Executive Officers & Staff

Executive Officers:

Co-President: Aileen Ball, First United Methodist Church

Aileen Ball is originally from Topeka and has lived in Lawrence since 2004. She holds master’s degrees in both Classical Studies and Library Science from Indiana University. She is the Academic Academic and Special Project Manager in the Office of the Vice President at Washburn University; prior to joining that office in 2018, she worked for the University of Kansas for 11 years.   Aileen attends First United Methodist Church at the downtown location (946 Vermont Street), where she is a member of the Chancel Choir and Celebration Ringers, chairs of the Missions committee, sits on the Justice Ministry committee, and coordinates both Jubilee Café and the United Methodist Women’s Clothing Ministry for women being released from the Topeka Correctional Facility.

Co-President: Brent Hoffman, Morningstar Church

Brent has lived in Lawrence since moving from Chicago, IL in 2010. Brent is an Investment Advisor Representative with Fifteen:22 Financial Partners. He advises individuals, families, and small businesses on how to best grow and protect their assets. Prior to moving to Lawrence, Brent worked as an analyst and advisor for nearly five years at the largest commodity firm in the world, MF Global. He and his partners, Doug Stephens and Malcom Ong now own and operate Fifteen:22 Financial Partners in Lawrence. He has served on the board of Family Promise of Lawrence since 2011 where he has helped with fund development and matters related to congregational care and recruitment. He has been a network member of Justice Matters since its inception. Brent is 44- years old and has been married to Marianne for 12 years. Brent is an active member and a Deacon at Morning Star Church in Lawrence, where he serves on the First Impressions Team and the Missions Committee. 

Vice President: Rev. Ted Mosher, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Pastor Ted is a second career pastor, graduating from Wartburg Theological Seminary in May 2008. Born and raised in central Iowa, he graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in accounting. A 21-year career in the medical malpractice insurance industry at various levels of underwriting management was interrupted by God's call to ministry. In addition to spending time with his wife and two daughters, Pastor Ted enjoys a good conversation, a good cup of coffee, and a good book.

Treasurer: Pat Lechtenberg, St John the Evangelist Catholic Church

A member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church since 1970 was born and raised in southcentral Kansas; moved during elementary school years to Wichita; undergraduate degree from Sacred Heart College (now Newman University); ASCP certified medical technologist for seven years in chemistry lab of St. Francis Hospital in Wichita (now Via Christi at St. Francis); married Michael and with first two children, Michelle and Drew, moved to Lawrence in 1970; various parish volunteer positions throughout life; state medical liaison of Kansas La Leche League for three years and LLL group leader for ten years; three more children, Grant, Susan and Matthew, born in Lawrence; first director of Birthright of Lawrence for two years; researcher for large area credit bureau for five years; masters in pastoral studies from Loyola of New Orleans; pastoral associate at St. John parish from 1986-2005; certified catechist in first two levels of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd; fostered two teens, Milivoje and Anja from Belgrad during the Yugoslavian wars; KSU extension master gardener since 1995; CASA volunteer for three years; 54 blessed years of marriage; 10 grandchildren; Barker neighborhood resident for 47 years. Served as Recording Secretary for Justice Matters for one year and member-at-large for one year.

Recording Secretary: Virgil Dean, Immanuel Lutheran Church

Virgil, a native of Franklin County, Kansas, has been a resident of Lawrence since 1983. He began his professional life as a public school teacher in 1973, and while completing his PhD in U.S. history at the University of Kansas, he took a position at the Kansas Historical Society, which led to a career of more than twenty-five years as editor of Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains, among other things. Since the late 1980s, Virgil has attended Immanuel Lutheran Church and University Student Center, where he has served on the Board of Elders and as President of the congregation; currently he is Chair of the Social Ministry/Health & Wellness Committee and Co-Coordinator of the congregation’s Family Promise ministry. He is a former Justice Matters corresponding Secretary and has served on the Board of Directors since 2014.

Corresponding Secretary: Ann Spangler, First United Methodist Church

Ann Spangler is originally from western Pennsylvania and lived in both Wisconsin and Texas before moving to Lawrence in 2002.  After completing an undergraduate degree in Music Education from Westminster College in Pennsylvania, she attended the University of Wisconsin to complete graduate degrees in Child and Family Studies.  She recently retired from a career in early childhood after teaching in numerous early childhood programs, teaching at the university level, and most recently working for the federal government as a Supervisory Program Specialist supporting Head Start programs in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska.  Ann is an active member at First United Methodist Church where she co-chairs the Justice Ministry Team.  She also participates in the music ministry of the church by singing in the Chancel Choir and playing handbells with the Celebration Ringers. Since retiring, she also has found more time to volunteer for Jubilee Cafe.  Ann attends the First United Methodist Church located downtown at 946 Vermont Street.

Member-at-Large: Rose Schmidt, First United Methodist Church: 

Rose is a native Kansan, growing up in Parsons, Kansas. and received both her undergraduate and MSW degrees from the University of Kansas.  Rose moved back to Lawrence from California in 2005 after retirement from the Veterans’ Administration.  That career at the VA included administrative as well as clinical positions—program director of a 60 bed inpatient psychiatric, case manager in the community Services Section, social worker at the Day Treatment Center, and clinical supervisor.  She has led the Justice Network at her church since Justice Matters’ inception, and has chaired the mental health research committee. Rose has been married to Gary for 38 years.  They have a daughter and a step-son/son. Rose attends the First United Methodist Church located downtown at 946 Vermont Street.

 

Staff:

Lead Organizer: Ben MacConnell, Trinity Lutheran

Ben grew up in Bay Village, Ohio. His father made a career as a fundraiser for the United Way and his mom, an elementary school teacher. He graduated from Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Indiana in 1995 with a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. After college, Ben became a full time missionary with the Church of the Brethren initially serving at a homeless cafe in Chicago, and then later with Hnuti DUHA, an environmental group in the Czech Republic. In 1997, he was accepted into GreenCorps, an environmental advocacy training program based in Boston. During his training year, he worked to preserve clean water resources, to prevent global climate change, and to ensure the clean-up of toxic waste sites in low-income neighborhoods. In 1999, he went to work with Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together (CLOUT) in Louisville, Kentucky. He assisted efforts to end gang violence among youth, to improve reading in low-performing public schools, and to remove neighborhood eyesores in the south end of Louisville. In 2001, Ben moved to the east side of Lawrence where he and his family now reside. He telecommuted and traveled extensively on staff with the Direct Action & Research Training (DART) Center for 13 years. He assisted DART's efforts to hire and train new organizers going into the field of justice ministry. In July 2014, he became the Lead Organizer of Justice Matters in Lawrence, Kansas. He is married to Sarah Rooney, who works as the Volunteer Coordinator for Visiting Nurses of Douglas County. They have a biological son, Micah, and several foster children. He was baptized with his son at his church, Trinity Lutheran, and seeks to follow Jesus.