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Filter of Hope

Founder and CEO

Bart Smelley

Throughout his business career, Bart has traveled to many developing countries on international mission projects. During his travels he surveyed families living in abject poverty and became aware of the global water crisis - specifically, the fact that thousands of children die each week from drinking contaminated water. This heartbreaking discovery led to the design of a simple, household water filter that removes all harmful bacteria from polluted water sources.

In 2012, Bart felt God’s call to full-time missions and his passion for evangelism and providing clean drinking water to families in desperate need inspired him to start Filter of Hope. God has used Bart and his skills as a life-long entrepreneur to grow the ministry through partnerships around the globe. Today over 80,000 families in more than 65 countries have access to safe drinking water right in their own home - and hundreds of thousands have heard the gospel message and been introduced to the “Living Water” of Jesus Christ.

Bart and his wife, Sissi, live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where the Filter of Hope headquarters is located. Sissi serves in the administrative department of the ministry. They have 3 beloved children and have 6 beautiful grandchildren.

Founder and CEO

Bart Smelley

Throughout his business career, Bart has traveled to many developing countries on international mission projects. During his travels he surveyed families living in abject poverty and became aware of the global water crisis - specifically, the fact that thousands of children die each week from drinking contaminated water. This heartbreaking discovery led to the design of a simple, household water filter that removes all harmful bacteria from polluted water sources.

In 2012, Bart felt God’s call to full-time missions and his passion for evangelism and providing clean drinking water to families in desperate need inspired him to start Filter of Hope. God has used Bart and his skills as a life-long entrepreneur to grow the ministry through partnerships around the globe. Today over 80,000 families in more than 65 countries have access to safe drinking water right in their own home - and hundreds of thousands have heard the gospel message and been introduced to the “Living Water” of Jesus Christ.

Bart and his wife, Sissi, live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where the Filter of Hope headquarters is located. Sissi serves in the administrative department of the ministry. They have 3 beloved children and have 6 beautiful grandchildren.

International Staff

Edgar René Arellano
Country Director:
Costa Rica

Heredia, Costa Rica

Andrea Geisinger
Country Director:
El Salvador

La Libertad, El Salvador

Josh Geisinger
Country Director:
El Salvador

La Libertad, El Salvador

Gabriel Polanco
Country Director:
Dominican Republic
La Vega, Dominican Republic
Cerbin Vargas
Country Director:
Panama
Panama City, Panama

Not Pictured:

Jose Jiminez - Country Director: Cuba

Maria Jiminez - Country Director: Cuba

Ida Torres - Cuba Ministry Coordinator

Rony LaRose - Haiti Ministry Coordinator

Bossuet Lexius - Haiti Ministry Coordinator

Daniel Augustin - Haiti Ministry Coordinator

Filter of Hope Board Members

Dr. Bony Barrineau - Board Member / Medical Director

Bony is a retired orthopedic surgeon. Raised in a small town in Alabama, Bony, which is his given name dreamed of becoming a doctor. He attended Medical School at the University of Alabama and practiced for 39 years. He has been involved in Filter of Hope since it’s inception and has traveled to many countries. His education and passion for microbiology, health and serving the poor makes him a valuable part of the Filter of Hope board and team. He and his wife Robbie have 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

Steve Hillis - Board Chairman

Steve is the CEO of Empower Partners and has over 32 years experience in developing sales organizations by recruiting, training and managing sales teams. Steve is an expert in business turn-around, strategic planning, sales force structure and national account programs. Steve is committed to using his God given talents to do Kingdom work. Steve resides in Canton, GA with his wife, Ann Gladden Hillis. He and Ann have 3 sons and 2 beautiful grandchildren.

Dr. Jerry Palmer - Board Member

Jerry grew up as the son of a Baptist preacher. He studied medicine at the University of Akron and Ohio State Medical School. After his Oncology Fellowship, Jerry served in the US Navy before starting his own practice in 1980. Dr. Palmer has served as the Medical Director for the Northport Medical Center and the VP of Medical Affairs for the DCH Health Systems. Dr. Palmer has a love of the ocean and sailing and spends a lot of time on his boat. He and his wife Mary Etta live on a farm and raise livestock, chickens and ducks.

Ron Buck - Board Advisor

Ron is the son of a sharecropper in Tennessee and lived and worked on the farm until he joined the US Navy until 1973. Ron graduated with a degree in Agri-Business and Marketing from Austin Peay University. Ron formed Ronald D. Buck Inc. and specializes in real estate acquisitions and rehabilitation of underperforming assets. Ron took his first mission trip in 1987 to Zimbabwe and developed a huge heart for those living in poverty. Ron helped create a mission organization in Zambia Africa called Mufutuli Ministries which consists of an orphanage, school and farm. He currently lives with his wife of 49 years, Mary and their son EJ on a beautiful farm on the Harpeth River in Franklin, Tennessee.

Vicky Patterson - Board Member Emeritus

Vicky worked in the corporate world for over 20 years before returning to college. She received her Masters Degree in Economics from Middle Tennessee State. She worked at the Center for Economic Education at MTS before moving to Nashville to teach Micro and Macro Economics at Belmont University. Vicky has traveled extensively teaching families living in poverty how to start sustainable small businesses. She was instrumental in the formation of Filter of Hope and now resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bart Smelley - Board Member / Founder and CEO

(Bio Above)

Privacy Policy

Filter of Hope (FOH) is committed to being a good steward of our resources to maintain the trust and confidence of donors and partners. One way we can do this is by protecting any personal information that you entrust to us.

Information We Collect

There are two ways in which we collect information from visitors on our website:

1. From persons interested in requesting information from us
2. From our online donations or purchases from our store

The online information that we collect includes name, address, city, state, zip code, telephone number, email address, and, in the case of online giving or purchases, credit card number and expiration date. In order to continuously improve your service and tailor our subsequent communications to you, we may also ask you occasionally to provide us with additional information regarding your demographics, comments, professional interests, and contact preferences.

How the information is used

FOH uses your information to understand your needs and provide you with better service. We may use your information to complete a transaction, issue you an income tax receipt for a donation, or to personalize our website for you. If you agree to be contacted, we may also use this information to update you on projects and activities. Credit card numbers are used only for donation or payment processing of merchandise purchased on our website and are not retained for any other purposes.

No sharing of personal information

FOH never sells, rents, leases, or exchanges your personal information with other organizations or groups. The identity of all who contact us through this site are kept confidential. Use of personal information will be limited to the internal purposes of FOH and only to further our projects, activities and purposes.

Security

FOH is committed to ensuring the security of your personal information. To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the proper use of information, we have established and implemented appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. FOH uses DigiCert’s Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Protocol when collecting or transferring sensitive data such as credit card information. Any information you enter is encrypted at your browser, sent over the public Internet in encrypted form, than de-encrypted on a secure server.

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