Meet Our Staff

Bryan George

Senior Pastor
E-mail Bryan George

How long have you been in the ministry? I have been in pastoral ministry since 1990 and serving at Church of the Lakes since 1996.
Tell me about your family… I have been married to Amy for over 25 years and we have three children: Joelle , Luke  and Stacy.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? Tree and bird identification.  I enjoy hiking and biking in the woods. 
What is your favorite quote? “Rejoice in the Lord Always” Philippians 4:4; “We are more than Conquerors through Him who loved us” Romans 8; “All that is not eternal is eternally useless” C.S. Lewis; “With malice towards none, with charity towards all” Abraham Lincoln
What was your first job? Newspaper delivery for the Galion Inquirer
What is your proudest moment? Tricking Amy to say “I do”
What was your childhood ambition? At various times, a doctor, an astronomer and a historian
What inspires you? Majestic trees, grace filled people, the Bible, and my wife
What has God been teaching you lately? When I am weak, He is strong
What is your guilty pleasure? Toasted Almond Fudge Ice Cream
What is your favorite part of your job? You don’t have enough space to include my long answer

Jared Priset

Associate Pastor
E-mail Jared Priset

How long have you been in the ministry? I have been in ministry for 8 years. I spent 3 years as a Youth Pastor at Ashland Christ UMC while attending Ashland Theological Seminary and I have been at Aurora UMC as a Solo Pastor for the past 5 years.
Tell me about your family… I have been married to Meredith since 2003 and we are the proud parents of three children, Maggie, Elias, and Adelaide. We also have wonderful dog, Harmony.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? My favorite hobby, by far, is running. I have been an avid runner for the past 20 years. Along with running, I am always up for a good movie or book. My favorite movie is, “Chariots of Fire” and one of my many favorite books is “Friday Night Lights.” Oh, did I mention that I love Buffalo Bills football?
What is your favorite quote? “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Steve Prefontaine
What was your first job? Delivering newspapers for The Buffalo News
What is your proudest moment? My proudest moments were watching the births of my 3 children.
What was your childhood ambition? Please don’t laugh… it was to be a professional football player. If you know me than you know how ridiculous that actually is.
What inspires you? Seeing people fall in love with Jesus Christ and then putting their faith in action. Also, the “Chariots of Fire” theme song.
What has God been teaching you lately? God has been teaching me how important it is to be present in the moment and not allow distractions to get in the way of the here and now.
What is your guilty pleasure? Diet Coke and M&M’s.
What is your favorite part of your job? Getting to meet new people and share Jesus’ love with them. Along with meeting new people, I would also say that I love seeing people engage their faith and work toward deepening and developing it.

Angela Schneider

Director of Christian Education
E-mail Angela Schneider

How long have you been in the ministry? I have been in youth and children’s ministry since 2004. I have also worked at Church of the Lakes in the Childcare Center since 2006.
Tell about your family…My husband John and I have been married since 2006. We have a son – Jonathan, a daughter – Kylie, and a dog – Bella.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? Spending time with my family and friends. In the summer, as a family, we enjoy our days at the pool, in the fall we spend our Friday nights at football games. I love the ocean/beach and every opportunity I get to go there. I also enjoy walking, working out, and yoga.
What is your favorite quote? “If your eyes are on the storm, you’ll wonder if I love you still. But if your eyes are on the Cross you’ll know I always have and I always will.” Lyrics from “Just be Held” by Casting Crowns. – This gives me perspective and focus.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
What was your first job? I worked at Affinity Hospital in Massillon in the food service department preparing and delivering food trays to the patients.
What was your childhood ambition? I wanted to be a teacher and a nurse. I always said I wanted to be a teacher during the week and a nurse on the weekend.
What inspires you? The Love of Jesus Christ, and seeing God’s faithfulness through my life and the lives of others. God is so Good!
What has God been teaching you lately? God has been teaching me that His Will is far greater than my heart’s desire.
What is your guilty pleasure? Starbucks’ Caramel Apple Cider
What is your favorite part of your job? There is nothing greater than the faith of a child. I love listening to children sing Bible songs, talk about Jesus, and the way they reflect Jesus’ love.

Cara Schroeder

Director of Student Ministries
E-mail Cara Schroeder

How long have you been in the ministry? I started in Ministry as a career in 1994. I came to Church of the Lakes in 1997.
Tell me about your family…I enjoy spending time with Jackie, Jenn, Grant and Katherine.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? Walking, reading, and the beach.
What is your favorite quote? “To everything there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3)
What was your first job? Babysitting and waitress
What is your proudest moment? Our youth as they share Christ with others and Katherine as she danced into surgery.
What was your childhood ambition? To be a teacher.
What inspires you? My children, and our youth.
What has God been teaching you lately? Patience and trust… Lifelong lessons
What is your guilty pleasure? Fountain Pepsi
What is your favorite part of your job? Working with the kids.

Janet Zimmerman

Director of Women's Ministry & Curriculum Coordinator
E-mail Janet Zimmerman

How long have you been in the ministry? My first ministry position was right out of college—so 41 years. I have been at Church of the Lakes since March of 2000.
Tell me about your family… My husband of 37 years, Jim, passed away in 2014. I have one daughter, Debbie, and a grandson, Elijah, who live with me here in Canton.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I enjoy cooking, traveling, spending time with family and friends.
What was your first job? I worked at a dry cleaners in high school; first ministry job out of college was working as a youth director for a church.
What was your childhood ambition?  To be a 2nd grade school teacher.
What inspires you? Obviously the scriptures, but other than that, people inspire me—especially those who face difficulties with courage and determination.
What has God been teaching you lately? That we are not in charge of our lives, and that the ability to control our lives/events is just an illusion.
What is your guilty pleasure?  Chocolate
What is your favorite part of your job? Getting to work with so many wonderful adults and children.

Les Peine

Pastor of Visitation and Pastoral Care
E-mail Les Peine

How long have you been in the ministry?  Since 1972, so 42 years including 28 years in the Air Force.
Tell me about your family… My wife, Beryl, a retired elementary school teacher. My son, Mark works in marketing for Harley Davidson, is married to Leigh who is in development/fundraising for the Milwaukee Fine Arts Foundation. They have one daughter, Liesl. Our daughter, Susan, is an elementary teacher who lives near Reno NV and is married to Nick, a pharmacist with the Public Health Corps serving native Americans on the Paiute Tribe reservation on Lake Pyramid. They have one son, Charles. Our daughter, Sarah, is a special education teacher, is married to Jarod, a quality control engineer with St Jude’s. They have three girls – Annie, Emily and Olivia.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests?  Genealogy, music (vocal, guitar and trumpet), golf and baseball and football.
What is your favorite quote? “Do you walk to school, or carry your lunch?” my father, Lester Peine.
What was your first job? I helped run a family commercial printing business, Peine Printing, setting type and operating the printing presses.
What is your proudest moment? Being selected for the Ohio Veteran’s Hall of Fame in 2010.
What was your childhood ambition? To become a pastor.
What inspires you? The Bible, Music and the love of family and friends.
What has God been teaching you lately? To rely more on God and faith and less material things!
What is your guilty pleasure? Ice Cream!
What is your favorite part of your job?  Interacting with people!

Julie Geiser

Director of Sanctuary Music
E-mail Julie Geiser

How long have you been in the ministry? I have been the Director of Sanctuary Music since 2009, although I have been participating in music ministry at Church of the Lakes since 1995, when I first joined the choir.
Tell me about your family… My husband, Bruce, and I have been married for twenty years. We have three daughters, Madeline, Olivia, and Lucy.  
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? Although music ministry is my “job”, music is also one of my special interests in life outside of the church as well, and I particularly enjoy singing and playing the violin and piano. I adore cooking and love to challenge myself by learning new recipes and techniques all the time. I am a voracious reader with a particular fondness for 19th century British literature, and I love to write as well.  I am fascinated by foreign cultures and foreign languages and enjoy traveling abroad whenever I’m able.
What is your favorite quote? “There are very few moments in a man’s existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.” –Charles Dickens (The Pickwick Papers).  (Or pretty much anything else ever written by Charles Dickens.)
What was your first job? It’s difficult to pinpoint my first job – but my first career was as a litigation attorney.  I practiced law for fifteen years before retiring from the legal profession and engaging full-time in music ministry.
What was your childhood ambition? I wanted to be a detective, like Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot.
What inspires you? People who live lives of genuine goodness, integrity, generosity, discipline, courage, and sacrifice.
What has God been teaching you lately? That I still have a long way to go in my faith journey.
What is your guilty pleasure? British TV shows on Netflix and British historical romance novels.
What is your favorite part of your job? I love working with the individuals –adults and children– who give so generously of their time and talents to participate in our music ministry.  The people in our various musical groups make every rehearsal enjoyable, and I love making music with them!

Sandy Simpson

Church Organist

How long have you been in the ministry? I have been involved in the music ministry in some capacity since middle school, most of my life as an organist. I was on the praise team at Church of the Lakes for several years, then became the organist in 2013.
Tell me about your family… I have two sons, CJ and Alex, and a daughter Lindsay. Alex lives in Canton. Lindsay, her husband, Keith, and their daughters, Stevie, Brooklyn and Kallie live in Bolivar. CJ, his wife, Rachel, and their daughters, Zoe and Ella, live in Plain Township.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? Reading, walking, gardening and cooking.
What is your favorite quote? Matthew 25:3-40: “Then the righteous will answer Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feel You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or, when did we see You sick or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these, My brethren, you did it to me.'”
What was your first job? Working at a candy counter in a movie theater.
What is your proudest moment? A classmate of my son, Alex, was scheduled to speak to the Board of Education on behalf of a high school teacher who many students felt was treated unfairly. The day of the board meeting, my son’s classmate heard there was going to be a large crowd, feared the repercussions and opted out. Alex, who was extremely shy at the time, stretched well beyond his comfort zone and delivered an inspiring speech. I am proud to have a son with the courage to stand up for his beliefs and overcome his fears.
What was your childhood ambition? To be a composer and to have a house full of children.
What inspires you? Relationships, nature and the arts.
What has God been teaching you lately? Patience.
What is your guilty pleasure? Cookies.
What is your favorite part of your job? I can feel the Holy Spirit at work when we (staff, choirs, lay leaders, musicians) collaborate for the common good of God’s people. I love that.

Vanessa Mowrer

Director of Contemporary Music
E-mail Vanessa Mowrer

How long have you been in the ministry? I gave my heart to the Lord when I was 22. We are called as His children to love as He loves and although I have not always been perfect at it, I do have a heart to serve. I have tried to take what interests me and serve in those areas in whatever way is needed at the time. There wasn’t a job I wouldn’t try. I didn’t realize at the time that God was preparing me for what I’m doing today. He always has us in mind and prepares us for His work when we allow Him.
Tell me about your family… I have 3 daughters, Cassie who is married with 2 boys, Hali who is married with a stepdaughter & a son and Abbe who is a student at Marietta College and plays softball for them.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? Other than singing, I love the beach and warm weather. I like boating and water skiing. I also like crafty things as well as remodeling.
What is your favorite quote?  “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  -Philippians 1:6
What was your first job? Waitress
What is your proudest moment? I have 3, Cassie, Hali and Abbe…and my grandkids
What was your childhood ambition? To sing
What inspires you? Those moments that I can get away with the Lord in nature (especially the beach).
What has God been teaching you lately? To trust Him. I’m learning to rest in His care…that He has me and won’t let go. He never lets me down.
What is your guilty pleasure? I love ice cream!
What is your favorite part of your job? When someone connects with God, because of a song we sang…when He speaks through the music He placed in my heart.

John Kocher

Worship Leader of Student & Young Adult Ministries
E-mail John Kocher

How long have you been in the ministry? I have been volunteering with the Church of the Lakes youth group since 2005 and joined the staff in 2014.
Tell me about your family…I have been married to my wife, Jenna, since July 2013 and we welcomed our daughter, Eva, in September 2014.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I enjoy playing guitar and bass guitar, reading, playing and watching sports (especially basketball), and playing with one of the church softball teams.
What is your favorite quote? “The child is in me still and sometimes not so still.” – Fred Rogers
What was your first job? At 13, I did the mowing and weed whacking for the processing plant that my dad worked for.
What is your proudest moment? Holding my daughter for the first time.
What was your childhood ambition? To play indoor soccer professionally
What inspires you? Anything that finds its roots in hope, love, or seeking truth. Working with youth who have wisdom beyond their perceived level of knowledge.
What has God been teaching you lately? The discipline of not having to have the last word.
What is your guilty pleasure? Binge-watching Netflix
What is your favorite part of your job? Being able to laugh with others about the mistakes we have made and finding ways to improve.

Tricia Talbott

Director of Hospitality
E-mail Tricia Talbott

How long have you been in the ministry? My family and I have been attending and participating in activities at Church of the Lakes for 11 years.
Tell me about your family… I live in Canton with my husband, Rick. We have a son, Ricky, and a daughter, Rachel. We also have two 4-legged babies, Lily and Buckeye.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I love to go hiking and biking with my family. I enjoy taking pictures and scrapbooking. I also enjoy curling up with a good book.
What is your favorite quote? “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein  I also like:  “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Abraham Lincoln
What was your first job? My first official job was at Wendy’s in Hilliard.
What is your proudest moment? I would have to say the day I said yes to marry Rick because that has led to our beautiful children.
What was your childhood ambition? When I was little I always wanted to be a veterinarian. My terrible allergies prevented that!
What inspires you? As a speech-language pathologist I work with kids with disabilities and they inspire me everyday to be a better me.
What has God been teaching you lately? God has been teaching me patience and to accept his timing and not my own.
What is your guilty pleasure? I have a bit of a sweet tooth so I would have to say laying on the couch eating candy and watching TV. Either football or NCIS!
What is your favorite part of your job? I get to socialize with talk with a variety of people and have an excuse to be the last one out of church now!

Betsi Knis

Director of Communications
E-mail Betsi Knis

Tell me about your family… I am married to Brian, he is a special education preschool teacher for Stark County Educational Service Center. We have 2 dogs, Joey and Chandler, and a cat Emma. We also have 3 nieces and a nephew.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. We love playing board games and cards. I like to watch football with my husband on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. We spend a lot of time shopping and finding great deals. I also enjoy going riding on Brian’s Harley Davidson, or in our Jeep Wrangler.
What is your favorite quote? “Just keep swimming” ~Dory ‘Finding Nemo’  “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance” ~Romans 5:3
What was your first job? Probably babysitting my cousins, but my first real job was at Heavenly Ham.
What is your proudest moment? Graduating college in 3 years. I took post-secondary in high school and worked hard to stay on track throughout my time at Kent State. I really wanted to get out and start my career.
What was your childhood ambition? I wanted to be a marine biologist and swim with dolphins everyday. Unfortunately, I didn’t like science and I am not that strong of a swimmer.
What inspires you? My mom. She has always been extremely hard-working and self-motivated. She has been through alot in her life but she keeps on going.
What has God been teaching you lately? He is always with me. Whether I think I need His help or not, He is always going to be there with me.
What is your guilty pleasure? Time alone and bad TV. I love to have a little quiet time by myself and watch things on the DVR that won’t better me in any way.
What is your favorite part of your job? I like being able to reach people and change their lives for the better. If just one more person gets involved in the Church because of information that I gave to them, then I will be successful.

Diana Mayer

Secretary
E-mail Diana Mayer

How long have you been in the ministry? I have been at Church of the Lakes since 1998 and love being here!!!
Tell me about your family… I am originally from England. I have been married to Johnny since 1985. We met while both of us were serving overseas, myself with the British Foreign Service and Johnny with the US Marines. We have two wonderful children, Stephanie and Nick .
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I love to do anything outside, from yard work to washing the car! Love to take long walks in the fall, sit on the beach in the summer and spend quality time with my family.
What is your favorite quote? “A kind word is like a Spring day.” Russian proverb
What was your first job? Working at “Boots the Chemist” store (in England) at age 16.
What is your proudest moment? I am always proud when my children make good decisions.
What was your childhood ambition? As I child I wanted to be a nurse.
What inspires you? People inspire me.
What is your guilty pleasure? Anything chocolate!
What is your favorite part of your job? Interacting with people, and perhaps making a difference in their day with just a hug, smile or a kind word.

Mardy DiGiacinto

Administrative Assistant to the Pastor
E-mail Mardy DiGiacinto

Tell me about your family… I have two wonderful adult children and Tom has two wonderful adult children.  Between the 4, we have 10 grandchildren.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I like to be outdoors hiking and biking; I like being with friends; and I like to read.
What was your first job?  At the age of 13 I cleaned and packaged coins for a coin dealer.
What is your proudest moment?  There are too many to list; but anytime I see one of my children’s or grandchildren’s face light up after she/he has succeeded at a difficult task.
What was your childhood ambition? Originally I wanted to be a nurse but, my parents talked me out of that and directed me toward education.
What inspires you? Seeing Christians living out their faiths with humility and grace.
What has God been teaching you lately? That through trials and crisis, He will always be with me.
What is your guilty pleasure?  Watching anything that has English actors in it.
What is your favorite part of your job? The staff… they are all GREAT!

Dawn Crum

Elementary Music Leader

How long have you been in the ministry? I started directing the Cherub Choir in 2000, in 2003 I moved to the Wesley Choir.
Tell me about your family… I have been married to Rich for over 24 years. We both grew up at Church of the Lakes and we were married here. We have 3 wonderful boys; John, Jared and Seth. And our german shepherd Sammy!
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I enjoy bike riding and in the summer-sitting around a pool! I love to read and I love watching movies and playing board games with my kids.
What is your favorite quote? Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
What was your first job? My first job was being a nanny to the kids across the street.
What is your proudest moment? I have many proud moments, and many of them from seeing my kids doing or achieving something.
What was your childhood ambition? My childhood ambition was to be a teacher until I had kids, then to be a stay-at-home mom like my mom did.
What inspires you? My husband and my kids inspire me.
What has God been teaching you lately? That He is in control and I am not!
What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate!
What is your favorite part of your job? Seeing the kid’s faces after they sing in service, particularly if it is a more challenging piece. I love helping children learn to serve their church.

Dawn Yacono

Communications Assistant

How long have you been in the ministry? 7 years. I have also worked 3 years in our Child Care Center office.
Tell me about your family… I have a wonderful, supportive husband Mike. Our children are Miranda, Vinnie, Twins Alicia & Chad, and our Brittney Spaniel, Mindy.
What is your favorite quote? “If you’ve never done anything to make someone’s life better, then you have wasted yours.”
What was your first job? McDonald’s – lasted 3 weeks!
What is your proudest moment? There are too many to list with 4 children and a 30 year marriage.
What was your childhood ambition? Get married, have kids and be able to stay at home.
What has God been teaching you lately? Enjoy the beauty around you!
What is your favorite part of your job? God placed me in this environment to surround me with wonderful co-workers. My life was forever changed!

Melissa McGee

Membership Secretary & Database Administrator
E-mail Melissa McGee

How long have you been in the ministry? I joined Church of the Lakes in 2015 but have been employed at other churches since 2011.
Tell me about your family…Our house is in a constant state of motion. With two busy girls – Eilis and Aine – my husband, Andy, and I usually can be found at the kitchen table helping with homework, shuttling one or the other to lessons and school activities, or knee-deep in the volcano of laundry that erupts daily.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I enjoy watching classic movies and musicals, especially when the local theaters play them on the big screen. Daily walks allow me time to reflect and gain perspective.
What is your favorite quote? “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words when necessary.” – St. Francis of Assisi
What was your first job? Restaurant hostess
What is your proudest moment? Running a 5K with my daughter, Aine. (Though at mile 2, I would have voted it the worst moment of my life.)
What was your childhood ambition? I wanted to be Indiana Jones.
What inspires you? The genuine smile on someone’s face when you’ve shown them a simple gesture of kindness they didn’t anticipate.
What has God been teaching you lately? Patience, patience and more patience.
What is your guilty pleasure? Heggy’s chocolate malts
What is your favorite part of your job? Getting the opportunity to serve the church I love and the people I worship with, in a new way.

Roger Miller

Church Accountant

How long have you been in the ministry? 11 years
Tell me about your family… I have been married to Shirley for over 36 years. My son, Troy, (from my first marriage) is a contractor with a business in Columbus, OH, but he lives in Colorado with his wife, Jen, and their 3 daughters Lexi, Elle, and Tori. My daughter is a grade school teacher in Denver, Colorado and married to Caleb.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? Golf, bicycle riding, cards and reading.
What is your favorite quote? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
What was your first job? Paper route
What is your proudest moment? Kid’s college graduation
What was your childhood ambition? To be a Dentist
What inspires you? A new day
What has God been teaching you lately? Thankfulness
What is your guilty pleasure? Martini
What is your favorite part of your job? People

Jared Crum

Recreational Ministries Coordinator
E-mail Jared Crum

How long have you been in the ministry? This is my first experience serving officially in the ministry, but I have been involved in the music ministry at church since I was a child.
Tell me about your family… I live with my parents, Dawn and Rich, and two brothers, John and Seth.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? Reading, hiking, and snow skiing, and in the summers I sail with my cousin in a racing league on Atwood Lake.
What is your favorite quote? “All that is gold does not glitter” from The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien.
What was your first job? Working as a crew member on the St. Helena III.
What is your proudest moment? Earning my Eagle Scout.
What was your childhood ambition? To be a secret agent.
What inspires you? My parents, both their marriage and their faith in Jesus Christ.
What has God been teaching you lately? How to follow his will, though it’s a hard lesson to learn.
What is your guilty pleasure? Binge-watching shows on Netflix
What is your favorite part of your job? I am looking forward to working with all the different people in the Recreational Ministries.

Nancy Pierson

Service Ministries Coordinator
E-mail Nancy Pierson

How long have you been in the ministry? I started at Church of the Lakes in January of 2004.
Tell me about your family… I have been married over 31 years. We have one son, Danny, who is a chemical engineer and married to Amber.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I love to read, run, bike, and lots of outdoor things. I love traveling and driving my Mustang convertible.
What is your favorite quote? My Niece Suzanne, in regards to Danny’s upcoming marriage: “No Unsolicited advice” (I repeat it often.)
What was your first job? As a teen I worked for Higbee’s (now Dillard’s) in the Junior’s Department and loved it.
What is your proudest moment? Our son’s high school and college graduations.
What was your childhood ambition? I wanted to own a store.
What inspires you? My friends- who are so active in volunteering and push me out of my comfort zone.
What has God been teaching you lately? To be more patient, and that I cannot change how people react. But, I can change how I react to them!
What is your guilty pleasure? I have a Food Hall of Fame list. So, eating anything on that list.
What is your favorite part of your job? When people ask me what I do, I tell them I talk to people. They reply, “that is easy for you.” It is – I love that. Also, I really like when I am asked to find a volunteer and I know the perfect person for the job. I like sharing my enthusiasm for our church with visitors and potential new members. Also, I love coming up with fun ideas for fellowship opportunities.

Johnny Mayer

Head Custodian

How long have you been in the ministry?  I’ve been here at Church of the Lakes for a total of over 5 years (17 if you count my time with Diana being here).
Tell me about your family… Diana and I got married in 1985 in England after meeting in Nicosia, Cyprus while serving our respective governments.  We have two super awesome kids, Stephanie and Nick.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? Golf (wish I played more), fishing (wish I went more), fantasy football (Diana wishes I played less).
What is your favorite quote? “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.  It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.  Every morning a lion wakes up and knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running”   Motivational Quote
What was your first job? Carried the local newspaper in Columbus, Ohio
What is your proudest moment?  Graduating from boot camp as a United States Marine in 1979!
What inspires you?  People with strong faith and people that selflessly help others inspire me.
What has God been teaching you lately?  There is nothing like serving others and helping other people to serve others.  We can all be the hands and feet of God with just a little effort!
What is your guilty pleasure?  I enjoy a lot of things, but don’t feel much guilt over them!
What is your favorite part of your job?  I love the people I work with and the people of the congregation.  The kids in the child care center are pretty awesome as well, if they can’t brighten your day nothing can.

Bill Wendell

Royal Family Kids Camp Director
E-mail Bill Wendell

How long have you been in the ministry? I’ve been on staff since 1998.
Tell me about your family… I have four children, Jill, Bob, Billy and Pat. They have made such good choices (all have their master’s degree) and have married wonderful people. I’ve been married to Cathy for over 35 years, and we have eight grandchildren.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I enjoy golf and reading historical books.
What is your favorite quote? “We are never defeated unless we give up on God.”Ronald Reagan
What was your first job? Laborer for City of Eastlake, OH
What is your proudest moment? I really try to avoid being proud of what I do, but seeing the children arrive at Royal Family Kids’ Camp brings tears to my eyes
What was your childhood ambition? Geologist, so I could go to the moon.
What inspires you? Many people (beginning and ending with Christ), including my wife.
What has God been teaching you lately? I need to stop comparing myself to others and realize that the goal is to be like Jesus.
What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate – lots of chocolate; dark chocolate covered peanuts, anything dark chocolate.
What is your favorite part of your job? Staff meetings and Camp.

Lisa Wright

Child Care Center Director
E-mail Lisa Wright

How long have you been in the ministry? I started the childcare Center 17 years ago.
Tell me about your family… I have been married over 30 years to my wonderful husband, John. I have 2 children; my daughter, Lauren, is a speech pathologist for Massillon City Schools. My son, Johnny, lives in Chicago and is an assistant store manager for Verizon.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I enjoy spending my Saturday’s on our pontoon boat on Lake Cable. I also like going to garage sales and shopping for bargains.
What is your favorite quote? The Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
What was your first job? Babysitting when I was 12 or 13.
What is your proudest moment? My proudest moments are being happily married and having two wonderful children.
What was your childhood ambition? I wanted to live in New York and work in the fashion industry.
What inspires you? My family and friends are my inspiration.
What has God been teaching you lately? That patience is a virtue.
What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate.
What is your favorite part of your job? I love coming to work. Every day there is always some reason to laugh. The children and staff are awesome.

Lori Dragos

Assistant Child Care Center Director

How long have you been in the ministry? I have been with Church of the Lakes for over 5 years working with Childcare. I have been in the early childhood education field for 22 years.
Tell me about your family… I have been married to my wonderful husband, Julius, for over 16 years and we have a daughter, Chloe.
What are your hobbies/recreational interests? I love to read, go on walks, and spend time with my family.
What is your favorite quote? “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” – Maya Angelou
What was your first job? My first job was at the age of 16, working at McDonald’s.
What is your proudest moment? My proudest moments were marrying my husband and giving birth to our daughter.
What was your childhood ambition? I wanted to be teacher.
What inspires you? My family and the people I work with inspire me.
What has God been teaching you lately? That every day is a gift from God.
What is your guilty pleasure? My guilty pleasure is to sneak in an afternoon nap if I can.
What is your favorite part of your job? To know that there are a group of little people waiting for me to share in their day.