Our Vision

Our hope is that every client will say that Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids is the best place to go for help.

Our model of personalized care ensures clients’ needs are met with expert help and genuine compassion.  At Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids (AWC), we walk alongside women who are experiencing challenging circumstances, such as an unplanned pregnancy, by providing a safe place to make choices.  AWC empowers women to thrive by offering holistic care through free and confidential services.


Changing Hearts. Changing Lives. Changing Generations.


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Our Staff



Suzanne Bredow



Suzanne began working at AWC in January 2015 when God uniquely opened the door for her to use her gifts in her area of passion.  Suzanne monitors AWC finances, policies and records.  She is way too organized, a self-proclaimed “numbers person” and is known for her unusual love for the smell of bleach.

Doretha Copeland

Program Manager

Program Manager

Doretha joined AWC in the spring of 2017 after feeling drawn to the mission of AWC and the many services and programs provided to women and families.  As Program Manager, she supports staff members in establishing and maintaining programs, recruiting volunteers, and sharing the AWC story with anyone who will listen!  Doretha loves being a grandma and spending time with her six grandchildren, her favorite things to treat herself to are pedicures or massages, and she loves sporting a new hairdo from time to time!

Colleen Geisel

Executive Director

Executive Director

Colleen walked through the doors of AWC in March of 2014 and just couldn’t leave.  As Executive Director, Colleen empowers our staff, volunteers and community to become involved with others who are in need.  She has given birth to three children in three different countries (the definition of insanity), has enough hair for three people, and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Diane Nichols

Material Resource<br>Manager

Material Resource

Diane has been with AWC since 2009 as a volunteer and began working part-time in the fall of 2012.  She brings 25 years of business experience to AWC and oversees material resource volunteers, volunteer groups, and all in-kind donations.  Organizing is her “thing” (just check out our material resource room).  She loves to camp with her husband and is consistently our best-dressed staff member.

Hanna Varner

Communications Coordinator

Communications Coordinator

Hanna became our Communications Coordinator after hearing about AWC through her church.  She felt drawn to our mission and wanted to do something with her time and talents that would help her community.  Hanna brings her graphic design talents to our team  in addition to working with the admin staff on events and donor relations. She has lived in Germany and China, has a passion for languages and speaks several of them, and creates amazing leather handbags in her spare time. 

Lori Potter

Sonographer<br> Independent Contractor

Independent Contractor

Lori started as a volunteer in 2010 and became an independent contractor for AWC in 2012.  She performs pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and options counseling.  Lori likes to give nicknames to everyone (twinkle toes and sunshine are two of her favorites).  She is also known for her beautiful assortment of scrubs and always has a smile on her face.

Kalie Bunce

Director of<br>Community Relations

Director of
Community Relations

Kalie came to AWC as an intern in the spring of 2013 and transitioned to a full-time employee in 2014.  She leads new volunteer trainings, handles AWC’s social media accounts, and coordinates all events.  She is incredibly expressive when she talks, has been known to get sunburned through closed windows, and loves having great conversations over a cup of coffee.

Deb Fikkert

Administrative &<br>Events Manager

Administrative &
Events Manager

Deb came onboard in June 2014 after hearing about AWC for the first time.  She coordinates events, handles donor relations, and provides administrative support (especially when it comes to creating handy excel documents). Deb has put her incredible decorating skills to great use in our building, is often seen running up and down the administration hallway in order to “save three seconds,” and has a unique passion for office supplies.

Ruth Gillesse

 Director of<br>Client Services

Director of
Client Services

Ruth has been with AWC since 2003, starting as a volunteer mentor and later becoming full-time staff.  Ruth directs our Step Up Mentoring Program and Single Moms Support Group.  She loves creating stories for her granddaughter about the adventures of two field mice, throwing wild [wrap] parties, and spending copious amounts of time shopping at Rebel Reclaimed.

Amanda Nelson

Director of<br>Educational Services

Director of
Educational Services

Amanda was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa, and came to Grand Rapids to attend college.  After graduating, she began volunteering at AWC and officially joined our staff in April 2016.   Amanda coordinates our educational classes and develops partnerships with local health organizations.   She will eat anything edible, loves to laugh, and is notorious for crying while laughing.  

Sandra Vejar

Operations Director

Operations Director

Sandra joined AWC in September 2015 with 20 years of experience in international nonprofits.  Originally from Quito, Ecuador, Sandra was drawn to AWC because it aligns with her passion of empowering women.  She oversees all day-to-day operations of the center, implements policies, and develops new systems.  Her favorite animal is the giraffe, her favorite smell is tortilla de papa, and she loves long walks outside even in the winter (although she truly despises cold weather).

Donna Wood



Donna has been with AWC since 1985 and became our LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) in 2014.  She administers pregnancy tests and meets with clients to provide options counseling.  Donna is the mother of eight children (seven of whom are adopted) and has a large collection of snazzy shoes.  She likes to say she is slow on the computer but fast when it comes to her humor.


Our History

Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids (AWC) is rooted in the belief that women in crisis, such as an unplanned pregnancy, deserve a safe place to receive support.  Beginning in 1985, AWC provided services for 71 women.  Today, AWC empowers over 1,000 women each year through a variety of programs.

From 1992-2006, Alpha Women’s Center of Grand Rapids expanded its reach by launching six satellite centers in Cedar Springs, Greenville, Hastings, Wayland, Newaygo and Lowell.  Today, five of these centers function independently in their community.  In 2010, AWC relocated to 1725 Division Avenue South.  This 17,000-square-foot facility, located in the heart of Grand Rapids, allows AWC to reach an ever-increasing number of women and families.

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1725 Division Avenue S, Grand Rapids, MI 49507

Call: 616.459.9955


Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9am-5pm

Tuesday: 9am-8pm

Friday: 9am-2pm

After Hours

Call: 1.800.712.4357 or Text: “HELPLINE” to 313131

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