Connections: fall 2021


Tim Bixler is executive director of Delta Center Stage, a community theatre in Greenville, Mississippi. He has held the position since 2002. His wife, Sonya Edens, retired after being a drama teacher at Washington School in Greenville for 33 years. She is a published author in the realm of technical theatre with costuming and has been named Best Actress at the Southeastern Theatre Conference regional festival three times. 


Michelle Repchak Bacon was named Summit Christian Academy’s 2021 Teacher of the Year. A fifth grade teacher, she joined the SCA faculty in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, in 2000. She and her husband, Dennis (’80), have two children, Nathan (’13) and Rachel (’18). 


Stan Little moved to Mountain Home, Arkansas, in 2020 and began a wood carving business, Ozark Antler Creations. Some of his designs are painted by his wife, Cheryl. He preached in Arkansas, Missouri and Wisconsin before finally settling at the Farmington, Kentucky, Church of Christ from 2012-20. As a preacher, he spent time working with food banks and women’s shelters and traveled the world including ministry missions to South America, Africa and the United Kingdom. 


Joel Reed, executive vice president and general counsel for Stanley Martin Homes in Reston, Virginia, was named to the Christian Chronicle’s board of trustees. He earned a law degree from Duke University and has served as chair of Missions Resource Network’s board of trustees. His wife, Lori Adams (’18), writes curriculum for Ethos, an online program of Greater Atlanta Christian School. They worship with Fairfax Church of Christ in Virginia. 


Nancy Averwater has assumed the role of Baptist Memorial’s senior vice president and is continuing as chief human resources officer. She is developing and implementing the Baptist Center for Career Development. She began her Baptist career in 1993 and served in several clinical and operational leadership positions before assuming her current role. 


Brian Martin was named director of the Cultural Resource Center at Anderson University. He has served at Anderson since 2014 as an admissions counselor and previously served as development officer. He is married to Heidi Nelson (’91).


Peter Phillis was hired by the city of Allen, Texas to lead their finance department. He most recently held the position of finance director for the city of Cedar Hill, Texas, after spending 20 years in the city of Mansfield, Texas, as deputy city manager and CFO. Prior to his government service, he worked in the private sector as a CFO and controller for Crouzet Corp., a senior manager at Waters and Murray CPAs, and a senior auditor at Arthur Andersen. He is a member of the International City/County Management Association and Government Finance Officers Association. He is married to Kerry Dunn (’93). 


Jeff T. Goodson has joined the law firm of Batson Nolan PLC in Clarksville, Tennessee. He obtained his law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2004. He previously was deputy city attorney for the city of Clarksville. In 2020, his peers elected him president of Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association, a position he occupied from July 2020 until May 2021. He had previously served as TMAA’s vice president and treasurer. He is a published legal author and helped make new law in Tennessee before the Tennessee Supreme Court. 


Danilo Amoretty was named Carhartt’s senior vice president of global product supply and operations. He joined Carhartt in March 2018 as vice president of supply chain operations. He previously served as director of sourcing Americas at VF Corp. and vice president of sourcing for Fruit of the Loom Inc. He earned his MBA from Western Kentucky University. He is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese and is certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt. He is married to Lyn Keneipp.

Kevin Burton has been named administrator of the new Unity Health-Jacksonville (Arkansas) hospital. He joined Unity in 2005 and previously served as the hospital system’s director of patient financial services. He and his wife, Kelley Spurlock (’95), have two children. 

Courtney Christian is the new principal of Hector P. Garcia Elementary School in Temple, Texas. She earned a master’s degree from University of Texas at Tyler in 2012 and previously served as an assistant principal at Sparta Elementary.

Beth Spurlock Pesnell received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from University of Arkansas. She is assistant professor of elementary science, mathematics and STEM education in the College of Education at Kansas State University. 


Shane Jackson, president of Jackson Healthcare since 2014, received the Jerry Noyce Executive Health Champion Award from the Health Enhancement Research Organization for his contributions advancing employee health and well-being. He also received the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Corporate Citizenship Award in 2020. Previously the president of, Patient Placement Systems and NextStart Capital, he is a speaker on the conference circuit and frequently writes on the topic of intentionally nurturing a values-based culture. In 2018, he published Fostering Culture: A Leader’s Guide to Purposely Shaping Culture, chronicling his philosophy on workplace culture. During the past four years, he has been recognized on Staffing Industry Analysts’ Staffing 100. He serves on the boards of Junior Achievement of Georgia, 3DE and King’s Ridge Christian School. He also is of the Health and Wellness Policy Committee for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and vice chair of the leader-led goBeyondProfit business initiative. He earned his MBA from Emory University. He and his wife, Celeste Walker, have three children. 


Andrew L. Cooper is president and founder of Cooper Eagle LLC. He previously worked at Vanguard for more than 20 years. He earned an MBA at Villanova University and obtained his CFP certification in 2021. He volunteers at Camp Manatawney and previously served as chair of its board of directors. He serves as a deacon at King of Prussia Church of Christ. He and his wife, Jennifer Cooper (’95), have two daughters and live in Royersford, Pennsylvania. 


Hinmer Garcia is senior manager of program support at Compassion International. He and his wife, Ruth Melendez, have a son and live in El Salvador. 

B.T. Irwin was named to Christian Chronicle’s Journalism Advisory Council. A member of the Rochester Church of Christ in Rochester Hills, Michigan, he is a blogger and podcaster who served as a nonprofit director, public information specialist, project leader and minister. 


Emily Haas Brown was named assistant superintendent of elementary education for the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township. She transitioned to this role from director of human resources, a position she had held since 2018. In the spring of 2021, she served as the interim principal of Sunnyside Elementary School. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Indiana State University in 2019.


David Arencibia was named the Texas Association of Secondary Schools Principals Region 11 Principal of the Year. He is the principal of Colleyville Middle School in Colleyville, Texas, and earned his doctorate in teacher leadership at Walden University. 

Brian Matthews is an assistant professor of management at Texas A&M University-Texarkana and served as a city council member for Ward 4 from 2012-17. He serves as a board member for Leadership Texarkana, Main Street Texarkana, Red River Air Cargo Association, Northeast Texas Alliance of Black School Educators, Literacy Council of Bowie and Miller Counties, and is a member of Wilbur Smith Rotary and the Greater Texarkana Branch of the NAACP. He has formerly served as a board member for Texarkana Ara Foundation, United Way of Greater Texarkana, Alzheimer’s Alliance, TRAHC and CHRISTUS St. Michael Rehabilitation Hospital. 


Mark Ohrenberger, who joined the Arkansas State University system in 2020 as associate general counsel, has been promoted to senior associate general counsel. He previously was legal counsel for the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy, assistant attorney general in the Arkansas Attorney General’s office, and an associate at Wright Lindsey Jennings. He is a graduate of William & Mary School of Law. 


Elizabeth Stephens announces the birth of a daughter, Mary Elizabeth “Mary Beth,” Aug. 8, 2019. She was adopted from Bilaspur in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh April 7, 2021. 


Corey Fipps was hired as University of Pikeville’s seventh head football coach. He most recently served as head coach at Kentucky Christian University for four seasons. He also served as the offensive coordinator at NCAA Division II Missouri Southern State University, NAIA Montana Tech, Sacramento City College and Faulkner University, where he piloted an offense that ranked first in the country. He and his wife, Jennifer Weaver, have three daughters, Kensley, Caroline and Emery.

Kyla Diles Glasser was named Searcy School District Teacher of the Year. She has taught seventh and eighth grade science in Searcy School District since 2005. She serves on the district’s Capturing Kids Hearts team and as student government sponsor. 

Tiffany Phillips has joined the women’s basketball coaching staff at University of Central Arkansas after six years as head coach of the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s basketball team. While at SAGU, she had an 80-72 record, was named the Central Region Coach of the Year in 2018, and led the program to its first ranking in more than 20 years. She also has coached high school basketball in Arkansas at Marshall, Sacred Heart, Hector and Bryant. She is no stranger to UCA as she was an assistant for the Sugar Bears from 2006-11.


Trevor Goertzen has been named a Digital Principal of the Year for 2021 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. He is principal of Spring Hill Middle School in Spring Hill, Kansas. 


Shawn Brazas was promoted to sergeant and also supervisor for Zone 10 with the Missouri Highway Patrol. He joined the Patrol in 2008. He and his wife, Jacquelyn Fredendall (’08), have two sons, Luke and Beau. 

Aaron Moore is a software developer at Mainstream Technologies in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has 12 years of experience in software development and previously worked at Applied Technical Systems of Silverdale, Washington. He is married to Stacey Wright (’06).


Ryan and Billie Pierters Bentley announce the birth of a daughter, Alcey, March 21, 2021.

Sara Vinzant Crouch published a novel, A Summer in Shady Springs, a contemporary Christian romance in August 2021. 


Kurstin Koch traveled to China in 2014 to teach English while earning her master’s degree in human environmental studies. Upon returning to the U.S. this year, she was hired as a dietician by Ozarks Healthcare in West Plains, Missouri.


Brian Grant has joined Warburton Capital as a client service specialist. He studied biological and physical sciences at Broward College before attending the University of Charleston (West Virginia), where he received his master’s in
physician assistant studies. He previously practiced full time as a PA. He has served with medical mission teams in Haiti as well as volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and Remote Area Medical. He resides in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, with his wife, Taylor Metts, and their two children: Connor and Marlee. 


Megan Rose Cleveland graduated with honors from University of Mississippi Medical Center with a master’s in occupational therapy in 2016. She is employed with TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston and is a certified brain injury specialist occupational therapist working on the brain injury and stroke team. 


Derek K. Mountford joined the business litigation practice in the Jacksonville, Florida, office of Gunster, a full-service business law firm. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. He is married to Brianna Bach

Erica Beaman Olascoaga graduated from Texas Tech School of Medicine, completing both her Doctor of Medicine and Master of Business Administration. She has been matched into residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas for physical medicine and rehabilitation. She is currently completing her transitional year at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. 


Joshua Jones is an assistant coach at Northwestern State University, coaching safeties, following a short stint at University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff as their safeties coach. Prior to that, he coached cornerbacks at South Alabama for three seasons (2018-20), spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons as the cornerbacks coach at Central Arkansas, and began his professional career as an assistant coach at Henderson State. He played professional indoor football for the Green Bay Blizzard and the Utah Blaze. 


David Ellis was promoted to head soccer coach at 6A Mansfield (Texas) High School. He lives in Cleburne, Texas, with his wife, Whitney Walker. 


Genevieve Davis (MSN) is a board-certified family nurse practitioner at Lovelace Medical Group Gastroenterology. She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and is a former part of the inflammatory bowel disease team at Albany Medical Center. 


Cheyenne Brown is the new assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University. She previously was an assistant coach at the junior college level for Jacksonville College.

Austin Hayes received the highly competitive David L. Boren Fellowship to study in Indonesia for the 2021-22 academic year. He is currently a student in Oklahoma State’s School of Global Studies where he is pursuing his master’s degree. 

G. Scott Weston (MBA) was named dean of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Charleston (West Virginia). He began on July 1, 2021. He previously served as associate dean for faculty affairs and chair and professor of pharmaceutical sciences in Harding’s College of Pharmacy. 


Audrey Jackson became the Christian Chronicle’s associate editor for print and digital in August.

Categories: Connections.

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