Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Patti Churner
Board Member

Patti Churner graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1974 with a degree in secondary education and taught English in Grapevine, Temple and McKinney for 18 years. She served as Coordinator for Secondary Accelerated Instruction at McKinney ISD until her retirement in 2000.
Currently, Patti is the U.S. Board President of Hope of the Pokomchi, an ecumenical organization promoting community development in the highlands of Guatemala. She has led mission teams there each summer for the past 17 years.
Locally she is a lay leader at the First United Methodist Church, McKinney, where she sings in the choir and teaches women’s Bible and spirituality classes. Patti is a member of the Women’s Alliance of McKinney and served on the McKinney Education Board of Directors for 9 years.
Patti is married to Dr. Rudolf Churner and has two daughters and two grandchildren.

Kelly Boatman
Board Member

Kelly Boatman graduated from Texas Tech with a degree in Interdisciplinary English and taught reading for four years in Arlington, Texas. She earned a Masters Degree from Baylor University as a Diagnostician and worked in that field for two years. Kelly moved to McKinney in 1980 and served on the City Council and the Council of Government Executive Board for six years. She has served on the HOP board for four years and has served on three Guatemala mission teams.
Kelly is a member of First United Methodist Church in McKinney where she has facilitated women’s Bible studies and taught Sunday School. She and her husband, Richard, reside in McKinney. They have two sons and five grandchildren.

Jay Halderman
Board Member

Jay Halderman graduated from the University of Southern California in 1994 with a degree in Cinema & Television Production, and lettered on the USC varsity rowing team.
He has spent his career as a Producer for video game software for various companies, as well as freelancing as a creative marketing consultant. He currently is the Studio Producer for BALANCED Media|Technology.
Jay has been a member of First United Methodist Church of McKinney, Texas since 2001, where he has served in various lay leadership areas, including communications, ushering and usher coordination, and teaching middle and high school ages Sunday school.
Jay has been actively involved in a number of local community organizations, including Community Lifeline Center, and the McKinney Education Foundation. After a decade of involvement with the Hope of the Pokomchí, including creating and running their website, Jay joined the organization’s board in 2017.
Jay is married to Dr. Lori Halderman, an OB/Gyn, and has two high school age children.

Michael Wilcox
Board Member

Michael his first trip to Guatemala in March, 2000. On this trip, he was introduced to Bill and Linda as well as the wonderful people of Guatemala, and a friendship began that has grown over the years. Michael has returned to Guatemala many times, supporting ASOSAP on short-term mission teams doing construction projects, education and children’s programs. Michael has also participated in the Bible seminars with many of the Pokomchí pastors.
Michael received a bachelor’s degree from Wayland Baptist University and a master’s from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently pastors a church in Haslet, TX.
Michael is married to Annie and they have three children.

June Haugen
Board Member

Following 30 plus years in the legal profession as paralegal and office administrator, June Haugen retired and began volunteering. While daughter Sara was in school, she volunteered on School Site Councils, PTA boards, and for School Fuel, the Education Foundation in Novato, California. Then she spent four years heading up an effort to raise funding to rebuild and restore the local downtown theater.

Since moving to Auburn, California, she has joined the Assistance League of Greater Placer, a nonprofit with 13 community programs under its umbrella. June’s passion is volunteering with Competencies for Independent Living, teaching life skills to students in an alternative high school for foster and formerly addicted teens. She has recently come out of retirement and taken a part-time job at the local refurbished 1930’s theater in downtown Auburn where she previously volunteered.

June is the sister of Linda Brierly and has volunteered as a Board Member and Chief Financial Officer for Hope of the Pokomchi since its inception in 2009. She is married to Jack Haugen and has one daughter, Sara and a tripod dog named Mickey.

Brenda Risser
Board Member

Brenda Risser studied at the University of Iowa and received her degree in Recreation with an emphasis in Corporate Health and Fitness. Upon graduating, and for the next seven years, she worked with corporations in the Chicago area improving the overall health of their employees through the implementation of a variety of exercise and wellness programs. After her marriage to John Risser in 1995 their life moved to Williamsburg, Virginia. She continued her work in corporate wellness and added recreation planner for an assisted living facility, to her resume. John’s job led them back to the Chicago area from Williamsburg after five years and then on to Bellingham, WA in 2002. Since moving to Bellingham Brenda has done her most important work. For the last seventeen years she has been a stay at home mom, managing her family and raising her two children. Volunteering at school and at another assisted living facility kept her out in the community. She’s also active in her church as a choir member and church teller, as well as helps out with the Youth Group, communion and special events when she can. In April of 2016 she went on a mission trip to the highlands of Guatemala with The Hope of the Pokomchí Mission. The experience affected her profoundly and recently led her to happily accept an invitation to be a member of the mission’s Board of Directors.

Linda Brierly
Board Members / Founders

Linda was born in New York, N.Y. and worked as a registered nurse for over 30 years in the USA, Germany, South Vietnam, and Canada. Along with her husband, Bill, she was an international accompanier for returning refugees from Mexico to Guatemala after the end to the 30-year civil war. Linda and her husband returned many times to Latin America in the ensuing years working in Mexico, Honduras, and Nicaragua as volunteers with various non-profit organizations dedicated to helping orphans and other marginalized groups in these countries.
In 2000 Bill and Linda started work as full-time faith-based missionaries with the Mayan Pokomchí tribal group in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, for the international organization, Food for the Hungry. They then spent 3 ½ years with Helps International and, in 2004, they founded their own organization called Hope of the Pokomchí, ASOSAP.
Linda is a member of the U.S. Board of Directors and International Coordinator for Hope of the Pokomchí, ASOSAP. She is based in Canada but travels several times a year to Guatemala to interface with the Pokomchí staff.
Bill and Linda are members of the Canadian Advisory Committee for Hope of the Pokomchí, ASOSAP. They are members of both the Living Streams Christian Fellowship and the Clearwater Christian Church in Clearwater, B.C.

Bill Brierly
Board Member / Founder

Bill was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England where he qualified as a weighing and testing machine journeyman. He immigrated to Australia where he worked for 7 years as a journeyman and also as a millwright in several mines. Later he worked as a millwright in a mine in the Yukon Territory of Canada. In 1973, on travels from Australia to South Africa, Bill met Linda in Bangkok, Thailand. They married shortly thereafter and immigrated to Canada.
In 2000 Bill and Linda started work as full-time faith-based missionaries with the Mayan Pokomchí tribal group in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, for the international organization, Food for the Hungry. They then spent 3 ½ years with Helps International and, in 2004, they founded their own organization called Hope of the Pokomchí, ASOSAP.
Bill is a member of the U.S. Board of Directors, a member of the Guatemalan Board, and International Financial Coordinator for Hope of the Pokomchí, ASOSAP. He is based in Canada, but travels several times a year to Guatemala to interface with the Pokomchí staff.
Bill and Linda are members of the Canadian Advisory Committee for Hope of the Pokomchí, ASOSAP. They are members of both the Living Streams Christian Fellowship and the Clearwater Christian Church in Clearwater, B.C.