MEET OUR STAFF
Laura founded Common Good in 2011 with her husband, John. In 2014 John became the lead pastor at Embrace United Methodist Church, where Common Good is located. They have been doing Christian community development together in North Lexington since 2006 and moved into the neighborhood in 2007. Laura earned her Masters of Social Work from the University of Kentucky in 2010. Her professional experiences have included working at the Lexington Rescue Mission, Fayette County Schools and in community mental health. Laura is passionate about learning from people, reading, live music, friendships that cross racial and cultural barriers, seeing people achieve their potential, and living the fullest life possible with John.
Elementary Program Director
Brenda joined Common Good's staff in the fall of 2016 and is a recent graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in Psychology. Education is something Brenda worked hard to pursue in her own life and sharing this passion with others is one of her life missions. Throughout college she served as support staff for the Latino Leadership and College Experience Camp at BCTC. Through these experiences, and her own educational journey, she found she had a passion for helping young people fulfill their potential. Brenda is from Mexico and came to the United States as a child in 2000. The second oldest of four children, she is very family oriented and one of her greatest joys is being a big sister. Her hope is that through working at Common Good she can help create opportunities for education and personal growth, just like she had growing up, for the next generation of students.
Karissa has lived in the Castlewood neighborhood since 2005, and her passion is to see this neighborhood and the families in it thrive! She is married to Jeremy and they have two kids, Grant and Athena. Karissa is so excited to join the Common Good family and use her skill set to help the organization keep doing the amazing work it has been doing. Before coming to Common Good, Karissa worked with refugee families here in Lexington for 12 years. She speaks French fluently and will gladly practice anytime with anyone who wants to! She loves to read, sing karaoke, and is known to have epic dance parties with her family. She is an active parent at Arlington Elementary School and is committed to see the common good of this neighborhood.
Youth Program Director
Richard is a father of 3 daughters, a socially conscious hip hop artist, community activist, and motivational speaker from Lexington, KY. In addition to being the Youth Program Director at Common Good, he is also the director of a Kentucky based nonprofit organization called Believing In Forever Inc., and is currently teaching a class at the University of Kentucky called Lyricism & Leadership: Hip Hop & Community Change. He’s hosted local performing arts events such as Brown Sugar, Neo Soul Nights, and Poetry in Motion. To say Richard is passionate about Lexington youth would be a vast understatement!
Assistant Elementary Program Director
Noranne joined Common Good in August of 2017, and her passion is to help youth obtain resources that can aid in their character development into adulthood. Noranne is a native of Louisville, KY, and has lived in Lexington, KY since 2009 when she started her undergraduate degree in Community and Leadership Development (CLD) at the University of Kentucky. She is currently working on her master's degree in CLD with an interest in Youth Development. Before coming to Common Good, Noranne mentored 7th graders at EJ Haynes Middle School within the Mitchell Family Foundation's Anti-Virus Youth Education program for two years. Noranne is most happy when she is spending quality time with family and friends doing fun activities, such as going to the movies, restaurants, bowling, swimming, skating, hiking, and/or theme parks. Noranne is also an AmeriCorps Member in the FRYSC Corps (Family Resource and Youth Service Centers) program in which her purpose is to serve children and their families by removing barriers.
MEET OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BECCA HUGHES President| Assistant Design Manager, Gray Construction
RICHARD GRIER Vice President | Pastor, Centenary UMC
KATIE GRABAU Secretary | Law Clerk, U.S. District Court
CLINT LONG Treasurer | Vice President, Fifth Third
SETH BURNETT | Construction Manager, Congelton-Hacker
SARA SCHUER | Community Member
TERRY FOLEY | Retired Vice Principal, Winburn Middle School
AMANDA BURTON | Pharmacist, Ephraim McDowell
ESTHER ZUNKER | Freelance Writer and Editor
GEORGE DONKOR | Architectural Technician, Gray Construction
CAREY RUIZ | Adjunct Professor, Georgetown College
TOM EBLEN | Retired United Methodist Pastor
JOHN GALLAHER | Pastor, Embrace Church