Legal, Financial & Operations
Not-for-Profit Status & Executive Leadership
Stepping Stones Network is a program of Oasis Productions, a 501c3 faith based organization that can receive tax-deductible donations. Suzanne Baker Brown serves as Executive Director of Stepping Stones as well as President of the Board of Oasis Productions. Suzanne has a rich history in women’s ministry and helping people who have come out of abusive and destructive situations rebuild their lives. Suzanne has corporate leadership and management consulting background. She has also helped to launch and lead a number of not-for-profit organizations. Governing Board includes Suzanne Baker Brown, Michelle Bobart, Kelli McMiller (Secretary), and GInny Girmschied (Treasurer). In 2019, we will be adding one person to our Governing Board, as well as creating a 10-person Development Board and an Advisory Board.
We have completed initial training and are in a formal mentee relationship with Wellspring Living, an organization that is well respected in the field of residential sex trafficking recovery programs. We are also pursuing CARF Accreditation.
We have learned from similar organizations that an endeavor of this magnitude is expensive and requires a large number of volunteers to assist – in other words, “it takes a village”. Some might say the price is too high, but what is one life worth? In God’s eyes, every life is a treasure and worth every effort and cost to be redeemed and restored. Therefore, a key focus will be to engage the entire community to work together in unity to help with everything from fundraising, working with the clients, presenting educational materials, etc. We operate with around 40-50 committed volunteers at any given time. Many who who have been dedicated for multiple years and make their roles with Stepping Stones Network a priority in their lives. Stepping Stones Network has several social networks, businesses and churches that partner with us through our Champion Network. We initiated several Community Collaboration meetings amongst social agencies and are an active member of the Lake County Human Trafficking Coalition and Partnership for a Safer Lake County. We also engage through email and social media platforms.
Our approach to fundraising includes reaching out to individuals and organizations through our email, social media, community engagement network, periodic crowd funds and our monthly donor 24 to Restore program. Our two major annual events are in November, when we offer a Festival of Trees (in partnership with Cuneo Mansion) targeted to families, individuals and couples and in April, we hold an event to develop major donors (in partnership with HealTeam6). We also have a grant writer and seek grants appropriate for our development.
We will operate at around a $350,000 budget in 2019. We file annual 990’s and will begin a formal audit process in 2020.
Staffing & Operations
We are led by part-time CFO/COO Ginny Girmscheid and volunteer Directors, including Asst. Executive Director Donna Stevenson, Operations Director Beth Jordan-Kroll, Development Director Colette Mendelson, Education Director Jean Doi, Communications Director Olivia Gildenzopf and Property Manager Tim Girmscheid. Our Residential Program is led by full and part-time paid staff. We have an incredible team of committed volunteers who run an incredibly well organized program and who receive occasional stipends or appreciation gifts for their exceptional effort.