Meet Our Board of Directors
Bob Smith is a senior executive, general counsel, strategic advisor, negotiator, manager and leader of large-scale transactions. A trusted advisor to Boards of Directors and senior corporate leadership teams, and a recognized corporate governance expert, he also serves as director on a public company board. His experience spans public company spin-offs, major litigation, and significant regulatory strategy, to building high-performing legal teams. His ability to deliver outstanding value by providing clear communication, sound advice, and innovative and effective results across the full range of critical business and legal challenges has enriched all his work. Bob provided advice to Congress regarding the creation of national policy that became the Dodd-Frank Act.
As Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc. (now TransCanada Corp.), Bob served as Member of the Executive Council, Benefits and Risk Management committees, Columbia’s Foundation, and was a Board member of Columbia Pipeline Partners, Ltd. (CPPL). Reporting to the CEO, he managed all aspects of a 37-person legal department, provided proactive and strategic leadership to the CEO, Board of Directors and the company, and led Columbia’s merger with TransCanada by negotiating the transaction and driving cross-functional teams to a successful closure. Bob oversaw legal operations and strategy, including major litigation, corporate transactions, commercial matters, corporate governance, securities, regulatory, corporate compliance and ethics, document retention and environmental audit; strategically settled multi-million dollar complex litigation; assisted with the recruitment and on boarding of new directors; and led multiple, complex, large-scale transactions (Columbia’s $8 Bn spin-off from NiSource and MLP formation and $1.2Bn IPO; the NiSource’s/Columbia’s $4.5Bn finance restructuring; and Columbia’s $1.4Bn follow-on equity offering).
Bob is committed to and passionate about helping the less fortunate and sharing the love of Christ. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Global Action, an international compassion and training organization. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the El Faro Ephraim Foundation, a Foundation supporting training and compassion efforts in Guatemala.
Dr. Rick Thompson is a fourth generation pastor of a missionally focused church on the west side of Oklahoma City. Council Road Baptist Church is well known for it's work in community and global missions.
He has been happily married to Teri since 1987 and has two great kids attending Oklahoma Baptist University. He holds a BBA from Baylor University, an MDIV from Southwestern Seminary, and a DMIN from Midwestern Seminary. He is author of the book "Radical Growth", a path for discipleship utilizing the agrarian metaphors of scripture.
Dr. Sujai Suneetha is a medical doctor from Hyderabad, India. While studying to be a doctor in India, he developed a passion for missions and pursued a course in theology and missions at Covenant Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He returned to India to serve leprosy affected individuals in Hyderabad and Vellore for over two decades along with his wife who is a Molecular Biologist. While at Vellore in South India he acquired a doctorate in leprosy.
Over the last 10 years, he and his wife have been called to a HIV/AIDS ministry "Nireekshana" that they started in their living room and which now serves over 1,000 individuals and families. Their passion is to see the poor, especially the HIV positive, receive "a hope and a future’ and live ‘life at its fullest". Sujai carries this passion as he serves both the Global ActionInternational board as well as the Action Ministries National board in India.
Sujai and his wife Lavanya have two daughters Rachael Supriya, 25, and Naomi Vishaka, 23.
Mr. Scott Dickson is a 40 year veteran of the airline, transportation, and oil and gas industries. Scott’s background encompasses both senior leadership roles in operating companies as well as in consulting. He specializes in translating strategic plans into profitable, implementable visions by blending an understanding of business processes with technical expertise.
He has served as Chairman and CEO of a low cost carrier, as Chief Commercial Officer for airlines in the US and Latin America, and as a key participant in network profitability and capacity management for a major US airline. Scott has also served as a senior executive with several consulting firms focused on air and surface transport including heading up the global consulting arm of IATA; the trade association that represents most of the world’s major air carriers. His expertise is frequently sought by entrepreneurs seeking to start new air transport endeavors. Scott’s professional career has taken him to 85 countries where he has been able to provide a wide array of solutions designed to enhance strategic, financial and operational performance.
Prior to joining the airline industry, Scott designed and managed bus and urban rail systems for transport agencies in North America. He currently is an experienced leader with an asset management company that develops oil and gas reserves in the United States.
Scott brings to Global Action considerable mission administration experience that spans several decades and encompasses service through various churches and non-profit organizations. His extensive international travel and extended overseas assignments afford him the ability to participate directly with the church around the world and the unreached.
He has both a Bachelors and Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota (USA). He is also a published author. Scott, and his wife, Priscilla, reside in Dallas, Texas.
Mr. Barry Fluth is a South Dakota farm boy. He and his wife, Barb, have been married almost 44 years and they have two daughters, two son in laws, and five brilliant grandchildren. The Fluths live in Big Lake, Minnesota where they enjoy golf, street rods, and volunteering at their church and in the community. Barry has served in his local church as Sunday School superintendent, high school and adult teacher, deacon, elder, construction supervisor, and also some important posts on occasion.
Barry graduated with a B.A. from the University of Sioux Falls and has a Master’s degree from St. Cloud State University. After teaching math and coaching football and basketball in Minnesota for 15 years, he went into business opening a retail furniture store. Eighteen years later, after leaving the furniture business and developing and owning commercial real estate, he went on a mission trip with Global Action that set the course of the rest of his life. The Lord directed him and several others to buy a former communist youth camp and donate it to Global Action to become the Ukrainian Hope Center. Since then, he has made 15 trips (4 times with Barb) with Global Action to renovate, develop, and assist the work there with orphans, street kids, and local churches. His passion is to see people come to Christ and see them grow in their faith unhindered by the structure of religion.
Philip Ephraim is vice-president of Modern Process Equipment (MPE), located in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1981, Phillip and his brother, Dan, bought the modest-sized company and have since grown it into the largest manufacturer of coffee grinders in the world. As vice-president of MPE, Philip was in charge of overseeing all manufacturing of products that are shipped across North America and around the world.
Prior to his experience in the world of coffee, Phil worked for 17 years at Solo Cup Co. as a mechanical engineer, working his way up to Director of Engineering for the Plastics Division. Phil was the one of the engineers who developed and produced the “red solo cup,” one of the most iconic products ever produced by the company.
Philip grew up in a strong Christian home, with parents who were missions-minded. Their lifelong example of generosity and faithfulness helped inspire Philip as he launched a ministry of his own.
With a vision to help the underprivileged people of Guatemala, Philip and his wife, Nikki, bought 65 acres of undeveloped property on the east coast of Guatemala, on the Caribbean Ocean. In 2002, they started building El Faro, a beacon of ministry in one of the most impoverished corners of Guatemala. Today, El Faro – which means “lighthouse” in Spanish – has grown into an outreach, conference and Christian retreat center that is being used by people, churches and organizations from the United States and Central America. Last year, more than 5,000 people have experienced El Faro – from families, to churches, to missions groups, to volunteer teams carrying out medical missions and ministry activities in the surrounding villages.
In 2013, while at Bob Smith's house, Philip met Phil Long and learned about Global Action’s vital training courses for pastors. Since then, Global Action has been training over a hundred of Guatemalan pastors at El Faro.
Philip has also served on the local boards of Youth for Christ, Teen Challenge, Young Life and Chaplains for Christ, among others. He is also on the board of the Chicago City Church, an inner-city congregation on the south side of Chicago. In addition to his board service, he and Nikki personally prepare and serve meals to children and families in this low-income neighborhood twice a month. They serve over 4,000 meals a year -- including Easter and Christmas feasts for crowds exceeding 500 people.
Philip and his wife Nikki reside in Evanston, IL and have six adult daughters.
Prior to joining Global Action, Rev. Phil Long served as an associate pastor of Church of the Highlands, one of the fastest growing churches in the US. Since 1988, his life work and passion has been to develop leaders and help plant churches around the world. Since entering full-time ministry in 1989, he has served the local church as missionary (lived and worked for 6 years in Nigeria, Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Uganda), pastor (youth, college, small groups, and adult), in administration, and as a church consultant.
Upon completion of his MBA graduate school work from Indiana University in 2003, Phil entered the international business world and has worked in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa doing both ministry and business, which has given him the experience, diversity, and influence to train leaders in an even greater capacity. In 2008, he resigned a general manager position managing over 160 employees to re-enter full-time ministry in July 2008. Phil is a graduate of Louisiana State University and Gulf States Bible College, formerly known as MTI. He now resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA with his wife, Shary, and his two children, Wesley and Abby.
Phil served Global Action as International President from 2012 to 2016.
Jeff Peterson is a life-long educator. He is the president and founder of Global Travel Alliance, an international educational travel organization that provides educational and service-related trips for school, adult, and faith-based organizations. Jeff is also the founder of Global Doing Good, a non-profit that provides service learning and humanitarian trips focused on community building in impoverished areas, including home building and sister-school relationships between American and foreign schools.
Early in his career, Jeff taught elementary and middle school at a Christian school in Billings, Montana. Subsequently, for nine years he was a teacher and curriculum director for a mission school on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations. He also coached basketball and football at the schools, and developed and led a summer backpacking program for Native American youth. Following the years working with Native Americans, Jeff was a full-time lecturer at Montana State University - Billings, teaching educational and developmental psychology, along with courses in the social and philosophical foundations of education.
During his time at MSU-B, he launched (with partners) the Rocky Mountain Language and Culture Institute and also started working as the Program Director for the International Studies Department at the university. During these years he traveled to Japan, Korea, Egypt, and Kuwait to develop programs for the university. Jeff also served as the headmaster of a private school in Florida. Two years later he became an active member on the board of directors of an education-missions non-profit, and was the managing director of it's European programs. Jeff has also served on accreditation committees and provided consulting service for colleges and K-12 schools.
Jeff and his wife Pam live in Billings, Montana, with their three adult children and grandchildren living nearby in Billings and Bozeman. Jeff holds a B.A. in Christian Ministry from the University of Northwestern (Roseville, MN); an M.A. in Education from MSU-Billings; and, an Ed.D (A.B.D.) from MSU-Bozeman. Jeff enjoys reading, playing tennis, fishing, biking, and trying to keep up with his very active wife.
J.P. Wilson was born and raised mostly in the state of Missouri.
After receiving his Theology degree in the colorful city of New Orleans he would go on to serve as a bible college teacher and lead street ministry in the Crescent City before moving on to Mississippi, Missouri and Maryland. In these communities JP would end up pastoring youth, young adults, lead worship, launch several college campus ministries, lead mission trips into 21 different countries, establish Baltimore County's first permanent men's shelter and serve as chaplain at one of the largest juvenile detention facility's on the east coast.
After planting and pastoring his first church in Missouri for ten years and launching a TV ministry he would later move to Salem, Massachusetts and help plant another church and prayer ministry in the very city where Christianity was established in America.
In 2008 JP joined the Liberty Network and planted a Liberty Church in
Foley Alabama the next year. Since that time the church has become instrumental in community transformation thru it's many missional outreaches, the latest being the founding of two successful faith based recovery facilitates for men and women.
Pastor JP and his wife Melissa have three children and live in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Brian Banks has been involved in leading and operating businesses in Oklahoma City for over 30 years. An entrepreneur at heart, his professional experience has been focused in businesses specializing in healthcare, leadership, service and distribution. Brian has led a third generation family business as well as new business start-ups where he has participated in industry consolidations and business acquisitions.
In 2012 Brian acquired Providence Home Care and Providence Private Duty, strategic companies providing health care services to our aging population. He is integrally involved in the daily operations of his businesses.
Formerly, Brian co-founded American Health Partners, a company that partnered with innovators of medical technology to help them prepare for the market and maximize their global potential.
As a student at the University of Oklahoma, Brian was awakened to the idea of using business as a platform for ministry and influence. Since that time he has come to realize that a big part of his calling is to reflect Christ in the marketplace.
A positive and compelling influence in Brian’s life has been faithful and experienced mentors who have invested greatly in him. As a result, one of his passions is encouraging and mentoring young leaders and helping them on their journey both professionally and personally.
Brian holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma City University. The best part of Brian is Vickey, his wife of 35 years. At their home church in Oklahoma City, they regularly teach young couples on the biblical principles for marriage and family. Brian and Vickey have two married children and are expecting their second grandchild in May. Brian loves to go to the mountains where he has been known to be caught knee deep in a mountain stream fly-fishing.
Photo courtesy for selected photos, Irena E. Lazarova