The Lionheart Children's Academy Leadership Team
Stan is the founder of several ministries including Lionheart. He launched Apartment Life in 2000 to help churches more effectively reach apartment communities for Christ. Apartment Life has over 1000 team members living in apartments across the country ministering to their neighbors. During a medical crisis in 2011 God gave the vision for Lionheart which opened its first academy in 2014. Stan and his wife Vicky have four children, one grandchild and live in the DFW Metroplex.
Donna is an experienced leader in the field of early education and care. She has 30 years of experience as a proven, strategic, results-oriented leader with a passion for serving children, families, teachers, and organizations that support families. Donna is a relationship builder, and her success is attributed to her devotion to leaders and teachers who share her passion for the classroom. She successfully developed, grew, managed, and brought to market a national corporate-sponsored child care company with operations in 26 states. Donna understands the challenges of exceeding in quality while managing purposeful growth. She is married to Nate, who is the Executive Pastor at Life Central Church in Plano, Texas. Their greatest joys are traveling and enjoying their children/grandchildren. Donna considers the role of mother and grandmother to be her most joyful of all her work with young children.
Pete Wayman, CPA
Chief Executive Officer
A trusted leader, Pete has more than 30 years of executive leadership experience in the HR Outsourcing field. He has held the positions of CFO, COO and CEO of industry market leaders. Pete has also started and sold companies, as well as pioneered a service delivery concept that resulted in operation of over 100 service centers globally. Pete has been in full–time ministry for the past twelve years with Gospel-based evangelical ministries. He has served in evangelical church leadership for the past 40 years as a trustee, elder, financial chair or personnel chair throughout much of that time. Personally, Pete has been married for 50 years to his college sweetheart. His wife’s degree and work experience are in nursery and kindergarten education, making his work all the more enjoyable as they passionately uphold excellence in early childhood education for our Lionheart children. They have two adult daughters and three grandchildren. A lifelong dream of Pete’s was accomplished in 2022 when he and three other men sailed 3100 miles across the Atlantic in a 47 ft boat.
Chief Operating Officer
Mia passionately loves the mission of Lionheart and the people who serve here. She believes her role at Lionheart is to ensure each team member has what they need to provide an excellent experience for every child. Mia has been with Lionheart since day one, starting at the front desk of our first academy to being a part of every Lionheart launch. She holds a B.S. in Business Management from John Brown University. Mia and her husband, Josiah have two Lionheart Kids of their own.
Executive Vice President of Church Relations
Nate served in several senior management positions throughout his business and ministry career including, President & CEO of a national child care company, Senior Cabinet Officer to MS Governor, Cliff Finch, and Executive Pastor of a Plano, TX church. Nate is a former federal government employee and served in the Philippines and Italy.
Chief People Officer
Ashley is a human resources leader passionate about developing people while enabling organizations to meet strategic goals. For the past 15 years she’s worked for a Fortune 10 company, leading HR teams focused on organizational culture, leadership and employee development, compensation, talent management, and employee relations. She spent five years in full-time ministry in Beirut, Lebanon, and in the US including early childhood education, ministry to women, summer camping, and missions-focused publishing. She is married to Justin; they have two beautiful elementary-age daughters.
Executive Vice President of Advancement
Paul began his career 35 years ago in advertising. He was later recruited back to the service side by a small entrepreneurial print buying company where he was in charge of all New Business Development and Account Planning and Servicing. He and his partners decided to sell the business to Omnicom Media Corporation. Paul was later named President and CEO of Omnicom, with revenue reaching $350 million during his tenure.
Paul also served as CEO for The Marketing Department, LLC. This start-up introduced a revolutionary way for small businesses to purchase affordable marketing and advertising solutions. This new experience is the nation’s first marketing agency in a high-profile retail environment.
Paul spent the last 3 years as an Executive VP for the non-profit organization, The National Christian Foundation helping generous givers become more tax-efficient with their giving strategies.
Paul currently resides in the Frisco, Texas area with his wife, Karen. They have 3 grown children who work in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Karen and Paul recently became first-time grandparents this fall.
Chief Spiritual Development Officer
Ginny has a deep passion for people. She has been leading over the past 14 years with faith-based non-profits, beginning in training and staff orientation, and growing into the senior level and consulting roles in Human Resources and leadership development. Her intentional style of leadership has led both teams and organizations to annually receive recognition as flourishing Best Christian Workplaces. She often says, “we can’t give what we don’t have,” and her focus is working in concert with the people team and our partners to invest in Lionheart staff in a whole way so they can give children and families what they need to become world changers. Ginny met her husband Chip while completing her degree at Texas Tech. They have two grown children. When she is not joyfully pouring her heart and soul into Lionheart, you can find her walking her dogs, on the lake with her family, or drinking a hot cup of coffee over a great book.
Senior Vice President of Operations
Rachel has been with Lionheart since July 2020 when she was given the opportunity to marry her passion for Jesus with her passion for early childhood education. She has 20 years of experience in leadership, with eight of them being in ECE. Rachel started her career as a teacher in child care. She currently supports the Regional Directors and the Launch Team. She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Ashworth University. Rachel and her husband, Mo, have three girls, Olivia (14), Adalynn (7), and Audriana (3). Rachel is honored that God brought her such a wonderful, Christ-loving husband and trusted them with each one of their girls. When she isn’t serving at Lionheart, Rachel is spending time with her family and serving in children’s ministry at her church.
Senior Vice President of Financial Services
Julie has over 25 years of experience in Accounting and Finance both in for-profit and not-for-profit companies. She has been an AVP and Controller for multiple organizations. She is a CPA and holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from Angelo State University and an M.B.A. from Texas Tech University. She has served with Lionheart Children’s Academy since its’ inception. She took 3 years (2005-2008) to serve on the mission field in Mexico City as a teacher at Mexico City Christian Academy and taught middle school and high school students in Math, History, Science, and Bible. She enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her two dogs.
Senior Vice President, Controller
Maria brings a career’s worth of versatile accounting and finance leadership to Lionheart. She has also previously overseen human resources/payroll, IT functions, treasury, and risk management. Maria has been employed by all types of dynamic organizations that include public companies, family-owned businesses, and nonprofits, including Kids Beach Club as the CFO. She is very creative, funny, strategic, organized, and communicative. Maria strives to have a servant leadership attitude and a teaching/teachable heart. Maria loves animals and is the “mom” to four dogs, six chickens and two fish. She loves the theatre, museums, the symphony, ballet, and community arts of all types. She loves to direct and perform on stage in family friendly productions and spent many years directing, producing, and acting in productions at her home church.
Maria is a single Christian lady who loves the Lord and loves to see His hand at work in both her life & work and the lives of her friends and family. She loves to teach God’s word to children and women’s groups through Children’s worship and bible studies.
Misty Henry joined the Lionheart family in 2016 and brings over 20 years of experience in early childhood education. She grew up observing her mother in the field of early childhood education and started working in the classroom as soon as she was old enough. Her passion for the classroom and for all children to receive an excellent education led her to devote herself to years of researching, writing, and producing curriculum for a large child care company. Misty is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, a published author of children’s books, and an advocate for high-quality early education and care for all children. Her greatest joy in life is spending time with family, especially her husband and two daughters.
Ashleigh brings nearly 20 years of diverse marketing experience to Lionheart. She spent ten years as the spokesperson and marketing director for a North Texas city, where she launched the state’s first municipal Facebook and Instagram accounts. She has spoken at numerous state and national conferences on social media best practices. Ashleigh is a sixth generation Texan, a graduate of Baylor University and subsequently an avid enthusiast. She is a Christ-follower, a wife and a mom to three rambunctious boys and the sweetest baby girl. Ashleigh’s favorite roles are wife and mom.
VP Talent Acquisition
Angie brings more than 20 years of diverse early childhood and talent acquisition experience to Lionheart. She spent 15 years in early childhood education and opened her company’s first child care facility at age 23. She went on to pursue a career in Human Resources with a specialization in Talent Acquisition, where she spent 8 years working in a variety of industries, including managing the recruitment strategies for major Fortune 500 Companies like Google, Walmart and Samsung. Angie is a worship leader and recording artist who enjoys traveling worldwide for ministry events. She attends Gateway Church where she serves as a mentor and career coach, along with coordinating and facility in equip ministry. She loves road trips and considers personality assessment as a passion. Angie's greatest joy is to be a lover of Jesus, her husband Elisamuel, and her family and friends.
VP Human Resources
VP Site Selection
Mechele brings nearly 30 years of child care experience to Lionheart. She has opened and operated multiple schools in different states, and is also a licensed realtor who has helped broker child care center sales nationally. She has been married to her husband Billy for more than 31 years, and together they raised three amazing boys. When she’s not working she enjoys spending time with her family, boating and playing with her spoiled bulldogs!
Executive Community Director
Nearly fifty years ago, Karin stepped into her first Kindergarten classroom to fulfill a dream of teaching young children. She received her B.A. and M.S. in Early Childhood Education from the State University of New York. It was in the small town of Panama, N.Y. where Karin began her career and where she met Jesus as her Savior and Lord. The Father then brought Karin to a small town in east Texas where she found an amazing Bible teaching church, was baptized and began her walk with Jesus. Karin taught Kindergarten there until she recognized God’s call to join Him in full-time ministry. She left her teaching position to follow God’s call and attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.
Karin has served as an Associate Preschool Pastor, Weekday Director, and Preschool Pastor in Texas and Florida over the span of 31 years. Her time in Florida really solidified the importance of sharing the Gospel with all. Karin transitioned from her position of Preschool Pastor at the Lake Church to help begin Lionheart in 2014. (Karin served as our very first Community Director)!
It is her greatest privilege and joy to share Jesus with the children and families the Father brings to our Lionheart academies. She is blessed to encourage and train our Lionheart leaders and provide them with resources to reach the next generation for the Lord.
She is called Ms. Karin by many, and her greatest joy is being Nana to four young boys!
Brittany brings over 15 years of management experience with a heavy focus on early childhood education. Starting her journey as a teacher, she has developed a unique skill and passion for working with families and kids. Her dedication to the field has aided her well in opening and expanding childcare centers to serve the community around her in an uplifting and positive way. Along with her most recent position as executive director, Brittany has also managed multiple sites over various regions. When she’s not busy directing, she enjoys spending time with her two children along with diving into her love of singing and songwriting.
Niema’s journey in early childhood education started as a young girl in church with family helping her parents facilitate Vacation Bible School. Little did she know VBS would be the beginning of her passion and purpose joined together bringing others to Christ. She has been actively involved with early childhood education for over 20 years. Her ECE career started as a counselor working with teenage homeless mothers in a shelter, then transitioned to the classroom and operations. Her greatest passion is working with children, families, and staff to provide a nurturing environment where they can grow, learn, and make memories to last a lifetime. In her spare time, you can find Niema and her husband of 20 years traveling, in the football stands cheering on their son or on the soccer field cheering on their daughter. She is so grateful to have this opportunity to show others the love of God and how amazing He is!
Penni brings nearly 30 years of extensive experience in early childhood education to Lionheart. She opened and ran a Christian Preschool for 12 years, and taught kindergarten and preschool. She has previously served as an Academy and Regional Director. Her passion for children began early, spending her summers working at The Salvation Army Camp Hoblitzelle as a life guard and witnessing to children of all socio-economic backgrounds. Entrepreneurship is also a love of Penni’s, having owned many Subway and Rainbow Play Systems franchises. Through the many years of business owning and Entrepreneurship Penni gracefully accepted becoming a board member for Subway on the advertising board, and worked with the National office as a field representative over Dallas and East Texas.
When she’s not working, Penni loves spending time with her husband Bill, and their fur baby beagle named Hook. She has three adult children and three grandchildren who are truly are the loves of her life!
CFO, Business Transformation & Integration Consultant
Founder, Lionheart Children's Academy
Senior Pastor, First Denton
Former CEO of Denny's Restaurants
Executive ECE Consultant
Founder and Managing Principal of Leapfrog Executive Services and Leapfrog Executive Search