Penny is passionate about Metro World Child and the work we do around the world. Starting in ministry when she was only 18 years old, she has gained a great deal of experience working with different ministries over the years. This experience she brought to Metro in 2004. As Executive Director, Penny has her eyes set on the future of Metro World Child and takes on the responsibility to make sure it is here for many years to come.
Chief Financial Officer
John DeStefano brings many years of experience to Metro World Child, where he serves as Chief Financial Officer. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, John's time spent in the accounting and consulting field have given him a strong background of knowledge and expertise that has helped bring Metro World Child into the forefront of ministries today. His understanding of domestic and international business has been put to great use at our locations around the world.
Katrina, a southern girl at heart, grew up in North Carolina. In 2005 she decided to venture north to Metro where she has found her niche in the Child Sponsorship department reaching out to children and their families. Katrina and her team do a great job maintaining and developing My Metro World Child: Won by One as they liaise between sponsors and the children.
Simone, originally from Germany, was working as a social worker before she came to Metro. Seeing the impact that was being made on each of the children’s lives, Simone’s own life was changed. Joining the team in 2000, Simone coordinates and oversees the international offices and Sunday School locations of Metro World Child.
Originally from Canada, Leanna came for the Metro Internship in 2003. It was during this internship that she saw the realities of every day life for the people who live here, and knew that she could be part of making a difference. As Guest Relations Director, Leanna has the opportunity to share the heart of Metro World Child with visitors from around the world that come to be a part of what goes on here.
Leo Van Belen
Indoor Sunday School
Originally from the Netherlands, Leo first came to Metro in 1996 to participate in one of the first internships we offered. After learning the language and experiencing the culture, Leo knew this is where he needed to be. We are grateful to have him as our director of Indoor Sunday school, as he facilitates and directs our weekend program, reaching thousands of kids in New York City.
Sidewalk Sunday School
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Willie’s first experience with Metro World Child was as a child himself. Coming at the age of 5 on one of our school buses, Willie attended Sunday school and youth group before coming on full time staff at age 17. Seeing not only the lives of others, but his own family’s lives changed, Willie committed to Metro World Child and now serves as Director of Sidewalk Sunday School, responsible for over 50 staff and 220 Sidewalk Sunday school sites around the city.
Education and Training
Abby grew up in Vancouver, Canada, and after working a few jobs there, decided to come for the Metro Internship. If you ask her why she came back on staff, her response is simply “the ministry ‘clicked’ with me – it just felt like this was where I’m supposed to be.” Abby has done a great job as our Director of Education and Training, developing our curriculum, training interns and groups around the world, and heading up the teaching teams here in New York.
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Suzie came to Metro World Child as an intern in 1997. Seeing Metro as a fully hands on ministry, Suzie knew that she wanted to stay. Suzie has always wanted to have an impact on the next generation, and what better place to be to train, work and serve than Metro. Suzie is now impacting the youngest generation, our preschoolers, helping them shape their future and introducing them to the Word of God.
Bus Ministry & Run With One Staff Sponsorship
Raised in Missouri, Cherrie first visited Metro in 1993 after hearing Pastor Bill speak at a conference. Upon arriving in New York, Cherrie knew this was where she belonged. Serving faithfully over the years, Cherrie heads up our bus ministry department, responsible for over 50 bus routes and the staff and volunteers that oversee them.
Tony & Gladys Lara
After traveling and serving throughout Latin America, Tony and Gladys heard the call to New York in 1996 and answered willingly. Together with their children, they serve as Pastors to the adult congregation at Metro Christian Center. With both English and Spanish services, Pastor Tony and Gladys meet the needs of the parents, grandparents and other family members of the children that come to Metro World Child Sunday schools.
Simon & Liz Maschkywitz
Fresh out of high school, Simon left his nest in Germany and came to New York for the internship in 2000. According to Simon, his first 19 years of life were paradise and it was time to pay it forward. Simon and his wife Liz, from Mexico, pay it forward in the youth department, working with this generations leaders, teachers and pastors.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Eddie first came to Metro as a teenager. Attending youth group and learning about God set Eddie on a path that led him to where he is today, as Director of Transportation. Maintaining a fleet of vehicles used as tools to spread the Gospel is something Eddie considers a privilege and a way to sow back into the ministry that poured so much in to him as a young man.