Mr. John W. Blend III, Chair

John Blend founded Goshen Valley Foundation in 1998.  Shortly after, in 2002, John opened Goshen Valley Boys Ranch along with the help of an advisory board and community advocates.  John has devoted a significant amount of his time and resources to GVF for the past 15 years and continues to chair the Board of Trustees.  John now spends part of his time as the President of Together Georgia where he can be a part of public policy and legislative action within the Division of Family and Children Services.

Previous to opening Goshen Valley, John spent 20 years in the private business sector.  John has taken several companies public, and he uses this business experience to navigate the world of non-profits.  John also is a Director on the Cherokee County YMCA Board and is a past Trustee of his alma mater, Muhlenberg College.

Mr. Peter McGaffigan, Vice Chair

As a father of teenagers, Peter has had a commitment to helping other teenagers in need for a number of years.  Peter is a Senior Investment Strategist at Wells Fargo and brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to the day-to-day operations of Goshen Valley as well as the financial support needed to create best outcomes.  Peter enjoys volunteering with his family at Goshen Valley’s many service events.

 Mr. Paul Freudenstein, Treasurer

Paul has been a dedicated volunteer at Goshen Valley since its doors opened in 2002.  As a retired high school teacher, Paul desired to continue impacting the lives of young people and made a commitment to serve Goshen Valley through his various skills of gardening, landscaping and facilities management.

Allison Smith, Operations Committee

Allison has served Goshen Valley as the co-founder and organizer of the   Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show.  This benefits her late mother, Alice Smith, who was a long-time supporter of Goshen Valley.  Allison brings her business experience as a Senior Analyst at IBM, as well as her passion for helping the hurting, to Goshen Valley.  Allison has brought many other volunteers to Goshen Valley because of her passion for this ministry.

Paul Hermann, Operations Committee

Paul has over 36 years of experience as a practicing attorney.  His unique professional abilities have aided Goshen Valley in better understanding the legal system, and his passion for supporting those in need has been evident in his support of Goshen Valley.  Paul is helpful in providing insight and direction from his experience in private practice.

Mr. Don McDonnell, Development Committee Chair

Don began a relationship with Goshen Valley in 2006 when he helped organize and launch the first annual Goshen Valley Classic.  Don has served for 10 years as the organizational leader of this event, which is Goshen Valley’s largest yearly fundraiser.  Don is the CEO of the McDonnell Group, a marketing corporation that works with companies in the energy and utility sectors.  He uses these keen marketing and business skills to help bring significant leadership to Goshen Valley.

Mr. C. Richard Kennedy, Operations Committee

Richard has been invested at Goshen Valley since 2010 when he led his church, First Baptist Church of Woodstock, in a 3-day, 300 person service event.  His relationship with Goshen Valley grew, and he became an informal advisor before becoming an official board member.  Richard works in the power industry and serves as a mentor for many people in the community.  Richard’s depth of character and consistency serve Goshen Valley as he guides operational decisions.

Dr. Sharon Hill, Operations Committee

Dr. Hill, new to the Board of Trustees as of January 2017, brings an extensive professional background. Currently Dr. Hill is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Andrew Young School of Policy. She has her Ph.D. in Public and Urban Administration. Dr. Hill has recently served as the Director of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) for the state of Georgia. She has also served the Department of Human Resources as Project Manager/Risk and Director of Federal Regulations and Data. In the summer of 2016, through her role as Academic Director, Georgia State University: Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative, Dr. Hill brought 50 young adult leaders from Africa to visit Goshen Valley and learn about the value between a private and public partnership.

Mr. Chase Chitwood, Operations Committee

An alumnus of Goshen Valley, Chase has a BA in Business Administration from Reinhardt University. Chase is a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps and works with Jennifer Anglin, ALFA Insurance. Chase has served as a foster care advocate in a variety of ways including MAAC (Mulit-Agency Alliance for Children) EmpowerMEnt. Chase hopes to improve processes and outcomes for youth in foster care as he not only serves on the Board of Trustees, but helps to influence public policy and mentor current foster youth.

Mr. John Zachary Blend, CEO, Ex-Officio

Zach Blend has been working at GVF and with Goshen Valley Boys Ranch for 10 years.  Starting as a Summer Academy Director, Zach has served as Development Director and most recently as the Boys Ranch Director where he provided direction and support to all house parents and residents.

Zach has a BA in Sociology from Rollins College where he was awarded the Stanley Birge Award, the highest honor of excellence given nationally within the Chi Psi Fraternity.  Zach has an MBA from Reinhardt University. He spent 4 years previous to his work at Goshen Valley in various forms of youth development, including coaching baseball at Holy Innocents Episcopal School, mentoring and counseling.  In addition, Zach has keen management experience working at a hiring services agency where he hired and oversaw over 100 employees for 5 different companies.

In 2014 Zach was named to the Cherokee County “10 in 10” young leaders award and Georgia Trend Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” award. He serves on the Cherokee County Education Foundation board, the Chattahoochee Technical College President’s Circle and is a member of the Canton Rotary.