HEART is led by an international team of distinguished doctors, nurses, educators, accountants, business leaders, pastors, and highly trained professionals who are devoted to transforming lives in Africa.

Board of Directors


President & Founder


Vickie is a retired RN. She has traveled all around the world championing the cause of humanitarian aid for Africa. As a widow herself, Vickie can emphasize with the pain of the millions of widows and orphans in Africa, and has turned that compassion into a movement. Vickie first began traveling to Africa in 1979 with her late husband, Kenn. She founded HEART in 2000.



Chairman of the Board

Dr. Russell Tweet has been a Family Practice doctor in Auburn, California since 1979. He has traveled to Swaziland, Kenya, Zambia, India, Thailand, China, and Mexico on medical mission trips. He is an elder in his local church, Sierra Grace Fellowship.


Board Member

Phyllis has been a supporter of HEART for more than ten years. In 2013, she, and her husband Bob, traveled to Kenya which lead to a strengthening of her commitment to HEART’s mission and programs.

Phyllis has used her bachelor’s degree in Social Work to mentor homeless moms in a local community-based organization.  She retired after a thirty-year career with the State corrections and parole system, with experience in health care policy development and program implementation.

She and her husband worship at Gold Country Church in Auburn where she is involved in the children’s ministry.  She enjoys travel, fitness, reading and spending as much time as possible with her grandchildren.


Administrative Secretary

Stephanie’s area of expertise is in Healthcare Quality Management and has been employed by Sutter Health for 28 years. She has served HEART as an Advisory Board member since 2000. She has served as Co-Chair for our annual fundraising event, HEART on Safari for several years. Stephanie joined the Board of Directors in 2012 and serves as Secretary.


Board Member

Lauri Harris began serving on the HEART Board of Directors in 2016. She is the Executive Director for USA Cheer and has traveled extensively around the world, including three trips to Kenya with HEART.  Her husband is a pastor at Bayside Church in Roseville, CA where they are both involved in outreach ministries.


Board Member

Doug Juday is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and has worked in the financial services industry since 2000. He leads a team of financial planners across the West Coast of the United States and is excited to lend his expertise and experience to the HEART Board of Directors.  Doug, his wife Alicia and two sons attend Bayside Church in Roseville, California and have participated on multiple mission trips including two to Kenya.


Business Advisor

Sandra has been involved with HEART since 2013, the year she and her husband, Rob, took their two children on their first trip to Kenya with Bayside Church. Several more trips quickly ensued!

Sandra has enjoyed volunteering with HEART in various capacities throughout the years. Sandra and Rob worship at Fremont Presbyterian Church in Sacramento and enjoy walking, running & biking along the American River.


Board Member

Steve’s journey with HEART began in 2006 when he was invited on a short-term mission trip to Kenya.  The Lord used this trip to completely change his life both spiritually and professionally. Since that time, Steve completed eight additional trips to Kenya serving in a variety of “Mission Staff’ capacities including Intern Coordinator, Team Coordinator and Youth Advisor.  Additionally, Steve has served on the Advisory Board and Search Committee.

Steve currently works as a Regional Manager for Cascade Community Management.  He holds an MA in Executive Leadership from Liberty University along with an Executive Certificate in Management from The University of Notre Dame.  Steve has received training and coaching experience in organizational behavior, conflict management, leadership development, strategic communication and discipleship.



Pastor Phil Sparling is a family oriented Senior Pastor of Auburn Grace Church, where he has served for twenty seven years. Phil is husband to his wonderful wife, Ruth, for thirty-three years and father of four outstanding children. His strengths include teaching, leadership, and administration. Phil has been an advisor to HEART Leadership for many years including multiple trips to Kenya where he has spent time training the Kenya leadership team.