As the new director of the ECHO Asia Impact Center, I would like to take this opportunity to greet all of you, our network members. I would also like to thank you for being part of our network, which continues to span the globe and which exists as an information hub for development practitioners and farmers around the world. Throughout ECHO’s 30-year history, we have worked diligently to gather hunger-related solutions from around the world and to share them with our active network. These solutions promote sustainable farming techniques, nutritional plants, and appropriate technologies; they are well-tested and have been proven successful over and over again. The bottom line of ECHO, evidenced in the work of its Regional Impact Centers around the world, is to help the resource-poor and the hungry by enabling them to feed themselves and to improve their livelihoods through locally relevant solutions. It is an honor to be engaged in this ongoing work, and to work alongside you, our network members, as a part of ECHO’s team.
Much of the momentum that the ECHO Asia Impact Center carries owes to the dedication of Rick and Ellen Burnette. After an 18-year career in community development in Thailand working with the Upland Holistic Development Project (UHDP), Rick and Ellen Burnette took the pioneer leadership role of ECHO’s first Impact Center in 2009. The last four years have seen exponential growth in the resources and services offered to the resource-poor in the region through ECHO. As many of you already know, last year, with prayer and God’s leading, Rick Burnette accepted the position to head ECHO’s Agricultural Department in Fort Myers, Florida. He began his new job there on July 1, 2013.
With a spirit of thankfulness for the incredible work of the Burnettes at the ECHO Asia Impact Center, I would like to introduce myself. I would also like to take this opportunity to look, together with you, at what the future has to offer.