LEADERSHIP

Meet the committed individuals who generously give of their time, talent, wisdom, and resources to serve the Chronic Joy® community.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Pamela Piquette

Pamela Piquette

Executive Director and Co-Founder

Pamela is a leader and a visionary following God’s call to inspire those affected by chronic illness, mental illness, chronic pain, and disability to discover hope, find purpose, embrace worth and encounter joy. She believes that every precious life affected by chronic illness is both vital and purposed.

Pamela is a wife of more than 30 years, mother of three married children and grandmother of five. Her work experience includes: banking, marketing, volunteer management, communications, and development of training programs. She has served in a variety of leadership positions and ministries.

Pamela is diagnosed with a host of invisible illnesses, including Ehlers-Danlos, dysautonomia, fibromyalgia and chronic migraines.

Cindee Snider Re

Cindee Snider Re

Co-Founder and Treasurer

Cindee is wife of the man she loves most in this world, mama of five (ages 19-28), author, photographer, craver of quiet, lover of cotton, demin, Jesus, and tea. Her work experience includes: communications, marketing, and volunteer management for the Arthritis Foundation, copy-editing for Narada Productions, content writing and photography for several ministry organizations and publications, including: The High Calling, Outside the City Gate, and C’est la Vie, The Magazine, and she and her husband served as patient representatives on an international board of physicians and research scientists tasked with developing the Pediatric Consensus Statement on Orthostatic Intolerance Disorders.

Cindee and four of her five kids are diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos, dysautonomia, intractable migraine, and myriad co-existing conditions.

Jan Van Kooten

Jan Van Kooten

Chronic Joy® Editor and Secretary

Jan and her husband Gerry divide their time between Sterling, Alaska and Sedona, Arizona (where she is a choir director at Sedona United Methodist Church). Jan’s love of words fills the spaces in between being a wife, mom, grandmother, and retired music educator.

Sedona also provides Jan and Gerry great Red Rock views and amazing hiking trails — if you’re ever in the area from April through October, do drop by!

happy bubbles

ADVISORY COUNCIL

Mike Juneau

Mike Juneau

Financial Advisor

Mike retired from a 37-year career as CPA for Briggs & Stratton Corporation, where he developed the tax department, worked as assistant treasurer, chaired the company retirement plan committees and managed the plan investments. In addition, Mike is an ordained elder and has managed church finances at several churches. In 2006, he was on a team that assisted an inner city non-profit academy in developing its finance and strategy plans. Mike has been married to his wife Mary for 52 years. They have four adult children and six grandchildren, and have fostered more than 20 pre-adoption infants for Milwaukee County, before adopting their daughter Samantha, who has been on a ventilator for more than twenty-five years. Mike’s wife Mary has a chronic autoimmune disease. Daily, he experiences the role of caregiver, supporting and advocating for both his wife and daughter.

Julie Sheridan-Smith

Julie Sheridan-Smith

Pastoral Advisor

Julie is a mother, wife, ordained minister, and a founding board member. She and her husband have three adult children. Julie became personally aware of chronic pain when her daughter began experiencing constant and excruciating back pain, resulting in surgery. Yet the pain continued and other unexplained issues began – nausea, stomach pain, and inability to keep food down. During her senior year in high school, her daughter became gravely ill with gastroparesis and spent much of her senior year in and out of the hospital. The quest for relief and solutions, the ongoing struggle of chronic illness, and the anxiety that accompanies both has drawn Julie to seek to know and speak of God’s presence in and through the reality of chronic pain – both for the one experiencing it and for those who love them.

Jeff Piquette

Jeff Piquette

Information Systems Advisor

Jeff began his partnership with Chronic Joy® as we took our first fledgling steps, answering technical questions, helping when needed, and most importantly teaching us so we can grow.

He graduated from University of Wisconsin -Milwaukee with BS in Computer Science.

Jeff’s patient, unruffled demeanor, expertise, willingness to serve, faithfully and quietly behind-the-scenes continues today with his church, with Chronic Joy® and with his family.

Jeff is a quiet, thoughtful, dedicated husband, father, son and IT professional.

Click here to read more about Jeff.

Meet Our Volunteer Staff

Erin Burkhardt

Erin Burkhardt

Chronic Joy® Content Writer and Prayer Team Member

Erin is a grateful follower of Jesus, navigating the different stages of life through the eyes of chronic illness. She has a passion for empowering others by encouraging them to trust God even in the most difficult of circumstances. Erin and her husband (along with their two young boys) are purposeful and passionate in living out their faith and loving their neighbors. Her other passions include freelance writing, loom knitting, and fishing!

Karin Fendick

Karin Fendick

Contributing Writer and Prayer Team

Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord, saved by grace, a worshiper, a poet, a broken heart, a lover of words, His work in progress on the Potter's wheel. She is hungry for truth and amazed by love. After five years in Africa, Karin and Rick (her beloved husband of twenty years), are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. She is the author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).

Kara Plett

Kara Plett

Chronic Joy® Contributing Writer and Prayer Team

Kara and her husband Conrad, live in Calgary, Canada. After a career in teaching for almost 30 years, she now enjoys leading ladies Bible studies, facilitating a chronic illness group and helping new friends learn English. She loves the Word of God and encouraging others through her devotional writing. Kara felt led to write a book of devotionals, Searching for Sea Glass, when her own journey with chronic illnesses pressed her into God’s arms of love more deeply. She prays that her journey and refinement will also encourage you in your walk with God.

Jan VanKooten

Jan VanKooten

Chronic Joy® Editor and Board Member

Jan and her husband Gerry divide their time between Sterling, Alaska and Sedona, Arizona (where she is a choir director at Sedona United Methodist Church). Jan's love of words fills the spaces in between being a wife, mom, grandmother, and retired music educator.

Sedona also provides Jan and Gerry great Red Rock views and amazing hiking trails -- if you're ever in the area from April through October, do drop by!

Gayl Wright

Gayl Wright

Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator and Prayer Team

Gayl is a writer, poet, amateur photographer, artist, nature lover, crocheter, and seeker of truth and beauty. She and her husband, Steve, have 7 kids and 14 grandkids, some have chronic illness and one son is with Jesus. Gayl was a church pianist for years and homeschooled her children. She has published poems at Spillwords Press and an article in Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. Her desire in life is to glorify God and encourage others. Check out her blog: Words, Photos, and Art.

Dee Richards

Dee Richards

Facebook • Care Coordinator

Dee is a faith-filled servant of God, with two beautiful teenage daughters who are the loves of her life. She struggles with paranoid schizophrenia and depression, and following a life-altering experienced, dedicated her life to serving God. After working as an accountant for many years, Dee now volunteers at a local nursing home, for Everybody Wins Iowa, and Chronic Joy®. She is also an assistant teacher in the Rite of Christian Initiation as Adults at her church. In her free time, Dee enjoys reading the Bible, historical fiction, and romance novels, walking, and sharing her heart on Facebook.

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