Meet Our Team
LAYLA FREEMAN - FOUNDER/C.E.O.
Layla Freeman is a wife, mother, friend, and encourager to all. She is a passionate disciple of Jesus Christ. Layla is the C.E.O. and Founder of the Non-Profit outreach ministry called “Light of Hope”. www.lightofhopeinc.org. This is an outreach to help individuals and families who are struggling with addiction and life difficulties.
On Christmas Eve 2013, Layla lost her oldest daughter Ashley. Ashley was only 23 years old. There is no greater pain than child loss. Layla attributes her ability to face each day, to the overwhelming love of Jesus, who carries her through. This very difficult journey has given Layla the desire to help those who are facing difficult times and to help people see the hope. Her love for helping others is the passion behind Light of Hope. Light of Hope non-profit ministry has a vast variety of services that encourage, educate, empower and bring change and hope to the lives of those who need restoration and new life.
Layla was awarded the Non-Profit “Leading Lady” award of Rogers County in 2018. She was also voted #1 community volunteer “Best of Claremore” in both 2019 & 2020.
On June 9, 2020, Layla Freeman was Inducted into the Prestigious Marquis Who’s Who Biographical National Registry, as well as recognized as an "Amazing Oklahoman" on October 2020.
Additionally, her non-profit Light of Hope was awarded the "Non-Profit of the Year" in both 2019 & 2020 and is also the winner of the International 2020 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Community Drug Prevention Award.
Layla is also an author. Her first book publication, HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE, offers hope in the midst of dark times. Layla is also the author of the encouragement blog “Layla’s Light,” found on Facebook or on her website, www.laylafreeman.com. She has been actively writing since 2001. Layla’s personal experience in the extreme difficulties of life gives her a deep understanding of brokenness. Therefore, Layla’s writing and passion behind her desire to help others is empowered by the truth of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness, and the hope we find in God’s promises.
Layla is also a Business Owner/Vice President of Asset Industrial, Inc. She and her husband, Randall, work together providing services necessary for the oil refinery industry.
She is also a respected Executive Committee Board Member, serving on the State Northeast Oklahoma Workforce Development Board.
Layla is a public speaker and enjoys the opportunity to speak and present to groups, schools, churches, organizations, conferences, etc. She has a passion to bring awareness, education, and hope to our society. She believes that working together, and collaboration with others is the key to healthy families and stronger communities.
In addition, Layla is a Stephen Minister, Congregational Care Minister, Lay Servant/Speaker, and a volunteer for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. (Layla has two daughters who face Type 1 Diabetes daily).
NANCY PHELPS - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Nancy Phelps’ life mission is to serve others.
As a former Educator, Executive Director, Director of Development, and Marketing/Development Professional, Nancy has been an integral component of several non-profit organizations by securing millions of dollars of support through monetary and in-kind donations.
Nancy is highly regarded in the State of Oklahoma as a member of numerous organizations, groups, and charitable service providers. She has and continues to serve in the capacity of Executive Director, as well as Director of Development in non-profit management. Her career has afforded her the opportunity to serve on several non-profit Board of Directors for a wide variety of organizations.
Nancy and her husband, Ron, have been married since 1981. They are blessed to have two gorgeous daughters and a successful son-in-law. Their two grandchildren are the light of their lives. Her faith, family, and friends, as well as, those she is honored to serve alongside are incredibly special to her and a gift from God.
CATHY CRAWFORD - L.E.A.D. SCHOOL DRUG EDUCATION COORDINATOR
After graduating from Jenks High School, Cathy attended OU and ORU where she received a BA in Music Ed with extra hours from NWOSU in Elementary Ed. She married a pastor, Ray, and has two children, Ross and Kelly Jo. When the children started school, Cathy started teaching music in elementary school. She taught for 24 years before retiring early to help with grandchildren.
Cathy has loved her time teaching the Light of Hope Drug Education classes while helping get the program off the ground. She sees how it is making a difference and is excited to help the program continue to grow throughout the state of Oklahoma as Light of Hope’s Education Coordinator.
STEVEN ANDERSON - FOOD PANTRY SUPERVISOR
Steven Anderson is, above all else, a man of God, a small business owner, and a father.
Before having a son or starting his own business, Steven was a special effects artist on films like Shrek, Open Season, Toy Story and Sin City. After founding Anderson Studios in 2013, Steven came to learn about Light of Hope while he was seeking a charity to offer pro-bono videography work. He says that God put Light of Hope in his path.
Assistance with media promotion turned into assistance in a myriad of other ways, including graphic design, event promotion, and fundraising assistance. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when food insecurity hit a nearly record high, Steven devoted even more time to supporting Light of Hope's food ministry. Now Steven works to organize donations to the pantry, LOH partnerships with food service providers, volunteer organization, and confidential client interaction at the food pantry.
KIMBERLEE FRANCIS - ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIALIST
Kimberlee has been a teacher for 18 years in both the public and private sector. She always felt God had placed a calling on her life to teach. During the pandemic she helped Light of Hope distribute Farmers to Family food boxes to area churches and organizations. It was at this time God began to call her to not just volunteer with Light of Hope but to work for Light of Hope. In July 2020, Kimberlee came on staff as an Administrative Specialist. Her love of teaching and helping others has continued through teaching Drug Education classes for Light of Hope as well as helping with the food pantry.
Kimberlee has been married to Brad Francis for 16 years and they have two children. Brady is 14 and Kason is 10. They also have two dogs Buddy and Dottie. The Francis family attends Oologah Baptist Church and enjoy watching their boys play football and basketball.
Kimberlee said, "I am so thankful to be a part of this amazing organization. This is a great way for my family to serve others and the Lord together. Light of Hope has been such a blessing to our family."