Founded at Jefferson Street Christian Church in November 2010, Woven Together was established as an assistance fund for adoptive families in Logan County. Since that time, it has grown to include supporters from several churches, businesses, and organizations in Logan County. In addition to the adoption fund, efforts include foster care initiatives, global orphan care initiatives, caregiver training programs, and more. Woven Together was granted status as an independent 501(c)3 organization in November 2015.
Who We Are
Betsy Lewis, Chief Executive Officer– Betsy is a justice-loving, coffee-drinking teacher and Christ follower. She is also the visionary and founder of Woven Together. As an adoptee and adoptive parent, she has a unique perspective and passion for issues relating to adoption. She shares her life with a fantastic husband and two brilliant daughters.
Lisa Kuhlman, Chief Operating Officer – Lisa’s work with Woven Together includes serving the foster care community, and she is trained as a Life in Limbo facilitator. She and her husband Joe have five children, two of whom have left the nest. When Lisa is not homeschooling her teenagers, she works at Lincoln Public Library where she enjoys reading to babies and making messy science projects with elementary students.
Michael Gowin, President – Michael is a husband of one wife and a father to nine children, six of whom have been adopted from Ethiopia. Michael and his wife Suzanne are Empowered to Connect trainers, helping parents learn how to raise “kids from hard places.” When he is not attending a child’s extracurricular activity, Michael works at Lincoln Christian University where he serves as Professor of Business Administration and owns Michael Gowin Photography and Illinois Home Photography as well.
Tara C. Samples, Secretary – Tara is a grateful disciple of Jesus, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, an Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a scholar. Tara is a wife, a mother, and foster-parent. In her professional life, Tara speaks and writes on the psychological treatments of traumatic grief and trauma-spectrum disorders. Tara is as an advocate against injustice, violence, oppression, and exploitation in the church and in the world.
Leslie Starasta, Treasurer – An Illinois native, Leslie grew up on a central Illinois farm before attending Illinois State University and the University of Illinois. Leslie is married to Mike, her college sweetheart, and has two children. Leslie serves as Information Services Librarian at Lincoln Christian University and volunteers in a variety of community activities. She is passionate about family and community based orphan care and other long-term community development initiatives to end the global orphan crisis.