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Board & Staff

  • Denise Lester
    Denise Lester

    Founder and Executive Director

    Denise have 10 years of experience in ministering to the sexually exploited in Kansas City, MO and abroad. Her experience involves outreach, housing, restoration, counseling, and training. Rodger and Denise were key contributors to the establishment of a House of Prayer located in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil that reaches victims of human trafficking in the oldest Red Light District, Villa Mimosa. Denise is also dedicated to the process of holistic and trauma-informed healing for victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and prostitution. Rodger and Denise have a heart for the fatherless and the sexually abused. They desire to see all people have an opportunity to restore their lives with the help of their community.

    Denise is a member of Kansas City, Johnson County, and Missouri State Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation. She is also a Missouri Secretary of State's Safe Home Program Applicant Assistant and a foster mom.

  • Rodger Lester

    Vice President

  • Kathrine Bice


  • Jennifer Green, BSN, BA, RN, SANE

    Board Member

    Jennifer has worked for Saint Luke’s Health System for over 19 years in Intensive Care, the Emergency Department, and Critical Care. She is currently the Clinical Forensic Care Program Manager for the Saint Luke’s Health System over 14 hospitals. She's been a SANE/Forensic Nurse for 12 years and provided thousands of Forensic Exams to patient’s that have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, strangulation, child abuse/neglect, elder abuse/neglect, and assault. She is an expert witness, provider, and researcher for strangulation, choking and suffocation and has trained more than 4000 police officers, prosecutors, advocates, and health care professionals in anatomy, physiology, assessment, and documentation of strangulation, choking, and suffocation. She provides expert testimony in multiple jurisdictions in Kansas City.

  • Michelle Mathia (Pettijohn), L.S.C.S.W

    Board Member

    Michelle is a Kansas City native. She earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas in 1998. She received her License to practice Specialized Clinical Social Work (LSCSW) in 2000, and is licensed to practice in both Kansas and Missouri. Michelle has a passion for helping those afflicted by addiction to find lasting freedom and recovery. She has clinical experience in Addiction Recovery, Substance Use Disorder, and Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Treatment, within both in-patient, as well as out-patient treatment settings. In addition to her work in the field of Addiction and Mental Health, Michelle has served individuals and couples in out-patient therapy for a variety of issues, including marital discord, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, OCD, chemical and behavioral addictions/overuse/abuse, shame, parenting, and struggles around spirituality and faith. She has received additional training in Gambling Addiction, as well as Bowenian Family Systems Theory, and is currently in the process of completing the Gottman Method Couples Therapy Training Program, through The Gottman Institute.

  • Jason Porter

    Board Member

    Jason is an ordained minister and pastor of 1C22 church. He began his work in ministry 25 years ago as a full-time traveling youth evangelist and musician with Fish Ministries/Fish TV. From there, the Lord called him to operate in a local capacity, so Porter ceased traveling and began ministering as a worship leader for various congregations. In 2007, he founded Abraham’s Promise, a charity for the poor, orphans, widows, and victims of terror in Israel.

  • Danny Slaven

    Board Member

  • Valerie McCracken

    Board Member