Our Staff


Stephanie Kohler

Stephanie became the director of Lory's Place in January 2018. Her own family’s experience as participants in 2004 led her to attend facilitator training and become an active volunteer. Discovering a new passion to support others in their grief journey, Stephanie earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies with a communications concentration and a certificate in thanatology from the National Center for Death Education at Mt. Ida College. She joined the Lory’s Place staff in 2007 as a family services coordinator and later as a family services coordinator leader. In addition to overall program responsibility, she continues to administer several support groups, as well as lead community collaborations.


Trisha Pickett

Trisha joined Lory's Place in 2006. As a bereavement and donor support coordinator, she provides executive administrative support for various departments at Caring Circle and Lory's Place. She also works with the Lory's Place fundraising committees and volunteers where she facilitates and organizes events. Trisha has an associate degree in sales and marketing from Southwestern Michigan College.

Angela 2

Angela Schlaack

Angela first visited Lory's Place as a participant. In 2016 she became a trained volunteer facilitator and later accepted the role of family services coordinator. She splits her time between Lory's Place and Caring Circle as a Bereavement Coordinator. She has an associate degree in art from Lake Michigan College and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in community and human services. She is a certified volunteer advance care planning facilitator for Lakeland Health and also volunteers with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 

Photograph of Chris Roland

Chris Roland

Chris began her time at Lory’s Place as a volunteer facilitator when the facility doors opened in 2004. She facilitated peer support groups for little mates and their families while completing her bachelor’s degree in family studies in 2014. Prior to joining Lory’s Place as family services coordinator, Chris volunteered in schools and the community with suicide prevention and support, as well as conducting home visits to provide child development education and support. Chris leads the elementary aged peer support groups as well as facilitates several school outreach groups.

Photograph of Denise Thomas

Denise Thomas

Denise first began her journey at Lory’s Place as a participant in 2016. Her time continued with Lory’s Place when she was hired as a family service coordinator in August 2018. As a family services coordinator she facilitates the adult and various school and community outreach groups. Denise is also an active member of and serves on the advisory board of the Strong Women of Faith Breast Cancer Support Group. She received a bachelor's degree in education from Moody Bible Institute and continued on to obtain her Master of Counseling Education and Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University.

Headshot for Issac RIchard aka Walter

Walter Isaac

Walter joined Lory’s Place in August 2021 as a bereavement coordinator.  His interest in bereavement care stems from his family’s experience with gun violence, death, and the sudden loss of loved ones. Walter has for many years worked in poor communities as an interfaith chaplain, community dialogue facilitator and advocate for survivors of urban violence.  He is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and holds a PhD in Religion from Temple University.

Headshot of Xavier Morales

Xavier Morales

Xavier has experienced significant loss in his life which led him to the field of bereavement. He has worked in the field of grief and support for a decade with a specialization in adult and pediatric trauma. He holds Master of Divinity, Master’s in Human Services Counseling, and finalizing a PhD in Biblical Exposition while also being an adjunct professor at Andrews University. He has a passion for helping those dealing with grief in all layers and providing education on grief support. Xavier leads the middle/high school age groups. 

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