Our Mission

 

The Collective Foundation supports Christian faith-based leaders who have traditionally been overlooked for positions of leadership due to their gender, sexual orientation, race or combination thereof.

We do this by providing opportunities for leadership development, strategic visioning support, leveraging relationships, and providing financial resources for them to catalyze their God-given calling.

 

About Us

Meet our team

Together we are both the Board of the Collective Foundation as well as the team for our project researching giving practices in Christian communities of color. Contact us if you would like to be in touch!

THE REV. LARISSA KWONG ABAZIA is our Project Manager and also serves on the Board of the Collective Foundation. She served as the Vice- Moderator to the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and as a congregational pastor in several urban and suburban contexts. Her congregational experience led her to Princeton Theological Seminary to serve as the Director of Church Relations, expanding and deepening the institution’s relationships and partnerships with congregations around the world. Larissa received her Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University and MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary.

AIMÉE LARAMORE is a Board Member of the Collective Foundation. She brings particular gifts through extensive strategic planning and fundraising experience with a wide diversity of constituents. Aimee is dedicated to examining the intersection of faith and philanthropy in cultural contexts, with a particular passionate for effective organizational capacity building. She serves as the Philanthropic Strategist for the first PhD in African-American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at Christian Theological Seminary, with a commitment to eliminate life-altering debt for the participants and to create a culture of generosity throughout the program. The owner/lead consultant for ALlyd, she has two decades of experience raising resources in and with diverse communities with proven results in the congregations and institutions that she has served. Trained in economic development and community organizing, Aimée obtained her BS from Purdue University and MBA from the University of Toledo.

THE REV. DR. DERRICK MCQUEEN is the Treasurer of the Collective Foundation, thus serving on our board. Derrick’s academic work as well as his expertise in gathering communities for research is the particular gift he brings to this project. Derrick is currently the interim pastor of the St. James Presbyterian Church, adjunct faculty at Fordham University, and the Associate Director and Researcher at Columbia University’s Center On African American Religion and Sexual Politics. Derrick received his MDiv and PhD from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.

DR. AMY THAYER serves as our chief researcher. Amy is the Principal at 4B Strategies. Previously, Amy served as Achieve’s Director of Research, a role where she was responsible for identifying and devising appropriate methodologies and data-collection strategies for projects like the Millenial Impact Report. Prior to her work at Achieve, she served as the Associate Director of Research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and has conducted research across a variety of disciplines. Amy received her PhD from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

THE REV. MIEKE VANDERSALL is the President of the Collective Foundation, and the initial gatherer of the team for our current project. She attends to the administrative details for the Foundation. Mieke founded the Vandersall Collective, a Christian-based boutique fundraising, communication, and organizational health consulting firm, after finishing a dozen years as the Executive Director of an LGBTQ faith-based non-profit. She is also a church planter. Mieke has her Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology from The College of Wooster and her MDiv from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.

ERIN WEBER-JOHNSON is the Secretary of the Collective Foundation, thus serving on our board. Erin has worked as a consultant with Vandersall Collective since 2017. Previously, Erin served as the Senior Program Director of Strategic Resources at the Episcopal Church Foundation from 2009-2018, working with parishes on annual and planned giving and successful capital campaigns. She is Primary Faculty of Project Resource, an annual, national training program on stewardship and has published numerous articles about faith-based giving. Erin worked as a grants officer at Trinity Wall Street in New York City from 2009-2013 and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University. She is a member of St. John the Evangelist Church in St. Paul, MN.