Who we are

Dr. Rick Merritt

Born and raised in Louisiana, Dr. Rick Merritt has southern wit and charm along with a dedicated drive for excellence. He has been married thirty-three years to his wife Judith Merritt. They have three children and nine grandchildren. Rick is the founder and president of Heart and Soul Family Counseling...

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President Mark Palm

Mark Palm, the president of Samaritan Aviation was raised as a pastor’s son and from a very young age has had a passion for people and aviation. During his high-school years, he had the opportunity to work with his parents who ran Elm Street Mission, which was a homeless mission in...

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Palm Family

Mark Palm, the President and co-founder of Samaritan Aviation, visited Papua New Guinea in 1994. While trekking through the jungle and seeing the desperate needs of the people, he felt that God was calling him to this country and devote his in serving the people of Papua New Guinea. In...

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Bryan Yeager

Bryan says, “I have been a fan of Samaritan Aviation since 2000. At the time I was introduced to this organization I was the senior pastor of a church in Montrose, Colorado. Over the years our congregation as well as my family supported and partnered with several projects Samaritan had taken on....

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Joseph Burns

Joseph “Joey” Burns  is the owner broker of Lone Eagle Land Brokerage, Inc. in  Montrose, Colorado. Specializing in Ranch property sales,  Joey has strived to establish a Kingdom based  business desiring to emulate the love of Christ and the integrity of His word in all his business transactions. Joey is...

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Dr. Dan Cranston

Dr. Dan Cranston is an emergency medicine physician. He spent his high school years in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea where his father managed a secondary school that provided educational opportunities to local youth. For past 10 years Dr. Cranston has been working with humanitarian organizations to provide medical...

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Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones is a captain for Dynamic Aviation, currently flying Dash 8 aircraft in Afghanistan. Daniel served as a missionary pilot in Swaziland, Africa, and was the director of Nazarene Mission Aviation from 1995 to 2004. He has led volunteer mission trips for his local church to Africa and also...

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Patrick Clowes

Advisory Board Member Patrick Clowes is a licensed attorney and a Real Estate Broker. Patrick has served as a senior executive in several corporations and non-profits. He served as Vice President of Human Resources and Administration for Promise Keepers. He has a B.S. in Business Administration and a J.D. from...

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Jason Schwitters

Jason Schwitter’s interest in Samaritan Aviation started in 2009. In 2011 he had the opportunity to accompany a group to PNG, which consisted of supporters and board members, to see first-hand how God is using Samaritan Aviation in Papua New Guinea. Jason has been involved and around production agriculture his...

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Matthew Palm

Pastor Matthew Palm is a founding board member of Samaritan Aviation. He currently serves as secretary of the board as well as the financial committee chairperson in this adventure in faith.He has served as the lead pastor for Hope Church in Vista, California for the past eight years. He’s been...

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John Martin Davis

John Davis is the Executive Vice-President of BASE Productions. In his role, Davis provides strategic leadership, direction and oversight to the operations, creative, production and post divisions of BASE. Davis manages production on all BASE projects, such as: ESPN’s Sport Science, Nat Geo’s Do or Die! and Syfy’s Fact or...

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Evan Jeremy Paki

Evan Jeremy Paki was appointed Ambassador of to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to the United States of America in March 2003. He concurrently serves as PNG’s High Commissioner to Canada and Ambassador to Mexico. During Evan’s tenure in Washington, some of his Embassy’s achievements and priorities include the following: enhancing...

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Bruce Johnson

Bruce Johnson has been serving with Samaritan Aviation as an Aviation Advisory Board Member since 2006.  He has been a strategic voice and help for our organization providing flight training, aircraft equipment consultation and participating with his wife Bonnie in Samaritan’s program launch in Papua New Guinea. He and his wife Bonnie...

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Gina Dardis

Since 2002 Gina has worked with Samaritan Aviation as their Office Manager.  This is her second Missions Non-Profit Organization she has worked with.  Gina has also served on many volunteer programs with local churches and the community.   She was born in Grand Junction, Colorado but raised in Oklahoma.  Every summer...

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Cooke Family

We are excited to announce that Chris and Sarah Cooke, along with their four daughters Riley, McKenna, Amelia, and Lucy, arrived on May 26th. Our growing team was waiting at the airport, excited to welcome them to Wewak! Chris is a registered nurse and will fill an important role in...

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Smith Family

John and Carrie Smith were married at First Baptist Church of Geneva (FBCG) in 1997. At that time John was a pilot and airplane mechanic while Carrie was an elementary school teacher. Missions would have been the furthest thing from their minds! But through their involvement with an FBCG Bible...

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