Meet Our Team

The Hartville Migrant Ministry is run by a small team that makes a big impact.  Learn more about our staff and board members below!


Debra Arner, MSN, RN

Medical Coordinator
Deb has been with the Hartville Migrant Ministry since 2014. She worked for seven years as the center’s director before transitioning to the Medical Coordinator’s position in 2021. As Medical Coordinator, Deb’s main responsibilities include client case management and coordinating off-site services with our medical partners. Deb worked in the public health sector for 21 years, and currently teaches nursing courses at Hondros College in Akron.

Stephen Dages

Director of Services, Grants
Stephen has been the Director of the Hartville Migrant Center since September, 2022. He's responsible for the general oversight and operations of the center, and ensuring all services and programs are current and relevant for the needs of the migrant community. Stephen is also a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University, studying Social Work and Non-Profit Management.

Leigh Ann De La Cruz

Volunteer Coordinator
Leigh Ann De La Cruz became the Volunteer Coordinator in the summer of 2021 after 25 years of being a bilingual (Spanish) and ESL Elementary School teacher in Arizona and Massachusetts, where she primarily worked with Hispanic children. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University in Spanish Literature, spent a semester as an exchange student living in Hermosillo, Mexico, and then obtained a Master’s Degree from Northern Arizona University in Early Childhood Education. She is very pleased to have this position upon returning to the area after many years of living out of state and looks forward to working with everyone involved with the ministry.

Board Members

Lora Wyss

President, Nursing Director
Lora Wyss currently serves as a Professor of Nursing at Malone University and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from George Mason University in Fairfax VA, a school nurse license from Ashland University as well as a PhD from the University of Akron. She has previously held a variety of clinical, managerial, and teaching positions in Akron, Canton, and Washington DC. In addition, Lora is an adjunct faculty member at the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) and a casual employee at Aultman Hospital. Beyond her teaching responsibilities, Lora has volunteered as the nursing director of the medical clinic at the Hartville Migrant Ministries Center for over 25 years. Currently Lora serves as Board President.

Harvey Wagner

Treasurer, Financial
Harvey Wagner has been Treasurer of the Hartville Migrant Ministry since May 2013. He served as Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer of FirstEnergy Corp. at the time of his retirement in 2013. He is a member of Advent Lutheran Church in Uniontown, where he has served as President, Treasurer, Council Member, and member of the Stewardship and Worship committees. He is a former member of the Northeastern Ohio Synod Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and formerly chaired its Finance committee. He is also an Honorary Trustee, member of the Finance committee and former Chairman of the Akron Area YMCA Board of Trustees, and a Trustee and former Chairman of the YMCA’s Endowment Foundation.

Conley Frees

Board Member, Spirituality
Conley Frees has been a Board Member of the Hartville Migrant Ministry since January 2014. She is a retired Springfield High School English teacher, where she was also an adviser for the Thespian Troupe, the school newspaper, and the yearbook. Conley is a member of Uniontown United Methodist Church and Outreach Team. She has served on the Rotary Club Board in Cambridge, Ohio, and was the Youth Group Leader at First Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, Ohio, and the Adult Sunday School Leader at Oak Hill Presbyterian Church in Akron, Ohio.

Jennifer Morrow

Vice President, Medical
Jennifer Morrow is an educator at Aultman Hospital and is an adjunct nursing faculty. Jennifer has a BA in Food and Nutrition/Dietetics from Bluffton University in 1999. She earned her nursing degree from Kent State University in 2006, and her Masters of Science in Nursing-Education in 2010. She has spent the majority of her nursing career in acute care/critical care, and is a Progressive Care Certified Nurse. Jennifer attends Evermore Community Church.

Terry Smith

Board Member, Building & Grounds
Terry Smith has been a board member at the Hartville Migrant Center since January, 2020. He is in charge of the building and grounds at the center. Terry, his wife and 2 sons have lived in the area for 20 plus years. They are active members at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Uniontown. He is a local business owner who loves to serve the needs of others.

Dr. Teresa Wurst, MD

Medical Director
Dr. Teresa Wurst received a B.S. degree with a biology major/chemistry minor from Walsh University in 1989 and received her M.D. from NEOMED in 1993. She completed her Family Medicine Residency in 1996 at Aultman Hospital where she is currently working as Assistant Program Director at the Aultman Family Medicine Residency Program since 1998. From 1996-2020 she had a private practice in Waynesburg. Currently she sees her patients at My Community Health Center since 2020. She has been teaching medical students and residents throughout her career both at Aultman and the Hartville Migrant Clinic. Dr. Wurst has been volunteering at the Hartville Migrant Center since 2000 and became the Medical Director of the Hartville Migrant Clinic in 2002.

Pastor Angel Jackson

Secretary, Education
The Rev. Angel Jackson is Pastor at St. Jacob Lutheran Church, Canton. One of the things that drew her to this congregation was their long-time involvement with the Hartville Migrent Center. She is passionate about reminding God’s children that they are showered with God’s love and helping them to pour that love out to their neighbors. Pastor Angel grew up in Louisville, Ohio. She is a graduate of Capital University and got her MDiv at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and her Masters of Social Work at the University of Chicago. Her other calls include being mother to Sophia and Asher, knitting, reading, hiking, paddle boarding and bird watching.

Pastor Nathanael Hofstetter Ressler

Board Member, Hospitality
​Nathanael Hofstetter Ressler is the pastor at Maple Grove Mennonite Church in Hartville. He seeks to holistically pursue Jesus’ command to love all people and to be an advocate for the vulnerable and marginalized; he believes the work of the Migrant Center aligns with this command. Originally from Illinois, he went on to attend Hesston College, Eastern Mennonite University, and earned a Masters of Divinity from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He is an intermediate level Spanish speaker and is working daily to improve his proficiency. He and Savanah, his wife, fill their free time with Ultimate Frisbee, board games, anime, video games and taking care of their two dogs. Nathanael is a Cleveland sports fan and also follows Premier League fútbol as well as the US women’s and men’s national teams.