Leadership

David Holsten

David Holsten, President and Chief Executive Officer

David assumed the presidency of MAF on July 16, 2018. He and his wife, Natalie, joined MAF in 2000.

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During his years of service, initially as a missionary pilot/mechanic, David successfully carried out several leadership roles, including chief pilot, program manager, and regional director for Indonesia.

He became a Christian at an early age and was nurtured in his faith by his family, as well as by his church and youth group. David received a Bachelor of Science degree in Missionary Aviation Technology from Moody Aviation, and holds a commercial pilot’s license with multi-engine rating, as well an airframe and power plant mechanic’s license. Prior to joining MAF he worked as a flight instructor with Moody Aviation for two years. 

In leading MAF, David relies on God’s guidance and actively seeks the counsel of the executive leadership team and the board of directors, as well as that of MAF staff. He says, “It is my desire to not only be a part of addressing the significant physical needs of isolated people, but to also help them grow in their walk with the Lord. I want the message of the gospel to be clearly displayed in all we do.”

David and Natalie reside in Nampa, Idaho, and have four children.

Dan Whitehead

Dan Whitehead, Vice President of Operations

Dan oversees all MAF ministry programs throughout the world.

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Dan and his wife, Tracey, began their missionary service with MAF in 1993. Dan was served as a pilot/mechanic in Nicaragua, then in Venezuela. After 11 years of service, he was appointed program manager in Shell, Ecuador, until 2009 when, with his help, that program transitioned into a national entity and affiliate.

For the next four years, Dan led the MAF programs in Latin America as regional director. In 2014, he responded to the request for assistance from MAF affiliate Alas de Socorro de Ecuador (ADSE), a role he held until becoming vice president for MAF operations in 2018.

Dan learned about missionary aviation and MAF in his 20s, while travelling overseas with a Christian music group. Sensing it would be a perfect fit for him, he pursued the Advanced Studies Program at Moody Bible Institute. He also earned his commercial pilot’s license with instrument rating at Moody Aviation.

Dan and Tracey enjoy music, leading a worship team, and teaching Sunday School. Recently relocated to the U.S.A., they look forward to becoming similarly involved in their new local church.

Dan shares, “I keep returning to God’s promise in Isaiah 41:10 whenever I start to worry about things. He is the One who keeps me and gives me strength.”

The Whiteheads reside in Nampa, Idaho, and have three children.

Aaron Bear

Aaron Bear, Chief Advancement Officer

Aaron provides strategic direction to all MAF fundraising, marketing, communication channels, donor and church relations activities, and gift processing functions.

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Since joining MAF in 2006, Aaron has held various management positions including director of Major Funding and Planned Giving, a role that provided him opportunities to visit MAF programs overseas as well as become acquainted with ministry supporters in the U.S.A.

Prior to joining MAF, Aaron served as an associate pastor in Mountain Home, Idaho. A pilot who enjoys flying, Aaron's strong call to ministry and missions led him to apply his leadership and administrative skills to benefit MAF.

Aaron holds the degrees of Bachelor of Bible and Pastoral Ministries from Global University, and Master of Organizational Leadership from George Fox University where he invests some of his personal time as adjunct instructor. He also volunteers locally with Treasure Nampa, the Nampa Airport Commission, and Crossroads Community Church, where he worships with his wife, Rachel, and their three young children.

Ruth Harrison

Ruth Harrison, Chief Personnel Officer

Ruth oversees the recruiting of staff for the home office and missionaries who serve overseas; non-technical training; member care; benefits; and the management of the MAF headquarters facilities in Nampa, Idaho.

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Ruth and her husband Doug joined MAF in 2004 in a management role in Central Asia. Dedicated to help build God's Kingdom in unreached areas, Ruth applied her skills in education and spiritual formation to encourage the faith of missionaries serving with MAF and client agencies.  

In 2014, Ruth was appointed director of Member Care to provide Biblical counseling and discipleship to MAF staff families. Under her leadership, existing programs were strengthened, and new initiatives successfully implemented.

Ruth's keen understanding of the MAF culture and values, and the ministry impact of personnel functions, led to her current assignment in 2019. Ruth was the candidate of choice to succeed the seventeen-year incumbent, Gene Jordan, an MAF veteran of 42 years.

A graduate of Biola University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Ruth is also certified in trauma care, coaching, debriefing, and facilitation. A fifth-generation missionary who taught children and adults in Central Asia, Ruth served on the local school board and led an interagency member care team for some 500 expatriates working with international organizations.

Ruth and Doug have four adult children. The couple resides in Boise, Idaho, and worships at Calvary Church where they invest in young church leaders and Christian professionals.

Joe Barraclough

Joseph (Joe) Barraclough, Vice President of Finance

Joe Barraclough joined MAF in 2018, having served as director of Financial Services at Seed Company (a Wycliffe Bible Translators affiliate) in Arlington, Texas. Joe comes to MAF with 20 years of nonprofit financial leadership.

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Joe began his career in public accounting, then as CFO of a nonprofit organization. In 2002 he felt the tug of God’s call to transplant his family to South America, where they ministered until 2013.

He and his wife, Judith, are seasoned missionaries who ministered in the slums of Caracas, Venezuela, and in the least-reached areas of the Amazon Rainforest in southern Perú. Pioneer evangelism, church-planting, pastoral guidance, member care, and leadership development were activities that Joe carried out while fulfilling his financial leadership responsibilities. Joe and Judith are the parents of seven children and reside in Nampa, Idaho.

Ted Van Zwol

Ted Van Zwol, Chief Information Officer

In this newly established executive position, Ted leads the development, maintenance, and usage of systems, software, and computers that process and distribute data throughout MAF worldwide. The complexity of MAF's ministry coupled with the rapidity of technological advancements necessitate a cohesive and cost-effective approach to meeting MAF's internal IT needs.

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Ted, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science/Business, brings a wealth of experience to his role. His successful business career includes positions as principal software engineering manager at Microsoft, and as systems analyst and software design engineer at Boeing Computer Services. 

Further, his earlier five-year service with MAF as a pilot and IT specialist in Papua, Indonesia, enhances his ability to contextualize and effectively address MAF needs overseas.

Ted and his wife Nancy are parents to three teenage sons. The Van Zwols recently relocated to Meridian, Idaho, from Seattle, Washington, where Ted led Bible study groups and served on the elder nominating committee of his church.

Board of Directors

J. David Grizzle

Chairman of the Board, MAF
Chief Executive Officer
Dazzle Partners, LLC
Washington D.C.

Eric Kellerer, Ed.D.

Vice Chairman of the Board, MAF
Director, International Relations
Northwest Nazarene University
Nampa, ID

Joel Barker

Retired Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
J.R. Simplot Company
Boise, ID

David Bixby, Ed.D.

Executive Vice President
Azusa Pacific University
Azusa, CA

Mona Gisler

Financial Systems and Training Officer
Douglas Emmett
Santa Monica, CA

David Holsten

President and Chief Executive Officer
Mission Aviation Fellowship
Nampa, ID

Jennifer Holloran

Chief Operations Officer
Wycliffe Bible Translators
Orlando, FL

Larry Jones, PH.D.

Senior Vice President, emeritus, Bible Translation
The Seed Company
Arlington, TX

Jeff Kramer

VP and Chief Development Officer
Baker Ripley
Houston, TX

Lacey Pitman

Director of Operations and Safety
Amazon Air
Seattle, WA

Montie C. Ralstin, Jr.

Retired Pastor
Boise, ID

Ken Smoll

Principal and Owner
Blue Tide Aero, LLC
Spokane, WA

Robert Swanson

Shareholder
Boutin Jones Inc.
Sacramento, CA

Mike Tachick

Owner and Chief Executive Officer
Dairyland Electrical Industries
Stoughton, WI

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