Board of Directors
Mr. Thomas Vreeman holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Masters in Clinical Counseling and Psychology from Michigan State University. His work began as a private practice psychologist, focusing initially on general and clinical evaluations. He later began working in health care management as a private consultant. He has also held positions in manufacturing leadership, manufacturing management, and health care management of private hospitals and clinical practices.
In the early ‘90s, he spent a short time with a Netherlands-based NGO working with healthcare development in emerging Eastern European countries following the breakup of the Soviet Union. His work allowed him to travel to Eastern Europe and the Middle East working to develop both private and public partnerships establishing outpatient healthcare services.
For the last 16 years, he has been the CEO of a community-based affirmative business. This company is a large assembly and light manufacturing plant with over 500 employees, over 350 of them with disabilities. In this billet, he has broadened the company’s scope to include training and job placement for people with a variety of employment barriers. Mr. Vreeman has also established an independent Contract Medical Device Manufacturing company, expanding the customer base internationally, working with firms in the European Union, Israel, Kenya, South Africa, and China.
During the last 15 years, in partnership with his wife (Jacqueline), he has been significantly involved with international students attending colleges and universities in the western Michigan area. What began as providing support to meet the needs of individual students without local ties to family and resources has become a network of past, present, and future international students to support and guide. Mr. and Mrs. Vreeman lead students to resources so that they can launch organizations, businesses and agencies upon return to their home countries.
Rev. Simon Thiongo is from Kenya and has been studying in the United States for the past five years. During this time, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry from Kuyper College and a Masters of Divinity from Earlham School of Religion. He finished a field study and internship in Cleveland, Ohio in sustainable agriculture development.
Rev. Thiongo is the National Director and Founder of Family Empowerment Ministry‐Kenya, a registered Kenyan NGO in Kijabe, Kenya. He is also an Associate Professor at Moffat Bible College. His focus in ministry has been eradication of family poverty through establishing agricultural focus, farming, gardening, and raising livestock so communities are strengthend economically. He has also established a barbershop training center to provide young people with the skills and initial financing and equipment they need to start their own barbershop businesses.
During his years in the United States, he has built a network of support and financing through relationships which will support and expand his NGO in Kenya. After returning to Kenya in 2016, his commitment and involvement in Equipping Global Leaders is helping fulfill the mission of transforming lives in under-served areas.
Mr. Vincent Inthisorn was born to Laotian parents, but lived in a Cambodian refugee camp until age 10. In 1994, his family settled and became citizens of Canada. In 2010, he moved to the United States to assist in his parents’ education and ministry, and to help establish support so his parents could move to Laos as missionaries.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Toronto University and a Master’s degree in Cross‐Cultural Studies at Kuyper College. He currently teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) and tutors international students.
He spent eight months in Kenya, has taken several three-month assignments in Laos, Thailand, and other South Asian countries leading students and youth in missionary services. Mr. Inthisorn is married and in the process of becoming a dual United States/Canadian citizen.
Barbara Hoogenboom, EdD, PT, SCS, ATC
Dr. Barbara Hoogenboom is an Associate Program Director and Professor of the Physical Therapy program at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. She is an active volunteer and supporter of international students and NGOs. She is involved in her families’ foundation, church activities, and university extracurricular activities. She supports a number of causes and advocates and raises funds to establish sustainable development models and health care clinics. She travels extensively on behalf of her supported causes.
Mrs. Jacqueline Vreeman is a mother of three, a grandmother of three grandsons and a musician. She has also been a mom to nearly 100 past and current young adults from around the world. She began her work with international students by becoming a family sponsor for students who were without families and trying to adjust to a new culture. They were in need of everything from computers to shopping expertise, clothing alternations, relationship advice, medical appointments, career exploration, and trips overseas for family emergencies.
Her “real work” includes operating her own at-home piano studio for the past 35 years, averaging nearly 30 students per week during that entire time. For the past 12 years, she has also served as an adjunct professor of music at local colleges. She is a gifted pianist and performs regularly in a variety of venues.
She is graced with the gift of hospitality combined with an intuitive, uncanny ability to see and identify the unexpressed needs of people.