Dave Best / Business Manager | email
Dave prepares and analyzes monthly financial statements, and handles other accounting responsibilities for Family Life. He also enjoys working with donors, vendors, and employees to ensure that all financial and compliance reporting is presented and communicated in a fair, accurate, and comprehensible format.
Dave came to Family Life in 2004 after working as a CPA in public accounting and other industries. He grew up in Western PA, and received his accounting degree from Grove City College, where he met his lovely wife, Mindy. They were married shortly after graduation and have been blessed with a wonderful family.
Dave grew up in a loving home, and attended church and Sunday school from an early age. As a teenager, Dave was confronted with questions about the meaning of his faith, which tested his personal response to the claims of Jesus and challenged him to completely trust in the Lord for salvation. Dave chose to commit his life to serving Christ, realizing that the only true Hope that exists in this world rests in the person of Jesus.
Dave enjoys playing sports, cutting firewood, and camping with his family.
Sandy Parker / Office Manager, Executive Secretary | email
Sandy Parker has many titles - Office Manager, Board Secretary, and Department Supervisor. She's happiest when juggling many things at once - obviously! Sandy enjoys lots of responsibility and considers it a privilege to work "behind the scenes." She'll do whatever it takes to help other departments get things done.
As you've probably guessed, Sandy has held many different titles throughout her career, including Insurance Claims Department Supervisor in Texas; a shoe store manager in New Mexico; a Collections and Foreclosure Supervisor in Texas; and a legal secretary to four attorneys in Bath, NY. Phew!
In 1994, Sandy took a job at Family Life as a secretary for Dick Snavely. Five months later, she was promoted to Office Manager. Sandy enjoys working alongside each employee of Family Life and truly loves what she does. Past jobs didn't hold any real purpose for Sandy, but since coming to Family Life, her work has meaning - the result of being in God's Will. Sandy will say, "I want to see the light from God's flashlight just ahead of me, no matter where I am.”
Sandy loves taking pictures, making handcrafted cards, bird watching, and gardening. She married her hubby, Pete, in 1980, and has 4 step-children, 5 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. Sandy lives in Avoca and loves the beautiful western countryside of Upstate New York. She wouldn't be anywhere else.
Jackie Snavely / Office Assistant | email
Jackie does part-time work for Family Life, but is still very involved in what goes on day-to-day at the ministry. She helps the ticket office with deposits and lends a hand in the kitchen when needed.
When Jackie was ten years old, she was sent to an orphanage in Millersville, PA after the death of her father. The orphanage was a good home ran by a Mennonite denomination in Lancaster County. After three years there, Jackie was sent to a foster home where she was taught the value of hard work on a farm. This experience stayed with Jackie, and shaped her life as a girl.
Jackie met her husband, Dick, at a birthday party when she was a teenager. Jackie was dating someone else at the time, but a year later the two ended up meeting again at a church service. Much to Jackie's embarrassment, a friend set them up "to meet" after the service let out. After two years of dating, it was clear what God had for them.
Dick and Jackie married June 21, 1952 and went straight into full-time ministry. Dick worked for Billy Graham's ministry for two years before moving on to pastor a church in West Virginia. In 1957, the Lord called them to New York to organize Area Youth for Christ (YFC). Jackie knew in her heart that being Dick’s wife meant being a strong helpmate, supporting his daily work for Christ.
As a homemaker, Jackie raised four children – a daughter and three sons, all of whom serve Family Life in some way. After the kids grew up and started families, Jackie had more time to serve at Family Life, work she loves doing! Jackie also loves to read and has more than 1,100 books in her home library. Her life-prayer is to honor God and to teach her children and grandchildren how to love and live as a follower of Christ.
Cindy Prunier / Receptionist | email
Being Family Life’s receptionist, Cindy is genuinely compelled to make every person feel like their call is the most important call of the day. She may never meet the people she speaks with, but Cindy is blessed to use her gifts and talents to make a special impression.
Looking back, every time she talks about how God provided jobs for her and her husband at Family Life, Cindy gets goose bumps! There was a time when both of their previous jobs had been in jeopardy due to budget cuts. Giving their concerns over to God, both husband and wife prayed for a place of employment where they could help further the Lord's work.
The Pruniers prayed for over a year, and after hearing about the receptionist job on FLN, Cindy eagerly applied. While waiting for an interview, Joe remarked with determination, “I’m going to work at Family Life, too!” The very next day Cindy heard of another job opening at the ministry – one for a building and grounds supervisor! Cindy quickly told her husband, Joe, and the Lord’s plan became quite obvious. Now both full-time employees, Cindy and Joe are humbled to a part of a ministry having meant so much to them throughout the years!
Prior to Family Life, Cindy worked in the Elmira School District as an attendance clerk and welcome center receptionist. Before that, she held jobs in special education as a teacher’s aide, secretary, and yearbook advisor. Cindy has three married sons of her own and three step-children. Between them, she and Joe have six grandchildren. In her free time, she loves spoiling the grand kids, dabbling in photography, and scrap booking.
April Wright / Assistant Business Manager | email
April works in the business office along with Dave Best, taking care of the business side of Family Life. You could say she is like "Robin to Batman" except the Business Office doesn’t fight crime or have lights in the sky to signal trouble ahead. They do get to save the day when employees or vendors want to get paid, solve mysteries reconciling accounts, and face the dangers of the villain of paper and its lethal henchman the paper-cut.
Before coming to Family Life, April worked for 10 years in the hospitality industry. She also worked as an assistant business manager at a private Country Club for two years. As a long time listener, it was a dream fulfilled when April was hired in 2008 to become part of the team at Family Life. April’s favorite thing about working at Family Life is hearing the testimonies of how God is using this ministry to change lives and hearts.
April enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her wonder dog, Barnabas. God has blessed us and promised us abundant, grace-filled, adventurous lives, and April is the beneficiary of that blessing every day.
Lydia Sweatt / Ticket Agent, Office Assistant | email
There is rarely a dull moment in the front office and Lydia enjoys the various responsibilities of her job. Ticket orders, daily deposits, online registrations, and monitoring inventory keep her very busy! Lydia says one of the best parts of her job is the incredible group of ladies she's honored to work with each day. What a blessing they are in her life!
Lydia started at Family Life in 2007 as a part-time receptionist. In May of 2012 she was thrilled to accept the job of a ticket agent, get a new desk and a whole new set of responsibilities. For Lydia, it's an incredible and fulfilling thing to be included in the things God is doing at Family Life. Along with her front office duties, Lydia spends time with the Performing Arts staff, as she loves theater, acting, singing, and helping with the Youtheatre programs and summer camps.
Lydia also enjoys tackling construction projects with her husband, trying her hand at DIY designs, and sipping on a cup of good coffee.
Kim Kobza / Ticket Agent, Office Assistant | email
Kim works in the ticket office and loves her job in the front office, which includes handling daily deposits, event registrations, and ticket sales.
Kim grew up in Montana and has been married to her husband, Rich, for 29 years. When her oldest, Carl, was six months old, Kim became a stay-at-home mom. Soon after, the family moved and Kim found a MOPS program to meet other mothers. At her third MOPS meeting, the toddler room was short on volunteers. Kim helped some ladies from MOPS leadership who were talking about their weekly Bible study. Kim went to the study and soon after began a relationship with Jesus! She became a home school mom and was blessed to teach her children for many years. Before coming to work as a ticket agent, Kim volunteered faithfully and cheerfully at Family Life for nearly ten years, mostly serving in the kitchen during dinner events. Her family also helps by serving as relay coordinators for Operation Christmas Child.
Kim and Rich live in Bath and have three grown children - Carl, Kelsie and Jacob. She loves to cook, bake bread, and ride her horse, Hank. Kim’s favorite scripture is Isaiah 26:3-4: You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting.
Tom Fuest / Public Relations, Underwriting Director | email
Before becoming Underwriting and PR Director, Tom frequently visited Family Life as a fellow friend and volunteer. After over a year donating his time at Sharathons, concerts, and other events, God opened the door for Tom to begin full-time work here. We are so blessed to have him!
Tom’s work at Family Life includes maintaining relationships with area churches and Christian organizations in regions of New York and Pennsylvania. Tom also informs business and nonprofit organizations on how they can partner with Family Life in support of the ministry and their business services.
Before joining Family Life, Tom worked as a physical therapy assistant for 11 years at Brooks Memorial Hospital. With a passion for the medical field and helping those in need, Tom served as an EMT for Alstar Ambulance and a volunteer fireman for the Fredonia Fire Department.
Tom accepted Jesus Christ at 12 years old. In high school, his heart was ignited for missions while visiting Honduras and serving the native people there. With his church at Harvest Chapel, God truly opened Tom’s eyes to the love and grace of his son, Jesus Christ. After returning home from missions, Tom started a small group for 20 and 30 year olds in the Chautauqua area called NYCA (Nurturing Young Christian Adults). God has continued to bless Tom with additional missions opportunities to Miami, Mexico and Honduras.
The Lord blessed Tom with his wonderful wife, Danam and his adorable daughter, Trinity Grace, born September 2014. They live in Bath, NY, and are proud to have six nieces and four nephews between them! Tom enjoys kayaking, cycling, hiking, movies, and making Dana laugh.
Dean Houser / Public Relations | email
Dean's first contact with Family Life was at Selah's Christmas Tour in 2002. A short time later, Dean met Randy Snavely, who then worked as a PR rep. While they talked, Dean’s interest in the ministry grew, and he soon decided to start volunteering at events. Dean says, “Being a volunteer really opened my eyes to how God changes lives through the ministry. I remember having a strong urge to tell more people about Family Life and what God was doing.”
Well, that happened to be the Lord's path for Dean! Now he works at Family Life as a PR representative, maintaining relationships with area churches and Christian organizations in different regions of New York and Pennsylvania.
Dean accepted Christ in junior high school, but after graduating, turned away from the church and wandered aimlessly for several years. Life eventually changed after he married and started a family. Shortly after the kids came, Dean and his wife, Karen, agreed that going to church again would be a good thing. At that point, Dean wasn’t aware of how this decision would end up changing their lives.
Since 2006, the Houser’s have worked as short-term missionaries in Uganda, Africa, alongside other national workers, to help break the cycle of poverty in the communities. The Lord has poured out their lives for the children and families of orphanages, schools and child development centers. There's no limit to God's grand work when he uses totally surrendered lives!
Also a retired Corrections Officer for Chautauqua County, Dean worked in the sheriff’s office for almost two decades, and still serves the town as a volunteer fire fighter. Dean also served as Mayor of the Village of Sinclairville, NY for 12 years, which makes him the first former public official Family Life has ever employed!
Nick Finlayson / Food Service Director | email
Nick is head chef at Family Life, creating menus and cooking delicious meals for events. It's no small job considering Family Life hosts a range of 30-40 events a year! In the past, Nick cooked for large establishments like hotels, restaurants, banquet halls, colleges, and retirement homes. His most recent position was as chef manager at Hilltop Retirement Home in Johnson City, NY. There he cooked for Hilltop residents and managed the culinary staff.
Nick is excited about working with food again. His last few jobs have been corporate and managerial in nature, but at Family Life, Nick gets to do what he loves – create new and interesting food in the kitchen! He loves experimenting with new ideas and food recipes, and has a passion for marinades and seasonings.
Nick didn't spend much time in the church growing up. He met his wife Angie in college, and because of her witness, began a relationship with Jesus Christ. Angie took Nick to church one morning, and it was by her Godly influence, and the influence of other believers, that Nick learned to walk with God. Now this awesome couple is walking side by side in the light!
Nick loves spending time with his family and has been married to Angie for several wonderful years. They have three children - Amelia, Kathryn and Jacob – and moved to New York from Delaware not too long ago. It didn't make sense to Nick at the time, but the Lord was leading his family back to where Angie grew up, and back to her childhood church - Primitive Methodist Church in Johnson City.
Nick is excited about the future and about God's plan for his family and career at Family Life. He cherishes the opportunity to minister to people through his food.
Gary Farnham / Information Services Director | email
Gary builds and maintains Family Life’s IT infrastructure, including Web servers, data warehousing, Internet streaming, and many other applications. Database administration is a significant part of Gary's daily work, along with patch management, user administration, and IT support.
Gary was raised in a Christian family, and is thankful that his parents hauled him and his brother, Tim, 30 miles to church every week. Gary believed in Christ as a young boy, but at age 17, finally accepted him as Lord of his life.
Beginning his technical trek fresh out of high school, Gary worked as a mechanic for a boat marina on Lake Erie. His computer hobby turned into a career 14 years later when he was hired as computer technician for Sector One Computer. That eventually led to an IT job in the banking industry, where Gary worked for seven years until a bank merger displaced most of the IT department. For the first time in his life, Gary was jobless. It was some 6 months later when his pastor mentioned a job opening at Family Life - a place, Gary says, that gave meaning to his work, It’s truly amazing how God works.
Gary has been married to his high school sweetheart, Ruth, for over 40 years. They have three adult children with grandchildren. Gary loves woodworking, hunting, fishing and sitting on the porch with his wife.
Darcie Gore (Schwarz) / Publicity Manager | email
Darcie works with local and national media to get stories in the news about Family Life. Every day she talks with editors and reporters about what’s new with the ministry. Darcie also helps build positive relationships with media and community organizations, working to co-promote mutual causes for Christ. A wordsmith at heart, Darcie likes to write, especially about the Christian faith and her experiences with God.
Darcie came to Family Life in 2007 from Rochester, New York. Caught up in corporate-America, Darcie joined the marketing world after college, doing public relations work for companies like Kodak, Johnson & Johnson, and Citizens Bank. After four years in the business, little job satisfaction and no real happiness, Darcie hit the brakes. Is this it?
One evening a friend invited her to church. The worship there stirred her heart for God for the first time. The experience was life-changing and Darcie went in search of ministries in need of marketing people. As God would have it, Family Life was the place. The ministry decided to hire a Publicity Director the very same day Darcie called about a job – God’s perfect timing.
Darcie got her undergraduate in theater from Ithaca College. She’s played baseball most of her life and loves watching movies to unwind. Her most favorite way to spend time is being with her husband, Matt - the best thing in her life, besides the Lord Himself.
Alan Gustafson / Creative Services Director | email
After a summer internship, Alan joined the Family Life news department in the winter of 2008. Alan now spends most of his time in the Creative Services department working on graphic design and editing audio and video. He believes Christians can have a positive influence on the world by becoming involved in media, one of the reasons he joined Family Life.
Alan earned his Associate’s degree from Jamestown Community College, and received his Bachelors in Communication Studies from Grove City College. He likes dabbling in technology and enjoys taking walks with his wife and two children.
Joe Hy / Media Producer | email
Joe works in graphic design, photography and videography for Family Life. He loves capturing the excitement of Family Life’s concerts, plays and musicals. He's usually seen on the outskirts of any Family Life audience with his favorite toy in-hand – a camera.
After receiving a degree from Corning Community College, Joe began waiting on his next steps from the Lord. As God opened doors, Joe began freelancing for Family Life, serving its multimedia needs. Soon enough, Joe was hired as a full-time employee for Creative Services, a team that oversees Family Life’s website, marketing and graphic design needs.
In an effort to do more of what he loves, Joe opened a small photography business and loves shooting portraits of friends and family. He also enjoys taking and teaching Tae Kwon Do classes in Bath.
Jamie Heale / Studio Engineer, Audio Engineer | email
Jamie works in the IT and engineering at Family Life. His job duties cover fixing and maintaining equipment to replacing and purchasing new equipment. Jamie is also sound engineer for some of Family Life’s productions. He enjoys the diversity of his job and the ability to take on new challenges.
Jamie came to Family Life in 2008 from Dayton, OH. A native to WNY, he moved to the Dayton area for college and was then hired at Cox Radio, where he did many different jobs, ranging from Board Operator, to Traffic Assistant, and ending up as Assistant Engineer.
In early 2008, Jamie received an email from his sister about a job at Family Life. After much prayer and talking with his wife, Jamie accepted the position. He had been thinking about switching into ministry and the job at Family Life seemed to fit his skills and talents perfectly.
Jamie and his wife Amy live in Bath, NY with their sons, Bryan and Zachary. He enjoys hiking and being outdoors with his family. He also loves playing the string bass.
Jeremy Hill / Studio Engineer | email
Jeremy is a studio engineer on Family Life's around-the-clock technical support team. His top priority is keeping the radio network running every day. No pressure, Jeremy!
Ever since high school, Jeremy's desire was to serve in ministry. Being very active in his church and having a degree in Electronic Technologies, Jeremy decided to visit Family Life to find out more about radio. And he's been here ever since.
Jeremy’s work at Family Life spans over several departments. Besides handling a lot of the technical needs in the studio, he helps with audio engineering for concerts and radio remotes, oversees satellite, Internet, and computer needs for the individual stations, and develops software for many areas of Family Life. (He's a man of many technical talents!)
Jeremy and his wife, Jenn, live in Bath, NY, with their daughter, Rose, and two sons, Nathan and Landon. They love evening walks, riding their tandem bike, remodeling their home, and learning about natural health. Jenn is a stay-at-home mom and plays a major part in supporting Jeremy’s work in ministry.
John Coulter / Chief Radio Engineer | email
John always has been interested in electronics, more specifically in wireless communications. In sixth grade he built an AM transmitter for a science fair project and earned second place because the judges didn't think a 12-year-old could make a device like that!
In high school, John worked as a camp counselor and has since been active in his local church, serving as trustee, deacon, choir member, and Sunday school teacher.
After high school and one year of Bible College, John attended Erie Institute of Technology and received a Certificate in Electronic Communications. Since then he’s worked in the radio and cell phone industries as a field technician/engineer. John also is a licensed master electrician and has a radio telephone license from the FCC.
His hobbies include an avid interest in ham radio and alternative energy, specifically wind generators. John owns the third highest point in Chautauqua County and harnessing the wind up there isn't difficult in the least - it's almost always blowing! John is married to his wonderful wife, Arlene. They live in Gerry, N.Y., and enjoy raising farm animals and tending the garden.
Chris Miller / Assistant Radio Engineer | email
Music has always been a part of Chris’ life. His grandmother was a violin teacher and his dad usually had some kind of music playing in the house. In middle school, Chris started playing the trumpet, which during high school, grew to include the baritone, tuba, and drums. He also started helping in the church with sound and lighting. Chris' interest in production sparked and grew into a love of electronics and computers – essential ingredients for a talented audio engineer!
Chris earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from Pennsylvania College of Technology. During his work study, Chris quickly learned the intricacies of computer networks and this growing thing called the Internet. After college he spent five years working in the Christian music scene, traveling around the country on tours as a road manager, sound engineer, and handling whatever else needed doing.
While on the road, Chris started racking up phone minutes talking to a “friend” back home. After a year and half of talking almost every day, they decided it would be okay to say that their friendship had grown into more. So in 2007, Chris left the touring behind, found a job that would support a family, and married his best friend, Hannah. They have two energetic boys and live in Northumberland, PA. When time permits, Chris enjoys photography, especially taking photos of their boys and the beautiful landscapes of the great outdoors.
Ralph VanDerLinden / Assistant Radio Engineer | email
Ralph is a transmitter engineer for Family Life. He works in remote places and, just like Jim Travis, is sometimes responsible for bringing broken radio stations back on the air. Ralph is the son of a Baptist minister and was raised across New York State, mostly in the Central New York region. The youngest of three boys, he accepted Christ in his pre-teen days and has volunteered at church since he was a teenager.
Ralph got involved in radio station repair and maintenance while in college. He gave up his original plan of becoming a teacher, and instead made a career of fixing technology when it doesn't work right. He joined Family Life in 1997 as the network started growing from 8 stations with just a handful of translators. He and his wife Sue live in Hornell.
Joe Prunier / Building & Grounds Supervisor | email
Joe began his dream job at Family Life in July 2012 with years of knowledge and experience in buildings and grounds. He gained that experience by working as a maintenance supervisor at a church in Elmira for ten years, before to coming to Family Life.
Having a heart for serving others, Joe enthusiastically lives by the motto, “A job worth doing is worth doing well!” With a song in his heart, Joe works the grounds while spreading cheer in the hallways and throughout numerous offices at Family Life.
A piece of Joe's job description also includes the weekly radio segment, "Average Joes" which broadcasts Mondays during the Noon report on Family Life. He and his department partner, Joe Sliwa, share their wit and talents on air, giving listeners tips to remember for maintaining their home.
Every day Joe counts his blessings for coming to know Christ as his personal Savior and for the privilege of working alongside his wife, Cindy, at Family Life. They make a great team! The Pruniers live in Elmira with two of their six kids. Joe enjoys following the activities and events of his children and grandchildren, whether it’s sports, horse shows, or romping on the living room floor!
Joe Sliwa / Building & Grounds Assistant | email
Joe is Family Life's new building and grounds assistant. This excites Joe because ministering to others and working with his hands are two of his favorite things to do. Joe had the opportunity to volunteer at a dinner concert one winter. Shortly thereafter, he learned of a job opportunity at Family Life. The rest is history.
Joe grew up in Horseheads and graduated from SUNY Cortland. Before joining Family Life, he worked for 10 years at a professional window cleaning and handyman company owned by a good friend. Recently, Joe and his wife purchased a small farm in Bath where they raise dairy goats, broiler chickens, pigs, and their seven lively home-schooled children. His wife, Elizabeth, also works as a Registered Nurse in Elmira.
Joe has been a believer since he was a young boy, but in the last few years his relationship with God has deepened in exciting ways. The Lord has blessed him with a servant’s heart and the ability to work with his hands. To honor these gifts, Joe strives daily to glorify God as a husband, father, and friend.
In what little spare time he has, Joe enjoys sports. His top three are baseball, football, and golf. He also loves playing with his children and has an affinity for woodworking. Now owning a late-1800s farmhouse, that skill will certainly come in handy!