Chief Executive Officer
Based in Southern California
Heather loves telling stories and talking about resilience and strengths. She is an experienced leader and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, whose professional philosophy is grounded in infusing hope and promoting resilience as a means to fully support individuals, families, teams, and communities as they move toward realizing their potential. She has a passion for including the marginalized.
Heather worked for thirteen years at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in Chicago, beginning as a milieu therapist in a residential program for adolescent girls and then as the Therapeutic Supervisor and Program Manager of AfterCare, a program that worked in the community with former Mercy Home residents and their families. During this time, she completed a post-graduate certificate in resilience-based family therapy through the Chicago Center for Family Health, and she trained in both Strengths-Based Care Management and Team/Program Development. Heather is also a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.
Heather energizes and guides overall operations of My Refuge House through her love of telling stories, her passion for exploring strengths and resilience, and her experience with family therapy in residential and community based settings. With her coworkers and all the board members in both the USA and Cebu, Philippines, Heather builds the organization’s development and leadership, strategic growth, and international partnerships.
In her free time, Heather loves spending time with friends and family, including her witty husband Joey and their two silly sons, Jack and Ike. You might also find Heather people watching at any local coffee shop.
Rose Ann Ababa, RSW
Director of Program Operations
Based in Cebu, Philippines
Rose Ann has been working with My Refuge House since 2011. Initially she began as a Therapeutic Social Worker and then moved into a Program Supervisor Role before being promoted to Director of Program Operations. Rose Ann’s intelligence, hard work, dedication, and passion for anti-trafficking work have made her an incredible asset to My Refuge House.
Rose Ann works with the Director of Administrative Operations, Omar Burdeos, to provide direct oversight for all operations at My Refuge House in the Philippines. Together, they manage all programs at our residential home and within the community that are necessary for providing quality care to survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse. This includes medical, education, livelihood, psycho-social interventions and social work, job readiness, health education, spiritual care, and reintegration support.
Rose Ann has many hobbies including running, dancing, diving, and writing poems in two of the three languages that she speaks fluently.
Director of Administrative Operations
Based in Cebu, Philippines
Omar has been working at My Refuge House since 2011. In his prior role as Finance and Administrative Supervisor, Omar demonstrated strong leadership skills, outstanding ethics, and and a dedication to anti-trafficking work that qualified him to be an excellent leader for our team in Cebu. Omar came to My Refuge House with extensive knowledge having managed finances and projects for other for-profit and nonprofit organizations including Child Fund Philippines and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation.
Omar works with Rose Ann to provide direct oversight for all operations at My Refuge House in the Philippines.
Omar works very hard and when he needs to de-stress you might catch him doing aerobic exercise and watching movies.
Director of Engagement
Based in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
As a gifted public speaker with an in-depth understanding of trafficking, Kim conducts speaking engagements, events and acts as a My Refuge House correspondent to partners and churches.
Kim’s role in the fight to end modern day slavery and to combat the sexual exploitation of women and children has included work with My Refuge House as well as volunteering with Love146 and championing the anti-trafficking efforts of Irving Bible Church.
Kim’s husband Barry serves on the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary and is a teaching pastor at Irving Bible Church. Together they have three wonderful children.
Director of Development
Based in San Antonio, Texas
Amber, a resident Southern Californian, is passionate in the fight against modern day slavery and believes that we have a duty to band together and stop it. She is energized by working with others who want to make a difference. A willing heart coupled with actions has the power to make dramatic change. Amber enjoys experiencing those changes with others!
Amber knew that My Refuge House was the right ministry to partner with because of our heart to fully restore individuals rescued from human trafficking and our growing efforts in prevention at a community level. Amber brings over a decade of experience in online marketing and fundraising to raise money and build relationships for My Refuge House. She sees possibilities as limitless and looks forward to being a part of the difference that My Refuge House is making.
Amber is happily married to Jacob, who brings out her adventurous side. From diving under water, to diving out of an airplane, they always find a way to have fun. They enjoy living life together with their three young children, who always keep them on their toes. In her spare time, you can find Amber reading, sewing, or traveling to a new place.