Since they married in 1999, Mel and Dave have shared a passion to find sustainable solutions to the needs of marginalized communities. After they both graduated from John Brown University, Dave worked in construction management and civil engineering before attending luthier school in California. This would later equip him to found Dehradun Guitar Company in India and train artisans in the craft of guitar building. Mel worked for two global marketing agencies and managed sales for a high-end textile company employing artisans in Tibet. After the family moved to north India in 2010 she founded JOYN, a textile company that now employs more than 200 artisans producing handmade bags and accessories. In 2013 the Murrays relaunched JoyCorps to support the growing needs of their businesses and community. After five years in India, they are now expanding their work along Thai-Myanmar border. The Murrays have two sons and live in northern Thailand.
Mel & Dave Murray
Co-Founders, Lead Entrepreneurs
Partner Entrepreneur, Mentor
Suneli Saladi mentors JoyCorps’ leadership team in India to promote a healthy culture and uphold our values within the communities we support. Suneli is also one of our partner entrepreneurs, managing both business and nonprofit work in New Delhi, India. She hires marginalized people out of an urban slum and has empowered hundreds to rise above their struggles and find hope. Suneli started her own business almost 10 years ago, and her partnership with JoyCorps in 2015 helped her to grow her business sevenfold and better care for her employees. JoyCorps continues to support her with business training, financial planning, and networking. Suneli is a wonderful mother to three grown sons and is “auntie” to many other children as well, since she started and continues to manage a children’s home in her hometown.
Rachel worked as a writer, editor, and teacher for 12 years and uses her skills to communicate with JoyCorps’ existing and prospective supporters. In 2013 she left her career as the editorial director of a publishing house to help rebrand JoyCorps. She feels honored to be working with a team of people who share the dream to battle poverty through sustainable business and community development efforts. She is responsible for grant writing, marketing and PR, collaborating with our entrepreneurial partners, and managing our community development programs. Rachel holds a B.S. in journalism (John Brown University) and an M.A. in English & Comparative Literature (University of Cincinnati). She and her husband Jared have three young children.
John leverages his extensive experience with both global holistic work and communication to help JoyCorps articulate and circulate its model, care well for its people, expand its networks, and build capacity. Since 2010, John has served as a director for Mission: Hope (formerly Rivers of the World) and as President and CEO of WorldServe from 2010-2014. Both organizations work with indigenous leaders to foster sustainable, holistic transformation among marginalized communities in Asia and South America. Prior to his work with these organizations, John served five churches throughout the U.S. during a pastoral career spanning nearly 40 years. John holds a B.A. (Trinity Christian College), an M.Div. (Calvin Theological Seminary), and a D.Min. (Westminster Seminary). He and his wife Carol have four grown children and 12 grandchildren.
Shelma manages all record keeping and distribution of funding for our JoyCorps projects and programs in northern India. She liaises with our partner businesses and associated trusts and works closely with community leaders to care for the community and communicate JoyCorps activities and requirements. Shelma endured a difficult childhood in an orphanage home near the Nepal border. At age 19 she left the orphanage with no support and came to Dehradun, India seeking a better life. There she found a supportive community, completed her graduation schooling, married one of our community leaders, and is expecting her first child in 2018. Shelma’s dream is to further her studies and one day run her own children’s home for abused and neglected children.
Nikhil serves JoyCorps in the areas of community care, leadership development, mentoring, and cultural formation. Working closely with our other leaders, Nikhil upholds JoyCorps’ values, principles, and policies among the community and ensures the organization is accomplishing its mission and vision. As a young man, Nikhil struggled to find his calling. Then he met a man who became his mentor, and this process convinced Nikhil that he wanted to mentor other young men dealing with significant struggles. In 2009 Nikhil began working for an addiction rehabilitation facility, where he is responsible to mentor five young men and provide accountability and leadership. His passion is to care for people who have never experienced a supportive community.
Operations and Translation
Ally Hongkham grew up in a traditional Thai family among first-generation immigrants in south Texas. As a young woman she developed a heart for Southeast Asia and knew she wanted to live there someday. Most recently Ally worked for Mercy House Global, an organization that empowers women in poverty through sustainable fair trade product development. She traveled to both Africa and Asia and came to understand the importance of entrepreneurial activity in the marginalized world. Fluent in English, Thai, and Laotian, Ally will move to Thailand in 2017 and provide operations support and translation help for our team there. She has a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Sam Houston State and has also completed her TESL Certification.
Henry is the CSO and Co-Founder of Field Agent and currently leads the Business Development and International expansion efforts. Henry worked for nearly 20 years at Procter & Gamble, including six years as P&G’s Wal-Mart Asia Team Leader in Hong Kong. He has been a part of multiple start-ups, including the Northstar Partnering Group, CORE4 Research and most recently Field Agent. Henry has a B.S. degree in Computer Science/Business from Furman University. Since 1999 Henry has helped to start or support several Multiple Bottom Line businesses operating in Asia. He has served as an advisor to the JoyCorps board since 2013 and as its board chair since 2016.
Mark serves as Senior Vice President of Human Resources at J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., where he has worked for nearly 30 years. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield for 12 years and also serves on the board of Global Restoration Trading Co., a business-as-mission dedicated to sustainability. Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Science from the University of Arkansas. Mark has a passion for social entrepreneurship; he has served as an advisor to the JoyCorps board since 2013 and as a board member since 2016.