About Us

National Leadership

Tarren Bragdon

Founder and Board Chair

Tarren Bragdon is the board chair of FlourishNow, which he founded in 2015 after seeing the need for a more focused and scalable effort to leverage the power of volunteers and the local Christian church in order to help neighbors and families in crisis as well as those trapped in poverty. He has been active in social services and various ministries for more than 20 years.

Tarren is the CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, which works with policymakers at the state and federal level to move people out of poverty and into full-time work. Tarren founded FGA in 2011.

Tarren is a nationally recognized expert on such issues. He has testified before committees of the U.S. Senate and House; state legislative committees in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Ohio, and New York; numerous national conferences; and the American Swiss Foundation in Switzerland. His work has been featured on Fox News’ Sean Hannity show, National Public Television’s NOW, in Wall Street Journal editorials and op-eds, and in the New York Post, Boston Globe, New York Times and on National Public Radio. His research has been published by The Heritage Foundation and The Manhattan Institute.

In September 2010, he received the Thomas Roe Award, given annually by the State Policy Network to the individual with the greatest impact on the nation’s free-market movement.

From 1996 through 2000, Tarren served in the Maine House of Representatives. Elected at the age of 21, Tarren remains the youngest person ever elected to the Maine Legislature.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Maine and his Masters of Science of Business degree from Husson University in Bangor, Maine.

Tarren and his wife Anna have four children; Wyatt, Waverly and the twins, Jude and Asher. As proud adoptive parents, Tarren and Anna support of a variety of Christian ministries in the United States and abroad that assist orphans and those in poverty. They are active members of First Baptist Church of Naples, Florida, and volunteer in the children’s ministry.

Andrew Brown

Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Brown is Chief Executive Officer of FlourishNow, which he helped launch in 2015. An attorney and nonprofit leader, he is passionate about helping the church and community be more effective at serving those in need.

Prior to joining FlourishNow, Andrew was a senior policy fellow with a top state-based think tank where he focused on child welfare law. He has testified before state legislative committees in ten states and provided expert consultation to executive branch officials on reforming their child welfare systems. His work has been published in leading legal journals and on Forbes.com.

Andrew earned his Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University and is a member of the Texas and Virginia bars. As an attorney, Andrew has represented abused and neglected children in court and served as in-house counsel with an international adoption agency in Northern Virginia.

Andrew, his wife Jen and son Boyd, live in Austin, Texas.

Megan Rose

Chief Programs Officer

Megan Rose is the Chief Programs Officer for FlourishNow.

In 2015, Megan helped launch the initial Southwest Florida Safe Families for Children program and she joined FlourishNow shortly after; bringing over 8 years of dedicated service in Child Welfare.

Megan is passionate about helping families become independent through work and healthy relationships and has been instrumental in growing FlourishNow's Work2Win program.

Prior to joining FlourishNow, she served as a child welfare caseworker, licensing specialist and as the Director of a Foster Care Organization.

During her college years, she spent time volunteering at orphanages in India and working in Europe with at-risk families and children. These experiences cemented her love and advocacy for children and desire to help strengthen families in crisis.

Megan is a graduate of Liberty University and holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology and a Masters in Human Services with a dual concentration in executive leadership and family/group dynamics. She is currently working on completing her Ph.D. requirements in professional mental health counseling.

Megan and her husband Mason are proud parents of their young son Brady and daughter Ellie. They are active members of McGregor Baptist Church, and as natives of Florida, they love the outdoors.

Advancement & Outreach

Phil Hegseth

Director of Communications

Phil Hegseth serves as FlourishNow's Director of Communications.

Prior to joining FlourishNow, Phil oversaw digital and social media development at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a national security think tank in Washington, D.C. He launched the organization's first policy-oriented podcast, developed content strategy and managed website development.

Phil started his career in communications at Concerned Veterans for America, a non-profit advocacy organization, where he managed digital media and external messaging. He worked alongside veterans and their families to bring necessary reform and accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system.

Phil has a passion for unlocking the stories of those making a difference in their communities across the world and values the power of today's evolving digital technology as a vehicle for change.

In his free time, Phil enjoys following Minnesota sports teams and working on motorcycles. Phil also follows and writes on national security and current events, and has had his writing published in Fox News, Real Clear Politics, Real Clear Defense, The Star Tribune and The Hill.

Phil has a BA in Communications and Journalism from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He currently lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Amber.

Gerhard Krȁmer

Director of Job Fair Innovation

Gerhard Krȁmer is the Director of Job Fair Innovation for FlourishNow.

Gerhard brings over 30 years of experience working for the Los Angeles Times, Monster, and Yahoo HotJobs helping employers connect with job seekers in both online and offline settings. In 2013, he transitioned from the corporate world to start Church Job Fairs as a practical ministry for his church to make a difference in the community. Soon, other pastors learned of this unique ministry requesting their own events. After 60 job fairs hosted throughout Southern California, Gerhard joins FlourishNow to implement innovative new ideas and catalyze a national movement to change lives through church-based employment ministry.

Gerhard is a member of Cucamonga Christian Fellowship, the site of the first Church Job Fair. He lives in Southern California with his two sons whom God has charged him to train up and help passionately pursue their own calling. He loves to invest time in whatever they’re doing.

JD Ribali

Director of Business Development

JD Ribali is the Director of Business Development for FlourishNow.

JD brings over 20 years of business and entrepreneurial experience to FlourishNow and is driven by the desire to help individuals and businesses flourish through work and mentorship.

In 1997, with just $500, JD launched a part-time, seasonal business to help supplement his family's income. Today, Green and Clean, LLC., operates year-round, currently providing employment opportunities and work experience for more than a dozen full-time employees. When JD started Green and Clean, he couldn't have imagined how God would use his business to improve the lives of those he offered employment to - many of whom became employed through a partnership with his church's recovery and prison ministry.

His experience with hiring, training, and mentoring employees led him to become involved with FlourishNow's Work2Win program where he also now serves as a job coach and mentor to those we serve who are seeking employment.

Together with his wife Kristina, JD has also founded and grown several marketing and advertising businesses focused on small business growth and revenue generation.

His primary role at FlourishNow is creating strategic partnerships with businesses to help expand our employment opportunities nationwide through job fairs, employment workshops, hiring events and community outreach.

JD holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Corban University and an MBA from George Fox University.

Southwest Florida

Terry Hartz

Collier County Director, Safe Families for Children Southwest Florida

Terry Hartz is the interim SWFL Regional Director in addition to directing Collier County for Safe Families for Children of Southwest Florida.

She has dedicated the past 12 years to serving the children and families in Florida’s child welfare system. Before joining Safe Families for Children of Southwest Florida in June of 2016, she served as the Director of Foster Care Ministries for Florida Baptist Children’s Homes. Terry graduated Florida Gulf Coast University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services.

Terry and her husband Brian are both proud Collier County natives, and they have two children; Karsen,9 and Parker, 6. Terry loves SEC football and is a big fan of the Tennessee Volunteers.

She has dedicated the past 12 years to serving the children and families in Florida’s child welfare system. Before joining Safe Families for Children of Southwest Florida in June of 2016, she served as the Director of Foster Care Ministries for Florida Baptist Children’s Homes. Terry graduated Florida Gulf Coast University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services.

Terry and her husband Brian are both proud Collier County natives, and they have two children; Karsen,9 and Parker, 6. Terry loves SEC football and is a big fan of the Tennessee Volunteers.

Isis LaRose

Intake Specialist for Safe Families for Children

Prior to joining FlourishNow, Isis worked in the medical field for the past 15 years in pediatrics, obstetrics, and the high-risk Perinatologist field as a Medical Assistant. She has always had a passion to help others but it wasn’t until being introduced to the safe families program and becoming a host family that she realized her passion for helping families in need through Safe Families. Isis and her husband Danny are proud parents to two amazing boys, Asher and Ayden.

Christy Sanchez

Director of Church and Volunteer Relations

Christy comes to FlourishNow after serving with other non-profit organizations, including the Pregnancy Resource Center and Wings of Shelter, where she cultivated a strong desire to love and serve families in crisis. She is a recent graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University, where she received a Bachelors of Social Work degree. Christy and her husband Diego are expecting their first child in May 2018.

Phoenix, Arizona

Andy Myers

City Director - Phoenix

Andy Myers is the City Director of Phoenix for FlourishNow.

Andy has been in full-time ministry for over 20 years and has served as lead pastor, interim pastor, and also in student ministries.

He has also led 20 ministry teams to work alongside churches in Cambodia, Guatemala, and India. Most recently, Andy worked with a Christian Foster Care and Adoption agency championing the ministry to orphans in and around the State of Arizona.

He has a passion for justice and helping churches partner together to lift up those in need in their communities and around the world.

Andy and his wife Stacey live in the Phoenix area and have four children. They've also had the blessing of being foster parents and recently adopted their little princess.

Jacksonville, Florida

Leah Hughey

City Director

Leah Stiles Hughey is the Jacksonville City Director for FlourishNow. Raised in a family of pastors and human services professionals, Leah grew up in and around churches and Christian agencies dedicated to human dignity and to the advancement of the Gospel.

However, she didn't enter "the family business" right away. After earning her bachelor's degree in government from Regent University, she completed a year-long fellowship in non-profit management and then gained several years of non-profit experience working for educational organizations in Arlington, Virginia.

Along with her husband Jason and several of their colleagues, Leah is a co-author of a forthcoming book titled Called to Freedom, which addresses the compatibility of a Christian worldview with a libertarian political philosophy. Her contribution focuses on the potential of private institutions and divinely-inspired creativity to solve major societal problems. She is excited to put those ideas into practice through her work with FlourishNow, working alongside churches and individuals dedicated to serving the people of Jacksonville.

Leah and her husband Jason are happy to call Jacksonville their new home.

Abilene, Texas

Emily Cole

Abilene City Director

Emily Cole is the Abilene City Director. She joins Flourish Now with 12 years of experience in management related to social services, emergency shelter management, acute inpatient hospitals, counseling and direct client services.

In previous positions, she has served youth and families to overcome difficulties through her work in various Abilene treatment centers, including Harmony Family Services, Betty Hardwick Center, Abilene Behavioral Health, and Oceans Behavioral Hospital, BCFS Health and Human Services, in addition to, providing therapy in private practice and working with Dyess Air Force base as a Military Family Life Counselor.

As the Clinical Director for Abilene Behavioral Health’s Residential Treatment Center, she created and managed therapeutic programs for teens to enhance their individual treatment plans. Cole has also managed public relations strategies for Oceans Behavioral Hospital as Director of Admissions and Marketing. Cole earned her Master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development from Hardin-Simmons University, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.

As a native of Abilene, TX, she enjoys giving back to the community by volunteering on several boards and supporting fundraising efforts with other non-profit social services in the Big Country area. She is actively involved in soccer and enjoys spending time with her children and all their various sporting events they participate in.