Our Team

Senior
Leadership
Team

Kori Yates

Kori Yates

Director, Writer

Kori Yates loves adventure – and life is full of them. As a popular speaker and writer, Kori desires to challenge and encourage women to follow Christ wholeheartedly, knowing the Christian walk is the greatest adventure of all. Being a military wife has added to this adventure in ways she could never have imagined. Her first book, Olive Drab Pom-Poms, encourages military wives to find the calling God has for them in what can seem a crazy, unstable life. This life is no surprise to God.

Distracted, quirky, independent, and mostly capable, Kori is just an ordinary military wife seeking to follow Jesus. Married to her Soldier-husband, Kyle, for eleven years, she also homeschools their two kids, ages ten and seven. It is certainly an adventure.

Kori loves to run, read, sew, bake, and eat chocolate, which is exactly why she runs. She attempts to be creative on occasion, and is at times successful. Longing to be more like Christ tomorrow than she is today, she has become a huge fan of grace. To learn more about Kori, check out her blog, or grab a copy of her book, visit her website. The book is also available on Amazon, and other bookstores online. You can also connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

Rachelle Whitfield

Rachelle Whitfield

Marketing Team Lead

Rachelle is the Marketing Team Lead for Planting Roots.  She is an Army veteran, Army wife and mom of four boys, two with four paws. She has been a financial counselor in the military community for over ten years, a residential planner for nearly 20 years, a speaker and aspiring writer.  She is passionate about helping military women create a lifestyle full of “ABUNDANCE.”  Connect with her on Instagram @rachellesamone.

Rachelle loves adventure and travel.  She currently resides in South Korea with her husband Chris and their four pawed boys, Pokey and Jack.  They have been traveling Asia for the last three year but still have many more places to go. She loves football and is a Cowboy and Missouri Tiger fan until the end.  MIZ…

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3-4

Kristin Goodrich

Kristin Goodrich

Deputy Director

Thirty years ago, I took the Oath of Office and was issued my first military ID card. I have spent my entire adulthood carrying some version of that military ID card. At first, my ID card was active-duty green (yes, I’m dating myself here). Changes in rank were followed by changes in weight and hair color. Later, my green ID card was exchanged for a brown one of “dependent spouse”. Then again, the status of my husband changed from active-duty to retired, and now I wonder if my height is shrinking!

During these changes within the military community, one thing has remained the same. I have a desperate need to be in relationship with God. I have grown in my faith because I have needed to dig deeply into the Bible during struggles familiar to military women. I have been supported during the stormy weather by friendships with other military women. And I have been able to raise my hands high with shouts of praise to the heavens as I have been blessed by this community of Christian military women! I am looking forward to planting roots with you!

Katye Riselli

Katye Riselli

Event Team Lead, Writer, Editor

Katye Riselli serves as the Event Team Lead, Writer, and Editor for Planting Roots. She is an executive speechwriter and strategic communications advisor for senior principals in business, military, non-profit, philanthropy, and government officials at all levels. In addition to speechwriting, she advises clients on communications planning for strategic positioning and cultivating development relationships to amplify brand recognition. She previously served as speechwriter and Deputy Communications Director to Mrs. Laura Bush (2008-2013) and has extensive public affairs experience in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill, The White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State.  She writes regularly on katyeriselli.com and other media outlets and speaks nationally in military communities.

Katye can be contacted at events@plantingroots.net.

Brenda Pace

Brenda Pace

Advisor, Writer

Brenda Pace is an author and speaker with a passion for bringing encouragement and hope to women. She frequently shares her message in both local church and military chapel settings. She has been the keynote speaker for retreats in Korea, Japan, Turkey, Germany, Italy, and numerous locations across the United States.

Brenda is dedicated to mentor and train women to be godly leaders. She gained practical experience serving at every level of leadership in the military women’s organization, Protestant Women of the Chapel, from president of a local chapter to national leadership as the president of Protestant Women of the Chapel-USA. Her personal experience along with specialized training and education in leadership, has equipped her to encourage and mentor women to develop their full potential for Christ.

Because of her desire to encourage military spouses, Brenda coauthored the devotional book Medals above My Heart, with her friend and fellow military spouse Carol McGlothlin (Broadman and Holman). Brenda and Carol also wrote The One Year Yellow Ribbon Devotional, Taking a Stand in Prayer for Our Nation and Those Who Serve (Tyndale House). She is a contributing author to Stories of Faith and Courage from the Homefront, Stories Around the Table, and the seminary textbook Women in Ministry and Leadership. Brenda is the author of a soon to be released devotional and bible study series The Journey of a Military Wife: God’s Truth for Every Step. The American Bible Society will launch the series in early 2015.

Brenda holds a BA in education from Lee University, a MEd from Columbus State University, and a MA in Christian Leadership from Liberty Theological Seminary. She is currently a Doctorate of Ministry candidate at the Assembly of God Theological Seminary.

Brenda lives in Tennessee, the place of her birth with her husband Richard. A retired US Army Chaplain with 28 years of service, Richard serves as the Chaplain Endorser and Coordinator for Vocational Chaplains at the Church of God Chaplains Commission. The Pace’s are the parents of two married sons and the proud grandparents of five terrific grandkids.

Ginger Harrington

Ginger Harrington

Publishing Team Lead

Ginger Harrington, a founding member of Planting Roots, is the Publishing Coordinator for the ministry and the author of the award-winning book, Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life. An engaging speaker for military and civilian audiences, Ginger writes at www.GingerHarrington.com and PlantingRoots.net and has guest posted for GuidepostsLightworkers, (in)courageThe Praying WomanFor Every Mom, and others. Ginger has coordinated and edited Beyond Brave and Free to Be Brave. Ginger and her retired Marine husband have been married for 28 years and have three young adult children. Visit Ginger’s website or connect with her on Facebook @GingHarrington and Instagram @GingerHarrington. 

Ginger can be reached at publishing@plantingroots.net.

Jennifer Wake

Jennifer Wake

Admin Team Leader

Jennifer Wake is the admin team lead of Planting Roots. She is a teacher and writer.  She currently lives on Fort Leavenworth, KS with her wonderful husband of almost 30 years. She has 3 great kids and a son-in-law. She enjoys spoiling her dog.  You can find her spending time teaching and learning. She enjoys quilting and sewing.

Jennifer can be contacted at admin@plantingroots.net.

Michelle Hieb

Michelle Hieb

Prayer Team Lead

Michelle Hieb currently serves on the prayer team of Planting Roots. Married for 23 years, she and her husband currently wonder where life will take them next as retirement rapidly approaches. She loved homeschooling their daughter and three sons, and it’s exciting and terrifying as they each begin making their transitions into adulthood. She finds joy, peace, and rest by participating in Protestant Women of the Chapel and creative pursuits in cloth, canvas, and cookies. 

Michelle can be reached at prayer.coordinator@plantingroots.net.

Jolynn Lee

Jolynn Lee

Community Team Lead

Jolynn Lee is a speaker, writer, mentor, and military family advocate. She serves the military community through volunteerism with various non-profit organizations. She and her husband administer and facilitate the non-profit program REBOOT Combat Recovery – Camp Lejeune, a trauma recovery program open to all active-duty personnel, veterans, and their families. She is also the Community Team Lead for Planting Roots, a non-profit organization that encourages military women to grow in community and faith.

Jolynn has been a military spouse for 30 years and continues to experience new dimensions of military life as both mother and mother-in-law to active duty personnel. She is passionate about the mental health issues faced by those who serve, and those who love and support service members. She fundamentally believes as we create an environment of solid mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, we strengthen families and support our military force in action. She is eager to support and assist in having those “hard conversations” and leaning-in to address the hard topics surrounding trauma recovery.

Jolynn lives in Hubert, NC, with her husband and their youngest son, age 12, who is best known in the family as “the bonus blessing.” Jolynn and her husband have three adult children (aged 29, 27 and 25) and seven grandchildren. They eagerly await the day when everyone will be stationed in the same place at the same time. 

Jolynn can be contacted at community@plantingroots.net.

Board
of
Directors

Arthur Pace

Arthur Pace

Vice President

Skills: Leadership, team building, encouragement, communication, and pastoral skills

Past Experience: 

  • Pastored a church for three years
  • Executive Director for the Armed Services Ministry of the American Bible Society
  • Part time consultant for The 1687 Foundation
  • Part of translation and commentary team for Wycliffe Associates
  • Ministered in Moldova and the Ukraine with Olive Branch International


Military Experience:
1982-2012, US Army

Personal Statement of Christian Faith: I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 17. I then got my call to ministry when I was 19.

 

Diane Hall

Diane Hall

Board Secretary

I served in Protestant Women of the Chapel at the local, regional and international levels. These positions included President, International Theme Development Coordinator, Leadership Training Team member, and Curriculum Writing Team member. I have a passion for studying God’s Word and have led numerous women’s Bible studies. I was a private contractor to the Army at several installations in the role of Protestant Religious Education Coordinator. I am a substitute teacher for our local school district.

 

Jim Glass

Jim Glass

President

Skills: Leadership development, adaptability, communication skills, passion for women’s ministry.

Past Experience: Blissfully married to the same wonderful bride for 41 years and father of three girls and a boy–all married–and four grandchildren. Following graduation from seminary with MDiv and PhD, I pastored three churches, taught in two colleges, served as president of the local ministerial association, served on the Alabama Baptist Christian Life Commission, and served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity in Alexander City, Alabama, before returning to active duty as a chaplain in 1998. Retired August 2017.

Military Experience: Air Force Academy cadet, 1973-1977; communications officers, 1977-1982; chaplain, 1998-2017. Sole chaplain in Ankara, Turkey, in the two years following 911. Director of the Excellence Division of the Center for Character Development at the Air Force Academy (annual National Character and Leadership Symposium, semi-annual heritage/character development event, course director for Air Force Core Values education). Executive Officer to the Chief of Chaplains. Wing Chaplain at Fairchild AFB and Ft Meade.

Personal Statement of Christian Faith: I was born into a nominally Methodist family and my parents regularly sent me to church. Although I was very active in many of the church’s activities, even being confirmed at the age of fourteen, I had not yet come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. At the age of sixteen in 1972, the First Baptist Church in my hometown of Prattville, Alabama, was holding revival services. On a Tuesday night, I attended those services. During the invitation, I clearly realized for the first time where I stood with God–that there was a great divide that separated me from Him, and that I could not get to be where He was in my own strength. Not knowing what to do, I spoke to a counselor and he showed me how I could give my heart to the Lord Jesus. He then led me in a prayer, I gave my heart and life to Jesus, and I was born again.

Gwen Chandler

Gwen Chandler

Board Secretary

Skills: I have worked with a women’s ministry,PWOC, for over 30 years in various capacities of leadership. I have mentored many young women over the years on a one-on-one basis and have desired to pass to the next generation a love of Jesus. My husband and I are associate staff with the Navigators and have had a Bible Study in our home for most of our 21 years in the Army and since we have retired. I love the ministry that Planting Roots has of serving our military women. I consider it a privilege to encourage those on staff and the Board.

Past Experience: I taught special education for 4 years in a elementary school setting.
I have been President, Vice-President of Spiritual Life, Vice-President of Programs, Treasurer for the local level and the first National level, Worship leader, Hospitality, and Childcare Liaison for the Protestant Women of the Chapel. I currently serve as the Titus II advisor. I have taught Bible studies for PWOC.
I assist my husband in his Pediatric Dental Office as his personal secretary and support the staff in various ways.

Military Experience: We joined the Army in June of 1979 and retired in December of 2000.
We were privileged to serve at Fort Gordon twice, Fort Campbell, San Antonio at UTSA doing a dental residency, Augsburg Germany, Fort Benning, and Darmstadt, Germany.

Personal Statement of Christian Faith: I am a preacher’s kid so I have been in church since I was 3 weeks old. I knew lots of the right language for Christians and was even President of my youth group but still didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. When I was 17 I was reading through the Bible for no apparent reason other than to say I had done it. After I graduated I was working at a snack bar and my friend and I went for dinner after work one day. I told her some things I was struggling with and she said she would put it on her prayer list. I asked her what that was and truly had no idea what a prayer list was. She explained that she wrote down prayer requests and then prayed about them and when God answered she dated and wrote down the answers. I was in the book of John at the time and one night I read John 14:6 which says, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” That night I asked Jesus to be the way, the truth and the life in me. I had a mentor who then helped me to get started. I went on to college that fall and got involved in several campus ministries that helped me to continue to grow.

Cecil Richardson

Cecil Richardson

Board Member

Skills: I preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am also an organizer and cheerleader. I love to encourage people in their faith. My wife is a professional educator. I pre-edit all her books before they go to the publishing companies (Janrichardsonguidedreading.com). I own a tree farm, and I’m good with a tractor and chainsaw!

Past Experience: 

  • 39 years ordained;
  • served on MCYM Board of Directors;
  • presently serve on the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association BOD (Bad Axe);
  • have led hundreds (perhaps thousands) of people to Christ.


Military Experience:
I was drafted in 1966 and served six years in the Air Force as a Russian interpreter. During that time, I heard the gospel for the first time and accepted Christ as my Savior. I left the Air Force for college and seminary, briefly pastored a church, and re-entered the Air Force in 1977 as a chaplain. I retired in 2012 with over 41 years active duty. My oldest son (Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel, Steven Richardson) is the wing chaplain at Columbus Air Force Base. My middle son (Jim) is the Senior Advisor to the State Department for USAID. He has attended Air Command and Staff College. My youngest son is the senior electrical engineer at Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratories in Los Alamos, New Mexico. All three sons and my wife are devout Christians.

Personal Statement of Christian Faith: I was in San Angelo, Texas, preparing for an assignment in Turkey monitoring Russian missile launches. I was 20 years old and trying to meet girls. I thought I would try a church (I had never been in one). There I heard the gospel and immediately began to follow Christ.

 

Sally Evans

Sally Evans

Member-at-Large

My name is Sally Evans, and am new to the Planting Roots board.  I joined the US Navy at 19, met the love of my life, and have been married 43 years.  We made the military our career, and retired in 2008. We live in Carlisle, PA and now enjoy being Grandparents to 2 wonderful boys.

Admin
Team

Jennifer Wake

Jennifer Wake

Admin Team Leader

Jennifer Wake is the admin team lead of Planting Roots. She is a teacher and writer.  She currently lives on Fort Leavenworth, KS with her wonderful husband of almost 30 years. She has 3 great kids and a son-in-law. She enjoys spoiling her dog.  You can find her spending time teaching and learning. She enjoys quilting and sewing.

Jennifer can be contacted at admin@plantingroots.net.

Shellie Kelly

Shellie Kelly

Finance Manager

Shellie Kelly is the wife of a retired military officer. As she has traveled the world with her husband, she has served in significant leadership positions in Protestant Women of the Chapel and worked for the US Government as a Financial Management Analyst in the Office of the Chief of Chaplains (Army) and at the Garrison (Ft. Rucker, AL).  

She serves Planting Roots as the Finance Manager and delights in resourcing the ministry, turning God-given visions into reality and glorifying God through the process. Shellie has been involved with Strength Based leadership and is a Gallup Strengths Performance Coach, and an Engage Your Strengths Faith Performance Coach. She has had the privilege of training military spouses all over the world in leadership and Strength-based courses.  

Shellie lives with her husband Garrick, in Huntsville, AL. They are the proud parents of two: Joshua, a Captain in the US Army and Megan, and proud grandparents of Ana, Samuel, Daniel, Matthew, and Noah.  

Shellie can be reached at finance@plantingroots.net

Lisa Redford

Lisa Redford

Human Resource Manager

Prior to meeting her husband, Lisa Redford neither had any knowledge or interest in a military lifestyle nor did she ever plan to be a military spouse. She attended college at Moorhead State University and the University of Kentucky, graduating from the latter with a degree in Special Education.  However, quite comfortable with a teaching career in Lexington, Kentucky God had a different journey planned for her life; once she acknowledged God’s plan was far better than her own,  she began to thrive, not just survive, the military life.

For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”      -Jeremiah 29 11-13

Lisa loves encouraging others and serving families in the communities God plants her.  She believes that small acts can reveal great love and strives to live by the belief: Jesus first, others second, and self last.  Lisa desires military women to fully grasp God’s love and plan for them in their own military journey.  She strongly advocates that once you understand God’s love, you can give it and once you accept His plans for you, you can be a part of them, which is awesome!

Lisa has been married to the love of her life, Craig, for 15 years. They have five joy-filled children, Caden, Kenadie, Ashlyn, Elijah, and Elizabeth.  Lisa is a proud stay-at-home-mom who currently home schools her children, another plan that was not hers. She loves being involved in the children’s extracurricular activities.

Lisa enjoys jogging, being outdoors, volunteering, and gatherings with family and friends. Lisa has been involved with Protestant Women of the Chapel for several years. Lisa was involved with establishing a Battle Buddy Resource Center, which has been serving Soldiers’ families through food pantry services for just over a year.  Above all, she loves being a military spouse and believes this journey has provided many opportunities for growth in many areas, especially spiritual.  It’s her strongest desire to learn and grow deeper in God’s word every day and be proof of Jesus’ love, every moment.

Lisa can be reached at humanresources@plantingroots.net.

Katie Payne

Katie Payne

Training & Strategic Planning

Katie Payne is on the Strategic Planning and Training team for Planting Roots. She is an Army wife and mom of four girls, and two with four paws. She has a passion for women’s ministry and has served on local and international boards for Protestant Women of the Chapel.

She and her soldier Brian have been married for 27 years. They are currently stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. She treasures her military life experiences and being a stay at home, mom. With three kids grown and out of the house, she has recently begun a new career as a realtor and hopes to continue serving military families in this new capacity. Katie loves Diet Coke, chocolate, connecting with friends, and being with family. But most of all, she loves Jesus. 

Katie can be reached at katie.admin@plantingroots.net 

Community
Team

Jolynn Lee

Jolynn Lee

Community Team Lead

Jolynn Lee is a speaker, writer, mentor, and military family advocate. She serves the military community through volunteerism with various non-profit organizations. She and her husband administer and facilitate the non-profit program REBOOT Combat Recovery – Camp Lejeune, a trauma recovery program open to all active-duty personnel, veterans, and their families. She is also the Community Team Lead for Planting Roots, a non-profit organization that encourages military women to grow in community and faith.

Jolynn has been a military spouse for 30 years and continues to experience new dimensions of military life as both mother and mother-in-law to active duty personnel. She is passionate about the mental health issues faced by those who serve, and those who love and support service members. She fundamentally believes as we create an environment of solid mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, we strengthen families and support our military force in action. She is eager to support and assist in having those “hard conversations” and leaning-in to address the hard topics surrounding trauma recovery.

Jolynn lives in Hubert, NC, with her husband and their youngest son, age 12, who is best known in the family as “the bonus blessing.” Jolynn and her husband have three adult children (aged 29, 27 and 25) and seven grandchildren. They eagerly await the day when everyone will be stationed in the same place at the same time. 

Jolynn can be contacted at community@plantingroots.net.

Events
Team

Katye Riselli

Katye Riselli

Event Team Lead, Writer, Editor

Katye Riselli serves as the Event Team Lead, Writer, and Editor for Planting Roots. She is an executive speechwriter and strategic communications advisor for senior principals in business, military, non-profit, philanthropy, and government officials at all levels. In addition to speechwriting, she advises clients on communications planning for strategic positioning and cultivating development relationships to amplify brand recognition. She previously served as speechwriter and Deputy Communications Director to Mrs. Laura Bush (2008-2013) and has extensive public affairs experience in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill, The White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State.  She writes regularly on katyeriselli.com and other media outlets and speaks nationally in military communities.

Katye can be contacted at events@plantingroots.net.

April Erhardt

April Erhardt

Event Team Marketing

April Erhardt left for Navy boot camp a month after graduating high school. After completion of Hospital Corps School, she was assigned to a small Marine Corps unit in Camp LeJeune, NC, where she met her husband, a Marine infantryman. After four years with the Marines, April was assigned to the Denver MEPS, an Army-run command, where she completed the last three of her seven years of Naval service.
April has been a military spouse for 17 years and has had the privilege of serving in Christian women’s military ministry in both Quantico, VA, and Twentynine Palms, CA. She served as Christian Women’s Fellowship’s Small Group Leader Coordinator and President and was the Women’s Ministry Leader at Palms Baptist Church for three years. April has also lead and spoken for Alpha and has lead women’s bible studies on and off military bases.
Although April was raised by a Christian grandmother and attended private Lutheran schools, she didn’t allow her head knowledge to truly enter her heart until she was in her late 20’s. Being baptized as an adult started her on a gradual path of discovering who she truly was in Christ and what His role in her life was meant to be. She struggles daily to love God more and love God most, and she is resolved to forever be a work in progress.
April has served in marketing for Planting Roots for two conferences and is currently giving the writing team a whirl!
April can be reached at eventmarketing@plantingroots.net.

Lynette Stewart

Lynette Stewart

Production Coordinator

Lynette first began a relationship with the Lord her freshman year in college. Because of that, she met Todd, who has been her husband and an Army signal officer for over 25 years. They have two children: Megan, who is in college in Georgia, and Adam, a junior in high school. Lynette has been active in PWOC in various board positions but now works full-time for Fairfax Community Church as the Director of Neighborhood Groups. She has a passion for connecting military women together where they live, but with her introverted personality, she prefers to perform behind the scenes. You will find her at conferences firing the slides and making sure each event runs smoothly! 

Lynette can be contacted at lynette.events@plantingroots.net.

 

Marketing
Team

Rachelle Whitfield

Rachelle Whitfield

Marketing Team Lead

Rachelle is the Marketing Team Lead for Planting Roots.  She is an Army veteran, Army wife and mom of four boys, two with four paws. She has been a financial counselor in the military community for over ten years, a residential planner for nearly 20 years, a speaker and aspiring writer.  She is passionate about helping military women create a lifestyle full of “ABUNDANCE.”  Connect with her on Instagram @rachellesamone.

Rachelle loves adventure and travel.  She currently resides in South Korea with her husband Chris and their four pawed boys, Pokey and Jack.  They have been traveling Asia for the last three year but still have many more places to go. She loves football and is a Cowboy and Missouri Tiger fan until the end.  MIZ…

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3-4

Rachelle can be contacted at marketing@plantingroots.net.

Larissa Traquair

Larissa Traquair

Social Media-Broadcasting Coordinator

My name is Larissa Traquair and I am a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, God-fearing woman who is a recovering perfectionist and is passionate about glorifying God in all I do. I am a scrap booker, card maker, paper planner who knitted for a little while and survived running for 6 months. I am a great friend who loves to do lunch. My motto is: “Everyone has to eat so why not eat together.” I am also a foodie and a very picky eater. I love dark chocolate and hate almost ALL vegetables. I will always prefer eating out over cooking at home.

I am married to a Marine and we are retired in the great state of Texas. We parent a pair of adopted bulldogs (Hope & Chip) who keep us both entertained and humble. God has been known to refine us through our everyday interactions with this, the most stubborn of breads. As a military spouse, I have lived overseas twice; traveled to Thailand & Hong Kong; and even lived in Hawaii for three years.

God has blessed me with many adventures that have allowed me to write for a local blog on the island of Okinawa; host my own craft show; and serve behind bars at the only all-women’s Correctional Center on Oahu. I have served on several P.W.O.C. (Protestant Women of the Chapel) boards and I have had the pleasure of speaking at two local P.W.O.C. events.

My passion is to help other women realize that adopting an attitude of gratitude will make a world of difference in their lives and the lives of those around them. God has given us a sphere of influence, aka a community to do life with, and we get to choose whether we influence this community in a positive or a negative way.  To accomplish this purpose I believe God called me to start broadcasting live on Periscope back in 2015.  This is where I, the GR8TFUL Chick, Chief Inspirational Officer (CIO) of the GR8TFUL Tribe, get to share an encouraging word daily with the amazing Tribe that God has given me.  By equipping me in this manner He gave me this opportunity to introduce our Planting Roots team to this fabulous way of reaching out to military women all over the world.  You can find one of our PR Team members broadcasting most weekdays at www.periscope.tv/PlantingRoots1  and you can find the GR8TFUL Tribe at Gr8tfulChick.com.  Join us on social media where we are making a difference in the world, one broadcast at a time.  We love doing community with other #WorldChangers.  Join us and discover that you can change the atmosphere wherever you show up!!!

Larissa can be contacted at socialmedia@plantingroots.net.

Stacey Gibson

Stacey Gibson

Social Media Coordinator

My name is Stacey. I met my high school sweetheart about 27 years ago and married him a couple of years later. He joined the Army shortly after that and we began what would become a 20-year career. We retired about four years ago and bought a little house in the beautiful countryside of Kentucky. Then about 2 years later, the Lord let us know He had another plan in mind and so we landed in Alabama at Redstone Arsenal. We have two grown kiddos, Ryan who remained in Kentucky and Caitlyn who is still at home for now and enjoying college, and three fur babies. I am in the half-empty nest season of life, a hard thing for someone who absolutely adores babies and motherhood, but I am determined to navigate it the best way I know how, surrounding myself with Godly, military women.

I feel the call to women’s ministry and have served on the board of PWOC at both Ft. Knox and here on the Arsenal. I have also served as a church administrator, MOPS/ Women’s group leader and social media coordinator for our church in Kentucky. I just love social media and the avenue it provides to let everyone know what the Lord has done for us and to be an encourager and inspiration. It’s the best way I know to serve, love and lead those around me and make a positive difference for Christ in my online (and offline) community. I loved being an Army wife and can’t wait to use all my experience and stories to inspire and encourage the women of Planting Roots.

Stacey can be reached at stacey.socialmedia@plantingroots.net.

Jillian Gilbey

Jillian Gilbey

Graphic Designer

Jillian Gilbey is the Graphic Designer for Planting Roots. She is an Army wife of 11 years and a mom to three children. She has been a homeschool teacher for over five years, a program planner and graphic designer for local PWOC ministries, and a POC for IF: Military. She is passionate about radically-ordinary, Gospel-centered hospitality, and hopes that the love of God can be poured out within the local community one open door at a time. She desires to create a bridge for military and civilian women to connect with one another despite their different lifestyles. Connect with her on her blog, Before They Fly Away, and on Instagram @BeforeTheyFlyAway.

Jill currently resides in Augusta, Georgia, with her husband Steven, their children Aubrey, Landon, and AnnaLynne, as well as their English bulldog Stella. Together they have explored over half of the United States, from the majestic mountains of Alaska to the cascading waterfalls of the Carolinas. She especially loves the beaches of her hometown in St. Petersburg, Florida. Jill and her family love adventure, exploration, and traveling. Each summer, you can find them outside camping, hiking, and boating. 

Her life verse is Philippians 3:13-14. It inspires her to use the creativity God has blessed her with in order to help advance His Kingdom. It says, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Jill can be reached at jill.design@plantingroots.net.

Prayer
Team

Michelle Hieb

Michelle Hieb

Prayer Team Lead

Michelle Hieb currently serves on the prayer team of Planting Roots. Married for 23 years, she and her husband currently wonder where life will take them next as retirement rapidly approaches. She loved homeschooling their daughter and three sons, and it’s exciting and terrifying as they each begin making their transitions into adulthood. She finds joy, peace, and rest by participating in Protestant Women of the Chapel and creative pursuits in cloth, canvas, and cookies. 

Michelle can be reached at prayer.coordinator@plantingroots.net.

Amber Budzynski

Amber Budzynski

Prayer Team

Amber Budzynski is an army wife and has known her husband since high school. They were best friends, and later in life, got married. They have five wonderful children, in which the older three are homeschooled. Amber and her family love the beach, enjoy exploring the areas they live in, attending community events, nature, and doing all kinds of things together, such as crafts. She and her husband also LOVE coffee. Amber has volunteered with numerous events and organizations, including the National Military Family Association, Army Wife Network, Crisis Helpline, Hope for Nova, and the Salvation Army, to just name a few. She has served as a social media coordinator, small group leader, in hospitality, and many other roles. She is currently studying front-end web development. 

Amber’s number one priority is to share the love of God and the gospel to others. She has always had a heart for serving others. Ever since she was young, she loved having the opportunity to pray for others. To also serve wherever the Lord would call, such as in children’s ministry, low-income services for the community, mission trip, community outreach with her church, and wherever else. She continues to have a heart for others, in prayer, and community and continues to seek the Lord in all aspects of her life. One bible verse that has stood out to her lately is from 1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” To God be the glory in everything, she wants to be a fisherman of men, all for the Lord’s kingdom. 

Tonia Gütting

Tonia Gütting

Prayer Team

Tonia Gütting combines a deep conviction to pray with a love of writing in Planting Roots’ Sunday Prayer blog. She is married to a retired Army chaplain, and they are now starting a new church near Ft. Polk, LA. She raised and homeschooled three great military brats, and she plays St. Francis to a couple of crazy pups and a salty cat. She enjoys teaching and speaking, reading, and ruminating over a good cup of tea, as well as hiking and all things outdoors. Her blog is at https://sabbatics.wordpress.com.

Tonia can be reached at tonia.writer@plantingroots.net

Denise Jolly

Denise Jolly

Prayer Team

Denise has been married to her retired soldier for almost 16 years. She spent 14 years traveling the world in the name of the army, and though Italy will always have her heart, this Texas native now calls Columbia, SC home. Mom to two amazing boys, and 5 fur babies. 

A writer, blogger, author, she finds creative outlets in DIY projects. Prayer is a passion, and glitter is a bad habit. Denise has never met a library she doesn’t like and can often be found digging for old worn books in the bargain section. 2018 Fort Jackson spouse of the Year, Denise has found ministry in bringing women together in the true fashion of simply loving Jesus.

Denise can be contacted at denise.prayer@plantingroots.net

Katy Miller

Katy Miller

Prayer Team

Katy met her husband, JD, as a single mother of two kids under three. By the grace of God, their relationship flourished and grew. They have been married for nearly ten years and have made every duty station a place to call home since the day they got married. They have two boys, ages 11 and 13, and two dogs that are incredibly spoiled. Katy homeschools their boys year-round and spends as much time at sporting events for them as she does at home. As a family, they enjoy spending time watching movies, listening to music, and going on adventures.
Katy grew up in church and has had quite the journey through life and through her faith. After living what has felt like a thousand lifetimes, Katy’s faith is strong and growing. She has found comfort in God’s will for her, even when it is not her will for herself. She’s working towards many goals with God in mind and is beyond thankful for the grace that is given when she falls short. Katy has spent time in various parts of military and local ministry programs as a military spouse. From volunteering at the
chapel in the AWANA and PWOC programs to being a children’s church director, she has devoted her time to sharing the Gospel with others.
Ephesians 2:8-9 speak to Katy’s soul. “For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” How wonderful is it that God gives grace upon grace to us. Katy has clung to this verse as she has navigated through life, especially in times that have been tough. As a military wife, mother, homeschooler, volunteer, and business owner, there have been many times where Katy feels that she has fallen short, but grace has been given, and as a result, she has been able to make grace a
a huge part of her testimony.
Katy enjoys coffee and everything small business. Her biggest passion in business is building her Noonday Collection business and helping educate others about how every purchase makes an impact on an artisan from a vulnerable area in the world. Katy is on a mission to be a world-changer
through her love for Jesus, her partnership with Noonday, and her endeavors in the small business world.
Katy can be reached at Katy.prayer@plantingroots.net.

Chantel Jones

Chantel Jones

Prayer Team

Chantel Jones currently serves on the prayer team of Planting Roots.  She is an Air Force wife currently stationed in Falls Church, VA, with her husband, Thomas, of 14 years, and three beautiful children.  She enjoys serving her family and community and photography.  You can find her trying new recipes in the kitchen and photographing the finished product.  

Chantel can be contacted at chantel.prayer@plantingroots.net.

Publishing
Team

Ginger Harrington

Ginger Harrington

Publishing Team Lead

Ginger Harrington, a founding member of Planting Roots, is the Publishing Coordinator for the ministry and the author of the award-winning book, Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life. An engaging speaker for military and civilian audiences, Ginger writes at www.GingerHarrington.com and PlantingRoots.net and has guest posted for GuidepostsLightworkers, (in)courageThe Praying WomanFor Every Mom, and others. Ginger has coordinated and edited Beyond Brave and Free to Be Brave. Ginger and her retired Marine husband have been married for 28 years and have three young adult children. Visit Ginger’s website or connect with her on Facebook @GingHarrington and Instagram @GingerHarrington. 

Ginger can be reached at publishing@plantingroots.net.

Jennifer Wake

Jennifer Wake

Admin Team Leader

Jennifer Wake is the admin team lead of Planting Roots. She is a teacher and writer.  She currently lives on Fort Leavenworth, KS with her wonderful husband of almost 30 years. She has 3 great kids and a son-in-law. She enjoys spoiling her dog.  You can find her spending time teaching and learning. She enjoys quilting and sewing.

Jennifer can be contacted at admin@plantingroots.net.

Liz Giertz

Liz Giertz

Editor, Writer

Liz Giertz is a Staff Writer and Editor for Planting Roots and an Army Veteran who traded her combat boots for a pink ID card and a craft apron. She, her husband, their two boisterous boys, and one crazy shelter pup call the hills of West Virginia home, at least until her soldier retires from active duty. A contributor to Free to Be Brave, she is passionate about gathering women around her craft table and encouraging them with God’s Word. In addition to editing Free to Be Brave and Beyond Brave, she also writes at lizgiertz.com and has published a pair of workbooks aimed at helping military couples reconnect after deployment: Marriage Maintenance: Tune Up After Time Apart for Him and For Her. 

Liz can be reached at Blog@plantingroots.net

Kristin Goodrich

Kristin Goodrich

Deputy Director

Thirty years ago, I took the Oath of Office and was issued my first military ID card. I have spent my entire adulthood carrying some version of that military ID card. At first, my ID card was active-duty green (yes, I’m dating myself here). Changes in rank were followed by changes in weight and hair color. Later, my green ID card was exchanged for a brown one of “dependent spouse”. Then again, the status of my husband changed from active-duty to retired, and now I wonder if my height is shrinking!

During these changes within the military community, one thing has remained the same. I have a desperate need to be in relationship with God. I have grown in my faith because I have needed to dig deeply into the Bible during struggles familiar to military women. I have been supported during the stormy weather by friendships with other military women. And I have been able to raise my hands high with shouts of praise to the heavens as I have been blessed by this community of Christian military women! I am looking forward to planting roots with you!

Claudia Duff

Claudia Duff

Writer

 

Claudia Duff is a writer of Firmly Rooted Fridays for Planting Roots. As a member of the PR speaking team, she enjoys conducting workshops and speaking at their one-day events around the country. Claudia lives in Virginia with her retired Navy husband. Most days when she’s not writing for PR, you can find her sitting in her sewing chair creating Grammy-made clothing for her GrandDufflings! 

Claudia can be reached at Claudia.writer@plantingroots.net.

 

Brenda Pace

Brenda Pace

Advisor, Writer

Brenda Pace is an author and speaker with a passion for bringing encouragement and hope to women. She frequently shares her message in both local church and military chapel settings. She has been the keynote speaker for retreats in Korea, Japan, Turkey, Germany, Italy, and numerous locations across the United States.

Brenda is dedicated to mentor and train women to be godly leaders. She gained practical experience serving at every level of leadership in the military women’s organization, Protestant Women of the Chapel, from president of a local chapter to national leadership as the president of Protestant Women of the Chapel-USA. Her personal experience along with specialized training and education in leadership, has equipped her to encourage and mentor women to develop their full potential for Christ.

Because of her desire to encourage military spouses, Brenda coauthored the devotional book Medals above My Heart, with her friend and fellow military spouse Carol McGlothlin (Broadman and Holman). Brenda and Carol also wrote The One Year Yellow Ribbon Devotional, Taking a Stand in Prayer for Our Nation and Those Who Serve (Tyndale House). She is a contributing author to Stories of Faith and Courage from the Homefront, Stories Around the Table, and the seminary textbook Women in Ministry and Leadership. Brenda is the author of a soon to be released devotional and bible study series The Journey of a Military Wife: God’s Truth for Every Step. The American Bible Society will launch the series in early 2015.

Brenda holds a BA in education from Lee University, a MEd from Columbus State University, and a MA in Christian Leadership from Liberty Theological Seminary. She is currently a Doctorate of Ministry candidate at the Assembly of God Theological Seminary.

Brenda lives in Tennessee, the place of her birth with her husband Richard. A retired US Army Chaplain with 28 years of service, Richard serves as the Chaplain Endorser and Coordinator for Vocational Chaplains at the Church of God Chaplains Commission. The Pace’s are the parents of two married sons and the proud grandparents of five terrific grandkids.

Melissa Hicks

Melissa Hicks

Writer

Melissa Hicks is a second-generation military brat who grew up on posts around the world. After college, she exchanged Army brat for Army wife and began a journey to help other military women grow in their faith. 

Though she met Christ at an early age, Melissa continues to struggle with the difference between being a “good girl” and following Jesus. Thankfully, between the military and motherhood, God provides ample proof of her own depravity – making the message of God’s grace so much sweeter. A message so sweet, she desires to share it with others. 

Melissa currently resides in Tampa, Florida, with her active-duty husband, two sweet children, and a snuggly hound named Felix. In between PCS moves, she loves to write, spend time at the beach, and connect with friends new and old around the globe. 

Melissa can be reached at adminbiblestudy@plantingroots.net.

Andrea Plotner

Andrea Plotner

Editor

Andrea Plotner is an editor at large for Planting Roots. Andrea and her family live and work at Spring Canyon, a camp & conference center ministering to military families in the Colorado Rockies. Serving as the last president of PWOC International, Andrea has a heart for seeing military women grow strong in Christ. Andrea is a motivator, encouraging women to get into God’s Word. Beyond Brave, a six-week women’s Bible study published by Planting Roots is Andrea’s latest project. 

Andrea can be contacted at biblestudy@plantingroots.net

Muriel Gregory

Muriel Gregory

Writer

Muriel Gregory, writer for Planting Roots, speaker, disciple-maker, and credentialed life coach, is passionate about mentoring women into a closer relationship with God and helping them walk in the freedom Jesus promised. She currently resides in Lansing, Kansas, with her career infantry husband, their youngest son along with their golden retriever, two cats, and four guinea pigs. She is also mom to two adult children, who have left the nest. 

Born and raised in France, she has learned to embrace “joie de vivre” as her life motto. Good food, good coffee, good books, and good conversations are her life rhythms. 

Muriel can be reached at muriel.writer@plantingroots.net.

Kori Yates

Kori Yates

Director, Writer

Kori Yates loves adventure – and life is full of them. As a popular speaker and writer, Kori desires to challenge and encourage women to follow Christ wholeheartedly, knowing the Christian walk is the greatest adventure of all. Being a military wife has added to this adventure in ways she could never have imagined. Her first book, Olive Drab Pom-Poms, encourages military wives to find the calling God has for them in what can seem a crazy, unstable life. This life is no surprise to God.

Distracted, quirky, independent, and mostly capable, Kori is just an ordinary military wife seeking to follow Jesus. Married to her Soldier-husband, Kyle, for eleven years, she also homeschools their two kids, ages ten and seven. It is certainly an adventure.

Kori loves to run, read, sew, bake, and eat chocolate, which is exactly why she runs. She attempts to be creative on occasion, and is at times successful. Longing to be more like Christ tomorrow than she is today, she has become a huge fan of grace. To learn more about Kori, check out her blog, or grab a copy of her book, visit her website. The book is also available on Amazon, and other bookstores online. You can also connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

Tonia Gütting

Tonia Gütting

Prayer Team

Tonia Gütting combines a deep conviction to pray with a love of writing in Planting Roots’ Sunday Prayer blog. She is married to a retired Army chaplain, and they are now starting a new church near Ft. Polk, LA. She raised and homeschooled three great military brats, and she plays St. Francis to a couple of crazy pups and a salty cat. She enjoys teaching and speaking, reading, and ruminating over a good cup of tea, as well as hiking and all things outdoors. Her blog is at https://sabbatics.wordpress.com.

Tonia can be reached at tonia.writer@plantingroots.net

Claudia Duff

Claudia Duff

Writer

 

Claudia Duff is a writer of Firmly Rooted Fridays for Planting Roots. As a member of the PR speaking team, she enjoys conducting workshops and speaking at their one-day events around the country. Claudia lives in Virginia with her retired Navy husband. Most days when she’s not writing for PR, you can find her sitting in her sewing chair creating Grammy-made clothing for her GrandDufflings! 

Claudia can be reached at Claudia.writer@plantingroots.net.

 

Worship
Team

Kayla Atkins

Kayla Atkins

Worship Team Lead

Kayla Atkins comes from small-town Kansas. Born and raised in a musical family, at the age of 2 she was put on a stage with a microphone in her hand, and the rest is history. Kayla toured and sang with her family growing up and later branched out on her own solo career. She is a military spouse of 17 years with two daughters, a son and a granddaughter. Kayla has served as worship leader for PWOC at multiple installations in the states and overseas and has been a guest worship leader for several retreats and conferences as well as various churches and/or other ministry opportunities. She released her latest album “Rhythms of Grace” a few years ago as a tool to share stories and life lessons from the heart. Currently, she serves as Worship Coordinator at the Chapel in Fort Leavenworth, KS, as well as holding the same position with Planting Roots Ministries.

Kayla can be reached at worship@plantingroots.net.

April Dingle

April Dingle

Worship Admin

April Beatrice Dingle, PR Worship Team Member, and Worship Team Admin. Born and raised in our Nations’s Capital, Washington, District of Columbia.

I am the proud wife of USANGman “The Real” Eugene Dingle. We have been married now for 16 years and are parents of our four girls; two adults, one teenager, and one vibrant preschooler! Currently, we are re-establishing life here in DC as we both tend to the needs of our aging parents. During this season of life, I am overjoyed by the connections made through PR. It is my joy, my desire to worship The Lord in Spirit, and in Truth and to make His praise glorious here in the earth. Singing is something I can do, but Worshipping our Father through song is what I love to do!

Mary Beth Gunther

Mary Beth Gunther

Musician

Mary Beth is a Retired Army Bandsmen and an Army Chaplain wife. Currently stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Mary Beth is a gifted singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist who is active in leading worship in various ministries. Recently, Mary Beth discovered her love for percussion instruments.

 

Nicole Williams

Nicole Williams

Musician

My name is Nicole Williams. I am the daughter of a retired Army Major. I was born in El Paso, Tx, at Fort Bliss. However, I currently reside in Northern Virginia. At my home church, Fort Belvoir Gospel Service, I play piano for all choirs; adult Choir, male chorus, and youth choir. I’ve been playing the piano since a very young age, and I love using my gift to uplift God. I am currently on the Planting Roots Worship Team as a keyboardist and look forward to the fellowship and worship during the next conference!
You can contact Nicole at nicole.worship@plantingroots.net.

Jennifer Raburn

Jennifer Raburn

Musician

Jennifer Raburn was saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ at the age of seven, and she has been passionately pursuing Him ever since. Her musical experience began with piano lessons in kindergarten. Throughout her life, she has enjoyed the many places that music has taken her.

Jennifer is married to Tim, a former Army chaplain. Jennifer served as a worship leader within the chapel community and at several conferences. She also enjoyed serving in various PWOC leadership board positions.

The Raburns now reside in Huntsville, Alabama, where Jennifer works part-time as an RN. She serves in their local church in the areas of worship and women’s ministry. Jennifer and Tim have two precious children.

Jennifer is committed to worshipping God through any and every season. Her ministry focus is on worship and the Word. She longs to see women love and praise God with both their hearts and minds. 

Jennifer can be contacted at Jennifer.worship@plantingroots.net