Meet the Staff
Meet the Staff
Hospitality House is proud to have a dedicated and passionate team of leaders who are committed to the men, women and children we assist and live the values of dignity, respect, compassion and integrity each day. Feel free to email us.
Tina B. Krause (she/her)
Wilkes County resident Tina B. Krause is a graduate of Guilford College with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Administrative Justice degree with concentrations in Psychology and Public Administration. Tina joined Hospitality House as Director of Services in August 2011 after serving as Director of Community and Program Services for United Way of Wilkes. After three years she assumed the role of Hospitality House Executive Director in July 2014 and continues to oversee existing supportive services, the implementation of new programs, Federal and State grants and management of a staff of thirty-two.
During her United Way tenure she received the Randy Lyons Memorial Award for Excellence in Service for Wilkes County Children. Tina currently serves on the on the NC HMIS Governance Board and coordinates the Northwest NC Continuum of Care for the seven rural mountain counties serviced by Hospitality House. Previously, she served eight years as Program Coordinator and Educator for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte Camping Services. During those eight years she was a two time recipient of the YMCA Rose Award for Excellence in Service. She has also served as a founding board member for Wilkes Circles of Care and the Watauga representative on the Agency Advisory Council for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC.
Todd Carter (he/him/they)
Chief Development Director
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a concentration in Exercise Science, Todd Carter has served as Chief Development Director for Hospitality House of Northwest N.C since 2011. He works with individuals, businesses, faith communities, foundations, grant-makers and civic organizations to offer opportunities for support of the programs and services made available to clients of Hospitality House. He handles all public relations, donor relations, social media and marketing, organizes multiple fundraisers, campaigns and outreach events. Additionally, he is the student internship coordinator and leads the COVID response team.
In November 2021 Todd was elected to serve on the Boone Town Council for a term of four years. He is also on the Board of Directors for Ashe County Coalition for the Homeless (ACCH), is the founding 2nd Vice President and past President of the Watauga Branch of the NAACP, is a founder of the High Country LGBTQ Youth Alliance and co-founder of the Watauga Back2School Festival. Previously, he served on the Advisory Board and as a supervisor for the North Carolina Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA program, on the Community Advisory Committee for the Appalachian State University Carnegie Foundation Classification, as a mentor in the Dale Tweedy Mentoring Program at the Appalachian State Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship, a session presenter and Peer Collaborator for the Mandela Washington Fellowship, and on the Executive Planning Committees for both the Stone Soup Nonprofit Leadership Consortium and OUT in the High Country Conference.
Jan Skopecek (she/her)
Director of Finance
Jan is the Director of Finance and she handles finances and compliance with fiscal responsibility to the grant funders who we receive funding from. She highly enjoys the staff both at the office and shelter who make coming to work every day a joy. She began at the Hospitality House as a volunteer in the finance department in the Spring of 2021 and nnow she holds the position of Director of Finance since May of 2022. Jan attended College in San Marcos, Texas, and the Bay Area of California. She has been in finance since the late ‘60s and has always loved creating order. In her free time, she loves to read and experience the beauty of the High Country.
Ethan Flynn (he/him)
Director of Grant Funding
Ethan is a 2015 graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology. Near the end of his senior year internship at Hospitality House he accepted a post-graduate position as NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA and project manager of Welcome Home Thriftique. In August 2018, at the end of his two-year VISTA term, Ethan was hired by Hospitality House as a full time Supportive Services Specialist and then promoted to Service Coordinator of our Emergency Shelter program. Most recently, in April 2022 he was promoted to his current position of Director of Grant Funding. Born in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, Ethan enjoys Boone for its hiking trails, sense of community, and SNOW!
Director of Emotional Support
Keeva came into Emergency Shelter Coordinator Ethan Flynn’s life in 2016 and they have been best pals ever since. Keeva was named Hospitality House "Director of Emotional Support" (she even has her own name tag) as she comes to work everyday to help folks decompress and relax.
Keeva is as gentle as can be and loves roaming from office to office to convince staff members to give her treats before her next nap.
Jenna Crawley, MA, LCMHC, LCAS (she/her)
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Therapist
Originally from Kilmarnock, Virginia, Jenna joined the Hospitality House team in August 2013. With a Master’s degree in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling from Appalachian State, and a certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy, Jenna works one on one with Hospitality House clients, providing assistance in mental health and addictions. When not at work, Jenna loves to be outside and hanging out with family. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her almost 3 year old daughter skipping rocks on the river. “I love everything about the Hospitality House! The staff and the residents are amazing. I feel truly honored to be working with everyone here. It is finding the glimmer of hope in otherwise challenging times."
Lead Emergency Shelter Coordinator / Local System Administrator
Boone native Sonya Hamby graduated from Appalachian State in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree. Prior to joining our staff she worked for three and one-half years in a group home for intellectually and developmentally delayed adults. Since joining Hospitality House in 2005, Sonya has served in a variety of roles including Shelter Associate, Shelter Manager, Transitional and Permanent Supportive Housing Coordinator and Domestic Violence Transitional and Rapid Rehousing Coordinator. Currently she serves as the Lead Emergency Shelter Coordinator and the Local HMIS System Administrator. Sonya 'lives and breathes' Hospitality House and dedicates her time to helping residents continue along the path to employment, housing, goal-setting, and building life skills. A beach girl at heart, Sonya loves sunshine and warm weather and loves spending time with her husband Shad and dog “O.”
Service Coordinator: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking
Caitlyn Brewer (she/her)
Caitlyn graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Management and a minor in Nonprofit Management in the Spring of 2021. She began at the Hospitality House her Sophomore year of college as a volunteer, cooking and serving lunch on Sundays. In the Spring of 2021, she became an intern and in the Fall she gained the title of Executive Assistant. Day-to-day she works on grant management, bookkeeping, donor management, and administrative operations. She is appreciative of her transition from volunteer to intern to full-time employee and has seen many others go through the same process. Caitlyn loves the organization and makes a difference in the clients she serves. Outside of work, she backpacks, kayaks, and goes to live music shows.
Lexi White (she/her)
Lexi White, deciding to leave the beach behind and head for the mountains, graduated from Appalachian State with a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice in May of 2022. She began working with Hospitality House as an intern during the 2022 Summer session. After completion of her internship, she was hired as the Finance Assistant to continue her work with the organization. Lexi states that joining the Hospitality House family was a wonderful decision, and enjoys spending her time working with the Boone community. Outside of work, you can catch Lexi riding down the slopes, watching scary movies, or playing with her cat Nacho.
Brandon Poole (he/him)
Leadership Operations Coordinator / NETworX Watauga Coordinator
Brandon began working at the Hospitality House in October 2020 as he noticed the continued stresses on the system and Covid-19. He has the dual role of Leadership Operations Coordinator and NETworX Watauga Coordinator. He coordinates shelter operations, staff training, volunteers and student interns with the focus of growing future leaders. He enjoys doing something different every day and helping people through a variety of challenges. He graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Criminal Justice. In his free time, he gardens, play video games, and manage and provide housing.
Harley Atkins (he/him/they/them)
Service Coordinator: Permanent Supportive Housing / Scattered Site Housing
Originally from Mount Airy, NC, Harley moved to Boone in 2013 to attend Appalachian State University. During Harley’s time at Appalachian, he fell in love with the Boone community and decided to stay in the area after graduating in 2016. Harley worked for Crossnore School and Children’s Home before joining Hospitality House in 2019. Before assuming his current role, Harley served as the Supportive Services & Permanent Supportive Housing Specialist/RISE Coordinator. Harley strives to promote equality and empowerment among individuals and to be an advocate for those in need of support. In his free time,
Harley enjoys hiking, camping, and being outside.
Brandon Randall (he/him)
Service Coordinator: Permanent Supportive Housing / Scattered Site Housing
Brandon is a native Floridian who made a move to Boone after listening to the call of the mountains. He is a 2018 graduate from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in Biology and he plans to further his education and attend a master’s program for Genetic Counseling. Brandon has worked several different jobs within the medical field before deciding to join Hospitality House as a Shelter Associate in 2020 before being promoted in November to his current position. In his time off you can find him hiking, at a brewery, playing guitar, making music with friends and trying not to take life too seriously.
Marnie Slawson (she/her)
Service Coordinator: Homeless Prevention and Diversion / Rapid Rehousing
Marnie graduated Summa Cum Laude from Appalachian State in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in Sociology. Her future plans include pursuing a Masters degree in social work. Marnie began as a volunteer at Hospitality House in August of 2018 and was proud to join the staff as a Shelter Associate in May of 2019. She is passionate about the mission of Hospitality House and is honored to have a place within an organization whose mission is so in line with her own values. She finds satisfaction in building kinship with those who use services at Hospitality House. In September of 2020 Marnie was promoted to her current position. In her free time Marnie loves hiking, yoga, and anything that gets her outside (and discussing her self-described “obsession” for Hospitality House with friends, family, and anyone willing to listen).
Logan Shaut (he/him)
Coordinated Entry and Outreach Specialist
Boone native Logan Shaut is currently enrolled at Appalachian State University pursuing Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree. He previously graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in History with a concentration in Peace, War, and Defense. He started as a Shelter Associate in 2019 and was promoted to the position of Coordinated Entry (CE) / Outreach & Supportive Services Specialist in November 2020. Logan has a great admiration for the people of the High Country as well as its beautiful environment that continue to inspire him to work for the betterment of both. He is looking forward to traveling to each of our seven counties to engage and support the unsheltered homeless population. He loves snowboarding, Jeopardy!, and walking his dogs, Duke and Daisy, on the Greenway Trail. He has worked in several Non-Profit organizations but Hospitality House is, by far, his favorite.
Graham Doege (she/her)
Service Coordinator: WeCAN / Rapid Rehousing
A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec with Bachelor of Arts in Music, Bachelor of Education and Master of Computer Science degrees, Graham came to Hospitality House in 2011 as our Homeless Prevention Rapid Rehousing Coordinator. Previously, she worked for eight years as a Community Support Specialist at New River Behavioral Health. In 2012 she moved into her current Service Coordinator role where she continues to manage the Rapid Rehousing Program and oversees WeCAN - Western Crisis Assistance Program, providing counseling to those who find themselves in a serious situation but who are not homeless. Additionally, Graham administers the BREMCO Operation Round Up and NRLP Good Neighbor Round Up programs, and helps people find resources that they need to maintain housing and prevent homelessness.
Tori Rodriguez (she/her)
Emergency Shelter Housing Specialist
Originally from Morganton, NC, Tori has loved the mountains and foothills her whole life. After graduating high school with her associate’s degree in 2019, Tori came to Appalachian State University to study Public Relations with a minor in Leadership Studies. Tori began as a Public Relations intern in early 2021 and quickly fell in love with Hospitality House. After graduating with her Bachelor of Arts degree Tori was hired as a Shelter Associate and was promoted to her current position in July 2021. She is passionate about the mission of Hospitality House and considers herself lucky to work in a field where she gets to build relationships with those who use services at Hospitality House. When she’s not at Hospitality House, Tori enjoys tie-dyeing, cooking, getting tattoos, and finding new roads and areas to explore in the High Country.
Randy DeSear (he/him)
Food Service Coordinator
Randy DeSear started working at the Hospitality House in April of 2022 as a Food Service Specialist and was promoted to his current role in July 2022. On a daily basis, he cooks breakfast and lunch, as well as, coordinates the interns and volunteers in the kitchen. He loves to be creative in the kitchen and strives to provide restaurant quality meals to our clients. His main focus is putting clients first. He has experienced homelessness, so he finds it very important to give back to our guests through meals, conversations, or rides. In his free time, he loves to spend time with family, work on his house, and go kayaking.
Emily Lowe (she/her)
Food Service Associate
Emily’s title is “Food Service Associate” but more specifically, she is in charge of running the food pantry! Her daily tasks include making food boxes, talking to our food pantry clients, organizing the bodega, and overseeing the interns in the pantry. She has absolutely loved working in the pantry and building relationships with the clients that come regularly. She started at the Hospitality House as an intern in the Fall of 2021 while she was getting her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Appalachian State University and she just graduated in May of 2022. Emily really loved working in the food pantry so, after her internship, she volunteered weekly in the food pantry until getting hired in April of 2022. In the Fall, she’ll also be starting her Masters in Restorative Justice through Vermont Law School! In her free time, she likes to read, crochet, and drive on the parkway!
Jakin Rohlinger (he/him)
Coordinated Entry and Outreach Specialist
Charlotte native and lifelong Green Bay Packers fan Jakin Rohlinger started as an intern at Hospitality House in January 2021. Following his graduation from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree and a minor in Psychology, he joined the Hospitality House staff as a Shelter Associate in May 2021. In April 2022 he was promoted to his current position as Outreach and Supportive Services Specialist. Currently, Jakin is pursuing his Master's degree in Public Administration at Appalachian State University.
Jakin loves dedicating time to help others and in his free time, enjoys watching and playing sports. When back at home in Charlotte, he often works helping children with special needs, specifically Autism.
Kennedy Freeman (she/her)
Data and Intake Specialist
Kennedy graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2020, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree with a minor in Education. In the Summer of 2019 she was an intern in our gardens and absolutely fell in love with Hospitality House. In fact, Hospitality House was the main reason why she moved to Boone following her graduation! In January 2021, Kennedy was promoted from Shelter Associate to her current position as Data and Intake Specialist. Kennedy also works as a nanny, but in her free time she loves dancing, hiking, encouraging people, soaking up the sun, and going for long drives on the parkway -- really anything that involves admiring nature’s beauty.
Lauren Anderson (she/her)
Lauren is a 2021 graduate from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Nonprofit Organizations. Lauren plans to take a gap year (or two!) before pursuing further education for her degree. She is very passionate about travel, music, working with people, finding new sunset spots and spreading joy. After being a volunteer and student intern, she is so excited for the opportunity to be a Shelter Associate at the Hospitality House and be part of an organization that brings so much light to the community!
Aaren Grant (they/them)
Aaren graduated in 2021 from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor's in English, Creative Writing Concentration. They will continue their Graduate education in the Fall, pursuing a MA in English College Teaching. They started at the Hospitality House as a Shelter Associate in late March and they oversee the everyday operations of residents and ensure peace, as well as safety of those visiting the shelter. Aaren admires the resiliency of both staff and residents. They deal with unpredictable events every day. They find it amazing to see people still smiling and coming together at the end of the day.
Elizabeth Kurtz (she/her)
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health. Now she is in the Master of Social work program at Appalachian State University. In March, Elizabeth joined our team as a shelter associate. Every day brings different tasks for her. She admires the support system that the Hospitality House creates for our community. Her free time is spent reading, exploring outside, and just being creative!
Jake Parrott (he/him)
Jacob began working at the Hospitality House in April of 2022 as a Shelter Associate. Prior to this, he graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Social Science. Jacob typically spends his days engaging with clients, helping out wherever he can, and trying not to eat all of the chicken wings and snacks provided by the shelter. He loves seeing how much the residents, guests, staff, interns, and volunteers look out for each other. When Jacob is not working he enjoys soccer, basketball, ping pong, movies, music, photography, traveling, reading, and spending time outdoors.
Liz Jimenez (she/her)
Liz started as an intern in January 2022 for my Social Work field placement. She was officially hired as a Shelter Associate in April 2022 at the end of her internship. Liz graduated from Appalachian State in 2022 with a bachelor’s of Social Work. She is currently a graduate student in the Advanced Standing Social Work program planning to walk again in 2023 with her Master’s. She loves working at the Hospitality House because every day is something new and it is exciting to be able to experience something different every day. Liz really appreciates the support system at the Hospitality House. She is a big mental health advocate and loves to see how everyone helps clients and also co-workers with their mental health. In her free time, she likes to learn about mental health, travel, run, and spend time in nature.
Russell Letourneau (pronouns)
Russell began working at the Hospitality House back in December 2021. While working here, Russell enjoys greeting and aiding his residents on a day-to-day basis. This includes providing their favorite snack, listening to them, and bringing a positive attitude into work. Similarly to his work experience, Russell is a senior at Appalachian State University studying Psychology and Social Work. Other than work and school, Russell spends his free time working out, hanging out with friends, and of course, watching football!! GO APP STATE.
Skylar Shears (she/her)
Skylar currently attends college at Appalachian State University studying social work. In November of 2021, she started at the Hospitality House. She spends time with residents and none-residents getting to know their needs and maintaining a positive and safe environment. Skylar admires being able to talk and interact with all the different residents and getting to know all the different types of personalities they all have. In her free time, she hangs out with her roommates or friends, hiking, working out, watching tv and coloring.
Ja'vonta Edgerton (he/him)
Ja’vonta attends Appalachian State University and his Major is social work. He graduates in the Fall of 2022. He started at the Hospitality House in September 2021. Ja’vonta admires the Hospitality House because he is able to build real relationships with clients and learn more about the community in Boone. Also, he admires the support system that the Hospitality House offers for the Boone community. In his free time, he loves to cook, jam out to 90's Hip Hop & R&B, go on long walks with his pup, and occasionally go on road trips.
Sarah Blake (she/her)
Sarah began at the Hospitality House as a shelter associate in May of 2022. Her day-to-day is different but she mainly makes sure that everything is running smoothly and helps residents and clients with anything they may need. Sarah loves the community she found at the Hospitality House and ensures that everyone feels welcome. She is a senior at Appalachian State University, studying Philosophy and minoring in Psychology. She plans to get her Masters of Social Work at Appalachian State University after graduation. In her free time, she loves seeing live music, reading, the flow arts, and fire spinning.