Heather Ehle, Project Sanctuary Founder and CEO

Heather Ehle | Founder & CEO
Heather Ehle, founder and chief executive officer of Project Sanctuary, is a Registered Nurse (RN) with more than 20 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, including a boy who had been significantly  abused and neglected. 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 spiritual, physical and emotional healing.

In 2010, Heather was a finalist for People Magazine’s All Stars Among Us, and won the 2011 Aurora Chamber of Commerce award for “Women Making a Difference.” 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 2012, Heather was honored to be a part of the first R4 Alliance workshop. As a founding member, and through her term as a board member, she played an active role in structuring R4 to best serve the needs of today’s military families.


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 and Volunteers
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.


Scott Lee, MA, LPC | Lead Counselor
An ardent supporter of the work Project Sanctuary does with military families and PTSD, Scott has been working as an independent contractor with Project Sanctuary since 2011. He has a dual master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) as well as Counseling.

Scott retired after 23 years in the U.S. Army with combat experience (deployed to Iraq, Somalia, and numerous other countries). Outside of work, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, sports (especially baseball), spending time outdoors, traveling, and scuba diving.  Scott lives in Monument, CO, with his wife Karen.


Photo of Laura Disney, Project Sanctuary social worker

Laura Disney, MSW, LSW | Social Worker
Laura works as an independent contractor for Project Sanctuary, providing case management-based supportive and therapeutic follow-up services to families.

As a military spouse, Laura greatly appreciates and respects the whole family emphasis Project Sanctuary places on supporting the military community. Laura has her bachelor’s degree in Dairy Science, but after getting frustrated when the cows wouldn’t talk back, she pursued her master’s degree in Social Work. Laura has experience working in animal-assisted therapeutic settings, including on a farm with youth-at-risk, with service dogs in-training and wounded warriors through the Warrior Canine Connection, and as a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence. She also has experience in a school social work setting, in a hospital social work setting at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and in a community mental health setting.

When not working, Laura enjoys spending time with her husband, Jordan, and her rescue dog, Daisy.


Kelli Sands, family coordinator

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 and has been contracted with Project Sanctuary since 2015 as the Family Coordinator.


Sharon Harris, CTRS | Youth 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 has worked with medically fragile people of all ages at Tophams Tiny Tot, as a recreational therapist. She also interned at Maple Lake Academy, a school for adolescents with learning disabilities. In Sharon’s free time, she loves to travel and spend time in the great outdoors with her husband and daughter.

Sharon works as an independent contractor with Project Sanctuary, running the youth program at the Project Sanctuary retreats and assisting with administration work. She chose to work with Project Sanctuary after realizing the value they put on families. This value extends beyond the people attending the program, and also includes the people who work with Project Sanctuary.


Ronie Huddleston | Retreat Administrator and Peer Mentor
Ronie Huddleston served as an infantryman in the US Army for 20 years. He was injured on a deployment to Iraq in 2005 and retired in 2008. He suffered from physical injuries as well as the invisible injuries of TBI and PTSD.

Ronie and his family attended a Project Sanctuary retreat in April 2013. After returning home from the retreat with a new outlook on life, he received a bachelor’s degree in social work from University of Denver and returned to help families going through the Project Sanctuary program, handling logistics, retreat administration, and peer mentoring. His journey has been a long but rewarding one of recovery and hope. Ronie knows there is a healthy side of PTSD and loves to be a witness to others. His family has become his mission, and he has found a way to serve them and still serve others.


Neil Pappas | Retreat Administrator and Peer Mentor
Enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 2000, Neil never could have imagined what a dramatic impact military service would play in his life. He completed two combat tours of Iraq within his first enlistment, serving as a communications specialist, returning home to Colorado following his discharge. He has served the Colorado Army National Guard as a Combat Medic and Human Resource Specialist for the past decade, completing additional combat rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan, and serving in both as a traditional reservist and an AGR (Active Guard Reserve).

Neil’s first encounter with Project Sanctuary was as a retreat volunteer, and he immediately knew this was where his heart was calling him. He now serves as a retreat administrator and as a Veteran Coach for Project Sanctuary’s Walton’s Warriors Peer Mentorship Program, and assists military families in accessing their DoD and VA benefits.

Neil is deeply driven by the opportunity to serve his brothers and sisters in arms – and their families – from all eras. He proudly works to ensure veterans have access to the service-connected entitlements they have earned, and is committed to ensuring families know they are supported in navigating the unique challenges that often accompany military service.

Recently resigning from his AGR tour with the Colorado National Guard, Neil proudly serves Project Sanctuary and is working to complete his degree in social work.


CarrieAnn Grayson, M.Ed. | Marketing Coordinator
CarrieAnn is an Army Veteran who has devoted her life to helping improve the lives of military veterans. In 2001, she graduated cum laude from Campbell University on an ROTC scholarship with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. Upon graduation, she was commissioned in the US Army as a Signal Officer, deploying to Iraq in 2003.

In 2008, CarrieAnn was medically discharged from the Army and moved to San Antonio, Texas. After the move, she received her teaching certificate and taught middle school technology for seven years. In 2012, CarrieAnn received her master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Instructional Technology from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

CarrieAnn’s passion is technology, and she loves combining that passion with working with veterans at Project Sanctuary. In 2016, CarrieAnn moved to Colorado to be closer to Project Sanctuary headquarters in the Rocky Mountains, where she is finding her own “strength & peace.”


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