PAUL AND LORI STRONG, Co-Founders of Parenting With Purpose, are committed believers with compassionate hearts to minister to families affected by the incarceration of a loved one. Their 30 plus years’ experience of working with people from different cultures and beliefs enables them, together with their faithful staff and volunteers, to address issues facing fathers, mothers, and children in a variety of situations.
MIKE BRASS, Board Secretary
Mike Brass is the owner of a Real Estate Firm; Titus Commercial Real Estate. Prior to starting his own business, he worked as Vice President in the Brokerage Services Division of Colliers International for 30 years. He has extensive experience in leasing, tenant representation, sales of industrial and office properties, as well as development projects for land. Mike has held a member position on the Parenting With Purpose board of directors since 1996. Mike is also a board member of White Bear Lake Economic Development Corporation, member of Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation, and founder and co-chair of the 1990 Winterfest in White Bear Lake.
JIM COLLINS, Board Treasurer
Jim Collins is the Mn Region CEO of Old National Bank. Jim has been with Old National Bank (formerly Anchor Bank) for 15 years and is in his 25th year of Commercial Banking. As the Director of Commercial and Private Banking, Jim Collins works closely with the Commercial Banking, Private Banking, Leasing and Cash Management leaders. His position encourages highly customized solutions through increased service touches and support the values and promise of Old National Bank. Jim has a strong desire to give back to the community.
GARY COURTNEY, Board Chairman
Gary Courtney is a regionally recognized Workforce Development Specialist that has been providing impactful workforce solutions in the Twin Cities and greater metro area for the past 10 years. Gary currently serves as Workforce Supervisor for the Metropolitan Council, the regional planning agency. Gary’s experience includes industry specific training development and workforce consulting, with an emphasis in targeting under represented individuals and communities. Gary participates in various organizations including; Twin Cities Diversity & Inclusion Roundtable, Positive Image and serves on Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Emerging Entrepreneurs board. Gary regularly volunteers with in the Anoka-Hennepin school district and volunteer coach’s youth basketball for Champlin Park and Brooklyn Park programs. Gary and his wife Elizabeth live in Brooklyn Park with their four children.
RAMON HARRIS, Board Member
Ramon Harris operates a New Creation clothing business with his wife and has a thriving interior painting business. Ramon is also employed by Robbinsdale School District 281. He has served on the Parenting With Purpose board since 1999. Ramon and his wife are very active in their church in North Minneapolis. Ramon is the pastor over the prison ministry at his church, providing services at Rochester Federal Prison and Plymouth Workhouse for the past 17 years.
WAYNE SHARP, Board Member
Wayne Sharp is retired from the computer industry, which includes 13 years with IBM, and later, as owner of P.O.S. Business Systems from 1983 through 2006 which he grew to one of the largest Point of Sale Dealers in the country. During this time, he was active in the Point of Sale Industry, serving on the National Board for the industry association and on manufacturer advisory boards. He has also been on the board of several non-profit and Christian based organizations. Although ‘retired’, he is still active in sailboat charters, real estate buying, remodeling, rental, and sales with his son. As a Coast Guard Captain, Wayne occasionally works as Charter Captain, and does training and delivery of yachts. He is active in his church in Florida, and has been involved with Parenting with Purpose since 1996.