We are blessed to have a dedicated team of staff passionate about serving our local youth.

  • For general inquiries, please call our main office at (209)522-9568
  • For specific questions, please see the staff directory below


Meet our Staff

  • Rick Fritzemeier- Executive Director


    209-522-9568, ext. 113

    Rev. Rick J. Fritzemeier has 36 years of ministry experience, 29 of them in his current capacity as Executive Director of Youth for Christ Central Valley. 

    In that capacity Rick has oversight and management responsibilities for all major areas and departments of Youth for Christ Central Valley, including 7 ministry departments, 23 full and part time staff, development and management of an Annual budget approaching $1,000,000/yr, long term strategic planning and vision, and both reports to and directly works with the Board of Trustees of Youth for Christ Central Valley. 

    Rick has an additional role (20%) working for the Parent Organization of his chapter, Youth for Christ USA.  As the National Coordinator for Resource Development Training, Rick is responsible for the development and delivery of a comprehensive nation-wide development training system for both the National Office, and 160 chapters and affiliates throughout the US.

    Rev. Fritzemeier has a Master’s in Education (Biomechanics) from California State University Fresno, a Masters in Business Administration from California State University Fresno, and a Masters in Biblical Studies from the Institute of Biblical Studies (Campus Crusade for Christ).

    As a quick aside Rick is an All-American in Track & Field and upon retiring (1984, after the Olympic Trials) ranked as the 14th best Hammer thrower throughout America.

    Rev. Fritzemeier has extensive involvement in the community and strong connections with other local agencies (governmental, LEA’s and NPO’s).  During his tenure, he has served on a number of community boards and committee’s including as a sample; Sylvan School District’s Intervention Team, Modesto City Schools SARB committee, Chair of the Alliance Youth Action Council, Chair of the Modesto Rotary Student Scholarship committee, and Chair of the Modesto Area Ministerial Association Youth Pastor Network. 

    Rick’s original educational direction was intended to prepare him for a life of teaching, coaching, and perhaps educational institution management, but God called him to a different path of working in the Christian NPO sector.

    In just the past few years, due to Rick’s success and expertise in the area of Development (fundraising) Rick has been given the opportunity to resume his passion for teaching/training primarily in the very area he has experienced so much success…Development.

    Rick has been married for 39 years to his college sweetheart Dr. Marian C. Fritzemeier Ed.D.  Has two grown Daughters, Kristen (Jeremy) & Michelle (Kory).  Most importantly Rick has the three most beautiful grandchildren in the entire world, Parker 9, Khloe 7, & Kylie 5

  • Christie Berlin- Director of Operations


    209-522-9568, ext. 111

    Christie has been with Youth for Christ for 5+ years.  She is currently the Director of Operations and also serves on the YFC National NALDA (National Administrative Leadership Development Advisors) group.  Christie has over 20 years of administrative/management experience.  She moved to the Central Valley her 8th grade year, and is a graduate of Beyer High School.  Christie and her husband, Gary, have been married for over 20 years. They have two amazing boys, Matthew and Jake. Matthew graduated high school in 2016, and is pursuing a Biological Sciences degree (and is a published author in his spare time). Jacob is in high school and developed his own outreach ministry to the homeless called Project Show God’s Love.  Christie truly loves being the "mom" of the office and having the opportunity to speak God’s truth and life into the kids that come to the office.

  • Marty Villa- Director of Family Concern Counseling 


    209-522-9568, ext. 112

    Marty Villa has been at YFC for 35 years. He is currently the director and head therapist for Youth for Christ's Family Concern Counseling Center. He specializes in youth and family counseling and has ample experience in marital and family relationship counseling as well. His compassion and gentle heart are evident in his work and personal life.

  • Kourtney Kauffman- Director of Family Concern Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy Intern #88940


    209-522-9568, ext. 122

    Kourtney has been involved with YFC for over 9 years, both as a Campus Life volunteer in Shasta County, and as Tapestry volunteer staff in Modesto, before joining our team of therapists as a volunteer trainee in 2012. Kourtney has her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Simpson University, a Master’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in counseling, and spent 7 years working as a case worker for a foster family agency in Merced, CA. She has experience and training in Restorative Practices, leading circles and groups, and has a love for working with children, youth, adults and families who are stuck in problematic and destructive cycles.  Kourtney has worked with many struggling youth and children, and has a particular passion for helping people overcome histories filled with pain and trauma. 

  • Ken Sylvia- Chief Ministry Director & Director of Next Step Mentoring


    209-522-9568, ext. 127

    Ken Sylvia participated as a young leader in the Equal Access Clubs at Modesto High, and has now been on staff for over 11 years. He is our Director of Next Step Mentoring & Chief Ministry Officer. He has his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Human Resources, and his Master’s Degree in Youth Ministry Leadership. Ken has grown up in the Modesto/Ceres area, and resides in Hughson with his wife, Tene’, and his son, Gabriel. He enjoys being a light to the junior high and high school students that he works with, as well as leading such an incredible team of mentors and staff. His passion for mentoring stems from the desire to see all young people experience life to the fullest, both now, and forever. 

  • Ben Wheeler- Director of Juvenile Justice Ministries/Chaplain


    209-522-9568, ext. 117

    Ben Wheeler had been a probation officer in Juvenile Hall for over 10 years prior to his joining us this past year as a Chaplain, Ben has plenty of experience working with hurting teens. Standing at what seems like 15 ft tall, he is full of energy and keeps us all on our toes.

  • Samantha Van Horn- Marriage and Family Therapist, Intern #75741


    209-522-9568, ext. 121

    Samanthahas served as a therapist with Youth for Christ for two and a half years under the ministry of Family Concern Counseling.  She earned her Master’s of Science Degree in Clinical Psychology in 2013 from Simpson University.  Samantha has been a Christian since she was a child and participated in her church’s youth leadership teams, her high school’s Fellowship of Christian Atheletes SALT leadership team, and has a passion for missions.  She has gone on missions and lead teams to Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic.  Samantha hopes to be a vessel for God’s healing power and light as she works with children, teens, couples, families and individuals in her time at Family Concern Counseling. She provides training for local schools, community based organizations and churches. She has also facilitated emotional health and wellness workshops at high schools and junior highs to reduce violence on campus and increase empathy among students. She is currently the on-site clinician at several local schools working with students in elementary school to high school. In her time prior to Youth for Christ, she served as a Refugee Resettlement Coordinator for World Relief, a Christian organization, working with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds and case management.

  • Pete Kirchhoff - Campus Ministries Director


    209-522-9568 ext. 110

    Pete Kirchhoff joined YFC Central Valley in 2017 as the Campus Ministry Director. Building on our long time partnerships with schools and churches, he is developing new ways for more students to enter into Christ sharing relationships. His greatest passions are leading outreach with teens, building unity between churches, and flying down trails on his mountain bike! Pete came to us with 25 years’ of church and para-church youth ministry experience. He met his wife, Donna, while studying business at Colorado State, before she put him through grad school at Denver Seminary. They love spending time outdoors in the mountains and on the water, especially when it includes their two adult children or teenage son.

  • Isaiah Herrera - Campus Ministries Intern


    209-522-9568 ext. 114

    Isaiah Herrera has participated and shared His testimony in numerous Point Breaks and in our Next Step Mentoring program. He has recently become our new Campus Ministry Intern and will be focusing on bringing local churches along side Youth for Christ to provide the mental, physical, and spiritual health this generation needs. Isaiah grew up in Modesto and now resides in Empire with his wife Katrina. Isaiah and Katrina have been married for 3 years and both love to find themselves in the nearest coffee shop. The Herrera’s attend Valley Family Church in Salida, CA and serve there as Pastors . Isaiah loves people and loves to do “life” with the students he mentors. His passion is to see young people going after their purpose and to see lives change for Gods glory. 

  • Tyesha Sullivan- Marriage and Family Therapist, Intern


    209-522-9568, ext. 125

    Tyesha has been a part of Youth for Christ, Family Concern Counseling since 2011. She started as a Marriage and Family Therapist trainee and has since graduated to intern. Tyesha received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Services and her Masters in Counseling in 2012. Tyesha has served as an onsite therapist for several schools through Family Concern. She has also worked with families, couples, individuals, and really enjoys working with children.

  • Sandie Maness- MS, PPCI/LPCC Intern #1224


    209-522-9568, ext. 126

    Sandie has served as a therapist with Youth for Christ Family Concern Counseling for four months.  She earned her Masters of Science Degree in Clinical Counseling in 2014 from California State University Stanislaus.  Sandie has worked with teens and individuals in her time at Family Concern Counseling. She has led small group sessions for a local school addressing social skills and grief. Mrs. Maness is a member of California Association for Licensed Professional Counselors As well as her work with Youth for Christ; Sandie currently mentors new educators, provides administrative support services to staff and families for Modesto City Schools, and teaches full-time.  

  • Christina Reeves - Marriage and Family Therapist, Intern #97041


    209-522-9568, ext. 121

  • Alexandra Cover - Marriage and Family Therapist, Intern #100704


    209-522-9568 ext. 124

    Alexandra joined the Youth For Christ team as a therapist with Family Concern Counseling in Spring of 2016.  She earned a Bachelor’s of Art in Psychology from California State University, Stanislaus in 2012 and went on to earn a Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy from Western Seminary in 2017.  Alexandra stepped into youth ministry at the age of 13 where she was consistently a part of youth group, youth leadership, and mission trips.  She continued that love for working with youth in her time spent working closely with foster youth and families as a social worker for 3 years. She currently serves as an onsite therapist at several schools as well as working with youth, adults and couples in office.  Alexandra has a love for helping kids, adolescents, and adults navigate through the pains and struggles that accompany this life experience that we all share.    

  • Courtney Wohld - Marriage and Family Therapist, Intern #106191


    209-522-9568 ext. 123

    Courtney joined Family Concern Counseling therapist team in the spring of 2017.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Fresno State University, and went on to graduate with a Master’s of Science degree in Counseling from California State University, Stanislaus in Fall 2017. Courtney has always had a passion for helping people, and started working with disabled youth and adults through equine assisted therapy in high school, which later became the inspiration behind her career choice as a therapist. She is currently an onsite therapist for several schools, and works with youth, families, and adults at the Family Concern office location.

  • Samantha Tallon - Marriage and Family Therapist, Intern #106429 


    209-522-9568 ext. 128


    Samantha joined Youth for Christ in 2013 as a volunteer in the Juvenile Justice ministry working with adolescents in both group and one-on-one settings.  In 2017, she joined the Family Concern Counseling ministry as a trainee therapist, and has since graduated to Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. Samantha received her Bachelor of Science in Human Services in 2013, and went on to earn a Master of Science in Counseling in 2018 from the University of Phoenix .


    She currently serves as an onsite therapist at several school sites, and has worked with youth, adults, and families at our office location.  Samantha has a passion for partnering with individuals and families to navigate through challenging or painful life events, in an effort to foster growth and provide tools to enhance overall well-being

  • Ruby Valenzuela- Family Concern Administrative Assistant


    209-522-9568, ext. 118

    Ruby joined Youth for Christ as the Family Concern Administrative Assistant, but quickly became the go to for projects and events.  Previously Ruby was in retail and medical office management.  Ruby has been married for 15 years and has four precious boys ranging in age from 9 - 1.   With four children, attending college when not working, Ruby is the queen of time management.

  • Brenda Cabello - Family Concern Administrative Assistant


    209-522-9568 ext. 118

    Brenda recently joined Youth for Christ as the Family Concern Administrative Assistant. She has 10 years of financial industry experience and management. Brenda and Oscar, her husband of 19 years, moved to Modesto in 2001. They have four children; three sons and a daughter. Oscar, their oldest, is an Eagle Scout from Troop 13 and a full-time engineering student at UC Merced. Second son Jonathon is also an Eagle Scout from Troop 13 and is currently finishing his AA work at Modesto Junior College with plans to transfer to a local university to pursue a career in education. The youngest of the boys, Christian, is a high school sophomore and active in scouting and sports. Daughter Caeley is a middle schooler and active in sports and the arts. Brenda’s passion lies in helping others and being actively involved in her community. She enjoys traveling, camping, and spending quality time her friends and family.

  • Jaci Carpenter - Bookkeeper


    209-522-9568, ext. 100

    Jaci graduated from Biola University with a degree in Business and Communication. She has been married to her husband, Robert, for 25 years this February (2016). They have three amazing kids: Reece, is a full time missionary in Mexico for YWAM, Rachel is married to our son in law Chad (one of the pastors at Shelter Cove Community Church), and our youngest Janay, is a student at Grand Canyon University. Jaci is also greatly enjoying being a grandma to Isaac Daniel who was born this past October 2015. Her greatest joys are being a mom and grandma (and babysitting little Isaac as much as possible), spending time remodeling their recently purchased older home, and working out in the yard. Of course, they also find any time they can to enjoy their trailer, and find some peace and quiet out of town. Her favorite verse is Lamentations 3:22-24.

  • Sue Kopulos - Administrative Assistant


    209-522-9568, ext. 119