Nominating Committee Bios
Sharon Akin has been a member of La Casa since about 2005. Over the years she has been involved in mom’s ministries, Sunday school, and currently, the high school youth. She and her husband, John, have 3 grown kids who all went through the confirmation and youth programs. She is a native of Arizona and a long time educator.
Michael was born and raised in the Columbus, Ohio area, where he lived until relocating to Scottsdale in 2002. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in real estate and urban analysis.
After moving to Arizona, Michael met his wife of nearly 15 years, Suzie, and they were married in June 2004. Their daughter Reese is the joy of their lives. Michael’s daughter, Reese, attended preschool at La Casa for two years and is a vibrant fourteen-year-old freshman at Horizon High School. Michael’s mom, Rosie Clark, is a regular attendee of La Casa during the winter months.
Michael, his late wife, Suzie, and Reese began attending La Casa in June 2009, and became members the following October. Michael and Reese are active members who enjoy participating in many family activities. Michael has been involved in numerous small groups, serves regularly as an usher, has been on the Men’s Retreat committee since 2012, serving as its leader in 2013, and was on the Board of Trustees from 2018 to 2020.
Doug was baptized at La Casa De Cristo Lutheran Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, attended Sunday school and sang in the church choir in elementary and middle school. He was confirmed in October of 2001, and sites confirmation camp as “the first place I really felt God’s presence and wanted to live my life for Him.” After confirmation, Doug became active in the church high school youth group. Growing up, faith and religion were the guiding forces in Doug’s home, saying a morning, dinner and bedtime prayer and a morning devotional/reflection time. Doug’s dad was a major influence on his prayer life and faith walk.
In February of 2003 Doug’s father passed away unexpectedly, creating an emotional and physical stress on his life. Doug turned to family, friends and prayer partners as he struggled to make sense of the immense loss and the challenge it represented to his faith.
Doug graduated from NAU in 2010 with a degree in secondary mathematics education and went on to earn a master’s degree from ASU in gifted education. Doug is starting his twelfth year of teaching high school math at Pinnacle High School.
Doug is currently in his thirteenth year as a high school ministry leader at LCdC. After graduating from NAU, he wanted to help grow and strengthen youth’s relationships with God and each other. Doug is also active in the men’s ministry, attending the annual men’s retreat and men’s breakfasts. He has participated in three South Africa mission trips through La Casa. These were incredible trips that helped him grow in his faith by seeing and interacting with the people in the villages that have so little but are some of the most joyful and giving people.
November 2019, he married Emily (Wahlberg) Kilburn. Emily is an ultrasound sonographer and also grew up attending La Casa. Doug is so thankful and blessed that God brought their lives together in the community of La Casa de Cristo. Doug enjoys being outdoors, and traveling, hiking, biking, rock-climbing, snowboarding and kayaking.
Doug and Emily have 1 daughter, Kinsley who is 4 months.
Niki Randall and husband Gary have attended La Casa for more than 20 years. They feel very fortunate to have been able to raise their three daughters in the church. Prior to being a full time mom, Niki worked as a social worker.
Niki spent many happy years attending the MOPS and Mom’s Next programs. She has been a mentor mom, confirmation leader, JH leader, and retreat chaperone. She has enjoyed volunteering in many other areas of the church over the years.
Joe Wentling and his family, wife Teri and daughters Grace and Willow, have been members of La Casa de Cristo for more than 18 years. Joe is a former Director of Men’s Ministry and continues to be an active participant in La Casa men’s events, including 16 years in the men’s small group called Life @ Work. He works as Royal Family Kids Counselor for the Summer Camp and the Monthly Mentor Club. With Teri, he has been part of a Covenant Group for 17 years. He is currently the Vice President of Sales and Branch Operations for East Penn Manufacturing, where he has been employed for 32 years.