The Salvation Army of Wake County Staff

We have a dynamic staff committed to making a difference in the lives of citizens in Wake County.


Major Charles Whiten, Area Commander of Wake and Lee Counties
Major Julie Whiten, Area Commander of Wake and Lee Counties
Lt. Jae Park, Corps Officer
Lt. Hey YUN Park, Corps Officer
Lt. Christine Towne, Corp Officer
LaToya Skinner, Office Coordinator
Kristi Tweed, Human Resources Administrator
Elizabeth Morgan, Chief Accountant
Vicki Lane, Receptionist
Jere Schramm, Facilities Director
TBA, Warehouse Attendant/Receptionist

CENTER OF HOPE - Social Ministries

Katie Ward Gonzalez, Director of Social Ministries. Katie oversees program operations at the Center of Hope. These programs include an 81-bed emergency shelter for women with children, Project CATCH - Community Action Targeting Children who are Homeless, Project FIGHT - Freeing Individuals Gripped by Human Trafficking, and a number of crisis assistance programs open to the community. She has worked passionately for The Salvation Army of Wake County for seven years and began immediately after completion of her Master's in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, a joint program, in 2010. She grew up in Asheboro, NC, but has resided in Raleigh since attending North Carolina State University where she received her Bachelor's in Social Work in 2009.

Sharmaine Joyner, Project CATCH Coordinator

Stephen Gruver, Shelter Director. Stephen is the shelter program director. Stephen has worked in various communities across the U.S. in efforts to help end homelessness. Stephen began volunteering with people experiencing homelessness in Chicago, helping them get connected to resources. When he moved to California, he was hired to lead an interdisciplinary team developed to work with the most vulnerable individuals in Santa Barbara. For the majority of his career, Stephen has worked directly with people experiencing homelessness in helping them to obtain their goals related to housing, employment, and supportive services. Stephen moved to Raleigh in 2015 and was hired to be a case manager with Family Promise of Wake County. He has been passionately involved in the community ever since.

Jeanette Barner, Women's Shelter Manager

Lydia Corbitt, Crisis Case Manager

Frank Baldiga, Shelter Case Manager

Beth Tillett, Parent Group Facilitator for Circle of Parents

Jessica Barner, Child Group Facilitator for Circle of Parents


Sarah Smith-Ruiz, Red Shield Club Program Director, is a true advocate for children. She began working with The Salvation Army of Wake County in 2006 as a Child Case Manager. She continues to help guide and foster children in their growth and development as the Program Director of The Salvation Army of Wake County Red Shield Club. Sarah is an Army Veteran and received her degree in Early Childhood Education. She grew up in Garner, NC and now resides in Raleigh with her family. She spends her free time volunteering as a Troop Leader with Girls Scouts, King of Court Tennis Ministries and running in local 5k fun runs. Sarah is also a coach for Girls on the Run.

Jacob Schmidt, Athletics Director

Melissa Jordan, Office Manager


Lt. Christine Towne, Assistant Corps Officer

Major Kay Navarro, Administrative Assistant/Statistician

Judith Kimbembe, Senior Citizens’ Programs Director


TBA, Missions Specialist


Kim Lenz, Director of Development

Donal Ware, Public Relations Director

TBA, Volunteer Coordinator


Jean Temple, Director of Thrift Store Operations

TBA, Store Manager

Kayleigh Smith, Asst. Store Manager

Shanta Fort, Production Supervisor

Need a speaker?

We are happy to come speak to your school, group, church or business about The Salvation Army's Programs! Please contact us with questions or to schedule a speaker!