Our Team

Wendy Bjurstrom
Wendy, along with husband Ed, is the co-Founder of CompassioNow, formerly CareNow Foundation. They determined to establish CompassioNow in late 2005 after they visited a number of rural villages in Africa during trips there in 2002 and 2004. On their visits, they found many people who lacked the most basic healthcare services. Today, Wendy is very active in overseeing the day-to-day work of the organization, as well as assisting with fundraising activities for CompassioNow. New to tea drinking, she is becoming an expert in the caffeine-free teas that Compassion Tea carries.



Edward E. Bjurstrom
Mr. Bjurstrom, co-Founder of the CompassioNow. has 28 years of operating experience in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, including executive leadership roles at Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology company, and Gilead Sciences. In addition to serving as the President of CompassioNow, Mr. Bjurstrom serves on the board of the International Leadership Foundation, and Affordable Medicines for Africa. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from California State University at Long Beach and completed the Executive Business Program at the University of Michigan.



Anne E. Kennedy
Anne’s trips to Africa in 2006 and 2008 to visit orphanages and rural medical clinics created an awareness of and concern for the people of these areas.  As a CompassioNow board member, she raised funds for ongoing support of the clinics and people she met in Africa. Founding and working with the Compassion Tea Company allows Anne to further pursue her passion of helping the “world’s least served.”  She is a 2011 attendee of the World Tea Expo and continues to develop her understanding and appreciation of fine teas by attending classes at the Specialty Tea Institute having completed Levels I and II to date.

 


Lee Kennedy
Lee, one of the founders of Compassion Tea Co., has over 40 years’ experience in Information Technology, much of it in executive leadership positions. Corporations where he held senior positions include Westinghouse Electric, Kinkos, and 24 Hour Fitness. Since retiring from the corporate work environment, Lee spent five years as the Executive Pastor of the Conejo Valley Community Church and is currently the President of Compassion Tea. He also served on the board of the Lily of the Valley AIDS Foundation and has been to Africa visiting orphanages and clinics. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Adrian College.

 


Christy Faherty
Christy’s extended family includes a number of overseas missionaries. Their experiences illustrated for Christy the importance of caring for others who are less fortunate than we are here in the United States. Christy received a B.S. in Nursing from Seattle Pacific University and has enjoyed working as a nurse for many years.  Becoming involved with CompassioNow brought the opportunity to visit and participate in the care given CompassioNow supported clinics in South Africa and Zambia. Christy now has a better understanding of the great need to care for those less fortunate and least served. She also enjoys blending and creating teas for Compassion Tea Company and has completed Levels I and II of the Specialty Tea Institute.

 

Jack Faherty
Jack is a CPA and has served in senior finance executive positions for a number of multinational companies.  He moved to California from his native Boston to assume the role of CFO for the Aerospace Division of Senior Plc and spent 15 years with Digital Equipment Corporation, principally in their Semiconductor Division.  He is currently the VP of Financial Planning at Aramark Uniform Services in Burbank, CA. Jack has been to South Africa and Zambia, visiting several CompassioNow supported clinics along with his wife, Chris, a CompassioNow board member.  Jack longs for the return to glory of his beloved Boston Red Sox.   

 


Donna Lee Cribbs
Donna has a heart for the poor and needy of Africa. She has traveled extensively and seen
firsthand the plight of the poor there. Compassion Tea has provided a purpose and direction for her desire to help those in need.  

 


Linda Taggart
Having lived overseas, Linda has come to appreciate the art of tea drinking. She enjoys a great cup of tea, preferably an herbal or tisane, after a long day of playing mom, wife, taxi driver, school volunteer, Brownie leader, and blogger. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Wittenberg University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Akron, both in literature. She praises God for this opportunity to learn more about the perfect cup of tea and about our neighbors in far away Africa, for His perfect timing, and for His amazing inspiration!

 


Jon Larson
Jon has run LarsonImages, a Creative Services company for the past 15 years specializing in graphic design, web design and photography. Having his own company has afforded him the opportunity to travel extensively which has given him insight into other peoples and cultures from around the world. Along with the beauty of other cultures and locations, he realizes the great need there is to lend a helping hand to those who are struggling for health, happiness and survival. Working with Compassion Tea and its founders has been a chance for Jon to use his creative skills to help those that have great need.