Board Members

Board Members

Cynthia Whiteaker

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President and Board Member, Founding Member

Cynthia has been a small business owner for 10 years. Her background includes administration, management, supervision and leadership. For 7 years, Cynthia was the Sales Manager for Kobussen Buses where she developed and expedited new sales for the Dane County area and established over 1 million dollars in sales. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing the “Stuff the Bus” yearly program to raise school supplies for students in the Sun Prairie School District. She has also volunteered and helped develop Sunshine Connections through Sunshine Place. Cynthia has also played an instrumental role in the Sun Prairie Area Community Help Program and provided free transportation for families after receiving their gifts and food. Cynthia and her husband Jim attend City Church in Madison, WI.

Rick Martin

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Board Member

Rick has been a business owner in Dane County for over 25 years. He has extensive experience in financial planning and budgeting and is currently a realtor. He takes pride in helping those with special needs throughout his career. He is the leader of Celebrate Recovery at Heartland Church in Sun Prairie – a biblical and balanced program that can help overcome your hurts, habits, and hang ups, and attends Heartland Community Church.

Steven Erickson

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Board Member

Steve has been a Financial Advisor since 1985 and with Thrivent Financial since 1991 helping clients with retirement, investment, legacy, and education. He is a member of the Thrivent Financial Hall of Fame and the Pinnacle Leaders Group. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from UW-Whitewater and several licenses including Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam, FINRA Series 07 General Securities Representative, and FINRA Series 65 Uniform Investment Advisor. In 2016, Steve was awarded the InFaith Voices in Philanthropy Award. He was also a Church Elder at Christ Memorial and very involved with Habitat International. Steve and his wife Kim attend Door Creek Church.

Michelle Hanley

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Finance Manager and Board Member

Michelle has been a business owner for over ten years in the Sun Prairie community. Her experience includes procurement, budgeting, forecasting, profit and loss, and new venture approval in telecommunications for fifteen years. Michelle was actively involved in several volunteer roles for the local non-profit Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) in Dane County as a member of their Capital Campaign, Chair of the Celebrate Independence Committee, Donation Room Assistant, and a C.A.P.E. (Community Awareness and Prevention Education) Advocate. In 2015 she was awarded the Phoenix Award by DAIS for bravery in telling her story of abuse to help others who have experienced domestic violence. She attends Heartland Community Church.

Hope Bennet

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Board Member, Founding Member

Hope is a founding board member of Shelter From The Storm Ministries. She is currently serving as Staff Pastor at Focus Church in Sun Prairie and has been in that role since 2010. Prior to her role as pastor, she served 25 years as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She spent the last eight years of her nursing career working for Infinite Ability of Sun Prairie as a medical coordinator for clients with traumatic brain injury.

Hope has nineteen siblings and has been married for 46 years. She has three children and eight grandchildren. She and her husband James were treatment foster parents for fifteen years and fostered 51 children during that time.

Hope has a passion for Sun Prairie and has been involved in building community with her involvement in the Vandenberg Carnival, Camp Tuesday (a summer camp for children in local apartment complex), Sunshine Supper and Stuff the Bus.

No matter which area of ministry, Hope’s desire is to share God’s love and to inspire others to “get up one more time.”