Board of Directors
I am a Georgia native with deep ties to metro Atlanta. I earned a B.A. in History from The University of Georgia and a J.D. from Notre Dame Law School. In my professional life, I focus on solving water, energy and other environmental issues through innovative infrastructure projects and policy development.
I moved with my wife from Midtown to Doraville in 2014 because we felt called to partner with and serve the diverse community along Buford Highway. Within months we met Ruth Ann and Ian North at Open Table Community Church, and we were drawn the to the depth of the North's commitment to the youth in the neighborhood. We were equally inspired in turn by the response and leadership of the youth who have been mentored by the North's over the years. I first got involved by mentoring some of the teenage men with Ian, and as I have gotten more involved, I have applied my legal training to the administrative tasks required to form and operate the North's new nonprofit, Presencia Inc. As a volunteer I feel blessed to be a part of Presencia, and I look forward to the bright future of this nonprofit and the youth along Buford Highway.
Pam finds joy in walking alongside people wherever they are on their spiritual journey. She's worked with people in a wide range of settings, from college students, to leaders of anti-trafficking ministries in the U.S. and Nepal.
Pam's passion for pouring out to others is refueled by her deep love of contemplative space with God. She's a trained Spiritual Director and has her Master's in Counseling. While working in the nonprofit world fighting human trafficking she found soul nourishment in a contemplative community called JourneyMates. She now co-leads Atlanta JourneyMates offering contemplative monthly retreats at her home. She completed a CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) unit at Emory St. Joseph's Hospital.
After losing her first husband to cancer Pam remarried John and they are blessed with a large blended family including ten adorable grandchildren.
Pam enjoys biking and hiking, reading, gardening, and pretty much anything outdoors. She offers Spiritual Direction out of her home in Grant Park, Atlanta and at The Agape Center in Roswell, GA.
Pam met Ruthie on a trip to Nepal when she was working in the same anti-trafficking ministry Ian was. Ruthie's heart and passion for the kids in her neighborhood aligned with Pam's heart. Pam is honored to serve Presencia any way she can because she believes the good work Presencia is doing is close to the heart of God. The fruit of hope and joy Pam has seen in the lives of those Ruthie has invested in is remarkably beautiful.
Ruth Evans has spent most of the last 16 years living and serving in communities of material poverty. She co-founded and led a non-profit community development ministry in Jacksonville, FL for 12 of those years. It was her passion to lead her team to support and empower the development of leadership within her neighborhood through gospel discipleship and strategic leadership. Her ultimate desire was see her neighbors lead their own community towards gospel transformation - A desire she has joyfully seen realized in many within her community.
Over the years, Ruth has also been able to live out her passion of teaching, equipping and offering strategic leadership to churches and organizations who desire to effectively engage in their communities, pursue reconciliation and justice, and live in healthy cross-cultural relationships through serving on local, district and national boards and teams as well through teaching in various venues.
Currently, Ruth works with the Unite! Network of churches in Atlanta, GA – mobilizing and equipping churches to partner together in order to see their communities thrive as well as leading others to do the same.
She found a natural connection with Ruthie North when she moved to the Atlanta area. She found in Ruthie a kindred spirit who shared many of the same ministry values and philosophies. Ruth is excited to participate and invest in the development of leaders who are part of Presencia’s community and initiatives.
Beth RhodesI met Ruthie North while working as the Volunteer Coordinator at World Relief, a non-profit also working with refugees and immigrant populations. We started talking and brainstorming about ways for our organizations to partner to help solve many issues we saw in our community. My husband Tim and I began attending the same church as Ian and Ruthie and started volunteering with Presencia. Inspired by the Norths we moved into the neighborhood and seek to make our home to be a safe, welcoming place for our neighbors. I really love how Presencia is focused on being intentional and practical to serve the community we live in. It is not focused on huge numbers or millions of dollars, but on helping each child, teenager, and family in the neighborhood. Ian and Ruthie know each face and each story because these are their neighbors and they are present in their lives.
I grew up in the Midwest but have called Atlanta home for almost 20 year. My husband and I, along with our two sons, moved into the immigrant community along Buford Highway in 2008. We felt called to invest our lives and share the hope of Christ with those who are often marginalized. We met the Norths at Open Table Community and immediately felt a connection, a common purpose in life. My husband is the Executive Director for Immigrant Hope Atlanta, which shares space and often ministers to families with Presencia.
We believe strongly in the idea of living in a community, seeing it’s needs, helping to meet those needs with the resources of the community and ultimately sharing the hope of the gospel in those everyday interactions.
Presencia embodies this vision. I have felt called to use my own education and work experience to support ministries. Those experiences have been focused in the areas of auditing, finance and currently business analytics. I have worked for companies that have poured significant resources into me, such as Ernst & Young, General Mills and currently Chick-fil-A, Inc. It’s my privilege to share those with my community when I can.
I am also currently on the board of Open Table Community Church, which provides offices and a church home for kids who are mentored at Presencia. I find great joy in gardening and forming a community garden in our neighborhood has allowed me to connect with my neighbors in meaningful ways.
Liz works as a Vice President in the Investment Banking group at Fifth Third Securities. Prior to her role at Fifth Third, she worked for a variety of different financial services and operating companies.
Liz volunteers as a mentor through the LEAD Institute, an organization that provides non-profit leaders with business training. Through her involvement with this organization, Liz was a mentor to Ruth Ann North, the Executive Director of Presencia, as she participated in the program. Liz connected with Ruthie's mission and passion for serving her neighbors. She continues to volunteer through serving on the Board of Presencia and assisting kids with homework during the after school program.
Being involved with Presencia has opened Liz's eyes to the challenges that immigrants face and has motivated her to connect more deeply with people who look and live differently than she does. Liz's husband and two daughters have recently moved to Chamblee to have more opportunities to meet, love, and do life with neighbors from different backgrounds. She is very glad that Presencia is part of her story and looks forward to continuing to build relationships through her involvement with the organization.
In my professional life, I work as an engineer and software developer. One of the first roles I took on was to help manage the website and keep things running smoothly. Over the years, my role has grown as I've become more and more involved in the lives of the youth and young adults. In the few years that I've worked with Presencia, I've seen the value of consistent mentorship play itself out as I work alongside the young adult volunteers at the after school program. This has led to many invaluable friendships and experiences as together we've mentored the children in the program and watched them grow into the next generation of leaders. Seeing the life and energy in these kids gives me a lot of hope for our neighborhood along Buford Highway, and I'm excited to see Presencia continue the great work they're doing.