Photo L-R: Libby Nelessen, Pat Askren, Dan Stoehr, Pam Wenz
Dan joined REACH in 2013, following careers as an Air Force pilot and Lutheran church worker. He is passionate about sharing God’s hope with those who are held back from being all they were created to be, because of circumstances beyond their control.
Outside of REACH, he is active with Youth for Christ’s ministry at Remann Hall, Safe Families for Children, Shared Housing Services, and his church in the Tacoma Hilltop. Fun for him includes hiking, long road trips, and traveling just about anywhere. Through all of his travels worldwide, he has discovered that “people are people are people,” and regardless of culture, religion, nationality or anything else that separates us, all people respond positively to kindness, smiles, human touch, and music.
Pat started as the volunteer Art Leader at Camp, and couldn’t get enough of REACH. She has worked here since 2007 as the Administrator, and was Interim Director during 2013. She looks forward to each opportunity to be together with REACH families.
Pat is also a wonderful artist, and says that “REACH is a little like drawing: In order for it to be right, you have to trust that you can express your deepest feelings – in a safe place.” Pat believes that REACH can be about being in the right place at the right time. Often, in the midst of raucous activity and playing games, she will be drawn to someone sitting alone, knowing that it’s in those moments that God works through a quiet conversation.
Libby joined the REACH staff in July of 2016 as the Administrative Coordinator. She brings a wonderful mix of skills–computers, communication, and organization… PLUS humor, personality, depth, and a big heart.
Libby’s favorite thing about REACH is that it centers around community. She’s excited to build relationships with the REACH families more and more over time. She prefers deep conversations with one or two people over raucous fun with many. So we have no doubt she will be going deep with a variety of REACH family members very soon.
In her free time, you’re likely to find Libby reading a great novel, enjoying the outdoors, or trying new recipes in the kitchen. As a newlywed, she’s even more likely to be having these adventures with her husband, Spencer, who is a youth pastor in Gig Harbor.
Pam has been with REACH since the beginning (she knows all the secrets). At the very first camp in 1997 she fell in love with the REACH families and joined REACH as a staff member soon after. Her role included coordinating REACH Camp for many years, leading the High School REACH Club, and launching the REACH Mentoring Program in 2001.
When her first son came on the scene in 2004, she cut her hours to part time, and focused exclusively on the REACH Mentoring Program. Her favorite part of directing the Mentoring Program is encouraging and equipping the mentors in their role, and hearing the inspiring stories of God working through those wonderfully personal friendships. Outside of her work hours, you might find Pam helping out at her sons’ elementary school or playing volleyball at the gym.