Board Members

Bob Whalen

Bob Whalen

Board President

Bob and his wife, Nancy, live in Clovis, a city of more than 100,000 people in central California. Bob has served as a Clovis city council member since 2003. In 2016, he was appointed mayor.

Bob is also a Fresno County chief deputy district attorney, a professor at the Oak Brook College of Law, and a board member of the San Joaquin College of Law. He received his juris doctorate from Regent University in Virginia Beach and his bachelor of science in finance from Fresno State University.

Since 2012, Bob has served as a member of the WAVS Opportunity Council. In October 2017, he was elected WAVS board president. At the same time, Nancy joined as a WAVS board adviser.

Bob will use his experience in law, finance and government to serve the board and advance its mission.

“God is doing a great work in Guinea-Bissau and in the hearts of those who contribute with their time, talent and treasure,” Bob said. 

Sam Babcock

Sam Babcock

Treasurer

Sam is a certified public accountant in California. He has a passion for global missions that developed at a young age while living as a missionary in Paris. He has since made his home in Fresno, California, where he graduated from Fresno Pacific University.

Sam also serves on the board for the local non-profit Katey’s Kids, which focuses on literacy for at-risk youth, and is on the audit committee for his alma mater, Fresno Pacific University.

Madera Board Supervisor on WAVS Board Rob Poythress

Robert Poythress

Board Member

Robert is a current member of Madera County Board of Supervisors. He is the former mayor of Madera, a city of 62,000 people in the heart of California. He was first elected to the City Council in 2004, re-elected in 2008, and re-elected again in 2012 to serve as Madera’s first elected Mayor for four years.

Robert is a native Maderan who graduated from Madera High School in 1974. After high school, he attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California, and in 1978 graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Business Management. In 1998 he earned his graduate degree from Pacific Coast Banking School, University of Washington.

Robert has been in the banking industry since 1979. He is currently Vice President and Manager of Citizens Business Bank in Madera. He is also a partner in Teco Hardware and Poythress Farms.

  • Robert currently serves on the following boards:
  • Madera County Transportation Authority and Commission (MCTC)
  • Madera County Economic Development Commission
  • Sherman Thomas Charter School, Board of Directors
  • Madera Community Hospital, Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • San Joaquin Regional Policy Committee, Vice Chairman
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Board of Directors
WAVS Board Member

Chris Woods

Board Member

Chris and his wife Kelly live in Clovis, California with their adopted son. They are involved with the foster care and adoption community in the Central Valley and are grateful that the Lord has brought their son into their lives.

Chris founded and is the Chief Executive Officer of a successful marketing agency called Born Again Media, which specializes in implementing online marketing strategies for companies nationwide.

Chris was drawn to WAVS because of his passion for sharing the Gospel and seeing distant communities reached. His interest in development work led him to participate in mission trips to Haiti, Liberia, Kenya and Tanzania with Engineering Ministries International and Samaritan’s Purse to support the design and construction of schools, orphanages, and medical facilities.

Before joining the WAVS Board of Directors, he previously served as a board member for Kulea Childcare Villages from 2016-2018.

Chris brings vast organizational development experience and business insight to the board and is humbled by the opportunity to advance the mission.

BOARD ADVISOR

Holly Collins

Holly Collins

Board Advisor

Holly lived and worked for six years in the Middle East and North Africa before returning to her hometown of Fresno, California, where she now works as a pediatric physical therapist for Valley Children’s Hospital. Holly married Chris Collins in 2013 and, since then, has spent several months each year in Guinea-Bissau building meaningful relationships with students and staff at the WAVS school.

Holly contributes with her first-hand experience and knowledge of cross-cultural community development work. While living abroad, she used her expertise as a physical therapist to train nationals in skills to care for people with disabilities. She understands the challenges and joys of development work and is able to share valuable insights with the board and staff.

Holly graduated from the University of California, Davis, and received her master’s degree from the University of California, San Francisco. She enjoys any activity that allows her to be outdoors and working her hands, including gardening and woodworking.

 

FOUNDERS

Martha Reynolds

Martha Reynolds

Instead of retiring comfortably, Martha decided to devote the best years of her life to working hand-in-hand with community leaders in Guinea-Bissau to create a brighter future for their own country. She first traveled to Guinea-Bissau in 1994 and returned several times with the dream of starting a much-needed vocational school. In 2000, she founded West African Vocational Schools.

Martha, who grew up on a farm near Renton, Washington, operated her own dressmaking business in the United States and Germany for much of her life. She also worked at Boeing for 17 years and retired as a Quality Engineer. She was introduced to her husband, Herb Reynolds, by a mutual friend in 2001, and married him in 2002. Four years later, they helped establish the first WAVS School in the town of Canchungo. Together, they share the common goal of serving the Lord in Guinea-Bissau.

Martha has a passion for the health – both physical and spiritual – and welfare of the people of Guinea-Bissau. She was motivated by the knowledge that job-skills training and Jesus’ message of hope will lead young people in Guinea-Bissau to a brighter future.

Herb Reynolds

Herb Reynolds

Herb is married to Martha Reynolds and helped her establish the WAVS school in Canchungo. He spent most of his 40-year business career in marketing, including sales and product development. He retired as senior vice president of marketing and product development at the Reynolds Corporation, a wood-working plant based in Lynnwood, Washington.

Herb has served as ministries director for the Christian Reformed Church of Seattle and was on the board of directors for Shoreline Christian School. Following the death of his wife in November 1999, Herb began working as a counselor for grief support groups. He married Martha Reynolds in 2002.

Starting in 2003, he traveled regularly to Canchungo to help start the WAVS School. His decade of missionary experience and strengths as a planner and administrator greatly influenced WAVS in the early years.