Advisory Council

The Advisory Council offers the Early Learning Center spiritual support, ideas, and suggestions.

The mission of the Early Childhood Advisory Council is to provide thoughtful leadership and strategic advice that promotes quality, faith-based learning outcomes for young children in our Early Learning Center. These outcomes are achieved by creating a nurturing environment that supports the love of God, strengthens families, and prepares children to be lifelong learners. The Advisory Council offers spiritual support, ideas, and suggestions to the Executive Director of the Early Learning Center. It will guide specific issues or events regarding early childhood as a standing council that meets regularly.

Meet our Advisory Council

Mandy Gibbons

Executive Director, Early Learning Center at Hubbard Hill
Mandy joins the Early Learning Center with over 20 years of experience as a preschool and kindergarten teacher at Bridges (also NAEYC accredited) and Covenant Christian School. With a B.S. in Hospitality Management from Purdue and a master’s degree in education from Bethel/IUSB, Mandy is passionate about shaping the development of young children in their early childhood years. Most recently, she worked as a preschool director, employing best practices to create an incredible learning environment that nurtures and supports young children. Mandy and her family have attended Granger Community Church for over 10 years. She has two daughters: Mikaylah (25) is an Ohio State graduate currently working/living in Columbus, OH, and Mikenzie (23), attends Optometry School at IU Bloomington.

Kathy Greve

Assistant Director of Intergenerational Experiences
Kathy joins the staff of the Early Learning Center at Hubbard Hill with a dedicated drive to implement an intergenerational experience for both the children and our senior neighbors. She brings 30 years of teaching experience, mostly in Kindergarten (25 years at PHM and 5 years at Christ the King School.) Kathy earned a B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in Kindergarten from Ball State University. She has served on many committees throughout her teaching career, including curriculum development, building/school safety, mentor development, wellness, and anti-bullying. She is dedicated to creating the best experiences and environment for young learners and strives to go above and beyond for students, colleagues, and parents. Kathy and her husband, Dan have two children. Meredith is currently working full-time in Indianapolis while earning a master’s degree in Business Analytics and Aaron is studying Mechanical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Daniel Klauer, D.D.S.

TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Northern Indiana
Daniel grew up here in South Bend and was happy to move back here with his wife, Hayley, in 2010. They have 5 wonderful children, with Lena currently attending the ELC. Four out of the five have been at the ELC starting in 2016. Daniel is a dentist at the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Center serving adults and children with pain and sleep issues. He is in a brand-new state of the art facility with his new practice. In his “free” time you’ll find him engaged in any sort of physical activity with Hayley and the kids.

Peggy Lutz

Office Manager of The Early Learning Center

Peggy has been with the Early Learning Center at Hubbard Hill since 2019. She has grown and learned a lot in those years. The best part of her job is the personal relationships she gets to make with families and staff members. Peggy and her husband, Spence have 4 children of their own who all grew up in the area. Ashley is married to Luke Lattimer, and they have 3 boys (Zeke, Jax, and Cooper). Zeke currently attends the ELC. They live in Elkhart. Taylor graduated from Grand Valley State University and works at Granger Community Church as the Digital and Community Engagement Director. Ryan and his wife, Sara have a son, Kyler, and live in South Bend. Ryan is the Associate Pastor at Cornerstone Church of Mishawaka. Drew is getting his master’s degree from Bethel University while playing his final year on the men’s basketball team and is getting married to his fiance, Katie in June. Spending time with family and friends is what Peggy loves to do most.

Jacqueline Mokfi

Premier Internal Medicine

Jaci is married to Shaya Mokfi, and together they keep busy with their 4 kids: Zander (8) and Spencer (5) at Northpoint, and twins Adeline & Lewis (3) at ELC. Before settling in Granger, she grew up in Illinois and later lived/worked in Connecticut, Washington DC, Germany, Thailand, Fiji, Nepal, South Africa, Mali, Ghana and England—with voyaging throughout the 7 continents. Now as a family of 6 they all love to travel, but current adventures likely include Elmo or Mickey Mouse. Following medical school at the University of Illinois, Jaci completed her Internal Medicine residency at Yale, then consecutive fellowships in Infectious Diseases and Critical Care at the National Institutes of Health (NIAID/CC) in Bethesda, MD. While at NIH she also completed Clinical Trials training and was principal investigator of a bench-to-bedside malaria research trial in Bamako, Mali. Next, she moved to England to pursue a Diploma of Tropical Medicine at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Her husband, Shaya, is an Internist with extensive experience with Long-Term Care/Rehab/Assisted & Independent Living facilities and hospice care. Jaci & Shaya run their practice at Premier Internal Medicine in Mishawaka.

Patrick Pingel

CEO, Hubbard Hill

Patrick is the Chief Executive Officer of the nationally recognized Hubbard Hill Living Wisdom Community, a nonprofit faith-based center that provides independent living for active adults and assisted living apartment residences with supportive services, short-term rehabilitation, outpatient therapy, and long-term nursing care. Pingel’s accomplished healthcare career spanning 30 years includes 18 years at Hubbard Hill, named one of the Best Nursing Homes in the country by U.S. News and World Report every year since 2012. He has extensive experience in care facility redesign and renovation. Prior to joining Hubbard Hill, Pingel served in leadership positions as a vice president and administrator at specialized care facilities including Holy Cross Living Center, St. Joseph’s Care Center, and Healthwin Specialized Care. Pingel earned a master’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University in South Bend and is licensed as a health facility administrator in Indiana. He is a member of Worklight, a Christian business organization. He resides in Mishawaka with his wife Beth of 30 years. Patrick loves strategy and teamwork opportunities. He coached basketball for many years when his children were younger.

Heidi Runels

Marketing Director and Guest Relations at Hershey Road Campground
Heidi Runels is married to Jeff Runels with 3 kids: Oliver (6), Elliott (4) & Agnes (3). Oliver completed 3 years at the ELC and is a 1st Grader at St. Pius X. Elliott is in his 3rd year at the ELC and loving life in The Garden Patch. Agnes is now with Miss Nicole in the Backyard. They have lived in Granger for 2 years. Jeff and Heidi purchased a 40-acre farm in Niles shortly after they married and still own the land there. They once owned 2 horses, 3 cows, 3 goats, a donkey, a flock of chickens, and dogs. They now have a flock of chickens on the farm and one dog at home in Granger. Heidi and her family spend most of their free time at their lake house in South Haven. Heidi grew up outside of Philadelphia. Because of this, she is a lifelong Eagles fan and loves the Jersey Shore. Heidi’s hobbies include gardening, cooking/baking, weaving (I take an evening class at the South Bend Museum of Art), and she loves animals.

Chad Vanderbeek

Vice President of Hibshman Screw Machine
Chad received his BA from Indiana University. He is the Vice President of Hibshman Screw Machine, a manufacturer of precision CNC components and turned parts for everything from the RV industry to the medical industry. Chad and his wife, Ginny, have four children: Finn, Duke, Jett and Maren. The boys are ELC alumni, while Maren is currently attending the ELC. Chad and his family are extremely active and love spending time with family and friends.

Melissa VanOrt

Seasoned ELC Parent and Elementary School Teacher

Melissa and her husband, Kaleb, have three children: Emily (8), Molly(6), and Michael (3). Michael attends the ELC, and Emily and Molly attended for three years. Melissa has recently taken on the role of “stay-at-home mom” after a fulfilling career as an elementary school teacher for the last 14 years. Most recently, she was a teacher at Northpoint Elementary School in Granger, where Emily & Molly attend. In their free time, Melissa and her family enjoy spending time together at local parks, traveling to Florida once a year, and rooting for Notre Dame!