Meet the 2020 Ripples of Hope Cohort

Ripples participant leaders are smart, passionate individuals. Each one is working to grow an organization that exists to make the world a better place. A participating organization may be a nonprofit or a for-profit organization that is a B Corporation or is pursuing certification.

Aarti is passionate about equity and acceptance for all. She directs that passion into a dedication to helping others transform their abilities into sustainable self-run micro-businesses. After working in the advertising sector for 14 years, Aarti became a mom. Her youngest son was born with Down Syndrome. It was that life experience that has shaped her purpose. She became a diversity consultant in the disability field and launched Synergies Work, which acts as a source of economic empowerment for people with disabilities.

Through Synergies Work, Aarti is challenging the soft bigotry that excludes people with intellectual disabilities from living their true potential. She channels her love for her family, her passion for her purpose, and incredible amounts of hard work into developing and showcasing the talents of others.

We're not just building up programs, we are building up people.

Amy founded Agape Tennis Academy in 2012. Today, the academy manages DeKalb Tennis Center, which provides tennis programming for thousands of people in Atlanta from ages 4-100 at all different levels. Agape Tennis Academy aligns with many charitable organizations. The center was nominated for the tennis industry Community Outreach Program of the Year for the state of Georgia. 

She recently launched the Agape Tennis Foundation, a nonprofit working to use tennis to develop, enrich, and empower future generations for the betterment of society. Amy is a passionate player, coach, and business owner dedicated to spreading good and working to make the world a better place.

I am here to help as many people reach more of their full potential and help other people live fulfilling lives.

“For so many leaders of nonprofits and for-profit companies working to use business as a force for good, there’s no shortage of passion but there’s a great shortage of training. This program fills in that gap.”

Jeff Hilimire - Co-founder, Ripples of Hope

Just 21 months after becoming a mom, Ashley lost her daughter Skylar to a terminal illness. The experience changed her drastically, deepening her and increasing her already nurturing nature. She sees the need for empathy everywhere and fights with a conviction for equality, kindness, self-care, and a healthy community. 

Ashley created Love Not Lost (LNL) to celebrate life, preserve memories, and support people in grief. LNL meets provides free portrait sessions and beautiful photo albums for people facing a terminal diagnosis. The program has grown dramatically, adding a resource called How Can I Love You Better to help people support their community and an annual Snapshots of Love gala. She currently is working to launch a corporate care program that will bring grief and empathy training to the workplace. It will make a huge impact in lives on an individual level, creating ripples into the community at work and at home. 

 My legacy will be helping others choose love and empathy to create a better world. 

Hanni Berger is the founder of JOYVIAL, a team of trained and experienced health coaches dedicated to helping people — especially busy professionals  — find a healthy, nutritional, lively path to living their best life. Having personally experienced hardship and health fears, Hanni created JOYVIAL to help others through the process that changed her life for the better. Through her for-profit and nonprofit efforts, JOYVIAL is working to get health coaching into the hands of every person regardless of status and income. 

Called a ‘ray of sunshine’ by those who know her, Hanni is quick with a smile, deeply empathetic, and finds her own “emotional cartwheels of joy” in activities like camping, dancing in the rain, eating in fancy restaurants, and riding motorcycles.

Being conscious is the only way to start understanding and loving yourself and every person you ever come in contact with.

"The first Ripples of Hope dinner was incredibly powerful in helping Love Not Lost brainstorm through several challenges we were facing. Every person offered a level of experience and perspective that is incredibly valuable. I can’t wait to see where these ripples reach!"

Ashley Jones - Love Not Lost

An empathetic, never-take-no-for-an-answer person, Sam has dedicated his professional life to equipping youth to become their best. He founded College AIM in 2013 to support incredible students in Metro Atlanta to and through college with exposure to college environments and relationships, and financial aid opportunities. Since its founding, College AIM has transformed the futures of more than 500 students though these resources and access more than $40 Million in college scholarships and grants. Today, the organization works closely with school communities in Metro Atlanta and supports students across more than 70 college campuses. 

Sam is an intent, courageous student who is working continuously to improve as a leader and civic entrepreneur. He has been a Fellow and Resident with the Center for Civic Innovation (CCI) and is supported by The Marcus Foundation, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, The Kendeda Fund and many other wonderful Atlanta area funders.

I am still learning and am eager for honest, critical feedback. I want to grow and seek out people who can challenge me.

As the executive director for the Center for Outreach and Advocacy, Kimberly Parker works to advocate for people who are experiencing homelessness. She is someone for whom trust, relationships, health and fitness, and faith are the markers of a life of service. 

After graduating from Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) with a double major in sports science and math, Kimberly earned a Master’s degree in sport fitness management from the United States Sports Academy. She felt a call to ministry while working as an exercise physiologist in cardiac rehabilitation, and earned a Master of Divinity degree at Columbia Theological Seminary. For the past 15 years, she has fulfilled her call to ministry at Central Outreach and Advocacy Center. The guests are her congregation and a vibrant place to live out her call.

My reason for being is to build relationships and serve others. I have really been doing that my entire life.

Kaitlin Lutz is the founder of NewCrew, which helps specialty construction contractors find the qualified crew they need when they need them, and its nonprofit arm, Sparke Women, which is dedicated to raising the number of skilled women in trade positions. Growing up the homeschooled daughter of entrepreneurs, Kaitlin is a lifelong learner who has committed her work to loving and serving others in the name of Jesus.

As a student at the University of Georgia, she was inspired by an accelerator program that highlighted the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, business as a force for good, and the ability to create productive solutions to real problems. Through NewCrew and Sparke Women, Kaitlin is continuing those tenets, building businesses that thrive through clear, active, positive purpose.

My mission is to help others see opportunities they didn’t know existed and push them to take the first step towards those opportunities.

Ready to do more good?
Join Ripples of Hope.

Ripples of Hope is for growth-minded leaders who want to accelerate their impact through business best practices and connections with generous, proven leaders.