Cynci has been reaching out to people overseas for more than 20 years. She started The Hope Venture in 2009 when she couldn't turn a blind eye to the desperate needs she was encountering. She's passionate about loving people, anywhere she is...in a brothel in India, in a one room hut in Kenya, across the table at Starbucks, or most of all, in her own home. She's been married 25 years and has 4 sons and a new daughter-in-law. She's been known to act like a junior-higher, is a twin, loves Colorado, and is on a recent kick to count the paper towels she uses in a public restroom.
Jackie joined The Hope Venture in the fall of 2015, part time, to serve as a fundraiser. Jackie coordinates communication with new and existing donors and seeks to connect people to our projects. She's been married to Vaughn for 17 years and is busy raising 3 children ages 14,11 and 6. After being raised in the suburbs of Denver she is now adjusted to living with a cornfield in her backyard and learning a lot about construction as she's been renovating an entire house with her family.
Mackenzie has been with The Hope Venture since the fall of 2015. She serves as the team’s Operations Manager. Mackenzie's main focus is more behind the scenes. She processes all of the financial, organizational, and structural items that affect the team. She loves hanging out with with her husband Shayne and spending time with her cat and the couple’s new dog. Mackenzie enjoys loving on people, exploring the world through various projects, hiking mountains, working a food truck for the hungry, and reading about politics. She is passionate about helping those around her. Educating the world on celiac disease, rescuing cats, taking photographs, and spending time with a large mug of hot tea is what she does after hours. Since moving from Missouri to Nebraska, she is slowly adjusting to all of the red!
Josh Petersen has a huge heart for the Hope Venture and the people they help. He is the oldest son of Cynci Petersen, the founder and director, and has been involved with the organization since the start. He has a passion for design and desires to use his skills to help people in need, whether that is through designing t-shirts or playgrounds. He is married to his gorgeous wife, Victoria, and together they would love to continue to work helping people oversees as well as here in the United States. He has been known to take spontaneous road trips, make ridiculous videos, and binge watch the show New Girl. He loves people, creativity, teamwork, and traveling and is excited to see how God uses his skills to help change the world!
Thea is a senior Advertising and Public Relations major at UNL and has been involved with the Hope Venture since 2014. She began as a volunteer her sophomore year of college, growing a passion for the organization's mission, and then interned for two years with us. She is excited to join our staff in January 2017. When not at the Peanut Butter Factory, Thea can be found... well just about anywhere. She enjoys getting lost in new places and traveling to unknown destinations. Which sounds poetic, but she says that's mostly because she gets lost easily. She loves poetry and Diet Pepsi among other things. After spending two months in Malaysia, Thea has a new passion for the nations that she can't wait to invest more at the Hope Venture.
Troy has spent his professional life working for non-profit associations dealing mostly with food production and rural issues. As a newer member of this board, Troy is new to missions and is very excited to see what God has in store and to see His work being done through The Hope Venture organization.
Troy is married and he and his wife Karol have three kids - two in college and one still at home. He fancies himself as a singer (at least in the church choir), a road cyclist and a pretty good cook, but probably not quite ready for the Food Network.
Scott first traveled with The Hope Venture on a team to India in 2013 and joined our board of directors shortly after that. Scott is a jump in and get it done kind of guy and he brings passion and accountability to getting our work done overseas. He has a huge heart to help people both around the world and here. He has an awesome wife and two adventurous kids and is an insane wake-boarder!
Brooke has been involved with The Hope Venture since its very first exploration trip to Uganda. She was one of our first paid staff and now has shifted onto the board of directors. Having a huge heart for Uganda (she and her husband Cody have adopted three children from there themselves!), she leads The Hope Venture vision behind anything Africa (and an occasional "I want to go to India too!!"). We are so grateful for her years of friendship and commitment to bring what is right and good, not injustice or harm, to everyone in the world.
One of the newest board members with The Hope Venture, Dan Shafer has been teaching Science for the past 15 years. After starting at Goodrich Middle School in 2000, he is now teaching Biology at Lincoln East High School. Dan has a heart for missions that began 25 yrs ago with a trip to Mexico. Since then he has travelled to Guatemala, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Having recently completed his doctorate in educational studies, with a focus on building relationships with students and their student teachers, he is now looking forward to being able to just teach for awhile.
Dan enjoys hunting, fishing and snowboarding as well as camping. When he has downtime he enjoys spending it with his wife and four children.
John is a recent addition to The Hope Venture board of directors for 2016. John is married to Michelle and together they have three daughters Makenna, Keeley, and Kalli. John has always had a soft spot in his heart for those in need and believes in The Hope Venture's mission to bring hope and compassion to the hurting and less fortunate at home and abroad. He enjoys singing, golfing, and chasing after his kids and all their activities.
Katherine joined the board in fall of 2015. She loves God and loves people! She sees it as a privilege to be part of HV and loves all the projects, especially the mama kits & the backpacks! Katherine is a special Education Para for LPS. She has been married to Sean for 26 years! They have 4 children: Ella-23, Addison-21, Elijah-18, and Abram-15. In her free time she enjoys reading, biking, thrifting, and time with family!
Lori came to The Hope Venture Board in 2015. Who could say no to Cynci Petersen's fire and passion for the desperate and needy in India? Lori was further challenged by the needs in this part of the world when her son visited the HV Feeding Center in Bangalore, India. He shared his firsthand glimpses of the light and HOPE that HV brings to some of the poorest children and families on earth.
Lori serves as President/CEO of the Community Health Endowment of Lincoln which provides philanthropic assistance to organizations who seek to improve community health, especially for those at highest risk of the poorest outcomes. Lori is married to Bryan Seibel and proud mama of Trey (19) and Thea (15). She enjoys traveling, reading, biking, gardening, and spending time with friends and family.
We partner with trusted friends overseas that accomplish so much of what we are about. They are on the ground making happen all that we talk, email and skype about! See a video and learn more about our partnerships under Our Values section of our website! Who we work with is a big deal! We are so grateful for these long-time, faithful friendships!
There are lots of ways people get involved with The Hope Venture! Much of what gets done is through unpaid volunteers and internships! Email Cynci to find out more about how you can join us in helping lives find hope!
A huge part of our team is YOU! We can't do any of this without the generosity of those who have realized they can make a difference through their resources. Any little bit helps! From lemonade stands to school fundraisers to families sponsoring our students to the words, "I want to give you this $20,000 for whatever needs you guys have," we have been amazed by God's work in people's hearts to join us financially. Honestly, lives are different, people have found real hope, because of YOU.