About Christmas With Dignity

hospitality house board chair greg serviss

Greg Serviss

Board Chair | Wells Fargo, Retired

My name is Greg Serviss and I currently serve as the Board Chair of HHYD. I retired from Wells Fargo after 21 years leading payment strategy and software design and worked in software and wireless data startups before that.  

I have a friend who has been a staff volunteer and who has invited me to volunteer at Hospitality House Youth Development (HHYD) over the years.  I’ve mowed lawns with the teens for the seniors in the area and have taught teens guitar and bass.  My family has participated in our Christmas With Dignity event and my youngest son did his Boy Scout Eagle Project on the block.  When my friend heard that I had retired, he asked if I would consider joining the Board.  I joined the Board in 2018 and accepted the Board Chair position in September of 2022. I enjoy the lively family culture and Godly leadership that everyone experiences at HHYD.   

My wife, Bev, and I have two sons and lovely daughters-in-law. Our eldest lives in Chicago and youngest lives in town along with our first grandson.  Bev cares for our grandson a couple days a week and we like to travel and line dance.  My spiritual life ignited when I turned 40 and led me into leading/hosting courses including Alpha, Financial Peace University and The Truth Project. I serve as a prayer minister in Sozo Healing Ministry and lead a worship band.

I’m excited to see how HHYD will transition to the next generation and continue to grow with new services and partnerships to become a steadfast leader and blessing hub for North Minneapolis.

rev carl billings

Reverend Carl Billings

Vice Chair | Discover Church Network, Sr. Pastor

ken schelper

Ken Schelper

Treasurer | Davanni's, Retired

hospitality house board secretary james larson

James Larson

Secretary | Atlas Commercial Real Estate

hospitality house board member thomas hagen

Thomas Hagen

Board Member | Pro-Tec Design, Retired

Hi. My name is Tom Hagen. I have been on the Board of Hospitality House Youth Development (HHYD) since 2014 and have served as Board Chair and Vice Chair.

I am a retired business owner and continue to serve as Board Chairman for Pro-Tec Design, a leader in the electronic security industry. I joined the company in 1989, bought it and became President/CEO in 2004, and in 2016, sold it to our employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). I have also served as Elder Board Chair for Westgate Church of Wayzata and have led several Bible studies.

I grew up in Minneapolis and attended Washburn High School and Bethel University. Being aware of the racial and economic disparities in the Twin Cities I would occasionally wonder if I could do anything to make a positive difference. In a business meeting with a client we discovered that we were both followers of Jesus. He subsequently asked if I had heard of HHYD and like many have told me since, I responded, “Yes, I have heard of it, but what do they do?” He invited me to “come and see” and we went on a site visit.

I found the mission and vision of HHYD to be compelling. I began serving as a reading tutor which gave me quality time to get to know some kids there. I was also a driver for teens who would mow lawns for the elderly in the community. My hope for HHYD is that each child and teen will know they are loved, they will excel in school, graduate from high school and pursue opportunities in higher education or learn trade skills that will enable them to be productive members of society. I believe, and HHYD teaches, that faith, family and education are the gateway to success in life, and that restoring the traditional, two-parent family will be essential to restoring the community.

I am married to my wife Sharon and father to three daughters, sons-in-law and papa to 9 grandchildren. In years gone by I was a coach for girls softball and basketball teams. Our family enjoys water and winter sports. Sharon & I treasure times to be with our family.. We love to travel. I love Canadian fishing and since retirement, I have returned to my hobby of HO-scale model trains.

Stephanie Hill

Board Member | Manager, Payment Integrity, Medica

Hi, my name is Stephanie Hill. I was introduced to HHYD by the late great Dr. Theresa Foster, HHYD’s Director of Education, who was like a second mother to me. My husband, Isaac, and I have three children who have attended HHYD since the youngest was in 1st grade. She is now a freshman in high school and both our boys have joined the youth staff for the summer program. I became a parent volunteer along the way and joined the board in June of 2023.

Professionally, I am a Payment Integrity Manager for Reimbursement Policy & Coding at Medica Health Plans, where I’ve been employed for 16 years. Recreationally, I am the Team Manager for Eagles Wings track club (originally, the Hospitality House ‘Striders’) and I volunteer at North Community High School. Ministerially, I am an Evangelist with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and my church home is Piercing Faith Church in St. Paul, MN. There I am active within the ministerial staff and am a part of a prayer group called ‘Unleashed’.

hospitality house board member paula larsen

Paula Larsen

Board Member | Business Owner, Retired

My name is Paula Larsen and I currently serve on the Board of HHYD and the Development Committee.  My late husband Ernie and I ran a recovery counseling business. Ernie was a counselor at Mercy Hospital and wrote books, trained counselors and spoke at conferences around the world while I took care of the business behind the scenes. 

Ernie met Rev. Johnny Hunter in 1995 while serving at the Salvation Army. Ernie encouraged Rev. to start his Recovery Church and Ernie attended services there and served dinners for 13 years. Rev. invited us both to the Spring Breakfast where we heard the late Dr. Theresa Foster, Director of Education, give a very moving talk and we were hooked!

I fell in love with our Christmas With Dignity event and it’s been a joy to lead the team each year.  We have 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren who live in Eden Prairie and Woodbury and they all get involved.  We enjoy working with the Board and staff.  When our families leave with toys they have bought for their kids, our joy is complete.

I once expressed my surprise to Rev. that there were no women on the Board and he responded, “Well, there could be.”   I ended up joining the Board in 2012 and now there are 3 women on our Board.

I also serve at St Joan of Arc Catholic Church where I participate in their “Arm in Arm” mission to Africa where we build relationships with the kids.  I support their emergency housing and Loaves and Fishes food truck ministry for the homeless.  The food truck now stops at HHYD where everyone comments on how respectfully our kids behave.

The most important thing I’ve learned at HHYD is how to be a better prayer warrior.  A group of our leaders pray each Wednesday morning and we experience such a great unity in God’s Spirit.   We are different but we all boldly pray for protection and provision for our families.  We want our children to know that they are loved by Christ and how special they are.   My involvement with HHYD has also taught me a lot about organizing events.  They have been a great opportunity to live out our name with hospitality and they have consistently shown us God’s great provision for HHYD.

Randy McKinney

Board Member | Business Owner, Success Center

hhyd board member jeanne osgood bethel university

Jeanne Osgood

Board Member | Bethel University, Chief of Staff

My name is Jeanne Osgood and I currently serve as the Chief of Staff at Bethel University. Using my strengths in strategic planning and fundraising, most of my career has been spent in the non-profit sector with ministries that focus on impacting the lives of the next generation. I have been married to my husband, Eric, for 30 years. We have three children: Jake, 24, Kate, 21 and Tyson, 19.

I was introduced to HHYD several years ago by a current board member who invited me to the annual spring breakfast. I was drawn in by the work being done and the lives that are impacted. When I was invited to HHYD for a site visit, I met the leadership, the teachers, the coaches, and the staff. They are so passionate about their work that I couldn’t help but want to join in on what God is doing there. I joined the Board of HHYD February 2023.

What I appreciate most about HHYD is how the staff provides kids and families with educational resources and athletic opportunities – all while pointing them to Jesus.

I look forward to learning and growing from those at HHYD and am eager to see how God might also use me.

Rick Smith

Board Member | Sales, Mannington

My name is Rick Smith and I’ve been on the Board of Hospitality House since July of 2023. My wife, Victoria, and I have been married since 1996 and we have two adult boys. I currently work as a commercial sales representative for Mannington Commercial. Prior to that I worked in start up companies in the network radio and food industries.

I became familiar with HHYD when a close friend from my Bible study group invited me to play in his golf tournament which was raising funds for Hospitality House. After meeting several of the youth at the event, I volunteered to tutor a student which I found to be a very rewarding experience. I also participated in cleaning and maintenance tasks.

I have been amazed how God has used HHYD to introduce Himself to the Northside community. For example, one time I went into a plumbing wholesale house on the Northside and told the clerk that I was working with HHYD and he told me he was an alumni. I have a soft spot for kids and want to help provide them with opportunities for success. I am a big advocate of using Strengthfinders and other resources to help youth foster their innate talents and develop identity and destiny in Christ.

I pursue a variety of interests including: skiing, adventure motorcycling, golfing, rock climbing, hunting, mountain biking and woodworking.

john wheaton

John Wheaton

Board Member | Inner City Tennis

hospitality house board member brian wright

Brian Wright

Board Member | Director of Community Partners, KTIS

My name is Brian Wright and I joined the HHYD board in August, 2023. My relationship with Jesus impacts my very soul. I’m currently the Director of Community Partners for 98.5 KTIS radio, a Christian radio ministry of the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Over the last several months, KTIS has been rated the top radio station in the Twin Cities. Prior to KTIS, I worked in a variety of non-profit settings after spending many years in corporate marketing roles. Until recently, I served on the board of Metro Meals on Wheels, chairing their Development Committee. Interestingly, the day after I left their board, Rev. Johnny Hunter called me about joining the HHYD board.

I’ve been married to my best friend, Polly, for 40 years. We have two adult children, both married, and we enjoy time with our granddaughter—another grandchild is on the way!

I first got involved with HHYD decades ago when a softball teammate invited me to volunteer. I disconnected for several years but got invited to the Business Breakfast which got me thinking about my time growing up in St. Paul. I most desire that the youth at HHYD realize their true identity in Christ, regardless of their circumstances or what their friends say. Jesus loves them so dearly and He has a purpose and a plan just for them. Recently, I learned that the youth at HHYD were studying Rick Warren’s “40 Days of Purpose” and are REALLY engaging. This touched my heart because that book made an impact on my faith journey years ago.

I also have a passion for college football; I love the rivalry and traditions. I’ve coached high school and college football in the past enjoying the strategy, preparation and life-lessons learned in sports. Polly and I love traveling to Florida in the spring and I’ve been known to bake a pretty mean batch of chocolate chip cookies too.

If you are interested in becoming a board member with us at Hospitality House, please contact Greg Serviss 

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