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.

GED Graduates since 2010

Diapers Distributed in 2020

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 transforming hearts, enriching lives, and impacting generations.

Men’s Center Breaks Ground (2018)

2018

We look forward to breaking ground on the Men’s Center in 2018 and opening this building to the public in 2019!

Our Staff

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

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 voice and ensure that everyone who comes to an event or receives a marketing piece has a positive impression. Kalie and her husband, Chad, welcomed their son, Cooper, into the world 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 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. 

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.

Ruth Gillesse

Ruth Gillesse

Step Up Mentoring Manager

Ruth has been with Alpha Grand Rapids (AGR) since 2003, starting as a volunteer mentor and later becoming full-time staff. Ruth directs the Step Up Mentoring Program, both by managing volunteers and meeting with clients. She is known around AGR for always being willing to listen and provide encouragement when needed, which is why so many volunteers and clients love her so much! Ruth has four grown children and four grandchildren. Her favorite weekends involve lots of coffee, meeting up with friends, and lots of quality time with the grandkids.

Lupita Groth

Lupita Groth

Client Services Associate

Lupita joined the Alpha Grand Rapids staff in the fall of 2017. As the Client Services Associate, she has the very busy and important job of answering incoming calls at the front desk, scheduling appointments, and welcoming clients, volunteers, and other visitors to the building. 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. 

Nancy Kropiewnicki

Beth Huegli

Event Coordinator

Beth joined the AGR team in October 2021. It was two weeks before the largest fundraising event of the year, so she was definitely thrown into the deep end of the pool. Luckily, Beth is not easily intimidated by a challenge! As the Event Coordinator, she makes sure that every AGR event runs smoothly and is a great experience for guests. She loves paying attention to the details and making everything look beautiful with her decorating skills. Beth loves the mission of AGR and, even though she doesn’t typically work directly with the families AGR serves, finds it very fulfilling to support the work through what she does with events. Beth and her husband, Jeff, have three adult children. She loves spending time with her family, reading, hiking, playing with her dog, and entertaining. 

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 back porch either reading or painting.

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. 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!

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Ron Smith

Men’s Center Office Coordinator

Ron (who is actually no relation to our Development Director, Brad Smith!), joined Alpha Grand Rapids in May 2021. He wanted to work somewhere that felt like “a ministry, not just a job,” and found that at AGR. As the Men’s Center Office Coordinator, he schedules appointments, handles phone calls, and assists volunteers. Ron loves interacting with everyone who comes to the Men’s Center and also enjoys the organizational work of keeping files in order. Ron has a ministry background between growing up on the mission field and earning a degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Pam, have one adult son. Ron enjoys leading a Bible study with seniors at an assisted living facility, reading, and visiting his parents in Florida. 

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. In 2012, they welcomed their son into the world, followed by a daughter in 2013. They are an active family that loves spending time together and finding fun things to do around West Michigan.

Donna Wood

Donna Wood

Nurse

Donna has been with Alpha Grand Rapids since 1985 as a founding board member. She continued volunteering for nearly three decades and “officially” joined our staff as our LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) in 2014. She administers pregnancy tests, STD tests, and meets with clients to provide options counseling. Donna is the mother of eight children (seven of whom are adopted) and has a great collection of snazzy shoes. She likes to say she is slow on the computer but fast when it comes to her humor. Donna is always a source of encouragement, wisdom, and laughter on our team!