Staff

Ken-Sparks

Ken Sparks
President & CEO

As HopeChest President and CEO, Ken encourages staff, volunteers, sponsors, and donors in fulfilling the vision and mission of HopeChest: to seek to respond to the revelation about God’s heart in James 1:27. He is a graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington, where he majored in political science with a minor in business and a certificate from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Although Ken’s “official” workspace is the hayloft of The Barn in Palmer Lake, he works anywhere there is anyone willing to listen about what God is doing through HopeChest!

Wendell-Geary-Jr

Wendell Geary, Jr.
Vice President of Finance

Working from The Barn in Palmer Lake, Wendell provides financial leadership and oversees the Finance and IT teams to maximize the value of HopeChest resources. He holds a bachelor’s in international relations (magna cum laude) from Bethel University, a master’s in divinity from Bethel Seminary, and an master’s in accounting from the University of St. Thomas. In his spare time he enjoys skiing (and apres-ski).

Rick Wright
Vice President of Marketing & Investor Advancement

As Vice President of Donor Relations and Marketing, Rick supports and partners with the President and CEO and HopeChest board members on all major fundraising initiatives. He is also responsible for donor acquisition and retention and oversees the strategic marketing direction of the organization. Based in Palmer Lake, he also travels across the country to meet with donors and partners. His ideal day off would be spending a day at the beach enjoying God’s work.

Nate Kaunley
Vice President of Community Partnerships

As Vice President of Community Partnerships, Nate leads the team responsible for managing all aspects of community partnerships, both locally and internationally. He is responsible for ensuring that international program efforts are developing in conjunction with excellent participation from local partnerships. Nate travels internationally and domestically to ensure partnership success, while developing strategy for future endeavors. Planted in Colorado, he enjoys backpacking, playing chess, and hanging with his family.

Wil Crooks
Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

As Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Wil builds relationships with HopeChest partners and potential partners. Wil started out as a pastor partnering with HopeChest, and now he shares the same vision that he caught with other potential partners. When he’s not in his office in Portage, Michigan, Wil can be found playing board games, eating nachos, and visiting the zoo with his family.

David Perry
Director, Investor Advancement

David helps people and organizations realize the significant impact of the ministry, encouraging them to identify for themselves how they can best invest in hope for children around the world. He graduated from Western State Colorado University with a degree in business administration and counts both “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien and the Bible among his favorite books.

Brian Ergle
Strategic Partnership Director

As Strategic Partnership Director, Brian builds relationships with partners and potential partners. He graduated from the University of Georgia (Go Dogs!!), and he loves stories about hope and determination. His most recent favorite book is “Unbroken,” and his favorite all-time movie is “Remember the Titans.” An ideal day for Brian is spent with his family, Gena, Landon, and Lillie Cate, going to Athens, Georgia for a University of Georgia Bulldog football game.  (For those not familiar with UGA football, we call them the DAWGS.)  Before the game, the meal that Brian requests is a burger and milkshake from The Grill in downtown Athens, followed by a trip to the campus bookstore.  During the game they cheer like crazy and “Call the Dawgs.” After a Dawg victory (unfortunately not always the case) a quick stop at the Varsity on the way home is a must.  Game days are long, but they are Brian’s favorite way to spend a  fun day with the family.

Ken-Stewart

Ken Stewart
Strategic Partnership Director

Ken, or “Kstew” as we call him at The Barn, builds relationships with partners and potential partners for Children’s HopeChest. He holds a bachelor’s in organizational leadership and an M.B.A. (Masters in Business Administration) from Biola University in La Mirada, CA. His favorite film is the comedy, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” featuring Michael Caine and Steve Martin. An ideal day for Kstew is a mid-morning round of golf, followed by dinner with his family in the evening.

Sharon Gray
Director of Finance & Human Resources

Sharon provides direct oversight of the Finance and Human Resources departments at HopeChest. She received her degree in behavioral studies from The Master’s University and is currently pursuing a degree in accounting from Colorado Christian University. A prolific reader, Sharon counts among her favorite books “The Quotable Lewis” by C.S. Lewis, “Tess of the D’Ubervilles” by Thomas Hardy, “Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, anything by Jane Austen, and, most importantly, her Bible.

Rachel Andrews
International Program Director | Ethiopia, Uganda, Russia

Rachel works directly with HopeChest Country staff overseas to help shape programmatic design and implementation on our asset based approach for community transformation. Based in Palmer Lake, Rachel is frequently on Skype or phone calls with in-country staff, reviewing Management Team reports, budgets and proposals, development plan creation and assisting with facilitating training overseas. She also travels frequently to our overseas offices and CarePoints around the globe for ongoing relationship building and program evaluation. When she is not working, she is spending her time with her husband, three kids hiking at their family cabin or cheering for Denver Broncos. If she had one day completely free, she would happily spend it on a beach!!

Tom Jennings
International Program Director | Swaziland, Guatemala, Moldova, India

Tom splits his time between HopeChest Headquarters in Palmer Lake and CarePoints in Guatemala and Swaziland. He works to improve programs and strengthen relationships with CarePoints, both through his course “Transformation that is Holistic, Integrated, and Sustainable (THIS),” as well as through frequent communication with and travel to CarePoints. He graduated from Upper Iowa University with a major in chemistry and a minor in biology. His favorite movie is “Shawshank Redemption.”

Hannah-Eloge-Staff

Hannah Eloge
Communications Director

Hannah is a creative and helps to encourage sponsors and donors and anyone with a heart for vulnerable children by creating engaging campaigns and marketing strategies. Hannah graduated from North Park University and oversees HopeChest’s design work, print materials, and organizes marketing campaigns. She can be found reading any book on creativity – her favorites are “Creativity Inc.,” “The War of Art,” and “Linchpin.” Based in Chicago, Hannah enjoys exploring the city with her husband, Josh, and twin daughters, Ezra and Olive, and winsome goldendoodle, Hadley.

Leona Strait
Accounting Manager

Leona holds a bachelor’s in business management from Arizona State University and an M.B.A. with a dual emphasis in finance and service management from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She serves HopeChest’s sponsors and donors by ensuring that funds are recorded and applied as intended. An avid hiker, one of her favorite books is “The Blue Bear” by Lynn Schooler.

Erin-M

Erin Mihelic
Sponsorship & Project Accounting Coordinator

Erin performs the indispensable role of Sponsorship and Project Accounting Coordinator.  She is currently enrolled at Regis for an MA in Accounting and a certificate in Nonprofit Management, and already holds a BA in Accounting. Her favorite movie of all time is “Good Will Hunting,” a soulful Robin Williams film. The perfect free day for Erin looks like spending time with her family and her horses.

Chris-Nelson

Chris Nelson
Sponsorship Systems Analyst

Chris supports every employee at HopeChest as a member of the IT Department through the management, interpretation, and distribution of information. Chris is a maker and a creative. He earned his bachelor’s in media education and an master’s in theology and film. Chris’ ideal day includes sleeping in, having a big breakfast, brewing a batch of beer, going hiking with my family, eating a nice dinner at home, and watching a movie with his wife before going to sleep. His favorite book of all time is the sci-fi classic, “Dune!”

Dana-Bright-Staff

Dana Owens
Content, Donor Reporting, & Copy Manager

Dana, the grammar police of HopeChest, supports the company by writing and editing various texts. She manages the blog, HopeChest Insights, as well as the social media. She received her bachelor’s in English literature at University of Colorado and aspires to also earn a linguistics degree in the future. She is studying Russian and loves language. Her favorite novel is “Doctor Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak and in her free time she is reading, exploring, and snapping film photos with her husband.

Lynnae Supplee

Community Partnership Manager | Uganda, India

Lynnae seeks to walk alongside, empower, and encourage communities working in Uganda and India and her U.S. partnering communities. She considers herself a child advocate and loves witnessing transformation occur between two communities that is lasting and eternal as the lives of children are impacted every day through our programs. She received her bachelor’s in social work from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. A Colorado native, Lynnae loves to hike and read–two of her favorite books are “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken and “Les Miserables.”

Stephanie Mutert
Community Partnership Manager | Guatemala

Stephanie works to facilitate the relationship between U.S. based churches and community partners in Guatemala, in turn strengthening their efforts to help Guatemala’s orphaned and vulnerable children. Stephanie’s favorite things to watch are action movies and Duke basketball games.

Bethany Parker
Community Partnership Manager | Swaziland

Bethany holds a degree in psychology from Auburn University and coordinates with U.S.-based partners and their corresponding orphanages and CarePoints in Swaziland. Her favorite movie is “Lord of the Rings,” ideally viewed while eating Thai food.

Justin

Justin Petrochko
Community Partnership Manager | Ethiopia

Justin supports Community Partnership Leaders in Ethiopia, encouraging them and sharing in their journey. He has a bachelor’s  in psychology and nonprofit administration, which makes his talents an excellent contribution to the HopeChest team. When HopeChest has a snow day, Justin is likely to be found either watching “Gladiator,” diving into “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis, or skiing with his wife and ending the day with a meal at Quiero Arepas.

Kendyl-Berger

Kendyl Berger
Community Partnership Manager | Russia, Swaziland

Working directly with Russia and Swaziland, Kendyl is an essential part of the community connection that happens between North America and our Community Partners. Showing a continuous interest in global awareness, Kendyl received a bachelor’s of international studies from Loyola University Chicago with a double minor in Latin American studies and Spanish language. When she is not working from HopeChest’s location in Palmer, CO., she loves spending time in the mountains hiking with her dog, Franklin, or riding her horse, Belle.

kimberly

Kimberly Woolridge
Community Partnership Manager | Ethiopia

Kimberly is the bridge of communication between the Ethiopian and North American partners. She is an artistic soul, and earned her degree in visual and performing arts at University of Colorado. Her favorite book is “Walking on Water; Reflections on Faith and Art” by Madeleine L’Engle. She describes her perfect day beginning with setting no alarm. Then she would take her time journaling and reading, enjoying a cup of coffee. Next she would drive west for a while, go back home, get on her bike or longboard, and spend time with people she loves.

Anna

Anna McConnell
Travel Manager

Anna helps HopeChest partners and communities plan their trips to CarePoints. These trips are essential to the HopeChest mission of connecting North American communities to communities all around the globe. She is a University of Northern Colorado graduate with a bachelor’s in business administration (emphasis in marketing). An ideal movie day for Anna means watching “The Proposal” or “Forever Strong.” She works out of the Palmer, CO. office and loves exploring and adventuring all around Colorado!

Katie Holmes
Travel Manager

Planning trips between HopeChest partners and communities at HopeChest’s Ethiopian and Russian CarePoints is part of Katie’s job position as Travel Manager. Katie has a variety of skills from her degrees at Iowa State University (bachelor’s in apparel merchandising and design, international studies) and Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (master’s in international education management). An ideal day to Katie is going hiking with her husband and her pup and ending the day at a winery at sunset.

Meegan-Dobson

Meegan Dobson
Sponsorship Administrative Assistant

Meegan oversees all of the correspondence between sponsors and their children—an indispensable part of the community that is created at HopeChest.  She graduated from Ozark Christian College with a bachelor’s  in Christian ministry, and loves the classic novel “Pride and Prejudice.” On days that she has completely free, she fills her time with all of the great things that Colorado has to offer, such as great coffee, a trip to Denver with friends, and hiking.