OUR TEAM

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BRANDY YOUNG

Executive Director

The words of Isaiah 61 have long captivated Brandy’s heart: proclaiming the good news, binding up the broken hearted, and setting the captives free. She experienced God transform her own ashes into beauty, which fueled a passion to help others experience the same. Her path led her in and out of the corporate world, local ministries, and overseas missions, where she witnessed sex trafficking for the first time while serving in Thailand. She later came to see the issue in her own surrounding community and is inspired by the light Wings brings to the darkest situations. As a lifelong learner, she recently completed her Master of Arts in Christian Leadership and a certificate in Spiritual Direction through Sioux Falls Seminary. Brandy has three young adult step kids and a handy husband who happily builds whatever she dreams. She loves being outside, hiking with her adorable pup Stella, and waterskiing every chance she gets.

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KAITLYN HANSEN

Business Manager

Kaitlyn learned about Wings while attending Iowa State and immediately fell in love with the mission and heart behind the organization. God opened her eyes while serving in East Asia, South America, and the U.S. to those who are hurting and the need to be a voice for the voiceless. She loves that she can be a part of something bigger where God is at work providing healing and hope in her community. When not at work you will find her reading books in her hammock, sitting around the firepit with her husband, or playing with her two bunnies.

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LAURA TESKE

Programming Director

Laura comes to us on a winding path that began in 2018. As a part of the transition team that brought Wings of Refuge to Ames, she got to know the organization and staff and fell in love with them right away. She then served as a volunteer Volunteer Coordinator, before becoming part of the staff at the end of 2019. She has a heart for Jesus and justice, which leads her to many outreach activities in her church and community. If you can find her at home, she is probably lounging on the deck with her husband and friends, reading or enjoying the outdoors.

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BRANDI SCHLEISMAN

Spiritual Care Director

After being awakened to the issue of trafficking while completing a speech in college, Brandi's heart was burdened to do something. She completed various ministry and missions trainings that led her back to her hometown in Iowa. Brandi has been with Wings of Refuge since the beginning when we were a prayer movement seeking the heart of God for the injustice of sex trafficking. She has served in a variety of different roles throughout the years and is passionate about walking alongside the participants and staff. Brandi currently serves as the Spiritual Care Director, providing spiritual development teaching for the participants and staff support. She enjoys being an active member in her church while learning more tools to help people encounter freedom and healing. During her free time, Brandi enjoys getting together with friends, being outside in nature and spending time with her very sweet cat.

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JULIA CRAIGHEAD

Social Enterprise Coordinator / TLC Coordinator

Julia learned about Wings while pursuing her degree in Psychology from Iowa State. Her passion for mental health, caring for the hurting, and fighting for the oppressed led her to a direct care position in the restoration home. She instantly fell in love with the women, staff, and Wings’ mission. After graduating and becoming a mother, Julia moved into a dual role as TLC Coordinator and Social Enterprise Coordinator. She looks forward to maintaining her relationships with participants, helping them overcome barriers, continue healing, and discover their new found passions as they transition back to independent living. In her role as Social Enterprise Coordinator, Julia enjoys watching participants use their creative gifts and gain confidence through their employment at ONE MORE.

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KELLY BUTCHER

Donor Engagement Coordinator

If Kelly's name was added to the dictionary, you would find it listed under "old soul". Passionate about abolishing human trafficking in all forms, Kelly has been engaged in the fight against slavery since 2013 and joined the Wings of Refuge team in 2015. She uses her talents to organize data, create action steps, and connect with the incredible people who partner with the ministry. A few of Kelly's favorite things include spreadsheets, trampoline parks, cheese popcorn, Anatolian Shepherds, and her hunky husband. 

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KARLA DAMIANO

Creative Coordinator

Karla is easygoing, creative, and passionate which makes her a key element to the Wings Development Team. We say she makes everything glisten with glory because she works on the website, social media, and printed materials! Besides working full-time on the Wings development team she uses her talents and creativity managing her four kids, two dogs, three cats, and amazing husband. If you are reading this and love the website, drop her a note to let her know that here is someone out there who is reading every word!