In March 2022, Ray of Hope’s Board of Directors and Senior Management Teams developed the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. The plan identifies five goals to help Ray of Hope meet its Mission, Vision and Action statements.
Statement of Faith
Jesus Christ is at the centre of everything we do to invest in people, inspire hope, and transform lives. Read our Statement of Faith.
Changing the lives of vulnerable people was a calling that defined Rev. Arman Wright’s lifelong work. From his service as Pastor at York Road Baptist Church in Guelph to his 15 years as Chaplain at Guelph Reformatory, to the founding of the Chapel of Hope.
In 1965, Arman had a new vision – the reintegration of men and youth in the prison system back into society. He shared this vision with the faith community in Waterloo Region, and the community quickly responded! Ray of Hope was formally founded in 1967.
In 1972, Ray of Hope gained a firm foundation when construction began on its first facility, Hope Manor (now called Ray of Hope Secure Custody) – a safe, supportive space for youth working to change their lives.
From these humble, but visionary beginnings, Ray of Hope has grown into a thriving organization that provides a wide range of life-changing services—and precious hope—to hundreds of vulnerable men, women, families, and youth each year.
Today, Jesus Christ is still at the heart of everything that Ray of Hope does in partnership with our amazing community. We’re committed to honouring Arman’s vision and carrying on his legacy in everything we do.
Meet the passionate, purpose-driven people who guide Ray of Hope’s mission each and every day.
Tonya Verburg joined Ray of Hope in August 2018 as CEO. She has been working and managing in the social service sector for over 20 years. Tonya and her husband Raymond have two amazing children, Nathan and Justine, and have lived in KW since 2012. Tonya is very passionate about the work that we do at Ray of Hope and is blessed to part of the team.
Debbie Woodhall has been an integral member of the executive team and overseeing finances for Ray of Hope since 2007. Prior to joining Ray of Hope, she spent many years developing her skills and experience at a local health care facility in Kitchener. The pulse of Waterloo Region beats strongly within Debbie, having been born, raised, and educated in the community. She says her husband Darcy and two adult children, Derek and Dana, are her best assets!
Lawrence (Larry) comes to Ray of Hope with 30 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector. He has worked for Resonate Global Mission supporting missionaries around the world. Larry spent 10 years fundraising for Christian Schools in Ontario, as the Director of Development, and then Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Christian Schools Foundation. Larry has been married to Wilma for 35 years and they have two adult children living locally. “I am excited to use my experience and skills right here in my own community to support hungry, homeless, and hurting people”, says Lawrence.
Joining Ray of Hope in December of 2021, Kim comes from a diverse leadership background in the Manufacturing sector. Her last 10 years were spent gaining experience in the sphere of Child Welfare. Kim is also a Professor of Human Resources, and currently teaches at Conestoga College. As a mom, she is thankful for the constant support of her two remarkable sons, Daylan and Avery, and her partner Darrin. She says they all do a wonderful job of keeping her grounded! Kim is excited and honoured to be serving at Ray of Hope.
Meet the dedicated and diverse members of our Board of Directors. They provide strategic oversight to guide our work and further our mission.
Owner/Operator, Massage Addict. Serving as President
Educator, Heritage College & Seminary
Senior Manager with Deloitte, Serving as Treasurer
Partner, Giesbrecht, Griffin, Funk and Irvine LLP, serving as Secretary
Retired Lawyer, formerly Vice-President and Associate General Counsel, Sun Life Financial. Serving as Past-President
Owner/President, Mardel Electrical & Mechanical Ltd
Retired HR Professional
Retired Manger at CRA
Proprietor/General Manager St. Clements Heart and Home
Mental Health Clinician, Canadian Mental Health Association
CFO/VP Operations at Heritage College & Seminary