Heather Ehle | Founder & CEO
Twitter: @HeatherEhle_PS

Heather Ehle, founder, and chief executive officer of Project Sanctuary, is a Registered Nurse (RN) with more than 25 years of experience in the health care industry as a nurse, manager, volunteer and entrepreneur. She has extensive experience in the nonprofit health care system.

A proud single mother of three, Heather adopted a sibling pair through foster care.  She is driven by a strong desire to give back and do more. After reading that the rates of child abuse and neglect triple when a parent is deployed, Heather was moved to do something and founded Project Sanctuary in 2007. Being a civilian without direct ties to military families, she reached out to the community for support and education. Led by veterans and her board, she carefully listened to what the military families needed and then structured Project Sanctuary’s programs to meet those needs, pulling from her background as an RN to establish an evidence-based program that encompasses physical and emotional healing.

In 2010, Heather was a finalist for People Magazine’s All Stars Among Us.  In 2012, Project Sanctuary was honored at the White House as one of only five 2012 “Joining Forces Community Challenge Winners,” chosen out of over 300 nominees in recognition of its work with military families. In 2017 Heather was chosen and successfully completed Stanford University’s nonprofit, executive leadership training.

Geneva Templeton Moore | Chief Operating Officer
The daughter of a U.S. Navy veteran and granddaughter of a pre-World War II Army veteran, Geneva grew up in a family that valued service to country. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in international politics and law, she went into government service as a political appointee in Louisiana, gaining extensive experience in strategic planning, budgeting, legislative affairs, project management, marketing and public relations. Moving to Colorado led to a focus on marketing for private-sector companies before once again turning to a more service-oriented role, accepting a position with a nonprofit providing therapeutic recreation programs for individuals with disabilities. While with the organization, she learned firsthand about the needs of returning injured military and their families.

In 2008, Geneva was a key player in the initial development of a new concept for connecting military and their families to resources for transition in their home communities. The concept became a reality with establishment of a new, national nonprofit in July 2009, for which she became chief operating officer (COO).

In late 2011, Geneva took a 5-month sabbatical to travel and to serve as part of a nine-person team, including two OIF/OEF veterans, in support of quadruple amputee Kyle Maynard’s successful and historic January 2012 summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. After her sabbatical, Geneva began working with other military-serving nonprofits. Today she is honored to serve as COO for Project Sanctuary, overseeing operations, finances and marketing. Through her role with Project Sanctuary, Geneva is also an associate member of United Veterans Committee of Colorado and a board member of Colorado Serves.

Kara Pappas | Chief Development Officer
Kara Pappas has been managing nonprofit development initiatives since 2006, and has served as a military spouse since 2001. Prior to joining Project Sanctuary, Kara was the director of development at Longmont Humane Society where she oversaw all aspects of the organization’s fund development and community relations programming. While with the organization, she introduced tactics for a more sustainable and diverse public support strategy, ensuring best practices in donor research, cultivation, and stewardship.

From 2006 to 2014, Kara managed development programming for Larimer Humane Society, deploying countless campaigns for annual support and for major and planned giving. Kara was a key member of Larimer Humane Society’s Emergency Response Team during both the High Park Fire and September Flood disasters, coordinating dedicated response and resource management for community members and companion animals.

As the wife of an active duty military member having served four overseas deployments, Kara brings firsthand knowledge of the unique challenges military families face. She is proud to stand beside and work on behalf of families who answer this honorable calling.

Kara has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Technical Communication from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University.

Missy Hyatt, CTRS | Director of Programs
Missy finds joy in introducing other people to the healing properties of the outdoors and recreation. She truly believes those who play together- stay together.

Missy has been with Project Sanctuary since February 2011 where she began as Youth Services Coordinator. In 2012, Missy was promoted to full time to direct all retreat programming and manage volunteers.

As Director of Programs, she continues to direct retreat programming, oversees the retreat teams, and ensures a high-quality experience at each retreat location.

Missy has a bachelor’s degree in leisure services with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Missy previously worked in the Recreation Department at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Oklahoma and also spent three years working with children and adolescents in a behavioral health hospital.

Sophia V. Oliveira, M.S. | Grants & Development Coordinator
Sophia deeply supports outdoor recreation as a means of bringing families together to heal. Coming from an educational background in life sciences, she had opportunities to spend time out in nature, engaging others and seeing the power of this positive force in action.

Over the past five years, Sophia has gained experience working with nonprofits through data management, fundraising, and outreach. She came to Project Sanctuary after realizing the lack of complete support provided to entire military families from other organizations. Ultimately, after falling in love with Project Sanctuary’s mission, she relocated to Colorado to dive full-force into fundraising efforts for our military families.

Thomas Costello, LCSW | Social Worker
Tom Costello, LCSW, is a full time social worker for Project Sanctuary, providing case management-based supportive and therapeutic follow-up services to families and acting as an additional counseling presence on retreats. Tom is a retired officer of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, serving the last seven years of his career as head of mental health social work for the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, VA. Tom assisted in the development and direct practice of counseling services for traumatic and operational stress patients and their family members. He is passionate in his belief that people can overcome the effects of trauma and live happier, more meaningful lives.

Tom has masters degrees in social work and theology and lives with his wife near Raleigh, North Carolina. He has two children in college and loves spending time with his family, especially traveling, boating, fishing and anything else involving rivers, lakes or oceans. He believes strongly in the mission of Project Sanctuary and is happy to be a staff member.

Kelli Sands | Family Coordinator
Kelli Sands has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked in multiple educational and business environments throughout her career. She is passionate about families and children with an emphasis on children with special needs or circumstances. Kelli is married to a service disabled Navy veteran. She began working with Project Sanctuary in 2015, first as a contractor and then as an employee, serving as the Family Coordinator.

Sharon Harris, CTRS | Program Coordinator
Sharon understands the concept of “a family that plays together, stays together.” She has a bachelor’s degree in recreational management and youth leadership with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.

Sharon began working with Project Sanctuary as the Youth Program Coordinator in July 2015. In 2018, she was promoted to a full-time position as the Program Coordinator. As the Program Coordinator, Sharon focuses on the programming involved with Colorado retreats, helping the families who attend gain positive therapeutic experiences. She also continues to run youth programs and assists with administrative work.

In the past, Sharon has worked with medically fragile individuals of all ages at Tophams Tiny Tot as the recreational therapist. She also interned at Maple Lake Academy, a school for adolescents with learning disabilities.

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