven is the President and COO of Warrior Roofing Manufacturing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Steven has a huge heart for evangelism and a passion for helping those living in poverty and oppression. He and his lovely wife Serena have four wonderful children. Steven is an avid golfer, loves fishing and Alabama athletics.  


Steve Hillis – Board Chairman

Steve Hillis
Steve has over 32 years experience in developing sales organizations by recruiting, training and managing sales teams. Steve is an expert in business turn-around, strategic planning, sales force structure and national account programs. He is currently a professional sales consultant and coach for Southwestern Consulting. Steve is committed to using his God given talents to do mission work. In his home town of Smyrna, GA., he is the leader of missions to Africa and Italy for Vinings Church and Crossroads Church. Because of his strong desire to give back, Steve joined the Filter of Hope team to provide leadership and training to enable Filter of Hope to accomplish its mission. He is passionate about getting as many filters as possible into the hands of people around the world in desperate need of clean water as quickly as possible. Steve resides in Smyrna, GA. with his wife, Ann Gladden Hillis. He and Ann have 3 sons and 2 beautiful grandchildren.

Dr. Jerry Palmer – Board Member

Dr. Jerry Palmer

Jerry Palmer grew up in Fayette, Alabama as the son of a Baptist preacher.  After graduating from high school he studied medicine at the University of Akron and Ohio State Medical School.  After his Oncology Fellowship, Jerry served in the US Navy from 1970-1973 in Puerto Rico. He then served on faculty at the University of Alabama Medical School before starting his own practice in 1980.  Dr. Palmer has served as the Medical Director for the Northport Medical Center and the VP of Medical Affairs for the DCH Health Systems.  Dr. Palmer has a love for ocean and sailing and spends a lot of time on his boat.  In retirement he and his wife Mary Etta live on a small farm and raise livestock, chickens and ducks.  Jerry is passionate about helping minister to the poor and loves being able to serve on trips with Filter of Hope.  


Ron Buck – Board Advisor

Ron Buck
Ron Buck was the son of a sharecropper in Montgomery County Tennessee and lived and worked on the farm until he moved to Nashville in 1965.  He served in the US Navy until 1973 after which he enrolled at Austin Peay State University.  Ron graduated with a degree in Agri-Business and Marketing.  He worked for a property management firm Harvey Freemen and Sons and developed a passion for real estate.  After earning his CPM certification, Ron formed his own company Ronald D. Buck Inc. and specialized in real estate acquisitions and rehabilitation of underperforming assets.  God has richly blessed Ron as he used his God given skills and work ethic to close a large number of very successful real estate deals throughout the years.  Ron took his first mission trip in 1987 to Zimbabwe and developed a huge heart for those living in poverty. Ron’s strong faith and desire to use his blessings to serve others led him to help create a mission organization in Zambia Africa called Mufutuli Ministries which consists of an orphanage, school and farm.  Ron has been active in Nashville prison ministry and enjoys golf and traveling with friends and family.  He currently lives with his precious wife of 49 years, Mary and their son EJ on a beautiful farm in Franklin Tennessee which borders the Harpeth River.  They attend Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville.

Todd Prevost – Board Advisor

Todd Prevost

Todd Prevost is a native of Nashville, graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy, and attended Furman University on a football scholarship. He currently works in the Commercial Real Estate community in Nashville. Supporting 3rd world communities first grabbed his attention while serving on mission trips to Africa in 2003 and 2006. A visit to one of the world’s largest slums, located outside of Nairobi, Kenya, illustrated the tremendous financial efficiencies that can exist when capital is partnered with the right organization. Filter of Hope is an example of the right organization. Shortly after becoming acquainted with Filter of Hope and seeing their eternal and life changing impact first hand, partnering with them became a no brainer. Being a part of a cause greater than self and improving thousands of lives annually anchors Todd’s connection with Filter of Hope. 


Vicky Patterson – Board Member Emeritus

Vicky Patterson
Vicky worked in the corporate world for over 20 years. Most of that time was with a large employee benefit and consulting firm. Late in life, she went back to school and got her masters in Economics. She worked at the Center for Economic Education at Middle Tennessee State and then went on to teach micro and macro Economics at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Vicky has always believed in giving back but after traveling to Haiti and the Dominican Republic on a mission trip, she was hooked. She began as a volunteer using her time and talents to help direct the financial side of the non-profit organization. Vicky now serves as the Board Chairman and is very involved with the day-to-day operations of Filter of Hope. She resides in Panama City Beach, Florida and looks forward to visits from her family and friends. She loves living where other people go on vacation!
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