Meet The Team
Branch Director - Des Moines
Leah Garland joined Bethany Christian Services in 2005 and moved into the role of executive branch director in 2013. In this role, she manages branch services, local board direction, financial health, fundraising, and more. Prior to joining Bethany, she worked with Wake County Human Services with Medicaid and Food Assistance for the elderly & disabled populations in Raleigh, North Carolina. She earned her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa, as well as her Master's degree in business administration from Drake University.
Clinical Director and Adoption Consultant - Des Moines
Marlene Hibma joined Bethany Christian Services of Cedar Rapids in 1995. In her role as clinical director, she sets the clinical and ethical tones for the branch. She earned her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa.
Director of Development - Des Moines
Josh Cowman joined Bethany in 2019 and is piloting the role of Director of Development. In this role, he seeks to cultivate new relationships and opportunities and build upon established ones to fund new and support existing initiatives. Josh wants to embolden donors/partners to multiply the impact of the work being done by the team for the individuals and families Bethany serves. He has been in real estate development his entire career and most recently launched his own company -- Leap Development Co. in 2018. Prior to joining Bethany in this role, Josh served, most recently as president, on the local Bethany Board for 8 years.
Home Study Specialist - Des Moines
Alyssa Plunkett joined Bethany Christian Services as an intern in 2013 and later became an expectant parent advocate. She rejoined the Bethany team in 2017 as a home study specialist. Alyssa has experience with inpatient mental health care for adults and adolescents. She earned her Master’s degree in social work, with a concentration on trauma informed care, from the University of Northern Iowa.
Administrative Assistant - Pella
Trisha Hay joined Bethany Christian Services in 2017. As the administrative assistant, her primary role is communicating with families in the domestic and international adoption programs as they complete their application and home study process.
Expectant Parent Advocate and Transracial Adoption Coach - Des Moines
Louis Fountain joined Bethany Christian Services in 2013. He serves as an expectant parent advocate. He also works with the new transracial adoption program where he coaches and trains both parents and youth. He has worked in many facets of social service for the past ten years.
Expectant Parent Advocate - Des Moines
Megan Mohr joined Bethany Christian Services in 2012. Previously, she worked with youth aging out of foster care. Megan was on active duty in the United States Air Force for four years after high school before earning her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa.
Expectant Parent Advocate - Pella
Chelsea Cowman joined Bethany Christian Services in 2004. She currently works with women who are expecting or who have given birth. She helps them make a plan for their child, whether that be parenting or adoption. Chelsea earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Northern Iowa.
Post-Adoption Therapy / Mentor - Des Moines
Benjamin Dino joined Bethany Christian Services in 2014. He serves adoptees through Bethany’s mentoring program and works in ADOPTS as a post-adoption counselor. Benjamin was adopted through Bethany. He earned his master’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa.
Monica J. McWilliams
Pregnancy Counselor BS/BA - Cedar Rapids
Monica McWilliams joined Bethany Christian Services in 2014 serving as an adoptee mentor in Bethany's mentoring program. In addition to mentoring adoptees, Monica began serving as an Expectant Parent Advocate in 2019. She earned her Bachelor's degree in sociology with an emphasis in social work from Simpson College and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in social work from the University of Iowa.