Board Members

Krista Lorenz, Director, Co-Founder

Krista is blessed to be the mother of five young children, both from birth and from foster care adoption, who keep her very busy.  Krista has a strong passion to impact her own children, as well as, children in foster care in a positive way, to raise awareness about foster care/adoption, and to connect people of all ages through volunteerism to support others in a meaningful way. She and her husband, Howard, have seen the need first hand, as foster parents and now adoptive parents, for the community to come together to empower, encourage and enrich the lives of youth in foster care.  Krista and Howard’s children were active in the development of Warm Welcomes Foster Care Outreach in the spring of 2013, and continue to be hands-on helpers in every way.   Krista is also an occupational therapist working with preschoolers with disabilities and adults with various medical conditions to help them maximize their abilities and quality of life.  She also leads foster parent training regarding the sensory integration needs of children in foster care. She is a graduate of Xavier University where she was a Service Fellow.   It was during her time as a Service Fellow when she further developed her love for volunteerism and her desire to lead others in purposeful service.  She is confident that all people have talents and skills that can and should be shared.   Her children and husband are her motivation and faith is her guide.  Email her at

Howard Lorenz, Organizational Development, Co-Founder

Howard is a program manager for the United States Air Force and has been with them since September of 2009. He manages teams with members at Department of Defense sites across the United States. He enjoys building relationships with his teammates while directing them toward accomplishing its missions for the Air Force. In addition to his program manager experience, he has over 8 years of experience in sales and customer service. Howard has been married to his wife Krista since 2000. They have 5 children together and are active members of their church. In 2003, after their first child was born, they saw a notice in the church bulletin about international adoption and decided that they wanted to adopt a child. After years of waiting, planning, and having two other children, they became foster parents in 2009. In 2012 they became the adoptive parents of 2 wonderful girls through the foster care system. Although he felt his foster parenting days may be over, he wanted to continue to help children in foster care. When his wife, Krista, and his daughter, Leah, came up with the idea of Warm Welcomes Foster Care Outreach, he jumped at the opportunity to help.  Email him at

Carrie Baird, Treasurer

Carrie says, “Being a mom is the best job I've ever had and I’m blessed to have 2 daughters call me mom.” She always thought she would be a doctor or a teacher; but instead ended up as an accountant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where she has held a variety of positions in Accounting/Management over the past 11 years. She currently works part time as a Senior Financial Analyst so that she can be more involved in her daughters’ activities. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Accountancy from the University of Dayton and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She also teaches healthcare finance and management classes at a local University of Phoenix campus. She finds it important to invest in youth and volunteers as a math tutor at an inner city school, helps coach her daughters’ athletic teams, volunteers in her children’s classrooms at school, and serves, with her husband, as a small group leader for Kindergartners/1st graders at her church on Sunday mornings. A mission trip to Haiti in 2013 has made a distant thought of someday helping children who need homes, become a burning passion for Carrie to be more involved in helping children who are left without families. She is excited to see the plans that God has in store for her family regarding adoption/foster care.  Email her at

Allison Thorsen, Secretary

Allison graduated from Xavier University in 1998 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Chemistry. She also received a Masters in Business Administration in 2001 from Xavier. Allison worked as a Principal Researcher for the Procter and Gamble Company. Currently, Allison is at home with her three children ages, 7, 4 and 1. She acts as the 2nd on the preschool school board her 4 year old attends. She has also served as President and Fundraising Committee Chair for the preschool. Allison is honored to be a part of Warm Welcomes and is looking forward to helping make a difference in the lives of foster children.  Email her at

Karen Gardner, Board Member

Karen is blessed to be the mother of two children who are the center of her world. She values family and spending time with her children. Karen has a strong passion to impact the lives of children both as a mother and a teacher. Karen is a junior high English teacher with over 20 years of experience. As an educator, she has served as the head of her department for several years as well as on the Steering Committee for the Accreditation Process for the State of Ohio. Currently, Karen serves as a mentor teacher for new teachers seeking their license through the Ohio Department of Education. Karen has truly enjoyed working with children most of her life. Through her work with young people she has coordinated many fund raisers and service hours to help those less fortunate. Some of the groups Karen has worked with are Matthew 25, the Emergency Cold Shelter of Northern Kentucky, Pro Kids, Lighthouse Youth Services, the Madonna House, the Mary Magdalene House, St. Vincent DePaul, the Walnut Hills Soup Kitchen, the NEEDS Food Pantry, the Freestore Foodbank, Bethany House, Elizabeth New Life Center, and Hamilton County Jackson Adult Center. In addition, Karen has organized numerous drives to send care packages overseas to US soldiers. Karen is excited to be able to impact the lives of those children in foster care that Warm Welcomes Foster Care Outreach serves.  Email her at

Jean Nguyen, Board Member

Jean is a graduate of University of Cincinnati with dual bachelors in Elementary Education and History. She taught for six years and currently stays at home with her four children. She is active within her church teaching religious education classes and parish activities. She stays busy caring for children during the day and watching her children’s many sporting events and interests grow. She loves that she can help families as they grow with foster children through Warm Welcomes Foster Care Outreach.  Email her at

Ann Marie Whyle, Board Member

Ann joined the Warm Welcomes board in 2015 after volunteering with the organization for the past year and a half.   Ann is the mother of three children (2 adopted and 1 biological); the oldest of which was in foster care for a short time as an infant. Ann graduated from the College of Mount Saint Joseph with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and from Xavier University with a masters in Education Administration.  As an elementary school teacher for the last 14 years, she has seen what children can accomplish when they feel encouraged and empowered.  She looks forward to working more closely with the many families and agencies that Warm Welcomes serves

Note all board members are volunteers, receive no compensation, and generally devote a minimum of 5 hours each month to Warm Welcomes Foster Care Outreach’s mission.