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Hilltop Ranch seeks to be an outpost of God’s Kingdom where people of all abilities can flourish in relationships of respect and mutuality.
We are a 501(c)(3) organization.
Larry grew up in Ft. Collins as the son of a fireman. He went to college and played football for CSU – Pueblo and graduated with a degree in marketing. He worked for 16 years in the information technology industry, serving as a regional director of the value-added marketing division of Unisys Corporation.
Larry moved to the non-profit sector and served as Executive Director of Development & Marketing for Compassion International, where he worked for nearly a decade helping them grow from a 40 million dollar organization with less than 100 employees to over a 120 million dollar organization with 450 employees.
Desiring to impact more non-profits locally and internationally he started a fundraising consulting business, The Elevation Group, and served over 300 non-profit organizations over the following ten years.
For over a decade Larry served as President/CEO at Springs Rescue Mission which helps citizens who are struggling with mental illness or addiction and who find themselves homeless in our community. He served as Board Chairman of Citygate Network (300 member association of Rescue Missions across North America) and the Downtown Partnership.
He’s been a member of the Colorado Springs community since 1977 and is active in politics, civic duties and in his local church. Larry and his wife, Kim, have two children and three grandchildren.
Rich had a 40+ year career in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations serving in financial & administrative senior management roles. His last job was VP Finance / CFO for Family Policy Alliance, a public policy partner of Focus on the Family. Early in his career he served as the pastor of a community church in the Philadelphia area for eight years.
Rich holds a BA in Business Administration and Managerial Economics from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. He also earned a MBA degree in Finance from Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Rich and his wife Becky recently celebrated their 43rd anniversary and are blessed by their four adult children and seven grandchildren. Rich and Becky are the co-founders of Hilltop Ranch.
Becky has over three decades of teaching experience in public school mathematics, homeschool, and high school substitute teaching. She managed a home business for 14 years, building and training team members. When her husband Rich retired, they gave their full attention to the founding of Hilltop Ranch, a journey they had begun ten years earlier. During that time, Becky had started a fundraising and skill development micro-enterprise for adults with disabilities that has raised over $10,000 for Hilltop Ranch.
Alongside her husband Rich, Becky has spent 15 years becoming knowledgeable about legislation and current trends concerning housing for the IDD population. They have visited and researched housing models all across the country and have established relationships with state and local officials to make changes that will improve the housing situation for the IDD population.
Becky’s skills in creative problem solving, her marketing and development skills, and her relentless diligence have contributed significantly to where Hilltop Ranch is today – ready to see their first home take off and flourish.
Dan Mellema is the Chief Financial Officer for Focus on the Family; he came to Focus on the Family in August of 1993. He also serves on the Spoken Worldwide board and the Focus on the Family South Africa board.
Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics from John Brown University. Prior to coming to Focus on the Family Dan worked for and eventually managed the family construction business. During this time, he also served as a youth leader in his church and developed a passion for using his business skills to further God’s kingdom. Dan was able to continue working with young people as a junior high and junior varsity basketball coach for over 20 years at Colorado Springs Christian School. Dan is very active in his local church where he currently serves as an elder.
Dan is a native of Colorado and grew up in Colorado Springs. He has been married to his beautiful wife Sue for 35 years. They have three married sons, three beautiful daughters-in-law, 7 grandkids and a remarkable niece with special needs.
Pam has over 40 years of experience developing leaders, empowering teams, and training individuals and large groups in understanding their God-given gifts and maximizing their impact as leaders. She has worked with youth, college students, young professionals, and executive leaders in the business world and non-profit organizations from various cultures and diverse settings.
Pam spent 39 years working for Young Life (a global youth outreach organization), serving as an Area Director, a Regional Director, and most recently as the Senior Director of Learning and Leadership. She also previously served for 5 years as the Director of Spiritual Formation at a large Presbyterian Church in Omaha, NE. She recently started her own coaching business and does executive leadership coaching with leaders from across the globe, both with non-profit organizations and in the business sector. Along with another colleague, she started and developed an Executive Leadership Training program called Accelerator, training female ministry leaders from across the continent of Africa and the Middle East.
Pam has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Human Services & Sociology from the University of Tennessee and a Masters in Theology from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA. She is certified as an ACC (Associate Certified Coach) through the International Coaching Federation.
Pam is widowed and has three adult children and six grandchildren who live across the country. Pam resides in Colorado Springs, CO, where she enjoys involvement in her church, hiking, kayaking, traveling, spending time with good friends, and reading a good book. She has a huge heart for those with special needs and served for 25 years as a leader with Capernaum, Young Life’s outreach ministry to adolescents with disabilities.
Justin Perry is Chief Operating Officer and partner in a nationally franchised restaurant group located along the front range of Colorado. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University, a Master’s in Business Administration and is a registered Professional Engineer. After college, he attended Navy OCS Pensacola FL and received a commission as an Officer in the United States Navy. Following his time on Active Duty, Justin continued his service to our country in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Justin is a native of Colorado Springs. He has been married to his beautiful bride Christina for 17 years. Justin and Christina have 16 years experience in the special needs community as they are blessed with two fearfully and wonderfully made children with a rare genetic neurological condition. Justin enjoys camping, fishing and hunting as well as coaching youth ice hockey.
As a Colorado Springs native, Chelsey is excited to help create a hospitable space for the special needs community near her hometown. After graduating from Wheaton College in 2019, she spent the next several years in Christian nonprofit work. As was true for so many, the pandemic stretched their ministry in ways they never would have anticipated. She was challenged to step into new roles as the needs of the community changed. Today Chelsey’s grateful for the wide breadth of nonprofit experience she gained during that difficult time, particularly in the areas of grant writing, event planning, and case work.
Chelsey began working at Hilltop Ranch in June 2023 after graduating from Wheaton College with an M.A. in Systematic Theology, and is looking forward to returning to nonprofit work. As she continues to learn more about the incredible need for residential options for adults with disabilities, she has only become more passionate about the service Hilltop Ranch will offer. In particular, Chelsey’s excited to draw Colorado Springs and Palmer Lake locals into this vital mission and vision—whether they feel called to serve as prayer partners, donors, or volunteers. She feels very thankful for the opportunity to participate in such an important effort, and can’t wait to see how God works through Hilltop Ranch!
Lydia Griffith has over ten years of experience working as a caregiver for people who have special needs, including children, young adults, and geriatric individuals. Lydia received a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, followed by a Masters of Social Work at Union University in Germantown, TN.
As an undergraduate, Lydia spent three years as a team member, cabinet member, and director respectively for an organization called Honduras Project, a team comprised of Wheaton students who partner with a local Honduran engineer to fund and install a gravity-fed water system in a different rural Honduran community each year. As a cabinet member, Lydia was responsible for documenting the group’s 40-year history as well as organizing a three-day event for approximately 125 alumni. Later, as the team’s director, Lydia was responsible for overseeing the 27-person group’s $95,000 operational budget. Her responsibilities included fundraising efforts, education, and the team’s eventual international travel to the remote community.
Lydia’s experiences in caregiving and social work have distilled in her a distinct sense of God’s calling on her life. She believes that God’s love is impartial and that, unless all of us belong, no one belongs. She’s excited to be at Hilltop Ranch, where she hopes to facilitate the integration of residents with the larger Colorado Springs community as well as the integration of the larger community with the residents.
Outside of work, Lydia enjoys long runs, reading books, talking to strangers, and driving cross-country. As a Colorado Springs native, Lydia is looking forward to life back in her hometown. After many years away, she’s anticipating summiting more 14’ers, fly-fishing in her favorite streams and rivers, and returning to the city that she loves.