The Reverend Kathleen (Kathy) Dain arrived at ministry through her involvement in local and international missions. She is a 2011 graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and a member of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay. Prior to entering ministry, Kathy worked in sales and television production. She has served congregations in western Michigan and as an interim pastor in Sarasota, Port Charlotte, and Tarpon Springs Florida.
In addition to her work at Beth-El, Kathy serves on the Board of Trustees for the Presbytery of Tampa Bay, and the Community Foundation’s CEO Leadership Program. Her call to ministry was featured in a 2013 article in the Wall Street Journal.
Kathy says of her opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of Beth-El Farmworker Ministry as the perfect call. “Here I am able to utilize my previous experiences alongside my passion for missions. Working at Beth-El is not only an answer to prayer, but a dream come true.” In her private time, Kathy enjoys walking her mini schnauzer, “Dolly”. She is also an avid photographer, golfer, and private pilot.
Operations Manager Javier Izaguirre was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. The Izaguirre family, Dad, Mom, and six siblings, moved to Florida when Javier was 14 years old. Javier was a farm worker and migrated back and forth, following the crops, to Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, and back to Florida until he was 20 years old, though he was able to continue schooling and graduated from Plant City High School in Tampa. This is when Javier stopped migrating, but continued to work as a farm worker until he was 23, when he married. Now, Javier has been married for 30 years and is the father of 4 boys, ages 28, 24, 18, and 15.
Education is important to Javier where he has obtained an Associate’s Degree in Human Services from Hillsborough Community College and he is currently pursuing a BS in Leadership at USF.
Javier has been with Beth-El for 20 years and is in charge of the daily operations of the Mission.
Reverend Tamara Leonard-Lara
Pastor Tamara was born in Saginaw, Michigan. As a member of Beaverton First Presbyterian Church, she sang in the choir and participated in youth activities. She attended Alma College, having received a Religious Leadership Scholarship. She was a member of the Alma Chapel committee, graduating in 1996 with a BA in Elementary Education and a special emphasis on Spanish. In 1996, she spent a year as a Young Adult Volunteer through the PC (USA) in Uruguay, serving in a home for abandoned and abused children where she received her call to ministry.
Tamara attended McCormick Theological Seminary (MTS), earning a Schmidt Scholarship for her service to the Church with the Latino community. She took an internship at Carter- Westminster an Assyrian and American Presbyterian congregation, participated in a Borderlinks study program, and spent a year as a missionary in the state of Tabasco with the Mexican National Presbyterian Church. After earning her MDIV in 2002, she was a Lilly Pastoral Resident at Fourth Presbyterian Church in downtown Chicago and was ordained as a minister of word and sacrament. She served as Associate Pastor of Darnestown Presbyterian Church for 12 years. Tamara is married to Fidel Lara, a Hospice Chaplain. They are the parents of Gabriel, 9 and Olexa, 4. Tamara enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and travel to explore new places.
Rosalva began working at Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc. in January 2008 and feels blessed to be a part of this ministry! Rosalva loves seeing the faces of the families we assist weekly through our food pantry. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking Mexican food, music, and going to the beach.
Sheila is the operation assistant here at Beth-El Mission. She has been on the job since 2016 but has been involved very closely with Beth-El since 2014. Sheila was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She moved to the US in 2012, and migrated from New Jersey to Florida in 2014. Immediately upon her arrival to Florida she learned about Beth-El, Sheila says, “I’m very proud to be part of this wonderful Ministry.”
Nuri Navarro, Community Relations Liaison
Nuri Navarro came to Beth-El Ministry after her year of Service with AmeriCorps where she was actively involved with local organizations in Wimauma. She graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin May, 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications. Nuri is native to Chicago where she lived her whole life. Growing up with a single mother, who always emphasized education, and 2 siblings was eye opening to challenges we face in our daily world. She is inspired to serve others and provide the needs to help them achieve their goals, whether it be a career or bringing food to their families.
In her spare time she involves herself in activities that leave her empowered to always be an extraordinary human being and achieve her goals. She actively works to grow as a person and on her relationships with others. She loves going to the beach, rollerblading, and spending time with her loved ones.