Ariel Moore Headshot Blue

Ariel Moore

Senior Director for the Center for Social Innovation at Oklahoma State University

Ariel Moore is the Senior Director for the Center for Social Innovation at Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City where she gets to help lead people coming out of backgrounds of criminal justice involvement, poverty, trauma, substance abuse, and many other barriers into enriching lives full of purpose and hope through individualized opportunities for education, training, and support.

Her personal journey has been one filled with brokenness, homelessness, addiction, incarceration and finally, redemption. After experiencing the pain of losing her own child into the foster care system when he was 6 months old, she was able to use that experience as the catalyst towards her own personal and spiritual transformation.

“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own
glory.” Isaiah 61:3

Darrell Missey

Director of Children’s Division

Darrell Missey is the Director of Children’s Division.  He graduated from Truman State University, in Kirksville, MO in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.  He then attended St. Louis University School of Law, graduating in 1992.  After law school, Darrell Missey practiced law at the Wegmann Law Firm in Hillsboro, MO, where he engaged in general civil practice, which included a large number of juvenile delinquency and dependency cases.  He was elected associate circuit judge in 2002 and was assigned the juvenile docket at that time.  He was elected Circuit Judge in 2014 and served as Presiding Judge of Jefferson County from 2016 – 2020, during which time he also served as Administrative Judge of the Family Court.  During his time as judge, he served on Missouri’s Family Court Committee, the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative Replication Team, the Detention Standards Review Committee and the Children’s Services Commission.  He left the bench to assume the duties of Director of Children’s Division in January 2022.

            Darrell has been married to his wife, Andrea, for 34 years, and they have three adult daughters.

Ryan North

Founder of One Big Happy Home

Ryan North is the co-founder of One Big Happy Home and creator of The Empowered Parent Podcast, a popular resource for practical strategies on raising children with trauma and attachment issues. He is a recognized expert on childhood trauma, a certified TBRI Practitioner, and develops training materials for parents, schools, churches, and child-placing agencies. Ryan is a sought-after speaker known for his engaging and practical approach to adoption and foster care. He and his wife, Kayla have six children, four of which were adopted from foster care.

Mark Atkinson

Neighborhoods Director for LEAD.NYC

Mark simply describes himself as a man who, “Loves God and Loves People”.  After struggling, with suicidal thoughts, depression, and a lack of purpose in life, Mark came to know God at the age of 15. Since that day he has been on a journey to get to know God in a genuine way, and point other people to the only one who can give true purpose and fulfillment to our lives. 

Mark was called to preaching shortly after beginning his walk with God when he preached his first message during a youth-led service at his home church, the Church of God of East New York, in Brooklyn, New York under the leadership of Rev. Clifton McDowell, Sr. Shortly after his message he knew this was part of  what God had called him to do.

Mark pursued his bachelor’s in Rhetorical Studies and Sociology at Hofstra University. During his time there, Mark had the privilege of holding various leadership positions, including, President of Hofstra’s chapter of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Discovery Leader, Hofstra University’s Stand-Out Student, Student Government Senator, Chair of the Student Government Appropriations Committee, and Hofstra University Student Government President. 

Afterwards, he soon accepted a position as a Teacher in Residence at Achievement First Brownsville Middle School and worked to be promoted to Lead 8th Grade History Teacher within half a year. During his time at AFBRMS, he has served as Grade Level Chair, Resident Advisor, Mentor Teacher, and Dean of History Curriculum and Instruction. During his tenure as a teacher, Mark’s students showed both the highest growth and absolute achievement results of all students across the Achievement First Network in 8th Grade U.S. History. During his last year, he received the title of Distinguished and Exemplary Teacher and Leader from the Achievement First Network. 

After transitioning out of the education sector, Mark served as the Neighborhoods Director for LEAD.NYC where he managed the 10 Zip Codes Project which sought to make systemic change in the 10 most struggling communities in the New York Metro Area.

Mark currently serves as the NYC Area Director for CarePortal which is a connecting platform that drives action for kids and families in crisis in order to reverse the foster care crisis nationally. He also loves serving as an Associate Minister at the Church of God of East New York under the leadership of our Presiding Elder. Mark also serves on the Advisory Board for the National Fellowship for Black and Latino Male Educators (NFBLME) and also serves on the Board of Directors for the nonprofits “New Life of NYC” and “We Rise 365.”

His three goals in life are to preach, teach, and influence government legislation to see individuals, families, and cities be completely whole and filled with Upstream Kingdom Justice. “I just want to be known as a small man with a Huge God.”

Bishop Aaron Blake Sr.

Orphan Care Ambassadors

In 2004, Bishop Aaron Blake Sr., a foster dad of six engrafted sons, stood before his church congregation at the Greater Faith Community Church of Brownwood, Texas and challenged them to “stand up” to care for children. Over the next decade, this faithful church of less than 200 members became family to scores of children previously residing in the foster care system. Due to this effort, Brown County Texas became the first county in that state to have more families waiting for kids than kids waiting for families.  

As the movement grew stronger, agency and state leaders took note. This was the birth of Stand Sunday. The second Sunday in November became known as Stand Sunday. Stand Sunday and Orphan Sunday have become the foster and adoption promotional message reaching across the nation and around the world.

Bishop W.C. and Donna Martin

Orphan Care Ambassadors

For more than 20 years, Bishop W. C. Martin has served the community of Possum Trot, Texas as pastor of Bennett Chapel. In this tiny Texas town, Bishop W.C. and Donna Martin adopted four children who were in foster care. Their sacrifice triggered an avalanche of love that touched more than 70 children in need of an adoptive family. This miraculous adventure has become one of the premier adoption stories in America. Bishop Martin and Donna have appeared on such programs as “Oprah,” “Dateline NBC,” and “Good Morning America” to tell this miraculous story. Martin’s vision for the church in America is to encourage Christians to care for orphans so that no child will be left without a loving home.

Ryan and Kayla North

Founders, One Big Happy Home

Ryan and Kayla North are a dynamic husband-and-wife duo who have dedicated their lives to strengthening families and equipping parents with the tools they need to create loving and thriving homes. Through their impactful work with One Big Happy Home and The Empowered Parent Podcast, Ryan and Kayla have become trusted voices in the realm of foster and adoptive parenting, as well as nurturing healthy family dynamics.

Their unwavering commitment to empowering parents and strengthening families has earned them a well-deserved reputation as leaders in the field of parenting and child development. Through conferences, workshops, online courses, articles, and personalized coaching their transformative work continues to inspire and guide countless parents on their journey towards creating harmonious and thriving households. Their passion for adoption and foster care is deeply personal. They have six children, four of whom joined their family through adoption from the foster care system. 

Ryan and Kayla founded One Big Happy Home as a platform to provide parents with valuable resources, guidance, and support as they navigate the journey of raising children. Through their articles, videos, and online community,  they offer practical strategies and emotional support that empower parents to address trauma, behavior challenges, and attachment issues. Their approach is rooted in empathy, understanding, and evidence-based techniques, creating a space where parents can learn and grow together.

The Empowered Parent Podcast is a powerful extension of their mission to empower parents and caregivers. Each episode delves into relevant parenting topics, offering insights, expert interviews, and practical advice to help listeners navigate the challenges of parenting. Their warm and relatable on-air presence makes their podcast a go-to resource for parents seeking encouragement, wisdom, and actionable strategies.

Dr. Oneya Fennell Okuwobi

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Cincinnati

Dr. Oneya Fennell Okuwobi is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Cincinnati. Her research interrogates how diverse organizations affect racial inequality. Together with her husband, Dele, she planted 21st Century Church in Cincinnati, where she also serves as a teaching pastor. Oneya is the co-author of Multiethnic Conversations: An Eight-Week Journey toward Unity in Your Church and Multiethnic Conversations for Kids.

Adrien Lewis

Founder and President, CarePortal

Adrien spent the first 10 years of his career serving as a business development professional in healthcare, technology, and education companies. In 2007, God turned Adrien’s life “right side up” on a mission trip to Haiti with his wife Cynthia, which began three years of volunteering with The Global Orphan Project. In 2010, God asked Adrien to leave the business world and advocate full time for orphaned and abandoned children within the ministry. This call ultimately led to him becoming a foster and adoptive parent and developing CarePortal as a connecting technology to drive action for local children and families in crisis.

Andy Crouch

Author & Entrepreneur

Andy is a Partner for Theology & Culture at Praxis, a venture-building ecosystem advancing redemptive entrepreneurship, where he serves as a teacher, mentor, and framework builder for his team, fellows, and community. He is also the author of The Life We’re Looking For (2022), The Tech-Wise Family (2017), Strong and Weak (2016), Playing God (2013) and Culture Making (2008). Andy was executive editor of Christianity Today from 2012 to 2016. His work and writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Time—and, most importantly, he received a shout-out in Lecrae’s 2014 single “Non-Fiction.” Andy studied classics at Cornell University and received an M.Div. summa cum laude from Boston University School of Theology. He lives in Swarthmore, PA with his wife and two children.

Scott Platter

Vice President of Platform Implementation, CarePortal

Scott has served on The Global Orphan Project team since 2016. Scott’s current role provides him the opportunity to build relationships with a wide range of ministry partners across the U.S. and Canada, while helping them expand their work through the use of the CarePortal platform. Scott’s passion and skills for managing relationships and improving operations were honed in two prior chapters of his career, spent leading organizations in telecom and financial services. Both of these marketplace experiences can now be seen as divine preparation for his current ministry work, where he is called to navigate the intersection of church, state and business. Scott also enjoys the privilege of serving his local church by leading local and global missions activities. 

 

Scott and his wife, Lynn, have been married for over 25 years and have two teenage sons through the grace of adoption. They have also become mom and dad to two international students — young men from China and Malawi — who have been engrafted into their family for the high school years and into their hearts forever.

Joe Knittig

CEO, The Global Orphan Project

A trial lawyer by background, Joe co-founded a national litigation firm. In 2005, Joe joined the board of directors of C3 Missions International, a small ministry started by Mike and Beth Fox to empower local churches to lead community-based care of children and families in crisis.  In January of 2007, Joe became the CEO of C3 Missions serving as a volunteer, eventually exiting his business to lead the ministry’s expansion as The Global Orphan Project, Inc. (“GO Project”). 


Currently, Joe oversees the whole of the organization and its international and domestic work in ministry and marketplace, including CarePortal, the flagship Care-Sharing platform to reverse the foster care crisis in the United States, and GOEX Apparel.

Heather Rice-Minus

President and CEO of Prison Fellowship

Heather Rice-Minus is the President and CEO of Prison Fellowship.

Heather first joined Prison Fellowship in 2013. During her tenure at the ministry, she has led teams that build partnerships with churches, help strengthen relationships between incarcerated parents and their children, foster partnerships with donors at every level, and advocate for a restorative approach to justice. She has played a leading role in the passage of landmark criminal justice legislation, including of the FIRST STEP Act and the reinstatement of Pell grants for incarcerated students.

A sought-after public speaker on the intersection of faith, justice, and incarceration, Heather has addressed audiences at national conferences and events including Wilberforce Weekend, Q Ideas Conference, and more. She has also contributed to Christianity Today, Slate, CBN News, The Marshall Project, PBS’ Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, and many other media outlets.

Previously, Heather managed prison reform advocacy efforts at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and taught English in East Africa.

She graduated cum laude from Colorado State University with a degree in liberal arts and social work. After earning her J.D. from George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, she became a member of the Virginia State Bar, a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s Leadership Network and Faith & Public Life Ideas Council, and a Colson Fellow.

She resides in Southeast Washington, D.C., with her husband and two daughters.

Secretary - Shevaun Harris

Florida DCF

Shevaun Harris has served as Secretary for the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) since February 2021. She brought with her an innovative vision and a commitment to improving Florida’s approach in supporting vulnerable children and families. Her leadership is marked by a belief in empowering Floridians to thrive independently and harnessing the power of partnership to support strong and resilient families.

Secretary Harris began her career as a social worker, which led to her true passion – policy and administration in the field of health and human services. She spent nearly two decades at the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), where she excelled and served in key roles, including Acting Secretary. The majority of her tenure at AHCA was focused on the administration of the multi-billion dollar Florida Medicaid program, impacting millions of Floridians through implementation of sound policy and quality improvement efforts. 

Her pursuit of excellence continued at DCF. She immediately began seeking opportunities for improvement, asking hard questions, and challenging the status quo, with a specific focus on programmatic and cross-agency integration. The result has been significant people-focused changes that have elevated DCF’s work and improved outcomes for Florida’s children and families.

Under her leadership, DCF has sought to capitalize on each encounter to ensure that families’ needs are addressed holistically and to create pathways for success rooted in prevention and integrating systems. Crowning achievements include the launch of Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity, spearheaded by First Lady Casey DeSantis, which supports individuals in becoming economically self-sufficient; the launch of Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE), a vital tool in Florida’s fight against the opioid epidemic; and the establishment of the child welfare accountability system, created to drive performance improvement.

She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in social work from the Florida State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Quinnipiac University. She has two daughters, and her experience as a mom serves as a guidepost in her role as DCF Secretary.

Deb Shropshire, MD

Director, Oklahoma Human Services

Deb Shropshire, MD, serves as the Director of Oklahoma Human Services and the Cabinet Secretary for the Human Services agencies.  She is a pediatrician who, during medical school, fell in love with the professionals who serve children in foster care.  In addition to focusing her medical practice on children and youth involved with the child welfare system, she worked alongside and eventually within Oklahoma Human Services.  Dr. Shropshire’s dad was a pastor, so engaging the local church was a natural opportunity that she was comfortable stepping into, and in 2015, while serving on the Child Welfare leadership team, she helped the state launched CarePortal in a pilot county before partnering with 111Project to implement across the state.

Shevaun Harris

Secretary, Florida DCF

Shevaun Harris has served as Secretary for the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) since February 2021. She brought with her an innovative vision and a commitment to improving Florida’s approach in supporting vulnerable children and families. Her leadership is marked by a belief in empowering Floridians to thrive independently and harnessing the power of partnership to support strong and resilient families.

Secretary Harris began her career as a social worker, which led to her true passion – policy and administration in the field of health and human services. She spent nearly two decades at the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), where she excelled and served in key roles, including Acting Secretary. The majority of her tenure at AHCA was focused on the administration of the multi-billion dollar Florida Medicaid program, impacting millions of Floridians through implementation of sound policy and quality improvement efforts. 

Her pursuit of excellence continued at DCF. She immediately began seeking opportunities for improvement, asking hard questions, and challenging the status quo, with a specific focus on programmatic and cross-agency integration. The result has been significant people-focused changes that have elevated DCF’s work and improved outcomes for Florida’s children and families.

Under her leadership, DCF has sought to capitalize on each encounter to ensure that families’ needs are addressed holistically and to create pathways for success rooted in prevention and integrating systems. Crowning achievements include the launch of Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity, spearheaded by First Lady Casey DeSantis, which supports individuals in becoming economically self-sufficient; the launch of Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE), a vital tool in Florida’s fight against the opioid epidemic; and the establishment of the child welfare accountability system, created to drive performance improvement.

She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in social work from the Florida State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Quinnipiac University. She has two daughters, and her experience as a mom serves as a guidepost in her role as DCF Secretary.

Evan Feinberg

Executive Director of Stand Together Foundation

Evan Feinberg is senior vice president of Stand Together and the executive director of Stand Together Foundation, where he leads Stand Together’s efforts to transform communities and empower every person to live a life of meaning and purpose. In his role, Evan collaborates with nonprofit leaders across the U.S. on how to apply empowerment approaches to non-profit leadership and social change efforts.

Prior to joining Stand Together, Evan became one of the first millennials to run for the U.S. Congress after serving as a senior policy aide in the U.S. Senate. His wife, Sarah, is a Marine Corps veteran and accomplished finance professional. Evan and Sarah live in northern Virginia with their three boys: Luke, Zack, and Jake.