MEET OUR TEAM United States Team

President

Bob Burckle

President

Bob Burckle is President of Eastern European Mission and also has served on the EEM Board over 20+ years.  He spent years working as an Electrical Engineer with a Bachelor and Master’s degree from the University of Louisville.  While working in the industry, he earned his MBA in Marketing and Finance from the University of North Texas.  Bob’s work in small and large technology companies has allowed him to apply best business practices to the operations at EEM.  He has traveled extensively in different countries as part of his responsibilities as a missions chairman, deacon, and elder at various churches.  He has been married for over 40 years to his wife, Joan.  They have two adult daughters, Lauren and Brittany, and two granddaughters, Harper and Madison.  Bob is humbled to know that he and his colleagues have been chosen and are privileged to spread God’s Word throughout Eastern Europe.

Vice President

Dirk Smith

Vice President

Dirk’s responsibilities consist of the oversight of fundraising and marketing and assisting with US operations. Dirk joined EEM following his highly successful tenure as a development officer with his alma mater, Harding University.  An accomplished manager, he earned experience in business development with an eye for revenue building through positions with firms like Jackson & Coker in Dallas, TX and T. Williams Consulting serving clients in PA, NJ and NY. He holds a BA in Mathematics and an MBA with a focus on Organizational Development and Ethics. Dirk is married to the love of his life, Wendy and they have three adult children, Taryn, Tyler and Trevor.  Dirk is an experienced presenter and storyteller and loves sharing the stories of what God is doing through the ministry of EEM.

Jenni Stovall
Administrative Assistant

Jenni is the Office Manager for EEM and is responsible for the financial and general operations of the Dallas office.  Jenni has worked in a variety of positions throughout the years including 15+ years in banking.  In 2008  she attended and worked at  Lubbock Christian University where she received her degree in Organizational Management. Jenni has two married sons, Sterling (Holly) and Hayden (Brittany) and one precious grandson, Heath.  She enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and spoiling her grandson.  Jenni is encouraged daily by all of the people involved in God’s ministry through EEM.

Kathy Knox
Database Coordinator

Kathy recently joined EEM and serves as Data Coordinator/Administrative Assistant. During her working career, she has served as Administrative Assistant and Executive Assistant, and then found her true calling as Database Specialist with a non-profit hospital foundation in the DFW area, and then as Database Manager with a pro-life organization in Dallas. Kathy is a native Texan from rural Northeast Texas. She has two grown daughters and three grandchildren. She enjoys being with her grandkids and serving as a group leader for 6th-grade girls in the children’s program at her church. Kathy feels blessed to work with an organization that is providing the Word of God to people in Eastern Europe.

Brooke Kehl
Marketing Coordinator

Brooke joined EEM in 2017 after working with the nonprofit marketing teams at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Healings Hands International. She graduated Harding University in 2016 with a double major in Communications and Leadership and Ministry. Brooke is thrilled to be on the EEM team and bridge the gap between her love for integrated marketing communication and sharing the Gospel! It is difficult for her to imagine a greater mission than to get the Word of God into the hands of all of His people.

Ben Mereness
Regional Director

Ben serves EEM as a Regional Director. Having graduated from Lubbock Christian University in 1975, Ben brings to the EEM effort a rich 32-year history of full-time preaching and ministry for Churches of Christ in Arizona and throughout Texas. His enthusiastic passion for the Lord and motivational qualities have led him to be a frequent speaker at seminars, lectureships, marriage and youth events, and mission points throughout the US and overseas. Since the mid-1990’s, multiple mission trips and teaching opportunities in Russia and eastern Europe have given Ben a first-hand awareness of the people there and their tremendous hunger for God and His Word. Ben is married to Jackie, who frequently joins him on his stateside travels. They have three married sons – Kevin (and Lauren), Kent (and Brynn), Kory (and Mandy), and six precious ‘Grands’! Ben’s ‘heart and soul’ is for people to come to know our faithful God.

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Richard Riehn
Regional Director

Richard joined EEM after 20 years in the banking industry. Many years of telling his wife that one day he would pursue mission work, expressing a particular interest in EEM because of the exciting opportunity to share God’s Word in Eastern Europe, Richard joyfully accepted what he felt was Divine Providence. He and Christina have served as house parents at the Christian Home & Bible School, and Richard has served as a Deacon for many years. In 1980, he was honor by the Jaycees as an “Outstanding Young Man of America” and in 2000 was selected as the “Citizen of the Year” by a Texas community for convincing three adversarial chambers of commerce to merge for the common good of the area businesses. Richard and Christina have two daughters and one son that have blessed them with three grandchildren.

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Jon Mark Smith
Regional Director

Jon Mark joined the team after 22 years of full-time church work and five years as Executive Director of the McGregor Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation. He would never have imagined living the journey that has led him to Eastern European Mission. Whether working as a freelance graphic designer, sharing God’s Word with a family of believers, engaging corporate partners within a community setting or entertaining an audience as a public speaker and vocalist, he appreciates the need for powerful relational connections. Working with EEM allows Jon Mark the opportunity to develop those connections so that God’s work in Eastern Europe might be blessed. He is thankful to be married to Marie; who graciously stays home and cares for their four children; Jon (17), Brayden (15), Kent (10) and Emma (3).

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Lanny Tucker
Regional Director

Lanny is currently overseeing relationships with EEM’s partners throughout Dallas-Fort Worth and East Texas. He also leads development efforts in Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming and North & South Dakota. A native Californian, Lanny grew up in Portland, Oregon and married Suzy Frey in 2001. They now live in Fort Worth with their three daughters: Kezia, Eden and Jordan. After graduating from Harding University in 1993, Lanny earned the Master of Missions and Master of Divinity degrees at Abilene Christian University in 2000. Lanny has served as a youth minister, church planter and preacher. Lanny and Suzy helped start the Portland Urban Ministry Project, serving Portland’s roughest inner-city neighborhoods. Lanny has served as Executive Director and Development Director for four Christian non-profits. Lanny enjoys playing and coaching basketball. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, Lanny’s greatest passion is helping others become disciples of Jesus, too.

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Monty Tuttle
Regional Director

After playing football on a national championship team and receiving a BA in Bible from Abilene Christian University in 1975, Monty has worn many hats in his professional career. For more than 30 years he has served churches in Texas, Kansas and Pennsylvania in various capacities such as youth, family, worship, and pulpit minister. He has also worked in the business world in financial services and corporate recruiting. Monty believes that his diverse experience has been ideal in preparing him for his work with EEM. Monty is married to Tamaria, an Administrative Coordinator for the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at ACU. They have two adult sons, David and Shay, who is married to Deanna, and one daughter, Katie, who is married to Chris Ratliff. Monty loves telling the amazing news of our Great God doing what only our Great God can do.

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Darryl Willis
Educational Director

Darryl currently serves as the point for the Character for Kids Training Seminars in Ukraine. Previously he directed the EEM Youth Camp Program. Darryl is an 18-year youth ministry and 12-year preaching veteran with an MA in Bible from Lipscomb University. A lover of stories and storytelling, he has performed in venues from schools and colleges to churches and festivals throughout the South. He is also a poet with several of his poems published in a wide variety of literary print and online magazines. Darryl is married to Terri, a Family Support Coach for MHMR and they have two adult daughters, Brittany and Alyssa. After working directly with Ukrainian Camp personnel and traveling throughout the country, Darryl has fallen in love with the people of Eastern Europe and longs for the day when it will become a vibrant center of spirituality for the world.

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