Vickie Winkler


Vickie is a retired RN. She has traveled all around the world championing the cause of humanitarian aid for Africa. As a widow herself, Vickie can empathise with the pain of the millions of widows and orphans in Africa, and has turned that compassion into a movement. Vickie first began traveling to Africa in 1979 with her late husband, Kenn. She founded HEART in 2000.

Lori Powell

Deputy Executive Director

Lori has recently joined HEART after retiring from a long career in technology and risk management in the financial industry. She first came to HEART in 2016 on a mission trip when she immediately fell in love with the women, children, and HEART programs.  She has been actively involved in women and children’s ministries and organizations for over 20 years. In 2014 she lost all her hair due to Alopecia Universalis, which enabled her to gain an even deeper understanding of the pain and suffering of feeling like an outcast. 

Lori lives in Rancho Cucamonga, CA with her husband, 3 adult children and 4 grandchildren. She and her husband love traveling, spending time with family, and outdoor activities. They attend The Way World Outreach Church in San Bernardino, CA.

Betsy Gunther

US Administrative Coordinator

Betsy has been connected to HEART since 2004, first as a volunteer and team member, and since 2012 as part-time staff in Colorado. She primarily works to coordinate  and prepare HEART teams, interns and mission staff traveling to Kenya.  She also collaborates with US and Kenya HEART staff on all communications including newsletters and social media and supports special events.  Betsy and her husband Mark have two children and live in Lone Tree, Colorado.

Jo Kern

US Financial/Office Manager

Jo serves full time as HEART’s Finance and Office Manager in our Auburn office Monday through Friday.  Jo says she felt a strong connection to HEART after meeting Vickie. Her diligent skills, commitment to hard work, and desire to serve the ministry  are all reasons she is the right person for this job and clearly an answer to prayer!

Jerry Kitchel

Partner Relations Consultant

Jerry began working with HEART in the Fall of 2019 as Partner Relations Consultant. His Christian non-profit career began in 1985 with World Vision during the height of Ethiopia’s famine. Over the years, he has held leadership positions in communication, marketing and advancement with a number of NGOs. Many of his assignments have taken him to Kenya, Somalia and Rwanda, as well as  Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Jerry enjoys working closely with Vickie, members of the board, and the  team of staff and volunteers in the U.S. and Kenya. “Together, we are working hard to garner needed support for the mothers and children  helped through the work of HEART. I am honored to be part of this amazing ministry!”