John Backus, PhD – President & CEO
John retired from industry in 2014 to focus on local and international outreach efforts in his current role. He has more than 20 years of experience in the In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) industry, where he held scientific / managerial positions at Eastman Kodak, Gen-Probe, Sigma, Veridex, and Ortho Clinical Diagnostics. John led the development of the first FDA-approved intra-operative molecular cancer diagnostic and has 14 issued U.S. patents. John received his B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Nazareth College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Rochester.
During the West African Ebola crisis, John traveled to Monrovia, Liberia to connect with local organizations as part of OWO’s effort to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and OTC medications to over a dozen health clinics in the Greater Monrovia area. This effort continues post-Ebola and has expanded in scope to provide a broader range of medical and other humanitarian support.
Teri Backus – Corporate Secretary
Teri is a Reading Educator in the Pittsford School District who also serves as Corporate Secretary for Our World Outreach.
Together with John, she has two adult children, Adam and Rachel, and a grandson she adores, Jonah.
In 2013, she went on her first trip to Haiti. This was a life-changer for her. She loves working with children which is also reflected through her time spent in Haiti each year with the six children she and John sponsor. Teri has given much volunteer time to the mission and even taken a leadership role in leading teams to Haiti.
John and Teri love helping others in need, both at home and on international mission-trips. Teri also serves alongside John in overseeing and coordinating the OWO Food Distribution for those in need in the Rochester area.
John Oliphant, PhD, PA-C – President
Rev. Garrett Wendt – Board Chair
Garrett has a passion for people. He is the Founder and Lead Pastor of LifeTree Fellowship, a church in the heart of Rochester, NY. LifeTree has an international congregation, with about one third of the church consisting of Immigrants and Refugees from African Nations such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia. His vision is to make a marked difference in peoples lives through empowerment and solutions that create sustainability.
Garrett worked in the Medical Sector for over 8 years in Medical Sales, in particular, Spine and Neuro. His duties included directing the surgeons and medical support staff during the surgeries in the proper application of his products.
Besides pastoring, he currently works in the Business Sector as General Manager for Heritage Acquisitions Group, a privately held company that develops Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship in Liberia, Africa. The operating companies that they establish are structured with a fixed percent of profits going directly to fund Humanitarian Work at both the Community and National levels. Since establishing their first operating company in Liberia in 2014, they have provided gainful employment to 100s of Liberians.
He is married to Julianna, his childhood sweetheart, best friend and partner in ministry. They have two children together, Alex and Andrew.
Chris Rimlinger – Board Member
Chris is an Entrepreneur who runs his own Web Development Company, New Market Ventures.
He is an Adventurer with experiences that include 300 skydives, base jumping off the New River Gorge bridge in West Virginia, visiting the Great Wall of China, white water rafting, an African safari, flying a fighter plane, and much more.
Chris has experience leading large teams of youth and adults on Global Mission Trips to multiple Continents. He is gifted in his ability to relate to people of every age and walk of life.
Kris Rimlinger – Board Member
Kris has her own bookkeeping business working with and serving several small businesses, ministries, and non-profits. She is very gifted with numbers and attention to detail which is a big asset to the organization.
Kris is a huge college basketball fan, rooting especially for Syracuse University.
Kris has demonstrated her heart for our local community of refugees and immigrants here in Rochester. For a season, an African girl who was a refugee from Botswana needed a home. Kris willingly became her “mom” during that time and maintains relationship with her and her extended family now here in the US.