People Passionate About Changing Lives
The board of directors at IMPACT Phoenix represents various sectors of the community and governs the strategic direction of the organization. Individuals from these community sectors have a passion for playing a role in transforming lives and have joined the collaborative efforts of IMPACT Phoenix to make a difference in the lives of those we serve. The board is responsible for providing financial and legal oversight, establishing organizational goals, monitoring performance, reviewing revenue strategies, and insuring financial stability as well as sustainability.
Jim Welter, Executive Director
One of the founders of IMPACT Phoenix and its Executive Director, Jim Welter, has passionately, and with compassion, walked along side individuals and families in crisis to stabilize their immediate needs and worked with them to develop a plan to transition toward a more self-sustaining life.
Jim shares, “There are many different governmental, community, religious and non-profit organizations that provide wonderful support services for individuals and families in crisis. However, there is a significant gap when it comes to coordinating and navigating assistance for services from these organizations. There is no resource that helps these same individuals develop and execute a plan to reach independence with dignity. IMPACT Phoenix was founded on the belief that collaboration combined with coordination of assistance and planning strategies will positively aid people who are committed to breaking from a cycle of poverty, homelessness, incarceration or other issues.”
Born and raised in a serving family in Dubuque, Iowa, Jim started his professional life in public accounting. After transitioning to a successful career in the healthcare industry during the first half of his life, Jim is now committing his ‘second half’ to helping the least of our community through the power of collaboration. Jim has served as an Executive Director of a United Way, Executive Director of a faith based non-profit serving the homeless, and on several boards of non-profits, including the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness. He currently volunteers for CityServe Arizona, who each year holds the largest single day event in Maricopa County, called HopeFest Phoenix, which provides services to low income working families. Jim and his wife Mary are active members of Desert View Bible Church, parents to four children, and a grandparent to one grandchild. Jim's interests are running, hiking, college athletics, Bible study, reading, and serving.
Tom Okarma, Board President
Tom’s mission is to empower people with strategies that honor what God loves. He has a successful leadership track record in both for profit and nonprofit roles. He is an executive with top-rated expertise in strategic planning, board development, and board governance. Tom’s devotion to helping nonprofits, combined with over 30+ years of business experience, make him a key force for change and help organizations that earnestly desire to increase their impact. He has earned the CCNL (Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leadership) designation with the Christian Leadership Alliance, where he serves on its Advisory Council.
Mark Hoyt, Board Vice President
Mark spent the better part of his working career consulting to States about the design and funding of their CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Programs) and Medicaid programs, which is the safety net for health care in America. Now retired, Mark enjoys doing pet therapy at Vista Colinas Family Shelter with his lab, Charlie, under the auspices of Gabriel’s Angels. Mark’s heart goes out to the kids and families who transition through the family shelter. Mark loves Jim Welter’s passion for the homeless and hurting.
Joan Christenson, Board Secretary
Joan has a passion for those in need. She has spent over 30 years in sales and marketing within various industries and feels grateful to be able to blend her love for the Lord with her talents. Joan was the Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Residential Services at Glencroft Senior Living when she and her husband Greg first moved to Phoenix. She currently is a Senior Living Advisor at Caring.com where she assists seniors and their families with resources and community options to support their aging needs. Joan is "A Partner with Passion" having a talent for impacting organizations by telling their story and moving their target audiences to action. Joan was an active member in Ohio with Building Hope in the City and International Friends.
Don Leckie, Board Treasurer
After a very successful career in sales management, Don is spending his ‘second half’ serving his community. Don is an elder at Desert View Bible Church, and has a leadership role in their men’s and hospitality ministries. When he is not discipling men to strengthen their relationship with Jesus Christ, he enjoys serving the men who are enrolled in the Sunnyslope House of Refuge Transitional Living Program.
Chuck Foreman, Board Member
Chuck and his wife, Kathy, served as missionaries in Taiwan for twenty years and were also field coordinators for East Asia with Team Expansion. Chuck is the teaching and missions pastor for First Christian Church, a church recognized for its leadership in modeling what it means to humbly serve its community. Chuck can routinely be seen in Sunnyslope volunteering at House of Refuge or making new friends who are receiving services at St. Vincent de Paul’s Dining Room.