Common Good

Working together for the common good in North Lexington.

Our Mission at Common Good exists to advance wholistic community development in North Lexington through leadership, education, recreation, and spiritual formation. Common Good's Vision is for our community to live up to its God-given potential evidenced by thriving children with strong families in flourishing neighborhoods. Our desire is that community members be reconciled to God and each other.

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
— Nelson Mandela

MEET OUR STAFF

LAURA GALLAHER

Executive Director

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.

BRENDA VANEGAS

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 PORTER

Development Director

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.

RICHARD 'Devine Carama' SPAULDING

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!

NORANNE HENDRICKS

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

Copyright© 2016 Common Good Community Development Corporation | Lexington, Kentucky | 859.333.5336 Laura@commongoodlex.org