MEET OUR TEAM
Senior Leadership Team
President & Chief Executive Officer
Jon Morris grew up in Pearisburg, VA, where he graduated from Giles High School in 1990. Jon went to Ferrum College, where he received a BS in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice. After several years in the workforce, Jon returned to school and received his MA in Management from Regent University in 2008, with a concentration in Non-profit Leadership.
After graduating from Ferrum, Jon’s first job was at the Virginia Baptist Children’s Home, where he worked in Emergency Care. Jon then moved on to positions at the Roanoke City Health, Department and Total Action for Progress (TAP), where he led programs for young fathers and ex-offenders. In 2001, TAP received one of six national demonstration grants from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which allowed The Reaching Out to Adolescent Dads (ROAD) and the Fathers at Work programs to grow to be the largest fatherhood program in the state of Virginia. As a result of this work, Jon’s first book, “The ROAD to Fatherhood,” was published by Morning Glory Press in 2002.
In 2004, Jon was hired as the Executive Director of Support to Eliminate Poverty (STEP), Inc. STEP, Inc. provided a wide array of services for Franklin and Patrick Counties’ low-income residents. Programs included Head Start, Early Head Start, Project Discovery (college access programs for first-generation students), ex-offender services, homeless programs, Section 8, Housing and Weatherization services, Meals on Wheels, Indoor Plumbing, and Rehabilitation programs, a Private Day School named LIFES Academy, and more. During Jon’s tenure, STEP doubled the number of employees, annual revenue, clients served and increased their service area to include 3 more counties and two more cities.
In late 2013, Jon went to Family Preservation Services as an Assistant State Director and was named CEO/State Director in June 2014. Family Preservation Services, one of the largest private providers of mental and behavioral health services in the state of Virginia, provides programs such as Therapeutic Day Treatment (TDT), Mental Health Skill Building (MHSS), Intensive In-Home Services, Autism Services, Psycho-social Rehab, Therapeutic Mentoring, Outpatient Therapy, and much more. FPS provided services to more than 5,000 unduplicated clients annually through more than 700 employees serving 85% of Virginia localities through 21 regional offices.
Jon is very active at Shiloh Baptist Church in Salem, VA, where he has served as a Deacon since 2003. In addition to his role as a Deacon, he also teaches Sunday school and the weekly Men’s Bible Study, and serves as Chairperson of the Budget Committee and the Personnel Committee.
In his spare time, Jon enjoys playing golf, watching the Washington Nationals and the Virginia Tech Hokies, and spending time with his family. He’s happily married to his wonderful wife Katrina and they are the proud parents of Ameer, Nina, and Lyla.
Vice President & Chief Operations Officer
Phone: (540) 389-5468Mr. Nash currently serves as the Vice President for Programs at HopeTree Family Services. He is responsible for providing leadership and supervision for the Childrens’ and DDM ministries. Mr. Nash has also held several other management positions since joining the HopeTree staff in 1983. Mr. Nash holds a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration and serves on local FAPT teams.
Mr. Nash lives in Roanoke with his wife and two children.
Chief Advancement Officer
Ms. Clause serves as Chief Advancement Officer. In this role, she oversees strategic planning and execution for advancement, marketing, and communications. Critical to the position is board and donor relations. She is happy to join the team and share her knowledge and experience to benefit HopeTree’s mission.
Previously, she served as Senior Director of Marketing and Philanthropy, Public Information Officer at Richfield Living. Ms. Clause has over 25 years of marketing, sales, communications, and fundraising experience. Currently, she serves on four boards and has successfully chaired the Annual Campaign for the YMCA for two years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Liberty University and a BS in Marketing Management from Virginia Tech. She resides in Salem with her husband where she likes to garden, read, and travel.
Chief of People Officer
Ms. Guerrant currently serves as the Chief People Officer for HopeTree Family Services. In this position she not only oversees the Human Resources Department but she is responsible for developing and executing HR strategy in support of HopeTree’s overall mission and vison.
She comes to HopeTree with 10 years of Human Resources experience and over 20 years of management experience. She holds a BA in Business Administration from Mary Baldwin University and is currently pursuing her MBA in Human Resources Management from Averett University.
Ms. Guerrant is a native of the Roanoke Valley and in her spare time she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Lambrecht currently serves as Chief Financial Officer where she oversees the Business Office and the financial operations of the Agency. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Old Dominion University and an M.B.A. with an Accounting Specialization from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University. Ms. Lambrecht comes to HopeTree with 23 years of accounting and executive leadership experience in the credit union industry with her most recent role being Executive Vice President of ValleyStar Credit Union.
Originally from Chesapeake, VA., Ms. Lambrecht spent 13 years in Richmond before settling in Franklin County in 2019. Her spare time is spent with her husband, two children, and friends and enjoying activities like camping, hiking, riding ATVs, and kayaking.
Dr. Challen Mabry
Chief Clinical Officer
Dr. Challen Mabry is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Virginia. She holds a BA from Hollins University in Psychology and Sociology, a MA.Ed in Counselor Education from Virginia Tech, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Counselor Education from Virginia Tech. Her professional experience has been focused on providing community based behavioral health services to predominately Medicaid populations. Dr. Mabry has served in various leadership roles to include Director of Quality Assurance and Clinical Director for over 5 years. She has significant experience working alongside regulatory bodies throughout the transition to managed care in Virginia. Dr. Mabry has additional focused training and certifications in Applied Behavior Analysis, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. She also serves as an Assistant Professor in departments of Psychology & Human Services and Counseling Education at Bluefield College. Dr. Mabry is passionate about training behavioral health professionals to provide empathetic, evidenced-based, trauma and culturally responsive interventions. Her research interests include issues of social justice and furthering counselor competencies of evidenced informed practice.
Dr. Mabry is a wife and mother to two small girls who keep her on her toes. She is an avid outdoors enthusiast and is most happy when spending time with her immediate and extended family on their shared family property. Additionally, she enjoys ministering to others through acts of kindness, often through preparing a meal.
Dr. Mabry is very excited to join the team at HopeTree! The mission of the organization deeply resonates with her personal goals of serving others first in all that she does. The opportunity to be a servant leader for an organization that also values service to others through exceptional clinical services, is an ideal fit. She is eager to meet staff and clients over the next several months and be a resource for the remarkable work that is already occurring.
Dr. Laurie McCracken
Director of Education
Dr. Laurie McCracken currently serves as the Director of Education for HopeTree Family Services. In this position she serves as the primary administrator at HopeTree Academy and is responsible for cultivating an environment that is focused on our student’s educational, clinical, and physical needs to ensure students can leave HopeTree Academy with the tools and support needed to be successful.
Dr. McCracken comes to HopeTree with over 2o years of experience in public and private school education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management and Development from Bluefield College, a Master’s of Education degree in Special Education from Liberty University, and an Educational Specialist and Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University.
Dr. McCracken is a wife and a mother of four children. She is actively involved in the community through a local church she co-founded with her husband in Salem, Virginia, where she has served as a Youth Director, Mission Director, AWANA Commander and Sunday School teacher throughout the years. Please help us welcome Dr. McCracken to HopeTree!
Director of Foster Care & Adoption
Shannon Updike joined HopeTree in 2005 and currently serves as the Director of Foster Care & Adoption. Ms. Updike has held several positions in her fifteen years with the agency, including Case Worker, Foster Care Supervisor, and Associate Director. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Longwood University, a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Ms. Updike has served as adjunct faculty at Virginia State University in the Social Work Department and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the State and Local Advisory Council, SLAT, where she represents Private Providers.
Ms. Updike has dedicated her career to supporting children and families involved with the child welfare system through foster care. She is committed to lifelong learning, teaching, and serving others. When not working, she enjoys adventures with her husband of fifteen years and spending time with her nieces and nephew.
Director of Developmental Disabilities Ministry
Mrs. Kristen West joined HopeTree Family Services Developmental Disabilities Ministry (DDM) in 2018 and currently serves as the Director of DDM. She has served as an Area Coordinator and Associate Director before accepting the role of Director in 2022. Mrs. West holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Policy & Community Services, Political Science and French Language & Literature from Emory & Henry College. She also obtained a Master’s Degree in Human Services Counseling with a focus in Executive Leadership from Liberty University and is currently on track to receive a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).
Mrs. West has worked in Human Services in several positions, including Child Protective Services Worker and CPS Supervisor before joining the DDM Team. She is currently a certified Therapeutic Options Instructor and Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED Instructor. Dedicated to providing premier services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Kristen enjoys coaching, teaching and mentoring DDM team members to provide person-centered supports and to strive for excellence. When not working, Kristen enjoys sports-filled weekends with her four children and husband.
Board of Trustees
Rev. George Fletcher, III
Chairman of the Board
Rev. George Fletcher retired as pastor of First Baptist Church, Winchester, Virginia in 2016. He pastored four Virginia Baptist churches for a total of 38 years. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served on two other Baptist boards, GraceInside and the former Religious Herald. George is active in Virginia Baptist Disaster Response, most recently serving in Virginia Beach following the mass shootings in 2019. He is a past President of the Baptist General Association of Virginia and President of the BGAV. He and his wife, Peggy, live in Zion Crossroads, Virginia, and are members of Beaver Dam Baptist Church in Troy, Virginia. They have two sons and three granddaughters.
Mr. R. Wayne Brockwell
Mr. Brockwell is a contract attorney with Wells Fargo, specializing in compliance and securities fraud. A graduate of Ferrum College and Golden Gate University School of Law, his background includes, serving as a director for the Rockville Youth Baseball Association, affiliation with the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, and coaching youth programs. Mr. Brockwell is a member of the Lawrenceville Baptist Church and currently attends Swift Creek Baptist Church in Midlothian. He lives in Midlothian.
Dr. Bert Browning
Dr. Browning is a retired Virginia Baptist pastor, having served churches in Southampton County, Bedford County, Culpeper, and North Chesterfield over a period of 37 years. A native of Chesterfield County, he and his wife, Rose, have three grown daughters and four grandchildren. Bert is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Union Presbyterian Seminary. He is a past president of the Baptist General Association of Virginia and a past moderator of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia. He has served on the board of trustees of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and of LifeSpire of Virginia (Virginia Baptist Homes, Inc.). Bert and Rose are members of River Road Church, Baptist, in Richmond.
Mr. Ron Clark
Ron J. Clark is a nationally recognized authority on community engagement, fatherhood outreach services, and community health issues. He has served as lead consultant on numerous private foundation and federal grant projects.
He holds a M.A. in Public Policy and a MBA Executive Education Certificate. He is a published author with numerous research and print media outlets to include, but not limited to: American Humane Association, American Bar Association Center for Children and the Law, National Healthy Black Men, and Jet Magazine.
He recently served on special assignment as Statewide Supervisor for the Virginia COVID 19 Inquiry Center. This center responds to the critical health and social needs of Virginians related to the coronavirus pandemic. Today, he serves as a trainer, consultant, and organizational development specialist to over 4,000 employees with the State Department of Health.
Ms. Stephanie P. Cook
Ms. Cook is a solo practice attorney whose practice focuses on elder law, estate planning, guardianship, and estate and trust administration. Stephanie is certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia to serve as a Guardian ad litem for incapacitated adults and regularly serves as court-appointed fiduciary to incapacitated adults. Stephanie is a two-time graduate of Radford University (B.B.A., 1993 and M.B.A. with honors, 1996) and a graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School (J.D. with a Business Concentration, Cum Laude, 2002). Stephanie also served as a Personnel Officer in the United States Army Reserves from 1993-2003. Stephanie lives in Roanoke with her two children and is a member of Melrose Baptist Church.
Mr. Bill DeWorken
Bill is the President and CEO of Epoch Properties, Inc., in Richmond, VA, and manages several affordable independent apartment communities for Seniors. He is married and has four children and three granddaughters. He and his family worked with HopeTree in supplying the flooring and appliances for the Mary Louise Kelly Home in Fredericksburg, VA. His daughter, Leigh, currently lives at the group home and was one of their first residents. Bill and his wife, Mary T., have been members of Huguenot Road Baptist Church for over 30 years where he currently serves as Chairman of the Trustees.
Mr. Mike Elmore
Mr. Elmore has been employed by Roanoke City Department of Social Services for the past 28 years and currently serves as Family Service Supervisor – administering a low-income federal subsidized child care program for people to attend work and school. He holds a BS in Psychology from Bluefield College and an MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University. A significant part of his experience has been working with children in foster care, child protective services, visitation and custody in court, etc. He and his wife, Carol, have been members at the Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Roanoke for the past 30 years. Carol is employed by the church as the minister of nurture and music. They have 2 children.
Ms. Ann M. Green
Ms. Green is an attorney with Anderson, Desimone & Green, P.C. focusing on elder law and estate planning, guardianship, estate and trust administration, and Medicaid and Special Needs Planning. She received her BA in Economics and JD in Law from the University of Virginia. Ms. Green served on the Board of Good Samaritan Hospice from 2003-2008 and is a member of the Bonsack Baptist Church where she has held positions of Coordinator of Special Needs Ministry, Youth/Special Needs Teacher, and Kindergarten Teacher. She and her husband, Barry, live in Roanoke. They have two children.
Ms. Sydney Gustafson
Ms. Gustafson is an attorney with BrownGreer PLC, a settlement administration and litigation management firm in Richmond, VA. She holds degrees in political science from UNC-Chapel Hill and law from the University of Richmond. Ms. Gustafson has worked with children in various capacities, which include representing families in court matters, coaching youth basketball, and working at a residential facility for at-risk young women. She, her husband, and three boys live in Richmond, VA.
Mr. Derek Hicks
Mr. Hicks is employed as a Commercial Portfolio Manager for Union Bank & Trust. Prior to joining Union Bank & Trust, Mr. Hicks worked for several years in public accounting. He is a member of Melrose Baptist Church, where he serves on the finance committee and the counting committee. A graduate of Radford University (BBA, Accounting), Mr. Hicks lives in Roanoke with his wife, Morgan.
Dr. Melissa Jackson
Dr. Jackson works as an independent scholar of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). She preaches, speaks, researches, and writes on most all things Hebrew Bible and has authored a number of articles and a book. Dr. Jackson is also the Managing Editor of the theological journal Review & Expositor. She was on the faculty of BTSR for seven years. Dr. Jackson received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, her Master of Divinity from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR), and her Doctor of Philosophy in Theology (Old Testament) from the University of Oxford. She and her spouse, Brian, are foster parents for Henrico County, where she also serves on the FAPT team. Her church home is Grace Baptist Church in Richmond.
Ms. Edith M. Kennedy
Ms. Kennedy has worked at a number of colleges in Northern Virginia. She holds Masters and Doctorate degrees from George Mason University and a Graduate Certificate in Biblical Studies from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Ms. Kennedy has held the office of VP Dressage with the Commonwealth Dressage Combined Training Association, has been a supporter of HopeTree Family Services for many years, and is a member of Haymarket Baptist Church where she has served on the Mission Committee (past Chair), Christmas Committee, and Personnel Committee. She has authored several plays and the narrative for a Live Nativity that have been performed at Haymarket Baptist Church. She lives in Gainesville, VA.
Mr. L. Richard Martin
Mr. Martin is the retired Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for the Virginia Department of Social Services. Prior to his career in social services, he worked as a broadcast journalist in the Roanoke and Lynchburg markets. He received his degree in economics from Lynchburg College in 1970. Mr. Martin is a past president of the Baptist General Association of Virginia. He holds a number of leadership roles and is a Deacon at Huguenot Road Baptist Church. With his wife, Beverly, he resides in the Bon Air area of Chesterfield County. He has two sons, a stepson, a stepdaughter. five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Dr. Kathy Matthews
Dr. Kathy Matthews is the Co-Director and Director of Family Services for Eli’s Village in Richmond, Virginia. She also holds faculty appointments at the University of Virginia and Longwood University. Kathy grew up in Richmond, Virginia and attended Virginia Commonwealth University for her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She completed her Master’s and PhD at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York where she also taught students with special needs from early intervention through high school. She returned to Richmond as an administrator at The Faison Center, helping to provide services to children, adults and families impacted by autism. She specializes in teaching using Applied Behavior Analysis and is a Licensed Behavior Analyst. Outside of her professional obligations, she and her husband live in Powhatan County with their two incredible little boys and two obnoxious, adorable dogs.
Ms. Morgan Meador
Ms. Meador is a Partner with BrownGreer PLC, a settlement administration and litigation management firm in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA and received her JD from the University of Richmond School of Law. Ms. Meador has supported HopeTree for several years and previously worked with at-risk children as a volunteer at a domestic violence shelter. She lives in Richmond with her husband and daughter.
Mr. John Mizell
Mr. Mizell is a partner and attorney with Spinella, Owings & Shaia PC. He is a past President of the Henrico County Bar Association and past Chair of the Senior Lawyers Conference of the Virginia State Bar. He has served for many years as guardian ad litem representing children in custody, visitation, abuse, and neglect cases. He has served on the Board of Trustees for HopeTree Family Services for more than 30 years. He also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2011 through 2018. Mr. Mizell is an active member of Grace Baptist Church, where he has served as a Deacon and currently serves as a Sunday School teacher and member of the choir. A graduate of the University of Richmond (BA, 1970 & JD, 1976) and George Washington University (MA, 1972), Mr. Mizell lives in Richmond with his wife, Anna Marie. They have two married sons and three grandchildren.
Ms. Mia Pumo
Ms. Pumo is an Educational Consultant and President of Constructive Learning Design. She holds a BA in Radio, TV, and Film from UNC-Chapel Hill, a Master of Education from UNC Greensboro, and a Master’s in School Administration from High Point University. A significant part of her educational experience has involved work with at-risk students. She is a member of The Summit Church in Kernersville, NC, where she has been a preschool leader and a member of the Praise and Worship Band. She and her husband, Matt Pumo, station manager for WDBJ7, recently moved to Roanoke from North Carolina. They have four children.
Mrs. Ashley Reich
Ashley is the Director of Human Resources at CSE, Inc. located in Madison Heights, VA. She specifically assists with onboarding, benefits administration, marketing, and communications for the company. Ashley holds a BS in Religion, MA in Management and Leadership, and Ed.S. in Higher Education Administration from Liberty University. Ashley is active in her local community as a Board member of the Amherst County Chamber of Commerce and the Lynchburg Road Runners. Ashley lives in Lynchburg with her husband, Peter, and son, Theodore.
Mr. Pat Shaffner
Mr. Shaffner retired as the Chairman/CEO of Sherertz Franklin Crawford Shaffner, Inc. in 1998 but has remained a very active member of his community, serving on more than 30 various boards and committees in addition to the HopeTree Family Services Board of Trustees and the Virginia Baptist Children’s Home & Family Services Foundation Board. Mr. Shaffner graduated from Virginia Tech in 1961 with a BS in Civil Engineering. He served two years with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers before beginning his engineering/architecture career. Mr. Shaffner lives in Salem with his wife, Patricia Anne, where they attend the Church of the Holy Spirit. They have a son and two daughters. Mr. Shaffner is a member of Who’s Who in America and a member of the Virginia Tech Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni.
Mrs. Carla Shepherd
Mrs. Shepherd has been employed by Wells Fargo for the past 27 years and currently serves as a Vice-President specializing in Digital Payments. She holds a BA in Rhetoric and Communication Studies from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She is on the executive board of Ivies Incorporated of the Roanoke Valley and previously served as the past Vice-President. She has also served as board secretary for Mental Health America of the Roanoke Valley. She is a member of Shiloh Baptist Church in Salem, VA, and is also the Financial Secretary. She lives in Roanoke with her husband William. They have one adult daughter.
Ms. Lauren Sherwood
Lauren is the Director of Talent Development and Change Management for Moms in Motion, a company providing service facilitation and advocacy for people with disabilities in Virginia. She also provides Resource Coordination for Medical Home Plus and is the Director of Special Families of the Roanoke Valley. She has a BA with Honors in Criminal Justice from Roanoke College and a MA with High Honors in Political Science with certification in Security Studies from Virginia Tech. She completed Partners in Policymaking through the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities in 2013. She lives just outside of Roanoke with her husband and three daughters.
Mr. Mark Reginald Warren
Mr. Warren has been a Virginia Baptist pastor since 1980, served as President of the BGAV in 2002, and is currently semi-retired and serving as interim pastor at Beth Car Baptist in Halifax, VA. He is a graduate of Carson-Newman College, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
A native of Tennessee, Mr. Warren now lives in Red House, VA with his wife Lucianne. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his four children and seven grandchildren, mission work, hunting, fishing, bee keeping, gardening, and hobby farming.
Rev. Peyton Wiltshire
Rev. Wiltshire is the Pastor of Two Rivers Baptist Church in King George, Virginia. He has been a minister in Virginia for 36 years and has served as moderator of the Fredericksburg Area Baptist Association. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond and of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rev. Wiltshire and his wife, Gail, live in Fredericksburg. They have two adult daughters.
Mr. Richard W. Wright
Mr. Wright is semi-retired. He attended the University of Richmond, Dartmouth, and the American College, earning his Chartered Life Underwriter designation. He also received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Averett University. His community involvement includes Past Chamber President, U.S. Olympic Committee State Chair, the United Way, the Averett University Board of Trustees, and Board Member of the Virginia Colleges Fund. Mr. Wright is a member of Derbyshire Baptist Church where his service includes that of Trustee, Deacon, Personnel Committee, and past Finance Chair. He lives in Richmond with his wife, Jean. They have three children.