Who We Are
The Rhema Project birthed following several trips to Southern India over the last several years. First traveling to India shortly after the Christmas Day tsunami Dan witnessed the devastating effects of a natural disaster. However, it was not until the summer of 2008 when he and others first witnessed female infanticide in a rural village in Southern India. On a followup trip in January 2009 while visiting a small village they were able to name a small baby girl "Rhema" and give a small financial gift legitimizing her birth and potentially sparing her life. After being exposed to the horrific practice of female infanticide and other discriminations of the girls child, it became apparent that our involvement could actually do something about this brutal problem.
Director | South Bend, IN
Dan is a business person by profession spending the last 20 years in the insurance business. He graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Science from the University of Indiana (Bloomington) in 1980 with majors in Economics, Political Science and History. In 2001 Dan lead the effort to renovate and launch the programming effort at the Monroe Circle Community Center in downtown South Bend and helped establish the not-for-profit organization, EnterMission, Inc.
Dan first traveled to India after the Christmas Day tsunami in 2005 to help rebuild coastal fishing villages. Leading teams back to Southern India he came face to face with the brutality of female infanticide when he arrived in a village near Dharmapuri in 2008. Over the next several months he researched and returned to India to better understand not only the driving factors of female infanticide but workable solutions that if expanded could eliminate the discrimination of the Indian girl child.
Vice President | Elkhart, IN
Denise has spent her entire career working in the recreational vehicle industry and is presently vice present of sales, marketing and product development for an industry leading manufacturer of park model homes.
Ms. Walsh has traveled to South India several times over the last few years working with a community of untouchables teaching children conversational English and helping their parents with business skills that will better equip them for micro business opportunities.
Denise remarkably blends her professional, business savvy with an amazing passion for equipping Indian women and girls with skill sets that will enable them to become more self-reliant.
Secretary | Niles, MI
Judy first realized the value and impact of small initiatives to help the poor when she worked with a Catholic priest in the Philippines in the early 80’s. She learned the art of negotiating and bartering with the military base for its surplus items bound for the dump that would be redirected to Filipino families in need.
Returning to the United States, Judy applied these skills to launch FDC Graphic Films, a vinyl distribution business that has become one of the most respected market leaders in it’s industry.
Ms. Eck rekindled her passion for the poor when she traveled to Kanyakumari, India to help Indian families rebuild their homes after the 2005 tsunami that devastated many of the coastal communities of Tamil Nadu, India. Judy has returned several times to India encouraging both our field partners and the girls of India.
Board Member | Indianapolis, IN
First coming to America to study at Purdue University (Bachelors in Chemistry 1987) , Dr. Kalia graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1992. He presently serves as a General Internist at Indianapolis VA Medical Center and is also an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at IU Medical Center.
Dr. Kalia is involved in numerous projects in the area of healthcare, homelessness, sanitation and senior care. He is also actively involved in the Indian community of Indianapolis.
Vipin, his wife and two daughters live in the greater Indianapolis area. Dr. Kalia and his family is a wonderful bridge of both cultural understanding and how best to implement initiatives for affective and lasting impact.
Board Member | Tampa, FL
Colleen is the founder of Sweeney Healthcare Enterprises. Each year she influences thousands of healthcare professionals across North America as she addresses patient fears and how common place practices by her peers can either heighten or diminish these anxious events.
As an unsuspecting traveler on a mission trip to Kenya in 2010, Colleen was so moved by the condition of healthcare there that she began a project to send used medical equipment from hospitals in the United States to hospitals and clinics in third world countries.
Understanding the impact of good and basic healthcare in India - especially for women and their newborns, Ms. Sweeney’s professional skills and personal passions will greatly assist our Indian field partners to bring life and value to Indian females.
A Leadership Circle of people have not only become fans of the mission of The Rhema Project but have either demonstrated their abilities to understand the complexities of India and/or are leading experts in education, economics and community development.
Together we review the impact past projects have had as well as determine how best to allocate the funds given by TRP financial contributors.