Our people arrive at Compassion from many different countries, unique work backgrounds and diverse life experiences. However, we all come with a unified faith in Jesus Christ and a conviction to release children from poverty in His name.

Scroll through the photos below to learn about a few of our employees.

Shelia Braxton, Church Engagement Relationship Manager

Born in Historic Selma, AL in the early 60’s, and spending her formative years in the Pacific Northwest in Tacoma, WA afforded Shelia a culturally diverse perspective of community. Nonetheless, the African American Church has been the bedrock of her faith and values formation.

She and her husband founded New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in Kent, WA in 2005. As Director of New Member and Discipleship Ministries, Shelia was introduced to the work of Compassion International on a vision trip to Honduras. That experience captured her heart, and she has been an advocate for “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name” ever sense.

Shelia is excited to be a part of the African American Relations Team (AART) whose intentional engagement strategy is called The Village Movement. The movement’s mission is “Releasing children from global poverty, in partnership with the local church in communities of African Descent, one child, one family, one community at a time.”

Shelia develops relationships and solidifies partnerships within the Three Pillars of the African Community: Church, Campus and Community. She counts it a privilege to share the life changing work of Compassion with pastors, community leaders and other persons in the African American community who hold shared values.

“As disciples of Christ, we are to follow his commandments and teachings. The Village Movement provides collective opportunities for all to live out both the Great Commandment and Great Commission as we seek to grow global disciples together.”

Jim Kallemyn, Creative Specialist III, Global Leadership Office

Jim found his passion for film at a young age when he and his friends filmed BMX videos. He hasn’t set down his camera since! After completing film school at Columbia College in Chicago, he moved to Colorado Springs to serve at a local church as their video producer.

Jim first heard about Compassion’s mission when Wess Stafford – Compassion’s CEO at the time – spoke at his church. Feeling a tug on their hearts, he and his wife signed up to sponsor Kevin in El Salvador. Though his road to joining the staff at Compassion probably began that day, he remained with that church for the next 10 years.

In 2017, he joined Compassion as a video producer, a role for which he felt uniquely equipped. As he reflects back over his life, he can clearly see how God was preparing him for this time of service. It brings him so much joy to serve on the creative team in the Global Leadership Office.

“As a Compassion sponsor, my family’s relationship with Kevin has grown over the years. My kids pray for ‘Kevin in El Salvador’ every night around the table. They’re learning about what poverty looks like and how Compassion plays a unique role in teaching [children] about God’s love and His Kingdom.”

Ivonne Hicks, Senior Risk Management Specialist, General Counsel Office

“God, let me serve you with my profession.” That was Ivonne’s constant prayer throughout college, as she completed an accounting degree with a minor in audit and later attained her CPA. She held onto this prayer as she embarked on her professional journey, not knowing at the time that God was preparing her to serve Him with her specific skills.

Originally from Mexico, Ivonne began her career as an external auditor for an accounting and audit consulting firm in Mexico City. Though she enjoyed her position, she felt prompted to improve her English skills, so she moved to Utah to pursue a new opportunity. When she returned to Mexico, she saw a job posted by Compassion Mexico for a Partnership Auditor. The job description caught her attention since it matched her experience, skills and –most incredibly – her faith. When Compassion offered her the position, she cried with joy and gratitude because she knew God had answered her prayer.

After four years serving Compassion Mexico, she accepted a Senior Field Auditor position at the Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs. Today, she serves as a Senior Risk Management Specialist serving our Latin America and Caribbean Region. She loves strengthening relations with leaders in the region and advising them on how to identify and mitigate risk so they may more effectively release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

“God responded to my prayer when I got the Compassion job. His plans are perfect, and it does not matter how impossible your petitions in prayer would sound, He knows your heart. So, get ready to be surprised by God because He definitely can exceed your expectations!”

Iris Hsu, Director of Change Leadership, Global Leadership Office

Iris first learned about Compassion’s mission in 2006 when she sponsored her first child.  After that, sponsoring additional Compassion children became her way of celebrating new chapters in her life. Today, she and her husband sponsor four children in El Salvador, Ecuador and Bangladesh.

For years, Iris prayed for an opportunity to combine her passion for ministry with her career, and that prayer was answered in 2019 when she joined Compassion as the Director of Change Leadership. Iris brings 20 years of combined industry and consulting experience, specializing in corporate transformation, complex project/program management, portfolio planning, executive relationship management and change leadership. She spent 12 years with Hewlett-Packard, where she gained experience in Fortune 100 best practices.  She most recently served in the Corporate Performance Improvement division of Alvarez and Marsal, a management consulting firm rooted in turnaround and transformation efforts.

Iris is passionate about helping individuals and organizations achieve their full potential. Through her professional experiences as well as her seminary studies, she knows that God prepared her for this season at Compassion.

“I believe that fulfillment is found where our daily vocation intersects with the deepest calling of our heart. I must always remember how blessed I am to have found this at Compassion. As Theodore Roosevelt so wisely stated, ‘Far and away, the best prize life has to offer is working hard at work worth doing.’”

Brittany Fitch, People & Culture Business Partner II

After graduating from college, Brittany was unsure what her next steps would be. She decided to apply to, and was later accepted as, a Compassion Go Rep. As a Go Rep, she volunteered across ten states for seven months, engaging with Compassion volunteers, alumni and employees. Her Go Rep experience increased her desire to amplify the voices of those who are not heard, a passion that was deeply rooted in her long ago.

In Spring 2019, Brittany served as an intern in our People & Culture department, working and building relationships with Compassion’s volunteers. At the end of her internship, she was hired full-time as a People & Culture Associate II, providing support for workforce needs alongside many People & Culture teams. She enjoys connecting with our global staff, whether in the Colorado Springs headquarters or around the world. Today, Brittany serves as a Business Partner II at Compassion.

“Compassion is more than just another workplace; it’s a family, from the beneficiaries, to our Frontline Church Partners, sponsors, volunteers and employees. They each are essential to creating a better tomorrow for children living in extreme poverty. But what’s even greater is that they are spreading the hope of Jesus.”

Reagan Isombi, Equipment Technician III, Marketing Operations

Reagan grew up in Kenya and was a beneficiary of Compassion’s sponsorship program. A strong student, he also completed the Leadership Development Program (LDP). Prior to entering LDP, he was wrestling with this faith, trying to understand what it meant to follow Jesus. He had a supernatural encounter where he felt a presence and a voice that said, “Jesus wants you to be His!” Romans 10:9 came into his mind: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. He became a Christ follower that day!

Upon completing his university degree, Reagan spent the next five years as a Project Director at a Compassion Project in Kenya, serving children facing the same life challenges he had experienced as a child. In 2013, he moved to the US and re-joined Compassion a year later as a Fulfillment Associate. He was promoted to Production Specialist and later moved into his current role as Equipment Technician III.

Reagan was able to meet his former sponsors when they drove from Michigan to Colorado and spent a weekend with him. As he remembers fondly, their time together included a lot of hugging and crying and talking. In fact, Reagan was so distracted when they arrived that he forgot the Kenyan tea he was making for them, and it spilled over on the hot stove!

Years later, Reagan’s passion for the ministry of Compassion continues to spill over into his work.

“It’s fulfilling to keep machines running and enable communication between different stakeholders, ultimately defending those who cannot defend themselves - the precious children of God.”

Compassion Teams at Work

Here at Compassion we are so excited by the growth happening in our IT department! Our developers are working on innovative solutions to support our mission of releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name. Our IT team is currently using pair programming to accomplish the highest level of technical development, and we can't wait to see what changes are implemented thanks to this team. Watch the video to learn more about some of the women working on our IT teams!

Jimmy Mellado smiles with a Compassion sponsored child

Our President and CEO

Santiago "Jimmy" Mellado leads Compassion as our President and Chief Executive Officer. Jimmy is passionate about empowering local churches throughout the world as they strive to release children from poverty in Jesus' name.

Read more about Jimmy >