Leadership Team

Wycliffe Canada leaders share a common passion to glorify God through the ministry of Bible translation. They have confidence in the sovereignty of God, a profound respect for others demonstrated through service to all, a life of integrity, and strong commitment to the vision of Bible translation.

Our senior leadership team, under the direction of the president, apply biblical principles and values in their decision-making and problem solving, as they work together.

Portrait Sharyn Thomson

Sharyn Thomson

Interim President

Originally from Winnipeg, Sharyn has always been interested in different languages and cultures. After completing a degree in Linguistics and French, she worked in business for six years before beginning a master’s degree in Christian Studies at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. While there, she attended the Urbana Student Missions Conference and began exploring mission opportunities, leading to her joining Wycliffe in 1986.

In 1989, Sharyn moved to Burkina Faso, West Africa where she served in several support roles before joining the Buamu language project. She served as linguist, exegete, and project leader until that project transitioned to national leadership in 2009. She continued to support the team in an advisory capacity while pursuing further training in linguistics until the New Testament was completed in 2011.

In 2013, Sharyn was asked to serve as General Director for both SIL Burkina Faso and SIL Mali. In 2016, SIL brought the work in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Niger together into one unit. Sharyn served as General Director of this new group until the end of September 2022.

Now based in Canada, Sharyn joined the leadership team as Senior Vice President for Programs in January 2023, expecting to grow the engagement of the Church in Canada with field partners around the world, as well as exploring how Wycliffe Canada might serve indigenous and diaspora language communities within Canada. While she will still be providing leadership in this area, the Board has appointed her to serve as Interim President until a new President can be appointed.

Bert Visser

Bert Visser

Senior Vice President, Church Partnerships

Bert has had an interest in missions and Wycliffe since attending Urbana in 1981, when he was in law school. He and his wife Wilma joined Wycliffe in 1996. In 1999, the Visser family of five moved to Cameroon, Africa. Bert served in public relations and partnerships, director of church relations and as general director. Wilma was involved in health care for the missionaries and in human resources (HR). Bert and Wilma returned to live in Halifax, NS in April 2018.

They started new assignments in January 2019, working remotely from their home in Halifax. Wilma is HR systems administrator for SIL Francophone Africa Area, a Wycliffe partner doing Bible translation. Bert joined the prayer ministries team and became director of prayer ministries in April 2020. In October 2021 he was asked to also serve as Vice President, Church Partnerships.

The Vissers’ three married children live in Germany, Manitoba and Halifax. Bert and Wilma have been blessed with eight grandchildren.


Beat Kunz

Vice President, Field Partnerships

Beat (a native of Switzerland whose first name is derived from the Latin word for “blessed”) met his wife Robyn in 1997 when they both served with Wycliffe in Cameroon, Africa. In 1999, they studied at the Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL) in Langley, B.C. before returning to Africa . Beat later earned a master’s degree from CanIL in applied linguistics and biblical exegesis.

Beat and Robyn served in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chad. Prior to returning to Canada in 2016, Beat’s work in francophone Africa included coaching national partners who were responsible for managing language programs and providing leadership in language development (i.e. establishing a written alphabet, promoting literacy, etc).

Robyn loves teaching. Besides home schooling their three children in multiple settings, she also trained local teachers in Chad in the use of Chadian Arabic as a language of instruction.

The Kunz family is currently living in Calgary to help their three teenage children, Tabea, Simeon and Nadja, finish high school and prepare for adulthood. Beat joined the Wycliffe Canada leadership team in February 2018. Robyn serves part time at Wycliffe’s Calgary office, helping Wycliffe members establish strong partnerships for prayer and financial support. They hope to return to Africa as soon as their nest is empty.


Chrissy Engeler

Vice President, Finance

Chrissy grew up in New Zealand and received a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Auckland University. While working as an accountant, she became a Christian, and learned of the need for Bible translation. In 1987 she went with Wycliffe to Cameroon and served in the finance office. In 1997 she came to Canada, where she has worked in various roles in Wycliffe Canada's finance department, including the CFO for seven years. She is happy to again be serving in that role since June 2020, while juggling her time with grandchildren.

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Francis Tang

Vice President, Virtual Environments

Francis was born and raised in Hong Kong. In 1983, he came to Toronto for school and finished his Business Computing and Administrative Studies degree in Winnipeg. In 1990 he moved to Calgary, where he married his fiancée Fanny the same year. For more than 30 years, Francis has worked in the information technology industry in the areas of software development and project management.

In 2015, Francis joined Wycliffe Canada as a volunteer to help out in the Virtual Environments department. After several months of volunteering, he sensed God’s guidance to begin working full time as the Application Lead. Francis now leads the Virtual Environments team and serves on Wycliffe Canada’s leadership team.

Francis is thankful to be part of God’s ministry through the global Bible translation movement. Although he finds it challenging to keep pace with the ever-changing information technology world, Francis sees it as a journey to listen, learn, serve, support, and grow together with his fellow team members.

Ben Hsu

Ben Hsu

Vice President, Marketing + Communications

Ben’s lifelong love of storytelling led to degrees in journalism and English at Indiana University. After five years in campus ministry with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship helping students place their story within God’s greater story, he saw how changing the way we live locally impacts how others live globally.

In 2013, Ben joined United Way of Calgary and Area as their external communications adviser. His work on creating strategic communications plans for their Indigenous youth and education strategy, social impact lab, and poverty reduction initiatives helped donors see themselves as key partners in solving the city’s most complex social issues.

He left United Way in 2015 to start a local social enterprise to provide meaningful employment for people facing difficult circumstances, believing that no one’s story should be defined by their biggest mistake. His journey into social innovation also led him to a role with the Christian & Missionary Alliance in helping emerging churches and ministries discover a more collaborative and sustainable way to launch and scale.

In 2019, Ben’s continued desire to see local engagement create global impact led him to Wycliffe Canada to serve as director of marketing and communications. He leads a team of creatives who help people and churches in Canada place their story within the global Bible translation movement. In 2020, Ben joined the leadership team as Vice President, Marketing and Communications.


Leigh McGough

Vice President, Development

Leigh was born in the northeast of the UK. Making a decision to follow Jesus as a teenager, Leigh has always had a passion for young people as the church of today, desiring to see them released into their calling and passions. Leigh and his wife Samantha both worked in education before relocating to Canada as a family in 2017 to work with the Awana ministry, leading church partnerships and training in Western Canada.
Leigh joined Wycliffe Canada in August 2022 with a passion for getting people excited about Bible Translation. He leads the Development department, which helps our supporters get excited and involved in funding the work of Bible translation projects. He is thankful to be involved in the ministry of Wycliffe, because every person, community, and language group should have access to God's word.
Leigh and his family live in Fort Langley, BC where he continues to serve in youth and children's ministry in his local church.


Those selected to serve on the board must demonstrate Christian character, enthusiastically support the work of Bible translation, and be committed to full participation in board work. Using their ability to think strategically and futuristically, with a consistent emphasis on discerning God’s will, the board sets the direction for Wycliffe Canada. The president of Wycliffe Canada, Roy Eyre, and the leadership team under his direction is responsible for achieving the desired results set by the board.

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Antoinette van Kuik


Antoinette’s life experience has been characterized by diversity. The daughter of Dutch Reformed parents who immigrated from Holland just before she was born, Antoinette grew up in a Mennonite church in rural Saskatchewan. She met her husband, Dr. Henry Fast, while attending a Christian & Missionary Alliance church. They have been members of the inter-denominational Church of The Way in Winnipeg for more than 30 years, but more recently make their home in an Anglican parish. She pursued post-secondary education in piano, sociology, music history, and educational administration. She has lived in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario and traveled in every Canadian province.

After retiring from a fulfilling career as vice-president for college academics at Providence University College, Antoinette now fills her time with volunteer work. In addition to serving at Wycliffe Canada, she is presently Chair of the A Rocha Canada Board of Directors. She has served as the volunteer engagement services team lead for the Diabetes Canada in Manitoba.

After a career in the Christian higher education sector, Antoinette is happy to bring her experience to the Wycliffe board, most recently as Board Chair. Retirement allows her greater time to cultivate creativity through photography, stained glass and detailed stitching projects. She also enjoys time visiting with friends and getting to know her grandchildren. In addition, Antoinette and her husband Henry enjoy traveling throughout Canada. They have a “bucket list” goal of visiting as many of Canada’s national parks as possible—having supported these parks through their taxes for some time now. She and her husband live in Manitoba.

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Randall Visser

Vice Chair

Randall grew up in Wycliffe, spending his formative years in Cameroon as his parents Bert and Wilma Visser served with Wycliffe. Since moving back to Canada to complete a Bachelor of Science at Dalhousie University, Randall has gone on to become a Chartered Professional Accountant, and has spent over a decade working for various cabinet ministers and ministries of the Government of Canada. He previously served his church as a board member and treasurer and as a general director of a private Christian school. Randall, his wife Cassandra and two young daughters recently moved from Ottawa to Manitoba to be closer to family.


Heather Geertsma

Heather is a lawyer in the Greater Toronto Area and has practiced law for the last 9 years. She currently runs and operates her own law firm specializing in family law issues.

Heather was brought up in a strong Christian family in Southwestern Ontario who supported Wycliffe’s ministry. Her older sister, who had a career in education, joined Wycliffe and moved to South Asia to develop literacy programs. This sparked a deeper interest in Wycliffe and a commitment to Wycliffe’s mission.

Heather believes strongly in serving in any capacity that God calls her, whether that be in private legal practice, at her church through Bible study, or leading a ministry. She brings her education, life experience and passion for God’s kingdom to the Board.

She lives in Mississauga with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

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David Baker

David is Debbie Baker’s husband and Dad to Cassandra Visser (and Randall), Joshua Baker (and Emily) and Alexander Baker. Professionally, he is the founder and former CEO of Think Shift Advertising and has spent much of the last 26 years working to help develop brands, leadership and corporate culture.

David and Debbie have been married for 33 years and became empty nesters on June 1st of this year. In addition to their grown children, they have one grandchild who much of their world revolves around! They became Christians as adults, at 28 and 25 years old respectively, and were active for 21 years as members of Gateway Church, a nondenominational evangelical church which is part of Salt and Light ministries. For the last 7 years they have been part of a home church. David is currently serving his third term on the board at Providence University and College. He has recently stepped back from the CEO role at Think Shift, the company he founded in 1996, and today coaches their new CEO as well as sits on the board. He and his wife enjoy travelling together as well as spending time at the lake, and, prior to COVID, had intended to spend time exploring Europe.

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Kirstyn Mackie

Kirstyn first became involved with Wycliffe as a volunteer when she was completing her undergrad in Linguistics at the University of Calgary. She was part of a small group that dreamed up and launched Café Wycliffe (now Café Logos) which spread across Canada and then internationally. She went on to work in Education, Marketing and Communications and then completed her MBA, focusing on strategy, marketing and business law. Since her first encounters with Wycliffe, her passion for promoting and advocating for Bibleless people groups has only grown. She was the chair of the missions committee at her church, Bethany Chapel, when they initiated a Kingdom Friendship with Wycliffe Thailand, a major partnership that directly impacts the efforts of engaging the Thai church and mobilizing local missionaries. She and her husband, Aaron, have been involved in supporting a number of Wycliffe initiatives, including visiting projects in multiple areas of Thailand. Kirstyn and Aaron live in the Calgary area with their three children, whom she homeschools. In her “free” time, she teaches a classical dialectic literature class and is very active in her home church in the missions and worship ministries. Kirstyn is honoured to have the opportunity and privilege to support the mission of Wycliffe in its critical Kingdom-building work.

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Helen Kelly

Helen is a capital markets executive focused on advancing the reputation of publicly-listed companies through the development and communication of corporate and financial strategies. She joined Teck Resources, a Canadian diversified mining company in 2021 as Director of Investor Relations, after spending time at Aritzia, a women's fashion brand, and more than a decade in the oil and gas sector with MEG Energy and Suncor prior to that. She has also held investment sales and research roles with UBS and Scotiabank, in addition to international business experience in Asia. Helen holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of British Columbia and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.

Helen’s family moved to Canada when she was in grade school. While English was a second and official language in Hong Kong where she was born, they were one of only a handful of Asian families in the new community in which they found themselves. Helen and her family had to quickly adapt to the language and the new way of life. She is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.

Helen and her husband John live in Calgary, and love to frequent the Rockies with their two beautiful girls. She is actively involved with the music ministry at her church and her professional community. Further, she is passionate about mentoring young women, including her involvement with Women in Capital Markets.


Joan Macdonald

Joan and Bill live in Stratford PEI and have two married sons and three grandchildren. They spent most of their married lives in business, having been leaders in the Agricultural and Transportation industry on PEI. They were the first to offer bulk agricultural lime spreading and to open a trade school for truck and transport heavy equipment and school bus training. BJs Truck Centre was opened to provide much needed parts and service for their own businesses and all others with such need. Having an entrepreneurial spirit, they managed to include a total of seven businesses in the span of many decades; all were sold by the end of 2021.

All the while they managed to serve in leadership roles at Central Christian Church, where Joan served as chair of the board. She also served as vice chair of Skills Trades PEI and as a board member of Canadian Trucker Sector Counsel, where she was awarded for her work with HR in the transportation industry.

They are now free to share in other areas that have been a passion for them throughout their lives. Joan serves on the Mission Team and leads the prayer ministry at Central Christian. They have provided prayer and financial support for Missions ever since close friends went to Chiang Mai, Thailand over four decades ago and have supported Wycliffe since the Visser’s went to Cameroon.

Joan and Bill also enjoy boating and spend their winter on their boat, aptly named Tis A New Life.


Ryan Graham

Ryan currently serves as the National Vice President with The Alliance Canada. He and his wife Christana have been married for 26 years. Together they have three kids aged 22, 20, and 16 and live in the greater Toronto area.

Ryan served the local church for almost 18 years, first as Student Ministries Director and Teaching Pastor at First Alliance Calgary, and then 10 years as Senior Pastor of Westlife Church Calgary. In 2015 the Grahams moved east to Toronto where Ryan took on the national role of Director of Leader Development for The Alliance Canada, and Director of Envision Canada. In the fall of 2017, Ryan began his current role as National Vice President.

Field Member Advisors

Those selected to serve on the board must demonstrate Christian character, enthusiastically support the work of Bible translation, and be committed to full participation in board work. Using their ability to think strategically and futuristically, with a consistent emphasis on discerning God’s will, the board sets the direction for Wycliffe Canada. The president of Wycliffe Canada, Roy Eyre, and the leadership team under his direction is responsible for achieving the desired results set by the board.

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Rob Bustin

Rob and Kara live in Ethiopia, where Rob first worked with a mother-tongue New Testament translation team (which is now in the type-setting phase). Several years ago, Rob transitioned into the role of programs director for the Bible translation services, scripture engagement and digital media work conducted by SIL in Ethiopia, one of Wycliffe’s key field partners. Rob is excited to be working with local churches and ministries as they take the lead in identifying Bible translation needs and as they have ownership in using the translated Word of God. Kara is involved with the girls’ school and works with the SIL Human Resources team in Addis Ababa. Rob and Kara have been members of Wycliffe Canada since 2012 and they have three daughters.

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Jon Jagt

Jon is originally from Southern Ontario. After feeling the Lord’s call to work in Bible translation, he joined Wycliffe Canada along with his wife Candace in 2012. Together with their three children, they have been working in Papua New Guinea since Feb 2013. Jon’s first role was in the area of software development, but during their first term Jon felt increasingly pulled toward administering a translation and literacy program in Madang province. Jon and Candace are currently serving with the Gwahatike multi-language translation program, which is located on the north coast of mainland Papua New Guinea. They spend part of their time in that area and part of their time living in Ukarumpa, the main mission center of PNG.