Peter McGaffigan, Chair, Executive Committee

Peter is a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager with the Wells Fargo Private Bank 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 B.A. in economics from Lawrence University, his M.B.A. with a focus in finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and his D.B.A. from Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. In addition to his full-time position with Wells Fargo, Peter is an adjunct finance instructor for undergraduate students (Oglethorpe) and graduate students (American Intercontinental University). As a father of three, Peter is passionate about helping vulnerable youth succeed in life.

Paul Freudenstein, Treasurer, Executive Committee

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.

Melissa Lindh, Executive 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.

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.

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.

Dr. Sharon Hill, Operations Committee

Dr. Hill brings an extensive professional background to the Goshen Valley Foundation. 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.

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.

Joe Lukas, Operations Committee

Growing up Lutheran in Milwaukee, WI my parents instilled in me two very fundamental beliefs. First, you will encounter people everywhere you go that are much less fortunate than you. They are not to be ignored. Second, realize that no matter your stage in life, you will always have gifts to share with others. Seize every opportunity to do so. As I have kept these lessons from my early adolescence near to my heart well into my adult years, it is little wonder why I have grown so fond of the people and mission of Goshen Valley. Staying true to one’s faith, no matter what the obstacle, is the key to a brighter future. Never was the more evident to me than when I leaned on my church families at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Atlanta and my home church in Milwaukee as I was battling cancer 6 years ago.  Without their steadfast support, I’m not sure I would have pulled through.  It is those same deep, loving bonds that I have witnessed at Goshen. Whether it has been participating in a workday at the ranch, attending one of Goshen’s dedication ceremonies, or listening to the staff’s vision for future development, everyone associated with Goshen has a true passion for the people and communities it serves. It is truly an honor and blessing to be able to serve with such a faithful group of saints.

In the first Book of Acts, Barnabas and Saul are overjoyed as they are called upon to serve as Christ’s first missionaries. It is with that same dutiful vigor that I feel called to serve the Goshen community. Over the years, I have been fortunate to cultivate lasting friendships with the staff and families at Goshen. These bonds have helped me grow in my faith, as I continue to see so many success stories from its graduates. In my professional career as a Senior Controller for a major logistics company, I am regularly tasked with assessing the current landscape and offering strategic recommendations for process improvement moving forward. As I ponder the future of Goshen, it is difficult to contain my excitement. While its founders have successfully created the gold standard in foster care, there are also endless opportunities for growth. In closing, I feel both called and motivated to serve at Goshen and, in true Lukas fashion, to give back.

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. 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.

Dana Matiak, Operations Committee

Dana is President and Executive Director of Matiak Foundation and former co-owner of R & D Mechanical Services, Inc. Dana has served in several nonprofit leadership positions and has a passion and heart to serve others. These past leadership roles have allowed her the opportunity to work with local schools, businesses and other ministries to coordinate volunteer opportunities for individuals. Dana has served alongside her husband Robbie as small group leaders for the last 18 years. Robbie and Dana attend Woodstock City Church, they have two children, both married, and they have two beautiful granddaughters. Dana enjoys working out, gardening, traveling, being a Mimi and taking care of their fur baby Belle.

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.

Brian Spivey, Operations Committee

Brian Spivey, Managing Partner with Technical & Scientific Application, is a 25+ year IT veteran.  In Brian’s role as Managing Partner, his responsibilities include partnering with the executive team to define TSA’s corporate business strategy, major manufacturer alignment, and actively managing the TSA Atlanta office.

Brian’s faith and family come above all else. He has two children, Blake and Brayden, and a wonderful wife Theresa. Brayden is a sophomore at Cherokee High School where he is a member of the band and swim team. He is also highly involved with lighting and production at First Baptist Church Woodstock. Brian’s younger son, Blake, is an 8th grader at Freedom Middle School. Blake is a jack of all trades, with his focus on baseball, basketball, and golf.

The Spivey’s are members at First Baptist Church Woodstock. It was here that Brian was first introduced to Goshen Valley. His Sunday School class was working on giving back to the community as part of the LoveLoud program and had the opportunity to build a deck at the Goshen Valley Boys Ranch. Brian was moved by the work Goshen Valley was doing and has been a loyal supporter ever since.

Brian and his business partner Matt Wrenn joined TSA in 2013.  Both Matt and Brian were committed to supporting their communities – focusing on faith based organizations.  The Atlanta office works closely with MUST Ministries and Goshen Valley. Every year, TSA hosts two charity golf tournaments where all proceeds go directly to benefiting these charities and supporting their efforts.

Brian is very focused on his faith, family and spending time with his family.

Education:  Auburn University, 1991-1995

Hobbies/Interests:  Baseball, Hunting, Fishing, Boating

Sports Teams:  Auburn Tigers and Atlanta Braves

John W. Blend III, Consultant to the Board

John W. Blend, III is founder 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.

John Zachary Blend, CEO, Ex-Officio

Zach Blend has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Goshen Valley Foundation since January 2016.  Zach has 12 years of experience working for Goshen Valley within all aspects of the organization. Under Zach’s executive leadership, the Goshen Valley Foundation has grown to include four operating agencies (Goshen Valley Boys Ranch, Goshen New Beginnings, Goshen Homes and Goshen Therapeutic Services) that are all focused on a specific demographic within the Georgia state foster care system. Zach has a BA in Sociology from Rollins College, a Graduate Certificate in Christian Studies from Fuller Seminary, and an MBA from Reinhardt University. In recent years Zach served as an adjunct professor at the McCamish School of Business at Reinhardt University. Zach was recognized in 2014 as one of Cherokee County’s Top 10 in 10 and, in that same year, one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40. In 2018, Zach was recognized as an Angel in Adoption award recipient by the United States Congress for his work related to child welfare in the state of Georgia. Also in 2018, Zach was honored as a Most Distinguished Alumni by Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. Zach serves on the Board of Directors of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, Canton Rotary Club and the President’s Council of Reinhardt University. Zach and his wife Rachel live in Holly Springs, GA and have three children: Norah (10), Maren (7) and Jack (4). Zach is an avid Atlanta sports fan and enjoys playing golf and coaching youth sports in his free time.