Congregation Council & Preschool board

2017-2018


  • Gail andrews, president

    congregation council

    I’m a long-term member of POP, having gone through Sunday School, Confirmation, Luther League, burying my parents and finally getting married. POP and its warm fellowship represent a constant comfort to me amid life’s on-going changes. Having served on a variety of committees, I am honored to once again serve you as Council President. As a co-owner of Custom Financial Design, I’ve enjoyed 28 years helping people gain financial peace and making sense of their retirement. I’m happily married to Geno Forman who has gifted me with two very special “bonus children” and three loving grandchildren. My daily motto: have gratitude for and learn something, bestow a kindness unto another, and pray.

  • Gwen jacobs, president-elect

    congregation council

    Born and raised in Chicago, I had a solid upbringing in the Methodist Church with brilliant memories of First Communion, active Sunday School, Confirmation, and Youth Group Excursions. I met Mike Jacobs at University of Illinois (Go Illini!) in the early 80s and we celebrate 34 years of marriage this June. Moving all over the country pursuing career goals was difficult but character building. Mike and I always had our faith to ground us but it wasn’t until we had children that we became actively involved in a local church community as we wanted our children to have a faith-based upbringing. Our sons, Mickey and Matt, both enlisted in the Marine Corps and we couldn’t be prouder. Mickey has retired from the Corps and provided us with a beautiful daughter-in-law, Sue. Sgt. Matthew Jacobs is currently deployed. I’ve served on the Council at Immanuel Lutheran in California in several different capacities and will never forget some “wise” advise I received there — ask not what your church community can do for you but what you can do for your church community. We are stronger, in every way, together.

  • jack ranby, vice president, chair personnel committee

    congregation council

    I am a long-time resident of Arcadia having attended Kachina Elementary and Arcadia HS. I have been a member of POP since 1992. I am married with two adult sons. I am a recovering attorney, having worked in the Tax Division of the Arizona Attorney’s Office for nearly 30 years. I also was a Judge Advocate in the Air Force, with active and reserve duty spanning 33 years. My final assignment was at Air Force Space Command as the Senior Reserve Judge Advocate. When not helping run the audio system at POP, I am busy planning my next sailing adventure.

  • anita thorne, secretary

    congregation council

    My family and I relocated to Arizona from the Pittsburgh area in 1984 due to my husband's job promotion. I've spent most of my nursing career as a nursing instructor. In Arizona, I was employed by ASU College of Nursing where I had students at Scottsdale-Osborn. I am a widow, both sons are deceased, and I have a daughter and two grandchildren in the area. When I retired from ASU, I began volunteering with Scottsdale Healthcare Auxiliary/Osborn campus and am a past president of the organization. Currently I volunteer in outpatient surgery and the trauma ICU family waiting room at Osborn. I recently retired as secretary of my HOA after many years. I still volunteer as an usher for Gammage and Scottsdale Center for the Arts. As to POP, I am a past president of the Foundation, current chair of Altar Guild, volunteer in the office weekly, and have served on Council as a member-at-large for the past three years. My interests are opera, knitting, reading and traveling.

  • les holland, treasurer

    congregation council

    I was born and grew up in southern Illinois; 4-H Club member for 10 years, winning 3 National Awards; BSEE (Electrical Engineering), 1966, University of Illinois; Knights of St. Pat (College of Engineering award to Graduating Seniors for service to the College, 8-15 per year).I worked at several Phoenix-area Motorola locations for ~25 years in Computer Programming and Engineering Management where I used Interactive Computer Graphics to solve complex problems. Life Member: Mensa, University of Illinois Alumni Association; IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), Computer Society, Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi. Member of POP since 1973. CT/RTC (Choice Theory/Reality Therapy Certification) from the William Glasser Institute, 2011.

  • steve edgar, member at large

    congregation council

    I have been a member of Prince of Peace since 1959, having grown up in the church community. Over the years I have served on numerous Church Councils, Preschool Boards, Church Committees. I head up the Rock-N-Roll Marathon water stations, have been a member of the Packathon Committee for three years, and can usually be seen flipping hamburgers at POP Street Fairs or picnics. During the week, I am a self-employed paint contractor, have been married to Laurel Edgar for 35 years, and am father to two adult children. I love to garden, cook, travel and all things wine. Prince of Peace's outreach to the community through the preschool and in various service activities that help us share our love of Christ outside the sanctuary are of prime importance to me.

  • carrie goodman, member at large

    congregation council

    My family and I are very happy to have found a home here at Prince of Peace. Born in Los Angeles, I was baptized in a United Church of Christ church. My parents later moved our family to Bullhead City, AZ where I was very involved at Hope United Methodist Church and completed confirmation. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from NAU in 1995 and currently work in the Biltmore area. I have lived in Scottsdale/Phoenix for 22 years and had tried several churches in the area but never felt at home. My husband, Drew and I were married in 2006 and we have two beautiful children — Evan (10), Cailee (8). We found Prince of Peace when looking for a preschool for our kids. It has been a blessing and a joy to be part of such a wonderful church family. This will be my 3rd year serving on Church Council. My family and I continue to grow our faith in this place of grace. 

  • marilyn miller schmidlin,

    member at large

    congregation council

    Jim and I have lived in the Arcadia area for 56 years; have been members at POP for several years. I am a church office volunteer one afternoon a week.

    I am on two Foster Care Review Boards; on the Supreme Court Disciplinary Panel; in my 52nd year as a volunteer at the Honor Health Osborn Hospital; and on the Board of Directors for the Arcadia Camelback Neighborhood Assn. Jim and I are involved in various volunteer activities with Fiesta Bowl events and volunteer at spring training games; judges at the annual Arizona Science and Engineering Fair; volunteers with the Salvation Army. For many years I was a teacher and principal as well as on the faculty of Grand Canyon University. I have been on the faculty and teaching at the University of Phoenix for over 10 years. I am a member of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, Phi Delta Kappa and the National Science Assoc. I am also a past president of the Scottsdale Sweet Adelines. We enjoy traveling and have been from one end of the earth to the other, including the north and south poles. I believe the Church Council is an integral part of the church and represents the church in the community. I anticipate that I may be helpful in eliminating strife between congregational members during stressful moments.

  • dinky snell, member at large

    congregation council

    Dick and I have been members of Prince of Peace for 50 years. I have served on Council a number of times throughout the years and was President for one term. I have also taught Sunday school.

  • martha weld member at large

    congregation council

    I was born in England, brought up in the Roman Catholic faith. I married an American serviceman; we came to the US in 1959. Our first base was Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City, SD. I have two boys. My husband passed in April 1985. We moved around in the 23 years he was in the Air Force. I first came to AZ in 1971. In 1988 I took a job in Massachusetts with Marriott as a retail manager. I worked for them for over 20 years in MA, NM, and ended up in Phoenix Sky Harbor. I retired in 2002. A lady who lived in my complex needed a ride to church (Abiding Savior) so I took her. Rather than come back for her, I decided to stay. I enjoyed the service very much and the people were so warm and outgoing that eventually I became a member. I served as Church Council President twice and also as a Trustee. I was chairperson of the Altar Guild for four years. I came to Prince Of Peace in August 2013.

  • val kainass, president & treasurer

    preschool board

    I am originally from Milwaukee, WI and have been living in Phoenix for the past 20 years. I am employed by Salt River Project (SRP) and work in their technology area. My Computer Information Science degree is from St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI. I am married to Kris and together we have three children — Gwen (11), Brody (9), and Blake (5). My family became involved with Prince of Peace when our oldest child started at the Preschool and I have served on the Preschool Board for six of the last eight years. I love sports and still remain a loyal fan of many of my Wisconsin teams. I love to travel, play golf and spend time with my family (especially watching the kids play sports).


  • abby brown, secretary

    preschool board

    I was born and raised in a small town in Iowa and moved to Phoenix to do my student teaching in 2003. A year later I met my husband, Neal, and we now have three daughters. Harper and Kinzie are POP Preschool alums and currently attend Hopi, and Keaton is at POP Preschool. I hold a doctorate in education from Creighton University and am the middle school math academic coach for Scottsdale Unified School District.

  • janell (jan) beebe, member at large

    preschool board

    I have been a member of Prince of Peace for about eight years. When I joined the church, I lived just down the street, but have since moved to El Mirage so I have a bit of a commute! I moved to Arizona in 1989 from a lovely town in Illinois called Moline. Located on the Mississippi River, it happens to be the home of John Deere. I worked at John Deere Industrial Equipment for 15 years prior to coming to Arizona. I returned to college and, at 58, graduated with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood and certification in Family Services. After four years with Head Start, for the last nine years I have taught at Cross Roads Preschool and Kindergarten. I am a proud member of the Beebe family consisting of my son, Brad, daughter-in-law, Stephanie, and my three wonderful grandsons, Tyler, Parker and Cooper. My husband, Jim, passed away in 2002. My church, family and job keep me busy and fill my life with happiness!

  • josh hoffner, member at large

    preschool board

    I am a journalist for The Associated Press and the father of a 21-month-old boy, Miles, and a second on the way in June. My wife, Anna Jo, and I live in Arcadia near Prince of Peace. I grew up in North and South Dakota before becoming an editor and reporter for the AP in Bismarck, N.D. I later moved to New York City where I worked as an editor on the AP's national editing desk at its global headquarters in Manhattan, handling big stories such as the Sept. 11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. I also served as the NYC editor for the AP, overseeing about 30 reporters in the AP's largest domestic bureau. I moved to Arizona in 2009 where I helped launch the AP's West Regional operation based in downtown Phoenix. I now serve as Southwest News Editor and immigration editor for the AP. In my spare time, I enjoy writing and spending quality time with Anna Jo and little Miles. And I also enjoy sleep — something in short supply with a toddler, full-time job and a second child on the way. I am a lifelong Lutheran. My mom was a church organist and always active in the local congregation and my father once served as president of Trinity Lutheran Church in Yankton, S.D.

  • karen johnson, member at large

    preschool board

    My husband, Don, and I have been members of Prince of Peace since 2005. I thoroughly enjoyed serving on Preschool Board this past year and learned so much about its operation. I feel that my experience of 44 years of teaching elementary school (17 years in suburban Minneapolis and 27 years at Phoenix Country Day School), will continue to help give me insight into the needs and future programs of the POP Preschool. Since being at POP, I have sung in the choir, helped with both Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, presently serve on Altar Guild, am a member of Dorcas Circle, served as secretary of the Church Council under President Brad Hartman, and my husband and I usher a Sunday of every month. I feel that the Preschool is an important part of our church community and I would be honored to serve another year on  the board.

  • jim schmidlin, member at large

    preschool board

    I have served on the Preschool Board for one year and would like to continue being on it. I grew up in a Lutheran church in Ohio and was active in all aspects of Lutheran life. I was in the Coast Guard, stationed in the Great Lakes for four years. During the last nine years I have been in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. I am often on patrol on Arizona lakes and the Colorado River and am a Coast Guard First Responder. I spent 34 years working at Motorola, overseeing the building of Motorola plants. I am a volunteer at many Fiesta Bowl events, a judge at the Arizona State Science and Engineering Fair, and volunteer at spring training games. I hope that by being on the Preschool Board I can help maintain the excellent practices in place today, give children a firm basis for the future, and help the school grow in a new, innovative and exciting direction.