James H. Brown, MBA, CSPG
It was a layoff from manufacturing that led James to his first financial position. By chance he learned of an interview opportunity, and two weeks later he was offered a job he knew almost nothing about. It didn’t take him long to fall in love with sharing his business talent with the church.
Over the years, James has collected years of experience within the church as controller, treasurer, associate director, manager of a foundation managing assets close to $500M, and eventually, vice president of Western Adventist Foundation. He transitioned into the role of CEO in 2001.
Through all the challenges thrown at WAF, James has trusted God to lead him and the corporate leadership team, and it has paid off. The foundation continues to do what is right for their clients and the church, and sees God’s blessings every day. James sees what he does as being all about the people. He enjoys assisting others, doing what he can for their comfort, and committing to caring the same for someone with $10,000 as he would for someone with $10,000,000.
“I have been told that I am a good listener, and I always follow through and do what I say I will do. Growing up I have had many different types of experiences that have helped me to be familiar with and capable of discussing many different topics. Individuals have greater trust in someone who has been in their shoes.”
Robert “Bob” Bauman, MHA
Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Born and raised an Adventist, Robert has travelled the world with his parents, who were missionaries in Nigeria. They enjoyed being able to find an Adventist institution and someone they knew everywhere they went, and Robert now considers it a privilege to work for a worldwide organization.
In 2014, Robert entered his role at Western Adventist Foundation with experience in mortgage fraud investigation, owning and operating multiple businesses, strategic management, marketing, and research analysis. His years of experience in hospitals, health care organizations, and elder care, coupled with his love for real estate, was a good combination and made him an excellent fit
He enjoys the WAF team—a group of intelligent people committed to the foundation’s mission—and he loves managing the Trust Deed fund of investments, which includes real estate inspections and ROI management.
“Sometimes we are unprepared for the financial issues that life throws our way. It is satisfying to help people gain an understanding of investments and plan for future events in their lives.”
Richard Harrison, ESQ.
General Counsel/Corporate Secretary
While serving in the Southern California, Richard learned about Western Adventist Foundation and its reputation for excellence among the Church’s trust and financial management departments. Richard had the opportunity to visit WAF as part of an internship program. At the end of the internship, Richard was offered a position with the foundation, and happily, he made the move.
Richard, a licensed attorney in California and Arizona, holds degrees from the University of California, Irvine and Trinity International University. His previous experience includes serving as a trust officer, conference legal counsel, and as assistant director of a church-run summer camp program. He enjoys problem-solving, and views estate and financial planning as an endless supply of unique puzzles and problems he very much enjoys helping WAF clients and donors solve.
Looking back, Richard can see how God has blessed him through life’s twists and turns, and he knows he’s at Western Adventist Foundation because that’s where God wants him
“I learned early in my career that serving people should be my first priority. Ultimately, building real and meaningful relationships is the key to serving people, and serving the church comes as a
Aaron Fritz, MBA, CFRE, MGO
Aaron was drawn into helping people at a young age, inspired by his grandfathers, one of whom was an Adventist pastor; the other a surgeon. Eventually, Aaron was able to blend ministry and mission in healthcare, spending 15 years in the Adventist Health system before being recruited to develop a pediatric program for Banner Health. He felt something missing, however, and when he met James Brown, he discovered what it was--filling his true purpose through serving the church with his gifts and skills.
Since 2014, Aaron has led the accounting team at Western Adventist Foundation in managing and investing more than $500M in charitable assets for charities around the world. With a B.S. in Business Administration and a Master’s of Business Administration, plus certification in philanthropy as a major gift officer, fundraising, and trust services, Aaron is well-prepared and fills the role well.
“I love making the most complex calculations easy to understand. It helps me lead the accounting team effectively, and allows donors to find comfort in uncertain times. We are called by God to help others, and that is where true satisfaction marinates the soul. I have seen God’s hand at work, guiding board decisions and ensuring the mission of WAF is fulfilled daily.”
HR Director/Officer Manager
Nancy came to Western Adventist Foundation after 14 years working at the State Bar of Arizona, where she developed her management skills, honed her professionalism, and solidified her great work ethic. Her passion, though, is in helping employees develop skills to enhance their job knowledge and performance, which in turn benefits both the employee’s career and the company.
This passion translates well into her work, as during her career Nancy has reduced turnover through effective recruitment techniques and coaching, increased employee engagement, and was recognized as an “innovative generalist” in a non-profit company of over 100 employees.
Nancy is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, and she takes her dedication to her field seriously. She feels strongly that she must be trustworthy, fair, and consistent, and must demonstrate to employees that she has their best interest at heart. It’s important to her that employees trust her, and feel comfortable approaching her. She enjoys working with people, being an advocate, and being the company’s face of fairness, balance, and consistency, and she appreciates being able to do so in a Christian environment, sharing her passions and gifts with the church.
“Knowing that I work for a place that has the same faith-based value system I do makes me feel part of a bigger team. A team where we are here to bring light to others in everything we do and have a part in.”
The team at Western Adventist Foundation is dedicated to you and to God’s work through the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
From managing millions of dollars to performing basic accounting tasks, all our work is executed with this focus in mind.
Vanesa Priano, CPA
Assistant Department Director
It’s the people of WAF that bring its ministry to life.
Together, we combine our vision with a wealth of expertise that makes for a powerful combination. Each of WAF’s senior staff has an average of twenty years of experience in this industry.