PEARL Staff & Board members are dedicated to helping single parents work toward self-sufficiency by providing support and connecting them to community resources. With programs ranging from kids mentoring, to car care clinics that provide safety checks and oil changes.
Valerie is the Single Moms Director at LifeBridge Christian Church and the Director of Programs for PEARL. She received a Ph.D. in pharmacology at the University of Colorado Health Science Center and worked as a research scientist in academia and biotechnology for 12 years. She also taught biology courses at Colorado Christian University.
Valerie states: "What refreshes me most on the job is when the mindset of a single mom has shifted from a state of hopelessness to a journey of Jesus' grace that frees us all from our past mistakes and unites us together in love. Watching her become motivated and empowered to lead her family and others to stability and success...Wow... really makes my day! This is what it is all about. Hooray for PEARL and thank God for His grace!"
Dr. Jack Hay is a retired educator who spent 33 years as a teacher, coach, school administrator and district administrator. He was raised and did undergraduate work in Southern California and moved to Colorado in 1974. He completed his graduate work at the University of Colorado and worked in several Colorado school districts before retiring from the St. Vrain Valley School District in 2002.
Jack says, “I have a heart for children who need an extra ‘boost’ to help them be successful in school and in life.” Jack has served on the Board of Directors for Alternatives for Youth for over 20 years. Jack considers himself a “freelance volunteer” and enjoys everything from clearing snow from neighbor’s sidewalks to helping refurbish local schools through “ShareFest.” Most recently, he has assumed the role of Director of the Pearl Mentoring Program, which serves children of single moms. “I have been blessed with the gift of time,” says Jack.
When Jack is not volunteering he enjoys golf, fishing, hunting and playing with his dog, Max. He and his lovely wife, Lois, enjoy traveling, camping and spending time with their adopted family and their grandchildren who live out of state.
Ken, and his wife Barbara, have been married for 33 year and moved to Longmont in 1999. They like to say they are “Grand Kid Groupies” since their move was to follow their grand kids to Colorado and New Mexico. They have six children and nine grand kids living in Longmont, Los Luna’s, N.M. and now Seattle.
Ken retired from a career as a mechanical engineer and consultant in the power generation industry in 2009. After retirement, Ken took on his dream job working with Special Needs kids in the Saint Vrain Valley School District for the last four years. He is now fully retired and devotes his time to The Pearl Group and many other volunteer activities. Ken helps coordinate transportation activities including clinics, car repairs and car donations.
Scott Owen is a lifelong resident of Longmont and the surrounding community. Married, to Terri, for over 30 years they have two adult children, one grandchild and reside near Berthoud. A 30+ year career veteran of the media industry, Scott is SR Vice President at New Hope Natural Media in Boulder, and serves on various community and professional boards/committees.
As a founding partner of The Pearl Group, Scott shares a passion to serve God by displaying His love and desire to serve others. Scott has a dedicated focus to the mission, Board of Directors and Transportation Team of The Pearl Group. Very important to Scott, is time spent with family, friends, church and his passion for water skiing, blues music, and encouraging others.
Eli Frick is a resident of northern Colorado by way of Detroit Michigan. He studied business law at Metropolitan State University of Denver and proceeded to work in the automotive industry. Passionate about outdoors and adventure Longmont Colorado is a perfect place to call home. Eli married his best friend Melissa in June of 2004 and are blessed with a son and daughter. In Eli’s spare time he enjoys flying ultralights and camping with family.
Born in South Africa, Andre arrived with his family in Colorado in 1990. After graduating from Colorado Springs Christian School, he attended Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho and earned a degree in Philosophy and Ethics. Having felt called to full-time ministry since a teenager, in 2004 he moved to Kansas City to earn his Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary. As a member of their Honors Program, he focused on Poverty Alleviation and Economic Development. He moved back to Colorado in 2008 to begin his MBA at the University of Colorado with a focus in Non-Profit Management. He is the father of two children (Adrien and Samantha), and is happily married to Elaine Epperson Roux.
Jonathan grew up in New Jersey and moved to Lyons, CO in 2011 where he resides with his wife, four children and mother in-law. He is the Founder of LaCrosse Investments 374, LLC, an alternative investment placement firm dedicated to raising capital for private equity, real assets and venture capital. He has more than 20 years of professional experience, including fundraising connections in excess of $3.5 billion in assets, investing more than $4 billion in 162 deals and roles on over 35 Board Director and Advisory Boards.
In addition to The Pearl Group, Jonathan currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Lyons Community Foundation. Jonathan has a passion for the youth and is a volunteer at LifeBridge Christian Church and Awana. He heads up our Above All program which seeks to provide the children of single parents with an opportunity to: 1) Enter into and build a relationship with Jesus Christ; 2) Achieve an advanced education; and 3) Grow through crafts, music and athletic activities in a camp setting. Jonathan earned an M.B.A. from Rider University and B.S. from Rowan University. He holds the Series 7, 63 & 79 securities licenses.
Monica and her husband Ron lived off the grid in Montana where they began a family and enjoyed living on the Flathead River along the boundary of Glacier National Park. They moved to Boulder, CO in 1988 where they continued to raise their three daughters and one son. When the last of their four children headed off to college they moved to Lyons. They plan to stay in Lyons where they are back on the River, albeit much smaller.
While working as an entrepreneur in small business with some stints in the technology realm, Monica has always been a volunteer in various organizations and capacities. In 2016, she became a Board Member of The Pearl Group and is now working part-time as the Executive Director of Operations.
The first quarter of 2017 has been focused on a re-branding to “PEARL”, building a new website and investigating plans for growth. Unlike most people, Monica is energized by change and finds that being with single moms who are motivated and growing is very rewarding. Monica is looking for miracles in each day now and believes PEARL is providing programs that can instill faith, hope and love. Moms, kids, volunteers, staff, donors and the community all benefit!
April Gissel grew up & spent her younger years living all over Montana. She moved to Colorado in 2002 and she married her husband Greg, a lifetime Longmont resident in 2006. They have spent the last 12 years raising 3 boys Dillan, Caleb, and Brycen. They spend much of their free camping, boating, ATVing, & watching the boys play sports.
April is the Branch Manager of the Longmont-Hover branch Bank of the West. She has been with the bank for 8 years and held many positions over the years between the 2 Longmont locations. She joined PEARL in June, 2017 and will become the Treasurer of the board in July 2018.
Hanna currently leads the Creative Arts Team at LifeBridge Church, where she oversees the worship experience and communications. She moved to Colorado from Chicago, IL where she was on the Executive Team at Willow Creek Association leading the Marketing and Communication team. Before WCA, she worked at Peace Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio where she created and led a communication department while also leading in High School ministry. Hanna has a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management, a Certificate of Professional Counseling, and received her undergraduate degree in Communications from The Ohio State University.
Rochelle Borrego is a Single mother to a teenaged son. She currently works as a Cake Decorator, although she has a diverse background in the fine arts of baking and cooking, as well as food service and restaurant management. She was born and raised on a small family farm in Colorado with a large extended family on the property. Where she learned the value of hard work and the pleasure of seeing the fruits of one's own labor.
After spending a number of years in California she returned to Colorado in 1999 to raise her son in her beloved home state. Rochelle says “As a single parent I understand the joys and difficulties of raising a child on my own as well as the experience of having a fabulous support system to lift up and encourage mother and child.” Rochelle is a breast cancer survivor and has experienced God’s grace through that experience.
She feels that when one has been blessed with great love it is obligatory to pass those blessings on. She lives out that philosophy by mentoring other single moms as part of Pearls Single Moms support group for the past 10 years and encouraging women to find their dreams again within God’s great plan for their lives.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11