Our Staff


Jessica Richardson

Executive Assistant to the Board & Sr. Director of Development

Jessica is an Athens native who is returning home after spending almost twenty years away in Dallas and then Houston. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and English from the University of North Texas and is currently working toward a Masters in Education from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Since 2005, she has taught 8th grade at Beverly Hills Intermediate in Pasadena ISD.

In 2010, Jessica moved from the Houston suburbs into the city and began attending church at Ecclesia Houston. It was there she first developed a passion for expanding access to clean water in the developing world.

Now after ten wonderful years in the public school classroom, Jessica is switching gears and putting that passion to work as part of the Hope Springs Water team!


C. Ted Mettetal, M.D

Founder and Executive Director

Dr. Mettetal is an Arkansas native, born and raised in Monticello. He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and from the University of Arkansas School of Medicine in Little Rock, Arkansas. From 1975 to 1979, Dr. Mettetal served in the U.S. Navy as Medical Officer. He later did his residency in Family Practice medicine at John Peter Smith Hospital, Ft. Worth, TX. In 1982, he opened his own practice in Family Medicine in Athens, TX, where he remains today. In addition to his practice and his work with Hope Springs Water, Dr. Mettetal still finds time to go overseas regularly, serving as a member of a medical mission team.

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Steve Akin

Trustee, Past Chairman

Every organization needs a Steve Akin. When Dr. Mettetal began his vision of founding Hope Springs Water, the person he went to was his friend and Missions Pastor at his church, Steve Akin. Together, they fleshed out what has become a team of dedicated individuals bringing clean water to others around the world.

Mr. Akin received his Master of Church Music in 1976 from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and served in churches across Texas before settling at First Baptist Church Athens in 2001, where he remains today. In 2010, he brought his talent of never meeting a stranger to HSW, garnering the support the young organization required. Together with Dr. Mettetal and Mr. Hinds, he has traveled to nearly every region Hope Springs Water serves. Mr. Akin is married to Carla and they have three sons and four grandchildren. He is an avid golfer and one of his best skills, he will tell you, is that he bakes a mean campfire fruit cobbler. His biggest regret? “Sometimes I burn the cobblers!”

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Bliss Nelson

Finance Director

Bliss has called Athens her home since 2014, when her husband was relocated for work. She and Daniel have four children and are members at First Baptist Church where they co-lead a Bible Fellowship Group on Sunday mornings. She also serves in the children's ministry, is a member of the finance committee, and is an actively involved parent at Athens Christian Academy. 

Bliss holds a B.A. in Recreation and Leisure Studies with an emphasis in Marketing from The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and an M.B.A with a focus on non-profit management and social impact from Bethel University. After graduating, she worked as a Marketing Associate for Camp Victory Ministries and as the Director of Finance and Human Resources at Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children, both in Minnesota. 

Bliss first joined the Hope Springs Water family as a volunteer during the months leading up to GolfWELL 2015. It was then that she came to share our passion for eliminating water poverty in the developing world, and was moved by the many ways Hope Springs Water has shown Athens to be  a community that makes a difference globally. 

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Colleen Nelson

Program and Operations Assistant

Colleen came on staff in June of 2018 making her the newest member of our team. Moving all the way from Minnesota, she is enjoying our lovely warm weather here in Athens, TX. With a back ground in camping ministry and a B.S. in Health Education she fits right in with Hope Springs Water.

Along with her passion for helping others she loves spending as much time outside as she can. Whether that be rock climbing, canoeing, backpacking, riding her horse or hiking with her dog Jackson she is always up for a new adventure!