Julius Achon – Founder and President
Caitlin Barrett – Director
Tony Bignell – Director
Tony has spent the past 15 years with Nike and currently serves as Global Running Footwear Category Leader overseeing the Design/ Development/ Product Marketing and Engineering Footwear Functions for all of Nike’s running footwear. He previously held positions at Nike of global and European responsibility for product marketing. He was born and raised in England and graduated f
rom Loughborough University of Technology with a BSc (Hons) Physical Education & Sports Science. Tony was a Great Britain Olympic Trials Finalist in 1500m in 1992. Tony and his wife Nancy were married in 1996 and have two children, Nancy Grace and Jack.
Maureen is past President of Seattle Rotary Service Foundation’s Board of Trustees (2013-14). She has served on multiple boards, including Children’s Hospital’s uncompensated care board and is current President of Seattle University’s Board of Regents. Maureen also co-founded, with her daughter Tia, Teens In Public Service (TIPS) in 1997. TIPS continues to develop future leaders committed to serving their communities. TIPS selects teenage leaders for paid community service. Maureen and her husband, Joe, are the proprietors of Doe Bay Resort & Retreat located on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands.
Fred Cason (Bth, M.Divinity) is a successful pastor, mentor, church planter and motivator. He is Lead Pastor at True Life Fellowship Church in Beaverton, Oregon. Together with his wife, Betty, (married in 1969) and their whole family, he has provided the leadership and guidance that has transformed T.L.F. to what it is today: a vibrant, motivated, and family-oriented church. Fred is known for his relevant and transforming bible teaching. He has trained hundreds of ministry leaders overseas in a variety of conferences. He is faithfully committed to the strictest levels of personal and professional accountability.
Giovanni Cucchiaro – Director
Giovanni Cucchiaro serves as Director of Comfort, Pain and Palliative Care in the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Giovanni has spent his career as a Surgeon and Anesthesiologist. He brings a strong interest in creating effective and efficient health care delivery systems in low-income countries. After obtaining a Masters in International Public Policies, he joined AUCF in 2014 and has traveled to Uganda to take part in the organization’s positive contribution in the care of sick patients in Northern Uganda.
The wife of former Executive Director Jim Fee, Angela today coordinates most of AUCF’s North American activities, including fundraising, communication and administration. Angela brings an extensive public service background to her position, having served in a variety of roles ranging from high school college counselor to event planner to hospice volunteer. Angela supported Jim and Julius as they first established AUCF, and has traveled three times to Uganda to coordinate events on behalf of the organization. Angela hails from Chicago and attended Marquette University. Today she lives in Portland and enjoys spending time with her loving family, including her seven grandchildren.
Mike Fee, Board Chair/Staff Marketing Director
Michael Fee is a co-founder of education technology company Spotlight, focusing on marketing, business development and revenue generation. He has spent his entire career in education, including seven years as a teacher and staff member with Teach For America. He is a two-time graduate of Stanford University (B.A. ’91, M.B.A. ’99). Today he lives in Davis, CA, with his wife Karen and three children. He has traveled to Lira and Awake to understand better the impact that AUCF can have on the lives of Northern Ugandans, and is proud of his family’s efforts to establish and maintain the organization’s important work.
Frank brings extensive business, development and program management to AUCF’s Board of Directors. A graduate of the University of Oregon, Frank also attended Lewis and Clark University’s Northwestern School of Law. He has served as owner/operator and president of various insurance, manufacturing and real estate companies. More recently, while operating his own real estate and investment consultancy, Frank has volunteered extensively with various Oregon non-profit organizations, including the St. Patrick Parish Council and the Oregon Symphony, as well as Catholic Family Services and OMSI’s New Building Committee. Frank is a tireless advocate for the less fortunate and is happy to lend his energies to AUCF’s efforts in Uganda.
Jim Fee (1945-2013) – Former Executive Director
Jim Fee spent four years of his retirement serving as AUCF’s Founding Executive Director, assisting Julius with management of all organizational operations. He passed away suddenly and sadly in October 2013.
David Fee, Director of Operations
David Fee is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Benchmade Knife Company, a Portland, Oregon, manufacturer of knives intended for outdoor recreation. Previously he served as President of Garmont, North America, Sr. Director of North American Sales and Product Development at Yakima Products, Inc., and in various sales and marketing positions with Ford Motor Company. An avid cyclist, runner and triathlete, David holds a BA from Boston College and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He lives with his wife Robin and children Elliott and Suzanna in Portland, Oregon.
Jimmy Okullo, Director of Operations, Uganda
Jimmy Okullo, 27, is one of Julius’ brothers, and the fifth of nine children born to Charles and Kristina Achon. Jimmy graduated from high school in 2003, and was enrolled in a Lira technical institution when Julius asked that he withdraw and instead use his tuition to pay the school fees of the 11 orphan children Julius was supporting. Jimmy generously agreed and further took on primary responsibility for the care of the children in Lira. Julius states, “I trust Jimmy to care for the kids and teach them good behavior”.
Since 2008, Jimmy has successfully overseen construction of a church in Awake, a home in Lira where 11 Achon orphans live and most recently the Kristina Health Center project. He has earned a solid reputation for managing projects. Jimmy’s goal is to complete his education as the children grow and funding permits, and AUCF has committed to assist him in this endeavor.
Grace Nakisuyi, Operations Manager, Uganda
Grace serves as Achon Uganda Children’s Fund’s Operations Manager in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. She supports AUCF’s work with the government and across a wide range of administrative responsibilities.
Grace has served in a variety of roles in business and government, having graduated from Makerere University in Kampala with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences. She also served as a Certified Nursing Assistant for three years while living in the United States. Grace is married to AUCF Founder and President Julius Achon.
Volunteers & Advisors
Tim Schneider became involved with AUCF in 2011 after Julius shared his story with him while they were both working for Nike. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in 2007 where he earned his B.S. in Sociology. Tim currently lives in Portland, OR and works for Medical Teams International.
Tim traveled to Uganda on behalf of AUCF in 2011 for the Julius Achon Run and in 2012 for the Kristina Health Center dedication. He teamed up with Kristin Hewitt to organize the AUCF Benefit Concert in Portland in 2012 and 2013.
Kristen Hewitt graduated from Pacific University in 2010, with a BA in music education and an emphasis in vocal performance. She currently lives with her husband Tyler in Portland, Oregon, where she is a musician and private music instructor, through which she met Tim Schneider, who graciously connected her to Julius and the AUCF.
Kristin and Tim Schneider organized the Portland, OR AUCF Benefit Concert in 2012 and 2013. In 2012 she traveled to Uganda using her musical talent to entertain and teach the AUCF children.
Chris Cook has spent the past 17 years with Nike and is currently Senior Developer for Track and Field Footwear. He was born and raised in England and graduated from Oxford University with a BA (Hons) in Physics and Birmingham University with a PhD in Exercise Science. Chris and his wife Erin were married in 2004 and have two boys, Rowan and Leo.
Chris and Erin have traveled to Uganda many times; Chris visits annually to serve as race director of the Julius Achon Run.
It was early 2012 when Maryline stumbled upon the Runner’s World article featuring the life of Julius Achon. Since then, she’s set out to support the mission of AUCF with a yearly fundraising event in her hometown of Annapolis, MD. She is supported in this task by her husband Bob and 4-year old son, Trey.
To learn more about the Run Awake 5K, visit www.runawake.com.
Maryline is already making plans to visit the new Kristina Health Center for the first time, hopefully in the early part of 2014.