Welcome to the Team
Internal growth within the Lighthouse organization has been essential as we increase our number of retreats and families we can serve per year. This growth allows us to better fulfill our mission of strengthening every family living through childhood cancer that applies to attend a retreat. Last year was pivotal in expanding and strengthening across the organization. Our Executive Director, Chris Woodruff, and our board have established a strategic plan necessary for growth based on the three critical departments: Retreat Operations, Partner & Leadership Development, and Development & Marketing. Each department has experienced growth in the past year that has set up our organization for success.
The Retreat Operations team saw promotions and growth in 2018. Christy Richards, Retreat Operations Manager, was promoted from part-time to full-time in a new role. She now oversees the logistics of the 22 retreats Lighthouse will host this year. Anne Davis, Retreat Operations Coordinator, was hired to work alongside Christy. Anne first volunteered for Lighthouse in 2012 and was back to serve 3 times before joining the team. Christy and Anne will make sure that all 3,500 Retreat Families and Family Partners have everything they need to serve and experience rest, joy, restoration and hope this year on retreat! In addition to the new hire of Anne, Lisa Apple joined the team part-time as Retreat Family Coordinator to work alongside Julie Fesefeldt, Retreat Family Manager. Together they focus on relationships with Retreat Families. Lisa will work with Julie in our Florida office. Lisa is a nurse who volunteered as a medical lead during the 2018 retreat season.
In 2018, we introduced the Partner & Leader Development team. Jennifer Ward, VP of Partner & Leader Development, joined our team with a decade of experience from 410 Bridge developing church partnerships. Michele LaRotonda, Partner & Leader Communications Coordinator, is the most recent addition to our Lighthouse team. We are glad to have both of them on our team as they establish and grow this new team that is focused on establishing and growing existing church partnerships.
The Development & Marketing team added two new team members at the beginning on 2018. Steve Knudsen, VP of Development, has had 25 years of ministry development experience. Katelyn DeVos, Marketing & Development Coordinator, oversees all ministry communications, social media and grant writing. Katelyn first attended Lighthouse as a student at Berry College and loves continuing her career promoting the ministry. Adam Tomberlin was recently promoted to Development Director in recognition of his outstanding service to Lighthouse over the past 2 years.
With this incredible team, we are confident in our ability to successfully host 22 retreats during 2019. We are excited to continue growing as an organization and could not do so without the support of the Lighthouse community. Because of your support, we have been able to add the necessary skills to our team needed to strengthen more families living through childhood cancer. Please continue to pray for our team as we embark on our largest retreat season ever!