Meet the STEPMC Staff

Austin Regier

Executive Director

"I became Executive Director in May, 2019. I attended Bethel College in North Newton, KS where I studied Social Work and Religion. It was also at Bethel that I met my wife Elizabeth (a Moundridge native) who now teaches middle school English in Moundridge. After Bethel, I went on to get my Master's in Social Work from the University of Kansas and spent some time working on homlessness prevention in downtown Wichita, where I learned about programs like STEPMC. In my spare time I love playing bluegrass music with my family, being active outside, and finding any ways I can to use tools."

Jamie Hensley

Moundridge Coach

"I became Moundridge Coach in March, 2020. I am dedicated to launching STEPMC's third site. I am a single mom to an inquisitive 6 year old boy. We enjoy being outdoors, gardening and reading. And if we're near a body of water, you can safely assume that we'll be jumping in! I love to cook, and am always looking for new dishes I can add my own twist to."

Journey Elder

Smoky Valley Coach

"I am Journey Elder and I come to StepMC with a background in trauma, domestic and sexual violence advocacy, and poverty. As the Smoky Valley Coach, my aim is to create connections so the stories of the community can make a difference in our little piece of the world. I am an Army Veteran who served for eight years and deployed in 2011-2012 to help withdraw troops from Iraq and currently a volunteer with the Crisis Text Line. I have two children who provide plenty of laughs and funny anecdotes with their silly antics that usually involves a dance or song. I am an avid reader, world traveler, and writer who loves trying new experiences (like skydiving or swimming with dolphins!) However, I’m also always up for a board game night or a book recommendation. One final note: I am an animal lover and never turn down looking at cute animal picture."

Sherrie Rickerson

McPherson Coach

"I have been the McPherson Coach since 2017.I grew up in poverty, moving probably once a year. In 2013, I had a broken down car, no license due to driving without insurance (I couldn't afford it), lost my out of town job due to no car, rent almost due, and 2 children in elementary school. I was scared and felt incredibly alone. I didn't think anyone could understand the struggles I had. I thought I was a failure. Then I joined STEPMC.Through a lot of hard work, supportive relationships, and time, I overcame poverty. I have now gone to college, and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA. I deeply believe in this organization and the work we do, ENDING poverty, one family at a time."

Tomi Simmons

Organizational Development VISTA

"I am a senior at McPherson College, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Communications.I am originally from Las Vegas but primarily lives in McPherson, Kansas now. I have been an editor for the school newspaper and creative journal, which is a nod to my passion for writing and poetry.

Neisha Dahlstrom


“I believe that we really can end poverty one family at a time and at the same time build stronger and more compassionate communities through STEPMC.”

Kenan Warren

Vice President

"I enjoy working with STEPMC because, as a community banker, I realize the stress that financial hardship puts on individuals and their families."

Jay Goering

"It gives me perspective that by birth I am middle class and most of the others are in their situation also by birth. STEPMC helps all of us to relate to each other and improve us all."

Brenda Sales

"Seeing the growth of the organization and the number of families who have successfully left poverty, I know this program works!"

Meet the STEPMC Board of Directors

Sandy Hunter

"I value the positive, supportive environment where all participants are learning and growing. I believe this organization makes the community stronger by encouraging friendships and deeper understanding among people of all economic classes."

Tammy Cook

"STEPMC is a very important program in the community helping transform lives. My hope is that every family whose lives are touched by the program will then share their story to help others in our community. Being a teacher I see many families struggle every day to make ends meet, but with strong community relationships we can help each other and build each other up to end poverty."

Monica Rice

"I've head the story of the positive impact of STEPMC since I moved to Kansas in 2016. I believe strongly in this approach to engage and build relationship with those living in poverty. In building these relationships we all have an opportunity to learn from one another and support each other no matter our current situation."

Beth Versaw


"I am involved with STEPMC because of the program mission and values - 'Transforming lives through relationships.' The idea of walking with an individual to support their journey out of poverty speaks to my sense of responsibility in my community."

Danny O'Dell

"I first heard about STEPMC's work at a soup supper where Team Leaders told their stories. I was so impressed. I had walked through many of those same situations in my own life and I knew I needed to become involved."

Steve Kaufman


"I am inspired by the sense of community that is a keynote to STEPMC."

Debbie Gieselman

"I became involved with STEPMC because as a college counselor and advisor, I saw how many barriers students in poverty were facing. It is exciting to be part of an organization that provides support and reduces barriers, so individuals can reach their educational and career goals."

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STEPMC is a proud affiliate of the McPherson County Community Foundation