SowHope President & CEO

Mary Dailey Brown is the Co-Founder, President, and CEO of SowHope. 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.  |  616-433-1575

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.

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. Aaron and his wife Elise were blessed with their first child, a daughter, Endsley in January 2022. Aaron is a proud dad to their two dogs, Tucker and Copper, and their cats Doughnut and Cider (pictures upon request).  |  616-433-1575

SowHope Program Director

Dr. Sylivia Tsitsi Juta serves as the Program Director of SowHope. Originally from Zimbabwe, Sylivia moved to the United States in 2006 to further her education. She completed her Master’s of Public Administration from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in 2008 and her Doctorate in Public Administration from Western Michigan University in 2014.  It was during her studies at GVSU that Sylivia met Mary Brown, the CEO of SowHope, and Sylivia fell in love with the organization. She soon became a board member for SowHope and later became a part-time employee overseeing SowHope projects.

Sylivia has worked as an adjunct professor at GVSU and Trine University. She was an entrepreneur, starting and owning a business in the U.S. as a financial planner and tax preparer. Sylivia also met her husband, Papa Njai, in the U.S. and eventually moved with him back to his home country of Sierra Leone in 2017, where they currently reside. In addition to working for SowHope, Sylivia is also a lecturer at Milton Margai Technical University in Sierra Leone.  |  616-433-1575