Kelley is the fourth leader in Action Ministries’ 50+ year history. “Representing the needs of nearly 100,000 people each year across Georgia is a humbling responsibility,” says Henderson, “and my vision is that Action Ministries remain a beacon of hope for the poor, a new beginning for the homeless, and a great place to serve for our staff and volunteers.”
Prior to leading the organization, Kelley served as Chief Operating Officer since 2014, with oversight of the program, financial and operational direction of Action Ministries. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer of First Step Staffing, a nonprofit alternative staffing organization headquartered in Atlanta. Prior to First Step, Kelley headed programs for MUST Ministries, providing food, clothing, housing and job training in eight counties. He has been involved in issues related to poverty and homelessness in the Atlanta area since 2006 where he began as a volunteer, later transitioning a career in financial services to fully dedicate his energy to working with the poor. He is a 1996 graduate of Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Kelley earned a master’s degree in theology from Spring Hill College and is pursuing a Ph.D. in public policy. In his spare time, Kelley enjoys spending time with family and enjoys a number of outdoor activities, including sailing, fly fishing and hiking.
Marvin is a seasoned housing professional with extensive experience running large housing projects and scattered site community development initiatives throughout the Southeast. For the past two years of his professional career, Marvin has been working as an independent contractor consulting on matters of human capital development and low-income public housing operations. Prior to venturing out as an independent contractor, he had a successful 12-year career beginning in 2001 with the Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) in the Human Development Services Department. There he held key positions, including his last as Vice President of Human Development Services. In this role, Marvin was responsible for all departmental operations including designing, directing and administering strategies for family success. His leadership impacted all of AHA’s clients including seniors, persons with disabilities, families and children in AHA’s affordable public housing communities and the participants in the Housing Choice Voucher program. He also played an instrumental role in helping AHA with developing and implementing various organizational process improvement and organizational strategies designed to improve business operations and facilitate family success. Prior to joining AHA, Marvin worked as an Assistant Local Office Administrator with the Illinois Department of Human Services where he was responsible for directing a team of case managers and supervisors in administering the State of Illinois’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program to low-income individuals and families. He is member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and is originally from Spartanburg, S.C. He earned his bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and his master’s degree of social work from the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign.
Shakura began working in hunger relief as a college student at Clark Atlanta University, volunteering at local nonprofits that support under-served communities. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in communications, she spent the next 15 years in marketing, research and business development.
She served with the Action Ministries Regional Hunger Relief team as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2013 to fulfill her greater passion in community development. She was later hired as the program coordinator for Action Ministries Feed the Hungry, where she managed key partnerships, local distribution and volunteer engagement. Warehouse operations, volunteer engagement, supplier relations, inventory management and budget control became part of her growing toolbox since 2013.
The development and rapid growth of the SuperPack program shows her continuous efforts to identify and develop tools that best meet the evolving needs of the communities Action Ministries serves. In her words, she believes in “building local communities that endure and sustain, that spread hope and breathe possibility.” Outside of work, Shakura enjoys traveling, running and exploring the beautiful state of Georgia with her husband and two kids.
Drew spent his early career in the food service industry. He held senior operating positions with Rally’s Hamburgers and Popeye’s chicken. He also led groups as a franchisee of Donato’s Pizza and Moe’s Southwest Grill.
Drew has always had a deep passion for serving others. After a number of years volunteering with Habitat for Humanity he joined the staff of Habitat for Humanity International in Atlanta, Georgia as a senior director in 2010. For the first 2 years Drew was responsible for the National Gift in Kind Program. He and his team distributed $25 million of donated building materials and other products to 1,500 Habitat Affiliates and 800 Habitat ReStores across the USA.
In 2013 he was chosen to form the Habitat for Humanity ReStore Operations Group. Drew and his team opened and operated 5 ReStores. The profits generated in this social enterprise supported the work of local Affiliates across Greater Atlanta.
Drew was recently selected to join Action Ministries as the Vice President of Administration. “I am overjoyed, honored and privileged to be a member of this outstanding organization which has been leading people out of poverty since 1963. Action Ministries removes barriers that prevent thousands of Georgians from breaking the cycle of poverty and realizing their full potential. I am humbled and excited to join my heart and hands to this great work.”
Dr. Simmons joined our team in June of 2018. This unique 12 month position is designed to engage prominent retiring clergy who will to serve as a mission ambassador of Action Ministries to the North Georgia Conference. During this year long position, Dr. Simmons is a member of the senior leadership team, and works directly with CEO Kelley Henderson to grow and serve our partnerships with United Methodist Churches. Dr. Simmons most recently served as Senior Pastor of St. James United Methodist Church in Atlanta. During his career he has served at Embry Hills, Northbrook, Glenn Memorial, and also in the office of the Bishop as District Superintendent for Athens Elberton District and as head of Ministerial Services and Spiritual Formation.
Carol was born in Athens, Georgia and raised in Cedartown, Georgia. Carol graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in English. She has spent most of her career with the IBM Corporation, serving in various sales, services, and management positions over 36 years. Her most recent position was as a software sales manager for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Carol retired from IBM in 2014.
Carol served on the board of directors of Action Ministries for 6 years, recently completing her second term. While on the board, Carol served as both secretary of the board and as chair of the governance committee. Carol is a member of Peachtree Road United Methodist church and a member of the Chancel Choir there. She currently serves on the Wake Forest University Board of Visitors, where she is a past chair. Carol serves as a mentor at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit School. In her spare time, Carol enjoys travel, gardening, reading, photography, piano, and working out.
Carol and her husband Greg have three children and one grandchild, and they live in Marietta.
Katie joined Action Ministries in 2016 after completing a master’s degree of religion and public life at Candler School of Theology. She is a graduate of Furman University and has a Master’s of Social Work and Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Georgia. Her research has focused on engaging faith communities with local nonprofit work to create sustainable community partnerships in mission. Katie previously worked with families experiencing homelessness, helping to increase access to shelter services and affordable housing. She and her husband live n Atlanta and enjoy spending time cooking and exploring the city.
Brooke is a graduate of the University of Alabama, Birmingham where she received her B.A. in communications and marketing. With over 20 years of fundraising experience, Brooke began her career at MUST Ministries where she helped develop several special events to take fundraising and brand awareness to a new level. Prior to joining Action Ministries, Brooke was a Development Manager at the American Lung Association. A Georgia native, Brooke is actively involved in her community and lives in Marietta with her son Levi and daughter Reanna.
Phillip is a Colorado native and a graduate from the University of Colorado. He has spent several years in youth and college ministry, while working in various marketing and digital media spaces. In 2011, he founded an online start-up company and acted as creative director producing print, video, and digital content. Avid in his faith and always curious, Phillip has a passion for taking complex ideas and presenting them in poignant clarity.
Herve joined the accounting department of Action Ministries in March 2012. Herve has worked as a general ledger accountant and a financial reporting and budget accountant in the banking and real estate industries. He is a CPA and has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and a master’s degree from St. John’s University in New York. Herve is married to Suzanne, and they have three children. He enjoys reading, handy work and spends his free time involved in his kids’ activities.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., Steve worked in the banking field for more than 15 years, largely as a bank examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Steve earned a master’s degree at Emory’s Candler School of Theology. He is a lifelong United Methodist and has worked with Action Ministries since 2004. He enjoys watching the Atlanta Braves, playing golf, camping and eating fried catfish.
Kim Natarajan leads Action Ministries’ efforts to improve access to quality education programming. This includes after-school mentorship, financial literacy for children, and goal achievement for adults.
Prior to joining AMI, Kim worked with the United Way of Greater Atlanta to design and implement multiple new initiatives. These include the Community Building Institute, the Achievement Club, and the Homeless Employment Services Initiative. Many of these programs continue to operate successfully in Atlanta communities today.
Kim is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology MCRP + M. Arch dual degree program where her study focused on international development trends and global equity in planning.
Amy oversees the Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program and helps guide the growth and implementation of the Feed the Hungry Food Box and SuperPack programs throughout Action Ministries’ service areas. Amy grew up in Statesboro and graduated from Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She taught school in Perry, Ga., and was a senior sales consultant with Scholastic Book Fairs, working closely with educators to promote literacy in the classroom. Most recently, Amy helped build the Gwinnett County Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program, increasing kids served by more than 30 percent. She and her husband attend Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. In her spare time, she enjoys international travel, playing golf and watching college football.
Sam supports the efforts of our case management team at Welcome House and in the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. She also works with our HOPWA program in the northeast for persons living with HIV/AIDS. Sam has been integral in implementing Action Ministries’ new Trinity Assessment Center, a bridge housing, residential program, for women and children experiencing homelessness.
Previously, Sam served as the homeless services campus director for MUST Ministries in Cobb County. This included a community kitchen, street outreach, emergency shelter and employment services. In addition, Sam comes to us with extensive experience in both rapid re-housing and emergency housing. With master’s degrees in social work and marriage and family therapy, she is well prepared to support the needs of our growing team. Prior to relocating to the Atlanta area, Sam served homeless populations in Detroit as a substance abuse counselor, domestic violence counselor and shelter director for one of Detroit’s largest women and families’ shelter for runaways and homeless youth.
Danielle Meyer is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and obtained her bachelor’s degree in sociology. Danielle was a dedicated transitional housing case manager for three and half years with Action Ministries until accepting the position of Director of Housing Services. Prior to joining Action Ministries, she worked for Kentucky’s Administrative Office of the Courts and later with children and adolescents with behavioral and emotional disorders. In her downtime she enjoys reading and creating family memories with her husband and their two children.
Katie is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where she received a master’s degree in social work and a certificate in nonprofit management. She joined Action Ministries in 2014 as the Development Coordinator for Breakthru House. In her current role, Katie provides support for the central development team with a focus on donor outreach and stewardship. She previously worked at the Asian American Resource Center and at the office of International Student Life at the University of Georgia. In her free time, Katie enjoys reading and spending time outdoors.
Our housing programs enable individuals and families to move from homelessness to independence. Through Action Empowers, Action Serves, Action Thrives, and Action Cares, we are providing safe, secure, stable housing opportunities to veterans, families, and adults with illnesses and disabilities.
Action Ministries’ hunger relief programs help people shed the burden of searching for their next meal. Through our food boxes, community kitchens, and childhood hunger relief programs Action Ministries volunteers are helping to break the cycle of poverty – one meal and one relationship at a time.
Action Ministries works to improve access to educational resources for families. Our child and youth programs focus on math and literacy benchmarks, social emotional skills, and access to quality field trips and summer camps. Adult coaching programs encourage parents and families to reach for their own success.