Our Staff

 Joy McElroy, Executive Director

Joy has over 25 years of leadership experience in business, education, and church organizations, joining Cherish All Children as Executive Director in October, 2017. Prior to that, she worked on a contract basis for Cherish All Children, sharing the message of prevention of child sexual exploitation to congregations and engaging them in action.

Her life‚Äôs work has focused on serving and raising up individuals to reach their full God-given potential. From a 10-year teaching position at the Promise Program for women seeking self-sufficiency to an ELCA grant to create, implement and lead ‚ÄúYouth Leadership in the City,‚ÄĚ Joy‚Äôs passion is clear. She is dedicated to social justice issues, especially those impacting women, children and youth.

Joy holds a master’s degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota, with an emphasis on training and development. She lives in St. Paul with her family, and attends Christ Lutheran on Capitol Hill where she is active teaching Sunday School and supporting many youth and community initiatives.


 Monica Jones, Youth Prevention Coordinator

Monica has over 10 years of experience working in youth service fields. After working for several years in direct care, she joined Lutheran Social Service as Community Engagement Manager and worked in that capacity for almost 10 years. Now joining Cherish All Children in September, 2018, Monica shares, "I knew long ago this is the work I wanted to do. I have great passion for this work to to help communities become more aware of this issue that is happening in our backyard. It has become easy for me to advocate for the needs of our program after being on the ground doing the work and listening to so many stories of what some of our youth have been through for a place to sleep."

Monica has a deep passion for serving the community and helping to break barriers in communities that are underserved. She recently served on an anti-racism task force and continues to be an advocate to end racism. She is a resident of West Saint Paul, and has two boys ages 19 and 16 that really make her proud to be their mom.

Our Advisory Board

 Are you interested in joining a team working to ensure Cherish All Children's mission moves forward? We work on fundraising events throughout the year together, supporting work to keep children and youth safe from sexual exploitation. Contact us for information!

 Sue Ferkingstad

Sue’s involvement in child protection advocacy began as a member of Team Cherish All Children in the Stop the Trafficking 5K Walk/Run for Justice in 2016. The following year she took a more active role by sharing Cherish All Children’s mission with her church adult education groups, encouraging members to help end the demand. For the past two years, Sue has been captain of Team Cherish All Children, building our team in the annual 5K and working with them to meet fundraising goals to support this vital ministry. She is a member of Faith-Lilac Way Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale, is a member of their Chancel Choir and is the parish program chair for Cherish All Children initiatives.

 Gay Gonnerman, Advisory Board Vice Chair

Gay was inspired to become involved in the work against sex trafficking by a performance of Body and Sold by the Chain Reaction Theatre in 2017. She realized how vulnerable our children are to predatory exploitation. Since then she has participated in two anti-trafficking 5Ks, is engaging her congregation in the issue and looks forward to helping support and grow the ministry of Cherish All Children. Gay is a member of Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer in Minneapolis, where she is also the part-time Children’s Education Director.

 Gwen Kuhrt, Advisory Board Chair

As she was planning an early retirement from Thrivent Financial, Gwen was looking for ways to live out her faith by using her gifts to serve others. Although she knew little about human trafficking at the time, joining the board of Cherish All Children provided a great opportunity to make a difference. In five years, she has seen tremendous progress in the awareness of sex trafficking and how prayer, education, connection and action leads to prevention. In addition to supporting this ministry, Gwen also serves on two other boards, and is active at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior.   

Kerry Ness, Secretary

Kerry and his wife, Sheryl, live in Plymouth, Minnesota. Kerry was introduced to Cherish All Children from former board member Sue Hembroff. Kerry recognized right away that his work with Cherish All Children serves to shed a burning light on the issue of child sexual exploitation, which is necessary to make the world a little safer for his and Sheryl’s nine precious grandchildren. 

 Pastor Nathan Tuff

Pastor Nathan is Lead Pastor at Olivet Lutheran Church in Sylvania, Ohio. His more than 30 years of ordained ministry has led him to serve communities in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio, and he has traveled to more than 35 countries. He also was called to specialized ministry as a public school elementary bilingual teacher for 9 years. Nate’s partner is Kim, and they have two adult children. Nate has been serving with Cherish All Children for three years and has a passion for the battle against trafficking across international borders, especially the exploitation of vulnerable immigrant and refugee communities.

Our Founder

Amy Hartman, Director Emeritus