Our Team

  • Rob Zahn

    Director - Administration

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  • Cindy Svanda

    Director - Operations

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  • Jane Kunzie-Brunner

    Alumni Relations

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  • Eric Fligel


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  • Sam Schlouch

    Director - Marketing

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  • Roy Christel

    Lab Chaplain

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  • Ben Bergren

    Co-Director - Lab Levels

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  • Marissa MetEvElis

    Co-Director - Lab Levels

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  • Doug dill


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  • thomas nielsen

    supplies & logistics

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  • nicole ungeran

    step Forth

    Hi. I’m Nicole. I live in Batavia, IL and worship at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Charles.  In 1990 I attended my Basic year of Lab and worked my way through Step Forth. Ten years later I came back to serve as Leadership Lab Staff and have been one of the Step Forth Coordinators since 2015. One thing I value about Lab from a youth and a staff perspective is having a community that reenergizes my faith. Professionally, I work as a corporate trainer focusing on leadership and professional skills. Outside of the office I love to run, travel, and eat cheese.

  • nick rex


    Nick is the son of an ELCA pastor and a nurse and has a younger brother and younger sister. He married his wife Mandy in 2009. They currently live in Bristol, IL. Nick is on the council at Grace Lutheran Church of Lily Lake serving as marketing and outreach chairman. He and Mandy are on the Contemporary Worship Team that puts together the weekly contemporary service slideshow and music. Nick was a “Labber” from 1998 – 2003 and has been on staff since 2004.

  • laurel wright


    Laurel Wright first attended Leadership Lab as a Basic Labber in 1998. She has been on Lab staff for 13 years and an Advanced Coordinator for 3! Laurel is the Sunday School Superintendent for Cross & Crown Lutheran in Roscoe, IL, teaches elementary students, and is on Church Council. She has a wonderful husband and three awesome boys at home! Laurel loves Leadership Lab and is excited to see God shine through the Advanced Labbers this year.

  • bob lindsay


    Bob has been involved with leadership Lab for 12 years. He has served on several different lab levels, and is currently one of the coordinators of Basic. Bob is a high school social studies teacher at Fisher High School in Fisher, IL. He was heavily involved in the youth program at American Lutheran Church in Rantoul, IL for over 10 years, serving as the Youth Director for over 5 of those years. Bob is also one of the adult sponsors for the Central/Southern Illinois Synod youth events, helping to lead weekend retreats at Rend Lake and Lake Williamson Retreat center at Carlinville. Bob has been married to his wife Sandy for 32 years, and they have one daughter, RaeAnne, who also serves on Lab staff.

  • Marcia pedersen


    Marcia lives in SE Minnesota, is married to Rick and mom to Taylor, Jessica and Brooke (who attended and LOVED Lab).  She currently serves as the Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Austin, MN and is beginning studies as an MDiv student this fall at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. She serves as co-coordinator of the Basic Level with Bob Lindsay, and loves the learning and Christian community that is Leadership Lab.

  • jason fisher

    phase 3

    My name is Jason Fisher - I am a child of God living out my vocation as husband, father, and youth director. I have been actively accompanying youth in their walk with Jesus as the Youth & Family Director at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Champaign Illinois. I’ve served on the board of the Lutheran Campus Center at the University of Illinois and Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Center in Oregon Illinois. My hope is to be a professional listener while creating spaces for young people to hear the voice of God in their lives.

  • Matthew metevelis


    Matt is an ordained minister in the ELCA who serves as the Spiritual Care Supervisor at Nathan Adelson Hospice and Associate Pastor at Reformation Lutheran Church - both in Las Vegas. He lives in Henderson Nevada with his dog Scooter, son Noah, and wife Marissa. He has been on lab staff since 2009 and been teaching Bible and Bible Study techniques to Adult Labbers since 2012. He has a very tortured love for sports teams from his hometown of Cleveland (so don't gloat to him about the Cubs). Lab is a wonderful and joyful place for him to celebrate the world-changing love of Jesus Christ and learn from Adult Lab participants as we seek to make the Scripture’s come alive to the people we serve.

  • chad ryberg

    step forth

    Chad Ryberg currently lives in Lake St Louis, Missouri with his wife, Jaime, and daughter, Kaitlyn. For the last five years he has worked at Living Lord Lutheran Church as the Youth and Family Ministry Coordinator. When not at work or youth event, he can be found homeschooling his daughter or spending way too much time online playing some MMORPG.  The best things ever: grace, movies, and thai food.

  • will fisher


    Will Fisher is an ELCA pastor who has specialized in youth and family ministry for most of his career.  He has been an active part of the Leadership Lab community since 1997, including the 10 years he served congregations in Texas. Will currently serves as pastor of Faith Lutheran in Brookfield, IL. He recently completely a Masters of Counseling at Loyola University Chicago and works as a counselor/therapist with adolescents at Youth Outreach Services.

  • raylee brown

    phase 3

    Raylee Brown (Mrs. B.) is the Director of Youth and Family Ministries at First English Lutheran Church in Peoria, IL and one of the Phase 3 Co-Coordinators. She has been on Phase 3 staff for seven years and has loved every minute of it. Her two favorite weeks of the year are Holy Week and Lab. In her free time, Mrs. B. likes to spoil her two puppies and feed her Starbucks and sticker addictions.