Staff & Board of Directors



Stephanie Grimm, BA, SBD Doula, SBD Chaplain and Midwife of Thanatology
Director of Family Services

Stephanie began volunteering with The Haven in 2014 as a family services volunteer before becoming the Director of Family Services in 2015. Prior to joining The Haven Network, Stephanie served in a variety of leadership roles including that of Early Childhood teacher, Early Childhood Center Director, and President of the Rockford MOMS Club. Stephanie holds degrees in History and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and is also a certified birth and bereavement doula and SBD Chaplain. Outside of work, Stephanie spends her time with her husband and two young children and all the fun and hilarity that entails. Her middle son, Dylan, watches over his family from Heaven and is the catalyst behind Stephanie’s involvement with The Haven Network.



Kathy Pittman, AAS
Director of Photography

Kathy Pittman has been with The Haven Network since 2007.  She started as a volunteer and later developed the photography program.  She has an AAS in Marketing and Business Management.   In addition to her role at The Haven Network, Kathy also owns her own photography business, Katherine Pittman Photography.  She is actively involved at her church, First Free Rockford.  Kathy and her husband Tim have two children.


Brandi Heilman: Family Services, SBD

Brandi started volunteering with The Haven in 2014 as a family services volunteer. At the time of starting to volunteer, she experienced three prior losses; which is what drove her to seek out an organization such as The Haven. Shortly after starting to volunteer for The Haven, she experienced her fourth loss. In 2015 she was honored to receive the Winnebago County Medical Society Alliance Humanitarian Award and The Illinois State Medical Society Alliance Humanitarian Award for the work that she did at The Haven Network. Towards the end of 2015, she took some time off to have her rainbow baby, Liliana, who is definitely the calm after the storm. Before coming to The Haven, Brandi received a BA in Interior Design and a BA in Sociology/English. In March of 2016 she became a certified birth and bereavement doula. Brandi is the weekend Family Services Advocate, a stay-at-home mom and loves spending time with her husband and daughter.


Nate Whinnery MS, LCPC, CADC: Photographer
Nate has been a volunteer photographer since 2016.  He is the owner of Nate Whinnery Photography.

Board of Directors

Jonathan Krause

Jon Krause, Board Chairman

Board Member Since: 2006

Current Occupation: Real Estate Broker, President of Gambino Realtors

What inspired you to serve on the Board of Directors: Jean Heise

Jon Krause is president and co-owner of Gambino Realtors. A Rockford resident since 1985, he remains very active in our community, serving as council president for the Blackhawk Area Council of Boy Scouts and president of his congregation, St. John Lutheran Church in Pecatonica. He and his wife, Judy, have two children.


Adriene Grzenia

Adriene Grzenia, Board Secretary

Board Member Since: 2014

Current Occupation: Assistant to the Executive Director of the Northwest Cultural Council

What inspired you to serve on the Board of Directors: Adriene and her husband lost a newborn son in 1996 and have had four miscarriages. Her heart is with those who have also incurred such sadness. Adriene would have loved to have had access to an organization such as The Haven Network at the time of her losses and serves on the Board to ensure families facing the death of their baby have access to The Haven Network and the services it provides.


Aaron D. Wolf, Board Treasurer

Current Occupation: Managing Editor, The Rockford Institute

Barb Beckett

Barb Beckett, Board member

Board Member Since: 2013

Current Occupation: Director of Family Life Ministries and CRE at Holy Family Parish

What inspired you to serve on the Board of Directors: Barb has been involved with The Haven Network when it was still just an idea being discussed and started volunteering her time, skills and knowledge to help develop The Haven Network. Her involvement with the Elizabeth Ministry, a ministry for women of child bearing age, was a good fit for her volunteering with The Haven. Barb started volunteering her time by supplying meals to families who needed them as well as volunteering to at the annual auction benefitting The Haven. Her husband continues to do the printing of the photographs the families receive of their beloved baby.

Barb has been married for 26 years to her husband Bob, the owner of Image-N-That. Together they have three children who will all soon finish college, though one of her sons aspires to attend graduate school! Her daughter teaches high school history in Elgin and her other son is an aspiring illustrator. Barb has worked for Holy Family Parish for 15 years as the Director of Family Life Ministries, recently adding the role of Coordinator of Religious Education. She loves seeing the little ones of the parish on fire for Jesus. Her favorite saying is, “A soul united to Jesus is a living smile”.



H. Kent Heise, AEP, CLU, ChFC, Board member

Board Member Since: 2004 (co-founder)

Current Occupation: Regal Investment Advisors

For four decades Kent has developed extensive experience assisting individuals, families, owners of closely held businesses, and charitable entities, enhance and plan their financial future.  He earned the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations awarded by the American College in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania.  He also earned the Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) designation awarded by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils.

Kent is an active member of St. John Lutheran Church, a current and founding board member of The Haven Network, and an active volunteer for other organizations.  He and his wife Jean, have two adult children and six grandchildren.


Pastor Dr. Rus Howard, Board member

Board Member Since: 2017

Occupation: Manager of Community Support for Prairie State Legal Services

Pastor Howard retired from pastoral ministry in 2014, after serving as a Lead/Teaching Pastor for congregations in Oklahoma, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. He was also the former Director of Development for the Rockford Rescue Mission.
Currently, he is serving as Manager of Community Support for Prairie State Legal Services. Pastor Howard has been involved in hospice ministries since he helped form what is now, Hospice of North Central Oklahoma, in April 1982.  He has engaged in extensive training in loss and grief ministry and has served as a Spiritual Care Director and Trainer in other hospice organizations.  He has remained involved in hospice ministry because it has always been the most meaningful aspect of his pastoral ministry. 
In his free time, he enjoys writing, photography and spending time with his grandkids.  Pastor Howard and his wife Rori have two sons and two grandchildren.  


Lowell Ingram, Board member

Current Occupation: Treasurer, Rockford Acromatic Products

Tracy Jones, Board member

Board Member Since: 2017

Occupation: Attorney, Black and Jones

I am native of Rochelle, Illinois. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and a Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School. I have worked in the Rockford area as an attorney since 2006. I am the managing partner at Black & Jones, Attorneys at Law.

I am a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, a board member of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association, and a member of Winnebago County Bar Association where I have twice held the position of chair and vice-chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section. I am a co-author of Chapter 5 in the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education manual.

I am married with two children. In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time with my family outdoors, participating in charity events, and hanging out in our old hotrods at car shows or taking our ’67 Airstream to vintage camper rallies. Who I am and what I do in this life is by the will and grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. Luke 1:46-47.


Mary Ahearn Larson, Board member

Current Occupation: McDonalds, USA


Jimmy Smith, Board member

Board Member Since: 2017
Current Occupation: Jimmy and his family own and operate the Culver’s in Winnebago
What inspired you to serve on the Board of Directors:  My wife, Nichole, and I were recipients of the Haven’s services in 2011 when we lost our daughter, Lindsey.  I think having the opportunity to be on the Board will allow me to help others receive the same great care and service that was provided to my family.
Nichole and I met in high school and have been married since 2007.  We have three small children at home who keep both of us busy when not at work.

Dr. Woolery

Jennifer Woolery, Board member

Current Occupation: DMD, Woolery Dental PC

Dorothy Kreissler (in Memoriam)



Jean Heise

Jean M. Heise, President Emeritus

Jean M. Heise founded The Haven Network in 2004 with Byron C. Calhoun, MD, a pioneer in the perinatal hospice movement, and served as The Haven’s president for six years. Jean served on the board of National Lutherans for Life and for many years as Education Director of Lutherans for Life of Illinois.

Prior to her work at The Haven Network, she was on staff at the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, an internationally known think tank that studies family and cultural issues.  Her role at The Howard Center involved special research projects and assistance with the World Congress of Families, the largest international pro-family conferences, in Prague of the Czech Republic , Geneva , Switzerland, Mexico City and Warsaw, Poland. In June 2000, Jean lobbied on behalf of pro-family and pro-life causes at the Women’s Conference, Beijing + 5, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City . In May 2004, she traveled to Australia , representing The Howard Center, speaking on family and life issues in Perth and Melbourne. Jean and her husband live in Rockford , Illinois.  The Heises have two married children and six grandchildren.

Dr. Calhoun

Dr. Byron C. Calhoun, MD, FACOG, FACS, MBA

Dr .Byron C. Calhoun, MD, FACOG, FACS, MBA is a 1979 Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and graduated from the University of Iowa Medical School with an MD in 1983. Dr Calhoun completed his residency in OB/GYN at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1987 and finished a Fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the Oregon Health Sciences University in 1989.  Dr Calhoun is a diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is board certified in general Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the sub-specialty of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr Calhoun serves as Professor and Vice-Chair in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the West Virginia University-Charleston and is involved in resident and medical student education.  He licensed in several states and continues to actively practice maternal-fetal medicine, perform diagnostic obstetrical ultrasound, and participate in prenatal diagnosis counseling.

Dr. Calhoun’s contributions to the obstetrical literature include: the The Perinatal Hospice, which attempts to provide a cogent pro-life hospice alternative to partial-birth abortion for fatal fetal anomalies, and, publication of the cost consequences of abortion and its relationship to pre-term birth.  Dr Calhoun and his wife, Kathryn, have 5 children.

Founding Committee

Dr. Byron Calhoun, MD, FACOG, FACS, MBA

Kathy Calhoun

Allan C. Carlson, PhD, The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society

Jean M. Heise

H. Kent Heise

Rev. Karen Gerhard-Conner, M Div, Westminster Presbyterian Church

Father William R. Wentink, OSF St. Anthony Hospital

Distinguished Advisors

Claudia Aschbrenner

Michael T. Cyrs, Attorney at Law

Sue Fiduccia, Winnebago County Coroner

Delinda Grindle, Grief Counselor

Melinda Hagerman

Brian J. Knabe, MD

Patricia Pitkus-Bainbridge

Rev. David J. Thies, Spiritual Advisor

Kathy Way, RN, BSN