Bill Goodrich – President & Founder
Bill Goodrich served in the United States Army as a combat engineer. After his discharge, Bill worked 13 years with Alcoa, an aluminum fabricating company based in Ohio. Over the course of his time at Alcoa, Bill felt the call to begin full-time ministry. While working full-time, Bill received his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Springs of Life College, and spent two years as a part time associate pastor in preparation for ministry. In 1994 Bill took a leap of faith, and dove in to full-time service, founding God Cares Ministry. Since that time, Bill has written two nursing home ministry books, achieved his Master of Ministry degree in 2006, and developed a nursing home ministry training curriculum. Bill currently is both the President and Executive Director of God Cares Ministry and still serves in the way he loves most – in the local nursing home. One of Bill’s favorite Bible verses is 2 Corinthians 4:5.
Mike Laurito – Treasurer
Mike attained his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from West Virginia University in 2004, and later accomplished his M.B.A from Cleveland State University. Mike decided to first get involved in nursing home ministry after overhearing a conversation at church regarding this type of ministry. After visiting a home and meeting Bill Goodrich and all the residents, Mike quickly recognized this was a very important ministry. It was then he realized that this “often-overlooked” mission field was right in his own backyard. Mike believes that nursing home ministry is vital because in a very real way, every time you share the gospel with a resident it may be the last opportunity they have to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. Since his first experience in 2009, Mike has continued serving at that same nursing home and has the blessing of sharing God’s Word with people who, in Mike’s words “have taught me far more than I was probably able to share with them.” Mike’s favorite verse is James 2: 26.
Fran Palffy – Secretary
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3: 5,6
Fran Palffy achieved her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Library Science from Radford University in Virginia. Fran’s working experience includes serving as a Children’s Ministry Coordinator and a second grade teacher. She is currently serving as a teacher and librarian at Parma Heights Christian Academy. In addition to her past positions, Fran has also had the opportunity to author several stories for various children’s magazines as well as a book. Fran’s involvement in nursing home ministry began over 15 years ago, when she met Bill Goodrich through her husband, John. Fran has been volunteering at nursing homes for many years since, and has been a big part of God Cares Ministry’s Legacy Picnic since its inception. In addition to the Legacy Picnic, Fran has helped with many other God Cares projects and activities over the years. Fran has served on the Board for several terms and currently is the acting secretary. Fran’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3: 5, 6.
Mary Kerner Courtney – Board Member
Mary Kerner Courtney has had a wide array of life experiences. She is the mother of two children, one with significant handicaps. She has managed a horse and dairy farm, joyfully served for 17 years as a school bus driver and then devoted 10 years to the field of medical assisting. Mary was drawn to Christ through the witness of other people, and has a soft heart for people belonging to a variety of denominations. Mary’s experience with nursing home ministry began as she was going through a difficult time in her life and drove past a nursing home facility. Mary knew that going in a care home would be challenging, but she felt God prompting her to go in. Soon after that, Mary discovered God Cares Ministry, quickly attended a seminar and became deeply involved in nursing home ministry. Mary has served in 5 different care facilities, organizing Bible studies, worship services, one on one visits and Gospel sing-a-longs and encouraging pastors to become involved. Currently, Mary leads 2 Bible study groups, 2 volunteer groups, a care center worship service, 2 communion services in different care centers and serves on the board where she has been a member for 10 years. Mary’s favorite verse is Philippians 4:6.
Larry D. Looney, CPM – Board Member
Achieving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management from Kent State University, Larry has extensive experience in multi-housing management and development. Larry has been connected with ABC management for 39 years serving as the Chief Executive Officer for 34 years and currently serving as their President. Larry’s involvement in nursing home ministry began 8 years ago. Throughout that time, Larry has had many opportunities to share the gospel and has been blessed in a variety of ways through interaction with the residents. Larry supports God Cares Ministry because he believes in the work that they are doing. Personally, Larry has attended a number of God Cares training sessions and found them to be very helpful. Larry believes “residents need to hear that God loves them and has a plan for their life… even if they are in their twilight years”. Larry has experienced many residents being open to spiritual discussion and believes that nursing home ministry “is a great opportunity for churches and individuals to get involved and serve Christ in a very practical way.” Larry became an official member of God Cares Ministry’s board in 2012. Larry’s favorite Bible verses are Ephesians 2:8, 9 &10.
Brad Fisk – Advisor to the Board
Brad has his Bachelor’s Degree in Radio and Television Production. With a wealth of experience in media, Brad has had opportunity to work with Focus on the Family as their Broadcast Director, as well as with national media agencies and radio clients. Currently Brad owns and runs Fisk Media Services, where he engages in “on air” and consults regarding fundraising. Brad’s involvement in nursing home ministry is 13 years strong, which includes conducting a monthly hymn-sing and additional activities in a local care center. Brad’s favorite verse is Lamentations 3:22-23.
Brian R. Hassett, JD, CPWA® – Board Member
Brian Hassett achieved his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and later his Juris Doctorate from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Brian has had the opportunity to serve as an estate planning attorney as well as a Certified Private Wealth Advisor sm. Currently Brian is a Director of Wealth Management consulting for UBS Financial Services, Inc. Brian first understood the importance of nursing home ministry many years ago as he was a member of an outreach to a care home. Brian saw first-hand the loneliness and despair of the severely disabled, who rarely received visitors, even from their families. Brian believes that the vast majority of individuals in care homes have been abandoned, forgotten or have outlived the last of their family members, and that serving these individuals is one of the highest callings a person can have. Brian was introduced to the God Cares Ministry through a mutual friend and has since offered Godly wisdom and support for 6 years. Brian’s favorite bible verse is Psalm 138:3.
Richard Walters acquired his PhD from the University of Georgia in 1973. After working 11 years as college/university Business Administrator, Rich became a licensed Counseling Psychologist and worked for Pine Rest Christian Hospital, providing outpatient therapy, training sessions and speaking within the community. During this time he developed a ministry training program for the lay person. He trained trainers who, in turn, equipped 25,000 people. Rich later became a Minster of Counseling in a large church and taught undergraduate Psych at Belhaven University. Currently, he is the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oxford Graduate School, Dayton, Tennessee. Rich has had the opportunity to author or co-author over 20 books since 1973. He and his wife, Diana, whose doctorate is in Gerontological Studies, develop materials that offer spiritual nurture to the aging, especially those with dementia. Rich’s favorite Bible verse is John 10:10; “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
Kim Aukerman – Office Coordinator
Kim Aukerman began working with God Cares Ministry in June 2012. Visiting in nursing homes for 16 years, Kim loves the opportunity to serve nursing home residents in a new way through managing office duties, connecting and helping volunteers, processing orders, and bookkeeping. A graduate of Berea High School, Kim attended Cuyahoga Community College and has over 30 years combined experience in bookkeeping, secretarial, office management and general clerical work. When asked about a favorite Bible verse, Kim replied “I can’t pick just one. For me, different verses provide guidance and comfort throughout various stages of life.”
Pam Eck – Bookkeeper
Pam Eck has helped to keep God Cares Ministry running smoothly for over 11 years. She has had a variety of roles including maintaining bookkeeping, front desk operations, resource distribution, and coordination of training and events. Currently, Pam is still managing God Cares Ministry’s bookkeeping, however, she has scaled back her duties, as she recently completed her Associates in Applied Science and is now a licensed physical therapist assistant. She continues her education, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Gerontology. Pam has a deep love for elderly residents and has fond memories of visiting her great grandfather in the nursing home even at a young age. One of Pam’s favorite verses is Philippians 2:13
Arlene Sikorski – Publications Editor
Arlene Sikorski is God Cares Ministry’s publications editor. Arlene achieved an M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a B. A. in Music from Baldwin-Wallace College. Serving in nursing home ministry for 25 years, Arlene enjoys playing keyboard for worship services, sing-alongs and special events. She has also worked professionally in nursing homes for 2 years as an occupational therapist. Currently, she plays piano or organ for worship times in nursing homes anywhere from 2-4 times a week. Arlene is grateful to serve God Cares Ministry as a writer and co-editor for the newsletter and other publications. Arlene’s favorite Bible verse is Psalm 27:4