Meet the Leadership Team

Jeff Bass Executive Director Jeff Bass joined the staff of EGC in 1991, and was named executive director in 1999. A graduate of Princeton University, Jeff first worked as a consultant for Arthur D. Little, Inc., but left in 1987 to become the business manager of a local church, where he learned first-hand about the inner workings of an urban congregation. In 2014, Jeff was granted an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Gordon College. Jeff is an avid tennis player and wine enthusiast. He and his wife, Ellen, are active members of River of Life Church in Boston, have two adult children, and one amazing grand daughter.

Jeff Bass
Executive Director

Jeff Bass joined the staff of EGC in 1991, and was named executive director in 1999. A graduate of Princeton University, Jeff first worked as a consultant for Arthur D. Little, Inc., but left in 1987 to become the business manager of a local church, where he learned first-hand about the inner workings of an urban congregation. In 2014, Jeff was granted an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Gordon College. Jeff is an avid tennis player and wine enthusiast. He and his wife, Ellen, are active members of River of Life Church in Boston, have two adult children, and one amazing grand daughter.

Liza Cagua-Koo Assistant Director When Liza Cagua-Koo, a long-term resident of Boston, graduated from Harvard University in 1998, she started work in the private sector, including a stint as director of technology for Boston’s Fourth of July. But in 2002, following God’s call to do something for his Kingdom, she joined TechMission, a faith-based non-profit, where she launched tech programs and co-directed a youthworker program. In 2006, Liza joined EGC as senior program director, and has served as assistant director since 2010. Liza is a member of The Gathering Christian Fellowship in Dorchester, where she lives with her superstar husband Daniel and their two adorable children.

Liza Cagua-Koo
Assistant Director

When Liza Cagua-Koo, a long-term resident of Boston, graduated from Harvard University in 1998, she started work in the private sector, including a stint as director of technology for Boston’s Fourth of July. But in 2002, following God’s call to do something for his Kingdom, she joined TechMission, a faith-based non-profit, where she launched tech programs and co-directed a youthworker program. In 2006, Liza joined EGC as senior program director, and has served as assistant director since 2010. Liza is a member of The Gathering Christian Fellowship in Dorchester, where she lives with her superstar husband Daniel and their two adorable children.

 
Nika Elugardo, MPP, JD Director, Applied Research & Consulting Nika Elugardo began her career as a coalition-builder and advocate in 1996, managing the National Consumer Law Center’s Foreclosure Prevention Project, a research-driven, private-public sector partnership. Nika’s work since has focused on equipping corporate, nonprofit and public leaders to work together to plan and impact sustainable and data-informed social movements. She holds a B.S. from MIT, a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a J.D. from Boston University. Before attending law school in 2007, Nika worked at EGC for seven years in development and consulting. She has also served on EGC’s Board of Directors.

Nika Elugardo, MPP, JD
Director, Applied Research & Consulting

Nika Elugardo began her career as a coalition-builder and advocate in 1996, managing the National Consumer Law Center’s Foreclosure Prevention Project, a research-driven, private-public sector partnership. Nika’s work since has focused on equipping corporate, nonprofit and public leaders to work together to plan and impact sustainable and data-informed social movements. She holds a B.S. from MIT, a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a J.D. from Boston University. Before attending law school in 2007, Nika worked at EGC for seven years in development and consulting. She has also served on EGC’s Board of Directors.

Jeffrey Murray Director of Operations Since 2013, Jeffrey Murray has helped EGC provide a healthy work environment and an efficient infrastructure by supplying leadership and support to the Center’s day-to-day operations. Graduating from Notre Dame in 1998, Jeffrey began his professional career specializing in technology and business. A lifelong Massachusetts resident, Jeffrey is involved in two churches: New Hope Community Church in Ayer and Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain. Following God’s calling, he has also enjoyed serving in youth mentoring, men’s fellowships, and missionary work in Durban, South Africa. Jeffrey and his amazing wife, Kalya, have two children and live in Boston.

Jeffrey Murray
Director of Operations

Since 2013, Jeffrey Murray has helped EGC provide a healthy work environment and an efficient infrastructure by supplying leadership and support to the Center’s day-to-day operations. Graduating from Notre Dame in 1998, Jeffrey began his professional career specializing in technology and business. A lifelong Massachusetts resident, Jeffrey is involved in two churches: New Hope Community Church in Ayer and Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain. Following God’s calling, he has also enjoyed serving in youth mentoring, men’s fellowships, and missionary work in Durban, South Africa. Jeffrey and his amazing wife, Kalya, have two children and live in Boston.

 
Dana Wade, MA Grants Manager Dana Wade has served on EGC's Development team since 2002, providing leadership with fundraising, special events, and communications. She periodically provides technical assistance and workshops on proposal writing and fundraising for non-profits. Prior to joining the staff, Dana served as a Board member of EGC. Professionally, Dana worked as the manager of contributions at John Hancock Financial Services where she reviewed funding proposals, conducted site visits, provided technical assistance to non-profits, and helped plan and run corporate events. She earned a Master’s degree in urban affairs from Boston University. Dana lives in Boston and serves in leadership at her church in Boston.

Dana Wade, MA
Grants Manager

Dana Wade has served on EGC's Development team since 2002, providing leadership with fundraising, special events, and communications. She periodically provides technical assistance and workshops on proposal writing and fundraising for non-profits. Prior to joining the staff, Dana served as a Board member of EGC. Professionally, Dana worked as the manager of contributions at John Hancock Financial Services where she reviewed funding proposals, conducted site visits, provided technical assistance to non-profits, and helped plan and run corporate events. She earned a Master’s degree in urban affairs from Boston University. Dana lives in Boston and serves in leadership at her church in Boston.

Team Members

Arvelle Adamson
Outreach Worker, Starlight Ministries

Arvelle Adamson enjoys listening to and walking alongside individuals affected by homelessness. “We become friends,” he says. With his gentle, compassionate humor and ready smile, Arvelle shares Jesus’ love wherever he goes. Since 2011, he has worked with EGC’s Starlight Ministries and faithful volunteers to lead street outreach in Boston and Cambridge; oversee Starlight’s very busy, weekly drop-in center; and teach a weekly Bible study with people from the homeless community. Along with his teammates, Arvelle is available to train church groups wanting to learn how to do what he does well: build life-changing relationships with people affected by homelessness.

 
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Sarah Blumenshine
Ministry Associate, Intercultural Ministries; Co-Director, Greater Boston Refugee Ministry

Sarah has spent much of her adult life as a tumbleweed, living in Michigan, Texas, Germany, Wisconsin, Illinois, and now Massachusetts. In some settings she was the outsider; in others she was welcomed in close community. Sarah’s experiences fueled a love for people far from home and family. Since 2008 Sarah has worked with immigrants and refugees, first in adult basic education and more recently with Greater Boston Refugee Ministry. Watching her refugee friends flourish brings her great joy. Sarah lives north of Boston with her husband, Josh, and their two children.

 
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Steve Daman, MA
Senior Production Advisor, Applied Research & Consulting

Steve Daman has served EGC through writing, publishing, research and data management since 1987, when he first agreed to help the Center produce a few newsletters “while looking for work.” For three decades, Steve has been the voice of EGC, writing stories about what God is doing across the city. For three years, Steve worked closely with EGC’s former president, Doug Hall, and his wife, Judy, to help them write their book on living system ministry, The Cat & the Toaster, published in 2010. He commutes to Boston from a yellow farmhouse where he and his wife, Debby, have raised three kids and put up with a semi-feral cat.

 
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Gregg Detwiler, Rev, DMin, MA
Director, Intercultural Ministries

Prior to joining EGC in 2001, Gregg Detwiler served as a church-planting pastor of a multicultural church in Boston, and as missions pastor of a suburban congregation. Today Gregg works with leaders from many cultures, offering research, training, consulting, networking and collaborative outreach. He recently helped launch the Greater Boston Refugee Ministry, engaging churches and refugees in mutually transformative relationships. Originally from Kansas, Gregg graduated from Evangel University and the Assemblies of God Seminary in Missouri. In 2001, he earned a D.Min. in Urban Ministry from Gordon-Conwell. Gregg and his wife, Rita, live in Greater Boston and have three children.

 
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Sarah Dunham
Director, Abolitionist Network

Sarah (Durfey) Dunham learned about the existence of modern-day slavery as a student at Gordon College, and has been a powerful abolitionist since then. In 2010, Sarah started the Abolitionist Network at EGC, a community of leaders seeking to understand the systems that drive trafficking and fight against them in the Greater Boston area to prevent further exploitation. Sarah is also a founding board member for a safe house called Amirah, and a lead organizer for the Massachusetts Coalition to End Human Trafficking. Sarah and her husband, Jared, live in Boston and love ministering and adventuring together.

 

Bonnie Gatchell, Rev, MDiv, ThM
Director, Route One Ministry

Rev. Bonnie Gatchell is the Founder & Director of Route One Ministry, a program that reaches women exploited by entering strip clubs. Bonnie came to Boston in 2006 to pursue a M.Div. and a Th.M. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In 2010 Bonnie was awakened to the horrors of trafficking both globally and domestically, and founded Route One Ministry- the first outreach of its kind in New England. Bonnie serves on the board of The Boston Faith and Justice Network. Bonnie seeks to equip Christian leaders with the resources needed to address trafficking in their community, both intimate team trainings as well as large group lectures including; Princeton Theological Seminary, the Boston Rescue Mission, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and recently TEDx Wellesley 2016. 

 
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Brian Gearin, Rev, DMin, MA
Director of Church and Ministry Partnerships, Starlight Ministries

Brian Gearin is hopeful that more individuals and churches will learn to connect well with people who are experiencing homelessness by building reciprocal relationships that are tangible evidences of the Kingdom of God at work. Brian has partnered with people in need around the globe, first in the Philippines in micro-enterprise development, and later with colleagues in the eleven countries that partners with PEER Servants, a Massachusetts-based micro-enterprise organization. Since 2002, Brian has served at EGC in economic and community development projects, and has helped lead Starlight Ministries in serving people affected by homelessness.

 
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Michelle Harper
Administration Manager, Applied Research & Consulting

Michelle joined EGC’s Applied Research & Consulting team in 2015 and is thankful to be honing her administrative skills in such a dynamic organization. Michelle enjoys time spent in her home, drinking tea (actually lots of tea), hosting guests, playing board games, and watching movies. She also loves living in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood where a short walk brings her into contact with extraordinary people, food and green spaces. She and her husband, Jim, who serves as an EGC Board member, have three daughters.

 

Cynthia Hymes Bell, Rev, MPH, MDiv
Director, Starlight Ministries

Cynthia is leading Starlight Ministries in its mission to build the capacity of Boston’s churches and leaders to create life-changing relationships with people affected by homelessness. She has a degree in mental health from Tufts University, a Master of Public Health from Yale, and a Master of Divinity from Harvard. From 2002 to 2008, Cynthia traveled to South Sudan with “My Sister’s Keeper,” where she participated in the redemption of more than 1,200 slaves. She is a licensed and ordained minister and serves on the ministry team of Morning Star Baptist Church in the Mattapan neighborhood of Boston.

 

Sandy Jackson
Office Volunteer

“EGC is my family,” Sandy says. “They have always had a place for me.” Sandy’s relationship with EGC started in the 1970s when she attended an EGC children’s program. In the 1990s, when seizures left her unable to continue a banking job, she started volunteering at EGC, and for the past 25 years has been a loving presence as she helps out in the office, doing what needs to be done. Her most important contribution, however, is her joyful testimony of God’s goodness in the face of suffering, inspiring us all to keep our eyes on Jesus.

 

Ralph Kee, Rev
Animator, Greater Boston Church Planting Collaborative

Social justice issues drew Ralph Kee to Boston in 1971, when he helped plant a church emerging out of the Emmanuel Gospel Center. Starting churches became his clear calling as he has since been involved in launching or revitalizing many churches in and around Boston. In 2000, Ralph started the Greater Boston Church Planting Collaborative as a peer mentoring fellowship to encourage and equip church planters. He organizes gatherings and spends considerable time mentoring church planters, mostly one-on-one, usually over coffee. Ralph is married to Judy who shares Ralph’s intense love of fun and recreation. The Kees live in Boston. 

 

Dave Kimball
Intercultural Minister at Large Christian-Muslim Relations

Relations between Christians and Muslims present the Church with one of her biggest opportunities and greatest challenges. Misunderstandings on both sides of this divide are fueled by fear of terrorism and false narratives so that Christians have backed off from Jesus’ command to love and make disciples of all peoples. Here is where Dave Kimball quietly steps in. In addition to building friendships with his Muslim neighbors, Dave works to equip churches to better understand and engage with Muslims in their communities. He and his wife, Janet, lived in the Middle East for a number of years. They now live north of Boston and have two children.

 

Torli Krua
Ministry Associate, Intercultural Ministries; Co-Director, Greater Boston Refugee Ministry

Torli Krua came to the US as a refugee after the 1989 civil war in Liberia that forced a million people to flee their homeland. Choosing to leave a successful career in business, Torli serves today as an activist and missionary to refugee communities in Boston and beyond through Universal Human Rights International, an organization he founded to promote peace and democracy in Africa and refugee rights in the US. At EGC, he co-directs the Greater Boston Refugee Ministry. Rev. Krua is the pastor of Ziah Mission Church in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. Torli and his wife, Saawile, have one son.

 

Megan Lietz, MDiv, STM
Research Associate

Megan Lietz enjoys using her love for reading, writing, and research to empower urban leaders in ministry. Though raised in the country, Megan fell in love with the city and developed a heart for racial justice following formative experiences in non-white communities. She brings a racial justice lens to the work that she does in ARC's youth stream and BETA program and is developing a stream in Race and Christian Community. When not at work, she enjoys cooking, reading, outdoor exercise, and spending time with family. She is also an active member of the Dorchester and Abundant Life Church communities. Megan and her husband, Derick, have one adorable baby.

 
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Lenny Maillet
Custodian

Lenny Maillet has had a tool in his hand ever since he was a teenager, and he learned to do it all: framing, drywall, kitchens, painting, and more. After a car accident left him broken, physically and mentally, he began to hang out with Christians, and as his body mended, his soul was being made whole, too. Fast forward a few years until one day EGC’s Sara Mitchell asked him if he needed a job. It was a perfect fit. At EGC, Lenny stays on top of all the routine cleaning and when anything breaks, he can fix it. “I thank God every day for this job,” he says.

 

Jasmine Marino
Ministry Associate, the Abolitionist Network; Director, Bags of Hope

Jasmine is a survivor of domestic sex trafficking and she believes God is redeeming her story to offer hope and healing to others. She also raises awareness of this issue by using her voice and story at schools, colleges, churches and conferences. She believes education about this issue can help prevent and abolish it. Jasmine has worked at prevention organizations as a mentor and group facilitator to at risk youth girls. She has also been a passionate advocate for women at a residential safe home. She now is the Director of the outreach ministry, Bags of Hope, which is partnering with EGC's Abolitionist Network.

 
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Jess Mason, Rev, MDiv, MA
Research Associate, Applied Research & Consulting

Jess is a licensed minister and former neuroscientist who loves to see God’s goodness revealed to and through the church. As a Supervising Research Associate in ARC, she’s grateful to work with Gender Initiatives in learning and sharing what God is doing in and through Christian women leaders. Also on the ARC Coordinating Team, she enjoys making strategic contributions to ARC’s sustained effectiveness in serving the church. When not working, she likes to dabble in international cuisines, Skype with friends, explore Boston with her husband and local friends, and sit and stare at the wall (literally) appreciating all the wonders.

 
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Caleb McCoy
Development Manager

Born and raised in Boston, Caleb brings a homegrown passion for the city. As EGC’s Development Manager, Caleb provides leadership for projects relating to fundraising and communications, and manages the day-to-day operations of the development department. Caleb graduated from Eastern Nazarene College, where he majored in business management. Having been raised in a musical and ministry-oriented family, Caleb enjoys opportunities such as leading a men’s small group, serving on the worship team at his church, as well as recording his own original music, a mix of hip hop, gospel, and R&B.

 

Kylie Mean, MBA
Associate, Intercultural Ministries, Greater Boston Refugee Ministry

Kylie’s heart for social enterprise, intercultural ministry and hospitality fits well with her role with EGC’s Greater Boston Refugee Ministry, as she supports ministry operations and helps GBRM leadership and ambassadors consider how they can empower refugees and their employers to create transformational employment opportunities. In addition to supporting GBRM, Kylie loves cooking new foods, reading pretty much anything she can get her hands on, and traveling with her husband. Kylie is a graduate of Harvard College and Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.

 

Elijah Mickelson, MDiv
Communications Director

Elijah Mickelson works to help EGC communicate in concise, compelling, and very creative ways. With his advanced graphic design skills and his passion for the art of “story,” Elijah is leading the charge to broaden EGC’s communications strategy through social media, video, and the web. Is it true there’s a new gadget at Elijah’s desk every week? Well, how else would we get such amazing video to tell our stories unless he bought himself a drone, right? Elijah and his patient wife, Stacie, and their tiny daughter live in an intentional community house in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston.

 

Stacie Mickelson, MA
Director of Woven

Stacie Mickelson is passionate about helping churches and leaders to have a healthy dialogue about gender and culture, and she loves reframing potentially polarizing conversations in ways that build church unity. She has a degree in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Massachusetts and a M.A. in International Development and Social Change from Clark University. Stacie directs Woven, an initiative that encompasses EGC’s Applied Research and Consulting engagements related to women in leadership and gender-based issues. With her husband, Elijah, Stacie lives in an intentional Christian community in Jamaica Plain where they are teaching their daughter Eden to climb things, love Jesus and roar like a lion.

 
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Rudy Mitchell, MDiv
Senior Researcher, Applied Research & Consulting

Rudy Mitchell has been researching Boston’s neighborhoods, churches, people groups, and community issues since 1976. A graduate of Cornell University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he earned an M.Div. in 1974, Rudy is an adjunct professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston. He enjoys studying the history of Boston and its churches, and has produced numerous research studies and projects for EGC including The Boston Church Directory, New England’s Book of Acts, Christianity in Boston, and much more. He and his wife, Sara, have two adult children and one grandchild. They live in Boston’s South End where he raises amazing tomatoes.

 
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Sara Mitchell
Community Advocate, Starlight Ministries

Sara Mitchell has been with EGC for 40 years, initially serving at EGC’s multi-language Christian bookstore where she used her fluency in Spanish for 25 years. For the last 15 years, she has been working as a community advocate with Starlight Ministries, serving individuals and groups as they learn to reach out to people in the homeless community. In addition, Sara teaches at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston and serves her urban neighborhood association. She and her husband, Rudy, have two grown children who both use their gifts in ministry, and one grandchild. Sara enjoys hiking, traveling, organizing events and hospitality.

 
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Wanda Nazario
Administrative Assistant

A lifelong resident of Boston’s South End, Wanda grew up watching her mother work with their neighbors, including Doug and Judy Hall, to help build the Villa Victoria neighborhood, home to EGC since 1971. When she heard there was an opening at the Center, her reaction was “Wow! I want to be a part of that!” Along with her quiet spirit, Wanda brings seasoned administrative skills. “I support everybody doing a little of everything,” she explains, whether its office technology, scheduling, preparing for staff meetings, handling the mail, accounting tasks, or greeting guests. “I love the way everything we do is connected in some way with God,” she says.

 
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Charlotte Schulz
Bookkeeper

Charlotte Schulz, EGC’s bookkeeper since 1988, hails from Meriden, Connecticut. Raised in the Lutheran church, she is now a member of the Forest Hills Covenant Church, part of the Evangelical Covenant tradition, where she has also served as bookkeeper. Perhaps Charlotte comes by bookkeeping naturally – “Schulz” is derived from German words meaning “to write a bill in order to be paid.” She currently lives in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston with her two companionable cats, Stravinsky and Pfeffermoose.

 
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Sheba Telore
Administrative Assistant (on leave); Microenterprise Trainer

Since 2000, Sheba Telore has kept the EGC office humming as the Center’s vivacious receptionist and administrative assistant. But Sheba wears several hats, and periodically takes extended trips with her husband, Rev. Ramesh Telore, to their native India and other South Asian countries to help out with microeconomic and leadership development projects. Currently the Telores are on a three-year leave of absence to partner with colleagues in India through a leadership training effort. Already those who have been trained are teaching others. The Telores live in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston and have one adult daughter.

 
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Andrew Tsou
Supervising Research Intern; Applied Research & Consulting

When not working as a Radar Systems Engineer with Raytheon, Andrew works part time with the Applied Research and Consulting team at EGC. Andrew enjoys learning about nonprofits and using systems principles to help individuals and groups function more purposefully. In his spare time, he enjoys writing, hiking in the mountains, and playing guitar.

 
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PoSan Ung, Rev
Director, Cambodian Ministries International

The second-largest Cambodian community in the US, with 20,000 Cambodians, is located just north of Boston. Pastor PoSan Ung provides training and support to Cambodian leaders who serve this community, less than 1% of whom is Christian, and organizes collaborative activities among churches, such as evangelistic outreach during the annual Water Festival, a multi-church Vacation Bible School, and a regional Easter service. Pastor PoSan travels each year to Cambodia to provide training, networking opportunities, and support for pastors there. He is the pastor of Living Fields Church in Lynn which he planted in 2004, and continues to serve with his wife, Jannet, along with a faithful and committed staff.

 
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Soliny Védrine, Rev, Dr, ThM
Director, Haitian Ministries International

Born and educated in Haiti, Rev. Dr. Soliny Védrine is a graduate of the University of Haiti Law School and Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the founding and senior pastor of Boston Missionary Baptist Church in Roxbury which he has been leading since 1973. As director of EGC’s Haitian Ministries International since 1985, Pastor Védrine works to encourage and strengthen Haitian pastors and to facilitate Haitian churches working together to spread the gospel and serve Haitians in Greater Boston, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and beyond. He and his wife, Emmeline, are the parents of five adult children and have one grandchild.

 
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Ruth Wong, MA
Director, Boston Education Collaborative

A former high school physics teacher, Ruth directs the Boston Education Collaborative to support, convene, and mobilize churches and leaders as they seek to empower underserved urban students with the education they need for transformation—in their lives and in their communities. Passionate about creating learning communities for churches and leaders across racial, socio-economic, and denominational lines, Ruth collaborates with the Boston Public Schools to foster partnerships between schools and faith-based institutions. Every summer, Ruth teaches at an engineering program at MIT for high school students. She enjoys watching sports, reconnecting with her Asian roots, and traveling with her husband, Regan.