John has a passion for the youth of Sioux Falls and has led the Collision team since 2008. John grew up in Wyoming and graduated from Riverton High School, where his running skills earned him a scholarship to attend and run for the University of Sioux Falls. He graduated with a Business degree and then earned his MBA. Years later, he obtained his Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership from Liberty Online University.
John has had a front row seat to watching God do some amazing things in and through students in the Sioux Falls area. Collision started because of a student’s passion at Lincoln High School and today, the organization serves students at all Sioux Falls middle and high schools. John’s work with Collision has given him a platform to speak at conferences and work with other leaders from around the country who are looking to impact youth in a growing post-Christian culture. He also travels frequently to the Ukraine to speak and train up leaders in that country to come alongside youth to share and live out their faith.
John is married to Angie, and they have three wonderful children. When he isn’t being a husband, dad, serving students and staff, or sharing vision with supporters (yes, this is one busy guy), you will find him on the Sioux Falls bike trail peddling and praying for his family, Collision, students and the city of Sioux Falls.
Student Engagement Director
This mother of six teenage and young adult children started volunteering with Collision in 2014 after seeing the impact the organization had on her high school students, once they moved from Colorado Springs to Sioux Falls in 2013. With her people and organization skills, we quickly hired her to assist with a variety of projects. She also has been involved in Collision Cafés at various schools and has led a Disciple Making Movement group. At Collision, she handles any project we throw at
Jeri graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Industrial Engineering (see, we told you she was organized). She has always had a passion to serve youth. Along with her husband, Mike, they have served in middle and high school youth
She loves hanging out with her family, in addition to hiking and bicycling whenever possible.
Mike has always had a passion to work with youth since he can remember. The flame was lit as a little boy when he served along side his mom in the nursery at his family’s local church where she oversaw the nursery program (ok, he consumed a lot of animal crackers, got in the way and riled up the kids). He came to know Jesus when he was eight years old and can’t remember a time where he wasn’t connected with youth in some capacity serving in youth group, Sunday school and AWANA programs. At one point in life he went back to Bible college to pursue becoming a youth pastor. Then, as he puts it, God gave him and his wife Jeri, their own youth group. (See Jeri’s bio…she works for Collision as well).
Mike is a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks!!). His career has focused on integrated marketing across a wide spectrum of industries. He has held executive leadership positions with advertising agencies in Nebraska and Colorado. He has also worked with Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs. He founded his own marketing company in Colorado Springs and spent eight years serving a variety of clients. In 2013, one of his long-term financial services clients asked him to join their team as Vice President of Marketing, which led his family to Sioux Falls.
His family struck up a connection to Collision with his high school kids becoming involved in the organization. “I love how this organization simply unites, empowers and serves students to share a message of hope with the broken world around them in their schools. I haven’t seen anything like it in the places where we have lived.” In 2018, a God-opportunity presented itself and Mike joined the team at Collision to help us continue to pursue excellence among the people that we come into contact and serve.
In his free moments, Mike loves hanging with Jeri and their family, traveling, leading worship, biking and watching the Hawkeyes. He also still enjoys an occasional animal cracker.
While Ciji’s story starts out rough, it’s filled with hope and incredible God moments. She was born in North Dakota (that’s not the rough part yet). Her parents divorced when she was three and her mother died two years later. Her stepmother was abusive and she grew up never feeling “good enough.” Her family moved around and she found herself in Rapid City during her high school years. Throughout high school she suffered from depression and began making unwise decisions. As Ciji says, “By my senior year I was out of control.”
Freshman year of college was more of the same. That year she met her future husband, Marcus at a party. In 2004, they married and life together started out pretty rocky. Prior to getting married, they both made a pact that church, the Bible and religious stuff was never going to have any place in their marriage (ha…never say never).
Ciji began to contemplate divorce and then stuff started to happen. A friend from high school called her and had a career opportunity for her and Marcus to consider. Ciji was selling vacuums door-to-door, so she was all ears. The company was operated by Christians and suddenly they found themselves surrounded. They attended a sales meeting in Kentucky and were invited to a Sunday worship service. They declined…and declined...and declined…and then accepted the invite. Long story short, Ciji found herself weeping and knowing what was being talked about was what she had longed for. She accepted Jesus and stopped the party lifestyle immediately. Ciji’s faith added more strain to the marriage. She started attending church, and one day, seven years later, Marcus came to know Jesus.
Ciji had known about the work that Collision does, since she led a group of girls from her church and some of the girls were involved with the student-led movement. Because of her high school years, she has a passion for students to know their true worth, purpose and identity through Jesus.
Today, Ciji and Marcus have a wonderful marriage with two children. In addition to serving with Collision, she owns her own photography business and is a coach for the Safe Families program within the foster system. Her husband serves full-time in the Air National Guard and they enjoy the great outdoors every chance they get.
Schools served: Brandon Valley HS and MS, Washington High School, Whittier Middle School
Lue was born in Siberia, Russia, and moved with her family to balmy Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when she was six years old. She and her seven sisters (yes, seven sisters) grew up in a Christ-loving home, but she didn’t make her relationship with Jesus personal until she was 16 years old.
She is an alumni of Terry Redlin Elementary, Whittier Middle School and Washington High School in Sioux Falls. She was involved with Collision as a student all four years at Washington (in an honest moment she shares that what first attracted her was the food). After high school she took a gap year and volunteered for Collision. Lue shares that “God shifted my focus and broke my heart for youth and gave me an opportunity to serve Him full-time through Collision.” She now serves students at two of her alma maters and has a huge heart for our growing and diverse community. Her work with Collision has also taken her to the Ukraine to help train leaders on how to start Disciple Making Movement groups.
Lue is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership from Sioux Falls Seminary. When she isn’t hanging out with students or studying, she loves music (she recently started playing the violin again), movies, outdoor activities, traveling, coffee and food (hmm…seems to be a common theme developing). She also enjoys weightlifting and has a heart for missions.
Nash grew up in South Dakota and enjoys everything the state has to offer, including living the small-town life in Parker, SD. He is also Collision’s resident renaissance man. As a handyman, he can help with everything from fences to sump pumps. He owns Big C Creations, where he creates individual custom wood projects or he can handle your office remodel project (have you seen the renovated Collision office). He currently serves in the South Dakota Air National Guard, where he earned his Technical Certification in Tactical Aircraft Maintenance (thanks for keeping those F-16’s in the air). Oh, and he was also recruited and played one year of football at South Dakota State University. Plus, he loves to cook…not bake…cook. BAM!
He came to know Jesus personally through the loving prayers and relationship with his wife, Laura, and friend Aaron Myers, a Collision board member. His passion and what gets him out of bed in the morning is to share the gospel so that there is no one left in South Dakota that hasn’t had the chance to have an encounter with Jesus.
Nash and his wife are the parents of three beautiful girls that they are training up to love Jesus.
Angie was born and raised in Sioux Falls. After graduating from Sioux Falls Christian High School, she attended the University of Sioux Falls and graduated with degrees in Special Education and Elementary Education. Little known fact: Angie received a soccer scholarship and played on USF’s very first team – having NO previous soccer experience. Now that’s an athlete! She also ended up running cross-country on scholarship as well – not to run (although she did a lot of that) but to chase after a young man that would later become her husband, John (our Executive Director) who was also on scholarship with the team.
Angie joined Collision full-time in 2011 as Office Manager. However, because of her relationship to John, she has been on board since day one. Needless to say, Angie wears a lot of hats and her attention to detail and organizational skills keeps the Collision team on track. Angie shares, “I enjoy using my gifts behind the scenes and hopefully making it easier for the staff to fulfill their calling through their work at Collision.”
As if a growing organization, being a wife and mother to three children doesn’t keep her busy enough, she finds
Liza is a farm girl from Spencer, South Dakota. Growing up in rural South Dakota meant that she WOULD play sports and get involved in music (if you are from a small school, you understand). She graduated from the University of South Dakota and earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education. She spent several years consulting with various teams in the Sioux Falls School District that worked with children with autism. She also started a special needs ministry at a local church in Sioux Falls and was eventually on staff there for 5 years.
While in transition, God impressed upon her heart to join Collision after learning about how students in Sioux Falls were being raised up to lead boldly. Her heart today is to mentor, develop and equip strong, Christ-focused leaders and to help them grow into all that God intends for them to be.
She is married to Aaron and is blessed with two, active children. Her time away from Collision is spent enjoying her family, serving and taking ministry classes at her church. She likes to travel and finds her happy spot at the beach.
Can you sing, “Go! You Packers Go!?” Then you would have an immediate connection with Carley. Yes, that’s right, she isn’t from these parts, she hails from Kenosha, Wisconsin, and cheese runs in her bloodline.
Her faith journey took a lot of
In November 2016, Carley married the love of her life, Jesse. They were invited to join the staff at a church in Sioux Falls to serve youth and moved the month after their wedding. In 2017, she attended the Annual Collision Celebration Dinner, where God eventually would lead her to serve students throughout the city.
Carley (along with fellow Collision study buddy, Lue) is attending Sioux Falls Seminary to pursue a Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership. Outside of serving students, Carley loves playing and watching sports (she has won her share of accolades in high school softball and basketball – don’t even bring that stuff on the court), anything outdoors, iced caramel lattes and reading leadership books. She also knows her way around the kitchen stating that the “Instant Pot has changed her life.”
Ryan is a product of Sioux Falls, having been born, raised and educated here, where he graduated from Roosevelt High School and Augustana University. Like most teenagers, his goal was to get as far away from his hometown as possible. Little did he know the amazing ministry opportunities and impact he would have on youth in his hometown.
His life has always been connected with sports. He was always training or competing. He grew up in the church but didn’t accept Jesus into his life until 8th grade, where he was at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) football camp. Ryan says, “It’s there that Christ became real and personal to me.” While he continued to be involved in church and FCA, he struggled with a performance mentality on and off the field. “I found my identity in how I played, not in who God says I am.”
He ran track and played football (and like a lot of young guys, had visions of playing professionally). At Augie, he earned his degree in Exercise Science and played football. After suffering a neck injury as a red shirt freshman, God began to reveal how sports had become his idol and he began to understand his true identity in Christ.
As a Youth Pastor Intern at a local church, he met his soon to be wife Danae. They have a true heart for kids and had fostered 13 babies prior to having their first child. Today, Ryan and Danae’s family consists of five energetic boys and one girl.
Ryan has run his own financial counseling and planning business for over 10 years. More recently, he combined his passion for Christ and sports as the Area Representative for FCA where he worked with middle and high school students in the Sioux Falls area. Although no longer working for FCA, his passion for serving youth didn’t fade. He was first introduced to Collision through the working relationship they had with FCA to reach the youth in our community. Today, Ryan continues to operate his own business, however, he has joined the Collision team to reach the hearts of young people. In addition, he is the Assistant Cross Country Coach for Lincoln High School and continues to run his Camp Steward program for area athletes.
In his free time, this guy enjoys getting his hands dirty and throwing around dirt… gardening and growing healthy food for Team Ovenden.
To say Bobby’s life is full of twist and turns would be an understatement. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Bobby’s early life experiences included being in ten different foster homes, three orphanages and two failed adoptions. He could have lost hope,
In the 8th grade, he had a desire to go to a smaller school. He received the opportunity to attend Sioux Falls Christian High School. He enjoyed playing football, choir and participating in the chapel band (he plays the bass and drums with lively enthusiasm). His head knowledge transformed into heart knowledge in his junior and senior years at the school. He was plugged into a life-giving youth group at a local church and a teacher at SFC lit his passion for video.
After graduating, Bobby had hoped to attend a Bible college in Oklahoma but found himself on the short side of finances. Instead, he attended South Dakota State University. After his freshman year, he was offered an internship at his church to work with video and tech in the children’s and youth departments. He didn’t return to school and his internship eventually led to a full-time job at the church.
Bobby’s dream of starting his own business came true with the creation of Peacock Entertainment, where he offers videography, video training
When he isn’t serving at Collision or working with other clients, Bobby loves hanging out with his wife, Ashleigh, and their four children.
When he was 5 years old, Zach’s superhero was Phil Collins (any Genesis fans out there?) and began to play the drums. Ok, kidding about the superhero part, but this kid could and can beat those drums! He grew up in a home where his mom and dad loved Jesus, but as he explains it, as a young boy he was simply going through the motions of “being good” and “checking the boxes” that he felt would make his dad proud.
At the age of 17, he attended a youth camp where during a worship night the question was raised, “If you were to die tonight, where would you spend eternity?” That night he made it personal and accepted the gift of salvation. He attended Lincoln High School and was invited to attend Collision Café, hey who can refuse free food, right? Since it was his senior year, he felt like he had “one foot in and one foot out.”
After graduation he went to Northern State University and later transferred to South Dakota State University. He was pulled in a variety of directions, looking to be accepted and wanted, which led him to make some bad choices in college. He attended a college ministry worship night (notice the theme of worship nights) at SDSU and recommitted his life to Jesus at 20 years of age – and there has been no looking back. Over the last several years his love of Jesus has grown deeper through his study of the Bible and having mentors in his life to help disciple him. He also self taught himself the guitar and piano and can regularly be found leading worship at youth events and area churches.
He met his soon-to-be wife, Kaylee, at SDSU and they married in December 2018. Because of his heart for students, he reconnected with Collision and started working as a social media consultant and then joined the staff full-time where he invests in the lives of students helping them understand their true identity in Christ.
Cori’s family moved to Sioux Falls when she was five years old and has been here ever since. Her Mom named her after Corrie Ten Boom (even though it’s spelled different – if you’ve never heard of her, Google her – Corrie…not Cori.). As a pastor’s kid, Cori came to know Jesus at an early age. She graduated from Washington High School and then entered the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training School in Montana, which took her to Taiwan and Japan for outreach.
In her early 20’s, Cori says she had enough of “religion” and says she walked away from God. (You can run, but you can’t hide.) God continued to chase after her. Upon her recommitment to Jesus, she says that God reminded her of her mission’s heart and began rekindling a desire to reach out to the nations.
In 2002, Cori also got reacquainted with a boy named Chris that she knew in middle school who had joined the Army. They would later marry in 2004, ten weeks after he returned home from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Today, they have four amazing children. The three oldest are siblings adopted from Ethiopia. Operating with the understanding that they couldn’t have children, imagine Cori and Chris’ surprise when they discovered the she was pregnant and 25 weeks along. Their youngest was born five weeks later (talk about a surprise party!).
Cori joined Collision in 2015 after attending a church picnic where she was introduced to the organization’s vision and mission. She immediately was excited to hear about how Collision was raising up the next generation to be bold leaders. She also loved how the organization was actively working with the diverse population within Sioux Falls.
When Cori isn’t serving at Collision, she is a mom in motion, getting kids to school and football, basketball, volleyball and…whew. Cori quiets herself by reading, writing and worship music. She also has begun to take piano lessons.
Gordon left his childhood roots behind in California and Wyoming when he moved to Sioux Falls in 2008 to attend the University of Sioux Falls. After graduating with History and Education degrees, he taught and served on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota (known as the poorest county in the United States). He then made his way back to Sioux Falls and joined the YMCA staff, where he saw the impact of Collision through the Y’s
Today, we are happy to share Gordon. What we mean is that Gordon serves on Collision staff part-time and is employed full-time with Select Painting. He enjoys interacting with middle school students and helping them to understand who they are and what they were created for. He also gets excited to see how one sold out middle school student can reach his/her friends and multiply exponentially.
Gordon and his wife Ellen and have three wonderful children.
ASHLYN ABRAHAM Memorial Middle School
ANDREA MANNING Edison Middle School
CLARA PAUL Patrick Henry Middle School