OUR LEADERS

JOHN BARNETT

Executive Director

John is a social entrepreneur with a passion for creating economies by empowering the Urban Poor among the Nations. He comes to the Refuge team with over 16 years of experience working with internationals and refugees in both Africa and Europe. In 2003, He founded a nonprofit TCBi, which has trained and equipped entrepreneurs to create sustainable economies among urban poor in Uganda, France, and Algeria. John speaks French, Algerian Arabic and Luganda. He and his family live in Shelby Park and are members of Sojourn.

EMILY CAIN

Executive Assistant

Emily works as the Executive Assistant on the Refuge team. She grew up in Northern Kentucky, but moved to Louisville in 2016 to live among refugees after living in Africa for two years. She is a proud University of Kentucky alum, having graduated with a degree in Social Work. Her favorite things include listening to live music, learning to cook new foods, and spending time with people of different cultures. She speaks Somali and dreams of perfecting her Somali chai-making technique.

SAMUEL RAI

Glocal Ministry

Samuel was born and raised in a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal. After coming to Louisville in 2009 at age 15, he became engaged in work with refugees and eventually served at Refuge Louisville as youth director, mobilization coordinator, and community coordinator. Currently, he is the director of Glocal Ministry with Greater Louisville Youth for Christ and partnering with Refuge to reach refugee youth and their families.

CATHERINE FOWLER

Administrative Assistant

Catherine is interning with Refuge through Love Thy Neighborhood, a social justice internship, focused on serving marginalized peoples. She had recently received her Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Economics, and Law, and has chosen to live in Louisville in intentional Christian community. After living in France, and China she has developed a deep love of connecting, and growing in relationship with people from different cultures and learning from them. Catherine speaks French, basic mandarin, and enjoys connecting with people over their shared love of music. She hopes to take this experience with her as she heads to law school next year to study international human rights law.

BETHANY  KENNY

Creative Project Manager

Bethany is a digital artist interning at Refuge Louisville under LoveThyNeighborhood and is involved with multiple graphic and illustrative projects. She was born and raised in upstate New York and moved to Louisville upon graduation. She has working experience as a character artist for an online role-playing game and is currently developing a coloring book intended for refugee children. She has a strong desire to create content that both represents and connects with refugees and their families. The coloring book is set to explore the new experiences a young refugee may face upon arrival in America.

ALEX BALLOU

Marketing Coordinator

Alex is interning with Refuge Louisville as our marketing coordinator. She recently received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing and has chosen to live in Louisville in intentional community among refugees. After studying abroad in Costa Rica and traveling for missions, she has developed a deep love for connecting, and building relationships with people from different cultures. Alex speaks Spanish, basic Portuguese, and enjoys connecting with international students in her free time. She hopes to take this experience with her as she works with church planters and college students in the near future.

Board of Directors

Mark Mihalyov

Chair

New Song Christian Academy

Vanessa Parker

Secretary

Southeast Christian Church

Ben Birkholz

Member

3rd Avenue Baptist Church

Ben Fennell

Member

Strand Associates

Michael Hall

Member

Fortis Commercial

Tim Miller

Member

Time Warner Cable

Pauline Mukeshimana

Member

Gate of Hope International

Jimmy Wright

Member

Launch International