Staff Bios

 

Debbie Doran

Care Minister (Part-time)

EMAIL DEBBIE

Debbie Doran joined the staff in July 2018 as the church’s new Care Minister. She joined the Church in 1997 and has a passion for caring for others. She is an active member of the Caring Ministry and Missions teams and serves as Church Council secretary. She recently took on the responsibility of scheduling volunteers for the Feed My Starving Children monthly food packing events and serves on an Open Table. She is a member of Saguaros, the Funeral Reception Coordinator and a member of the Prayer Card Ministry.

She loves spending time with her daughter, Kristina and son Nick along with his wife Kara and son Wyatt. She loves dogs and has taken care of many over the years.

Debbie graduated with a BS in Sociology from Montana State University and retired in 2013 after working 32 years for the Federal Government.

 

 

Dr. Andria Fennig

Worship Accompanist/Director of Contemporary Worship Arts

EMAIL ANDRIA

Andria received her Doctorate of Musical Arts from Arizona State University in 2002. She has previously taught on the faculties of the University of Hawaii-Manoa and Paradise Valley Community College. Dr. Fennig has a wide and all-encompassing piano performance background including solo performance, collaborative artistry, chamber music, and pit orchestra work for touring Broadway shows and entertainer acts (Wicked, Color Purple, West Side Story, Jackie Evancho, Il Divo, and Three Irish Tenors). An advocate for new music performance, she has performed with the Albuquerque-based LINKS Ensemble, Phoenix-based Crossing 32nd Street Ensemble, and the Arizona State University-based New American Piano Music Ensemble.  Dr. Fennig founded and served as both the musician and management representative for the successful flute, cello, and piano trio Paradisa!, which performed several chamber concerts throughout the Southwest United States, including the annually celebrated Red Rocks Music Festival in Sedona, AZ, and the Abiquiu Music Festival in Abiquiu, NM. As well as working part-time at PVUMC, leading the band at the IGNITE service and serving as accompanist, she is on staff as a pianist/accompanist/coach at Grand Canyon University and teaches a large body of private piano students in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

 

Sam Henderson

Youth Minister (Part-time)
480-773-4009 (cell)

EMAIL SAM

Sam joined PVUMC in January 2016 under Christopher Wurpts, the Youth Ministries Director, to create and grow a Middle School Program. The program was called Squad 57 and includes students from 5th to 7th grade. He was promoted to the position of Youth Minister in July 2018. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the youth ministry program and works primarily with the older students (grades 8-12). Before coming to work at PVUMC, Sam had worked and traveled in Asia and Africa. While overseas, his adventures included teaching English, owning a youth hostel, and partnering with local and international organizations to help women and children receive an education.

Denise Mahrle

Cashier (Part-time)
602-840-8360, ext. 145

EMAIL DENISE

Denise began working at PVUMC as our part-time cashier in the summer of 1999. Denise also manages the Columbarium and fingerprinting for staff, and she assists the Accounts Payable clerk as well as with the Stewardship campaign. Previously, she worked in the banking industry and in legal offices.

Shari Paris

Mini Singers Director (Part-time)

EMAIL SHARI

Shari L. Paris is an Early Childhood Music Specialist and is currently the Mini-Singers Director at PVUMC.  Shari brings the Children’s Message to the 11 am service and has been an active member of the congregation for more than 20 years. She has a full and thriving Suzuki Violin Studio, and is also the Music and Movement teacher in Preschools located throughout the Valley. In addition to teaching, Shari is a clinician and has presented Early Childhood Music demonstrations in state, regional and national settings.

Andrew Ponder Williams

 Children’s Minister (Part-time)

EMAIL ANDREW

Andrew’s passion is to offer organizations best practices in reaching new people and in engaging rising generations.
Andrew has served multiple congregations in Missouri, California, and now Arizona. He is the Founder of MOC-Methodists on Campus, a ministry on the campus of the University of California-Irvine. He has also served local congregations as a Youth Minister and Church Administrator.

Andrew has also served as a consultant for nonprofit organizations, healthcare companies, and churches. He has offered staff leadership and consulting for United Church of Christ, United Methodist, Unitarian Universalist, and Lutheran (ELCA) congregations.

Andrew has offered leadership to our United Methodist connection through serving as a delegate to General Conference and as a member of the Board of Directors for the General Board of Church and Society.

Andrew received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Rockhurst University, a Jesuit University in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, and a Certificate in Religion, Activism, and Social Justice from Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California.

Andrew is married to Ashton, who is a manager with Albertsons grocery stores. They live in Scottsdale and enjoy movies, music, and traveling. Andrew is a vegetarian for 16 years and enjoys writing and swimming.

Betty Price

Administrative Assistant to the Senior Pastor
602-840-8360, ext. 129

EMAIL BETTY

Betty Price relocated to Arizona from the Chicago area in January, 2010, leaving her job as Director of Administration at Kingswood UMC in Buffalo Grove, IL, and her church home at Glenview (IL) UMC. During her 15 years at Glenview UMC, she was lay leader, lay delegate to annual conference, chair of the worship committee, chair of the invitation team, a member of the spiritual growth committee, UMW, and the choir. Since becoming a member of PVUMC in January, 2010, she has chaired the Welcome Team, she sings in the Chancel Choir, and has served on the Strategic Planning and Pathways task forces. In April, 2010, she began working at Tempe First UMC for then Senior Pastor Dave Summers. She continued to work there after he became senior pastor here at PVUMC, and joined our staff in August, 2014, when Betty Cochran retired, again working as Pastor Dave’s administrative assistant.

Mickey Price

Church Administrator
602-840-8360, ext. 113

EMAIL MICKEY

Mickey, our Church Administrator, has a Bachelor of Business in Accountancy and Information Science from Western Illinois University, as well as an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. He joined the PVUMC staff in August of 2002, bringing with him 25 years of accounting and management experience. He oversees day-to-day operations of the administrative staff and our church property, and works closely with the Trustees and Finance ministry teams.

Kathy Ratliff

Childcare Coordinator (Part-time)
602-840-8360, ext. 134

EMAIL KATHY

Kathy has served as Childcare Coordinator for approximately 14 years at PVUMC.  She has been a member here for 17 years and, in the past, has worked in Methodist Church nurseries in Florida and as a preschool aide. Her vocation was as an x-ray technologist and she worked in a Children’s Hospital. She is mother to eight grown children.

Pam Selthun

Marketing and Communications Director
602-840-8360, ext. 122

EMAIL PAM

Pam joined the PVUMC staff in March 2012 and handles the day-to-day operations of both the internal and external communications of the church. Her responsibilities include the weekly Looking Ahead and Paradise E-News, the bimonthly newsletter, the website and social media channels. She is also staff liaison for the Marketing and Communications Ministry Team. Pam has worked in the area of communications and education since graduating from Valparaiso University with a BA in Journalism in 1985. For 10 years, she served as Director of Publications for Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management. She received her MA in English Linguistics from Arizona State University in 1997.

Rachel Smith

Youth Ministries Assistant
5th-7th Grade Coordinator
Squad 57
602-840-8360, ext. 147

EMAIL RACHEL

Rachel Smith is the Youth Ministries Assistant and leads Squad 57, students who are in 5th-7th grade. Her church leadership experience includes serving in children’s ministry, serving on a conference-wide youth leadership team, small groups and writing youth group curriculum. In addition to her involvement with youth leadership, she also co-leads the young adult group at PVUMC, representing the 18-24 year olds. She began working with Squad 57 in 2016 as a volunteer before being brought on as a staff member in August, 2018. Rachel’s mission experience includes evangelism in Poland; Hurricane Ike relief in Galveston, TX; children’s ministry in Belize; and house building in Mexico. During the summer, she was on staff at Mingus Mountain Camp — a ministry of the United Methodist Church and an ACA-accredited camp in Prescott, Arizona. Rachel says, “Church has always been a part of my life and I’m enthusiastic about living that out in my career.” She’s also a college student, studying Computer Science.

Ashley Snavley Strawser

Music & Arts Ministries Director/Organist
602-840-8360, ext. 138

EMAIL ASHLEY

In December of 2014, Ashley graduated from Arizona State University with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from ASU, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the Cook Honors College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Ashley was appointed the Director of Music and Arts Ministries at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church in 2015 after serving as organist and assistant director. Prior to working at PVUMC, Ashley held a position at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Paradise Valley, where she served as interim choirmaster and organist as well as the youth and children’s music associate and handbell director.

Mindy Sobraske

Preschool Director
602-840-8265

EMAIL MINDY

Known as “Teacher Mindy,” Mindy is director of the Paradise Valley United Methodist Church Preschool. She has taught at the school since 1986 and has also taught parenting classes through various community organizations. Mindy holds a B.A. in Education and Special Education and has done graduate work toward a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, including work in Family Studies and Child Development. Since 1978, Mindy has been certified by the Arizona State Department of Education in Elementary and Special Education. Since 1992, she has been a validator for the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs and National Association for the Education of Young Children.

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