Justin Ahrens Joins Lifewater Board of Directors
Lifewater added Justin Ahrens to its Board of Directors in June, bringing a strong advocate and design professional to a group of dedicated leaders. Ahrens joins after years of working with Lifewater to raise awareness for the cause of providing water and sanitation to all.
“Justin has a demonstrated passion for our cause. He is an advocate for the vulnerable children and families that we serve and he puts his faith in action for their benefit,” says the Lifewater Board of Directors Chairman, Gene Ashe. “We couldn’t be more excited to add him to the Lifewater Board of Directors for this season of growth and expansion.” Justin Narducci, Lifewater’s President/CEO, adds, “He brings the strength of his professional expertise in engaging others to serve, and he has a palpable and articulated passion for helping people around the world as well.”
Ahrens is currently the Principal & Creative Director for Rule29, an award-winning creative design and strategy firm located in Geneva, Illinois. As the firm’s founder, Ahrens leads his team with the philosophy of Making Creative Matter®. Working with Fortune 500 companies, start-up businesses, and non-profit clients, Justin seeks to bring significance to the stories and transactions that shape lives.
Justin Ahrens and others have also been working through the Wheels 4 Water campaign, which has raised over $150,000 in the past two years with long-distance cycling trips, helping thousands in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) get safe water and sanitation.
Globally, over 663 million people do not have safe water, and 2.4 billion (1 in 3 people) do not have improved sanitation.[i] Rule29 and Lifewater have been working together for years to create engaging and compelling media that tell the stories of the thousands of people affected by Lifewater’s work each year. This year alone, Lifewater helped over 50,000 people get safe water, sanitation, and hygiene in Africa and Asia.
Ahren’s passion for serving the poor around the world started with a trip to Kenya with Narducci. “Originally I saw the trip as a fact-finding mission so that I would be able to understand and tell better stories on behalf of our non-profit clients, but during that trip I experienced a dimension of God that I’d never felt before,” says Ahrens, adding, “It wrecked me in the best way possible.”
Ahrens’ enthusiasm for global service has trickled down into the way he runs his company, his friendships, and his family. Ahrens says his work has inspired his family, friends, and coworkers to do something that they are passionate about and engage however they can. He speaks frequently at conferences and gatherings, especially in the design community, and has authored several articles and books, including Life Kerning (Wiley, 2007).
“Justin has already brought so much talent and commitment to this cause, and I look forward to working with him in the coming years as Lifewater looks to serve more people, more effectively,” says Narducci. “He’s a rock star in design, an innovative professional, an inspiring leader, and a committed servant; we’re blessed to have him with us.”
Justin Ahrens has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Illinois Wesleyan and lives with his wife, Sarah, and four children in Batavia, Illinois
[i] UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Program, Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment (Geneva: WHO, 2015). http://www.wssinfo.org/fileadmin/user_upload/resources/JMP-Update-report-2015_English.pdf
Lifewater International is a non-profit Christian water development organization dedicated to effectively serving vulnerable children and families by partnering with underserved communities to overcome water poverty. With experience in more than 40 countries since 1977, Lifewater serves people of all faiths, focusing on contextually appropriate water sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) development. For more information, contact Christine Zurbach (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.lifewater.org. Lifewater International is based in San Luis Obispo, CA.