Meet Our Team

Cliff Hunter

Cliff Hunter

Executive Director

Cliff is committed to applying his experience in business administration and workforce development to addressing gaps in care for young adults exiting foster care and youth corrections.

We have to address the whole person. None of us can meet all of the health, housing, and employment needs a young person faces as they transition into adulthood, but together we can.”

Katie Morton

Katie Morton

Career Navigation Manager

My passion has always been to help others and strengthen the community she resides in. After graduating, I moved to Colorado Springs to earn her masters in student affairs in higher education at The University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Since moving to Colorado, I found myself working with an at-risk population once again at Project Diakonia. My favorite thing about working for such a small nonprofit is that I have the time to truly connect with my clients and help them in a holistic manner.  

Ed Shipp

Ed Shipp

Operations Manager & Instructor

As Operations Manager and Instructor for our Construction Pre-Apprenticeship course, Ed is one busy guy! An experienced trainer and teacher as well as a small business owner in Colorado Springs, Ed shares his knowledge openly with his student body, eager to use his expertise to train, empower and mentor the future workforce of Colorado’s Construction Industry

Jennifer Martin

Jennifer Martin

Data Analyst and Bookkeeper

As Data Analyst and Bookkeeper for our local team, Jennifer enjoys working with numbers and data sets as well as people.  A geeky jack-of-all-trades, Jennifer was pleasantly surprised to be accepted to Project Diakonia in late September 2022 and went through the training with her autistic teen. She was approached at graduation about volunteering to help tutor her peers, and quickly became part of the team. Jennifer is also an experienced trainer (Microsoft Office Specialist ) and a small business owner creating stained glass. An Air Force veteran, she and her husband retired in Colorado Springs. Someday she hopes to return to Scotland, where she grew up. 

Ryan Paciero

Ryan Paciero

Construction Skills Instructor

Being an Active-Duty Air Force NCO has given Ryan the personal and professional expertise to train and empower others to “Aim High” and strive for something greater in life.

Board Of Directors

Leadership Philosophy: We are compelled to action by our faith and belief that every person has value in the eyes of God and that every young adult deserves permanency, advocacy, and an opportunity to succeed.

Steve Hayes

Steve Hayes


After retiring from 36 years of leadership in the business sector, Steve now serves as the President of Project Diakonia in its mission to address gaps in care for youth aging out of government systems.

“As an adoptive parent, I am intimately aware of the challenges foster youth face. I believe in what Diakonia is doing to offer a sense of purpose and permanency to young adults who may have missed out on that.”

Chuck Mingonet

Chuck Mingonet


Chuck has been mentoring at-risk young adults in foster care for over a decade. Coupled with over 26 years of service as an officer in the Navy, Chuck is a compassionate and capable leader.

“Sometimes, all a young person needs is someone there to cheer them on. It’s amazing what God can accomplish in a person’s life when they know there are people that believe in them.”

Chris Hagan

Chris Hagan


Chris is an Electrical Engineer in the semiconductor industry, has served as Council Chairperson for his church and led several mission trips to Haiti. Chris is passionate about developing people, helping them find their purpose, and connecting with young adults starting out on their career journey.

“Young adults need purpose and direction, and the trades are a great place to find both.”

Employment Partners

If you are a local employer interested in learning more about becoming an employment partner, please contact us. This is a great way to meet a need in the community and fill open positions in your company with competent, highly-capable workforce.

Community Partners

If you are interested in becoming a partner in health or housing, please contact us. We would love to coordinate care with your agency to provide the most comprehensive wrap-around services possible for our youth.

“What you do today can improve all of your tomorrows."

Ralph Marsden

Reach out today

Contact Us


3595 E. Fountain Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80910


(888) 757-9675


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Project Diakonia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization Federal ID #: 27-2274120