Dedicated to serving the foster care community, the Executive Director is the key management leader of Fostering Hope. Working with foster families, agencies, volunteers and the Fostering Hope Board, the Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization. Other areas of responsibility include fundraising, marketing, and community outreach. The position reports directly to the Board of Directors.
Dawn Brende serves as executive director at Camp Lakodia organizing overseeing the operations and gatherings at the Lake Herman recreational facility. Brende and her husband Jamie live in Baltic and have three adult children. Dawn's background includes work in a variety of private and public entities including executive director for Family Connections, a nonprofit group, that provided support for family members visiting Sioux Falls for visitations with state prison inmates.
Emily coordinates the quarterly JUMP day camps which are designed for children in care who have attended Royal Family Kids Camp. Emily first felt a calling to serve foster kids when her cousin told her about RFKC and she attended a camp in 2011 in Nebrska. Two years later, RFKC started a camp in her home state of South Dakota. She felt called to go deeper just at the time the JUMP day camps were starting, so she decided to be in charge of the team that plans and facilitates the JUMP events.
Emily loves seeing the volunteers use each of their unique gifts to love on the kids and create great memories. Emily enjoys seeing the kids regularly and having fun and discovering new things with them. As her husband Josh says, JUMP days feel like family reunions, and they enjoy volunteering together.
Emily has a degree in elementary education and works part time at a local pregnancy resource center. Emily has been married to Josh for eight years and they keep busy raising their two young sons.
In 2011 Amanda and her husband Joe were awakened to the needs of the foster care community when they became foster parents. Mother of four sons, fitness instructor and active community volunteer, Amanda has worked with numerous charitable and government agencies and has seen first-hand the difference between organizations that apply a bandaid and those that break through strongholds. Desiring to make a foundational impact in the lives of foster children to break the cycle of abuse and neglect, in 2012 Amanda became the founding director of Royal Family KIDS Camp Sioux Empire, an organization with 25 years of confronting abuse and changing lives.
Amanda’s greatest joy is to see individuals realize that God created them and loves them and desires good for them. Having been raised in a loving and caring community, the importance of imparting truth and value to everyone defines the life by which she lives. With a background in Communication and Wellness Amanda finds delight in encouraging people to embrace their uniqueness and strive toward the potential for which they were created.
Board of Directors
Joe Barton is the founder and CEO of Barton Publishing, a health publishing company. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth with an accounting degree, and licensed CPA, Joe worked in public accounting for seven years, focusing on small business tax preparation. In 2004, Joe started Barton Publishing and has grown it to be the world’s leading digital publisher of natural remedy information. His company has team members who work virtually from home offices throughout the world, including the USA, Canada, and the Philippines. As a company, one of the core values of Barton Publishing is to better society through generous giving and it now sponsors the entire country of South Africa for the worldwide evangelism organization Every Home for Christ.
Joe has a passion for educating people about health and wellness, entrepreneurship, team building, business growth, and philanthropy. Joe is married to Amanda. Together they have four boys and are licesenced foster care providers specializing in respite care.
Scott Erkonen is the Senior Vice President, Information Systems at Home Federal Bank in Sioux Falls, SD. He brings over 17 years of business leadership and information systems experience to Fostering Hope.
Scott is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Center for the Protection of Financial Infrastructure, faculty member for the Graduate School of Banking Technology Security School, and a South Dakota Infragard Members Alliance founding member. In addition to his Information Security affiliations, Scott is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, and the Information Technology Service Management Forum.
Scott has a passion for security and a natural ability to bring people together to address a common goal. A native of Sioux Falls, Scott resides in Brandon, SD, with his wife Kim and their four children. Scott is an active community volunteer as a Cub Scout leader, Optimist Club member, coach of youth sports and church board member.
Ryan Anema is a Licensed Certified Public Accountant on the team of Woltman Van Kekerix & Stotz, PC in Sioux Falls, SD. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree - Accounting and Business Administration from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. Ryan is experienced in income tax preparation, financial accounting, and computerized accounting. As a member American Institute of CPAs and South Dakota CPA Society, Ryan brings excellent credentials to serve as the Treasurer for Fostering Hope.
Carol Beldin is a special education teacher with the Sioux Falls School District with 20 years of experience working with at-risk and special needs youth. She has served on many committees and in many leadership roles within the school district over the years.
Carol has served as an active volunteer within her community. She has coached, acted as scout leader, served on PTA, chaperoned school events, and taught religious education within her church. Currently she acts as a youth discipleship leader at her church working to strengthen the faith of teenage girls and teaching them about a life of service. In addition, she is an active volunteer with Royal Family Kids Camp Sioux Empire and the Fostering Hope mentoring programs including JUMP, Boomerang, and Climb.
Carol’s greatest joy is her family. She has been married for 24 years and has had the joy of parenting six beautiful children. While her special needs daughter, Maggie, passed away at age nine, Carol is eternally grateful for her daughter’s life and excited as her other children become strong, independent young adults.