Executive Director USA
Julie Miller has worked with children and families professionally and personally for over 30 years. Not only did she raise and educate her own six children, but she has also trained other women in parenting and educating their children. Julie has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in Public Leadership at UNT Dallas. She has traveled to various countries to promote Christ among women and children. Her passion is empowering others to follow Christ with their whole hearts. Julie likes to describe herself as a “PVC pipe.” Her greatest joy is serving as a conduit, connecting the talents and resources of individuals to the needs of communities. She has been Executive Director of the Adera Foundation for over nine years and is excited about promoting Adera and its work in Ethiopia as well as the USA. Julie and her husband Ken have been married for 41 years and live in Fort Worth, Texas.
Elias Adugna Senbeta
Executive Director Ethiopia
Elias Adugna, Adera’s In-Country Director, is the living example of a servant leader. He has a degree in Economics and his BSC in Health Services. He knows and understands his staff as well as those he serves and leads. He listens without judgement; he hears the plight of those under his care. He considers solutions that will meet long term results and not immediate crisis. His “why” is his love and devotion to God! He is completely selfless in his day to day life. He is constantly researching and considering how to fill in the “gaps” for the families, children, and the staff of Adera Foundation. Elias is married to Dureti and spends his free time at home playing with his son, Ronel and helping around his home.
Caren and Joe Robertson
Founders of Adera Foundation
Joe and Caren Robertson have been actively involved in Ethiopia for the past nine years. Their desire is to assist those who want to impact the lives of others around the world. Joe has been in the commercial and residential construction business in the U.S.A. for over three decades and uses his knowledge of reconstruction and remodeling to assist individuals and organizations to make an effective difference with those in need. They strongly feel that they show their Christian love by being the working hands and feet of Christ.
Tsion Dereje joined Adera in January 2014. She completed her university studies in sociology and social work. She worked in rural communities to gain experience with the most vulnerable and marginalized to improve their lives. Tsion works with Adera as a social worker. She interviews each potential family for Adera’s daycare. She makes annual home visits and continues to build case files to understand and meet each individual need. She is very thorough and intentional in all her interactions. In 2019, she worked hard to develop and launch the business development program known as Open Door. She continues to provide training for each candidate. She is married to Sebsebe and has a beautiful daughter named Hasset (her name means Joy in Amharic).
Ferhiwot Adugna was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She has a BSC in nursing from Hawasa Health College. She worked as a lead nurse in health centers and received exposure in how to work with vulnerable women and children. She joined Adera Designs in 2017. She has a heart to encourage and empower the moms. She loves encouraging the women in their personal development as well as economically. Fere is very creative and loves the opportunity for design and to share the story of the women and their struggles and victories. She has two beautiful daughters.
Board of Directors
Anna & William Brewer
- The Brewers are attracted to Adera due to the joint mission of meeting practical needs including childcare, education, and job training alongside the spiritual provision found only in Jesus Christ.
- They have been serving as board members since experiencing Adera’s mission firsthand on a trip to Ethiopia in 2019.
- William is a Senior Loan Officer specializing in residential mortgage with Affiliated Bank. Anna is a Consulting Partner and Director of Professional Development with JTaylor, a CPA firm based in Fort Worth. The Brewers have two boys who they hope will join them in serving in Ethiopia soon.
Katie & Hagen Haentsch
- Since the Haentsch’s first family trip to Ethiopia, they are continuously finding Adera as a place where God presents his life-changing hope in both word and deed to some of the most disadvantaged families in the world.
- The Haentschs continue to witness how He touches both, moms and children through the wonderful Adera staff over there and through caring families and students who go a far distance to tell them that there are Christ-followers who care and love them. They experience the bond between mothers in their plight to raise their children, the sharing of burdens of fathers who want to provide for their families, and the immediate friendships and curiosity between children put them in awe. It motivates the whole family to go back and work alongside their Lord to bring encouragement and eternal hope to a place so unique and rich in both history and culture.
- Katie and Hagen Haentsch live in Fort Worth and have eight children between 1 and 17.
Louis & Asha Hockett
- Louis and Asha’s involvement with Adera began in 2014 with Asha’s first trip to Ethiopia. She mentions, “In 2017, we traveled to Ethiopia together. It was through these trips and the sweet relationships with the families in Addis that we came to better understand and appreciate what Adera is all about. Adera’s dedication to fully loving and developing the families spiritually and practically, at all levels of their lives is proof that it is obediently accomplishing the will and work of the Lord in Ethiopia. Because of this, we are truly humbled to be a small part of this wonderful organization,”.
Joe & Caren Robertson
- Joe Robertson mentions, “Several years ago, Caren and I visited Ethiopia. God revealed an amazing group of loving people that just needed a chance. They proved this to us many times over the years. We are blessed with an opportunity to watch Christ work in real time. To see the change, God can make if we just listen to him and take the first step and allow Him to guide us. Adera continues to make a difference in people’s lives in Ethiopia. We are honored to be part of the difference,”.
Clay & Mara Townsley
- Clay and Mara Townsley have been married 9 years. They have three kids. Cooper (27), Connor (24) and Aza (16). Clay grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University. He is co-owner of Sports Rehabilitation Specialists in Fort Worth. Mara grew up in Zambia as a missionary kid and attended Hardin Simmons University in Abilene. She is now teaching and coaching at the Oakridge school in Arlington.
- Mara and Clay deciding to walk with the Adera Foundation through hearing of the fundraiser event that happens every year, opened their hearts to consider their personal involvement. They traveled to Ethiopia in March 2020 and it continues to serve as the catalyst to join the Adera family for a long-term investment.
- Vickie and Julie Miller quickly became friends after Vickie’s name was given to help out at an after-school program at Morningside Elementary that Julie was overseeing. During Julie’s exit, Vickie quickly jumped on board with her at Adera after being asked to work the bookkeeping, leading to 7 or 8 years of doing just that. However, Vickie has been serving on the Board of Directors ever since.
- Having traveled to Ethiopia twice, she looks forward to going again. She loves the children, but she is especially drawn to the women. Despite much difficulty, their hope is what amazes Vickie. Her heart stays with Adera because of the relationships with the families, the children and the people who work at Adera in Ethiopia.
- Vickie is married with a daughter and son, and currently she is hosting Baetti Bulti, Elias’ niece while she finishes her schoolwork