Our Mission & Vision

Motivated by the love of Christ, Alpha Grand Rapids (AGR) promotes abundant life by providing holistic services to women and men affected by unplanned pregnancy. We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to live life abundantly. Our model of personalized care ensures that clients’ needs are met with expert help and genuine compassion. Free and confidential services provide comprehensive care, empowering people to thrive in all areas of their life.

Families Served in 2021

Diapers Distributed in 2021

Years of Care

View our most recent Annual Report

Our History

about us

Alpha Women’s Center Established (1985)

1985

In 1985, Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids first opened its doors on Michigan Street in downtown Grand Rapids and provided services to 71 women.

Satellite Locations Founded (90’s/00’s)

2000

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, several satellite locations were launched in towns outside of Grand Rapids. These included Lowell, Hastings, Cedar Springs, Newaygo, Greenville, and Wayland. By 2009, each of these centers became independent, operating their own programs, raising their own funds, and running their own events. While they are still independent today, the Executive Directors of many of the centers meet on a monthly basis to pray together, share information, and encourage each other.

Move to Division (2010)

2010

In 2010, a new building was acquired and the organization relocated to 1725 Division Ave. South. This 17,000-square-foot facility allowed us to reach an ever-increasing number of people. Today, over 1,600 families are served each year through a variety of programs.

Men’s Center Property Acquired (2015)

2015

In late 2015, the building adjacent to the Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids property came up for sale. After much prayer and conversation, the Board of Directors and staff decided to purchase the building to move forward with a vision of serving men. The Men’s Center is the first standalone building in the United States that provides comprehensive services to fathers in need of education, material resources, and emotional support.

New Name, Same Vision (2017)

2017

In 2017, Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids became Alpha Grand Rapids, encompassing Alpha Women’s Center and Alpha Men’s Center. Throughout this and many other changes over the years, we have remained focused on our mission of promoting abundant life by providing holistic services to women and men affected by unplanned pregnancy.

Men’s Center Construction Begins (2018)

2018

Thanks to the support of a generous community and a dedicated group of construction partners, we broke ground on the Men’s Center in 2018. The construction process was long and difficult, with many unexpected obstacles that included a global pandemic! But through it all, we remained sure that God was leading us through this project and that Alpha Men’s Center would eventually be completed.

Alpha Men’s Center Opens (2021)

2021

In June 2021, Alpha Men’s Center officially opened to the public. Click here to watch a short timelapse video that shows the demolition of the old building and construction of the new one!

In the first year of operation, 184 men participated in a total of 882 visits to programs including one-on-one Coaching and Fatherhood Group. One dad shared: “What’s different about Alpha Men’s Center is that there are guys here who really care and they’re willing to share their life experiences with me so I can learn how to be a better dad.”

Learn more about AGR – attend an “All Access” event!

Our Staff

To contact any of our staff members, visit the Contact Us page to send us an email. 

Donna Wood

Kyle Baxter

Vice President of Business Operations

Kyle joined the AGR team in April 2022. As Vice President of Business Operations, he has the huge role of overseeing facilities, security, IT, finance, and human resources. Luckily, Kyle’s #1 priority in any job is to never be bored, and he found that here! Kyle felt an instant connection with the mission and vision of AGR because he was an unplanned pregnancy and his parents chose life for him when they were teenagers. His parents had a lot of support surrounding them, so he is passionate about working at a place that supports women and men affected by unplanned pregnancy who may not have the support that his parents experienced. Kyle and his wife have two children, a son and daughter. Kyle also has many hobbies outside of work, including reading, trivia/word puzzle games, and anything to do with basketball (playing, watching, or coaching it!).

Kalie Bunce

Kalie Bunce

Marketing Director

Kalie came to Alpha Grand Rapids as an intern in the spring of 2013 and transitioned to a full-time employee in 2014. She loves the holistic way that AGR cares for families and has always been inspired by the strength and resilience of the parents in our programs. As the Marketing Director, her primary job is to maintain AGR’s brand and ensure that everyone who attends an event or receives a marketing piece has a positive impression. Kalie and her husband were actually set up on a blind date by a volunteer at AGR! They welcomed their first child in 2020. Outside of spending time with her family, Kalie loves traveling (she’s been to 14 countries so far!), reading, and watching reruns of the show Parks & Recreation.

Doretha Copeland

April DeMull

Finance & HR Manager

April joined the Alpha Grand Rapids team in December 2019 (we considered her an early Christmas present). She brings her love of numbers and bookkeeping skills to AGR as well as the ability to make people laugh and feel appreciated. Even though her job is more “behind-the-scenes,” April is passionate about being part of an organization that walks alongside parents in need of support. April and her family live on a huge farm where the kids have plenty of opportunities to play outside and ride along on tractors. She enjoys running, spending time with her family, and finding new house projects to tackle.

Megan Pearson

Aubree Domsic

Material Resources Coordinator

Aubree was an intern at Alpha Grand Rapids from 2014-2015 while she completed her Human Services degree at Grace Christian University. As an intern, Aubree remembers immediately feeling the love that the staff has for each other, the families being served, and the work being done. When she had the opportunity to join the staff in May 2021, she was excited to do so! As the Material Resources Coordinator, Aubree loves organizing “all the things” and making the store a great place for families to shop. She stays very busy outside of work coaching middle school volleyball, being a high school youth group leader, and traveling on hiking/backpacking trips whenever possible. 

Sandra 2resized

Dana Frye, RDMS

Sonographer

Dana started working at AGR in May of 2022 right after graduating from Grand Valley State University. She had been looking for opportunities to work in a pregnancy care center because she was passionate about supporting women (and men) who are experiencing crisis pregnancies. Dana loves using her sonography skills to show and teach people about the incredible process of human development and growth. She also loves being part of the AGR team and getting work work with other staff members and volunteers. In her spare time, Dana loves going to musical events with her husband, riding horses, playing piano and saxophone, and reading as much as possible. 

Colleen Geisel

Colleen Geisel

President

Colleen walked through the doors of Alpha Grand Rapids (AGR) in March of 2014 and just couldn’t leave. As President, Colleen empowers our staff, volunteers and community to become involved with others who are in need. She is a passionate speaker and loves getting the opportunity to share the mission of AGR with individuals, churches, businesses, and anyone else who will listen! Colleen has given birth to three children in three different countries (what she considers the definition of insanity!), has enough hair for at least four people, and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Lupita Groth

Lupita Groth

Support Services Manager

Lupita joined the Alpha Grand Rapids staff in the fall of 2017. As the Support Services Manager, she oversees the Step Up Mentoring Program, which is the largest program at AGR. Lupita supports volunteer mentors that walk alongside moms in Step Up and also ensures that everything is running smoothly in our lobby for all guests who enter the Women’s Center. We often hear how Lupita’s warm smile and friendly spirit make people feel instantly at ease and happy to be at AGR! Lupita’s favorite thing to do is spend time with her two beautiful children, and she is constantly looking for fun new things for them to do together. She also enjoys spending time outdoors and listening to music.

Monique Ouellette

Matt Haviland

Men’s Center Director

Matt joined the team at Alpha Grand Rapids at the beginning of 2021 shortly before the new Men’s Center facility was completed and opened as one of the first standalone buildings solely serving fathers in the United States. As Men’s Center Director, Matt empowers staff members and volunteers to walk alongside fathers and equip them to be the best man, partner, and father possible.  A native of Grand Rapids, Matt enjoys family time with his wife and teenage daughter, reading, and almost all outdoor recreation. Whatever you do, don’t get him started on a Michigan vs. Michigan State debate!

Lauren Herlein

Lauren Herlein

Community Engagement Manager

Lauren joined the Alpha Grand Rapids staff in January of 2018, just days after finishing college. For nearly two years, she served as the Material Resources Coordinator and managed the store and inventory at AGR. In late 2019, she transitioned into a new role of Community Engagement Manager. In this role, Lauren builds strategic partnerships to bring in funding, volunteers, and material items. She especially loves connecting with churches through diaper, winter item, and toy drives. Lauren loves cooking and spending as much time at the lake as possible, is passionate about the importance of foster care, and occasionally sneaks away from her desk to hold one of the cute kiddos in childcare. She and her husband, Drew, have been married since 2018. 

Monique Ouellette

Daniel Montejo

Men’s Center Office Coordinator

Daniel joined the AGR team as the Men’s Center Office Coordinator in July 2022. He handles scheduling for the Men’s Center, reviews client files, assists with setting up for groups and classes, and handles emergency visits for dads as needed. Daniel feels that serving the community is part of his calling, and he knew working at AGR would fit perfectly with that calling. He loves interacting with dads that come to the Men’s Center, especially when he has the opportunity to help them in some way. He and his wife have two beautiful children, so Daniel loves spending time with them. He also enjoys swimming, reading, writing, and making music. Daniel is also a pastor, so juggling all of his important roles keeps him very busy!

Ruth Gillesse

Emily Nelson

Educational Services Associate

Like others on staff, Emily started out as a volunteer at Alpha Grand Rapids. She volunteered in 2019 while studying social work at Grand Valley State University and loved the experience she gained during that time. When there was an opportunity to rejoin AGR, this time as a staff member, in 2022 Emily was thrilled! As the Educational Services Associate, she helps facilitate the many details that go into running all of our classes and group programs. Emily loves the variety that her job brings – even when that means the days are hectic with multiple programs happening at once and lots of kids in childcare! Outside of work, Emily enjoys listening to podcasts, doing outdoor activities like gardening or running (she’s completed two half-marathons so far!), and spending time with friends or family – especially if board games are involved. 

Lori Potter

Lori Potter, RDMS

Sonographer, Independent Contractor

Lori started as a volunteer at Alpha Grand Rapids in December of 2010 and transitioned to an Independent Contractor in 2012. Being in the medical field, Lori has always had a love of helping people and especially for babies. AGR brings together the best of these, while being able to use her medical skills.  As an ultrasound technician, she loves educating women about their pregnancy, their baby’s development, and showing life on the ultrasound screen. Lori and her husband have two daughters. Lori also has many hobbies outside of work including spending time with her family, kayaking, boating, swimming, and renovation projects.

Nancy Kropiewnicki

Valerie Probst

Vice President of Client Services

Valerie partnered with AGR on events for several years while at her previous job and loved seeing what AGR was doing in the community. When she had the opportunity to join the team, she was excited to do so! As Vice President of Client Services, Valerie uses her passion for hospitality to give every person who walks through the doors at AGR a great experience. She loves to hear stories from clients and volunteers and is always looking for an opportunity to serve the people around her. Outside of work, Valerie enjoys being mama to her three children, running, going to the beach, and any opportunity to travel (she is constantly planning the next family vacation!). 

Nancy Kropiewnicki

Merly Ortiz

Client Services Assistant

Merly joined our team in July 2022 as the Client Services Assistant. Merly says that during the interview process she saw how passionate the staff was about helping people and she immediately knew she wanted to be part of AGR. She loves meeting new people and being able to hear their stories, so she loves every opportunity to interact with the moms and dads that come through our doors. As the Client Services Assistant, Merly helps with answering calls that come into the front desk, shops with parents who come in for emergency visits, tackles administrative projects, and much more. Outside of work, Merly loves spending time with family, friends, and her dog. She is a big fan of traveling and loves being outside, especially hiking and camping. 

Lori Potter

Tammie Sandlin

Marketing Coordinator

Tammie joined the Alpha Grand Rapids team in June of 2021. She grew up on the east side of Michigan but, having lived in West Michigan for over half of her life, now claims Grand Rapids as her hometown. Tammie was drawn to AGR’s mission of promoting abundant life and how that is put into action through nonjudgmental, compassionate care. As our Marketing Coordinator, she uses her graphic design abilities to help every marketing piece communicate well and inspire action. Tammie is a godmother to the three adult daughters of her college roommate and enjoys being part of their family, especially since most of her family lives out of state. Outside of work, Tammie loves being at Lake Michigan, finding new local restaurants, and spending time on her porch reading or painting.

Deb Fikkert

Katy Sheets

Development Coordinator

Katy joined the Alpha Grand Rapids team in November 2021 after being drawn to the way AGR extends genuine care in a holistic way. She enjoys making sure things run smoothly behind the scenes, which makes her perfectly suited for her role! As Development Coordinator, Katy processes financial donations, maintains the AGR donor database, and orders supplies. Her attention to detail and willingness to jump in on any task is hugely appreciated! Outside of work, Katy enjoys hiking, camping, baking, reading, and spending time with family. She and her husband have been married since 2018. 

Carrie Shoesmith

Carrie Shoesmith

Educational Services Manager

Carrie volunteered in the Single Moms Support Group for a year before joining our staff as the Single Moms Support Group Coordinator in January 2018. In 2021, she moved into the position of Educational Services Manager and now oversees the Educational Services department. She is dedicated to serving women and men who participate in group programs at Alpha Grand Rapids and ensures that classes and support groups run smoothly. She and her husband, Rich, share two amazing daughters. Carrie enjoys reading, quilting, being involved with her church, and mowing her lawn in the summertime. She is a pretty laidback person, but don’t get between her and a cleaning/organizing project when she’s stressed – she takes it very seriously!

Karen Dykstra

Brad Smith

Development Director

Brad was born and raised in West Michigan and loves living here. An avid runner, Brad was a sprinter at Cornerstone University where he earned his bachelor’s in business and master’s in organizational leadership. Feeling a call to make a difference in the community, Brad joined Alpha Grand Rapids in February 2021. He loves AGR’s intentionality around prayer and service and how that parallels the love of Jesus. As Development Director, he oversees the processes around raising funds, volunteers, and resources – all of which are crucial for meeting the needs of the families served at AGR. Brad and his wife, Annie, have been married since 2006 and have a son and daughter. They are an active family that loves spending time together and finding fun things to do around West Michigan.

Nancy Kropiewnicki

Lindsy Spielmaker, RN

Nurse Manager

Lindsy joined the AGR team in March 2022, but she has been aware of and involved in supporting AGR for as long as she can remember. She worked as a nurse in a hospital setting for years but was considering a change in early 2022… right as we were praying and searching for someone with her exact qualifications! Lindsy brings her genuine care for people to her job every single day and is honored to spend time listening to people’s stories and working through their questions and fears, especially when it comes to women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. Her goal is to make sure women feel empowered and know that they have options, and she does that so well! When she’s not working, Lindsy loves spending time with her husband and two daughters. Their family is constantly outside playing, working on projects, and putting time into their hobby of raising chickens and ducks.