Terrie VanZandt-Travis, MSW
Meet Our Team
Larry Lewis, Jr.
Over the past 20 years, Larry has been active in his roles, working with children and youth in the Midwest. He has successfully strengthened programs for urban youth, developed financial goals for growth and has implemented whole-child educational services.
His commitment to serving families has been a part of Larry’s professional journey since the very beginning. Larry attended Blue Valley Northwest and graduated from Kansas State University, where he completed his bachelor's degree in Family Studies and Human Services while also competing as a collegiate athlete.
His opportunity to volunteer at a local after school program piloted him into a field that would ultimately become his career. Working after school with children allowed Larry to discover his talent for connecting with youth. Years later, he has served in various roles, all with the vision of helping young people reach their full potential.
During his endeavor as a child and youth development professional, Larry has gained the experience of leading large nonprofit organizations through fundraising projects, partnering with local companies, and establishing positive connections in the community to bring awareness to the need of quality care and education for all children from all backgrounds.
When he is not busy advocating for children, Larry enjoys sports recreation activities with his family and traveling to new places.
Samantha is passionate about the children in our communities and providing comprehensive services for the whole family. She has worked in early intervention, behavior analysis, data collection, staff development and training. She has had the pleasure of being a classroom teacher, program director and even being a Head Start parent, herself.
Samantha shares her life with her amazing wife, Brooklynn, who is a former Head Start Family Advocate, teacher and volunteer. They have two children, Lily (5) and Aliya (11) that are their world. Their family loves adventures, connecting with nature, exploring their community and trying new things. Sam loves reading, art, music and good food - all the great things in life.
Dave joined the management team at Growing Futures in June 2020 as the Director of Finance.
Dave has been passionate about our organization for a very long time, serving as a member of the Growing Futures Board of Directors for the last four years. In his role, Dave is responsible for managing the accounting system, including transaction accounting, payroll, internal control and financial reporting, as well as IT. He also works alongside the program staff in managing budget and financial forecasting.
Dave brings experience as a CPA with a wide range of business, accounting and finance experience. Dave has served in accounting and finance leadership positions with several non-profits, including the YWCA of Kansas City and The Salvation Army and has been a small business owner, where he gained valuable business operations and strategic planning experience.
Dave is married to Robin and together, they have three children. Dave is an active volunteer in non-profits and has served in several financial management related volunteer positions at his church for many years. In his free time, Dave enjoys home projects of all types, especially woodworking. He also loves being outdoors and hiking the Rockies is an all-time favorite activity.
Director of Development & Community Relations
Jessica is an accomplished marketing professional with over 20 years of experience, who is passionate about supporting the people in our community. With an extensive background in marketing, digital media, fundraising, event coordination, sponsorships, donations and community development; Jessica has put her skills to use to tell the Growing Futures story and to showcase all of the positive ways children and families are being supported.
Jessica grew up on her family farm outside of Clinton, MO and moved to Kansas City after attending college at Central Missouri State University. Her passion for giving back to the community began at an early age, when she became an advocate for the American Cancer Society while in high school. What began as organizing a small, community daffodil fundraiser in her DECA group, grew to become a part of her values and mission to give back to her local community. Since then, she has organized several, large-scale events and fundraisers that have further supported her passion and the communities she serves.
Jessica and her husband have two border collies, Brody & Bailey, and enjoy camping, fishing and all things outdoors. Her favorite holiday is Halloween and the Hoffman's spend a lot of time creating an interactive and fun experience for the children in their neighborhood. Jessica also enjoys cooking and baking, meeting new people, listening to good music, walking her dogs and spending time with friends and family.
Suzanne Handlin, PHR
Human Resource Manager
Suzanne Handlin is the Human Resource Manager at Growing Futures. She has been with Growing Futures since March of 2020. Suzanne has over 16 years of experience in the HR field and earned her PHR certification in 2016. Her experience consists mostly of working in the medical field, but has also worked in HR for a property management firm, software, and the movie theater industry. Most of her time spent at Growing Futures is building relationships with the staff, mentoring, recruiting, and everything in between. Suzanne chose Growing Futures because she sees the need in the community for an organization that will wrap their arms around a family and child in need. Her mother was a teacher in the public school system where she grew up in Newport News, VA and was able to see the impact that teachers and caregivers can have on their students. When Suzanne is not working, she loves spending time with her family, gathering friends, traveling, and attending live concerts of her favorite bands. LinkedIn link: http://linkedin.com/in/suzhandlin
Family Support Advocate
Room 20, Teacher
Volunteer & Development Associate
Room 4, Lead Teacher
Room 2, Teacher
Room 14, Lead Teacher
Room 19, Teacher
Room 19, Teacher
Room 17, Lead Teacher
Room Room 2, Teacher
Staff photos were taken by Bill Bornsheuer at Studio Graphics, LLC.
Not Pictured Above
Room 17, Lead Teacher
Room 16, Teacher
Financial Advisory Service, Inc.
Blue Valley School District
Retired from Hallmark
Onspring Technologies, LLC
Retired Not-for-Profit ED
Ong & Company
Five Elms Capital
Searcy Financial Services
Johnson County District Court
Jewish Community Center
Johnson County Young Matrons
Johnson County Community College
The Advisory Board
President- Sholabomi Popoola
Vice-President- Guadalupe Mullett
Secretary- Aubree Vetter
Treasurer- Katie Hunt & Megan Robertson
Susan Verlinde (DCF Liaison Representative)
Shannon Goebel (JOCO Library Representative)
Rachael Perez (JOCO Mental Health Representative)
Katie Schatte (SafeKids Representative)
Kelli Mather (El Centro Representative)
Sandra Reece (WIC Representative)
Lidia Reyes Olvera
Meseret Chaka Jida
Nancy Romero Vargas
Miroslava Corral Vale
Victoria Burgos Munoz
Grow with us! Experience the everyday excitement our children have while they learn and grow at school. Growing Futures is proud to provide a safe, encouraging environment for the children, families and staff. We also provide a comprehensive benefit package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance; short-term and long-term disability; life insurance; 403(b); and generous paid time off, including
winter and spring breaks.