Charissa Swindoll Gaither serves as the Director of Advancement and Donor Experience for Shelterwood Academy. Previously, Charissa served as a Major Gifts Officer for Compassion International, and as a Major Gifts Officer for Wycliffe Bible Translators in the South Central region. She was also a Vice President at Insight for Living for many years. Charissa has more than 20 years of experience in Christian ministry and has a passion for engaging with people young and old, reaching the unreached by empowering souls and transforming lives. Charissa and her husband, Mark, have four grown children. Charissa and Mark serve on the leadership team for their Sunday school class at Stonebriar Community Church. They reside in the Dallas, Texas, area.
Every member of our team shares a vision for the heart, character and educational achievement of Shelterwood students. We have a dynamic team of professionals, many considered at the top of their field. This team lays the firm foundation for our incredible success as a leading residential treatment center.
Shelterwood teens are surrounded by remarkable young adult role models at all times in every setting, offering a community driven approach to treatment. Professionals with top credentials lead our counseling, therapeutic and educational efforts — even our groundskeeper is a professional therapist. Caring adults also interact regularly with our students, pursue relationships, counsel and encourage . . . no matter what.
Jim Subers, CEO
Jim Subers has worked across the country and around the globe. However, he says, “witnessing the transformation that happens at Shelterwood makes this job unlike anything I’ve done before.”
“I’ve been blessed to lead a number of different organizations, but seldom have I seen this kind of change take place in such a short period of time,” Jim says. “The opportunity to witness heart change, real transformation and life change . . . it’s pretty exciting. The tools we’re giving these kids and the seeds being sown in their hearts can truly help them to overcome and succeed.”
After graduating from the University of Florida with honors and a degree in business management, Jim spent the first few years in campus ministry. He and his wife, Janice, then served for five years as missionaries in Tokyo, Japan. After moving back to the US, Jim continued his studies at Fuller Seminary, and began a career in international business in both commercial real estate and the oil and gas industry. In 1995, Joe White of Kanakuk Kamps contacted Jim and asked him to run his new non-profit camp serving urban children, Kids Across America. Today, KAA is a thriving camp that reaches children who otherwise would not be able to experience summer camp. Jim also led Bill Glass Champions for Life, a nationwide prison ministry based in Dallas, Texas, and Mega Voice International, an audio Bible manufacturing and distribution organization based in Tiberias, Israel. Jim joined Shelterwood in 2011. As Shelterwood CEO, Jim leads the senior executive team and sets the vision and direction for the ministry. He recently led the effort to complete the two new buildings on campus: our new residential facility, the Richard Beach Lodge, and our new Chapel. He reports weekly to the Board of Directors for Shelterwood, which is made up primarily of former Shelterwood parents who believe in our program and have seen heart change in these teens first hand.
Jim approaches his role at Shelterwood as a servant leader. He and his wife Janice, and their son, Jake, live on the Shelterwood campus. Jake, who has autism, works in the Dining Hall. One of Jim’s greatest passions is his personal interaction with the Shelterwood teens. He leads a weekly time of teaching with the young men. The group discusses current events, life challenges, and other teen issues, all from a Biblical perspective. Janice is also involved with the young women, often leading bible studies for the girls and the young adult mentors.
Outside of his work at Shelterwood, Jim enjoys spending time with his wife and growing family, he has two married children and five young grandchildren. His other son is attending college in Australia, and hopes to follow his father into ministry. Die-hard University of Florida fans may recognize Jim for another reason; he was an offensive guard for the Gators.