John W. Blend III, Chair

John W. Blend, III is founder and chair of the Goshen Valley Foundation. In the past four decades, John has served a variety of roles in capital formation and entrepreneurial activities. John began his career at IBM, then moved on to building technology companies, while serving on numerous public and private Boards of Directors. John graduated from Muhlenberg College, with an AB in Social Sciences. John is a past president and chair of Together Georgia, a statewide association of over 100 leading national and local child welfare providers. John is a past Trustee at Muhlenberg College and serves as a Lifetime Council member at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.

Peter McGaffigan, Vice Chair

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 received his BA in economics from Lawrence University and his M.B.A. with a focus in finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. 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.

Paul Freudenstein, Treasurer

For 33 years Paul worked for Fulton County School System as a teacher, where he taught Drafting, Electronics and the last 15 years Computer Science and developed a heart for meeting the needs of at-risk youth. After retirement Paul worked for Redeemer Lutheran Church as Director of Operations, overseeing the operational budget. Since 2002, Paul was one of Goshen Valley’s original volunteers, helping to coordinate and oversee large-scale, volunteer-led facilities projects with groups such as First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Family Christian Stores and Home Depot. 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 is a Client Engagement Manager for Aderant Technologies and has worked in the Information Technology and Financial Services industries for more than 26 years. Allison and her family established the Alice Smith Memorial Fund at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch in 2009 in memory of their mother. Allison has a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics and a Minor in Economics from Colorado State and a Master of Business Administration and Management of Technology from Georgia Tech. Allison has served Goshen Valley as the co-founder and organizer of an 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 Hermann has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California and a degree in law from Harvard Law School. Paul has practiced law for over 39 years with various firms and currently owns his own private practice. As an experienced lawyer and social advocate, Paul has a keen eye for risk management, policy and procedure and general legal matters. Paul has over 37 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.

Don McDonnell, Development Committee Chair

Don McDonnell, M.B.A., has received extensive training in engineering, communications, and intelligence serving as a lieutenant in the United States Navy. Don brings two decades of technology management experience to his current role at The McDonnell Group. Don served as chief marketing officer of CES International, now Oracle network management, pioneering utility distribution system concepts that now underpin many smart grid programs across the industry. Don began a relationship with Goshen Valley in 2006 when he helped organize and launch the first annual Goshen Valley Classic.  Since then, Don has been the co-organizational leader of this event, which is Goshen Valley’s largest yearly fundraiser.

C. Richard Kennedy, Operations Committee

Richard Kennedy is a power industry executive and professor at Kennesaw State University. He is a leader in the community and at his church, First Baptist Church of Woodstock. Richard has been involved with Goshen Valley for over 9 years in various capacities. 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. Since the summer of 2016, through her role as Academic Director, Georgia State University: Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative, Dr. Hill has brought 50 young adult leaders from Africa to visit Goshen Valley and learn about the value between a private and public partnership.

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 for Universal Alloy Corporation in the HR department. 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.

Mrs. Melissa Lindh, Operations Committee

Melissa is the CFO of Universal Alloy Corporation (UAC) and has been a part of their team since 2011. Melissa began volunteering for Goshen Valley in 2014 when UAC became a strategic community partner of Goshen Valley. Melissa has 2 children and a great compassion for intervening early in the lives of kids from hard places. She understands the dedication and community involvement it takes to move at-risk children to a life of stability and purpose. Melissa also works directly with Goshen Valley alumni and current clients employed at UAC in areas of HR and Finance.

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.