US Staff and Board of Directors

Light of Hope US Staff

Boni Karanja

Operations Director, Co-Founder

Boniface Mwaura Karanja, better known as Boni, is the Co-Founder of Light of Hope Home & School for Girls in Naivasha, Kenya. Originally from Kenya, Africa, and raised by a single mother, he took on the mantle as a father, which is the tradition in Kenya for the eldest son, and with that, the responsibility of educating his 5 younger brothers and sisters.

Knowing the importance of education, and wanting to make a better life for himself, he worked hard to get a degree in International Shipping and became employed in shipping at the Nairobi Int’l Airport.

Following his dream to move to the United States, Boni arrived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he met Sandy. They became partners for life, not only in marriage but also in ministry. Sharing the same passions, they founded Lighthouse Ministries International, and opened a home and school for girls in Kenya Africa, called Light of Hope Home and School for Girls (LOH), which has been open for over 11 years.

As Co-founder, Boni served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for 14 years, and currently serves as Director of Kenyan Operations. Boni is responsible for the general operations of the home and school in Naivasha, and oversees all staff and students. Boni works closely with the Chairman of the Board in the U.S., as well as the on-site Director of the Home and School.

In addition, Boni works in shipping for SuperValu, located in Hopkins, MN, whom he has been employed by for 18 years.

Having grown up in poverty, Boni understands the struggles that people face, and how very important an education is in order to break that cycle. His greatest desire is to fulfill the call that has been given to him by God; making a difference through education, one life at a time.

David Storevik

Finance Manager

After serving three years in the U.S. Army, David finished his education with a degree in Accounting from Augustana College before moving on to management positions with UPS in the Dakotas and then Outward Bound School in Minnesota.  His aptitude for numbers led him to 24 years as Finance Director for Tree Trust, and his big heart led him to continue working in the non-profit industry with contract positions.  David has also owned two small businesses.

Anyone who knows David knows his passion for adventure travel, and you will find he and his wife of 43 years kayaking or bicycling in the summer and snowshoeing or cross country skiing in the winter.

Board of Directors

Jeff Balagna

Chairman of the Board

With more than 35 years of experience, Jeff is a seasoned executive with broad management expertise. His career spans multiple industries and includes stints at prominent brands including Medtronic, GE, Ford, Eli Lilly, Sears, and Carlson Companies.

He has served as CEO of Friday’s Restaurants, Carlson Marketing, Sears Auto Centers, and Sears Home Services. Additionally he has held C-level positions at Medtronic and Eli Lilly, and senior executive roles at GE and Ford Motor Company. Early in his career, he founded Data Communications Corporation.

Jeff has served on many boards of directors over the past 20 years. He is a past board member of Sears Auto Centers, Sears Home Services, Sears Consumer Electronics, Tennant Company, US Energy, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Carlson Restaurants / TGI Friday’s, and Carlson Marketing.

Prior to becoming Board Chair for Light of Hope, he has also served on a number of non-profit boards, including Minnesota Public Radio, Minnesota OrchestraJ and ELIMU. He also served as a volunteer firefighter and Assistant Chief of the Troy, Michigan Fire Department for 15 years.

Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Oakland University, in Rochester, MI. He is also a graduate of the GE Executive Development program at Crotonville, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business & Law, Graduate Director’s Forum.

Sandy Karanja

Sandy Karanja is Co – Founder along with her husband Boni Karanja of Lighthouse Ministries International/Light of Hope Home and School for Girls located in Kenya Africa. For the past 20 years, with her medical background, she has worked at the U of M Hospital as a Respiratory Therapist as well working with special needs children in local schools and homes. She has also volunteered for Teen Challenge and Robbinsdale Women’s Center as a mentor for young girls.

From a young age her heart’s desire has been to help the less fortunate and serve troubled girls. After meeting her husband in 1998, who also shared the same passion, they partnered together and began their journey. Lighthouse Ministries International was started in 2004 and from there they began Light of Hope Home and School for Girls in Kenya Africa, which opened its doors in 2006.

She currently sits on the Board of Directors and Chairs the External Affairs Committee.

Sandy feels it has been an honor and a joy to be serving God through the beautiful girls at Light of Hope and to witness His faithfulness in this ministry and in their lives.

Elizabeth Ekstrand


Elizabeth first traveled to Light of Hope in 2007. On her very first trip, she was blessed by experiencing God’s idea of unconditional love… it came in the form of the girls and staff at Light of Hope.

Upon her return, she turned that love into action, joining the Board of Directors for Light of Hope. Six additional trips to LoH followed. Elizabeth’s first term of service – 2008 to 2013.

Elizabeth rejoined the Board in February, 2017. She was recently appointed Secretary for the Board of Director’s. Previously, she also served on the Board of Directors for ELIMU.

Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Mankato with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work. She comes to LoH with years of varied professional experiences and is celebrating 15 years with General Mills. During her 15 years with General Mills, she has been responsible for management of trade investments, marketing, merchandising structuring and execution plans. Elizabeth has received many awards during her tenure with General Mills, recognized nationally for her leadership, executional results and citizenship.

Elizabeth enjoys volunteering and serving on the Connection Ministry Team at Westwood Community Church in Excelsior MN.

She is filled with gratitude to be able to share and serve Light of Hope and all those that support this amazing organization.

Jeff McCaulley

Board Member

Jeff is an experienced senior executive with more than 25 years in the healthcare technology industry, including medical devices, diagnostics, consumables, services, and informatics.

Jeff currently serves as the Global President of DJO Surgical. His prior roles include President & Chief Executive Officer of Smiths Medical, President of the Global Reconstructive Division at Zimmer, President & Chief Executive Officer of WK Health and President & General Manager of the Global Diabetes Business Unit at Medtronic. Jeff began his career at GE Healthcare, where he held progressively more senior roles during his 14 years there, last serving as President & Chief Executive Officer of GE Clinical Services.

Jeff has served on the Executive Committees and Operating Committees of numerous large, multi-national companies. He has also served on the Boards of Directors of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), the Medical Alley Association, the Joint Replacement Hospitals of America, Avidyne Corporation, the American Red Cross Northern Minnesota Region, Cleveland Clinic Innovations, and the Advisory Board of the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Jeff graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and received an Executive MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

Anne Boldt

Board Member

Anne Boldt is an enthusiastic supporter of Light of Hope Home and School for Girls and is inspired by the joyful transformation the girls experience.

With a heart for world missions Anne has been on the (Plymouth, MN) Plymouth Covenant Church Mission Commission for 8 years and the Light of Hope “mission advocacy team” (as a mission champion) at PCC for 3 years.

Anne has visited Light of Hope four times to date.

Anne enjoys serving, needs the details, asks the question why, likes to teach and encourage others.

Anne’s past Christian mission experience includes serving with her husband Mark and son with the Evangelical Covenant Church mission hospital in Democratic Republic of Congo/Zaire as nurse/nurse instructor at Karawa hospital.

Anne is a Registered Nurse with over 30 years oncology experience in hospital, medical device company and chemotherapy and radiation therapy clinic areas.

She works currently as Patient care supervisor in Radiation Oncology department at the University of Minnesota Fairview.

She and her husband Mark attend Plymouth Covenant Church in Plymouth Minnesota and live in Maple Grove Minnesota.

John Harmon

Board Member

As Light of Hope’s Treasurer, John Harmon oversees all accounting related functions for the organization. He’s responsible for reviewing and analyzing the regular transactional activity, development of the monthly financial statements, evaluating and improving internal control best practices and managing the annual budgeting and tax preparation processes.

John is an Outsourced CFO/Controller for the national CPA firm of CliftonLarsonAllen, acting as Chief Financial Officer for several small privately owned businesses. Prior to his current position, John was a management consultant at a variety of companies for 12 years, a CFO in private industry for 12 years and had worked in the audit departments for two large international CPA firms for 7 years. John has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, is a licensed CPA in Minnesota and is a member of the AICPA and MNCPA.

In addition to his role at Light of Hope, John serves on the Missions and Worship Arts committees at Messiah United Methodist Church. He has been part of six life changing mission trips to Light of Hope and is incredibly passionate about the mission and the support and empowerment of all the LoH girls.