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Calvin Theological Seminary
3233 Burton St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Robert Knoor – Director of Development
Bob was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. After graduating from Calvin College with a degree in Political Science, Bob went to work for a staffing company in Grand Rapids and ultimately became the company’s West Michigan regional Vice President. After 12 years in the staffing industry, Bob felt called to change careers and work in development. In 2001 he went to work for the Hope Network Foundation, the fund-raising branch of Hope Network. Bob was the Executive Director of the Foundation until he joined the Calvin Seminary staff in January, 2008. Bob and his wife Megan, a freelance writer, live in Grand Rapids. They have two children: Mitchell, age 17, and Leah, age 14. Bob and his family are members of LaGrave Avenue CRC, which he has attended since birth. When Bob is not traveling for the Seminary, he enjoys playing golf and tennis and watching his kids’ sports and musical events.
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:8
Mitch Schroder – Gift Officer and Annual Fund Leader
A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mitch is the son of Steve and Jennifer Schroder. He has a twin sister, Megan, and a younger sister, Madeline. He’s been a lifelong member of LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church. Mitch attended Ada Christian School and Grand Rapids Christian High School before enrolling at Calvin College, and graduated in 2016 with a major in small business and a minor in accounting. Throughout his 4 years at Calvin he was a member of the swim team and captained the team of 2015-2016. Along with his twin sister, Megan, he coaches the GRCHS Varsity Girls Swim Team (2016 – present). In September 2016, Mitch got married to Janel Degraaf who is a nurse at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. They currently reside in Grand Rapids with their puppy, Winston. On the rare occasions when Mitch is not at work or coaching swim practice, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends playing games.
Rachael Hoekstra – Donor Services Administrator
Rachael grew up in the Christian Reformed Church and graduated from Calvin College in 1985. While there, she studied Special Education and Psychology. Since then she has had a variety of work experiences—from home educator to administrative assistant to small business owner. Although she is a native of Denver, Colorado, Rachael wouldn’t give up the green byways or sandy beaches of Michigan for all the sun that the west has to offer. She enjoys touring the Lower Peninsula where she and her four children scour beaches for the elusive Petoskey Stone. Rachael also enjoys the fiber arts—knitting, spinning, and weaving—and provides instruction to keep those traditional crafts alive. She enjoys volunteering in the community and at her church.
Rev. Bert DeJong – Development Associate (represents Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin)
Born in the Netherlands, Bert was raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as was his wife Celia. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Calvin College, his Master of Divinity degree from Calvin Theological Seminary, and finished his education at Northern Baptist Seminary with a Doctorate of Ministry. Bert currently lives in Villa Park, Illinois, two miles from the congregation he served as Senior Pastor for 27 years – Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church. He remains on staff in a part time role as a Congregational Care Associate. Four times per year Bert travels to the Louisiana State Prison at Angola where he mentors a group of ten inmate pastors. Bert and Celia have four married children and twelve grandchildren. He enjoys swimming, fishing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Cor. 5:17
Rev. Allen Likkel – Development Associate (represents Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia)
Allen represents Calvin Seminary in Washington, dividing his time between Blaine (Birch Bay) and Lynden. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Calvin College, Masters of Divinity at Calvin Theological Seminary, and Doctorate of Ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary. Before coming to Calvin Seminary, Allen served as a pastor for 20 years, primarily focusing on church planting. He later worked for Christian Reformed Home Missions for 20 years with a focus on church planting, and ultimately became the Director of Ministry Teams for the last seven years. Allen and his wife, Lynn, have four married children; two sons, two daughters, and twelve grandchildren. He enjoys camping and restoring Model A’s.
“Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21
Loren Veldhuizen – Development Associate (represents Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota)
Loren graduated from Calvin College with a degree in History/Political Science, and the University of Iowa College of Law. He is retired from practicing law after forty years at the Klay Law Firm in Orange City, Iowa. Loren and his wife, Nelly, currently live in Northwest Iowa. They have three adult children and six grandchildren. Loren enjoys fishing and participating in Antique Tractor activities, specifically involving a 1947 Farmall H tractor from Loren’s brother and father.
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:3
Rev. Stan Workman – Development Associate (represents Florida)
Stan is a graduate of Calvin College and Calvin Seminary. Before joining the development team at Calvin Seminary, Stan was a church pastor for 44 years total, serving in Kalamazoo, MI, Olympia, WA, and Orlando, FL. He and his wife, MaryLee, live in Oakland, Florida. They have four children, 13 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. Stan enjoys reading and traveling.
“In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:6
Jean Garehan – Administrative Assistant
Jean was born in Wisconsin Rapids, WI and has been living in Grand Rapids, MI since 1965. She has worked at Calvin Seminary since January, 1992 and enjoys the variety of work in her job. Jean is a widow with one son and two grandsons. She enjoys volunteering for the Civic Theater, the Grand Rapids Symphony, and her church, LaGrave Avenue CRC. She enjoys spending time with friends and especially her grandsons.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11
Laura Palsrok – Assistant to the Director of Development
and Development Events Coordinator
Laura Palsrok joined Calvin Seminary in the Fall of 2016 as the Assistant to the Director of Development and Development Events Coordinator. She has a B.A. in English and German from Calvin College. Prior to coming to the Seminary, Laura worked for 20 years at the headquarters of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She now coordinates events for Seminary President, Jul Medenblik, and the Development Office along with her duties as Assistant to the Director of Development, Bob Knoor. In her spare time, Laura enjoys spending time with family and friends, and especially with her Miniature Schnauzer, Shortstop. Laura is a member of Hillside Community Church in Cutlerville.