Pete is the Interim Senior Pastor and Head of Staff at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Northwest Tucson. Prior to his current call, Pete served for nearly 17 years as Pastor for Discipleship and Multicultural Ministry at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Tucson. As a part of his work, he led NPC’s Refugee & Immigrant Ministry seeking to bridge relationships between immigrants and non-immigrants, while equipping the church to walk alongside refugees and asylum seekers. Pete has studied at the University of Arizona (Anthropology & Religious Studies), Austin Seminary (MDiv), and Fuller Seminary (DMin Missional Leadership). Free time is spent with family (one wife, two sons, & two labradoodles), reading, playing guitar, and exercising. Pete was born in Buffalo, NY, has sojourned to the Texas hill country, and the front range of Colorado, but loves Tucson the best!
Linda loves helping people match their personal talents and financial gifts with their passions and values. She works virtually with Stevens Financial Advisors in Green Valley, organizing monthly Tucson Kingdom Advisors Study Group lunches, networking events, client and marketing activities for the team from her home in Tucson or wherever there is an internet connection. A graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in marketing, she has been a professional fundraiser with various local and national nonprofit organizations throughout her career. She earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential in 2004 and has served on the board of Association of Fundraising Professionals, Planned Giving Roundtable of Southern Arizona and her church council. Linda and her husband, Roger raised two beautiful adult daughters and now enjoy sharing their empty nest with their therapy Super-mutt, Leo. Linda learned about Tucson Refugee Ministry in 2016 and has been a regular volunteer with International Kid’s Kamp and Teen Blast ever since.
Josette received a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Arizona and a Master’s of Social Work from Arizona State University. She currently works as an Adoption Specialist for Christian Family Care, in addition to providing counseling and education to current and former foster and adoptive families. Josette and her husband Kenyon, also a U of A graduate, are proud parents of 3 children, 2 of whom are now attending state universities themselves. Their family has been involved with refugees and TRM since 2009. In her free time, Josette enjoys reading, baking, biking and spending time with friends and family.
Becky is Director of Global and Local Outreach at Casas Church and has been serving in Global for over 10-1/2 years. She launched her career in high school working for 3M and developing their first Word Processing center. By age 20 she was Executive Assistant to President of ITT Thorp Sales before she began her independent contracting company serving various law offices, Honeywell and Norwest Bank in Minneapolis, Dallas, and Tucson. In 1994, Becky moved out of independent contracting to create a Corporate Event Planning company that served many large corporations in Minneapolis and Phoenix until 2001 when she decided to become a stay-at-home mom and home school her son. In 2009, she was hired as Casas. Currently, she is on the leadership team of Casas as Director of GO. She has traveled extensively serving Casas Global Partner Leaders of the PACT region and New York. Becky has been married to Charlie for 27 years and they have a 23 year old son, Daniel who is a Marine Reservist and a student at UA. Her favorite hobbies are reading, personal travel (especially cruising), and sharing time with family and friends.
Walter graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering. After 20 years in industry, he is back working at the university, as the IT manager over the student computer labs and classrooms A/V systems. He and his wife, Rica, have three children who are transitioning from high school to college. Walter has a love for the nations and has been on several overseas trips (Europe, Asia, and South America) as well as local outreach trips to Mexico. He is glad to be able to serve the nations that are at our doorsteps, serving the refugee community through Tucson Refugee Ministry since 2016. You will easily recognize him at the International Kids Kamp leading games or portraying one of the prophets/saints of old.
Claudia was born in the US but raised in Italy. Her mother was an Italian citizen and met her dad while he was in the Air Force and stationed in her mother‘s hometown, Vicenza. He learned to speak Italian fluently and proceeded to be stationed in Vicenza five times. When they weren‘t living in Italy, Claudia’s family visited every summer and lived with her aunt and cousins. Claudia came to the US when she was 18 for college. She graduated from the University of Colorado Denver campus with a BA in English Lit and a minor in Psychology. She was married briefly when she was 23 and had her oldest son, Sean. Claudia met her current husband, Mike, when she was 25 and they have been married for 27 years. Mike adopted Sean and they had one child together named Daniel. Daniel is married to their daughter-in-love, Ivy, and they have 2 grandsons named Arlo and Ike. They have lived in Tucson for 22 years and Claudia has been volunteering in various capacities here for the past twenty years. Claudia started volunteering with Tucson Refugee Ministry in 2008. She fell in love with TRM’s multicultural approach to sharing faith with the nations at our doorstep. Growing up in a completely different culture has helped Claudia to appreciate and connect with refugees struggling to learn how to live in a place so different from where they started. Claudia recently joined the TRM board and is looking forward to seeing and experiencing everything that God will do moving forward.
Gary’s passion is for serving ministries that are centered on Jesus and that reach out to every tongue and tribe and nation. He has degrees from Indiana University in Religious Studies and History, as well as an MBA in International Finance. Gary, his wife Susan, and their daughter Anna, arrived in Tucson in 2001 to restart Vineyard City Church. The church became the most diverse church in town, with folks from all economic, educational, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. During that time, Gary and Susan became leaders for the Vineyard church in Sri Lanka and currently work with six congregations there. Four years ago they helped start Goshen International Church, a diverse congregation aimed to be a community for young African refugees. Gary is now an advisor and mentor for the Tucson Refugee Ministry staff.
Dorothy received her bachelor‘s and master’s degrees from the University of Arizona. She is a skilled nurse practitioner and is currently employed by Banner Healthy Together Care Partnership program and conducts home visits for preventive care. Her medical skills and her love for the nations has led her on trips to Afghanistan, Mexico, Thailand and other far away places. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and her hobbies are anything outdoors including hiking, biking and swimming. Dorothy has served with Tucson Refugee Ministry since 2005, first as a volunteer and now on the board.
After graduating from Howard Payne College, marrying Fred Gray, and having two girls, Janet lived in Ratón, New Mexico for 10 years. After that, she made the move to Tucson, where she spent several years as the Elementary Youth Director and Nursery Director at Grace Chapel. She taught first grade for 15 years, starting at Grace Christian School and moving on to Pueblo Gardens Public School and Peter Howell Elementary School for 10 years. Janet then spent five years at the UA instructing teachers from Mexico and Central America. Her contribution was to teach English as part of the 20 groups’ year-long program to improve their teaching skills. She also spent a year and a half teaching Spanish to homeschoolers.
Throughout the years, Janet taught English to a number of refugees, often with her oldest daughter Cherie, particularly at the beginning of her ministry.
TRM means a lot to Janet because Cherie was the founder and director for 13 years and she saw the passion Cherie had working with refugees. Currently, Janet is teaching refugees from Afghanistan, Haiti, and a student from Mexico. Seeing how Cherie’s legacy is flourishing is a huge blessing.
Raena is an entrepreneur, founder, CEO, Director, Real Estate Agent, and Business Owner. Her first introduction to entrepreneurship began in her early twenties when she was directing the preschool in her parent’s church in Tucson. This is when she began her lifelong commitment to offering the best possible education for every child, no matter their socioeconomic background. After scrambling to meet the needs of a very challenged two-year-old in a wheelchair with a feeding tube, she was determined to raise money in order to accommodate more children with special needs.
That success led to many others. In 2002, Raena sought funding to build her first tuition-free charter school. She is passionate about giving kids a choice in where they attend school and about enhancing their lives by laying a strong foundation for each child. As founder and charter-holder of eight successful charter schools and an online school, Raena is humbled and thrilled to know her positive impact on thousands of children and their families each year. She is quite literally helping to shape our future leaders.
Her community involvement in several non-profit organizations is evidence of her heartfelt investment in the welfare of all children, but particularly the underserved. Raena has donated so much of her time, talent and resources to Tucson Refugee Ministry.