Carol Gebhart, Executive Director

Carol Gebhart was hired as Executive Director in November 2017. Carol has a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa and a Master of Education in School Administration from Sam Houston State University. She taught in an inner city school in Houston, TX and was a private school administrator for 14 years. She was most recently the Director for the Office of Protection of Children for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Carol’s professional career has focused on helping children and families. She is passionate about empowering women, and the health and wellness of women and children. Carol is a certified Health Coach who loves waterskiing, organic gardening, cooking, and hiking.

Ann Lorenz, Development and Marketing Director

Ann Lorenz enjoys her role as Opening Doors Development and Marketing Director. Ann has a Bachelor of Communications degree from Clarke University and a Bachelor of Business degree from the University of Dubuque. Prior to joining the Opening Doors staff Ann worked a total of 9 years at the Dubuque Regional Humane Society as the Development & Marketing Director and Community Outreach Director.  She is passionate about the mission of Opening Doors and she enjoys making a difference in the lives of women and children.  Ann has experience in marketing, event planning, volunteer and project management, fundraising, and more. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Women’s Leadership Network and she enjoys singing, dogs, and the Cubs (win or lose!)

Heather LuGrain, Opening Doors Program Director

Heather LuGrain started at the Teresa Shelter as a Program Advocate in April 2010. Before becoming Teresa Shelter Director, she was the Case Manager for over three years. She graduated with her Bachelors in Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa in 2009.  She has a wide variety of experience in social work including working for a child abuse prevention agency in Waterloo, IA and BHIS services work with children and their families. Heather is responsible for all aspects of the Teresa Shelter Emergency and Extended Stay Programs and Maria House Transitional and Permanent Supportive Housing Programs. She was previously the Teresa Shelter Program Director.

Cozette Oberhoffer, Office Manager

Cozette Oberhoffer joined the Opening Doors staff in January of 2017.  She previously worked as the office manager and event coordinator for the Dubuque County Fairgrounds for seven years, and as a manager and event coordinator at Clarke College prior to that.  Cozette grew up in the Keywest area of Dubuque, then moved to Cedar Rapids and graduated from Kennedy High School.  She moved back to Dubuque in 1987 where she married her husband Dan and raised their three children.

Kiresten Bauer, Assistant Program Director

Kiresten Bauer started at Opening Doors as the Teresa Shelter Case Manager in August 2016. Kiresten received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in social work from University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Before coming to Opening Doors, Kiresten worked at Orion Group Home in Platteville for almost two years working with troubled adolescents and managed an Orion group home in Madison. Afterward, she worked as a social worker in Milwaukee, WI.

Ashley Ehrlich, Maria House Case Manager

Opening Doors welcomed our new Maria House Case Manager Ashley Ehrlich in March 2018. Ashley is very familiar with our mission as she had previously worked as a Program Advocate at the Teresa Shelter in 2015. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in social work from Clarke University, Ashley worked as a social worker at the Hillcrest Residential Care Facility in Dubuque, where she worked with severely mentally ill adults. She tied the knot in April of 2018 and is expecting her first child this summer.

Knoel Christopher, Teresa Shelter Case Manager

Knoel received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2016 from the University of Iowa. Before coming to Opening Doors, she worked as an FSRP worker where she assisted families that have open cases with the Department of Humane Services. Knoel also worked as a Youth Counselor where she provided support to teenagers with mental health diagnosis’ at a Psychiatric Medical Institute for Children. Knoel enjoys reading and going to the movies in her free time.

Julie Kinsella, Volunteer Coordinator

Julie Kinsella joined the staff of Opening Doors in October 2018. She has been a volunteer for Opening Doors for many years as the chairperson for the Attitude of Gratitude event. Julie grew up in Dubuque and worked in the publishing field for over 25 years. She is an avid volunteer herself who is passionate about serving others in whatever capacity she can. Julie is excited to work with the volunteers and staff to provide the best opportunities for our residents and their families.