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WHO WE ARE


Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is a group of individuals who exhibit a dedication to following God’s word, have a true passion for helping foster families and a real love for children—especially those within the foster care system.  Through prayer and discernment, they provide guidance to The James Project ministry. 

Jan Williams, President

Jan Williams is married to Russ and together they have four grown children, including Betty, who was a foster child from Kenya, and 10 grandchildren.  She has a Bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University and is a former elementary school teacher who now works as an artist, and as President of The James Project. She has served on several prayer teams, and community organizations, has been an active supporter of FCA, and has an empathetic heart for the foster care system; foster parents, caseworkers and the children they serve. Jan is a member of Cherry Hills Church.


Sarah Homeier, Vice President

Sarah Homeier is a former neo-natal nurse who is now a stay at home mom of 8 children. She has always had a passion for adoption and fostering, but put actions to her passion when she and her husband, Dirk, became foster parents and subsequently adopted their 3rd foster son, Isaiah, at birth. They have since adopted 5 more children and have fostered 10 children in their home.
Sarah has a passion for foster and adoptive families and to see the myths surrounding foster care and adoption disintegrate as more and more education is brought to the community, and to help families go from desiring a child to fulfill their family, to desiring to fulfill a child’s need for a family.


Paula Borah, Secretary 

Paula Borah is the wife of Gary, mother of three adult children and “Nana” to eight beautiful grandchildren. She is a former high school business education teacher, was active in Jr. League for several years, and served on the Board of the Ronald McDonald House. She is an active member of West Side Christian Church, where she is a former staff member.


Rose Haas, Treasurer

Rose Haas and her husband Larry have three children and three grandchildren.  A graduate of the University of Illinois, Rose is employed part-time as bookkeeper for The Wardrobe, and also at CW3M Environmental Engineering Company.  She has a deep love for children, and has been involved with volunteering, mentoring, and serving on various boards and committees the past 20 years, especially within Springfield School District #186.  


Sarah Harkness

Sarah Harkness has lived all over the country, being a “pastor’s kid!” She studied Early Childhood and Elementary Ed. at Greenville College and is currently teaching Pre-K in Auburn, Il. She attends Cherry Hills Church and serves as a small group leader with the Cherry Hills youth. Sarah has successfully led the James Project Box Lunch fundraisers for the last few years.


Bethanie Drake, M.A., L.M.F.T

Bethanie is a wife, mother of two children and Nana to an adoprable granddaughter.. She  had been in private practice for over 25 years as a LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist,) as well as part of the leadership team of her family owned business, giving her experience in therapy, life coaching and business management and development.. Prior to being in private practice she worked at Family Service Center as a Therapist and was trained to do adoption placements. She was a volunteer for the Red Cross for many years. She also served on the regional Critical Incident Team of Central Illinois. She served on the board of PORA for several years. PORA was a safe house for sex workers and Bethanie was one of the original board members.


Karen Giannone

Karen is the wife of Dr. Leonard Giannone and the mother of one son. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at St. Louis University and worked as a Pediatric Nurse for Twelve years in the Neonatal Unit, Pediatric Hospital Unit and Pediatric Clinical settings. She is a volunteer at Contact Ministries, Enos Grade School, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She also volunteers as a Eucharistic Minister at both Christ the King Church and Memorial Medical Center and has attended various Bible Studies for more than twenty years.


The James Project Journal


We love to celebrate the successes of The James Project ministry with our supporters through our newsletter, The James Project Journal, which is published twice a year. 

We invite you to learn more about us by reading our past and current newsletters.


 November 2012

 March 2013

 June 2013

 September 2013

 December 2013

 April 2014

 November 2014

 April 2015

 November 2015

 April 2016

November 2016

April 2017

November 2017
picture of young boy
picture of a young girl hugging an elder woman

Monica Goswami

Monica Goswami is wife to Dr. Nilesh Goswami and mother of three children. Monica graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She is a CPA and spent over 10 years working for two separate Fortune 500 companies, retiring in 2002 to be a full time mother.  She routinely volunteers at Springfield Christian School and Franklin Middle School.


Paul Paoni

Paul is a member of Cherry Hills Baptist Church and also serves as a board member of the Washington Street Mission.  For over 25 years, Paul has been a business owner and contractor.  He hopes his knowledge of house building and renovations will be of value to The James Project.  Prior to his time in the building industry, Paul was a licensed School Psychologist.


Mary Stone

Mary F. Stone is a licensed clinical worker. She has forty years of Direct and administrative experience in the field, including sixteen years in public and private sectors of child welfare and twelve years as a medical social worker and consultant within both for profit and not-for-profit hospitals. Mary retired in July of 2011 after twelve years as the founding Executive Director of M.E.R.C.Y. Communities, a not- for profit providing housing and supportive services to foster the independence of homeless families. Mary has been married to Mr. Dick Stone for 46 years. They have two married daughters and four grandchildren

Gary Nelsen

Gary Nelsen is a retired pastor, having retired as the Senior Pastor at Cherry Hills the end of 1998. He and his wife, Janie, have been married 57+ years, and are the parents of Pastor Jeff, Senior Pastor at Cherry Hills, Dr. Scott, medical missionary to the poor in the Philippines, and daughter Kristen Tinch, also serving others in many ways.
Gary is still very involved, serving as Chr. of the Missions Team at Cherry Hills, one of the hosts for the First Step Class, leading a Life Group, mentoring of a number of pastors and laymen and having a real burden to pray for the parents and foster children of The James Project. For the past 12 years he has led a worship service and a small group in the retirement park in Apache Junction, Arizona, where they have wintered.


Robin Pickett

Robin owns and operates Pickett and Sprout Insurance, an insurance agency which specializes in partnering with/insuring ministries.  He serves at Lake Side Christian Church in leadership roles applicable to the mission team, small groups, and a variety of Sunday morning responsibilities. He has been participating in mission trips to Myanmar as a part of a ministry he wholeheartedly supports. 


Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson was born and raised in Springfield. He is a 2006 graduate of Sacred Heart  Griffin, and Creighton University with a degree in financial analysis.  He now works for Bank of Springfield as a commercial banker and has received his MBA from UIS. Ryan has been involved in many civic activities, including Leadership Springfield, having been instilled with a strong sense of community by his family.

Terri Enno, Administrative Assistant

Terri Enno, is the wife of Henry Enno, and mother of 4 adult children and the Nana of one granddaughter.  She graduated with a degree in education and was a teacher in Springfield, where she coached track, cross country, and tennis.  Terri enjoys tennis, reading, traveling, and learning how to play pickle ball.  Terri and her family are members of Blessed Sacrament Church.  Children and young people have a special place in her heart as she has mentored many over the years.  Terri loves being a part of The James Project—where every day she is part of the adventure that God is working within.


Sarah Chandler, Newsletter Editor

Sarah is married to Jeff, and proud mom of baby boy Luke in heaven, a fun-loving son named Levi, and an energetic “Anne Girl”.  The Chandlers attend West Side Christian Church and are actively involved with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.  Sarah is a freelance writer and editor.  She loves supporting The James Project with her spiritual gift of writing as “The core of TJP is love.  If we can show God’s love through caring for children who are not being adequately loved, then we will make a marked difference in this world.  The James Project makes this difference day in and day out as they support and love foster families.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR MINISTIRES

We are not all called to become a foster parent, but we are called to do what we can—and, we can all do something.

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