Our Team

We’re a passionate group working to end the Poverty Crisis in rural China.

Kristen Levitt posting with Chinese girls
Kristen Levitt

From an early age Kristen has wanted to help those in need. She’s spent extended amounts of time in Mexico, India and China. In 2006, she was asked to take over the operations at Project Partner. Kristen is responsible for the day to day operations, fundraising and trip planning.

Gary Kendall

Gary dedicates his life to helping others around the world. This took on new meaning when the Chinese people and culture grabbed his heart on his first trip to China in 2000. Gary’s primary roll is building private donor relationships, but he also leads some of our trips.

Andrew Lyon head shot
Andrew Lyon
Trip Coordinator

Andrew Lyon joins the team from Seattle as our travel guru and trip coordinator. Andrew’s visited of 30 countries and been leading international trips for nearly a decade. He founded and runs Andrew Lyon Travel; he’s been working with Project Partner to handle logistics for our short-term service trips.

Eric Chia and Michelle Kee photo
Eric Chia and Michelle Kee
Office Managers

Michelle Kee and her husband Eric Chia serve Project Partner as our Kansas City Office Managers. They draw on their Chinese heritage and knowledge of culture to help train our international teams. Michelle also serves as a translator and Eric’s famous for his authentic meals he cooks for meetings and dinners.

Board of Directors

Steve Igarta headshot
Steve Igarta
Board of Directors Chairperson, Senior Pastor of Red Bluff Vineyard Church

Steve Igarta, Chairman of the Board of Directors, offers his leadership to our board and also leads teams annually. Steve’s passionate about being a valuable resource to our local partners to create sustainable solutions that fit their unique needs. Steve is also the Senior Pastor at Red Bluff Vineyard in California.

Robert Igarta head shot
Robert Igarta
Board of Directors Secretary, Retired Assistant Division Director at Santa Cruz County Probation

Robert serves as Secretary for the Board of Directors. He’s also served as pastor, missionary, worship leader and youth pastor with the Church of God in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, California and the Island of Guam. Robert served as a probation officer for the county of Santa Cruz, CA retiring in 2013 as an Assistant Division Director for juvenile probation.

Matt Saunders head shot
Matt Saunders
Program Director at Youthfront

For the first 15 years of his career, Matt served as a youth pastor at churches located in Idaho, Calgary, and Kansas. Currently, he serves as the Program Director at Youthfront Camp in Edgerton, Kansas. Matt’s passion for China is centered around students. He is an advocate for English camps and sports camps offered by Project Partner. He gets excited about American students and adults engaging with Chinese students in learning/coaching environments and cultural exchange. Matt has helped lead two English teaching trips to China.

James Dressler head shot
James Dressler
Licensed Financial Professional

James hails from Olathe, Kansas. He is a multi-state licensed Financial Professional serving families and business in investment and insurance planning. As a former US Air Force Chinese Linguist, he also serves the Greater Kansas City Chinese Community through professional and volunteer services. His wife, Emily and two children again reside in Olathe, where he serves on the board for Project Partner.

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