Our Team

  • Ryan & Tara Elie - Lead Pastor

    Before starting Riverway in 2011, Ryan and Tara spent their lives pastoring teenagers for nearly 12 years! Can you believe they survived?! Ryan and Tara met in college, were married in 2004 and have four kids that keep their life moving at a face pace. They love to watch their kids play sports, have an unusual obsession with the MN State Fair, and love the people of Riverway! Tara is also a marriage & family therapist and loves to help families and couples thrive in relationships.

  • Jeremiah & Betsy Stark - Executive Pastor

    Jeremiah & Betsy have known each other since their teenage years. They were married in 2008 and we all know that Jeremiah married way, way, up. A couple years and a few kids later (Caleb, Jackson, & Ruby), they are loving life being involved in the local community and Riverway Church. Betsy loves being with her family and baking delicious goodies. Jeremiah is a sports nut and plays the bass guitar pretty decent too. Jeremiah studied ministry at North Central University.

  • Levi & Jess Kinney - riverway Youth pastor

    From an early age, Levi had a passion for reaching people for Jesus. That led him to pursue ministry straight out of high school. Levi (from the Twin Cities) and Jess (from Dallas, Texas) met while serving inner city youth in Los Angeles in 2012. They were in L.A. for several years before accepting a youth pastor position in Minnesota in 2017. That eventually led them to Riverway! Levi & Jess are dedicated to helping this next generation build authentic faith in Jesus. The Kinneys love their growing family, and spend their free time watching movies, having adventures outdoors, and debating about whether their boys Judah & Hudson will be Vikings or Cowboys fans!

  • Doyne Parsons - Team Pastor: Mid-Lifers & Above

    Doyne joined the Navy in December 1974 and retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer in 1995. After a 20 year career with the military, he went to work for Minnesota Teen Challenge where he served as the Associate Executive Director in charge of all ministry operations.  When not at work, Doyne spends his time in ministry or hanging out and cooking for his four daughters, two son-in-laws, and seven grandchildren. He is a licensed minister who loves to share those expeiences with others and help them discover the faithfulness of God in their own spiritual journey.

  • Don & Beth Adair - Staff Care & Guidance

    Don & Beth have known each other since they were kids. They grew up at the same church, got married & have three amazing kids ~ Amanda, Weston & Logan.  Don works as an electrician, but come Sunday he is one of our audio & tech "whisperers". Beth works by day as a Special Ed Para & by night as a server at a local restaurant in Rogers, where they have made their home for 11 years. Beth is also in charge of Team Yummy at Riverway, which is fitting since donuts & coffee are two of her most favorite things!

  • Jon Canfield - creative & Online Director

    Jon grew up always surrounded by church life. He moved to the Twin Cities in 2006 to study Music at North Central University. In 2011, he became connected with Riverway and started serving on the music team. Jon helps with creative and technical oversight on our team, and directs video production at Riverway. Jon and his wife Kelsey both love traveling, learning about other cultures, trying new foods, watching good movies, and spending time outdoors.

  • Scott & Dani Draheim - Next Steps Coordinators

    Scott and Dani were set up by a mutual friend. Although it took a little nudging (and some very competitive Mario Kart), Scott finally worked up the bravery to ask for Dani’s phone number, and it all goes up from there!  They enjoy an embarrassing number of movies and shows, traveling, joking around, being parents to two beautiful girls...and of course, serving with Riverway!

  • Joelle & Scott Dwyer - Operations Coordinator

    Joelle and Scott got married in 2013 and started attending Riverway right away. They quickly realized this church was their home and have developed community and deep friendships over the years. The Dwyers live in Andover with their kids, Ellanor, Finley, and Rhett. In their free time, they enjoy camping (or any outdoor activity) photography, traveling, and spending time with their amazing family and friends. 

  • Alyssa ross - administrator

    Alyssa has attended Riverway from the very beginning when she was just a junior in high school. During college, she would invite friends home on Sundays for church and home-cooked meals. After her time at Bethel, she started dating Ryan (who she met in high school at Champlin Park) - they got married in 2019 and have two kids, Lucy & Miles. The Ross’ love all things sports & family and they stay busy by chasing around their active toddler!

  • Bruce & Patty Franz - Staff Care & Guidance

    Bruce and Patty have been a part of Riverway since the very beginning and bring an awesome spirit of adventure and faith! They have been married a long time (we can just leave it at that) and have 3 wonderful grown kids. By day, they run a successful printing business and by night they are spending time with their grandkids, hanging at the cabin, hosting parties, or taking motorcycle trips. Their life is 'pedal to the metal'! They believe in the local church & that we can make a difference in our community!

  • Ryan & Allie Palmer - sTarting Point Coordinators

    Ryan and Alisa met on a mission trip to Zimbabwe as teens. They decided early on to live for Jesus and be in relationship with each other. They’ve faced many trials; controlling parents, chronically ill children, military separation, marriage struggles, financial insecurity, relational pain and being hurt by the church. Because of their own share of struggles, have a desire to see people grow in Jesus in the middle of life’s messiness. They have 2 awesome kids and in their free time enjoy swing dancing, kayaking and good blues.

  • Mark & Ashley therrien - Guest services

    Mark and Ashley met during their sophomore year at Bethel University. Mark played baseball, Ashley played softball - it was meant to be! The Therriens live in Blaine with their 3 kids and golden retriever Radke. In their spare time, they enjoy playing sports, hanging with their nieces and nephews, and ordering Applebee's Honey BBQ Boneless Wings. Mark and Ashley came to Riverway in 2011 and have enjoyed the deep friendships that they’ve formed over the years.

  • mandy woods - Riverway kids director

    Mandy grew up in a pastor's home and started working with the children's church as soon as she could. She studied Children's Ministry at North Central University and then went on to work as a Children's Pastor in Michigan.  Mandy met her husband Cale in college, and they've been married since 2005.  They've got four daughters (Madee, Aly, Brie, & Brinley) who keep their house very busy and very loud! Mandy fills her days with driving girls to sports and activities while enjoying the journey and the little moments along the way.

  • michelle griffith - riverway kids admin

    Michelle came to know Jesus at age 9 through the dedicated ministry of her Sunday School teacher. Michelle is a semi-retired hospital Chaplain and pulpit-fill specialist. She also has several years of experience coordinating volunteers, both at senior citizen centers and at church. Michelle and her husband Rick have two sons, Matt (Jenna) and Tim (Betsy) and two grandchildren, Sadie and Theo. When not working, or playing with her grandkids, Michelle enjoys watercolor painting, long walks, theater, and writing fiction.

  • Faith kappel - riverway kids upstream coordinator

    Faith grew up in the church and volunteered in children's ministry as a teen into adulthood. She and her husband David both attended North Central University; they got married in 2007. After college, she went on to work with preschool and elementary-age students in both private childcare and public school settings. She now stays home to care for her three children, Harrison, Amelia, and Grant. Faith is excited to be a part of Riverway's Children's Ministry and to help teach the next generation to know and love Jesus. 

  • valerie blanco - riverway kids

    Valerie has attended Riverway since 2013. She loves helping Riverway Kids to grow in their faith and tuck biblical truths in their minds and hearts! Valerie enjoys learning with her daughters through homeschool, sharing her inner ninja while teaching taekwondo, and every single moment she spends with her husband Mark and their two amazing girls! 

  • Russell & jill westbrook - Riverway global

    The Westbrooks met at Montana Wilderness Bible College. Jill was there to deepen her walk with God and Russell was there to find a wife! They quickly decided they would spend the rest of their lives together! Jill is a travel nurse and Russell is a maintenance tech. Together they run Border Crossers for Christ, a non-profit that ministers to people in Honduras who are physically and spiritually in need. They have 2 adult children and 3 awesome grandkids. Jill loves scrapbooking, Russell loves motorcycling and they both LOVE coffee. Although they have been involved in various areas of ministry, missions is their passion!