Hello Bridgehaven community –
First, I want to thank you for the many warm welcomes that I have received from staff, volunteers, board members, and supporters of Bridgehaven as I’ve started my new role as Development Director! I can, beyond a doubt, feel the presence of God’s love from all the folks whom I have had the pleasure of meeting through this organization thus far, and I look forward to meeting many more of you in the future.
I was raised in Midway (near Toddville, Iowa) and educated at St. Pius X and Regis High School. My father was a German farm boy from Toddville and my mother was an American Indian, Mexican Indian, and French woman from Long Beach, California. My parents were married for 63 years and I am the youngest of their twelve children. I grew up in a family with strong work ethic, social conscience, and faith. I worked on a local farm as a teen and attended college at Kirkwood Community College and Upper Iowa University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Management and Public Administration. Today I am married and have four children: stepson Andrew, daughter-in-law Ashley and granddaughter Addison, daughter Oliva, stepdaughter Zoey and son Dominic. My husband, Bob Ford, is a commercial and residential septic installer with a local company in the Toddville area.
I come to Bridgehaven with a background in the public non-profit sector where I was a public land manager for about 18 years. There I was blessed to carry out my passion as a conservationist and also learn the art of fundraising in the public arena. I left my first career with a strong calling from God for our growing family, to serve God’s people in the private non-profit sector, and to continue my efforts toward earning my Masters of Public Administration.
I hope to serve the Bridgehaven community with what I believe has been and is my calling from Christ, to protect and empower His life in each of us and all around us. I was blessed to be raised in diverse and imperfect family who, despite the struggles of living in this world, faced adversity head on and moved forward in knowing that God is a loving God who always has the best in store for His children. It is with great gratitude that I now enter the Bridgehaven family of clients, donors, and staff whom also share the same simple purpose of having faith in Jesus Christ as we seek to help each other and those we serve in realizing our inherent dignity and value – thus choosing Abundant Life!
I have to tell you, my first few weeks here have been overwhelming but NOT in the manner to which I have been accustomed in past employment. This struck me quickly during my first day here. Initially I was overwhelmed by the gratitude extended to me by the rest of the staff for joining the Bridgehaven team. I was also impressed repeatedly by the organization, care, and teamwork by which all the staff and volunteers function here. Onboarding, training, and teaching me has been done so fluidly, timely and with kindness. Honest efforts towards inclusion of me and extension of friendship to me have come from everyone I have encountered here. I have witnessed hard work from staff members to unravel unavoidable human conflict with love and respect and with the overarching goal of working in harmony to serve our clients and community.
I am not sure that I can truly express how blessed I feel to have be led here to this place, at this time, with these people, to carry out God’s works. I have a lot more to learn and a great amount of responsibility in serving your Bridgehaven community in my role as your new Development Director, but I am confident that I am not on my own in any way, as I have been gathered into this warm team, who rely all day, every day, on Christ for their lead and support.
As I trek forward on this journey of empowering choices for life with the Bridgehaven community, it is with great excitement about what amazing works God has planned in using us to assist Him in his works!
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1
Blessings to you and yours, today and every day!