Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Jenny Williamson, President/Chairman

Jenny Williamson is the Founder and CEO of Courage Worldwide, an international, non-profit organization providing safe houses and resources to child victims of sex trafficking around the world. Through personal passion and professional leadership, she works tirelessly to inform and transform communities around the world about the issue of child sex trafficking, involving individuals, business leaders, and government leaders in building more Courage Houses. [Read More.]

Joel Midthun

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Joel has served in churches and non-profit ministries for more than 30 years. He planted Living Water Church in California in 1999 where he served for 18 years. He and his wife, Stephanie, are Regional Directors of Courage House, Tanzania. They also mentor girls who have transitioned from Courage House and are pursuing additional academic or vocational college education. They provide training to pastors, leaders, students, and young adults on the topics of human trafficking, the effects of trauma, emotional health, and more. Their first book, Battles and Breakthroughs in Setting Captives Free, was released October 2018. Joel grew up as a missionary kid in Madagascar and has a passion for missions and seeing local churches of all denominations work together. He has been married to Stephanie for over 30 years and have 3 grown sons together.

Dawn Clayton

Dawn-Clayton-Headshot150x200Dawn is the General Manager of Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California. She has over 30 years of experience in the gaming/hospitality industry, ranging across Commercial, Casinos, Riverboat, and Native American operations. She brings multi-jurisdictional expertise developed through multiple senior-level executive positions to her current role.

Dawn has a proven track record of financial success reflected by an increase to both EBITDA and operating margins for the companies she has managed. She is a dynamic leader known for her dedication to excellence, professionalism, mentoring, and, above all, her integrity and ethical responsibility.

She graduated from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a concentration in Psychology. Dawn serves as the 2015 Chair of the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce, consisting of 750 local businesses.

Nathan Hoff

Nathan Hoff’s vocations are beloved son of the Father; husband to Joy since August 10, 1996; father of four; and pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in San Pedro (Los Angeles), CA since 2005. Nathan earned his BA (Biblical Studies) from Trinity Lutheran College near Seattle, WA, and his M.Div. from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Nathan is a columnist for the San Pedro Today; an adjunct instructor at Canadian Lutheran Bible Institute; and a regular speaker at camps, conferences, and schools.

Nathan, Joy, and their daughter were captivated by the work of Courage when they visited the home in Tanzania in 2017. They knew they were to be a part of acquiring a permanent “promised land” for the Tanzania home, but were surprised when their congregation jumped on board and raised the whole amount to purchase the land and improvements in less than one week.

Nathan has a passion to see the kingdom of God come into every realm of creation and eradicate everything inconsistent (like sex trafficking) with the gracious reign of God.

Edna Simbi

Edna Simbi is a graduate student who completed her Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University with a specialization in  International Security Policy and International Organizations. She also did her undergraduate at Columbia University, graduating with Honors in Political Science. Edna is also a wife, a mother of two, and an advocate for women’s rights. She strongly believes no girl should suffer from sex trafficking. She encourages women and girls to discover their potential and self-value and to know they are equal participants and agents of social change. They deserve the opportunity to thrive, grow, and contribute to the community’s betterment. She currently works for the Department of Social Services in CA, while also working closely with non-profit organizations working to empower and educate women and young girls.

Edna knows all too well the stigma of cultural practices that marginalize women. She grew up in Kenya where wife inheritance and female genital mutilation is still practiced; where education for girls is an afterthought and days of school are missed because of a lack of accountability. Edna decided to take a stand and not only speak against these atrocities but make a difference. She has also been recognized for her advocacy and was awarded a change maker award for her role in women empowerment in 2017.

Melissa Yocum

Melissa-Yocum-Headshot150x200Melissa graduated in 1986 from CSUS with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She enjoyed a ten year career with Aetna Life & Casualty in commercial insurance claims. Following her insurance career, Melissa taught for six years at Bradshaw Christian School and served in women’s ministries for fifteen years, including the role of Women’s Director. Melissa is currently the Executive Director & Life Group Pastor of Creekside Christian Church of Elk Grove, CA where she is privileged to watch God at work transforming lives!

Melissa passionately believes the enemy has ripped us off and sold us a lie, especially in the area of sexuality. Her heart cries out for young girls whose virtue has been stolen and desires to do her small part to aid in their rescue and healing—thus her passion for the work of Courage Worldwide. Through the determined work of Courage Worldwide, she believes many of our girls will one day testify of God’s amazing redemption and restoration. Melissa seeks to passionately follow Christ and be used by Him to encourage and serve others—however God desires. Melissa wants each day to have divine purpose!

God blessed her with the love of her life, Jim, her husband of almost 30 years, and together they have two delightful adult children.

Tanzania Board

Reverend Elingaya Saria

Pastor Saria is the Assistant Bishop of the 6 million member Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Northern Diocese. He currently oversees 400,000 members in the ELCT and 400 pastors. He has pastored for over 38 years in many capacities and has trained and ordained pastors since 1983. He has a passion for mission work and Christian education. As well as finishing Bible college and Seminary in Tanzania, he received a teaching diploma from the Leadership Training Institute in Nairobi, Kenya with a major in Dysfunctional Families. He has a heart for children at risk and ran a children’s center for more than 20 years. Pastor Saria and his wife, Joan, have been married for over 40 years and have 5 children and 8 grandchildren. He enjoys music and cycling, and climbed Kilimanjaro many times as a guide when he was a young man.

Reverend Mathayo S. Mtui

Pastor Mtui is currently the Youth and Student Director for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Northern Diocese and oversees more than 150,000 youth. He worked as an evangelist for over 10 years before becoming ordained as a pastor in 2006. Pastor Mtui has a passion for education and a heart for young people. He’s very passionate about educating the youth and young adults to fight human trafficking, frequently utilizing Courage Worldwide’s Not in My Country Campaign. Pastor Mtui studied evangelism and has a degree from Mwika Theological College and a B.A. in Education from Stephano Moshi College. He has been married 12 years and has 2 sons and one daughter. He loves music, poetry, humor, and raising chickens. He has also climbed Kilimanjaro twice!

Jill Omari

Joel-Midthun-Headshot150x200Jill Omari has been serving on the mission field in Tanzania for 16 years. Working administratively with at-risk children projects in various areas, she has a passion for the lost and brokenhearted. She currently works in church planting with a passion for building community through hosting teams and volunteers. Jill’s years of experience and language studies strengthen her ability in cross-cultural communications. Jill’s deepest passion and heart is to see a community in Christ journey life together as Christ would have desired— in love.

Jenny Williamson, President/Chairman

Joel Midthun, Chairman

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Advisory Board

Dr. Benjamin Keyes

Dr Benjamin Keyes is the Director for Internship and Training, an Associate Professor, and the Director for the Center for Trauma and Resiliency Studies at Divine Mercy University. His specialties include dissociative disorders, domestic violence, child abuse, addictions, and mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Keyes received his Doctorate in Rehabilitation Counseling in 1985 from International College and his most recent in Counseling Psychology from the University of Sarasota in 2003.  He also has Doctoral Degrees in Theology, Divinity and Ministry. Dr Keyes provides extensive expertise and leadership in maintaining Courage Worldwide programming as trauma-informed, as well as ensuring staff receive the emotional and mental health support needed. Dr Keyes continues to consult with Courage Worldwide on expanded projects, including a trauma assessment center.

He is happily married to Kim and has two adult children and three beautiful granddaughters. [Read More]

Annette Simonson

Annette Simonson, along with her late husband, Jon, have been respected business leaders in Tanzania for more than 30 years. They own and operate Tarangire Safari Lodge in the heart of Tarangire National Park and Emayani Beach Lodge, on the coast of Tanzania. Annette has been lending her expertise for the launch and continued success of Courage Café in Moshi, Tanzania.

Key Staff Members

Due to the nature of our business, and for safety reasons, we do not post staff information.

To reach our Office Manger contact (916) 517-1616 or info@courageworldwide.org
To reach our Events Coordinator contact (916) 517-1616 or events@courageworldwide.org
To reach the Regional Director of Courage Worldwide East Africa, contact s.midthun@courageworldwide.org