Meet The Leadership Team
Sandi Polzin has worked for Hope Gospel Mission since 2009 in the areas of public relations, human relations and executive management; currently she is the Executive Director. Sandi comes to Hope Gospel Mission with 25 years of experience leading teams of over 120 employees at one time. As an entrepreneur and visionary she shares ideas on how to help the mission itself excel in internal and external communications. She hosts and attends public meetings to enhance such communications and encourages the people she meets to learn more about Hope Gospel Mission and how they can get involved and make a difference. Under Sandi’s leadership, HGM is successfully reaching the hurting, the lost, the broken and individuals ready to begin again with a beautiful redo. She feels humbled and blessed to work with some of the most caring individuals she has ever worked with in her entire life.
Sandi and her husband John, also own Down to Earth Garden Centers in Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire. They have been in business since 1993 when founding their first company which led to two more organizations that they have founded. Sandi enjoys people and loves to serve where the Lord places her. She and her husband have two grown sons, Ben and Chase, and are adoptive parents to Mazie, Schneider, Millie and Mercie, from the birth country of Haiti. They are also grandparents to two boys and one girl; and couldn’t be more proud.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
Chris Hedlund has been with Hope Gospel Mission since 2005. He began as an instructor in the education center and is now the Program Director and Director of Education for the Mission.
Prior to Hope Gospel Mission he spent several years working with a professional staffing company and also has experience with production, marketing and distribution of print media. Chris has studied pastoral ministries and counseling; currently he is working to finish a B.S. in Human Services.
Chris lives in Eau Claire with his wife Traci and four kids. He enjoys driving, flying, traveling, learning, and spending time with his family. In addition to working at Hope Gospel Mission, Chris also enjoys working part time as a fire-fighter & EMT.
“Everyday I get to watch others take advantage of second and third chances. It excites me to watch what God is doing in people’s lives and watching them grow into the person they were created to be, overcoming challenges, and obstacles that they didn’t think they could overcome. I enjoy my job more than I probably should. I try to learn something new every day, because ‘a mind left alone doesn’t coast uphill’. I believe knowledge without wisdom is as dangerous as power without restraint.” –Chris Hedlund
Craig Pedersen is the Operations Director at Hope Gospel Mission. He grew up in a rural Wisconsin family. Craig learned to appreciate hard work, faith and family. While in college, he founded the Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Craig graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Entrepreneurial management program. Craig’s wife, Jennifer, a CPA is also involved in the mission. Craig and Jennifer have a four year Christian Leadership Degree from Purpose Institute, an international bible college. As Christian Entrepreneurs, it is a great fit to be working in a business whose purpose is ministry.
Some of Craig’s past professional experiences include; direct sales and sales management, owning his own construction company, professional recruiter for a staffing agency and working as a project manager for a fortune 100 company.
Craig joined the staff of Hope Gospel Mission in 2003 and has led the ministry to develop Hope Gospel Mission’s 3 Bargain Centers, Building Hope and Hope Gospel Auto. Craig also oversees the development and management of all the program and educational and business buildings of Hope Gospel Mission.
All the way through, the Lord’s hand has been evident in the miracles that make Hope Gospel Mission’s businesses and facilities possible.
Rob Gerber is the Stewardship Director at Hope Gospel Mission and has been with the mission since June of 2015. He works on the development of the mission, donor relations, oversees mission publications/mailings, grant writing, systems for recording and processing financial donations, and enjoys giving tours of the mission. When the mission was smaller he managed public relations and oversaw the missions volunteer program.
Rob grew up in a home that was very mission minded where he witnessed many people in need of help and prayer come through the doors of his childhood home. Having witnessed his parents and other strong, faithful Christians serve people with unconditional love he felt like he was given a great gift that he needed to share with others. This desire and the drawing of the Holy Spirit led him to Hope Gospel Mission.
Rob realized at a very young age that he is a businessman at heart. In recent years Rob and his wife Jennifer started two corporations and successfully ran those for a combined total of 16 years before selling their interests in those companies. Rob views working at Hope Gospel Mission as a great honor and opportunity to use his business skills and his calling to build something for God’s kingdom that has eternal blessings.
Rob has been married to his wife Jennifer since 1996 and they have two daughters Elizabeth and Alison.
Brett Geboy served on Hope Gospel Missions’ Board of Directors for six years before joining the Leadership Team as Community Relations Director in 2019.
Brett grew up in the Milwaukee area, is married, has 3 children and has lived in Eau Claire since 2001. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay majoring in Political Science and Economics.
He spent five years leading a missions team in Russia working with college students, teaching at a University and assisting local churches. He then spent a year working at a homeless facility in Springfield, MO before moving back to Wisconsin to oversee Government Relations and working as a lobbyist with the American Cancer Society. He then worked as the Government Relations Director at the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce before moving to the private sector managing sales and marketing for commercial contracting company North Central Insulation.
Brett enjoys working for a mission minded organization like Hope Gospel Mission, seeing lives transformed and changed! He has served as elder and leader in his church, volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, the local jail ministry and other community organizations.