LEADERSHIP

PYWA is led by a volunteer Board of Directors of youth workers from across the country. The Board of Directors fulfills PYWA’s mission to connect, uphold, and inspire youth workers. If you would like to get in contact with us, please email us at director@pywa.org.

 

Current Board of Directors

Dr. Christy Williams

Dr. Christy Williams

Organizational Administrator

Dr. Williams is a long tenured, highly respected youth worker and brings a wealth of experience with PYWA and youth ministry within the PC(USA). She is a graduate of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, and Columbia Theological Seminary. Dr. Williams has spent her career serving as a Director of Christian Education and as an Adjunct Staff person for the Montreat Youth Conferences. She currently serves as the Director of Dogwood Acres Camp and Retreat Center for the Presbytery of Florida.

Rev. Pepa Paniagua

Rev. Pepa Paniagua

Board Member and Co-Moderator

Rev. Pepa Paniagua is a cradle Presbyterian, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She loves the ocean and mountains, she is a SF Giants Fan, and roots for the 49ers, even when they make it hard. She attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wa- the town so nice, they named it twice!

After graduating, with degrees in Religion and Gender Studies, she moved to Austin, Texas where she attended Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Despite a proclamation that she would “never live in Dallas”, Pepa has been living in the DFW area, and serving in Grace Presbytery for more than 13 years. After serving congregations in a youth and families capacity, In 2020, Pepa pursued a call to create a more inclusive and affirming space for our LBGTQIA siblings, and those who are not comfortable in “traditional church”, and kin∙dom community was born! Pepa and her wife, Kelli, live in McKinney with their dogs, Posey (after Buster Posey of the SF Giants), Opie and Tyson who regularly remind them why they can’t have nice things.
Rev. Kiersten Hill

Rev. Kiersten Hill

Board Member and Co-Moderator

Kiersten Hill is the Associate Pastor of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Wellshire Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado. She is originally from San Diego, CA. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary. She is passionate about authentic community and loves helping people discover life in the Spirit. She enjoys long walks and deep conversations, karaoke, and all things pink. Kiersten and her husband, Josh, live in Denver with their son, Grayson, and chocolate lab, Charli.

Eileen VanGieson

Eileen VanGieson

Board Member and Secretary of the Board

Eileen is the Associate Pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church La Costa in Carlsbad California. She is a Colorado native and California local. Eileen attended the University of Southern California and earned a Master’s of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. She has been involved in Youth Ministry since 2003 in various capacities and continues to love working with Middle School and High School students. Whenever possible Eileen will jump on a plane to discover beauty and joy around the world seeing God in all places and people. Her goal of visiting every continent is nearly complete. At home she loves cooking, taking Henri (the coolest dog on the planet) for walks and fetching sessions, and watching sunsets with her best friend and husband Richard.

Tully Fletcher

Tully Fletcher

Treasurer

Tully Fletcher is the Associate Pastor for Youth & Congregational Transformation at Decatur Presbyterian Church, in Decatur GA. Tully has the unique ability of making boring things fun like financial statements, Robert’s rules of order, and organizational bylaws. His spiritual gift is spread‑sheeting.  He is passionate about leadership development and empowering church and nonprofit leaders to better fulfill their mission. He loves walking alongside young people as they grow in their faith, leading them on mission trips, Bible Study, and in theological discussion. Tully serves as the treasurer and compliance officer for PYWA, advising the board on financial & governance matters. He has been part of the PYWA leadership since 2016, and has been in professional ministry for more than 15 years.

Dr. Kris “Bubba” Brammer

Dr. Kris “Bubba” Brammer

Board Member

A graduate of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education and Columbia Theological Seminary, Kris has always had a love for youth ministry and walking with young people in their faith journey.  Kris has served young people for over 25 years in three different churches as Church Educator or Director of Youth Ministries.  Along the way Kris has taught workshops across the denomination on youth ministry and Christian education at conferences such as APCE, Montreat, and the Arts, Worship, and Recreation Conference.  Currently serving a church in Lincoln, Nebraska, where at home, Kris enjoys life with his wife (also Kris) and their two dogs Wrigley and Herbie as well as getting out to go golfing and fly-fishing.

Andrew Esqueda

Andrew Esqueda

Board Member

Andrew Esqueda is the Associate Pastor for Family Ministries at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA. He is originally from San Diego, CA. He attended Whitworth University, and graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has a keen interest in the integration of theology and ministry and exploring what it looks like to do church in a post-Christian world. He enjoys coaching wrestling, playing music, eating good food, and considers himself a connoisseur of coffee and other fine beverages. He is married to Megan and they have a 6 year old son named Isaiah and an 8 month old son named Desmond.

Maggie Johnson

Maggie Johnson

Board Member

Maggie is a Master’s of Divinity student at Columbia Theological Seminary and a seminary intern at Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas and a graduate of the University of Tulsa (OK), she has been raised in Church spaces and loves to encounter God through communities and connections. When not studying or spending time with the congregation of Shallowford, she is usually reading books from her Goodreads list, practicing yoga as an act of radical self-care, or sitting in the sun at her favorite coffee shop.

Jacob Kennedy

Jacob Kennedy

Board Member

Jacob Kennedy is the Associate Pastor for Youth and Mission at Fort Hill Presbyterian Church in Clemson, SC. A life-long Presbyterian, Jacob holds an undergraduate degree in Religion and Christian Education from Presbyterian College and a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. Jacob loves to teach and share the stories of God with all people. In his spare time, Jacob loves to cheer passionately for his favorite sports teams. If he is not doing that, you might find him reading, singing, going to concerts with friends, or sneaking out to play golf at the end of the day.
Kim Ness

Kim Ness

Board Member

Kim Ness has had a love for PCUSA youth ministry since her first visit to Montreat in the summer of 1990. Since then, she has served as a Young Adult Volunteer in Belfast, NIRL; was the YAV site coordinator in Nashville, and has had the joy of being a small group leader at MYC over twenty times. For the last ten years, she has been the Director of Youth Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Athens, GA. She has a passion for social justice, and seeks to create a more connected and relevant church. Bringing the Matthew 25 initiative to FPC has been one of her most rewarding experiences. Her time with youth is not limited to church, as she is also the mom of three awesome teens, and active in the local public schools and UGA Presbyterian Student Center. In her free time, she likes to snuggle with her two dogs, watch mindless Netflix shows and plan an epic RV trip with her husband for retirement years!

Oliver Page

Oliver Page

Board Member

Oliver Page has been doing Youth Ministry, in many different forms, for over 7 years. He spent over 4 years as the Youth Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church in San Jose, California. That experience, combined with 2 years of campus ministry and 2 years of camp ministry, at only 25 years old, puts him in a unique position of having worked in Youth Ministry basically since he was old enough to get a job! He has a passion for music, gaming, mission, and helping young minds open up to new perspectives. He currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his older brother, and is focusing on his education.

Chip Pope

Chip Pope

Board Member

Chip Pope serves as the Associate Pastor for Family Ministry at White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC, where he has served since 2014. He is passionate about connecting children, youth, and families with God and one another, and loves walking alongside them in their journeys of life and faith. Chip studied Elementary Education at Auburn University (War Eagle!) and holds a Masters of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary. He is married to Heather and the two of them together have four teenagers. When not at the church, you can often find Chip playing tennis for one of his several teams.

Emily Powers

Emily Powers

Board Member

Emily is the Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Lexington Kentucky. She grew up in the Kansas City area and studied English and History at Northwest Missouri State. After college, she spent two years as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) for the PC(USA) church. Emily has over seven years of experience in ministry, both in non-profit & youth ministry positions. Growing up in the PC(USA) world, she is a self-proclaimed Presbyterian nerd, who is passionate about mission, social justice, and education. When Emily is not working, you can find her exploring or at home with her cats, Atticus & Boo! She loves finding new coffee shops, book stores, baking and exploring trails. On the weekends she loves to hang out with family and friends; whether that’s hanging out outside, reading, eating BBQ, playing board games, or binge watching TV shows.
Kate Satterstrom

Kate Satterstrom

Board Member

Kate Satterstrom is the Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries at First Presbyterian Church, McMinnville. She moved to Oregon in 2017 after a decade on the East Coast in both Virginia and New Jersey. Kate grew up in San Diego and couldn’t wait to explore and learn after she graduated high school. Kate attended Purdue University where she received a Bachelor of Arts focusing on US History. She then went on to Princeton Theological Seminary where she received a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry and Christian Education. Kate is passionate about building a church where children and youth (and everyone really) knows they are loved. In her spare time, Kate loves to read and explore the PNW. She is brought to life by the ocean and flowers. If Kate could be an animal she would be a starfish.

Caitlin Supcoff

Caitlin Supcoff

Board Member

Caitlin Supcoff is the Youth and Young Adult Advocate and the Communications Director for Mission Presbytery in South Central Texas. Prior to working at the Presbytery, Caitlin served two churches in Mission Presbytery working with children and youth. Originally from San Antonio, TX, Caitlin was formed by the youth ministries of her own home church, Mission Presbytery youth leadership opportunities, and John Knox Ranch (Mission Presbytery’s summer camp and retreat center). Those experiences led her to study religion and theology after high school. Caitlin holds a BA in Religion from Centre College in Danville, KY, and an MDiv from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Caitlin lives in Hutto, TX (outside of Austin) with her husband, Seth, and their two children, Eamon and Liora. In whatever free time she has, Caitlin enjoys reading (usually audiobooks), listening to podcasts, gardening, and baking.