Warren T. Te Brugge
Chair and Director
The founder of My Arms Wide Open, Warren is a successful business executive with 30 years experience across a broad range of business areas, including finance, IT, strategic planning, training and development, project management and marketing and communications. He works at an executive level and has taken new and existing companies through the often complex processes required to strengthen their market position and increase sales. He has implemented systems that improve companiesʼ operations and created optimum circumstances for future growth.
Warrenʼs professional career has taken him to many countries throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He understands the cultural differences with respect to business and social norms in each market and has developed a keen sense of how to communicate effectively with people in these markets. Warren is using his experiences and skills to benefit the people and communities of South Africa where he was born.
Warrenʼs mission is to be the spark that ignites the hearts and minds of social entrepreneurs around the world.
His personal vision is to work with children in South Africa to enable them to break the chains of their parentsʼ past prejudice, preserve their culture and learn to make decisions for themselves, embracing their communities and continually growing as confident, contributing individuals.
Find out more about Warren Te Brugge.
Edward J. Te Brugge
Vice-Chair and Director
Edward Te Brugge is capping a successful career with work that comes straight from the heart. He brings to My Arms Wide Open a wealth of wisdom gained over a successful 45-year professional career.
Edward's experience has included civil engineering, heavy industrial manufacturing, gold, copper and coal mining exploration, and development. His first venture as an entrepreneur was in a manufacturing and distribution in the construction industry in Southern Africa. His experiences and abilities earned him many senior management appointments including CEO and a number of directorships prior to his move to Canada in 1981. He continued his professional career as an entrepreneur in Canada in the manufacturing and home health care industries until his retirement in 2000.
Edward has gained tremendous understanding, respect and appreciation for the abilities of the many cultural groups he has worked with and appreciates the difference it has made to his own life. Edward believes in family and cherishes the relationships he has with his sons, daughter and his grandchildren. It is with arms wide open that he welcomes the magical opportunity of being associated with a venture that will unite peoples of the earth and also give them an opportunity to look back with pride, humility and a sense of achievement as a contributor and an example to all to unite not divide.
Madelaine joined the board in March 2012 and has been working along side My Arms Wide Open since 2010. Madelaine is an expert in the field of public relations and marketing communications. The principal and owner of Granville Communications, she has over 35 years of diverse business experience with private, public and non-profit organizations. Madelaine brings a calm, pragmatic but creative focus to helping organizations tell their story. Blessed with a contagious enthusiasm, she is well known for inspiring and galvanizing teams to create dynamic marketing and public relations campaigns.
Madelaine has designed and executed local, national and international media relations campaigns that have resulted in front page coverage in national newspapers, high profile articles in daily newspapers, and interviews on leading radio and TV programs. She has provided project management for the development of award-winning collateral materials, videos and ad campaigns.
Prior to her work in communications, Madelaine was a director and business development officer for International Rail Consultants, a joint venture between BC Railway and Sandwell, formed to provide railway transportation consulting services to industries, international funding agencies and governments worldwide. Her professional career has taken her to such culturally diverse countries as Iran and Australia.
Madelaine has a passion for both the non-profit and social enterprise worlds and has a strong commitment to directing her skills and energy towards making a contribution to her community, both local and global.
A passionate traveller who loves adventure, Madelaine’s favourite life experiences include skydiving with her son, hiking the rugged West Coast Trail and living in Australia for a year. She brings this same spirit to her work with clients – always looking for new and better ways of achieving results through communications.
Richard D. Filley
Ricahrd joined the Board in March 2012 and has worked to support My Arms Wide Open projects since 2011. Richard D. Filley is the director of the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) Program at Arizona State University. Prior to this he served as the director of the ASU Corporate Leaders Program, which he founded in 1986. Filley joined ASU in 1985, and before that, served as an international magazine editor where he authored over 50 magazine articles. Early in his career he worked as an industrial engineer in the aerospace industry for Boeing, Garrett AiResearch and Sperry Flight Systems.
In 2002 he spent six months on sabbatical at RMIT University with his family in Melbourne, Australia. Filley travels overseas frequently, and has spoken in 22 countries. His volunteer and community service activities include terms as president of the Marc Center (Mesa, Arizona), the ASU University Club, and the Rio Salado Rowing Club (which he co-‐founded in 1991). He is a member of Valley Leadership Class X, and served several terms on the national board of directors of the American Association of University Administrators.
The successes of two high tech student community service programs he founded have been recognized: In 2002 with an award (presented to him by Nobel Peace Prize Laureaute F.W. de Klerk) from the United Way International at their annual conference, held in Cape Town, South Africa. Also, in 1996, when Dick was selected as a “community hero” by the Valley of the Sun United Way and given the chance to carry the Olympic torch as it passed through the Valley headed for Atlanta.
Kyle T. Te Brugge
Kyle has been working alongside his father Warren from a young age. In addition to his work with My Arms Wide Open, he is studying at York University in Toronto, Canada with a focus in philosophy. Kyle is a creative and innovative thinker who brings a clear and grounded perspective to the My Arms Wide Open team.
Kyle’s career to date includes working with long term care, retail, financial and communications-based organizations. His ability to communicate effectively and engage individuals is an important element in the success of My Arms Wide Open. Kyle’s special talent is identifying the common interests across a group of people, enabling them to collaborate more effectively. By being able to clearly see problems, patterns and issues, he provides realistic and workable solutions to create success.
Kyle believes in family and community and that each of us, as individuals and a group, are important in contributing to and developing who we are as a culture and a whole.
Director and Advisory Member of the Board
Helen Lieberman is a long-time community activist who has made a significant contribution to South African society. She is the founder and Honorary President of Ikamva Labantu (The Future of our Nation), a South African grassroots social development organization,
Helen is a Speech Therapist by training. At the height of Apartheid 35 years ago, she turned her attention to the disenfranchised, impoverished South African townships. At the beginning, she was a sole woman addressing suffering as she came upon it. Helen has worked tirelessly with community members in these townships to help develop social activism and to create survival community programmes. Today Ikamva Labantu is one of the largest non-profit organizations in South Africa working to further develop over 1,000 projects to sustainability.
Helen's work in this field has been recognized internationally. What started off as small and localized initiative has grown over the years into a vast organization with connections throughout the world, and one that generates support and funding from many sources. The success of Ikamva Labantu has led to the establishment of international partnerships with a wide range of humanitarian organizations, from universities to large NGOs and major corporations. Helen speaks regularly throughout South Africa and internationally at conferences, meetings, symposia and cultural and educational institutions.
Under Helen’s leadership, Ikamva Labantu has set up programs in a wide range of sectors:
- Family Services: orphans and vulnerable children are cared for by “Mamas”, township women who have formed forums that strengthen and support each other
- Early Childhood Education preschools with over 1,000 preschools now in operation throughout South Africa: Helen is establishing a Model School for the training of educators.
- Youth programs: after-school activities run by professionals in chess, computers, soccer, basketball and life skills.
- Agricultural sites: food gardens have been established attached to most Ikamva Labantu Centres.
- Senior Centres: providing companionship, social service support, health assistance, daily interest activities and meals.
- Services for the Blind and visually impaired: after many years of support, training and education, this group became independent in 2009 and delivers their own aromatherapy services.
- Community Creations: a small factory where crafts and hand made items are manufactured and sold by community workers including those who are disabled.
- Enterprise Development: programs for skills training and entrepreneurship that prepare youth and others for employment.
Director, South Africa
Rika joined the Board of My Arms Wide Open, South Africa in January, 2011. Rika's commitment to the community and My Arms Wide Open is invaluable. She has an ability to see opportunity where others just don't and works tirelessly to support the members, communities and families of My Arms Wide Open.
Director, South Africa
Nyameka joined the Board of My Arms Wide Open, South Africa in January 2010. Nyame is an ardent community supporter and works in a number of communities in South Africa. Nyameka's experience and knowledge of what is happening on the ground in rural and urban communities is critical to the success of our projects.