Peter founded The Water Project in 2006 with a committed group of students in Saint John, NB, Canada where he was serving as a Pastor. Together they set out to complete one water project after hearing of a specific need in Kenya. It quickly became evident that by equipping people with the right tools for telling the story of water, a movement could take hold. Within three years, and after officially founding the organization in the U.S., TWP had raised its first $1 million of support for clean water projects - almost all through individual and small group efforts.
Together with early supporters and volunteers Peter learned how a lack of safe and reliable water stands in the way of hope. He also quickly realized that only together with local partners, the communities we serve, and you - through intentional relationships - can we change that one village at a time.
Water projects relieve suffering, open doors to education, stimulate economic development, and most importantly introduce a true and lasting hope.
Peter's vision continues to see access to safe water enabling thriving schools, people getting back to work, farming that provides enough food to earn a living, and needless suffering alleviated as health improves.
Most importantly Peter is convinced that providing water to those who need it most is a natural and humble expression of faith that teaches us to love all and serve the poor.
Peter's background in software design, marketing, non-profit development and faith-based ministry enabled TWP to grow rapidly through grass-roots and deeply relational fundraising campaigns around the world. By leveraging and integrating modern cloud-based software solutions he also purpose-built the backbone of The Water Project's unique online project management and reporting tools together with our website. These solutions bring scalable and approachable software tools to the front lines of the water crisis where transparency and accountability are critically needed. Though his passion is helping others find reliable access to safe water, Peter finds his greatest joy hanging out with his wife, three children, twenty-seven chickens, two fish and a dog.
Stan Patyrak joined The Water Project as VP of Strategy and Development in October of 2014. He’s been a friend of ours for almost 7 years now, and we’ve always felt like he’s been part of our team. We’re excited to have him working directly with our Development and Operations team.
Stan’s put in good time within the water sector (9 years), and has had the chance to travel extensively (14 countries) to see the impact and challenges of water and sanitation programs. His best days have been spent asking hard questions of water programs to improve why/how we do what we do, helping to co-craft responsible programs and linking major investors with purpose and meaning through their giving.
To know Stan is to know his determination towards transparent work that lasts. He wants what is most meaningful for you as a donor, for our organization and for those we – together - serve. He cares deeply about people and sees philanthropy as a table we are all invited to sit at – donor, organization and recipient – together.
Stan lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two kids. He enjoys good coffee, camping with his family and mountaineering.
The addition of Stan to our team launches a West Coast presence for us.
Tess leads our Development team, and works with fundraisers and supporters like you to connect you with the stories of the people we serve, and with one another. Our team's overarching goal is to get clean water to those who suffer needlessly without it, and to deepen your love of the poor while allowing you to see the full impact our your efforts.
Tess' involvement with clean water projects began in 2008 with her own personal fund raising effort for wells. Traveling to Rwanda as a volunteer for Global Benefit, an NH based non-profit, Tess became aware of the impact water scarcity has on people. "I saw children with bright minds playing one minute, and going to get water from run-off under a road embankments the next. I knew I couldn't just donate and move on... my heart wouldn't let me."
Tess brings a diverse background to her work at The Water Project that includes 18 years of relationship and project management experience in both for-profit enterprise software ventures, and grassroots non-profits. Tess is a relationship builder by nature; and whether she worked with a Fortune 500 company's CIO on a strategic software implementation or a student doing research for a school project, bringing people together for a common goal is one of her great passions.
When not in Boston visiting her adult daughter, Tess lives in Concord, NH and enjoys dance, cooking, travel, and almost anything that can be done outside in the fresh New Hampshire air.
Michael is responsible for the day to day operational activities of The Water Project (he helps cross the t's and dot the i's). His passion for the the gospel helps churches discover their place in seeing relationships and people reconciled through the gift of clean, safe water.
He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
An avid writer, Lisa shares inspiring and exciting stories from The Water Project field via blogs, social media and other avenues, while creating relationships between donors and our mission. Since volunteering in South Africa in 2008, Lisa has been passionate about finding a career working with African communities, and now she has!
With a background in non-profits, public relations, marketing and development, Lisa is excited to bring her 8 years of experience to an organization where she feels a true connection. Her responsibilities also include motivating folks with personal fundraising pages and inspiring people with the amazing work being done by our in-country teams and partners.
Lisa loves traveling, live music, giving back to her community and writing about her (mis)adventures. She resides in Manchester, NH with her two unbelievably handsome dogs, Capone and Phineas.
As part of our donor relationship team, Leila makes sure every donation is well cared for on its way to providing clean, safe water. She helps keep things flowing smoothly here!
Leila immigrated to the U.S. from Rwanda with her family as a teenager. In addition to her work at TWP and while continuing her education, Leila also works with the New American Africans, a local non-profit that helps refugee families acclimate to their new country's culture and customs.
Leila loves to cook, travel and be a part of young adult and worship teams at her church.
Lauren has recently been promoted to Assistant Chief Happiness Officer, and her duties include following Java (CHO) around the office sharing smiles with all. In her spare time, she works on our Water Programs team, ensuring water project reports are accurate and engaging so our supporters can know the good they make possible.
After a couple of years living in China, Lauren returned to the US to pursue graduate studies and teaching. After joining the team, she quickly found a new passion for reliable and clean water in Africa. She realized that her love of serving others isn’t just limited to one part of the world, but instead stretches to all its borders.
Lauren loves to try new things, travel, snuggle with cats, do jigsaw puzzles, and play video games in her spare time.
Java manages our day-to-day smile generating operations around the office. Her colleagues describe her as relentlessly affectionate, consistently pursuing excellence in attracting near constant belly rubs. Just look at that face. Who could say no?
Her hobbies include... No, seriously, look at that face! Java is very good at what she does.