OUR STAFF

Liz Bentz

Operations Coordinator

As operations coordinator for Crossroads, Liz manages the schedules and workloads of the more than 150 volunteers who serve at the home office each week. The Crossroads operations center runs smoothly and efficiently, and Liz attributes it to the volunteers’ dedication and belief in the ministry. When she does get time away, she loves spending it with her family and four grandchildren or taking cruises to someplace warm, where you can do as little or as much as you like and still see new parts of the world.

Liz Bentz

Operations Coordinator

Isaac Bowman

Graphic Designer

Isaac graduated from Kalamazoo Valley Community College with a degree in graphic design. After spending a few years doing freelance work, he interned with Crossroads in the graphic design department and then became a full-time member of the Crossroads team. Isaac assists the communications team by developing print materials, illustrations and brand visuals. In his free time, he enjoys running, sports, outdoor activities and woodworking.

Isaac Bowman

Graphic Designer

Amy Cain

Copy Editor/Writer

Amy has worked at Crossroads since 2014 and currently serves as the copy editor/writer in the communications department. She enjoys the opportunity to use both her eye for detail and her creative side to help tell stories of Crossroads students. In her spare time, Amy loves performing, whether acting on stage at a local theatre or singing solos at church. She and her husband enjoy singing and acting, attending shows together, traveling and playing games with friends.

Amy Cain

Copy Editor/Writer

Doug Cupery

Church Mobilization Director

Doug joined Crossroads in 2017 after working for several years at Ridge Point Community Church as the local missions pastor and leader of the church’s jail ministry. He also spent several years at 70 x 7 Life Recovery, working with former prisoners returning to their communities. Before that, he worked as a paramedic and registered nurse. As church mobilization director, Doug has a passion for engaging and equipping the church to care for prisoners around the world.

Doug Cupery

Church Mobilization Director

JR DeGroot

Vice President of Operations & Finance

With a BA in business and accounting from Calvin College and 30 years of business experience, JR lives for financials, budgets, forecasts—anything that can live in a spreadsheet. Before coming to Crossroads in 2015, he worked for 23 years in the private corrections industry, managing finances and operations of multiple facilities across the country. He has been married to his wife, Laura, for 30 years and has twin daughters who are both Calvin grads. He’s a native of Chicago but grew up in Colorado, where he developed a passion for the Rockies, Broncos and University of Colorado Buffaloes.

JR DeGroot

Vice President of Operations
& Finance

Steve Drewry

International Manager

Steve grew up in Puerto Rico, where he was known as “Esteban.” He later moved to East Texas and served as an interpreter with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). While serving with YWAM, he met and married Susan, who is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. They moved to Grand Rapids in 1998 to be closer to family. Shortly afterwards, Steve began serving as director of a small neighborhood ministry in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in southwest Grand Rapids. Steve now is the international manager for Crossroads Prison Ministries, serving as a liaison to extension centers throughout the world.

Steve Drewry

International Manager

Dave Gilman

Vice President of Advancement

Dave leads Crossroads’s marketing, communications and fundraising efforts. He’s worked with nonprofit ministries for eighteen years and loves to see people’s hearts embrace great needs as they find the joy of generous giving. Dave also serves as adjunct faculty at Cornerstone University. Dave and his wife have four kids, in every stage. His extracurricular activities include listening to music of every sort, thinking about sailing and working on his ninety-year-old house.

Dave Gilman

Vice President of Advancement

Alicia Janowski

Curriculum Development Coordinator

Alicia is part of the curriculum development team here at Crossroads. Originally from Canada, Alicia is now a proud permanent resident of the United States. While completing an MA in educational ministries at Calvin Seminary, she met her husband, Mark, who is finishing his MDiv while serving as a chaplain for the Michigan Army National Guard. For the first time in 20 years, Alicia is not in school and is learning to fill her free time. She loves playing the piano, doing art projects and exercising. Alicia and Mark love to hike, watch movies and dream of traveling the world.

Alicia Janowski

Curriculum Development Coordinator

Joni Jessup

Volunteer Relations Manager

Joni graduated from Western Michigan University with a master’s degree in counseling, but after a brief stint working for a school district, she ended up in the world of property management for almost twenty-five years. The call to serve never went away, so Joni took a leap of faith and started seeking other career possibilities. That search led her to Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, where she worked on the volunteer services team for nine years, and then to Family Promise of Grand Rapids. During those years, Joni gained a tremendous amount of respect for the impact that volunteers have on the lives of others. She has a passion for working with volunteers, and the love, commitment and dedication of volunteers never ceases to amaze her! When not at work, Joni enjoys reading, gardening and time with family and friends, especially when it involves playing cards or board games. She is very excited to be part of the Crossroads team!

Joni Jessup

Volunteer Relations Manager

Jennifer Kimball

Operations Manager

Jennifer has a degree in organizational leadership from Southeastern University, so it’s no surprise that she serves as the operations manager at Crossroads. Born in East Lansing, Jennifer is a sports fanatic and openly confesses she “bleeds green.” If there is a Michigan State game on, especially football or basketball, she’ll be watching. She also loves to travel. She once saw the Apostle Paul’s jail cell in Philippi and she dreams of going to Australia someday. Crossroads has an extension site there, so maybe we can line something up?

Jennifer Kimball

Operations Manager

Brenda McGowan

Vice President of Programming

A proud native from the south side of Chicago, Brenda graduated from Spring Arbor University with a BA in family life education. She obtained her Master of Public Administration from Walden University. She has worked across systems to build public-private partnerships in over 29 states, primarily in the field of criminal justice reform and effective family programs. She began her career in criminal justice reform while serving as advisory council chairperson for the St. Joseph County Michigan Prison Reentry Initiative in 2006. Before coming to Crossroads, she served with Prison Fellowship as a director serving in 26 states and eventually as national director of church and community engagement. Brenda has a passion for building collaborative, strong and nurturing communities both inside and outside prison walls. She is a national trainer and consultant for Nurturing Parenting Programs. She enjoys her time at home nurturing her plants and a 26-year marriage to her husband, Robert. She has four adult children and four grandchildren.

Brenda McGowan

Vice President of Programming

Aaron Mueller

Communications Director

Aaron is a recovering journalist. He spent seven years as a reporter/editor/photographer/designer at several different newspapers in Michigan. A passionate storyteller, Aaron continues to share people’s stories as the communications director for Crossroads. He leads the communications team, which produces newsletters, promotional material, training documents and curriculum for the ministry. He is also a pastoral intern at his church, a coffee nerd (he has nine brewing methods at home), a wannabe ping pong master, a husband and a dad. He can die happy now that his Cubs have won the World Series.

Aaron Mueller

Communications Director

Dara Nykamp

Curriculum Development Director

A Holland native and Hope College grad, Dara brings several years of nondenominational curriculum writing experience to Crossroads with a background steeped in the Reformed tradition. She has degrees from Wayne State Law and Western Theological Seminary. She has worked as an assistant prosecutor, has assisted in teaching Hebrew and is a writer by trade. She can typically be found helping out at a local theater, canvassing for a cause, mountain biking, tracking down the world’s best cheeseburger or hanging out with Tonks (her cat). She loves helping people have important conversations about God and life and enjoys using her skills and expertise to direct Crossroads’s curriculum.

Dara Nykamp

Curriculum Development Director

Jose Pichardo

Bilingual Mentor Support Coordinator

Jose was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States when he was eleven years old. He serves both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking mentors as part of the mentor support team at Crossroads. A lifelong learner, he is always looking to gain more biblical knowledge and he is currently working toward obtaining a business degree. He is grateful for the opportunity to work at a place whose main goal is to care for those whom society tends to forget. In his free time, Jose enjoys lifting weights, playing sports, watching movies, listening to music and meeting new people. His happiest moments are the times when he gets to share God’s Word with others.

Jose Pichardo

Bilingual Mentor Support Coordinator

Meckenzie Rookus

Operations Coordinator

As one of the operations coordinators at Crossroads, Kenzie helps to ensure that things at the office run smoothly, whether she is processing mail or printing materials to send to students and mentors. Outside of the office, Kenzie serves as a high school youth group leader at her church. She also enjoys reading, listening to records and exploring new coffee shops.

Meckenzie Rookus

Operations Coordinator

Bernice Roshak

Data Analyst

Bernice has worked at Crossroads in various capacities since 2000, currently serving as the data analyst. She has been connected to Crossroads since she was a child, when she remembers coming home at her nightly curfew to find her mother reviewing Crossroads lessons. One of her favorite things about her job is reading student testimonies of how studying God’s Word with Crossroads has changed their lives. When not working, Bernice enjoys watching football with her family (Go Blue! Go Pack Go!) or reading one of the 800-plus books in her personal library.

Bernice Roshak

Data Analyst

Eunice Schippers

Accountant

Eunice is grateful for the opportunity to work in the financial/accounting department of Crossroads, where she has worked since 1999. Her family includes her husband of 36 years, four children and their spouses and nine precious grandchildren. Some of her interests include crafting, biking, traveling and bargain hunting. As part of the Crossroads team, Eunice loves to see how Christ uses the church, prayer partners, donors and staff to share the Good News with those who are forgotten by society.

Eunice Schippers

Accountant

Jane Strong

Executive Assistant

Jane comes to Crossroads with twenty-five years of administrative experience in the Christian publishing/retail industry. She is humbled to help bring the transforming power of the Gospel to Crossroads students as she serves in her role. Hanging out by a campfire making s’mores and cooking in the kitchen are her happy places. Jane looks forward to seeing how God continues to bless the ministry through those who catch the vision and answer the call to come alongside people in prison.

Jane Strong

Executive Assistant

Eliezer Yeong

Communications Specialist

Eliezer is a graphic designer who calls several places his home. He was born in Toronto but grew up as a missionary kid in Davao City, Philippines and Chiang Mai, Thailand. He graduated from Calvin College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design. Eliezer assists the Crossroads communications team by developing print materials and social media content and curating the student art gallery. He has a passion for collecting sneakers. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and volleyball, exploring different foods and places and watching movies at the theater.

Eliezer Yeong

Communications Specialist

Alaina Zwiernikowski

Mentor Support Coordinator

Alaina is a mentor support coordinator at Crossroads. She came to Crossroads after working in the medical field. Alaina enjoys helping others, so her position at Crossroads is a great fit for her, as it allows her to help mentors and students on their journeys in relationship with one another and with God. In her free time, Alaina likes being active—skiing, running and paddle boarding. Alaina’s evenings are spent with her husband and their puppy, Basil.

Alaina Zwiernikowski

Mentor Support Coordinator

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