Interim Executive Director
Al Oliver is a Southern California native was educated at Cerritos College and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). After a brief stint in the National Football League, Al graduated from Talbot Theological Seminary in 1980 with a Master of Divinity in Bible exposition. From there, he served as a teacher, counselor and teaching pastor for a number of years until he and his wife were both diagnosed with cancer.
After a difficult encounter with their cancer surgeries, the Oliver family left the professional ministry in 1989 for a season of healing and recovery. Al then worked in his family’s construction materials business and was eventually promoted to President and CEO. He later returned to pastoral ministry serving as a Transitional Pastor for churches belonging to the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), and worked with four EFCA churches in nearly 13 years. Most recently, Al served as Transitional Pastor at Hillside Community Church in Porterville. Al has been married to his wife, Verla for 40 years. They have two children (Matthew and Amber) and four grandchildren. In his free time, Al enjoys salt-water fishing (especially in the Sea of Cortez).
Shon graduated from Fresno Pacific University in 1997 with a degree in Ministry and shortly after worked at various churches in the Visalia area. His primary passion during that season was worship, both leading and training. After about ten years of serving the church in this capacity, he took a break from ministry to go back to school and pursue another passion…financial management. During that time he spent two years overseeing the finances of a local church and also served as a chairman for their Financial Executive Team. He then spent four years working at a local CPA firm, which specialized in Non-Profit accounting. In December of 2014, Shon was pleased to accept the role of Financial Director/Controller at the Mission. He is excited to serve alongside an amazing group of people dedicated to seeing lives restored through the power of Jesus Christ.
Shon still leads worship at his local church, enjoys a tasty cheesesteak at Philly’s in downtown Visalia, and loves grabbing his tools and working on a good project. Consequently, Shon is married to Lindsay Baldwin, the Volunteer Coordinator at VRM. Just weeks after starting at the Mission, Shon and Lindsay welcomed their first child, Bailey Grace.
Director of Development
Jessica graduated from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, in 2004 with a bachelor’s in Communication: Public Relations. After college she moved across the country from Iowa to Visalia, CA. Jessica worked at Centex Homes in their Design Studio and Marketing/Sales Dept for three and a half years. In 2008 she was hired by the Visalia Rescue Mission and now resides as the Director of Development for the Mission. She adores her job of connecting the community with the work that the Lord is doing at the Mission and counts it a privilege to work for such an amazing organization.
Jessica enjoys anything involving food, friends, family, socializing and travel. In June 2012 she married Forrest Cavale and they recently had their first child, Finn Michael!
Women's Program Director
I have been employed at the Visalia Rescue Mission as the Women’s Program Director since August 2006 and oversee the women’s facilities and programs. I have a bachelors degree in education and I am CAS certified (Certified Alcoholism and Other Drug Addiction Recovery Specialist). I enjoy working at the mission because I have a passion for helping women overcome addiction and homelessness.
Men's Program Director
Rick is a second generation Visalian and has a passion to see his city changed for the glory of God. He and his wife of 25 years have four children with an age range from 23 to 7. Together they have served the community and the church in many volunteer capacities for the past 16 years and have training in the areas of Life Skills and Inner Healing.
After a 15 year career in management in the grocery industry, he felt a need to leave and pursue his passion of counseling those in dire situations and point them to Jesus. He began in 2004 as a group home counselor to juvenile wards of the state. He felt a stirring from the Lord to help people through the process of healing the wounds of life and teach them how to become self-sufficient, productive members of society. Rick began his career at the Visalia Rescue Mission in 2007. Since then, he has received his Clinical Supervisor Certification through Breining Institute as well as his Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor through C.A.A.D.E.. During his time here at the VRM, Rick realized the depth of his passion to not only help the addicted but to help the homeless, hurting and hopeless members of our community be restored to who God created them to be, filled with the Hope that Jesus gives.
Director of Men's Shelter Services
Kurt was born and raised in Visalia, California. He left Visalia to attend Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon and began a street ministry that defines his life today. Kurt has been associate pastor, senior pastor and minister to the homeless since 1977. He is the founder of Church On The Street Atlanta, Georgia where he ran ministry training in homeless ministry to over 10,000 students in Atlanta over a 10 year period. He has developed homeless ministry outreach to 37 cities across the country. He is a published author and public speaker. Kurt returned to Visalia in 2012 to join the Visalia Rescue Mission team in caring for the homeless.
Kurt’s books are available here on PDF file:
Living on Skid Row is a book of true stories that emphasizing God's love and empowerment for the homeless and poor in the darkest crevices of our nation's streets.
Mother’s Hope: A Miracle on Skid Row is a testimony to the power of God and family through a rare experience with Atlanta’s homeless population on Mother’s Day.
Saddle Soar, autobiographical in nature, is a devotional book that chronicles Kurt’s cross country bicycle journey, with proceeds raised for the homeless.
Director of Thrift Store Operations
Hi, my name is Sherri White and I am the Director of Thrift Store Operations for the Mission. I oversee all processes for donation pickups, warehouse production, Rescued Treasures Superstore and the Simply Chic Boutique. The position is unique as it calls for a skill set in both the retail environment as well as the production environment. I feel as though I was divinely appointed to my position for this reason. I immensely enjoy my job and knowing how all the work is ultimately benefitting the people in our community. I remain open to however the Lord wants to continue to use me at the Mission and feel so blessed to be a part of it all!
Oval Venue Coordinator
Ryan is a longtime Visalian — a graduate of Redwood High School and Fresno Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministries. Intrigued by the partnership between the Visalia Rescue Mission and the City of Visalia, Ryan began putting his vision on paper as the Oval Venue Coordinator in August 2013, and has sparked the interest of many throughout the community. Ryan and his wife Amy (a Mt. Whitney High School graduate) have been married for seven years and have three amazing kids — ages 5, 3, and 3.
Chelsea is a Visalia native and has 10 years of experience planning events including conferences, weddings and fundraisers. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Biola University and is in her element when doing five things at once. Growing up, she traveled the world with the Celebrant Singers, and has visited 28 countries so far. While she loves seeing the world, she also loves seeing our local community support each other. Knowing she’s a part of real life change makes all the late nights and early mornings worth it. When she’s not managing a million details, Chelsea enjoys getting lost in a good book, heading to the beach and spending time with family and friends (especially when it includes coffee, a great meal or dark chocolate).
An Atlanta native, Kristin holds degrees in International Affairs and Public Relations from the University of Georgia. In 2009, she took her first major trip overseas, studying East Asian politics in Japan, South Korea and China. She returned to Asia a year later to teach English in Beijing, China. Most recently, Kristin worked as a communications specialist for a human rights organization in the Philippines before joining the VRM last summer. Kristin is a UGA sports fan, a news junkie and an aspiring Chinese speaker.