Get to know Bethany's leadership

Meet our leaders, who faithfully direct operations across the U.S. and around the world that serve children and families.

Executive Team

Bill Blacquiere

Interim President & CEO

Bill worked for the state of Michigan in their social service department for 12 years before joining Bethany. Bill worked at Bethany for 31 years and was CEO for 12 years. He played an instrumental role in Bethany‘s evolution, helping to strengthen child welfare services in the U.S. and in developing countries around the world. Bill and Mary have been married for 50 years and live in Empire, Michigan.

Lorita Shirley headshot

Lorita Shirley

Chief Operations Officer

In partnership with the CEO, Lorita works to align all of Bethany's programs, processes, and resources with our strategic framework, equipping us to accomplish our mission today and realize our vision for the future. She is a recognized leader in the social services field, with over 31 years in the public and private sectors. Her experience includes managing media relations, fundraising, corporate oversight, quality, and process improvement for national organizations. Lorita excels at driving executive-level projects, building teams, and establishing systems within complex organizations. She obtained her BSW and MSW at Florida State University. Lorita and her husband have four children and reside in Florida.

Dr. Tawnya Brown

Senior Vice President of Global, Refugee, and Immigrant Services

Tawnya has worked in child welfare and refugee services for over 27 years. During her career at Bethany she has served in a number of roles including branch director, regional director, national development director for Refugee Services, vice president of regional operations, and vice president of Refugee & Immigrant Family Services. Tawnya is a strategic leader in growing programs and services specifically designed to meet the greatest challenges facing children and families. She holds a Master of Social Work and is clinically licensed. She and her husband have two sons and reside in Maryland. In all things, Tawnya is motivated by her faith and seeks God’s purpose daily as she speaks up and stands for people in vulnerable situations around the globe.

Scott De Vries

Senior Vice President of Finance

Since 2001, Scott has served a variety of roles within the finance team. He now leads a team of dedicated financial professionals whose mission is to promote stewardship of the resources that God has entrusted to Bethany. Scott strives for financial transparency and accuracy in every aspect of managing the business activities of Bethany.

Nhung Hurst

Senior Vice President Corporate Counsel

Nhung provides leadership to all legal aspects of the organization including legal transactions, contracts, risk management, and mattes of regulation and compliance. She most recently served as the senior associate counsel/data privacy officer for Samaritan’s Purse providing legal advice and guidance to management, both domestically and internationally, in the areas of employment and labor law, privacy and data protection regulations, child protection, bribery and corruption, anti-trafficking and aviation law. Nhung, her husband, and daughter live in West Michigan.

Cheryl Jereczek

Senior Vice President of Donor Engagement

Cheryl joined Bethany in 2019. She brings a wealth of philanthropy and donor engagement expertise from her time leading the World Vision development teams. She leads our fundraising efforts, national campaign strategy, and donor relations team. Cheryl brings great joy and compassion to her work to support the families and children Bethany serves.

Brad Keller

Senior Vice President of Operations

Brad Keller, VP of regional operations in Michigan, has supervised teams at Bethany for more than 28 years. Brad enjoys helping teams build on their individual strengths, negotiating outcomes so everyone knows their role and what is expected of them, moving things in a positive direction, and using humor and joy to fulfill Bethany’s mission of serving vulnerable children and families. He earned his master’s degree in social work and has worked in child welfare, foster care, and adoption since 1995.

Annie Osburn

Senior Vice President of Communications and Governance at Bethany

Annie is responsible for the integration of Bethany’s mission and priorities across the organization by leading internal communications and public relations, spearheading crisis communications, ensuring organizational assimilation to change initiatives, and providing strategic support to the CEO and Board of Directors. As a certified human resources professional, and holding dual Master of Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership and Master of Education degrees, Annie brings a people-first approach to all that she does. She lives with her three children and husband in West Michigan.

George Tyndall

Senior Vice President of Operations

Since 1998, George has provided direct clinical services and oversight to a broad range of family strengthening programs. He has also directed branch strategic planning and various cultural diversity initiatives. George earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan and his master’s degree in social work from Grand Valley State University.

Lindsey Wertz

Senior Vice President of People and Culture

Lindsey directs the global human resource strategy for Bethany and is passionate about the overall health and well-being of staff and the organization. With over 15 years of experience, Lindsey enjoys collaborating with leaders to ensure that Bethany’s mission and values drive our strategic priorities. Holding an Inclusive Workplace Culture Specialty Credential, she understands that culture is key to maintaining operations and achieving the organization’s mission and is one of the greatest benefits an employer can provide. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and communication studies and a master’s degree in organizational psychology and development. Lindsey and her husband live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with their five children.

Cheri Williams

Senior Vice President of Domestic Programs

Cheri leads the charge across 30 states to transform how children and families are kept safe, loved, and connected. With a deep passion for equity, collective impact, and place-based solutions, Cheri believes it is possible to empower parents and communities to create their own solutions. With 25 years in child welfare, Cheri has done the hard work of evaluating her past practice, realizing how the system de-humanizes all it touches, and is deeply committed to building a new, innovative system of prevention based on youth, family, and community voice. Originally a Florida native, Cheri received her bachelor's degree in family and child sciences from Florida State University and her master's in public administration from Troy University.

Dana Anderson

Vice President Refugee & Immigrant Child Placement Services

Dana Anderson manages Bethany’s child placement services for refugee and immigrant youth, including the long-term refugee and short-term immigrant foster care programs. Her faith drives her to give vulnerable children protection and support. She lives with her husband and three children in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dana earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wheaton College and her master’s degree in counseling from Cornerstone University.

Brittani Anthony

Vice President of People and Compliance

Brittani oversees the employee life cycle from hire date with onboarding to offboarding including employee engagement, employee relation, and workplace investigations as well as overseeing human resources compliance. She has over 14 years of diverse human resources experience spanning multiple industries. She has a bachelor's in psychology with a minor in management from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Art in education and human resources development from The George Washington University with an emphasis on organizational learning and organizational effectiveness. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR).

Michael Bruxvoort

Vice President of Information Technology

Mike leads a team of 20 members who support and build Bethany’s technological services, websites, and internal applications to advance Bethany's mission. A graduate of Dordt College, Mike brings 20 years of information technology experience with a passion for working in organizations with a strong mission.

Jeff Carlson

Vice President of Regional Operations

Jeff Carlson manages the operations for Bethany’s Pacific and Midwestern regions. He and his wife live in Southern California with their three boys, all of whom joined the family through adoption. He credits his adoption experiences with his motivation to ensure all Bethany families receive the same level of love, care, and professionalism. Jeff earned his master’s degree in clinical psychology from Azusa Pacific University and is a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Luke Delavergne

Vice President of Regional Operations

Luke manages the operations of four Bethany regions, covering 18 states throughout the eastern and southeastern U.S. He enjoys the ability to empower vulnerable children and bring them into safe, loving homes through Bethany. He lives with his wife, two children, and two dogs in Nashville, Tennessee. Luke earned both his bachelor and master’s degrees from Harding University.

Juan Fernandez

Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Juan Fernandez leads a diverse team of talented individuals whose goal is to share with others about God’s work through Bethany. A native of Argentina, Juan is a marketing professional with a global mindset and a passion for social justice. As a husband and father of four, Bethany’s mission to change the world through family is near and dear to his heart. His background in pastoral ministries, international marketing, fundraising, and design make him an ideal fit to lead Bethany’s communications efforts into the future. Juan’s life verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17 which reads: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come (NASB).”

Leena Hill

Vice President of Global Services

Leena joined Bethany in 2021 as vice president of global services. She has more than 15 years’ experience leading global humanitarian responses and international operations involving institutional and private donor engagement, partnership development, project design and delivery, and cross-functional collaboration and accountability. Leena lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband and daughter.

Parvez Mohsin

Vice President of Refugee Immigrant Adult & Family Services, Refugee and Immigrant Services

Parvez is a Bangladeshi American from Venezuela. He has a decade of progressive project management experience in community development in international locations including Brazil, Turkey, and Vietnam among others. Since 2016, he has worked under the auspices of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program in various capacities such as development, reception and placement, health services, and adult and youth education. He holds a master’s in global development and social justice from St. John’s University and a master’s in public administration from Syracuse University. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Mary, and their two daughters.

Emma Schab

Vice President of Regional Operations

Emma manages the operations of the Grand Rapids/East Lansing, Michigan, region. She was case manager for the first two youth in Bethany’s short-term immigrant foster care program and has played an integral role in the development of the foster care and shelter programming for unaccompanied children. Emma earned her master’s degree in social work from Western Michigan University. She and her family live in West Michigan.

Board of Directors

Directors

Mark Augustyn

Chair

Mark earned a bachelor’s in finance and a master’s in business administration from Grand Valley State University. In 1997, Mark, along with five other founders, started Mercantile Bank of Michigan where he currently serves as its senior lender and west region president. He has been married to his wife, Julie, for over 27 years, and they have four children. Mark also enjoys coaching, running, and biking.

Brian Britton

Vice President

Brian serves as the CEO of National Heritage Academies, a for-profit charter school management company that consists of 87 K-8 schools in nine states. Before moving to the midwest, Brian spent 15 years at The Walt Disney Company in multiple leadership roles. He's a proud graduate of the United States Naval Academy, serving the country for nine years as a naval flight officer. Brian is the adoptive father of three children.

Larry Herring

Secretary

Larry is a certified public accountant (CPA) who lives in Florida. He has two grown children and has served on Bethany's board in Florida since 2003.

Joel Rahn

Treasurer

Joel has been a banking professional in West Michigan for 30 years. He currently serves as regional president for Independent Bank. He graduated from Central Michigan University with degrees in finance and economics. He has been married to his wife, Nancy, for 30 years and has two adult daughters, Katelyn and Sarah. Joel and Nancy worked with Bethany to adopt Sarah from South Korea. They attend Grace Community Church, where Joel is active in the music ministry.

Susanne Jordan

Member at Large

Susanne served as an adoption social worker for Bethany in Fremont and Muskegon, Michigan, for 31 years before her recent retirement. Her expertise is in the areas of domestic infant adoption, pregnancy counseling, foster care adoption, and refugee transitional foster care. She enjoys bicycling, camping, traveling, and reading.

Members

Marben Bland

Board Member

An emerging faith leader, Marben is a pastor, writer, and entrepreneur committed to humbly serving the Lord while being a successful business leader as a bivocational pastor. Marben is a military veteran, retired businessman, and recent second-career graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. He currently serves the New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Dublin, Georgia, while also assisting business and faith-based clients to achieve success.

Kafi Mashariki Carrasco

Board Member

Kafi is a third-generation community organizer working at the institutional and grassroots levels to empower communities to solve their own problems. Her experiences include working in incarnational Christian community development in urban Los Angeles, running a community-based non-profit leading the church's antiracism effort, and working in public and private urban Christian schools as both teacher and a principal. She holds a B.A. in psychology/public policy analysis from Pomona College, a master's in elementary education from Claremont Graduate University, and a master's in educational leadership from California State University, Los Angeles. Kafi is currently working on a Ph.D. in Innovative Urban Leadership at Bakke Graduate University, a global Christian university.

Lori Hockema

Board Member

Children have always been at the center of Lori Hockema’s life. Four children, two grandchildren, several Safe Family host children, and hundreds of school children have blessed her with rich experiences and insights. Lori also served on the Bethany's board in Indiana for nine years.

Peter Kraslawsky

Board Member

Peter is the director of client relationship management at Vocera Communications in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has also served as an elder at Redeemer Church of Knoxville and as an associate pastor at Community Church in California.

Steve Mayer

Board Member

Steve lives with his family in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is a Program Director for Cornerstone Trust. He gives oversight to the Trust’s engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to Cornerstone, Steve served for 10 years in a local church where he led their international and local outreach efforts. He has two masters degrees with one in Historical Theology and the other in International Development, focusing on Monitoring and Evaluation.

Maegan Schwindling

Board Member

Maegan serves as the Chief of Staff for Meet Copper, Inc, an online platform for book clubs bringing people together in meaningful communities. A social worker by trade, she has spent over a decade in various leadership roles and working with adoptive families and vulnerable children. Maegan is the host of The Post Adoption Podcast and serves with Equality for Adopted Children. She finds enjoyment helping organizations, companies, and authors launch products or books they love to bring positive change to the world. She and her husband TC believe their most meaningful work is parenting their three children, two of which came to them through International Adoption. Her family resides in North Alabama.

Roger Shank

Board Member

Roger is the CFO of CREA, LLC an Indiana-based affordable housing equity provider. He has 30+ years of finance experience. He graduated from Huntington University and is a licensed CPA in the state of Indiana. He has been married to his wife Melinda for 30 years and has four daughters. Roger and his wife serve on the local advisory board of the local Isaiah 117 House which provides physical and emotional support in a safe and loving home for children awaiting foster care placement.

Dr. Deborah Sturtevant

Board Member

Deb’s professional background is in social work practice, social welfare history, child welfare, and nonprofits. She has a B.A. from Hope College, an MSW from Western Michigan University, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Deb is a professor of social work emerita at Hope College, where she recently retired after 33 years of teaching and research. She's grateful for her working relationships with many Bethany staff that resulted from placements of social work interns, participation at Bethany conferences and workshops, and completion of global training, program evaluations, and research projects.

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