Board of Directors
Jonathan Phillips, President
Jonathan first came to Romania in 2001 as a student in the Romanian Studies Program. After graduating from Eastern Nazarene College with a bachelor’s degree in religion, he returned to Sighisoara to volunteer with Veritas and the Church of the Nazarene. Following this year serving as a volunteer, Jonathan attended Nazarene Theological Seminary in order to be better equipped for ministry. He graduated in 2008 with a master’s degree in the area of theology with an emphasis in cross-cultural ministries. Jonathan returned to Sighisoara in 2009 where he serves as coordinator for theological education and literature development for the Church of the Nazarene in Romania.
Sheri worked for 22 years in the media agency of the Mennonite Church, helping to produce documentaries for national television in America, writing study guides and marketing materials, and developing web sites. She held administrative roles in the agency before her retirement in 2013. Sheri’s university degree is in elementary education. She taught students in grades 6-8 and also gave private piano lessons for many years. Sheri and her husband came to Romania through the Nazarene Mission Corps and are currently spending nine months each year in Romania. Sheri has been working as a volunteer with Veritas since coming to Sighisoara, helping in program areas as needed, writing and coordinating fundraising materials for English-speaking donors, and assisting Petra. She and her husband are also involved in ministry in the village of Tigmandru, through a children’s club and a training woodshop.
Dorothy is the founding director of Veritas and the Romanian Studies Program. She lived in Romania almost continually since 1994. Dorothy is originally from Great Britain, but spent more than 20 years teaching at Eastern Nazarene College (ENC), in Quincy, Massachusetts, until ENC asked her to come and develop a study and service opportunity for students in Romania. Dorothy’s academic background is in modern languages, cross-cultural communication and social work. In 2018 Dorothy retired and now lives in Edinburg, Scotland. She continues to serve Veritas on the Consultative Board and returns frequently to Sighisoara.
Daniela Gabriela Bogorin
Gabi is the financial assistant to the director of the company Vitrans, which has several businesses in Sighisoara. She first became aware of Veritas as a beneficiary of Veritas’ support when her family was going through a time of crisis. Her daughter Sofia is an enthusiastic participant in Veritas summer camps.
Procopie Pilu Hadarean
Pilu is the founding pastor of the Mana Church, and for the past 20 years has worked with the Roma community in Sighisoara and nearby villages. He studied theology. He has a law degree and has done postgraduate studies in Social Work. He is president of the Dayspring Foundation and a legal advisor to the Crown Child Placement Association – two Christian organizations that provide social services for children, young people and their families. Veritas has close relationships with the Mana Church, which is the spiritual home for some of the staff as well as some of the beneficiaries of the Veritas Foundation.
Monica has a degree in economics and finance and is the chief financial officer of Cesiro, a ceramics factory which is one of the biggest employers in Sighisoara. She first learned about Veritas through her daughter who attended English camp, and then worked for two summers as a tour guide. The Juganaru family hosted several students in the Romanian Studies Program.
Mark Tudose was born in Bucharest in 1976. He graduated from high school in 1994 and then worked for two years as a volunteer for a Christian organization as a camp organizer for kids from poor families. Mark grew up in a family of artists. His grandfather was a woodcarver and his father a singer. Mark learned to carve as a teenager and in 2005 he was invited to participate in the annual Craft Fair organized by Veritas. Mark moved from Bucharest to Sighisoara in 2006 and since then he is trying to support craft makers in Romania by helping them promote themselves and teach them how to improve their selling skills. Mark operates two craft shops in Sighisoara, in which he sells the work of these craftspeople. He will be opening a Folk Art Museum in the House on the Rock in April of 2021, displaying wooden spoons made by artists from around the world, as well as other traditional arts and crafts of Romania.
Lois Mitten-Rosenberry, CEO, Children’s Discovery Center, Inc., Toledo, Ohio
Lois has been visiting Romania since 1998 and has served on the Veritas Advisory board since its inception in 2001. Lois has brought several short-term mission teams to Sighisoara to help with specific projects and strengthen the support base for Veritas. When she is here she usually provides training for staff on topics related to childcare, education or organizational management. Her company office sends out the Veritas newsletter and handles the receipt and acknowledgement of donations.
Tom Condon: Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Hillsdale, Michigan
Tom has made several trips to Romania and has established an excellent working relationship with the Veritas accounting staff, helping to transform the data they produce into reports which can be used in the U.S. to educate donors and provide fiscal accountability.
Janice Hockensmith: Professor Emeritus of Social Work, Olivet Nazarene University
Jan has encouraged many students to participate in the Romanian Studies Program. She has taught a class on campus for many years which culminates in a three week trip to Romania each May. Jan calls Sighisoara “home away from home”, and she hopes to spend more time here now that she has retired from full-time teaching.
Wilmer Otto: CEO,Otto Real Estate, Arcola, Illinois and of Equipment Direct West, LLC
Wilmer’s interests in supporting development in Eastern Europe and in restoring historic buildings combined to make his first visit to Sighisoara in 2004 the beginning of a long-term commitment to the community of Sighisoara. Wilmer’s first project involved supporting Roma cottage industry by buying 1,000 handmade brooms and shipping them to the U.S. for resale. Then he established Terra Capital, a construction company which provides job skills training and employment in a variety of remodeling and building projects. Two major building purchases in the early days of the company have resulted in the creation of Central Park Hotel, already considered one of the finest boutique hotels in Romania, and a block of apartments suitable for first-time buyers.
Elizabeth Patterson-Roe: Professor of Social Work, Malone University, Canton, Ohio
Elizabeth first came to Sighisoara as a student in the Romanian Studies Program, returning after graduation to volunteer for a year. She went on to earn her master’s in social work in order to be better qualified to help with the development of Veritas, and came back to coordinate social services for Veritas for five years. During that time she supervised many social work majors doing their senior practicum with Veritas in the context of the Romanian Studies Program. Elizabeth now teaches social work at Malone and is in the final stages of doctoral work. Her dissertation evaluates the impact of overseas study and service on American university students.
Sharon Strite: Artist, Harrisonburg, Virginia
Sharon is involved in several art organizations and serves on the local Harrisonburg committee for Young Life International. On her trips to Romania Sharon has particularly enjoyed the beauty of the historic architecture and the landscape, and she has created many paintings with Romanian themes, some of which have been used to promote financial support of Veritas.