In 2010 Kim Winston Bigler started what would eventually become James Samaritan out of the trunk of her car in California. Over the last 5 years (after moving back to Louisiana), she has built an organization which has an incredible impact on the Louisiana foster care community. She has grown James Samaritan by building relationships with the Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), local churches and an army of community volunteers. Her contributions to the foster care system have received statewide recognition. She has been recognized for her impact on changing how we care for our most vulnerable. Kim has been recognized by many of the top organizations in Louisiana for her service to children and families. These organizations include LFAPA, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation Angel Award, YMCA St. Tammany West Hometown Hero Award, Together We Can Conference, Linda Christmas Award, Louisiana Institute of Children and Families, Angel in Adoption Award, First Lady Edwards Louisiana Fosters, Governor Edwards, Louisiana Institute of Children in Families, and many more.
Director of Northern Louisiana
Jennifer Graves was born and raised in West Monroe, Louisiana where she still resides with her husband and two daughters. She is a 2004 graduate of The University of Louisiana at Monroe with a degree in Social Work. She has always had a passion for working with and helping children and their families. Jennifer began her career as an intern with The Department of Children and Family Services. She then went to work at The Center for Children and Families. Jennifer was employed there for 17 years. During that time she held the position of CASA Advocate Supervisor, Forensic Interviewer, Children’s Advocacy Center Coordinator, and Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center. During her time as a forensic interviewer she interviewed about 1,500 children that were alleged victims of abuse. In her role as Director of the CAC she grew the CAC from a staff of two employees to eight. The CAC provided interviews, counseling, advocacy, prevention services, community outreach, and forensic medical exams to alleged victims of abuse in nine parishes in Northeast Louisiana. Jennifer has always felt called to help victims of abuse and believes no one is equipped to go through this world alone.
Kelly Lowery is a recent graduate of University of Louisiana at Monroe, where she received her bachelor's degree in Psychology. She and her husband Shannon have been married for 21 years and have 2 amazing children, Trevor and Madelynn. In addition, they have also been registered foster parents for nearly 4 years, through which they have welcomed numerous children into their home. Kelly has always had a heart for children and is deeply passionate about early child development. Having a child on the autism spectrum, Kelly has a desire to meet children where they are at and see that they are equipped with the tools and resources they need to thrive and succeed. Kelly has worked in the non-profit sector for over 10 years where she finds immense joy in helping to improve the outcomes for children in order to meet their individual potential. In addition to her work, Kelly serves on the worship team at First Monroe Baptist Church where she and her family attend. She deeply values her faith and desires to share the love of Jesus through ministering to children and families in the community.
Cori was born and raised in Texas. She attended Baylor University, earning a degree in Business Communications with a minor in Religion. She relocated to Louisiana for career advancement in 2020, and currently serves as Director of Human Resources over Nursing for Ochsner Healthcare System.
She has volunteered with and contributed organizational and HR knowledge serving on the board and in development for numerous non-profit organizations. She has led representation of Veterans Affairs research on Capitol Hill and advocated for extending foster care age nationally. Currently she leads Skills for Life, which focuses on giving at risk youth the advantage of skills such as literacy, budgeting, hygiene, sexual safety, job skills, and parenting.
Cori was a foster parent in Texas where she learned firsthand the challenges that all in the system face, whether caseworker, parent, foster child, or foster parent. Her passion for increasing opportunities for children in the foster system stemmed from those experiences and continues to grow as she meets and networks with new organizations which is how she met Kim Bigler, James Samaritan’s founder in late 2021.
She has raised two children of her own, becoming more active with James Samaritan when her daughter became a Navy Hospital Corpsman in 2021. She lives in Slidell with her son, Joseph, Australian Cattle Dog, Ella and Teacup Chihuahua, Emilee where she is active in Northshore Church.
Originally from the Cleveland, OH area, Jonathan moved to New Orleans in 2002, where he quickly fell in love with the culture of Louisiana. Graduating with a degree in Education and Ministry from Leavell College at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Jonathan has led successful ventures in both franchisee and small local business management as well as 13 years in student ministry. He is currently working with Iron Horse Financial to lead individuals and business owners on the path to feeling secure with their finances today, building wealth for tomorrow, and creating a legacy for future generations. Jonathan is passionate about working in his community, especially working with junior and senior high aged youth. Originally partnering with James Samaritan through the Gift-A-Lift Program, Jonathan enjoys getting his hands dirty teaching those in the program to maintain their vehicles and providing a support system as they navigate adulthood. Along with his wife, Gabby and his two children, Jonathan enjoys family board games, movies, cooking new meals, and the occasional dad joke.
Staci Jo Schwittay-Lecompte
Staci has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to apply that degree for artistic purposes and professionally for marketing in various industries. She has held several different roles including customer service, marketing, finances, administration, operations, Human Resources and sales. Her greatest joy is helping others. She recently stepped down from operations at James Samaritan and went on to pursue her career in Real Estate. Transitioning into real estate is a natural career progression since her passion is helping and serving others. She is an excellent listener and excels in customer service. Her life experiences has taught her to see the potential in people, to have compassion, and to help others reach their goals. It is a way to help people's dreams come true!
Helping others and giving God the glory for all that is accomplished is pure joy!
Caitlin was born and raised in Covington, LA. She graduated from St. Scholastica Academy in 2003 and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications at LSU in 2007. Shortly after college, Caitlin moved to the Dallas/Fort worth area where she discovered her love of Product Development in the Beauty Industry. After developing several products for the brand Bed Head, she was relocated to New York City to work in Brand Development for the mass haircare brand, Suave Professionals. In 2012, Caitlin returned with her husband to settle down in Covington. Taking all of her learnings from Texas and New York, she created her own beauty brand, Kismet, in 2013. Since launching her brand, Kismet has been featured in national magazines, subscription bags and even CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer. Kismet was also named LSU’s top 100 fastest growing businesses in 2019 and again in 2021. Caitlin is the beauty editor for Edge of the Lake Magazine, keeping the Northshore up to date with the latest hair, makeup and skincare trends. She also is on the St. Scholastica Academy Alumnae Board and she is the SSA Alumnae Coordinator. Caitlin loves to reconnect and bring fellow alumnae together to create an even stronger, female driven community. She also organizes the popular Dove Market, highlighting local businesses and
community outreach. Caitlin is also part of the 2021 Leadership St. Tammany Class. Caitlin currently lives in Covington with her husband, Scott and their three children, Ruby, Henry and Eliza. Nothing makes her happier than driving around their kids to different activities, coaching Ruby's Pee Wee Pep Squad and being room mom
Matt Donley is the Lead Pastor of Cultivation Church in Covington. Pastor Matt has been in full-time ministry for over 18 years where he has served in various capacities such as children’s pastor, youth pastor, and associate pastor in Louisiana and Alabama before he and his wife founded Cultivation Church in 2017. Pastor Matt felt a burden to reach into the foster care system after seeing the enormous need on the Northshore. That burden has led to a church-wide initiative to see hope brought to those effected in the foster system and a big part of that is partnering with James Samaritan.
Rebecca Birkett is the principal of Lyon Elementary school in Covington, Louisiana. She has worked in the field of education for over 15 years. Rebecca received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Mercy College in New York City. Rebecca is an Ohio native and is a proud (and loud!) Buckeye fan! She attended The Ohio State University in 2009 and 2014 where she completed coursework to obtain her principal and superintendent licensure. She married her best friend, Owen, in 2015 and quickly learned when you marry someone from south Louisiana, they bring you back to south Louisiana. Rebecca serves as the Executive Board Secretary for the Children's Advocacy Center - Hope House. She is extremely excited and humbled to join the board where her passion for children and young adults will be an asset to the mission and vision of James Samaritan. Rebecca lives in the city of Covington with her husband, their Yorkie-Poo Napoleon, and their niece who is a junior at Spelman.
Glynn Robinson is Minister of Missions and Evangelism at First Baptist Church in Covington where he has served since 1997. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to moving to Covington he served in churches in Hattiesburg, MS and Natchitoches, LA. Glynn gives leadership to FBC Covington’s local and international missions efforts. He also leads FBC Covington’s disaster relief response ministry and actively engages in community ministry partnerships with organizations seeking to make our community better and stronger. He is the director of the FBC Covington’s kid’s sports league, Upward Sports. Glynn and his wife Melinda are love spending their Saturdays watching Southern Miss football and hooking their camper up and going places they have never been.