Team Leader Bios

Hope is the Spark that Changes Lives

val tomey and nick cassinoVal Tomey and Nick Cassino

Val and Nick (married) have been international team leaders for many years, having led almost 30 volunteer teams to over 25 countries around the world, including throughout Africa, Asia, South America, Central America and Eastern Europe. 

As team leaders, Val and Nick strive to build teams that are diverse in age, gender, religious affiliation and cultural backgrounds. They look for fellow team members who are adventurous, flexible and find fulfillment in serving others, and who are willing to give up some of the luxuries of home for awesome experiences!



eric weaverEric Weaver

Eric is a world traveler who has led volunteer teams to Kenya, Bulgaria, Ecuador, and Portugal for Habitat for Humanity and for his own company, International Volunteer Partnerships. A gifted builder and carpenter, Eric explains work to team members in an easy to understand way and always strives to include local folks in the work project.

Eric is happiest when he is traveling and would love to be your team leader as you help children served by AFCA.





tanya weaverTanya Weaver

Tanya has extensive experience as a team leader and as a host to teams. She has led or hosted teams in Ecuador, Paraguay, Zimbabwe, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Portugal, Northern Ireland, and Bulgaria. Tanya has lived overseas most of her life (Colombia, Afghanistan, Romania, Russia, Hungary) and is very familiar with foreign cultures.

Tanya is a multi-lingual experienced traveler who has a knack for finding off-the-beaten-track food places. As a leader, Tanya is always happy to find answers for team members who want to know more about the culture where the team is working. She’ll try to make your time overseas the most fun possible!




tara fisherTara Fisher

Tara loves traveling and started her international adventures at the age of six when she went with her parents to adopt her younger sister from China. Through middle and high school, she went on several missions trips all across the United States. Over the last few years, Tara has gone on multiple trips to Zimbabwe with AFCA. She has traveled with groups and by herself, most recently spending six months living in Zimbabwe to set up one of AFCA’s livelihoods projects using goats. While staying at the farm in Matopos, Zimbabwe, she has helped host and organize groups and teams of volunteers from various organizations. Tara loves the people, culture, and scenery of Zimbabwe. She cannot wait to take you there and show you all the reasons why she loves it so much!





shane werleShane Werle

Shane is an experienced team leader and volunteer with AFCAIDS and Habitat for Humanity. He has traveled extensively around the world, having been to 33 countries, many of them three to five times, and has led numerous teams. His passions are poverty housing, education, children's healthcare, and sustainable agricultural projects in Africa. Shane's background is in clinical and administrative healthcare, as well as finance. He currently lives full time in Atlanta, GA, United States.





Emily GingrichEmily Gingrich

Emily has a passion for traveling the world. She has been to over 30 countries including Kenya, Vietnam, Colombia, Malawi, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica, and Costa Rica. She has served most of her trips with Habitiat for Humanity. Emily had the pleasure of going back to one of her favorite places in the world with AFCA in 2017, Kenya. She is so excited to lead a team back and show others the amazing and beautiful place of Kenya!





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