We are a passionate team of dreamers who work hard to fight and put an end to human trafficking, child and sex exploitation and abolish modern-day slavery.
Founder & CEO
Amy Thurston is the Founder and President of Hope Inspire Love. As president, she is passionate about guiding the mission of abolishing modern-day slavery, providing freedom to those being victimized, and hope to the hopeless.
Amy has a background in youth ministry and counseling and holds a degree in Christian Leadership from Southeastern University. She also is a life coach and is a credentialed minister, speaker, and educator. Her work with human injustice in Chile and Nicaragua has provided powerful serving opportunities that have changed people’s lives.
Amy is as extroverted as you can get and is a social people person who feels called to love on people. Amy has a desire to wholeheartedly be an agent of life transformation to people. She thrives in helping people discover their God-given gifts and search for their purpose as they bring honor to God and service to their community.
Amy was born and raised in Lancaster County. She worked in higher education for fifteen years where she developed a fervent heart for youth, young adults, and ministry. Amy and her husband Steve also share a passion for missions and spent many years training young adults for missions along with leading teams to foreign countries.
Amy and her husband are blessed with two young adult sons and one rambunctious little girl who loves the beach and skipping stones on lakes, and rides unicorns with fluffy feathers in her spare time.
Mary Beth Christofis is the second most extrovert on the team. Growing up in Ohio, she is an avid Ohio State fan in case her picture didn’t make it clear enough. Go Buckeyes! Mary Beth is an avid Chick-fil-a fan as well. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even an afternoon snack, there’s no wrong time of day to eat from Chick-fil-a. In fact, she would prefer to eat a Lunchable for dinner than steak every day of the week. She is blessed to have a strong group of friends in her corner, ready to back her up with whatever life throws her way.
Mary Beth is passionate about being a voice for those who feel as if they don’t have one. She believes being a representative to the voiceless and helping those who cannot help themselves is what we are called to do.
Mary Beth graduated from the University of Valley Forge with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. Working with young children now allows her to be the ally for the child that can’t communicate for themself. And as a volunteer, she’s living out the message to be a voice for those who are barely seen or heard.
Liz Imhof is a dedicated student who navigates life with her quirky personality and an optimistic attitude. Even though she’s always lived in the same small town in Lancaster County, she craves the unknown in the form of spontaneous road trips and worldwide travels. Liz has explored Greece, Colombia, and Haiti, and has memorably traveled all of Highway 1 in California. One day she will officially be able to say she has visited all 50 states. Her taste for music also expands far and wide with the exclusion of heavy metal/screamo and country. As an avid reader, she once read over 100 books in 1 year. Some try to avoid books at all costs, but Liz is drawn to them like a moth to a flame, unable to stop reading more and buying more.
She is always up for any opportunity to volunteer. Liz loves to lend a hand to anyone who needs it. Whether it’s the elderly neighbor who needs her lawn mulched or a school event that’s short-staffed, Liz is there to help in any capacity. She wholeheartedly stands behind the message of Hope Inspire Love. Growing up questioning her self-worth, she believes every single individual needs to know how much they’re worth.
Liz is currently working on a bachelor’s for Integrated Marketing Communication at York College of Pennsylvania after finishing her gen-eds at Harrisburg Area Community College. After she endured a concussion in high school, with effects still lasting today, the future for college looked uncertain. Because of that, she does not take the privilege of attending school for granted. She considers the opportunity to further her education as an invaluable and rewarding experience.
As a survivor of sexual abuse, Benita has a passion for working with women by providing hope in any healing journey. She is the owner of Regaining Hope, a business that focuses on inspirational and awareness apparel to help shine a light on rape and sex trafficking.
Giving hope to the hopeless and helping others find healing is at the core of her life.
Benita loves the medical field as well (she has CNA training). She’s an avid reader and loves a mix of inspirational books and novels. She is a natural DIY with craft projects and works wonders when she refinishes furniture, decorates, and crafts with similar projects.
Benita is married to Lemuel and they have one very energetic daughter.
Norma Presler is the poster child of a high-level volunteer. If you look up the word “volunteer” in the dictionary, you will see her picture next to it. Not really, but Norma loves to volunteer and has been volunteering in different capacities over the years. She’s been a volunteer EMT, volunteer firefighter, CPR instructor, has an affinity for skydiving, and is a certified scuba diving enthusiast for many years. As a child of the 60-70s, she’s been a loathing Harley adventurer and enjoys long rides whenever she can find the time.
Norma loves horses, having had several in her teen years, and her dream job would be to work with them in any capacity. Her dream vacation would be to travel out west to a dude ranch and go on numerous rides, camping under the stars with no light pollution, with horses and dogs!
She has a passion for working on opportunities that help provide awareness and prevention of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. She loves using her skills and resources to fight the horrible crime and injustice of trafficking.
Normal has two step-children, a daughter, and a son, along with 2 granddaughters. She also has two yellow labs, she calles them “my girls”, Deco (long “e” sound) and Harley, both named after her favorite hobbies – scuba diving (“Deco” for “decompression”) and of course, her motorcycle.
Anna Knaub is a dedicated stay-at-home mom whose passions reside in making a difference and being servant-hearted. Though she may be forced to watch Moana for the umpteenth time with her daughter, keeping another tiny human alive is a rewarding adventure she loves being a part of. When she’s not chasing her toddler around, Anna loves being outdoors gardening or nerding up with the Lord of the Rings series with her husband Ethan. She has participated in over 10 mission trips across the years, both global and domestic. Nothing says memorable more than 125 strangers and only 2 working toilets.
Anna is passionate about helping and loving on everyone she meets. From working event booths for Hope Inspire Love to showing high schoolers that Shakespeare is far more than tolerable, she is always willing to lend a hand. Not only is Anna a great help to Hope Inspire Love, but she also shares her time and skills with Greenlight Operation who bring awareness to human trafficking as well.
Anna attended the University of Valley Forge where she met her husband and graduated with a degree in Secondary English Education. With already over 15 impactful years of volunteer experience, her passion for making a change in the lives around her will continue for years to come.
Britney Doyle is a professional dancer whose vibrant personality enhances the lives of everybody she meets. When Britney says she can actually dance, she’s not messing around. Besides dancing, she loves visiting new places. She has journeyed to 3 continents, with a total of 10 countries visited. She plans to check another continent off the list this year by traveling to Israel. Through and through, Britney is a country girl who jams out to her favorites like Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line. She’ll also be sure to let you know that she will never say no to nachos.
As an extrovert with an authentic, bubbly personality, Britney has a heart for connecting with others. She’s passionate about short-term missions trips and investing in the younger generation. As someone who was adopted, she strives to make sure others know their worth.
She graduated from Eastern University with a Bachelor in Dance. When Britney learned about the heart behind Hope Inspire Love, she knew she had to jump on board to help spread the message that everyone has worth and value.
Missy Knechel is one of our amazing Board Directors. She has worked in higher education for over 10 years as an adjunct professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education. She is also the director of an early learning children’s academy. She is passionate about blogging and is often a guest writer on MGM Lightworkers, Focus on the Family, and educational sites like HiMama. She believes every person has a voice and should be heard which makes it a joy to be a mentor to young adult girls.
Her love for the people and places in Belize takes her there twice a year on short-term missions trips for the past seven years. She takes a team down to partner with the local church to help with their kid’s programs and construction projects. She enjoys listening to Tori Kelly and Hillsong Young & Free, as well as her not-so-secret hobby of learning the choreography to Justin Bieber. She can’t stand to be away from lattes, hot sauce, her curling wand, or dry shampoo for too long unless a trip to the beach with her friends is involved.
Missy’s alma mater is Eastern University where she holds a Master of Multicultural Education. She wouldn’t be where she is today without her family. She has an amazing husband with who she raises four kids and a fur baby.
Sarah Koch is a seasoned traveler to countries like Nicaragua, Argentina, and Mexico. Her travelings are not leisure but as mission trips. She loves mission work with teenagers and how authentic they are. If she can make an impact in one teenagers’ life, she’s lived a good life. Sarah is proud that she can back squat 175 lbs. and loves to CrossFit, reading, and baking yummy treats.
Sarah writes songs on the fly for almost every situation because everything is a musical (she also likes Reality-TV which doesn’t help with publicly sharing her singing talents with others). She has an obsession for llamas and cries whenever a llama comes around out of love.
As an enneagram 2, she has a love for friends and family, knowing they love her and are there for her through it all. Sarah graduated from the University of Valley Forge with a BA in Youth Studies.
Linda Valloor is a wonderful mom and teacher dedicated to empowering people of all ages. She enjoys spending time with her family including her husband John and their 3 girls. One of Linda’s biggest inspirations is her daughters, who motivated her to write and self-publish a book of poetry. As a family, they plan to spend some time traveling around to different parts of the country. You might also find Linda dancing and singing along to her daughter’s favorite pop songs, as well as her favorite musicals like The Greatest Showman and Les Miserables.
Linda’s love for encouraging others, combined with her energetic spirit makes her an incredible individual to have on our team. As a teacher, she is well aware of human trafficking and knows there is more we can all be doing to provide freedom. She’s passionate about encouraging kindness and ensuring all kids know they have the ability to change the world. It’s a reward in itself when Linda sees the betterment and growth of all people.
Linda graduated from DePaul University with a Masters in Education, now teaching English World Literature and Poetry. With her passion for guiding others towards knowledge and helping individuals realize the potential in themselves, there’s no telling the impact she’s already made on the world.
Chief Storytelling Officer & COO
Steve Thurston is an entrepreneur and has a love for storytelling through words and images. As a writer, journalist, blogger, and list aficionado, his career in marketing and communications spans over two decades in the non-profit sector. He leads the strategic marketing, advertising, and brand strategies through print, digital, social, and marketing campaigns as well as public relations. Steve also oversees organization culture, communications, fundraising, finance, human resources, and organizational branding.
When he’s not guiding audience development strategies, his focus is to make sure it’s running seamlessly. He also oversees various creative projects across platforms and is head of creative where he regularly art directs and shoots in-house photography.
As a history nerd, Steve loves to read marketing-related paraphernalia and every once in a while will brush up on his Seth Godin collection of inspiring books. He lives by the motto of investing in people and great ideas.
He also eats a lot of Chedar Chips and recharges his creative cells with a daily cup of Mt Dew. He’s an introverted lab-tested homebody by day and WordPress hacker by night. Steve also has a penchant for 80s rock and collecting intriguing action figures (he prefers the term “collector” to “hoarder”). Steve was mindfully made in Chile, is fluent in Spanish, and loves to brush up his language skills over a cafe helado.
Steve holds a degree in Radio, TV and Film from Messiah University and is married to the most amazing Wonder Woman on this planet, the one, and only Amy Thurston. With two older sons and dad to a mini spunky fashionista daughter who rides a unicorn all day, it is never a dull and uneventful day at Casa Thurston.
Board of Directors
President & CEO
Bill Clarkson, PhD
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Bill Clarkson retired in May 2017 as Full Professor and Chair of the Business Administration Department at the University of Valley Forge. Course teaching a wide range of business and economics courses, Nonprofit Start-Up and Fundraising, and Church Finance.
Bill’s current days are filled with activities centered around his grandchildren, and consulting with nonprofits on a variety of issues that include: start-up, fundraising, sustainability, and founder succession.
For the past 27 years he has been listed in Who’s Who in America, and is one of their 100 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients for 2018. He has been a Kern Fellow, attending Acton University for several years, as well as an Economics Educator/Scholar attending the Hillsdale Free Market National Forum. He has been a PovertyCure Fellow, and was a member of their consulting team in 2015 for Latin American Intermediary Poverty Solutions. He is the co-author of “Poverty in Reading, PA: An Academic Case Study with Adaptable Template,” as well as several other academic works.
Bill holds a Bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. He holds a PhD in Administration, with a concentration in Organizational Development & Christian Leadership from Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburgh, IN.
Bill is married to Jan who is a Fortune 500 training consultant and executive coach. Bill & Jan have two adult sons and four grandchildren.
Senior Financial Advisor, Citadel
Jen Mack has worked in the financial services industry for almost 20 years, and recently returned to Citadel Credit Union as a Senior Financial Advisor after previously working for Citadel for over a decade. Previously, she was a Wealth Advisor at Members 1st Federal Credit Union, and has worked in the past for Thrivent Investment Management, Linsco Private Ledger Financial Corp, and Vanguard Marketing Corporation.
Jen has her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Valley Forge and holds a Masters in Business Administration from Liberty University. She loves to play volleyball and used to volunteer as a volleyball coach and clinician with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). She is married to her husband Jon and has two sons, Jalen and Justis.