Press Release - Former Senior Vice President of Oracle Named Next President of Joni And Friends

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Feb. 20, 2018

Ministry’s current President to stay on until 2019 to implement and oversee succession plan

AGOURA HILLS, CA Feb. 20, 2018 Joni and Friends’ Board of Directors, including founder Joni Eareckson Tada and President Doug Mazza, is pleased to announce they have appointed John Nugent as the next President of Joni and Friends. He will assume this role in January 2019 when current President, Doug Mazza, will retire after 20 successful years of explosive ministry growth and global impact. Nugent has served on the Joni and Friends Board of Directors since 2011 and as Chairman of the Board since 2015.

The selection of Nugent caps a prayerful, comprehensive search process conducted by the Board of Directors. Mazza expressed confidence in the choice. “John has not only been a great asset to Joni and Friends for more than 20 years, but an asset and advocate for the global disability community. That, paired with his extensive list of accomplishments in the corporate world, makes him the perfect fit as our next President. The ministry’s long-time commitment to a process of succession planning and abundant prayer made it clear that John has been hand-picked by God to step in and lead Joni and Friends during this next season of ministry.”

To ensure a smooth transition and execution of the succession plan, Mazza will work with the incoming President over the next year until his retirement in January 2019.

Nugent holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Spring Hill College in Alabama and possesses a Certificate of Advanced Management from Harvard Business School and Certificate Directors’ Consortium from Stanford University School of Business. He has spent over 30 years in the software industry serving as a Senior Vice President for Oracle, Executive Vice President at SAP, and President and CEO of Serena Software. His extensive history of Christlike leadership will serve him well in his new position at Joni and Friends. He is also active on the Elder Board at Bethel Christian Church in San Francisco teaching Sunday school and preaching on occasion.

“I am thrilled about John’s selection as Joni and Friends’ next President and COO,” Tada said. “His commitment to the vision of Joni and Friends has been a wonderful blessing to the ministry, and I can’t think of a better person to step in and continue to lead us onward and upward. His appointment is the result of countless hours of prayer, and I look forward to laboring together with John in the day-to-day work of the ministry. Our hearts are united in the great task of reaching many more people with disabilities and their families for Jesus Christ in the years to come.”

“It has been a joy to serve on the Joni and Friends Board of Directors these past seven years as we’ve reached thousands of families affected by disability,” said Nugent. “I’m passionate about the work of this ministry, and humbled and excited to be chosen as the new President and COO. The leadership, staff, and volunteers at Joni and Friends comprise one of the most caring and capable teams I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and I’m anticipating great things as we work together in the years to come.”

Nugent and his wife Marilyn first became involved with Joni and Friends in the early ‘90s while Marilyn was taking care of her mother after a debilitating stroke. After spending time with Joni following a local speaking engagement, Joni and Friends quickly became a focus for the Nugents. His involvement with and dedication to Joni and Friends’ mission and values as a volunteer, donor, and board member over the past three decades will serve him well as he transitions into this new role.

“I have full confidence that John will continue to lead Joni and Friends on the path to excellence as we continue to reach people affected by disability with the gospel around the world," says Mazza. “I look forward to working with him over the next year to ensure the succession plan is executed seamlessly and will enjoy watching him increase the reach and impact of Joni and Friends.”


About Joni and Friends

For more than 39 years, Joni and Friends has worked to accelerate Christian ministry to the disability community around the world, offering a wide array of life-affirming ministries, including the Christian Institute on Disability; Wheels for the World; international radio and television programs filled with inspirational stories; and Family Retreats, where families affected by disability learn they are not alone. To find out more, please visit

For more information, please contact Annie Knapp, Manager of Public Relations and Digital Marketing Services at or (818) 575-1720.