Our Team

Tanja Detwiler

Accounting Clerk

Tanja has a bachelor's degree in accounting and is currently working on her master’s degree in accounting and finance. Prior to getting her degree, she was a stay-at-home mom and worked as an apprentice and a procurement clerk. She has been involved in various voluntary work including teaching, translations and treasury.

Tanja grew up in Wuerzburg, Germany where she met her husband while he was stationed in Kitzingen, Germany. They have three wonderful children – Jessica, Larissa and Mary.

Her favorite quote is an encouraging one from Winston Churchill, “We are still the masters of our fate! We are still the captains of our souls!”


 

Emily GrossEmily Gross

Gift Processor and Donor Records Associate

Emily is a recent graduate of Johnson University in Knoxville, Tenn., where she earned bachelor's degrees in human services: professional counseling and Bible and theology.  

New to Oklahoma, Emily is excited to be closer to family and to begin life in a new city. Emily is passionate about children, displaced people groups and showing genuine love and respect to all of God’s creations. She is excited to be a part of the Water4 team and to be able to see the positive and empowering work that they do.

Emily’s favorite quote is, “ Don’t shine so that others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him.” – C.S Lewis


 

Matt HangenMatt Hangen

Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer

Matt has a bachelor's and master's degree in Biblical theology and missiology and is experienced in business management, youth ministry and was a full-time missionary in Togo, West Africa from 2008 to 2013.

While serving as missionaries in West Africa, Matt and his wife Grace linked up with Water4 after searching for a better way to do manual well drilling than the way they were previously doing it. Water4 shared their desire to find sustainable solutions and do so out of a love for God and neighbor, so it was a perfect fit. And when ongoing medical treatments required the Hangens’ relocation to the U.S., Water4 was happy to gain someone with the field experience to travel and train up-and-coming drill teams throughout the world.

Matt is married to his best friend Grace and they live in the country with their amazing dog Penny and new puppy Nala.  After his wife and dogs, Matt’s favorite things are gardening, blacksmithing, motorcycles, classic literature, dancing with Pygmies, learning about and experiencing different cultures and worldviews, hiking and camping outdoors, etc.

Matt’s favorite quote is, “Each of us may be sure that if God sends us on stony paths He will provide us with strong shoes, and He will not send us out on any journey for which He does not equip us well.”  -Alexander MacLaren 


 

Grace HangenGrace Hangen

Logistics Coordinator

Having worked in Togo as a missionary for five years with her husband Matt, Grace loves having the opportunity to work with Water4 from this side of the globe to continue helping the partners in the field. Even though they can’t be in Africa full-time anymore, her heart is still very much there, and it’s a blessing to still be involved in the work.

Grace is passionate about seeing lives and families transformed, and her favorite things include her husband, their dogs Penny and Nala, cooking and baking, experiencing God in His creation, gardening, reading, experiencing different cultures, traveling, camping, hiking and many more.

Her favorite quote is, “Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” ― Mother Teresa


 

emilieEmilie Hechtner

Communications Coordinator

Emilie joined the Water4 team in the spring of 2017 and holds a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication from Oklahoma State University. She has a passion for the art of writing and communication, especially cross-cultural communication.

Emilie has always called Oklahoma home, but also holds a place in her heart for Ghana, where she spent eight months working with a home for at-risk teenage girls. Her passion for global efforts and desire to use her talents to empower people groups across the globe have led her to be part of the Water4 team.

Emilie is married to her favorite person, Matthew, and enjoys playing with her new puppy Finley, riding her horse Eddie and exploring this beautiful world!

Emilie’s favorite quote is, “If you’ve never gone, go. If you’ve never had a moment when no one around you speaks your language or shares your pigment or knows how elementary school works, you need to go. You need that. You need to see that the world is big and diverse and maybe God doesn’t look or sound the way you always thought He did, because the world has a lot of different-looking and different-sounding people, all who are made in His image.” –Annie F. Downs


Michael MitchellMichael Mitchell

Director of Development

Michael is a follower of Christ, a lover of people and is always seeking to be better at both. He joined the Water4 team in 2016 after more than a decade in higher education marketing and fundraising. He holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from Oklahoma Christian University and a master's degree in education leadership from the University of Oklahoma.

Michael is married to his high school sweetheart Annaleise. Together they are the proud parents of Isabella, Benjamin and Harrison. Michael enjoys books, music of all kinds, fishing, travel and shenanigans with his children.

His favorite quote is, “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.” -James Michener


 

Richard MooreRichard Moore

Director of Implementation

Richard has a master's degree in international studies and a bachelor's degree in agribusiness, both from Oklahoma State University. Richard’s relationship with Water4 began in 2012 when he purchased a set of drilling tools from Water4 to drill irrigation wells for the agricultural work he was doing in Sierra Leone. He continued to work with Water4 in Ghana and became a full-time employee in 2015.

Richard now manages all grassroots programs and trainings and spends 12-14 weeks each year overseas working with and training partners.


 

Daniel PaulkDaniel Paulk

Technical Project Engineer

Daniel has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and has experience in construction, research and design, plant manufacturing, engineering consulting and HVAC equipment testing. Daniel came to Water4 from an engineering firm in Birmingham, Ala. that allowed him to focus on the thermal sciences and travel to several different countries across Asia, Europe and South America.

One of Daniel’s engineering professors told him it would be amazing to find a ministry or job that could combine mechanical engineering with helping those in need. A few years later a good friend called with that opportunity, and eventually, God directed his path to Water4 where he can apply his engineering knowledge and help those in need.

Daniel is married to his best friend, Crystal and they have two dogs, Copper and Obi. The couple loves spending time with each other playing board games, watching movies, hiking, camping and going on new adventures. Daniel’s other interests are woodworking, discussing philosophy, hunting and being outdoors. He is somewhat of an adrenaline junkie, so he enjoys anything that goes fast.

Daniel’s favorite quote is, “Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt


 

Jerry RegierJerry Regier

Global Resource Development

Jerry has spent his career in public service, having formerly served as secretary in the cabinet of two state governors (Oklahoma and Florida), and as an appointed policy leader for three U.S. presidents. He is also the founder and first president of Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

During the past four years Jerry has traveled extensively internationally interacting with policy leaders from developing countries as senior fellow of the Geneva Institute of Leadership & Public Policy (Geneva, Switzerland), and as a visiting lecturer at Kenya School of Government (Nairobi, Kenya).

Jerry is a fourth generation Oklahoman and grew up the son of a pastor in Clinton. He and his wife Sharyn have four children and 14 grandchildren. Time with his family is one of Jerry’s  favorite things in life, and he also enjoys antique cars, bluegrass and country music and being involved in nation-building activities in the developing world.

Jerry came to Water4 out of a desire to influence nations through leadership, policy and solution s— particularly solutions related to water and sanitation issues for the world's poor.


 

Dennis RDennis Ripley

Chief Business Development Officer

Dennis comes to Water4 from Opportunity International where he served as senior vice president for programs and chief business development officer. Prior to that, he served as the managing director for the Refugee and Immigrant Services Division at World Relief.

Dennis and his wife Debbie have four sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. Debbie and Dennis have sponsored refugee families from Azerbaijan, Laos and Cambodia and the Ripley’s provided foster care for two young Vietnamese boys who were separated from their family during their escape from Vietnam.

Dennis holds a bachelor's degree in Biblical studies and a master's of divinity from Trinity Divinity School. He serves on the boards of Daystar University–US and the Opportunity Canada Foundation.

Dennis is a firm believer in building scalable and sustainable business solutions to poverty and he came to Water4 because of the organization’s commitment to this approach. Water4 has an expansive vision for Africa and a business model that will enable them to fulfill this vision.

One of Dennis’s favorite quotes comes from John Ortberg, “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat.” 


 

Mike SlackMike Slack

Annual Giving Officer

Mike's passions are children and education. A husband and father of two, he's most fulfilled when he is engaged in projects that use his skills to improve the lives of kids and strengthen families. In that sense, his position at Water4 is more than a job for him; it is a vocation and a calling.

Mike’s built a career raising critical funding for causes he believes in, and he's excited that his experience has intersected with the opportunity to end the water crisis. “I can't imagine a better way to live out the call placed on my life than by growing the impact of Water4,” he says.

He earned a bachelor's degree in religion (summa cum laude) and a master's degree in nonprofit leadership from Oklahoma City University.


 

Jim StewartJim Stewart

Partner Development

Jim spent 10 years as a professional musician and 20 years in the medical industry before landing at Water4, where his job is to connect churches and organizations with the work that Water4 is doing. What gets Jim out of bed in the morning is the urgency of knowing he is part of a solution that is saving lives, which drives him to do his part to further the cause. He is passionate about helping others and calling for the Church in America to rise up and show love to the world.

Jim is married to his lovely wife Susan and they have three sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandsons. Jim's hero is his son Marquise who recently had his third kidney transplant and has never known a completely healthy life. Marquise reminds him daily that life is precious and there is nothing worth being anxious about.


 

Margie StrealyMargie Strealy

Financial Manager

Margie has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and holds over 30 years of accounting experience in a broad range of industries – retail, financial services, insurance, software development and services, oil and gas and now nonprofit.

Margie has been married to her husband Joe for 31 years, and they have raised two sons, Bryan and Ben, and will soon add a daughter-in-law to the mix.

Margie loves family, friends and gardening and is passionate about demonstrating a positive attitude in everything she does. Her favorite quote is from Mary Catherine Bateson, “We are not what we know, but what we are willing to learn.” 


 

Lynn WilsonLynn Wilson

Chief Executive Volunteer

With 28 years of military experience, it's no wonder we call him, "The Colonel." Lynn is the man who knows how to get the job done, and he has taken the Water4 facility from a rickety, drippy old building to a beautiful, fully functioning office space.

Lynn is passionate about providing for his family, which consists of JoAn, his wife of 50 years, his two daughters, two sons-in-law and two grandsons.

Lynn enjoys singing in his church choir and reading good biographical history books, but what gets him out of bed in the morning is knowing he may be able to be a positive influence on those around him.


 

Justin WrenJustin Wren

Spokesperson

Justin is known for his mixed martial arts career in the UFC. Early in his career, he appeared on the Spike reality show "The Ultimate Fighter." After a life-changing experience in 2011, Justin founded Fight for the Forgotten, a nonprofit dedicated to securing land, freedom and clean water for the formerly enslaved Mbuti Pygmy tribe in the Ituri rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2015, Water4 helped him expand beyond the DRC to bring clean water and economic security to thousands across the region.