Bridging the Gap in the Foster Care Community
Susanna Kavanaugh is the Executive Director and co-founder of The Least of These Carolinas. She has a heart for children and is a great advocate for their needs. Susanna and her husband, Sean, became involved in orphan ministry in 2009 when they became foster parents. They have fostered long term placements and have grown their family by adoption through foster care. She and Sean live in Gastonia with their three daughters and one grown son who is married. Susanna has a desire to help the children of her community and help restore hope in their broken lives. Her prayer is that these children and their families would feel the love of Christ through this ministry.
Nakisha Wenzel is the Owner & Operator of Big Red’s Cafe in Kings Mountain, NC. She and her husband, Michael, have been married since 2013 and are the parents of an adventurous little boy!
She has served on staff as a grant writer & team member for several nonprofit organizations; coordinating fundraisers, facilitating programs for youth & children, providing educational resources, and creating opportunities for children & families to grow.
She is the Senior Pastor of King’s City Church and is passionate about serving the least of these.
Student Pastor First Free Will Baptist Church, Gastonia
Chad has been married to his wife, Courtney, since 2006 and they have two daughters, Raegan and Piercyn. He is the Student Pastor at First Free Will Baptist Church in Gastonia where he desires to see students and their families find meaningful relationships with Jesus. They became licensed foster parents in 2016.
Jim Gallagher is a Gastonia City Councilman. He & his wife, Charmaine, have made Gastonia their home for the past 20 years. They have raised 2 children both in college, Jordan & Caroline. Jim has a servant’s heart to help and serve the people of Gastonia and Gaston County, especially the Foster children that live among us --- the Least of These.
Mamie Rudisill was raised in Gaston County and now resides in Lincoln County with her husband, Gary Rudisill. She recently retired as founder/CEO of M.R.Printing Solutions, Inc. Mamie and her husband are members of City Church. Mamie considers it an honor and a privilege to be able to serve on the Board of the Least of These Carolinas, and to follow as He commands in James 1:27: "Here are the kinds of beliefs that God our Father accepts as pure and without fault. When widows and children who have no parents are in trouble, take care of them."
Blake Harris has been married for 14 years to his wife Stephanie and has sons Hayden (8) and Pinson (4). Blake is a 2003 graduate of UNC‐Chapel Hill majoring in Business Communication and minor in Spanish. Blake has been living in Gaston/Lincoln County since 2007 and attends Venture church in Dallas, N.C. Blake and his family have a passion for kids and community involvement and honored to serve on the board of directors. Blake works as a regional general manager for Cintas corporation which also helps support delivery of Bags of Hope to remote counties in NC to further expand the geographic reach of Least of These Carolinas.
Frank and Angela were married in 1990. They have two wonderful Daughters, Lindsay 27 (Married to Josh Clontz) and Morgan 21. Lindsay and Josh are currently serving as Foster Parents with two amazing kids. Parental rights have been terminated for both children and the adoption process has begun. Adoption should be final by fall of 2021. Lindsay is a nurse at Covenant Village and Morgan attends Gaston College. Frank and Angela own Metro Print in Mt Holly. Currently they attend Venture Church in Dallas, NC.
Frank’s grandparents served as Foster Parents in Tuscaloosa, AL. While attending his grandmother’s funeral, he was deeply moved by the stories that were told by the children they fostered. They spoke of the impact his grandparents had made in their lives. Frank and his family are honored to serve foster families in our community.
Scott D. Alexander, CPA was raised in Gaston County and continues to live there with his wife of 30 years and their triplet daughters. He and his family are active members of First Free Will Baptist Church in Gaston County. He is a graduate of the 1987 class of UNC-Charlotte, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and has been a Certified Public Accountant for the past 28 years. Scott is elated to give back to his hometown community by serving on the Board of Least of These Carolinas.
Ryan Schalles has been married for 12 years to his wife Lindsay and has a (1) year old son and (5) year old daughter. Ryan is results driven. He is a strong business professional with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Bluefield College in Bluefield, VA Currently, Ryan and his family attend “Moments of Hope” church where David Chadwick leads worship as the pastor of the church. Ryan is currently a Franchise Business Consultant at Wingstop. Ryan is passionate about giving something back to his community! When you give back, you get something important in return – the knowledge you've made a positive change in the community and lent a hand to someone in need. Ryan is excited about the future of the “The Least of These Carolina’s” organization and assisting more foster children in finding loving forever homes. It’s all about making a difference in these children’s lives with one smile at a time.
Kyle grew up in Dallas, the Crossroads of Gaston County. He is a member of First United Methodist Church in Dallas, where he and multiple generations of his family grew up and still attend. He attended Appalachian State University, where he met his wife Andrea, and then moved to Charlotte, near her family. Kyle and Andrea have two boys, Nash and Owen. The Britton family moved to Gaston County after renovating an older home in South Gastonia. Kyle is an attorney and a partner at Morrow & Britton, PLLC practice in York Chester. Morrow & Britton, PLLC is a four-attorney general law practice, concentrating in real estate, estate planning and administration (probate), and business law in Gaston and the surrounding counties with a satellite office in the Southpark area of Charlotte. Kyle enjoys spending his time at work and with his family.
Jim Lanier has been married to his wife Reneé for 32 years and live in Cramerton. He has 3 wonderful children Meredith, Andrew and Blake. Jim, recently retired as Founder/ CEO of Stanley Environmental Solutions and Earth Farms Organics. Jim attends church at Central Church of God in Charlotte and has served as an Elder and on World Missions Board.
I am Clara Painter. I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Outpatient therapist with ZOE Counseling and Consulting Services. I obtained my associates in Criminal Justice from Gaston College, my Bachelor’s in Human Services from Gardner-Webb and my Master’s in Arts from Liberty University. I am licensed by the state of NC. I have also successfully completed a yearlong training for Trauma-Focused CBT and am rostered with NC Child Treatment Team. I have worked with children and families for many years. I worked in a children’s psychiatric hospital and in Intensive In Home as a Lead Professional. I am a facilitator with Nurturing Parenting and also have attended training in Stewards of Light which recognizes children who have been sexually assaulted. I desire to fulfill the calling the Lord has placed upon my heart in working with children and families. I believe in giving back to the community as I have been blessed abundantly. It is my pleasure to serve on the board of Least of These Carolina’s and pray to make a difference in the lives of foster children.