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Our Story

Shoes 4 the Shoeless, Inc. is a non-profit that provides new, correctly fitting gym shoes and socks to Southwest Ohio children in desperate need. Through a uniquely efficient and effective system, we help children eliminate one of poverty’s most visible stigmas.

In Southwest Ohio, an estimated 60% of children live in poverty. The majority of them are in desperate need of shoes and socks. Wearing ill-fitting and worn shoes often condemns children to physical, social and emotional problems that last a lifetime. Shoes 4 the Shoeless began in 2010 and has helped well over 100,000 children.

Mission

To provide new, properly fitting gym shoes and socks to children in need.

Vision

In providing new shoes and socks for children in need, Shoes 4 the Shoeless continues to meet the most significant unmet health need for a child in poverty. We will strive to become a valued organization in our region, known for our faith-in-action.

Why We Do This

The world has continued to change from when Shoes 4 the Shoeless began in 2010. One constant has been the deep need for caring individuals to reach the unmet need of shoes and socks for disadvantaged children within our community. Shoes and socks are the most visible stigma for a child in poverty.

We strive to elminate this issue. S4TS continues evolving to meet this growing need. Helping more children each year is possible due to generous community members who donate countless hours and funds.

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Our Team

To deliver thousands of shoes each year, it takes incredible planning and coordination. Below are the members of our team and board of directors that sets our strategic plan and vision for Shoes 4 the Shoeless.

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KRIS HORLACHER

Executive Director

Kris Horlacher R.N. is a native Daytonian. She began S4TS while managing a mentoring program for homeless children she started in 2007. Kris is experienced in the

development and execution of a variety of hospital and community based programs geared towards crisis care and health and wellness promotion. She holds Nursing degrees from The Miami Valley Hospital school of Nursing and Wright State University. She has been recognized by the Ohio State Senate for her work with S4TS. Under her leadership S4TS has received national, statewide and local recognition. As Executive Director of S4TS, Kris is responsible for steering the organization in the proper direction, community networking and education, coordinating the thousands of shoe/sock deliveries, and general oversight of the mission. These are easy tasks since she has surrounded herself with an extremely capable and passionate team. She is closely associated with the Christian ministry of Young Life and is on the Board of Dayton Urban Young Life. Kris lives in Kettering with her 2 kids Jake and Holly.

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JONATHAN HAUGE

Engagement & Fundraising Director

Jonathan Hauge joined the S4TS team in February of 2010 as a Board Member and utilized his creativity and design knowledge to enhance the

communication projects throughout the organization. After a brief time away from the organization pursuing other ventures, he accepted a full-time position with Shoes 4 the Shoeless at the end of 2018. He currently manages fundraising, marketing, awareness, and organizational improvements. He is very active within the Kettering community with his wife and their three boys.

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MICHELLE BENNETT

Purchasing, Inventory, & Banking Director

Michelle is a Dayton native. She began as a volunteer for S4TS in 2013 and fell in love with our mission. Holding an accounting degree from Wright State,

her role has evolved to a staff position overseeing our inventory management and banking operations.

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STEPHEN HOPF

Board Member | Chair

Stephen Hopf has lived in the Dayton area all of his life. He is a graduate of The Wright State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Management

and Labor Relations. Stephen retired at the end of 2017 following a 43 year career in the group insurance and employee benefits industry. During his working career he served on several community foundation Boards and was very involved with a reading program for children at a local elementary school. Shortly after retirement Stephen began volunteering with Shoes 4 The Shoeless. In 2019 he began serving a term as an At Large Board Member and currently serves as Board Chair.

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BRYCE STUCKENSCHNEIDER

Board Member | President

Bryce Stuckenschneider is a 2009 graduate of the University of Dayton with a degree in Marketing.

Bryce focuses his efforts on Marketing, Communication, and Fundraising efforts for S4TS. Bryce is the CEO of Loftwall, a Texas-based furniture company. He currently lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with his wife Katie and their three kids.

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LARRY HEIMANN

Board Member | Treasurer

Larry Heimann is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. He graduated from the University of Dayton and held senior management positions with the Procter & Gamble Company

 in finance and accounting for over 30 years. Larry managed Corporate Accounting and Consolidations, Plant Accounting, Auditing and Financial Analysis for a number of Global Business Units for P&G, and continues to serve other clients as a consultant. He enjoys seeing the excitement of children when they receive properly fitting shoes. Larry served as the first Chairman of the Board through 2020, and established organizational policies and procedures. He is now serving as CFO and Treasurer, with an eye toward leveraging data to further strengthen contributions and find cost efficiencies. Larry and his wife Linda are proud of their three children who graduated from UD and are active in their communities.

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TRAVIS KINNISON

Board Member | Secretary

Travis Kinnison has been a Dayton metro resident majority of his life. He grew up north of town in Tipp City and currently lives in Xenia with his wife and four daughters. Travis is an

active church member at Xenia Nazarene and serves Shoes 4 the Shoeless through the use of his graphic art and marketing talents. Travis is employed as a Creative Manager at Aeroseal. He is currently is serving a term as an Board Secretary through 2023.

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ERIC MARIT

Board Member

Eric Marit has lived in the Dayton area for most of his life. Growing up as an Army brat, he has lived all over the country. Eric is a 2008 graduate of the University Of Dayton School Of Law.

 He has worked as an assistant prosecutor in Preble County since 2008. He also owns and operates a small property investment company, through which he has “flipped” houses since 2003. Eric has a long history of volunteering in his community. community. Eric is currently is serving a term as an At-Large Board Member through 2022 and also acts as an alternate Board Secretary if necessary. He is passionate about children’s charities and believes that “shoes” fills a longstanding, and often ignored, void. Eric lives in Eaton, Ohio with his family.

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BRIAN CULPEPPER

Board Member

Brian Culpepper graduated from Wright State University in 1995 after earning a double Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems and Business Management. Brian continued at

 Wright State to complete his MBA in 2005. He is currently President of James Investment Research, Inc., where he serves on the Investment Committee and oversees the firm’s management. Brian became involved with S4TS after his wife Kristie raved about how this organization is changing lives. Brian is currently serving a term as an At-Large Board Member through 2024. He aids Shoes in overseeing our short & long-term investments; Brian and Kristie live in Beavercreek with their two boys, Addison and Tucker, and daughter Annie Kate. Both are active members of First Baptist Church of Kettering, Ohio.

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MELISSA SUDDITH

Board Member

Melissa Suddith grew up in Lebanon Ohio and is a graduate of Louisiana State University where she earned her degree in Environmental Engineering

 and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force. After serving in the Air Force she returned to Dayton Ohio with her husband Bryan to raise their two sons Caleb and Andrew. She now works as a Contract Center Supervisor at Reynolds and Reynolds. She previously volunteered with the Miami Valley Women’s Center and has worked as a short term missionary in Rwanda. Melissa and Bryan are members at Fairhaven Church in Centerville.

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LAMONTE HALL

Board Member

Lamonte Hall, Jr., is born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. He holds a BA in Communications from Central State University, and a MBA from Western

Governor’s University. Lamonte works for the City of Dayton where he currently serves as Assistant to the City Manager. In prior roles with the City of Dayton he served as a Recreation Facility Specialist, Program Coordinator, and Division Manager of the Dayton Convention Center. Lamonte is the co-founder of The Unit, a community service based group that has provided free workouts to the community 2-3 times per week since 2009. Lamonte is excited to join the ST4S team, and looks forward to helping further the mission and vision of this amazing organization.

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Dr. BRIE NELSON

Board Member

Dr. Brie Nelson has an EdD in Instructional Distance Technology Education and Curriculum Development. Dr. Nelson, a

life-long learner, spent the first two years of her education career teaching Middle School science in an urban school district in Missouri. She then taught overseas in an international school located in Lisbon, Portugal. Upon returning to the states, Dr. Brie Nelson started working with charter schools and designing virtual courses for higher education institutions. She has had a fulfilling career teaching in K-12, higher education and consulting. She has written, designed and developed numerous courses, programs as well as community and organizational offerings. Dr. Nelson and her family currently reside in Southern, OH on military assignment. They have three beautiful young children and a menagerie of fur-children.

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Awards

  • 2021 - Eastway Valued Community Partner
  • 2021 - Kettering City Schools Valued Community Partner
  • 2021 - Best Dayton "Clothing" Non-Profit
  • 2021 - Centerville Noon Optimists - Community Champion
  • 2019 - City of Springfield Proclamation - New Shoes Day
  • 2016 - Better Business Bureau Eclipse Integrity Award Winner
  • 2014 - Fox 45/ABC 22 Pay it Forward Award
  • 2014- Dayton School Board Award
  • 2014 – Community Health Promotion Award. Boonshoft School of Medicine. Wright State University.
  • 2014 - Bright Ideas Ohio - Excellent Social Service Organization
  • 2013 – Ohio State Senate Recognition
  • 2013 – Recognition from the Ohio Governor’s office as one of the best faith and community based organizations in the state of Ohio.
  • 2012 – Mad River School Board Award
  • 2011 – Northridge School Board Award
  • 2010 – Pepsi Refresh Project Winner