Meet The Team
Executive Director - Philadelphia
Heather Bert began her career at Bethany Christian Services as a pregnancy counselor immediately after graduating from Elizabethtown College. Heather has been at Bethany for 25 years and has served in adoption, foster care and post-adoption support. Heather has a passion to serve vulnerable children and families with a sense of urgency and excellence and is committed to being an advocate and voice to help children find stable, loving homes. Heather has been married to the love of her life for 23 years, loves being with her family, and has three children who remind her of the joy in life. She is also an avid sports fan and enjoys being involved in the children’s ministry at her church.
Assistant Branch Director - Philadelphia
Eunice Shin joined Bethany Christian Services in 2016 as the Assistant Branch Director, bringing with her 12 years of experience in local government and nonprofit community development. She has a Master’s degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certificate in Urban Missions from Westminster Theological Seminary. She has a heart for children and social ministry, engaging churches to broaden their scope of service beyond the local church level. She loves spending time with her family, arts and craft, painting, and listing to audio books.
Director of Refugee Programs - Philadelphia
Peter Gottemoller serves as Director of Bethany’s Refugee Programs in Pennsylvania. He works with Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) as he has done since 1990.He received his Master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and has over 30 years of experience working in the child welfare field.
Executive Assistant - Philadelphia
Lauren joined Bethany Christian Services in 2016 as Executive Assistant, providing a broad scope of support to the Executive Director. She brings years of administrative experience as well as volunteer experience working with youth and children’s ministries. She graduated from Holy Family University with degrees in psychology and journalism. In her downtime, Lauren enjoys photography, playing piano for the church worship band, and spending time with her husband and two sons.
Ana Maria Palacios Ramirez
URM Supervisor - Philadelphia
Ana Palacios began working for the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program (URM) with Bethany in July 2016. She transitioned to Bethany from Lutheran Children and Family Services, where she also worked in the URM program. She has her bachelor’s degree in Human Development from Washington State University and her Master’s degree in Organizational Development and Leadership from St Joseph’s University.
Domestic Infant Supervisor - Philadelphia
Carrie has been with Bethany Christian Services since 2009 and serves as the supervisor of infant adoption and pregnancy counseling. Prior to this role, she was a home study worker and case manager for both infant and international adoptive families. Carrie has a bachelor’s degree in religious education with a focus in church ministries and counseling from Davis College. She also has a masters of art degree with a focus in counseling from Summit University. Carrie loves being able to journey with our expectant parents and adoptive families as they seek God's plan. She says that it is truly a joy to be at Bethany and to come alongside individuals and families with the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.
Foster Care Supervisor - Philadelphia
Daniel Echevarria joined Bethany Christian Services in 2016. He started as a foster care case manager and was recently promoted to foster care supervisor. Prior to Bethany, Daniel worked in prevention and residential programs. Daniel is active in his church youth group. His passion is walking alongside individuals who are hurting, reminding them they are not alone.
Finance Manager - Philadelphia
Elaine Bauer joined Bethany Christian Services in 2011. In 2014, she assumed responsibility for the financial transactions and contracts for the GDV branch. Prior to transferring to finance, Elaine was the Foster Care Adoption administrative assistant. Elaine has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Elaine ensures that the financial needs of the branch are met, so they can continue caring for families and children.
International Adoption Worker - Philadelphia
Katie Haas-Sentance joined Bethany Christian Services in 2014 and coordinates the international adoption program. Katie has a bachelor’s degree in History and Development Studies from Wheaton College and a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation from Trinity College Dublin. Prior to joining the team at Bethany, she worked with refugee populations and vulnerable children in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Northern Ireland. Katie feels honored to be a part of finding a forever family for some of the world’s most courageous children.
Foster Care Program Manager - Philadelphia
Kim serves as the foster care and foster care adoption program manager at Bethany Christian Services. She joined Bethany in 2017, bringing with her a wealth of experience from her over 25 years working in child welfare. Kim says, “I consider myself a lifetime advocate for children and youth. Here at Bethany, I am able to live out God’s call on my life to serve the most vulnerable and precious members of our society.” Kim loves Michigan football, cooking, and watching old movies on Turner Classic.
Lauren Nelson joined Bethany Christian Services in 2018 as a pregnancy counselor. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from West Chester University. Previously, Lauren traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia partnering with refugee resettlement programs, aiding vulnerable individuals, teaching English, and sharing the transforming love of Jesus. Lauren is honored and excited to work alongside expectant parents as they discover God’s best plan.
Safe Families for Children Outreach Coordinator - Philadelphia
Lisa Dillard joined Bethany Christian Services in 2013 and serves as the supervisor of Safe Families for Children. She is responsible for developing and supporting church ministry teams, working with families in need, and growing the Safe Families ministry throughout the Delaware Valley so that more families can be served and more lives impacted. Lisa is a licensed social worker with a bachelor’s degree in social work from Eastern University and a master’s degree in social work from Temple University.
URM Supervisor - Philadelphia
Patience Lee is the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) Supervisor. Her great passion is walking alongside people who have been through significant traumatic life experiences, supporting them with a compassionate listening ear. Prior to her return to Bethany, she worked in her private practice in a variety of trauma related to family dynamics; child welfare; and D&A addiction related challenges. She has her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Sarasota. She is also a PA Licensed Professional Counselor. Patience has been married for 19 years and has a daughter.
Post Adoption Supervisor - Philadelphia
Sherri serves as the supervisor for the Post-Adoption Department at Bethany Christian Services. She joined Bethany in 2017, bringing with her a wealth of experience from her background in both clinical services and child welfare. Sherri is currently a doctoral candidate at Eastern University where she is completing her studies in marriage and family therapy. She believes wholeheartedly that human beings are created for connection. Her work here at Bethany allows her the opportunity to walk alongside families as they provide the safety necessary for children to heal and grow in the context of relationships. Sherri's favorite past times include reading a good novel and hanging out at the Jersey shore.
Director Donor Engagement - Philadelphia
Heidi Farinas is the Director of Donor Engagement at Bethany Christian Services. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Old Dominion University, where she first began working in donor engagement. Since then, Heidi has spent over 16 years working with nonprofits. Prior to joining Bethany in 2018, Heidi worked at a crisis pregnancy center. Heidi is passionate about caring for vulnerable children, and loves giving people the opportunity to partner with Bethany to change the lives of children in need. In her free time, Heidi enjoys volunteering with youth ministries and kayaking.