The Old Town Mission is comprised of many individuals working together for the community. Here are your board members and staff.
Board of Directors (Board Chair)
Kelley Gahard-Reay was born in Phoenix Arizona and moved to the Verde Valley in 1996.
Kelley and Robert, her husband, have been married for 19 years and they are blessed with 5 children and 12 grandchildren. Professionally, Kelley has been a multi-state insurance agent for over 30 years and has been working with Draxler Insurance since 2008. Kelley finds great satisfaction in building relationships with her clients and the community. Through Draxler Insurance she began working with the Old Town Mission as their agent.
Having been homeless herself, she has a passion for the Old Town Mission and credits agencies like the mission for giving her a “hand up” during her time of need. Kelley was approached in 2014 in regards to joining the Board of Directors for the Old Town Mission. In March of 2014 she accepted the invitation and a few months later she was voted in as Board President.
Board of Directors
Born and raised in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Debbie moved to Tucson Arizona in 1991, and relocated to Cottonwood, Arizona in 2008. She achieved a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arizona, supported by a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Since moving to Cottonwood, Debbie has been employed with D & O Crane, and is currently a partner. In addition, she is part owner in AZ Strongbox. Debbie is the mother of two grown boys, Matthew who lives in Phoenix, and Adam who resides in Denver, Co.Dedicated to providing a better quality of life for the community in which she is most involved in, Debbie has spent many years being an active member of The Boys and Girls Club, Verde Valley Seniors, Primera Men’s Shelter, Gospel Rescue Mission and in 2016 she joined the Old Town Mission board. For fun, she bowls, runs, goes mudding with her ATV, travels whenever time allows, and gardens to find peace of mind.
Board of Directors
Glenda is a wife and a mother of three daughters and a grandmother of six. Professionally, she worked in California as a Licensed Vocational Nurse and a Correctional Counselor. Originally from Michigan she lived in Cottonwood from 1979 to 1983, and then returned five years ago after she retired.
She began praying and seeking the Lord for a fresh purpose and new direction for her life. God answered her prayer and she was presented with the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors for the Old Town Mission. Glenda also volunteers at the mission and the thrift store, as well as at Rising Hope Food Pantry.
Board of Directors
Bill and his wife of 57 years, Shari, were both born and raised in Kansas and both graduated from the University of Kansas. Thanks to a Rotary fellowship, they spent their honeymoon year in Edinburgh, Scotland, traveling through Europe, then returned to Connecticut for graduate studies at Yale Divinity School.
After serving as an Army Chaplain in Oklahoma, Bill spent almost 40 years as a Presbyterian pastor both in Fairfield and Lancaster, California. Since retiring in Cottonwood in 2000, Bill has done interim preaching in Kingman, Sedona, and in Cottonwood. Besides serving on the board for Old Town Mission, Bill also shares a short devotion and prayer at lunch on Thursdays at the mission.
He also serves on the board of the Spirit of Martyrdom Ministries, which is directed by their youngest son David.
They have 3 adult children, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Bill and Shari worship at Verde Valley Christian Church.
Board of Directors
Chaplain Bob Burnett has been a board member since July of 2015. Professionally, he owned and operated “Burnett’s Gourmet Meats and Seafood". Bob also worked as a cook and chef for many years in a few different arenas. He served in the Army as a cook, preparing meals for Officers all over the United States.
Bob attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in the late eighties. His involvement in ministry throughout the years encompasses serving as a youth pastor, a teacher, and more recently, as a prison and a hospice Chaplain.
His love for for people and serving Jesus is evident in the many hats he wears around the mission. First and foremost, he is known as “Chaplain Bob” sharing the Word of God for lunch time devotions and spending many hours counseling and praying for anyone who needs it. The many hours of physical labor that he devotes to the thrift store certainly contributes to the overall success You will also find him in the kitchen at the mission sharing his passion for cooking in preparing the meals.
Bob has a servant’s heart and lends a hand wherever it is needed.
Kellie Wilson is a native of the Verde Valley and is the Executive Director of the Old Town Mission.
After graduating from Mingus Union High school, she attended the School of Ministry and obtained a Certified Minister’s License through the Assemblies of God. Kellie worked as a short time missionary in Peru, Mexico, Navajo Reservation and Trinidad & Tobago. One of her passions included working as a children’s pastor in Winslow, AZ and in Ohio.
Following this, she returned to her roots and her home in the Verde Valley. She is wholeheartedly dedicated to raising her three wonderful children ages 15, 12, and 6. Kellie began working at the Old Town Mission over 5 years ago and her positions have encompassed several jobs, including Volunteer Coordinator, Manager of Compassion Services, Thrift Store Manager, and General Manager before becoming the Executive Director of the Old Town Mission.
Kellie’s strong business background, compassionate heart, and energy adds an important element in upholding the desire of the mission to partner with the community and be all about… “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”.
Jill Marie Sweet
Jill is the General Manager and she has been part of the Old Town Mission team since June 1, 2015, just a month following her move to the Verde Valley.
Originally from the Chicago area, she moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1985 at the age of twenty and worked for many years in the travel and tourism industry in various capacities. She also managed incentive programs, meetings and trade shows for domestic and international clients in different fields during her career.
Jill has been involved in community outreach as a volunteer with different organizations thru the years including: The Rescue Project, World Vision, Christian Family Care Agency and the homeless family shelters on Maui and in Phoenix. Also near and dear to her heart was the time she spent in children’s ministry recounting how precious is their childlike faith!
Like others, Jill has experienced the scope of different seasons in her life ranging from some incredible and amazing times to those very painful and challenging points in her journey.
One thing she genuinely believes is that we are all “a work in progress’ and God will use everything as we allow Him full access to our hearts and lives trusting that with God ALL things are possible… there are no limits to what He can do in our lives.
She has a passion for encouraging and ministering to those who are struggling and seeing lives touched with the indescribable and perfect love of God. She feels very privileged to serve the communities of the Verde Valley.
Jill is married to Jeremy, her husband of four years and is incredibly blessed to be mom to her three adult children and the very proud 1st time grandma of little Jonah.
Roxann heads up the Old Town Mission’s donations and fundraising department. She strives diligently to connect with individuals, businesses and organizations that desire to partner with the mission and help to provide the necessary financial and tangible resources that vitally impact our community.
Roxann is a native of California and a transplant to Cottonwood, and has lived here for almost seven years. Since moving to this beautiful rural area, her humble family consists of 18 chickens and 2 roosters… she has become the “Chicken Whisperer” of her neighborhood.
Formerly a Real Estate Broker, she recently completed her bachelor’s degree at NAU in the field of psychology and came to the mission as part of an internship program. Unifying her passion for the economically challenged with her new degree, along with her collective work experience, is a natural fit for her key role as Donation Coordinator.
Thrift Store Manager
Al is originally from Flint, Michigan but relocated to Arizona after serving in the U.S. Navy. After he attended bible college in Phoenix, he taught at the Indian Bible College in Flagstaff. The missionary organization with whom he served moved his young family to the Navajo Reservation and he obtained the position of administrator and pastor at their boarding school. During that time, Al became a licensed ordained Chaplain and was awarded a “Commission Rank of Major” by the National Chaplains Association. At the age of 70 years old, he began a personal mission to benefit various causes. Al completed a series of four walks totaling just over 5000 miles that were dedicated to Veterans with disabilities, seniors, and to bring awareness to hunger. He is the only documented person to walk the length and width not only of Arizona, but of the entire US.
Al has two grown children, is grandpa to five grandkids, and great grandpa to Grayson.
In his position as Thrift Store Manager for the past thirteen months, Al is a sincere, motivated and inspirational leader to his team.