Ministry Team and Board Members


From left to right: Bethany, Jim, Elsie, Lynne, Anna, Chad, Sukay, Stacey, Ben, Stacy, Sharon, Jennifer [Not pictured: Daniel & Janna]

Jim & Lynne Jackson - Connected Families

Jim & Lynne Jackson

Co-Founders and Speakers

Jim and Lynne Jackson, founders of Connected Families and co-authors of How to Grow a Connected Family and Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart have over fifty years combined professional experience working with children, teens, and families. In 1990, after serving as ministry staff in two large churches and bearing two intense and lively kids, Jim and Lynne became very intentional about parenting, and then about helping other parents. Lynne became a pediatric Occupational Therapist. Jim became a director of a ministry to high-risk teens and their families. They added a third child, completing their AAA hat-trick (that is, adding a third child with ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies. Quite an intense bunch!). As Jim and Lynne toughed out those early years, they started developing numerous resources to inspire and equip parents for grace and truth in their relationships at home.

After serving hundreds of parents and thousands of kids it became clear more was needed. In 2002 Jim and Lynne founded Connected Families to partner with churches to build strong families. Their presentations bring real life to audiences through impromptu role-plays, transparent stories of their own successes and failures, and stories of the experiences of hundreds of parents they have coached over the years. They leave parents laughing, crying, encouraged and equipped to uniquely bring God’s grace to life in their homes right away! As Faith@Home coaches, Jim and Lynne work with church staff to create church-wide strategies to more effectively equip parents for discipleship in their homes. Whether in the trenches with parents as mentors, on the stage as presenters, or in planning meetings with staff, Jim and Lynne bring a wealth of experience, overflowing passion, and years of wisdom to their service.

Anna Braasch Connected FamiliesAnna Braasch

Executive Director and Speaker

Anna brings her “in the trenches” personal experience to the Connected Families team: infertility, adoption, attachment and parenting struggles, and loads of grace and healing. Anna and her husband of 19 years live in Edina, MN with their two children (ages 10 and 12). They are involved with Edina sports and schools, their church (Christ Presbyterian) and the Ethiopian adoption community.  Read more of Anna’s story.


Chad Hayenga - Connected FamiliesChad Hayenga

Director of Church Partnerships and Speaker

Chad Hayenga has been married twenty-four years and has three daughters ages 22, 19 and 15. Chad has spent over 20 years ministering to teens and families as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Life Coach, and speaker. Chad’s desire is that families would understand God’s purposes for their lives and seek to live out that purpose in creative and faith-filled ways.



Elsie-Rymer-Connected-Families-FULLElsie Rymer


Elsie loves to shout Connected Families’ name from the rooftops! She is a social media booster, relationship builder, and communication lover. She first found out about CF through Bethany, Jim and Lynne’s daughter. Despite getting lost on the drive to Chaska multiple times during her college days, Elsie was always refreshed and encouraged by Jim and Lynne’s hospitality and attentiveness, and is now honored to join them in their ministry. With her ever-supportive and inspiring husband Max, Elsie spends her days off watching football or ballet (yes, you read that correctly) and developing her photography business.


Bethany Jackson Connected Families

Bethany Jackson


Bethany Jackson is the Connected Families videographer, as well as Jim & Lynne’s second child (and only daughter). She loves working for Connected Families because it gets at the roots of parenting so that when kids grow, they grow strong. In addition to capturing and editing videos for Connected Families, Bethany sings, acts, and is a professional photographer.



Sharon Meschke Connected Families

Sharon Meschke

Office Administrator

Sharon is Connected Families’ office administrator, which means she wears all sorts of hats: payroll, bookkeeping, HR, office logistics, and just generally keeping the CF team running. She loves being able to work for an organization that does so much good, especially with families. Sharon enjoys biking in the summer and lives in Minnesota with her two dogs and a revolving door of her grown children visiting.


Stacy-Bellward-Connected-Families-SMStacy Bellward

Online Course Moderator

Stacy is the Online Course Moderator for Connected Families. Married for 15 years and mom to 2 tween girls, she loves to be the cheerleader in online courses, helping parents bring the Connected Families messages home. Stacy is also an author, speaker, and leadership coach and is very involved in the Ethiopian Adoption community. She loves the Word of God and attends Emmanuel Christian Center in Spring Lake Park.




Sukay Polley - Connected FamiiliesSukay Polley

Parent Coach

Sukay is a Connected Families Parent Coach. She has been married for 17 years and has two children, ages 11 and 13. Sukay has worked with children, teens, and families both as a youth director and as a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. Sukay has a passion to help families heal, grow, and learn. On her days off, she loves to travel, try new foods, spend time with her family, and enjoy long walks with her husband.


Jennifer Bettin - Connected FamiliesJennifer Bettin

Community Engagement Associate

As the occupier of the front desk, Jennifer loves being the welcoming face (or voice) of Connected Families. She and her husband are parents to four kids, three of whom were adopted from Haiti. They are active in the adoption community at large and specifically the adoption support group at Grace Church in Eden Prairie. Jennifer is passionate about connecting with adoptive/foster families to encourage, support, and equip them in their journey. She loves how well the Connected Families Framework works for the unique challenges of adoptive/foster families. In her spare time Jennifer is an avid reader but most enjoys spending time with her family.

Ben Bevis -- Connected FamiliesBen Bevis

Youth Connect Program

Ben has more than fifteen years of experience working with adolescents and their families as a mentor, coach, and therapist. His specialties include connecting with adolescents in ways that bring about change and understanding, and helping families connect in ways that are meaningful. He has a passion for working with families and adolescents that feel hopeless, disconnected and discouraged, which led him to develop a mentoring and vision-casting process called “Youth Connect”. He is helping facilitate “Youth Connect” with some local churches and train others in this process. Ben has a Master of Arts degree in Adlerian Psychology from the Adler Graduate School and is a Certified Life Coach. He enjoys mountain biking, cross country skiing, and experiencing the outdoors with his wife and three kids.


Board Members 

Chair – Dave Scouler, Principal at Scouler & Company
Treasurer – Jay Allsup, CFO Pinnacle Engineering, Inc
Secretary – Debi Allsup, Director of HR & Risk Management at Dungarvin
Director – Dan McCormick, Managing Partner at Lumina Consulting
Director – Lori Freeman
Ex Officio – Jim Jackson, President and Co-Founder, Connected Families