Meet the leadership team
President and Co-founder
"At CFCA we know families living in poverty can sometimes feel forgotten by the rest of the world. By walking with them, we are saying, 'You are not alone.' We are listening to you and learning from you." - Bob Hentzen
Bob Hentzen’s vision and leadership have guided CFCA from its founding in 1981. His roots in international work date back to his service as a Christian Brother in Colombia, South America, from 1959 to 1963, and later in Guatemala from 1967 to 1973. After serving as a Christian Brother, Bob taught in the United States at the high school and university levels.
A desire to return to his roots in international work and walk more closely with families in poverty led him to found CFCA with former Jesuit priest Jerry Tolle and three Hentzen siblings: Bud, Jim and Nadine Hentzen Pearce.
Bob holds a bachelor’s degree in religious education and a master’s degree in education, both from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. The institution recognized Hentzen with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001, and awarded him an honorary doctorate for leadership and service the following year.
Bob lives with his wife, Cristina, in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, where he oversees CFCA's international operation. He travels extensively to visit CFCA projects around the world and accompany sponsors on CFCA awareness trips. He has six children and 11 grandchildren.
Francis 'Paco' Wertin
Paco Wertin joined CFCA in 1991 after 14 years of service and leadership as a missionary priest. His years at CFCA have taken him from directing the work of a shelter for homeless men to directing the work of our Sponsor Services team.
Since 2002, Paco has served as CEO and is fully accountable to CFCA's governing board. He is responsible for the implementation of board policies in a prudent and ethical manner, including coordinating the implementation of international policy and strategy with the president.
Paco has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s in theology. He and his wife, Claudia, have a daughter and live in the Kansas City area.
"All over the world families living in poverty struggle heroically against tremendous odds. It is a privilege and joy to be involved in CFCA's work to walk with them in love and humility, as this community of compassion emerges and takes shape."
- Paco Wertin
Director of Global Strategy
In 1997, Paul Pearce took a sabbatical leave from his career with a major international health care technology corporation and volunteered for CFCA in Guatemala. He was so inspired by the families he worked with that, after his year of service, he joined the CFCA staff — bringing leadership qualities and management experience cultivated in the business world to help families living in poverty have more choices in their lives.
As director of global strategy, Paul is responsible for monitoring, supporting and supervising CFCA’s international efforts — ensuring that international strategy is consistent with CFCA core values and policies. Grounded in awareness through visits with families, overseas staff members and sponsors, Paul contributes to CFCA’s domestic strategies — ensuring that domestic and international strategies relate to each other in a consistent and sustainable way. He also assists in the analysis and development of CFCA’s governance system, and connects organizational strategies to CFCA’s core values, stated mission and purpose.
Paul has an MBA from Rockhurst University. He and his wife, Kris, live in the Kansas City area.
"I love CFCA for really believing in the families. I find it an honor and privilege to work alongside CFCA sponsored members, their parents and the international staff. They continue to be the inspiration and at the center of CFCA international decision-making processes."
- Paul Pearce
Director of International Programs
As the director of international programs, Dan Pearson leads the international programs department in its role to monitor the effectiveness and fiscal credibility of CFCA programs overseas. He and the other department members travel extensively to support and evaluate CFCA projects around the world.
Dan has a passion for program evaluation and working with stakeholders to identify goals and measure the impact of the program. He has more than 10 years of experience working with development programs around the world, and has lived and worked in South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Dan has a master’s degree in international affairs from the University of Denver and a master’s in public administration from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He lives in the Kansas City area with his wife, Kristina, and their three children.
“The best part of my job is visiting sponsored friends and their families in their homes. Each family teaches me something new. They remind me that each person’s life is rich, unique and important.”
- Dan Pearson
Director of Sponsor Experience
Raelene Dietz's background as a company president and owner of a chain of retail stores gives her a combination of business and people skills. She joined CFCA in 2004 and has held a variety of positions, all related to enhancing the experience sponsors and staff members enjoy with CFCA.
As the director of sponsor experience, Raelene guides teams that focus on providing sponsors with a personal, informed and enjoyable experience. The teams she leads give sponsors ongoing support, and they facilitate communication between sponsors and their sponsored friends throughout the relationship.
Raelene and her husband, Gayle, live in the Kansas City area. They have two daughters and three granddaughters.
"Witnessing the beautiful generosity of sponsors and their impact on the children and aging is a blessing! I'm thankful for the opportunity to be part of this movement."
- Raelene Dietz
Director of Finance
Martin Kraus is a certified public accountant with more than 25 years of experience in the areas of nonprofit and corporate finance as well as public accounting.
As director of finance, Martin provides financial and strategic leadership to CFCA. He is responsible for the areas of income processing, accounting, analysis and reporting, internal controls, financial planning, treasury and long-term gift planning. Martin leads a dedicated finance team that ensures the transparency, accuracy, timeliness and openness of CFCA financial information.
Martin is a graduate of Rockhurst University and a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Missouri Society of CPAs. He and his wife, Mary, have three sons and reside in the Kansas City area.
"Families living in poverty have many, many things in common with my own family. We all just need a little help to realize our potential."
- Martin Kraus
Elaine 'Laney' Haake
Director of U.S. Outreach
With a background in business and management, Laney Haake joined CFCA in 1995. Having served in a variety of roles at CFCA, Laney has developed a breadth of knowledge and experience that serves her well as director of U.S. outreach.
Laney oversees CFCA's efforts to invite people to sponsor through CFCA's Hope for a Family program and donate to one of the many programs designed to help families realize their dreams of a better life. In addition, her teams lead CFCA's online strategies, develop community partnerships, shepherd media relations, and tell CFCA’s story through traditional and new media.
Laney holds an MBA from Rockhurst University. She lives in Kansas City with her husband, David.
" I am inspired on a daily basis by the lives of the families we meet and the dedication and hard work of the staff in our Kansas City office and around the world."
- Laney Haake
Community Outreach and Media Relations Director
Elizabeth Alex brings a passion for storytelling to her role as community outreach and media relations director. An award-winning television journalist, Elizabeth joined CFCA in 2012.
For 17 years, she worked as an anchor and reporter covering news in Kansas City. She also traveled to places such as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Israel and Gaza to report on how world events impacted life in Kansas City and the work of international aid organizations based there. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has remained committed to telling stories that help make the world a better place. She earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Arkansas.
Elizabeth and her husband, Alexandru, and daughter live in the Kansas City area.
“I love telling stories. I am delighted to be telling stories about the life-changing work CFCA is doing around the world.”
- Elizabeth Alex