MEET OUR TEAM
Rich loves to encourage others to greatness and has ample opportunity to do that as a Founding Partner at Mission:Leadership. As a senior recruiter at both Slingshot Group and The Dingman Company, he specialized in finding executive-level leaders for key positions in a broad array of industries including Christian nonprofits, large churches, Christian schools and colleges, and mission-minded businesses. He was the former President of Paramount Builders, Virginia’s largest home remodeler, and the Vice President of Operations for a multi-store, luxury jewelry business. Rich has operated a consulting practice, serving clients from small businesses to large nonprofits focused on organizational and personal development, as well as talent acquisition. In the local church, he has worked in roles from janitor to Senior Pastor (sometimes simultaneously), ranging from small church plants to large multi-staff churches. Later, he became Director of Campus Ministries for Regent University, where he also taught in the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Divinity.
Rich is a graduate of the College of William and Mary where he was a Presidential (Monroe) Scholar, holds an M.Div. from Trinity International University, and a Doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Bridget, live in Virginia Beach, Virginia and have three children and two dogs. They enjoy watching their boys play soccer and football, visiting their daughter in Colonial Williamsburg, traveling, sampling new restaurants, and volunteering at their church. Rich is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
With more than 35 years of senior leadership experience in the corporate, nonprofit and church worlds, Neal has forged a career marked by creativity and innovation, all the while developing and growing successful business operations and successful people. He most recently was the Vice President over the Nonprofit division of Slingshot Group, another Christian search firm. Prior to that, Neal served as Senior Vice President for International Partner Development at Compassion International, one of the world’s largest nonprofits, as Executive Pastor of a growing and vibrant megachurch in Nashville, and as the very first Chief Operating Officer of Generous Giving.
For twenty years prior, Neal was a senior executive in the Christian music industry in Nashville; first as a Vice President at Word Entertainment and then as a Divisional President at Warner Bros. Records. He has produced well over 100 Christian albums – including a dozen Dove Award-winning projects – and is a five-time Grammy Award winner. He has served on the board of American Leprosy Missions for 16 years (including six years as Chairman), an organization devoted to restoring the lives of people affected by leprosy worldwide, and also serves on the boards of A.C.T. International and Free Guitars 4 Kids. Neal has also been privileged to travel to 50+ countries, both Western and developing. As Founding & Managing Partner of Mission:Leadership, he resides in the Nashville, TN area with his wife of 38 years, Wendy. They have two grown and married children.
Leslie brings a heart to see people matched to opportunities that fit their God-given talents and desires. She gets to exercise that passion by helping candidates create their digital portfolios and guiding them through our evaluation process. From a nonprofit perspective, Leslie served on Josh McDowell’s ministry team for a number of years, designing sets for their video projects. Prior to this, she was an executive assistant at Word Records and also worked in their A&R department.
Leslie has been married to her husband, Dave, for 29 years and they have three grown children. They have served churches throughout Texas and Arkansas and most recently moved to Raleigh, North Carolina to serve alongside Southbridge Fellowship. Excited with their new adventure, they look forward to exploring the beaches, mountains and locating a new favorite Mexican restaurant in their new hometown.
DONNA K. WAITS, C.P.A.
Finance & Accounting
Donna is a certified public accountant who has been practicing for forty years. Her specialty is helping companies set up an accounting system tailored to the specific needs of their business, particularly with the several small nonprofits she currently serves.
Donna is excited to be joining the team at Mission:Leadership LLC. Donna and her husband, John, are newlyweds and have six children and seven grandchildren among them with whom they always enjoy spending time. She has been part of Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, Tennessee for many years and particularly appreciates being part of her community group as well as helping teach with the church’s Heart of the Home ministry. In her spare time, Donna loves spending time outdoors, especially bike riding, hiking and paddle boarding.
Michelle recently graduated from the Pamplin School of Business at Virginia Tech with a degree in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resource Management. As she has studied the systematics of managing people and processes to achieve organizational objectives and drive organizational performance, she’s been able to live that out practically by conducting extensive online research on both potential and current candidates for Mission:Leadership.
Michelle serves as a volunteer WyldLife leader with Young Life, sharing and showing the joy of life with these middle school friends. She enjoys indulging in local roasts, running hills, reading non-fiction novels, and exploring city centers. Michelle holds a heart of passion, one that is intrigued by people, stories, and conversations. She loves to connect with others and uncover what makes them unique. She and her husband, Jon were just married in May 2021 after her graduation.
STATEMENT OF DIVERSITY AND UNITY
Mission:Leadership LLC both believes in and practices the Biblical doctrine of Imago Dei, which teaches that all people, regardless of race, gender, varying degrees of physical ability, or socioeconomic class are created in the image of God. Therefore, a biblical understanding of diversity celebrates the value of all human beings as image-bearers of God with God-given worth and dignity. Imago Dei extends to people of other faiths and to those whose viewpoints or beliefs are hostile to Christianity; therefore, all people are to be treated with respect and dignity. The Bible further calls us to live with one another in unity and peace. Recognizing that unity is not uniformity, and based on the diversity that we witness in the body of Christ, we are committed to live out the unifying power of the Gospel, both within our company and in our recruiting practices.