Session Leader Bios (A-Z order)

Robb and Nichole Barth


Robb and Nichole are the proud parents of 3 adopted children. They share an Open Adoption Plan with their children’s biological families that includes regular visits and celebrating holidays and special occasions. 

They feel incredibly blessed by the way God has blended their adoptive and biological families together.

Kristin Depola


Kristin was born and raised in Hampton Roads.  After graduating from private school she began working full time, rather than the traditional route of pursuing a college degree.  Today, she works in Legal Real Estate as a Lease Negotiator.  Kristin has been a longtime friend & volunteer leader within her church and affiliated organizations.   

She has volunteered for countless hours in various capacities. Kristin has handled numerous administrative tasks, assisted with foundation campaigns, helped plan and run events, spoken with hundreds of supporters sharing the vision and mission of the respective organization, and helped educate about adoption and the value of life. 

As a birth mom and passionate pro-life woman, Kristin has been recently named a board member for The Radiance Foundation.

Denise Gallop


Denise is the Assistant Director of the Norfolk Department of Human Services (NDHS), overseeing the many diverse programs offered by Human Services. 

She has served passionately within the field of human services for the past 25 years and started her tenure with Norfolk in February 2015. 

Denise is a proud product of kinship care, raised by her great grandmother, Vi. She raised her from 6 months old and lived long enough to see her prayers come to pass.

Denise is able to draw on her personal and professional experiences to most effectively serve kids and families in the city of Norfolk.

Angie Grant


Stan and his wife, Angie, have pastored Clover Hill Assembly of God in Midlothian, Virginia for the last 22 years. Angie serves on staff as the Family Resource Director as well as the Executive Director of Clover Hill Christian Academy. She also plays an active role as Advocate for The Forgotten Initiative, an organization that mobilizes the body of Christ to be involved in orphan care through local foster systems.

Angie also is a certified Empowered to Connect Parent Trainer and has her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies.  This role helps her breathe life into parents who are parenting kids from hard places.  She finds great joy in sharing practical tools that promote healing.

Angie is passionate about the power of family. Her greatest joy, outside of Jesus and Stan, are the four that call her Mom - three biological and one through the gift of adoption. 

As a foster and adoptive parent herself, she understands the challenges that families face on a daily basis.  She shares first hand her own experiences. You will leave strengthened and hopeful. 

Pete and Leila Gunning


Pete and Leila live in Richmond VA and have adopted 3 children and fostered numerous others. They began the journey of fostering, adopting, and working with the biological/birth mothers of their children in 2012.

Patty was the mother of the first child Pete and Leila fostered. She left them with a deep commitment to hear the stories behind each birth mother and to help these women encounter God’s grace and healing. In 2016 they were led to start a Christian nonprofit organization focused on help, hope and healing for biological mothers of children in foster care called Patty’s Hope.

Rebekah Hall


Rebekah Hall is an adult adoptee who was adopted at birth, domestically. She has her Master’s in Social Work, has received training as a Trust Based Relational Practitioner (TBRI), and has worked in the adoption field since 2008.  

She has experience in pregnancy counseling, domestic adoption, international adoption, and post adoption services.  

Since 2014, she has been the Director of Adoption & Child Welfare for Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia. Rebekah loves to help educate and support adoptive families throughout their adoption journey.

Erin Heath


Erin graduated VCU with a Bachelors of Arts in theater and education and, subsequently,  graduated William and Mary with her Masters of Arts in Education for special education K-12. Erin is currently a special education inclusion teacher for K-1 for Norfolk Public Schools. 

She has been a special education teacher for over ten years and has worked with several students with varying disabilities, trauma backgrounds, children who have been adopted, are in the adoption process and children in the foster care system. 

She and her husband, Dan, are currently approved and in the waiting phase as they long to grow their family through adoption.   

In Erin's own words: "I feel that our many experiences in this roller coaster ride that is building a family, has given me a unique and relatable perspective when I’m interacting with parents and guardians in similar situations.  A big part of what I do is working with the parents/guardians and helping them navigate the special education process, guide them in their rights and to become strong vocal advocates for their children. Teaching is truly a work of heart."

Jason Johnson


Jason is a writer and speaker who encourages families and equips churches in their foster care and adoption journeys so they can find the hope and support they need along the way.

Jason currently serves as the Director of Church Ministry Initiatives with Christian Alliance for Orphans. In his work he speaks and teaches at churches, conferences, forums and workshops on church-based ministry strategies and best practices as well as encouraging families that are in the trenches and those that are considering getting involved. 

Jason and his wife, Emily, have four daughters and he has authored 3 books: Reframing Foster Care, Everyone Can do Something, and ALL IN Orphan Care. 

Janet Kelly


In 2010, Janet Kelly was sworn in as the Secretary of the Commonwealth and, because of their personal adoption story, the Governor tasked Janet and her husband, Ryan, with leading the “Virginia Adopts: Campaign for 1000” in 2013. The campaign helped to match a record 1,041 foster children with adoptive families in the last year of the Administration. 

Janet set a record in 2005 for being the youngest female to manage a successful statewide campaign in Virginia.

Janet is the President of Virginia's Kids Belong and Vice President of America's Kids Belong. Ryan and Janet recently left 20 year careers in politics to work full-time in the foster care and adoption space helping the faith community and government work together in the best interests of children. 

John Moore


John Moore and his wife, Terri, adopted seven children from the Los Angeles County foster care system. After a career in film and television, John has served in foster care/adoption ministry since 2006, first with Hope For Orphans (FamilyLife) and most recently with Southern California-based Home Forever.

John is a regular speaker and writer at churches and conferences across the United States, including the Focus on the Family Wait No More events. He is passionate about the body of Christ working together across ministries and local churches to serve the needs of the local foster care system.

John Murray


John is the owner and CEO of Families First of Virginia. He has a Bachelors of Psychology from Elon University and a Masters of Social Work from Norfolk State University. In addition to his degrees, John is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Structural Family Therapy, Family Regulatory Therapy, Neuroscience, and Neurofeedback. 

His 30 years of research and education has allowed him to become a professional consultant and educator with the knowledge of how the human brain responds to triggers and solutions.

Randall and Kelley Nichols


Randall and Kelley Nichols are parents to five children ranging in age from three to sixteen. Two of their children have lifelong special needs. They’ve been in ministry for 23 years and are founders of ECHO Orphancare Partners, dedicated to resourcing foster and adoptive families to help ensure success. 

Melvin Roy


While in the foster care system, Melvin has done some extraordinary things. He currently serves as Vice President on an advocacy group called SpeakOut which helps to bring many issues in Virginia’s foster care system to Legislature.

Melvin is also very involved in his Independent placement agency UMFS where he works with Project Life which helps youth by providing critical skills they will need when they transition out of care. Within Project life, he has been able to help facilitate workshops and engage in various speaking engagements to help build up other foster youth.

Melvin currently attends Old Dominion University where he is studying in criminal justice and human services with the hopes of working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While working to obtain his bachelor’s degree, he has created an organization called Foster-U which seeks to help foster youth strive for higher education.

Melvin is a resilient young leader with the determination to create world change. He has always committed to bettering himself and his current/former foster youth peers; it’s not what you went through that defines you, it’s what you learn from the situation, that shapes you.

Michele Schneidler


Michele is the Director of Programs and Partnerships at Chosen & Dearly Loved. Through her role there, she is forming a coalition to reverse the global orphan crisis by strengthening and preserving families. 

Michele is also the President and COO of 1MillionHome, where she leads growth strategy implementation, high-performance team building, and process improvement.

Since adopting three children with her husband, Andrew, Michele has served over 12 years in orphan care leadership in the Seattle area. As Orphan Care Pastor at Overlake Christian Church, she co-founded the Refresh Conference. This conference started in year one with 175 foster and adoptive families and has now expanded beyond Seattle to Kansas City and Chicago with over 2,500 families represented in 2018.

Nina Schroder


Nina Schroder is a college mental health therapist at Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, she is a researcher and speaker on the effects of digital screen overuse on mental health, emotional resilience and well-being. With passion and grace, Nina utilizes research knowledge and her clinical experience to inspire motivation for social change and empower wise decision-making for living well in an age of increased stress and distractions from the things of life that matter most.   

She speaks regionally and nationally about digital screen use, emotional resilience, well-being and personal growth to a variety of audiences including university students, staff and faculty, professional organizations, upper and lower school communities, parent organizations, faith communities, and sports teams.

Kevin Tremper


Kevin has been the lead pastor at CrossRoads Church in Norfolk, Va. since 2005. Before that, he received his Bachelors of Arts in History at ODU and served as a church planting missionary, with his wife, in Venezuela for 2 years. 

He has been pursuing a Masters of Divinity through Southeastern Theological Seminary and serves on multiple boards throughout the city – the University Chaplains Association at ODU, The Globe House at ODU, and Renaissance Movement Music.

Kevin and his wife, Lauren, have 5 children together. Three of them are "homegrown" and two are adopted through foster care. They founded the Entrusted Network while pursuing their second adoption and realizing a deep need for more foster care and adoption support and community throughout Virginia.