Kim, Brenda and Susan were college roommates, all music education majors. Their friendships were cemented then and have grown over time. Lori and Susan met in Philadelphia at Church of the Saviour and became friends when they met again South Carolina in the 90s. Since then they have supported each other through trying times. These gals are the first folks God brought to Susan’s mind when the idea for One Step Away International came to her.
Lori Coles, co-founder & treasurer (chief detailer)
Lori was born and raised in southeastern Pennsylvania. Her dad was a CPA, and her mom worked as a bookkeeper, so numbers are in her blood. She got her degree in Accounting at Shippensburg University, and that is where she began to develop a heart for ministry. She even spent the summer between her junior and senior years in Japan as a missionary. She has been working as an Accountant since college, except for the two years she spent in graduate school in Columbia, SC at Columbia International University, getting a masters degree in Intercultural Studies. She now lives in a suburb of Philadelphia with her sweet German shepherd. As a single adult who owns her home and is financially secure, she has compassion for those whose circumstances are otherwise. Using both degrees to help undergird a ministry with this focus is thrilling to her.
Kim Jones, co-founder & secretary (gears, nuts and bolts)
A singer, Bible study teacher and avid chef, Kim Jones lives in Missouri. She is the mother of graduating twin daughters and an adult son. Kim has been an integral part of successful startups for three businesses which continue to prosper. With supportive children, an extensive and loving family network, and a passel of friends in the area, she is aware of how different her situation could be as she finds herself unexpectedly single at this stage of her life. She has the compassion and drive to ensure that others less fortunate find help in their time of need.
Brenda Neuhaus, co-founder & Advisory Panel administrator (wordsmith)
Originally from Springfield, Missouri, Brenda Herndon Neuhaus received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. After a ten-year career in the insurance industry in the Kansas City area, where she met her husband, Brian, she became a homemaker in 1997. In 2001, Brenda and Brian adopted twin sons, Max and Isaac, when the boys were 6 months old. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys reading, writing, and playing games with her family. Ministry to women, both inside and outside the church body, is Brenda’s passion. The Proverbs 31 woman “opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Joining with three girlfriends to form One Step International was a natural way to reach out to women all over the world with open arms and extended hands.
Susan Rizzo, co-founder & director (generator)
Born in California, after a few stops along the way, Susan grew up in Texas where she became a Christian. Leading her first Bible study in 1978, teaching and equipping others to study have been the main focus of her life. Compassion or mercy came to the fore as one of her giftings while in seminary in the late 90s. In Europe as a church planting missionary, she met her husband. In 2001 when her team split to go new directions, she remained in France and married her husband, Stephane. Her interest in the plight of the single elderly with no families began when she was an older single looking down the road to what might await after retirement. This interest grew after her marriage as she met other older single ladies in a similar position, some of whom needed drastic intervention to prevent homelessness.