I grew up in Prospect Park and until I was eight years old, I lived in the very same house that New Hope currently occupies! After studying International Development at Calvin College, I got married and moved back to Prospect Park, where I now live with my wife, Jenna, and daughter, Sienna. In 2012, I became the Executive Director of New Hope. It is truly a blessing to serve God in this community!
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS
I grew up in Chile, where I studied Psychology and completed post-graduate work in Family and Marriage Counseling. I moved to the United States and continued my studies, becoming a Commissioned Lay Pastor in the Hispanic/Latino Leadership Program at Princeton Theological Seminary, and completing the Doctor of Ministry program at New York Theological Seminary. I have worked at New Hope since 2009.
Together with my wife, Claudia, we have two boys and one girl.
Director of development
I grew up as a "Preacher's Kid" in central PA, then lived in Brooklyn, NY and later Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. for more than 12 years before settling in northern New Jersey. I've previously worked in marketing and communications for large, international publishing houses and a national non-profit. My world was turned up upside a few years ago when my husband was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Not knowing what else to do, I raised over $75,000 in research money and started a world-wide prayer campaign. After his death, I felt called to become a fundraiser and feel very blessed to be a part of New Hope.
Liz Rodriguez Smith
COMMUNITY OUTREACH DIRECTOR
I was born in the Dominican Republic and came to the US for medical reasons. After finishing high school I stayed in the US to study and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a minor in ESL (English as a Second Language). In August of 2012, I started as an intern with Northeast Community Transformation (NECT). My experiences with NECT gave me the opportunity to volunteer as a mentor at New Hope. Now I am New Hope’s Community Outreach Director. I enjoy working with people and encouraging them to see all that God has to offer them.
Food pantry director
I joined New Hope Community Ministries in 2004 as a volunteer. I was hired as Jobs for Life Director in 2007 and took over as Food Pantry Director in January of 2009. I have been married to my husband, Pete, for 28 years. We have 3 children, Peter, Steven and Emma, who also help out at New Hope whenever they can. I lived in the Netherlands for the first 20 years of my life, but I recently became a US citizen!
I have the pleasure of being the Administrative Assistant at New Hope since September 2009. I serve the community by helping to maintain order in the office and coordinating our Christmas Market and Backpack Buddy programs.
In addition to my duties at New Hope, I am a professional calligrapher, taking on jobs such as wedding invitations and poems. I’ve been married to my husband, Bob, for almost 30 years. We live in Rockaway, NJ with our three children: Allyson, John, and Michael.