Meet Our Team

Greater Cleveland YFC Executive Director

Jeff is a 1988 graduate of Wheaton College who is married and the proud father of 5 children. Following graduation, he raised funds to be a missionary with Youth for Christ in Cleveland's inner city. In 1989, he started building relationships with faculty and students at Lincoln West High School, Rhodes High School, John Marshall High School, and Max Hayes High School where he spent the next 15 years of ministry. Jeff expanded Campus Life (now City Life) by coaching a team of leaders. Then in 2002, Jeff stepped into the Ministry Director Role. In 2005, he transferred the leadership of the Lincoln West HS outreach to a former student of his named Jonny Fine. Jeff has been the Executive Director for Greater Cleveland YFC since November 2006. He is passionate about the 'lost and least of these' kids coming to know Jesus as Lord and being plugged into a local church youth group and fellowship.

Meet Our Staff

Everyday at community centers, high schools, middle schools, coffee shops, and local hangouts, YFC staff and volunteers meet with young people who need Jesus. Meet our team that is helping bring hope to the Greater Cleveland area.

Cindy Kahler

Human Resources

Cindy is a devoted native Clevelander who loves the YFC mission of reaching out to kids who come from hard places. After over 30 years in for-profit corporate adventures at such companies as General Electric, Ernst & Young and Berkshire Hathaway, Cindy has been called to make a complete 180 and find a home at non-profit GCYFC. Cindy brings a wide variety of life experience to her role as Development Director as she seeks to know the heart of each GCYFC partner and love them like Jesus would. Two important areas of focus are building our Legacy Giving program and leading the Gracehaven expansion from Central Ohio to Cleveland. In her spare time, Cindy is renovating a c. 1900 3-apartment residential dwelling place, dubbed “JoyLand Home” which will someday house sex trafficked survivors and other teens aging out of the Cleveland area foster care system. JoyLand Home is based on Isaiah 61:7 – “Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.” Cindy also enjoys spending time (i.e. lounging!) with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Bentley and Lilly and her kitties Sunshine and Cinder.

Ashley Tengler

Ministry Director

When I used to think about what my life would look like and what I would be doing, I never could have imagined the amazing things God had in store. I went to college at Malone University and majored in Psychology with a minor in Youth Ministry, never expecting to really use my minor. Little did I know, God had something else in store. Through serving in my church's youth ministry, I realized that this was not only my passion, but God's calling on my life and that He would equip me and work through me. My youth pastor first told me about Youth for Christ, and being here now, I can safely say this was my God-sized dream. My heart is for youth hearing the Gospel of Christ and meeting Jesus in a real and life-changing way! From November 2016- June 2022, I was able to serve in our Campus Life Independence team as the Club Director and in our office team doing our marketing, social media, and events. In July 2022, God called me to step into the Ministry Director role for our Chapter. Daily, I am encouraged, blessed, and humbled to work with each of our ministries and see how the Lord uses our staff to pursue and rescue lost young souls!

Brian Walls

Community Engagement Coordinator

Current Tasks: Developing programming in New Areas, School and Church Relations; Staff Training, etc. Past Roles: Operations Director; Ministry Director, Maple Heights Director, Community Development Director, Recruitment & Training Director; Eastside Supervisor, Project Serve Coordinator, Mayfield Director, North Central Ohio Staff in Mansfield Started Youth for Christ: 1990 as a Volunteer and 1994 as paid-staff Education: Bowling Green State University, BSBA, Business Management, 1989; Ashland University/Seminary, M.A. 1998, M.Div. 2020 Past Jobs: Director of Training & Development with All Prints Photo/Fuji Tru-color; Material Flow Analyst with Digital Equipment Corporation (Compaq) in Cupertino, CA; Material Flow Analyst at Copperweld/Ohio Steel Tubing; Roles with Bank One & Kroger’s supermarkets. Interests: Periodic trips to the Ukraine since 2003 (teaching English and doing youth programming); Lake County Captains Chaplain (Indians Class A affiliate) 2010-2014 Family: Maria (wife) & 3 grown children.

Kevin Minerd

Finance Director

Working on staff with YFC since October 2000 in the financial department, I am continually overwhelmed at the stories I hear of the teens in our area who are hurting, need love and acceptance for who they are, and who long for close relationships with people who will guide them along their path through life. It is a joy serving behind the scenes with an organization that is daily on the front lines sharing the life changing message with these teens that God loves them and has a plan for their lives!

Terri Sevinsky

Payroll and Benefits Specialist

Working on staff with YFC since October 2000 in support services, I am continually overwhelmed at the stories I hear of the teens in our area who are hurting, need love and acceptance for who they are, and who long for close relationships with people who will guide them along their path through life. It is a joy serving behind the scenes with an organization that is daily on the front lines sharing the life changing message with these teens that God loves them and has a plan for their lives!

Jamie Kinnett

Information Systems Specialist

It was Jamie's senior year of high school when a friend, who worked for Youth For Christ City Life, brought three middle school inner city boys to her church’s youth retreat. God radically changed her heart and life through those three boys. She went on to major in Spanish and Youth Ministry to better equip herself to serve urban youth. She has served in Urban Ministry in some capacity since her senior year of high school (2009), but is thrilled to be home, serving in Cleveland with Youth for Christ in the neighborhood where Jesus introduced her to her calling.

Renita Nohejl

Hospitality Coordinator

Renita Nohejl graduated from Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing and continued her education to become a nurse practitioner. She and her husband Chuck have two adult children. They have been volunteer youth leaders at Ridgewood United Methodist Church for over 30 years. In addition to this they have also been involved in mission trips in several states, as well as sponsoring some in Parma. Renita retired after 41 years of nursing and decided to get involved with ministry work. She and her husband Chuck both have the same heart for youth and spreading the message of the Gospel, so they make a great team.

Tiffany Campbell

Marketing Coordinator

I came to Youth for Christ after a long search of trying to find a ministry that was directly impacting lost students in my area. I stumbled upon YFC through my church and started volunteering right away. I was immediately blown away by the heart behind the staff and volunteers. There was a mission and that was not only to share the Gospel with students but to walk alongside them through mentoring and discipleship. I knew God was doing amazing things. About a year after volunteering a Volunteer Coordinator position opened and God opened all the doors to allow me to accept the position. I'm passionate about our students and the work we do in the Ministry. I've been blessed to be a small part of the Youth for Christ Family

Liz Wu

Volunteer Coordinator

I am so thankful and excited to be at Youth for Christ (YFC) as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Cleveland Chapter. A good friend introduced me to YFC and the more I learn about the organization, the more my heart has been drawn to it. I have been serving my family as a SAHM taking care of our 3 kiddos and serving at our local church. However, my heart has been longing to get back into ministry. God gave me a heart for inner city/marginalized youth over 20 years ago. I have had the privilege of following that passion a number of different ways through the years and that passion remains steady. God, in His kindness, has opened this door for me to be a part of an organization that is making Jesus known to marginalized youth right where I live in Northeast Ohio while also being able to stay home with my kids.

Leadership & Support Staff

Alia Ayette

Campus Life- Brecksville Broadview Heights Site Director

I have been blessed to be able to serve in my church youth group as well as a local youth ministry. I have a passion for sharing God's love with students and being there to remind them of the truths from God's Word when figuring out who they are. God has blessed me with the opportunity to expand the Campus Life ministry into the Brecksville area. I want to show students that there is a life-filled hope they can have in God and help them to see the joys of following Him. Being a Christian does not mean you will be perfect, and I want to help students know they are not their mistakes. Hanging out with students and being able to be myself and have fun is also something I love!

Dean Carlo

Campus Life- Chardon Site Director

"…I have become all things to all people, so that by all possible means I might save some (1 Corinthians 9:22.)" After being born and raised in Twinsburg, Ohio, I studied at Ohio University. I graduated with a degree in telecommunications with the intention of making music. It is such a blessing to share God’s truth and love with young people in Northeast Ohio hopefully making a joyful noise unto The Lord. I have been a part of the Youth For Christ team since 1999. I look forward to many more years of sharing the best message ever with the youth of Ohio. "

Doug Kallin

Campus Life- Brooklyn Site Director

For the past two and a half years I have been a volunteer with Youth For Christ. I will now take on an official role as site director for the city of Brooklyn. I desire for every one of the students I am called to serve to know that Jesus loves them and wants to make His story a part of theirs, no matter how messy or complicated it may be. The best way to point the future generation to Christ is by being present in their lives. Some of the ways I will be accomplishing this is through weekly small and large groups and one-on-one discipleship meetings. As I enter this position, prayer is the biggest thing I need. I pray that I will stay on this path that God has me on and that He will keep me strong on this new journey. With this position, there are also operating costs. I ask that you prayerfully consider partnering with me and supporting what God has me doing for YFC in Brooklyn.

Jenny Webb

Campus Life- Nordonia Site Director

She was born and raised in northeast Ohio and came to know God through a friend in high school and never looked back. While on a missions trip overseas, God began to use her broken past to reach teens. She spent nearly 14 years working with a mission organization called YWAM in Perth, Australia. Her and her team worked in state and Christians schools teaching seminars in areas of bullying, relationships, God, etc. She also led camps and took young people overseas to experience missions 1st-hand. In 2019, God spoke about moving back to Ohio to help her mom with her 2 nephews and niece, as well as continue to work with teens in the Northeastern Ohio area. In 2021 she was hired as Campus Life director of Nordonia Hills and is incredibly privileged to continue the incredibly ministry already established.

Joanne Maroulis

Campus Life-Parma Site Director

I have been involved in ministry since 1994 with my husband Nick. In 2006 we came to YFC. Both Nick and I grew up in the Brooklyn area where we currently reside and raised our three children. We did children's ministry for three years before finding our way to YFC. We started as volunteers and then I became the Brooklyn Ministry Director. After a few years, I decided I wanted to be at home with my kids and Nick took over the ministry position at YFC. Now that our children are grown, I am excited to be back on staff serving Parma full-time. It is my passion to speak God's word to everyone and lead them to Christ.

Kaylee Rauch

Campus Life - Independence Site Director

Nick Maroulis

Campus Life Public Area Director

I have been involved in ministry since 1994 with my wife Joanne. In 2006 we came to YFC. Both Joanne and I grew up in the Brooklyn area where we currently reside and raise our children. I worked in the city of Brooklyn for 17 years before I became the Director of Brooklyn Campus Life. My wife and I are so grateful for God’s calling to minister in our home city. Being involved, as an entire family unit has been a blessing. as we are able to work with families and the teens in our community. Many things have changed in Brooklyn, but we have witnessed the deep care/concern the community has towards families & youth. The best part of running Campus Life in Brooklyn is that we are part of the fiber of the community and can work with families/teens in our own backyard.

Sammy Lombardo

Campus Life- Berea MidPark Site Director

My journey to this point has been paved with enriching experiences and learning opportunities. I have dedicated myself to youth ministry, creating a safe and nurturing environment for their spiritual growth. My academic background, culminating in a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology from The Ohio State University, has been instrumental in developing my skills in community engagement and mentorship. I have been graced with the opportunity to serve as the Campus Life Site Director at Berea Midpark. This position includes facilitating large and small group activities, investing in one-on-one time with local students, sharing the love of Jesus with them, and fostering partnerships with schools, churches, and community organizations.

Thomas Xenos

Campus Life Coordinator

At the age of 16, God called me into ministry at a camp meeting, but I would soon abandon my call. Growing up in North Royalton, Ohio, I saw firsthand, among my friends and peers, the deep need for something more than what we had. Anxiety, depression, and anger, amongst other things, ran rampant throughout our school. Our attention was turned to things in the world to cure our issues, but they just got worse. Finally, in 2018 I found my cure in Jesus and felt my call into ministry renewed. In March of 2023, the Lord blessed me with an opportunity to join the staff at Youth For Christ and has allowed me to help youth in the same situations I found myself in during my high school years. Jesus, throughout the scripture, was adamant about letting children come to Him. My goal is to walk alongside the youth and staff as we help youth find their worth in Christ and fulfill what Jesus said: “Let the children come to me.”

Campus Life Public Schools

Jen Muscenti

Campus Life Private Schools Ministry Director

Jen grew up on the east side of Cleveland. She attended Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights from 9th-12th grade. Jen went on to complete a Bachelors in Business Administration with a focus in Organizational Leadership from Cedarville University. Upon graduation, Jen spent six years working in downtown Cleveland at the Sherwin-Williams Corporate Headquarters in an HR capacity. In 2014, Jen joined Greater Cleveland Youth For Christ to launch the Campus Life Private Schools program. It is her joy to serve students from the community that she too was fostered by during life’s most formative years.

Haley Gaines

Campus Life Private Schools Field Staff

Haley grew up in Streetsboro, OH and attended Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy from 7th-12th grade. She then graduated from the University of Akron with a bachelor’s degree in Child Development, followed by a master’s degree in Sport Administration. She has spent her professional career working for the Cleveland Browns and Bank of America, before leaving to join the YFC staff in June of 2021. Haley is most passionate about building deep relationships with students and loves being around and getting to know people!

Michael Skizenta

Campus Life Private Schools Field Staff

A native to Cleveland, Michael attended Hiram College where he played football. He graduated in 2018 with a B.A. in Communications and proceeded to pursue an M.A. in Theological Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Michael has spent the last several years serving in youth ministry roles with both middle and high school students. Michael’s energy, enthusiasm, and relational abilities make him a great addition to the Campus Life Private Schools team.

Campus Life Private Schools

Erin Domer

City Life Westside Area Director

I became a part of the Youth for Christ (YFC) family in December 2013 as the Events Assistant. While helping plan and execute large outreach events and fundraising events, I began volunteering with YFC's City Life team in 2014. I was able to go on a trip with the City Life staff and youth. After hearing their stories and getting to know the teens, I was hooked! I am grateful that as years progressed, it was evident that God was leading me to serve at the City Life Center. In 2017, I transitioned over as the Administrative Assistant, then promoted to Engagement Coordinator, and now as the Westside Area Director. I marvel at the work that God has done in and through the City Life team and Center over the years and how many lives have been impacted. It is a privilege to work with such an amazing YFC team!

Danielle Gibson

City Life East- Administrative Coordinator

Several years before discovering City Life, the Lord ignited a passion in my heart to work with marginalized communities, particularly the youth. At that time, I had no clear vision of how this calling would unfold because I was in the middle of pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, and I was well into my studies. I faced uncertainties without any prior experience or knowledge of how to engage with youth. To no surprise, in the midst of my uncertainty, God’s ability to make a way shined the brightest. The Lord illuminated my path and guided me on this journey. In 2020, after attending City Life's “See The Story” Tour, I knew this place would eventually become my home. As I watched the videos that showcased City Life's impactful work, touching lives and leading students to Christ, the Holy Spirit enveloped me, and tears of joy flowed. At that time, I didn't know just how deeply embedded City Life would become in my life. Eager to begin my volunteer onboarding process, I met up with the City Life Director at a park to express my wonder and excitement. I said, "I feel like I'm supposed to work here." Despite the initial bewilderment due to my pursuit of a different career path, I volunteered for three remarkable years. God has reminded me of the promise imprinted on my heart on the park bench. Currently, I am a part-time staff member at YFC/City Life. I simultaneously work as an Out-Of-School Time Educator at Glenville High School, providing after-school and summer programming. Regardless of the setting, I aspire to be a positive role model, fostering safe spaces for students to be themselves while showering them with unconditional love, guiding them toward Christ, empowering and uplifting their voices, and exposing the next generation to new and fulfilling experiences. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this family.

Eli Parrish

City Life Ministry Staff

Eli Parrish splits his time between City Life and The City Mission's Laura's Home. The goal is to bridge students who are ages 11-19 that are being served at Laura's Home to City Life. This will allow for continued care for the teens and their families after they complete the program at Laura's Home. Eli joined the City Life team as a Ministry Leader (Volunteer) in September and has built many relationships with our teens. We are looking forward to what God will do through Eli and this new partnership.

Nate Fine

City Life Ministry Staff

I was born and raised on the west side of Cleveland. Although I participated in City Life, I was still heavily influenced by my friends and community. I was fighting a battle between wanting to be accepted by others and wanting to do what I learned in church. When I received the Lord in my life, the path was long, but I have grown in immeasurable ways. I have always felt the Lord was leading me to reach my friends and the youth in my neighborhood. After much prayer and advice, I am happy that I have joined the YFC as a City Life Ministry Field Staff. Through Him, I pray I would be a light for his glory so that I may be used to help shape a brighter future for those I reach in my community and my own life.

Norman Leonard

City Life- Garfield Heights Site Director

Ever since I can remember, I have always had a connection with young people. I didn't realize what that purpose was for until I started walking with Christ over 18 years ago. God showed me that it was a gift to reach His gifts - children! My wife, Melissia, and I have been married over 17 years and have 2 awesome kids, a son and a daughter. We have lived and raised our family in Garfield Heights for over 15 years. I started out volunteering with YFC at the Garfield Hts middle school in 2012, and I immediately fell in love with the opportunity to be a positive example, build relationships, and reach youth for Christ every week in our community. I pray that every youth that comes through our community has the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel!

City Life

Paul Barnes

Deaf Teen Quest Ministry Director

I have lived in the Cleveland area most of his life. In 2009 I married my high school sweetheart, Heather and we 5 have kids. I have been a professional ASL interpreter for 11 years. This career began after a trip to the Jamaica school for the Deaf. Since that trip I've been part of launching the first Deaf Church plant in the Christian Missionary Alliance where I am now one of the elders and the Youth Director. Through these experiences God has burdened my heart with the reality that many of Cleveland’s deaf youth are isolated, without hope and without communication at home. I am passionate about making Jesus more famous and seeing Deaf Teen Quest in the Cleveland area. Having DTQ here will enable deaf and hard of hearing kids to have a safe place to be heard and fall in love with Christ!

woman in white shirt

Heather Barnes

Deaf Teen Quest Administrative Field Staff

For the last year, Paul and I have praised for God to increase our team by one part-time staff member. While reading Experiencing God, I learned that when you pray, pay attention to what happens next. As we prayed, God continued to increase the number of Deaf Blind students in our program from 1 to 3. The past year, I had been getting to know our first Deaf Blind student and researching how to meet her unique needs. We realized that it made the most sense if I left my current job to work alongside Paul, focus more time on research and training volunteers to further meet their needs. I am so humbled by the call to step into the lives of our Deaf Blind students and so grateful to each of you who have been apart of this journey. I am excited to share that YFC Cleveland also felt this was the best choice and I am now working quarter time on staff with YFC Cleveland!

Deaf Teen Quest

Ray Vallee Jr

Juvenile Justice Ministry-Core Ministry Director

I am a director on our JJM team. I am leading our ministry at the Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility I am married to the wife of my youth, Laura. We have three daughters ages 17, 18, and 20. I answered my calling into ministry and received my Masters of Christian Ministry degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. My wife and I planted a church which closed as of the end of 2018 (God had different plans for us). I like watching and playing baseball. I like the outdoors, hiking, and the beach. But what I truly like to do the most is disciple people, from explaining who Christ is and seeing them come to repentance and newness of life and helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. I have many years of experience discipling, teaching, and leading. My career was in senior leadership in the hospitality industry. While I continue to grow in my faith, I strive to create and bring about new partnerships and build upon existing partnerships to the glory of God for his kingdom purposes to bring the love of Christ to a lost and dying generation of youth.

Andre Smith

Juvenile Justice Ministry- Site Director

Andre became involved with YFC as a volunteer at Miles Park Middle School in 2008. He held this position for three years until the Lord opened a door for him to come on staff in 2011 as a City Life Club Director for the Central Community. Before becoming a part of YFC, he was a Unit Director with the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of North Carolina. In 2021, he was given the opportunity to begin serving with Juvenile Justice Ministries as the Quincy Director. His passion is to help save youth from the streets and to encourage them to have a lifelong relationship with Christ. He thanks God for the opportunity to be a positive, consistent example, giving direction to the un-churched and lost youth.

DaNay Carter

Juvenile Justice Ministry- Director of Re-Entry

I believe God brought me to YFC because of the JJM ministry and my heart for bringing Jesus to underprivileged youth. I would like prayers that God would equip me to build a strong foundation for the Re-Entry program and for the Holy Spirit to help us plant the seed of Jesus in their hearts! I have a passion for youth and bringing them to Jesus! A part of my story is that God was merciful and pulled me out of the generational cycle of my rough childhood. I want them to know that through God’s love and grace, there is a way out. There are people here to help that journey in any way possible. I am so excited to be given this opportunity to flourish in this program and make a lasting impact into their lives!

Michael ‘Cap’ McCoy

Juvenile Justice Ministry-Site Director

Michael McCoy has been a part of the YFC family for over 14 years. He was a volunteer for CityLife at East Tech High school for 4 years, started on staff in 2012 with City Life on Cleveland’s Westside and then moved to Juvenile Justice Ministries a year later. With a unique testimony, a God-given talent in music and a growing passion for evangelism and apologetics, he engages incarcerated youth with the Gospel of Christ and a hope to see them in thriving relationships with Jesus Christ.

Pegi Powe

Juvenile Justice Ministry Coordinator

Pegi lives in Northfield,Ohio with her husband Bob. She has 2 daughters Mia and Emily, son-in-law, Jay and three grandchildren. She was your typical "good kid." However, she desperately needed a Savior, and she came to faith at 19 years of age. Before coming to YFC, she spent 38 years in ministry. Pegi has worked in Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry and Women’s Ministry along with Pastoral Counseling. Her experience also includes working with Drug Rehab programs such as the "Los Angeles Teen Challenge." She has a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Psychology and Sociology and a Minor in Biblical Studies. Working with incarcerated youth brings her great joy, and she considers it a privilege to be of service to them.

Robert Norton

Juvenile Justice Ministry- Site Director

I grew up in Cleveland attending City Life programs and events which played a vital part in my relationship with Jesus. It was at these programs that I met my now wife. Jesus used our rebellion against him to draw us nearer to himself. Through having a humble "yes" to Jesus over and over I started to taste and see the goodness of God. God was no longer distant, and the Gospel was no longer a think-piece, rather my wife and I became intimate with this God. I believe God has now commissioned me to be a giver of glory and a teller of stories. After much prayer and advice, I am happy to announce that I have joined YFC as Juvenile Justice Ministry Field Staff. I know the journey with our good Father has just started.

Juvenile Justice Ministry

Meet Our Board

Meet our Board of Directors that together, bring direction, oversight, and vision to our Executive Director. In addition, the board supports and care for our staff in a number of different ways. We are grateful for their service.

  • Phil Gard, Board Chair
    • Finance Commitee, Leadership Advisory Committee, Board Governance/Executive Committee, Development & Endowment Fund
  • Jim Love, Board Vice-Chair
    • Development & Endowment Fund, Board Governance/Executive Committee
  • Andy Kuyper, Board Secretary
    • Finance Committee, Leadership Advisory Committee
  • Eric Shultz, Board Treasurer
    • Finance Committee
  • Douglas Dykes
    • Human Resources Committee
  • Eric Moss
    • Development & Endowment Fund
  • Jim Zappala
    • Finance Committee
  • John Warner
    • Human Resources Committee, Prayer & Care Committee, Development & Endowment Fund
  • Laura Steffey-Moss
    • Prayer & Care Committee, Ministry Committee
  • Lisa Lane
    • Human Resources Committee
  • Michael Howard
    • Finance Committee, Ministry Committee, Prayer & Care Committee
  • Pam Alder
    • City Life Center Property Operations Committee, Development & Endowment Fund
  • Rachel Hare
    • Prayer & Care Committee
  • Ted Kurz
    • Finance Committee, Business Operations Committee
  • Tom Ziegler
    • Human Resources Committee