Board of Directors


Cindy Bloom, President

Cindy is founder and owner of Arrowhead Medical, LLC, a medical distributorship representing several quality manufacturers. Cindy has an extensive background in the medical field after earning her Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Kansas and practicing for many years with an emphasis in spinal cord and brain injuries. Cindy is also a majority Owner/CEO of Wholesale Truck Exchange, LLC, Certified as a Women Business Enterprise in the State of Missouri. Appointed to serve on the Marketing Committee for the Used Truck Association, August of 2017. Presently still serving on that committee. Joined River of Refuge board in August 2016 and elected as Vice President of the River of Refuge August 2017-2018.

Nhien Dougherty

Nhien Dougherty, Vice President

Nhien was born in Vietnam and came to the United States with her family in 1975 as a political refugee. Nhien grew up in California and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of California at Irvine and a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School. After serving as a judicial clerk for the Alaska Supreme Court from 1998-1999, Nhien practiced business litigation, along with some family law meditation, in California until the fall of 2012, when Nhien moved to the Kansas City metropolitan area to pursue her call to ministry.

While in seminary at Unity Institute & Seminary, Nhien met and married a midwesterner, Victor James Dougherty. Nhien graduated with a Masters of Divinity and became a licensed and ordained Unity minister in June 2015. Since January 2014, Nhien has been serving on the ministerial team at Unity Temple on the Plaza in KCMO where she co-leads U-Nite, a weekly alternative Sunday afternoon service, with her beloved husband, who taught theatre in the Olathe School District for 20 years and is now pursuing his passion for music ministry.


Scott Walz, Secretary

Scott is founder and president of Internet Designs, a Website development and digital media company. In addition to serving on the board at River of Refuge, Scott is one of the founders and former president of the Raytown Main Street Association. Original founding board member of the River of Refuge. 


Tyler Peterson, Treasurer

Tyler Peterson is a Certified Public Accountant and has worked at KPMG in the Audit practice since 2015. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Accounting with an emphasis in Risk Management. Born and raised in Kansas City, Tyler believes the city has provided him many opportunities and he desires to utilize his business background to give back to the Kansas City community.

John Wiley web

John Wiley, Founder

John Wiley is the Brand Ambassador for Think Realty and Managing Partner at Buy and Hold Real Estate Investing, LLC with more than 50 rental properties in Kansas City.  John is the Founder of River of Refuge, a Kansas City nonprofit that sponsors working families out of homeless into permanent, stable housing.

John has a deep love for real estate entrepreneurialism with over 30 years of experience starting new ventures from embryonic vision to functional reality. As Think Realty’s Brand Ambassador, he’s eager to educate others on making smarter investment choices and how real estate can lead to a life of purpose.


Maribeth Brennaman, Board Member

Maribeth is married with 3 daughters, all are grown with the last one still attending Rockhurst University. She is employed by General Mills where she has been in sales for the last 14 years. She previously worked for Procter and Gamble, Gillette, Hallmark Cards and Revlon. She also owned my own business for 7 years. During my daughter's youth, she was active in their PTA's, serving as president multiple times. She also served as the House Corporation President for my sorority at Baker University, managing a major remodel and subsequent retiring of their mortgage. She currently is on the board for StageworX, a drama summer camp. Maribeth volunteers for Grandparents against Gun Violence and a weekly meal serving group called Free Hot Soup. My hobbies include gardening, hiking, and birdwatching.


Steve Burmeister, Board Member

Steve has practiced law in the Greater Kansas City area for 38 years with an emphasis in litigation. A member of St. Mark’s Catholic Church since 1975, Steve has held leadership positions on several boards there, as well as on boards at both his alma maters, the University of Central Missouri and the University of Missouri. He’s been on the board of Redemptorist Social Service Center in Kansas City for over 20 years and was an active member of the National Football League Players Association representing athletes for contract negotiations.


Steve Guenther, Board Member

As founding principal and president of GMK Architects, Inc., and co-founder and vice president of HGK Construction Management, Inc., Steve has extensive expertise in architectural design, construction administration, and management. He is President of the Raytown Main Street Association, serves on the Raytown Board of Zoning Adjustments and on the Kansas City Community for All Ages coalition, and was named Business Person of the Year in 2006 by the Raytown Chamber of Commerce. He is also a Scout Master with Boy Scouts of America and served in the U.S. Air Force as a Special Services Engineer during the Vietnam War.


Stephanie Hill, Board Member

Stephanie joined the River of Refuge as a board member in 2015, after being involved as a volunteer since the inception of River of Refuge. She attends the River Church Family where she serves in Women’s and Children’s Ministry. Stephanie has an extensive background in the field of education and earned master’s degrees in educational administration and curriculum and instruction, as well as a specialist degree in educational leadership. She co-founded a non-profit educational enrichment school that served the needs of homeschooling families for more than 15 years. She has recently retired from serving 31 years in the public school system as both a classroom teacher and administrator.

Courtney Holt

Courtney Holt, Board Member

Courtney is a Kansas City native who currently lives with her husband and son in Lee's Summit, MO. She graduated from Mizzou with honors in Communications and then later attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. After law school she served as a judicial law clerk, worked as an associate at a local law firm and eventually moved to an in-house counsel position with a national construction services company. She is currently the Assistant General Counsel at CRB Engineers.


Gerrie Jackson, Board Member

Gerrie was a dedicated volunteer at River of Refuge before joining its Board. She has a BSN in nursing and recently retired from the healthcare industry. She spent the last twenty years of her career working as a case manager, alongside social workers, addressing the needs of patients.


Tim Mensendiek, Board Member

Tim joined River of Refuge as a board member in 2010 and became president in 2012. A staff member at Graceway Church since 1993, Tim currently is the Executive Pastor of Ministry. His background includes careers in business and broadcast communications. Tim has served on the faculty of his alma mater, William Jewell College, and the School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. His extensive experience with non- profit organizations include the management and oversight of Temple Heights Apartment complex, a multi-unit facility.

Myra Scales

Myra Scales, Board Member

Myra Scales serves as the Administrative Pastor of Seed of Faith International, a local Christian ministry which strives to empower people to live victoriously in every area of life. She is also the Executive Director of Impact Neighborhood Community Center, Inc. a non-profit community organization. Impact provides health, fitness, and career development education for the entire family. Myra is a dynamic leader who has dedicated her life to serving and helping people, regardless of ethnic identity, cultural background or economic status.

Austen web

Austen Schmidt, Board Member

Austen Schmidt was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from The University of Missouri with a degree in Agricultural Business and went on to run a number of cattle, crop and trucking companies in east Texas. Austen currently serves as a Regional Key Accounts Manager at Austin Hardware & Supply, Inc. As an Eagle Scout, he began serving the community at a young age. Whether it is volunteering at local soup kitchens or building educational materials for Operation Breakthrough Austen has always found joy when giving back to the less fortunate.


Greg Siems, Board Member

Greg is the founder and owner of Sonrise Lawn Care, LLC, a full-service lawn, landscape, and tree business. He grew up in scouting and served active duty in the Army for two years and in the Reserves for an additional 11 years as a Chief Warrant Officer and Master Aviator. After the military, Greg volunteered as a Big Brother for several years. He and his wife have been foster parents and continue to serve as an emergency placement home. He served on the church council at River Church Family where he is also a lay minister.

DeWayne Tate Jr., Board Member

DeWayne has spent the past several years serving people in several different areas. He worked in the home health industry for several years; he also has spent several years working with the next generation through his church. He firmly believes that he should do all he can to help others. His gifts and his talents are used to serve the needs of others, and by being a part of the board at River of Refuge, he can utilize his gifts and his talents to serve people. He firmly believes human beings greatest strength is in their ability to come together to help one another, to serve one another. When we come together there is absolutely nothing people can't accomplish.

Kevin Eudaly

Kevin EuDaly, Board Member Emeritus

Kevin is the former president (2009-2012) of River of Refuge. He is the founder, president, and owner of White River Productions, Inc., a publishing company, and is the founder and president of the refrigerant gas detection company, Calibration Technologies, Inc. An inventor, Kevin holds the patent for a gas detection system and method. He is also an author of five books and more than 100 articles and has over 1,000 photographs in print. Kevin is on the Board of the Missouri Pacific Historical Society and served as a Deacon at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.