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Our People

David Miclash, Program Founder


David has a background managing large accounting and administration offices as a government accountant and development auditor. He founded an International Development Consulting Agency, managed Canadian International Development Agency projects abroad and is the founding Director of Alongside International.

David's vision is to mobilize and facilitate unique opportunities to engage Canadians in demonstrating hands-on love to support “select” indigenous Christian ministries by strategically bringing help, healing and hope to those in need. David has led over 60 projects teams to many countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Central and South America. He believes everyone has gifts and skills that can make positive, life-changing differences in people’s lives, thus making the world a better place to live.


Ruth Miclash, Team Leader


Ruth is a retired physiotherapist who has worked extensively in rehabilitation centres in Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario helping people with orthopedic and neurological conditions plus complex and continuing medical care. Ruth grew up in a Christian home on the Canadian prairies and has committed her life to Jesus Christ at 12 years of age.

Ruth has a special place in her heart to care for those in need. She has 3 adult sons two having been involved with Alongside International on outreaches to the Dominican Republic. Ruth’s team involvement in Uganda has enabled her to further enhance and demonstrate holistically her love for those suffering from poverty, illiteracy, hunger and disease. She provides superb leadership through her special judgement, analytical and people skills enhanced with her medical background and experience.

Dr. Bill Thompson, Medical Director


Dr. Bill Thompson is a well known, highly respected Assistant Professor of Medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. He provides medical leadership to team members and performs hands-on medical outreach for suffering people in remote villages and urban clinics.

Dr. Bill is a mature leader who entertains by playing his guitar and performing many hilarious comical presentations. Dr. Thompson believes that God has a different job for him to do on each outreach trip that involves more than medicine.


Ted Dutaud, Engineering Director


Ted has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mech) degree from McGill University, and a post graduate diploma in Business Management. He has worked as an Engineering Manager for several corporations and as principal of Dutaud Design Associates. He is semi-retired.

Ted has been on many mission trips to Africa and the Caribbean, and has served as a church board member and Assistant Scout Master. Ted is married with two boys and one grandchild.


Iain Sommerville, Education Director


Iain holds a Ph.D. in Metallurgy and has taught at University of Strathclyde and University of Toronto, written extensively and presented at numerous international conferences in the area of metallurgy. Saved at the age of seven, and baptized at fourteen, he has spent his life serving in various church ministries and, along with his wife, acted as Secretary for Scotland for the Emmaus Bible School Correspondence Courses. His passion now is to reach out to those in the developing world by providing them with education, clean water and medical services, and hence to lead them to understand that their real need is for the living water and eternal life that only Christ can provide.


Tom Newell, Ministry Director


Tom works for the Ontario Public Service in the Kenora Jail as a Chaplain. In this capacity, he has seen many prisoners free in ways they never expected! Tom's love for God and for people has also been expressed through service as a pastor at Bramalea Baptist Church and as an evangelist with the Billy Graham Association and Luis Palau.

His initial education was in avionics, and he enjoyed operational experience with the Canadian Space Agency when working for Spar Aerospace. Tom is also an accomplished photographer and has taken hundreds of images of the people he has served on Alongside teams in Africa.


Laura Cranna, Medical Coordinator


Laura is a Registered Nurse working for Saint Elizabeth Health Care in London, Ontario. She has been involved in a variety of off-shore projects in Burkina Faso and Nigeria. Her extensive involvement in volunteer work both locally and internationally makes her a valuable asset to the Alongside team.

Laura was called into medical field after seeing the desperation in lives of people in developing countries, especially on the African continent. She is in the process of pursuing a future in international outreaches in order to use her knowledge, skills and the special gifts that God has provided to bring hands-on help, healing and hope to those in need.

Anna Visscher, Medical Co-oordinator


Anna has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Western Ontario (UWO), and is currently employed in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Toronto General Hospital. She has been engaged in volunteer leadership, particularly working in youth ministries mentoring teen age girls.

Anna has a desire to use her nursing skills to demonstrate love to needy rural people in Africa. Since becoming a nurse, she has participated in medical outreach clinics in rural villages and has since mobilized and led a team of medical personnel to provide medical care to rural people who are in desperate need of medical attention.

Alyssa Jansen, Director Youth Development


Alyssa Jansen is a gifted young lady with a passion to see the lives of youth transformed by the power of God. She has been involved in developing young lives for her entire adult life, beginning as a leader in the AWANA program at her church. Alyssa is presently employed as an Assistant Program Co-ordinator at Teen Ranch, a Christian Development Camp in Ontario. She also she leads the Youth Study Group at her home church in Orangeville, Ontario.

Alyssa has earned a certificate in Intercultural Ministry from Prairie Bible College and has engaged in Christian Development work in Guatemala and El Salvador, South America and Nigeria, Africa.

Our Advisory Council
  • John Attrell - Owner, Attrell Toyota
  • Alan Lambshead - Standards Vice President at Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers
  • Ian Kirk - General Manager, Multiserv Canada
  • James Peters - President, Hadrian Manufacturing