Events Staff

Kim Howell / Events & Activities Director | email

Growing up, Kim was raised in the United Methodist Church at the end of her street. She attended Sunday school and youth group there despite her family’s lack of attendance. As Kim’s commitment to God grew as a teen, she was confirmed in the United Methodist Church and joined them as an official member.

As a young adult, Kim fell away for a while but began exploring her faith again in her early 30s. Now as a married woman with young children, Kim and her husband Matt, decide to go back to church.  One morning, while listening to Family Life in her car, Kim opened her heart to Christ again. She doesn’t remember the particular program that was playing in her in old Honda, but the message was clear: you are forgiven and God loves you just as you are and just as you’re not. Kim recommitted her life to Jesus right then and there.

In 2010, Kim worked as an event representative for Women of Faith. This position gave her the opportunity to experience live events and travel the country offering women a chance to engage with the King of Kings at conferences nationwide. The job opened her heart for women’s ministry as she saw firsthand the struggles women face in daily life.

After many years with Women of Faith, Kim switched things up and went to work for The Salvation Army as a regional services coordinator. She worked with volunteers throughout New York State, some of the most giving people she had ever met, and learned how to support the spiritual and financial needs of people. Now as the events director for Family Life, Kim’s excited to take on yet another ministry adventure with the Lord, especially since the network has felt like a familiar friend throughout the years.

Kim lives in Newark, NY, with her husband, Matt, and three daughters: Jenna, Sarah and Annie. 

Debbie Fero / Events & Volunteer Coordinator | email

Debbie is responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing events and activities for adults, including singles, seniors, and homeschooling parents.  Her days are filled with phone calls, emails, and face-to face communication, all to draw adults into having a personal encounter with Jesus.  Debbie's heart is for Christ, and for the people He puts in her path.

Prior to answering God’s call to full-time vocational ministry, Debbie spent 19 years working in the high-stress newspaper industry. She fine tuned her administrative and organizational skills as Circulation Director for the Daily Review in Towanda, PA.  As part of the management team there, Debbie played a big part in corporate strategic planning and customer service training.

When her marriage of 21 years ended in divorce, Debbie found herself searching for “someone” to fill the hole in her heart.  Her search ended while attending her first Family Life event, a SALSA (singles) conference, where she realized Jesus was drawing her into a personal relationship.

Over the next few years, Debbie discovered how to use her God-given gifts and even her hurts to minister to women and singles.  As her passion for ministry grew, God made it clear that He was calling her to be a part of the Family Life team.  After a year of raising personal support, Debbie took her leap of faith, left her job at the newspaper, and joined Family Life.

Debbie enjoys spending time with her family. This includes her son, Dan; daughter, Maggi; son-in-law, Otto; and her grandchildren - Antonio, Sophia and Angelo. She also likes spending time with friends, watching movies, and doing an occasional jigsaw puzzle.

Mike Heyd / Events Coordinator Assistant / Collaborative Pianist | email

Mike grew up in the tiny village of Nauvoo, Pennsylvania, as the oldest of three children on his family’s beef farm. He attended church all of his life and grew up listening to Family Life. With a passion for music, Mike began playing the piano at age 6 and hasn’t stopped yet!

From church choirs to orchestra pits and school chorus concerts, Mike’s first love is being an accompanist.  Hard work, the support of his family and friends, and plenty of prayer have all afforded him many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

In 2004, Mike made his New York City debut at Lincoln Center and returned ten years later to perform at Carnegie Hall with National Sacred Honor Choir, an ensemble sponsored by Houghton College. He also was selected to accompany the 2010 Pennsylvania All-State Choir in Pittsburgh and most recently traveled to Viterbo, Italy to work for a summer as an opera pianist.

Even though Mike grew up in a Christian home, it wasn’t until years later that he began to grasp the meaning of living fully dependent on God. In 2014, while in Boston and working on his Master’s degree, Mike felt the Lord calling him into a deeper, more dedicated relationship. Around this time, ideas of going into full-time ministry quietly began taking root in his heart.

During an especially difficult season in 2016, Mike began praying for an “open door” - one that would lead to the precise place God wanted him. Two months later, Mike excitedly set off to begin an adventure with the Lord… at Family Life. Now as part of our very busy Events staff, his job is to help ensure that Family Life’s concerts, conferences, and seminars run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. 

Though most of Mike’s formal education is in music, the Lord certainly prepared him for his job here. With over 10 years of experience coordinating events, Mike has served as the activities coordinator for Child Evangelism Fellowship, music director for community theater productions and camps, and was instrumental in organizing the annual missions fundraising concert at his church. He also held the position of president and state representative for the Houghton College National Association for Music Education.

Mike has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Houghton College and a Master’s Degree in Collaborative Piano from The Boston Conservatory. In addition to coordinating events, Mike plays piano for Family Life Performing Arts.