People

National Staff

National Executive Director
Zach Szmara

Zach Szmara is the National Executive Director of Immigrant Connection.  He has been a Department of Justice accredited legal representative since 2014 and has served over 2200 immigrants from 100+ nations in the 7 years he has led his local Immigrant Connection site.  He also serves as the pastor of The Bridge Community Church – a multilingual, multicultural, multiethnic church in Logansport, Indiana.  He has spoken nationally on the topic of immigration, diaspora, multi-cultural/multi-ethnic diversity, and holistic outreach to immigrants and refugees.  He is married to Lyndy, a special education administrator, and they have one son, Isaac.

National Director of Site Launch
Courtney Peñaranda

Courtney Peñaranda serves as the National Director of Site Launch for Immigrant Connection. She has worked with international students through both collegiate student affairs and ESL programs. Courtney has also worked as a legal assistant in a local Immigrant Connection office as well as an immigration law firm. She is married to Luigi Peñaranda and they have 3 children, Mateo, Sofia, and Elena.

National Director of Site Sustainability
Courtney Tudi

Courtney graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and is licensed to practice law in the State of Colorado. She previously worked with the African Community Center in Denver as a pro bono attorney where she assisted refugees with issues related to lawful permanent residency and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits. Courtney also worked at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in Washington, D.C. Before joining Immigrant Connection, Courtney led the ILS Technical Unit of World Relief. She is married to Troy McClymonds and they have two daughters.

National Director of Development
Adam Lipscomb

Adam Lipscomb is the National Director of Development for Immigrant Connection. He has spoken and written about immigration, anti-racism, racial and ethnic diversity and urban ministry. His has served on the boards of three nonprofits, all in the arena of housing and homelessness. He started City Life Church, a multi-cultural/multi-ethnic, core-neighborhood church, in Grand Rapids, MI. He was a co-lead pastor there, alongside his wife, Christy, for 15 years. They have two sons, Jude and Elijah.

Communications Support
Sera Han

Sera Han provides communications support to the National Immigrant Connection team. Her background is in social work, and she was previously the Director of Aftercare for Sari Bari in Calcutta, India. Sera has experience in teaching ESL in Seoul, Korea as well as in leading outreach and ministry programs in NYC. She is married to Kyle Scott.

Sustainability Support
Autumn Gale

Autumn Gale provides sustainability support to the National Immigrant Connection team. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Taylor University and has experience working in the church and nonprofit sector. For 12 years she has provided support to better coordinate the network of social services for individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness in Indiana through HUD’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). She is married to Andrew Gale, executive director of Global Strategy, and they have two children Eleanor and Elias.

Board of Directors

Dr. Jo Anne Lyon
Founder
World Hope
David Drury
Founder
One Multichurch Network
Adam Estle
VP of Field and Constituencies
National Immigration Forum
Dr. Andrea Summers
Campus Pastor and Dean of Spiritual Formation
Indiana Wesleyan University
Janelle Vernon
Executive Director of Communication and Administration
The Wesleyan Church
Jim Lyon
General Director
Church of God Ministries
Dr. Joanne Solis Walker
Associate Professor of Practical Theology
Northwest Nazarene University
Dr. Luigi Peñaranda
Associate Professor of Global Leadership and Latino/Latina Christian Studies
Wesley Seminary
Omar Haedo
President and CEO
ELAN Insurance Group