About Us

Our Mission & Vision

Motivated by the love of Christ, Alpha Grand Rapids (AGR) promotes abundant life by transforming hearts, enriching lives, and impacting generations. We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to live life abundantly. Our model of personalized care ensures that clients’ needs are met with expert help and genuine compassion. Free and confidential services provide comprehensive care, empowering people to thrive in all areas of their life.

GED Graduates since 2012

Items Distributed in 2017

Years of Care

Our History

about us

Alpha Women’s Center Established (1985)

1985

In 1985, Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids first opened its doors on Michigan Street in downtown Grand Rapids and provided services to 71 women.

Satellite Locations Founded (90’s/00’s)

2000

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, several satellite locations were launched in towns outside of Grand Rapids. These included Lowell, Hastings, Cedar Springs, Newaygo, Greenville, and Wayland. By 2009, each of these centers became independent, operating their own programs, raising their own funds, and running their own events. While they are still independent today, the Executive Directors of many of the centers meet on a monthly basis to pray together, share information, and encourage each other.

Move to Division (2010)

2010

In 2010, a new building was acquired and the organization relocated to 1725 Division Ave. South. This 17,000-square-foot facility allowed us to reach an ever-increasing number of people. Today, over 1,600 families are served each year through a variety of programs.

Men’s Center Property Acquired (2015)

2015

In late 2015, the building adjacent to the Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids property came up for sale. After much prayer and conversation, the Board of Directors and staff decided to purchase the building to move forward with a vision of serving men. The Men’s Center is the first standalone building in the United States that provides comprehensive services to fathers in need of education, material resources, and emotional support.

New Name, Same Vision (2017)

2017

In 2017, Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids became Alpha Grand Rapids, encompassing Alpha Women’s Center and Alpha Men’s Center. Throughout this and many other changes over the years, we have remained focused on our mission of promoting abundant life by transforming hearts, enriching lives, and impacting generations.

Men’s Center Breaks Ground (2018)

2018

We look forward to breaking ground on the Men’s Center in 2018 and opening this building to the public in 2019!

Our History

about us

Alpha Women’s Center Established (1985)

1985

In 1985, Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids first opened its doors on Michigan Street in downtown Grand Rapids and provided services to 71 women.

Satellite Locations Founded (90’s/00’s)

2000

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, several satellite locations were launched in towns outside of Grand Rapids. These included Lowell, Hastings, Cedar Springs, Newaygo, Greenville, and Wayland. By 2009, each of these centers became independent, operating their own programs, raising their own funds, and running their own events. While they are still independent today, the Executive Directors of many of the centers meet on a monthly basis to pray together, share information, and encourage each other.

Move to Division (2010)

2010

In 2010, a new building was acquired and the organization relocated to 1725 Division Ave. South. This 17,000-square-foot facility allowed us to reach an ever-increasing number of people. Today, over 1,600 families are served each year through a variety of programs.

Men’s Center Property Acquired (2015)

2015

In late 2015, the building adjacent to the Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids property came up for sale. After much prayer and conversation, the Board of Directors and staff decided to purchase the building to move forward with a vision of serving men. The Men’s Center is the first standalone building in the United States that provides comprehensive services to fathers in need of education, material resources, and emotional support.

New Name, Same Vision (2017)

2017

In 2017, Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids became Alpha Grand Rapids, encompassing Alpha Women’s Center and Alpha Men’s Center. Throughout this and many other changes over the years, we have remained focused on our mission of promoting abundant life by transforming hearts, enriching lives, and impacting generations.

Men’s Center Breaks Ground (2018)

2018

We look forward to breaking ground on the Men’s Center in 2018 and opening this building to the public in 2019!

Our Staff

Stacey Baker

Stacey Baker

Men’s Center Director

Stacey was the first man to bravely join our all-female staff in April of 2018. As the Men’s Center Director, Stacey oversees all operations, programming, and volunteers. Stacey is originally from Detroit but moved to Grand Rapids to attend Kuyper College. He is currently completing a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. Stacey enjoys watching basketball and would never turn down an offer of fruit snacks. He and his wife, Christin, have four beautiful children and love spending time doing things as a family… although Stacey also loves taking some “alone time” to work on their lawn!

Kalie Bunce

Kalie Bunce

Director of Community Relations

Kalie came to Alpha Grand Rapids as an intern in the spring of 2013 and transitioned to a full-time employee in 2014. She oversees the marketing department of AGR, coordinating major events, financial donations, publicity, and communications. She somehow manages to get sunburned through closed windows, absolutely loves traveling (she’s been to 14 countries so far!), and enjoys spending time with her husband, Chad, and the rest of her family and friends.

Doretha Copeland

Doretha Copeland

Program Manager

Doretha joined Alpha Grand Rapids (AGR) in the spring of 2017 after feeling drawn to our mission and the many services and programs provided to families. As Program Manager, she supports staff members in establishing and maintaining programs, recruiting volunteers, and sharing the AGR story with anyone who will listen! Doretha loves being a grandma and spending time with her six grandchildren. Her favorite thing is to treat herself to pedicures or massages, and she loves sporting a new hairdo from time to time!

Karen Dykstra

Karen Dykstra

Operations Manager

Karen first heard about Alpha Grand Rapids (AGR) through the young mom’s ministry that she coordinates at her church. She became more and more interested in AGR and jumped at the opportunity to join our team in August 2018. Karen brings several decades of experience in corporate accounting and the construction industry to her position at AGR, where she will be responsible for bookkeeping, facility management, and human resources functions. Karen enjoys watching her kids play soccer, entertaining people in her home, and leading Bible studies at her church. She is also one of those rare people that loves both summer AND winter – in the summer, she loves to go boating and be at the beach with her family, and in the winter she goes snowmobiling and downhill skiing.

Deb Fikkert

Deb Fikkert

Administrative & Events Manager

Deb came onboard in June 2014 after hearing about Alpha Grand Rapids for the first time. She coordinates events, handles donation processing, and provides administrative support (especially when it comes to creating handy excel documents). Deb has put her incredible decorating skills to great use in our building, is often seen running up and down the administration hallway in order to “save three seconds,” and has a unique passion for office supplies.

Colleen Geisel

Colleen Geisel

Executive Director

Colleen walked through the doors of Alpha Grand Rapids (AGR) in March of 2014 and just couldn’t leave. As Executive Director, Colleen empowers our staff, volunteers and community to become involved with others who are in need. She is a passionate speaker and loves getting the opportunity to share the mission of AGR with individuals, churches, businesses, and anyone else who will listen! Colleen has given birth to three children in three different countries (what she considers the definition of insanity!), has enough hair for at least four people, and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Ruth Gillesse

Ruth Gillesse

Director of Client Services

Ruth has been with Alpha Grand Rapids (AGR) since 2003, starting as a volunteer mentor and later becoming full-time staff. Ruth directs the Step Up Mentoring Program, both by managing volunteers and meeting with clients. She is known around AGR for always being willing to listen and provide encouragement when needed, which is why so many volunteers and clients love her so much! Ruth loves creating stories for her granddaughter about the adventures of two field mice, enjoys listening to jazz music, and always looks forward to her yearly trips to Marco Island, Florida.

Lupita Groth

Lupita Groth

Client Services Assistant

Lupita joined the Alpha Grand Rapids staff in the fall of 2017. As the Client Services Assistant, she has the very busy job of answering incoming calls at the front desk, scheduling appointments, and welcoming clients, volunteers, and other visitors to the building. Lupita’s favorite thing to do is spend time with her two beautiful children, and she is constantly looking for fun new things for them to do together. She also enjoys spending time outdoors and listening to music.

Lauren Herlein

Lauren Herlein

Material Resources Manager

Lauren joined the Alpha Grand Rapids staff in January of 2018, just days after finishing college. She manages the Material Resources department of AGR, which involves monitoring incoming and outgoing inventory, coordinating volunteers to sort and clean items and stock the store, and building strategic community partnerships. Lauren loves cooking and spending as much time at the lake as possible, is passionate about the importance of foster care, and occasionally sneaks away from the Material Resources department to hold one of the cute kiddos in childcare.

Nancy Kropiewnicki

Nancy Kropiewnicki

Development Director

Nancy wasn’t really searching for a new job, but when she found out about the opportunity to join the Alpha Grand Rapids staff, she felt called to make the switch. She joined our team in May of 2018 and, as the Development Director, works hard to develop relationships with supporters, bring in necessary funding, and spread awareness in the community. Nancy and her husband have three adult children and enjoy spending time with them whenever possible. She enjoys reading, going on walks, and has a hidden talent for refinishing furniture!

Monique Ouellette

Monique Ouellette

Educational Services Manager

Monique volunteered on and off for several years before joining the Alpha Grand Rapids staff as the Educational Services Manager in 2018. She coordinates all of the educational classes, including curriculum, scheduling, volunteers, and partnerships with local health organizations. Monique spent several years as a missionary in Columbia, where she became fluent in Spanish. She is very active and enjoys running, playing basketball, or participating in other outdoor sports. She loves using sports and her passion for other cultures to build relationships with people.

Megan Pearson

Megan Pearson

Marketing Coordinator

Megan is a West Michigan native who attended Indiana Wesleyan University to study the philosophy of worship. After graduating, she worked at a church in Ohio as the Director of Creative Arts before marrying her husband, Matt, and moving back to Grand Rapids. Meg joined the AGR team in June of 2018 and was thrilled to find a place that integrated her passions for community involvement, empowering women, and ministry. In her free time, Meg enjoys reading, being outdoors, roasting coffee, and recording music with Matt.

Lori Potter

Lori Potter

Sonographer, Independent Contractor

Lori started as a volunteer in 2010 and became an independent contractor of Alpha Grand Rapids in 2012. She performs pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and STD tests as well as options counseling. Lori loves the opportunity to help people who are experiencing difficult situations. Lori likes to give nicknames to everyone (twinkle toes and sunshine are two of her favorites), is known for her beautiful assortment of scrubs, and sometimes worries that she has too strong of a coffee addiction.

Carrie Shoesmith

Carrie Shoesmith

Single Moms Support Group Coordinator

Carrie volunteered in the Single Moms Support Group for a year before joining our staff as the Single Moms Support Group Coordinator in January 2018. She develops curriculum for the group, coordinates the many volunteers that are needed to make everything run smoothly, and organizes summer picnics to keep the group connected during the off months. Carrie enjoys reading, quilting, being involved with her church, and mowing her lawn in the summertime. She is a pretty laidback person, but don’t get between her and a cleaning/organizing project when she’s stressed – she takes it very seriously!

Donna Wood

Donna Wood

Nurse

Donna has been with Alpha Grand Rapids since 1985 as a founding board member. She continued volunteering for nearly three decades and became our LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) in 2014. She administers pregnancy tests, STD tests, and meets with clients to provide options counseling. Donna is the mother of eight children (seven of whom are adopted) and has a large collection of snazzy shoes. She likes to say she is slow on the computer but fast when it comes to her humor.