Our Team

Julius Achon – Founder

juliusJulius Achon grew up in a small village, Awake, 40 miles northeast of Lira in northern Uganda. At age 12, he was kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army, a militant coalition that rebelled against the Uganda government, and was forced to become a child soldier. Three months later, Julius escaped and returned to his village.

Shortly thereafter, Julius returned to school and began running. His talents landed him a scholarship in 1990 to attend school at Makerere High School in the capital city of Kampala.  At age 17, having attracted the attention of several Ugandan sports officials, he was entered in the 1994 World Junior Championships in Portugal, and ran the 1,500. He won the race, wearing shoes for the first time in competition and bringing Uganda its first World Junior gold medal. His performance caught the eye of John Cook, an American track coach who brought him to George Mason University in Virginia on a scholarship.

Julius went on to compete for Uganda in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, both times serving as captain of the Ugandan Olympic team. While training near his village in 2003, he encountered a group of orphans and couldn’t help but take them into his home. That was the beginning of the Achon Uganda Children’s Fund.

Today Julius lives in Uganda’s capital of Kampala and travels frequently to Lira, home of now dozens of children housed and protected by the Achon Uganda Children’s Fund. He also travels often to his home village of Awake, now the site of the Kristina Health Center, a rural clinic that serves hundreds of severely sick or injured patients every month.


Caitlin & Friend

Caitlin Barrett – Director

Caitlin has a passion for our women in Uganda, and is most at home sitting under the mango tree in Northern Uganda, bringing about real change within communities in poverty. Caitlin holds a Bachelor of International Studies and a Masters of International Development Studies from UNSW in Sydney Australia. She is committing to helping others, and has a young family based in Sydney’s south. Caitlin serves as Executive Director of AUCF’s sister organization Love Mercy, and played a key role in its founding, alongside her friend Eloise Wellings.


Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 9.20.26 AMMaureen Brotherton – Secretary

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.


Jeff Caba – Director

Jeff Caba comes to AUCF through running, having spent years running and racing on the roads and trails around his home in Bend, OR. A physician assistant who earned a doctorate in Health Sciences and who has traveled extensively in Uganda and other developing countries, Jeff brings extensive expertise and experience to our organization. Jeff tells us that he is excited to be a member of the board, and hopes to assist in furthering the positive impact AUCF has made in Northern Uganda.


Pastor Fred Cason - DirectorFred Cason – Director

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.


Carrie Dimoff– Director

Carrie is a 13 year Nike veteran who has spent the majority of her professional career in footwear development, focused on performance running, track & field, and Olympic product.  She and her husband, John, have known Julius since his time living in Oregon, and have been avid supporters of his charity work since the early days collecting unneeded samples to send to his family back home. Carrie was educated at Princeton University (undergraduate degree in English Literature); since then she has maintained a “second career” as a competitive runner, competing in the 2008, 2012, & 2016 US Olympic Trials, and currently training for 2020.  She is also a mom to two elementary school boys, Malcolm and Oliver.


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.


 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 Headshot

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.


GraceGrace 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

Tim Schneider

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

Kristen Hewitt

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

Chris Cook

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.


Maryline O'Shea

Maryline O’Shea

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.