Robert Zornes, MS
Executive Director

Robert earned a Masters Degree in Counseling from Emporia State University.  His Bachelors Degree is from Evangel University. He completed graduate studies in journalism from the University of Kansas. His past experience includes being the CEO of the LIGHT House, a home for unwed mothers and adoption agency for nine years, and he has served as a pastoral counselor at a large metro church.  Robert has conducted many parenting, marriage and family workshops and sales training classes.  Robert has recently served six years as a board member on  the Missouri Alliance for Life Board and served four years as treasurer.   He currently and has been a long time board member of the Northland Cathedral School of Music.  Robert was also a founding board member of Hope for Children, a sexual abuse educational organization.

Robert’s passion for helping those less fortunate is evident in his passion for Mother’s Refuge.  He is the chief spokesperson for the organization is often speaking at civic clubs, churches, schools and corporate events.

Angel McDonald
Program Director Executive Assistant

Angel has been with Mother’s Refuge since 2002. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. As Program Director, Angel writes and submits grants and oversees the implementation of all programs. Her expertise in grant writing, speaking and her compassion for youth are a great asset for the organization. 

Julie Johnson, BS
Case Manager

Julie received her Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Missouri State University in Joplin, Missouri.  She joined our staff in 2009.  She provides individualized strengths-bases case management for our residents.  Julie assist each young woman with planning her educational and parenting goals.  Her objective is to challenge each resident to make thoughtful and wise decisions for themselves and their babies.  Julie is a dedicated case manager, passionate about helping pregnant, young women improve their lives and achieve success.

Cassie Lara
Education Coordinator

Cassie earned her MA in Intercultural Studies with an Urban Certificate from Nazarene Theological Seminary. She has been a part of Mother’s Refuge since 2011. Cassie oversees the in-house educational program and house schedule. She coordinates appointments and activities and ensures transportation is secured for all residents. Cassie also works with our young moms to verify they are learning the objectives outlined in the program. Cassie also assists in grant writing for Mother’s Refuge.


Kimberlee Peppers
Program Manager

Kimberlee earned her degree from Southwest Baptist University.  She first started working at Mother’s Refuge after graduation.   She served for several years as case manager.  She left to serve with two other child caring organizations, with her husband, as live-in house parents and managers.   She returned to our staff in August 2014 as Program Manager.