Meet the ACI Team

Bob McDonald, Chairman and Founder

Bob founded Aqua Clara International in 2005 and currently serves as Founder, Chairman, and Chief Scientist.  He continues his involvement in all aspects of ACI operations in collaboration with the Executive Team, and directs the projects undertaken by the ACI Science and Technology Council.
Harry Knopke, President

Harry joined ACI in 2010, bringing his years of management and administrative experience, along with his work in medical education, the sciences and the Safe Water Institute,  to direct and help expand its impact in other countries with existing and new technologies.
Ted Loudon

Ted is a member of the ACI Board of Directors and Emeritus Professor of BioSystems in the Department of BioSystems & Agriculture, Michigan State University.  He created the laboratory at the MSU Bi0-e facility that houses Aqua Clara and is a member of the ACI Science and Technology Advisory Council.  Ted actively engages in a number of ACI initiatives, particularly focusing on new sanitation models and systems.
Marcia Buck, Director of Program Operations

Marcia joined the AC Team in early 2007 and is a member of the Executive Team.  She serves as Director of Program Operations, overseeing general AC operations and administrative support functions, financial management, donor and community relations, and directs the ACI guided service trips program. She also works actively in developing the AC Kids to Kids program.
John Nyagwencha, Director of Operations, Kenya

John began volunteering with Aqua Clara in 2010 conducting water tests on the filters in the Kisii area. John joined the team as Director of Operations in 2011 and is based at the ACI WASH Training Center in the Kisii region.
Jon Bechtel, Senior Design Engineer

Jon recently retired from a major industrial company in Holland where he had worked for over 25 years. He has volunteered to help Aqua Clara bring clean water to those who need it.  His industrial skill package and his perspective is unique and has marvelous depth.   Jon supports our engineering both in current projects and in developing new projects.
Jay VandenBrink, Program Field Director, Latin America

Jay, a grad of Hope College with a degree in Biology and Spanish, has been with the Aqua Clara team since February of 2012. His job has been translating several documents into Spanish and performing tests in the lab. He has performed several projects in Nicaragua and throughout Central America.
Mario Benavides Llanos, Director of Operations, Nicaragua

Mario is native of Nicaragua and a chemical engineer with extensive experience in a broad array of endeavors in the business, engineering and agricultural sectors.  He has been with Aqua Clara since 2009 and is now Director of AcquaNic, our in-country organization in Nicaragua.
Jairo Antonio Grio, Chief Technology Specialist, AcquaNic
Jairo is a native of the Leon region of Nicaragua whose degree is in agricultural engineering.  Jairo directs the training and installation functions for AquaNic.
Jim Tuinstra, Special Projects

Jim Tuinstra, widely recognized in West Michigan for his many years of distinguished service as President of Hope Network,  is currently President of the Kent Health Plan.  He is also an active participant in and advisor to the Nicaragua program, having first traveled to Nicaragua with aid funds after the 1973 earthquake.
Dale Spencer, Director of Training

Dale is a lifelong resident of Michigan.  He holds advanced degrees in the Education field.  Dale has 11 years teaching experience in Michigan Secondary Schools and 28 years experience in Nuclear Electrical Power Generation with American Electric Power.  Dale is retired and his current interests include, in addition to volunteering with Aqua Clara, gardening and woodworking.
Bob Johnson, Technical Advisor

Bob Johnson is President of JDH Structural Engineering.  He provides ACI with ongoing technical advice in a number of areas and, through Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is responsible for deploying scores of Aqua Clara filters in Rwanda, along with other, related health improvement initiatives.
Bill Jones, Technology Advisor

Bill retired from decades of service as a senior executive at Dow Chemical and then operating his own company, Metalamics. His business background and doctoral degree in chemical engineering have been of significant assistance to ACI in many areas.

Tom Doane, Special Projects Manager

Tom is a retired engineer who has developed specific expertise in the construction and maintenance of water wells.  Tom works with ACI in its training programs and program development initiatives, with particular emphasis on Haiti and Mexico.
Benson Nyandusi, Training and Supplies Officer, Kisii

Benson originally became involved with ACI in 2009 when he attended a training session in the Kisii region.  Benson became the Training and Supplies Officer in 2011 and works directly with the Community Development Entrepreneurs supporting their work and arranging for additional supplies.

Betty Nyamwaya, Administrative Officer, Kisii

Betty joined the ACI team in 2010 and works from the ACI WASH Training Center in the Kisii Region.  Betty inputs all the information from the filter sales receipts and filter monitoring forms into the ACI data base, and also welcomes and explains the program to guests and visitors.

Deanne Hoeksema, Financial Management Advisor

Deanne advises Aqua Clara on accounting and financial management issues.