Mary Dailey Brown is the Co-Founder, President, and CEO of SowHope.org. Over the past 35 years, Mary has visited and traveled to over 60 countries and been involved personally and vocationally with the poor. She is fluent in Spanish, having lived in Spain for nearly four years. She has led over 100 volunteer teams to 30 countries.
Mary earned a BA from Southern Illinois University with majors in Photography and Psychology. She completed a Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) in Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Grand Valley State University, where she is now an adjunct professor.
Mary worked at the White House as a staff photographer serving Presidents Carter and Reagan. She owned a professional freelance photography business in the north suburbs of Chicago for 10 years.
Mary served as the founding Executive Director of Love INC (formerly, the US branch of World Vision) of Lake County, Illinois. She was the Director of Missions at Bella Vista Church in Rockford, Michigan for eight years, and it was during that time when she traveled to many developing countries and developed the vision to start SowHope.
Mary has been married to Doug Brown, SowHope’s other Co-Founder, since 1981. They have two adult sons, John & Alex.
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Learn more about Mary and SowHope
SowHope Director of Administration
Aaron Hoxworth serves as the Director of Administration of SowHope. He earned a BA in Public and Nonprofit Administration at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in 2013 and completed a Master’s of Public Administration from GVSU in 2015. Aaron has been working in the nonprofit sector since 2012, employed by the Johnson Center of Philanthropy at GVSU for three years as a Graduate Assistant and Research Assistant in Nonprofit Services and the Community Research Institute departments. Most recently, Aaron worked for Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids as an Assistant Program Manager for the Transitional Work Experience program. Aaron is a previous Vice Chair of SowHope, serving on the Board of Directors from January 2016 until his employment began at SowHope in November 2017. Aaron first became a supporter of SowHope while completing his graduate studies at GVSU.
Aaron has attended numerous trainings on the topic of human trafficking in several states and was a part of International Justice Mission at Grand Valley State University. In the summer of 2014, Aaron participated in the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults “4k for Cancer” event, traveling over 4,000 miles in 70 days to raise money and awareness for young adults with cancer. Currently, Aaron serves as the volunteer Worship Minister at Ignite Fellowship Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Aaron is a proud husband to Elise and a proud dad to their dog, Tucker.
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SowHope Director of Development
Mary Jo Zazueta serves as the Director of Development of SowHope. She will receive a Master’s degree in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership from Grand Valley State University in December 2019; and has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Detroit Mercy. A longtime resident of Traverse City, Michigan, Mary Jo relocated to Grand Rapids in August 2017 to pursue a degree that would give her entry into the nonprofit sector—an area that she was heavily involved in as a volunteer for many years. Her passion is social justice.
Mary Jo is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals; and attends professional development and training events whenever possible. She is the proud mother of two adult children. In her spare time—which she’s not had much of for two years!—she enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and dinner parties with family and friends.
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Building accountability measures and systems to ensure that organizational efficiency related to goals, steps, and tasks are completed effectively.
Processing and recording income and expenses for SowHope and fulfilling federal financial requirements and forms.
(Team Leader & Board Treasurer)
Dan Balfour (Board Member)
Fund Development Team
Identifying appropriate funding sources, implementing an action plan to reach those sources, and mobilizing the board and others to solicit sufficient donations for SowHope to operate effectively.
(Former Board Member)
Human Resources Team
Developing policy and encouraging best practice to ensure effective management of human resources, including employees, volunteers, and board members.
Dr. Robert Cunningham
Fostering partnerships in the developing world, processing project applications, determining and recommending project funding, and evaluating projects.
Dr. Danny Balfour
Public Relations/Marketing Team
Identifying appropriate marketing opportunities and expanding awareness of SowHope through resources such as events, speaking engagements, website management, quarterly newsletters, and social media.
(Former Board Member)
We are always looking for talented professionals to volunteer their expertise on our working teams. Visit our volunteer page for more information.