Stepping Out, Inc. has always had a strong leadership team starting with its founder, the late Patrice Puglise.
Recently, Stepping Out enhanced its team by naming Laura Moore as executive director. Lori Jarnigan will continue as assistant director and Steve Amos remains chairman of the Board of Directors.
“I’m deeply honored to be a part of the team here at Stepping Out,” Moore said. “As I have transitioned into this role, I have had the honor to get to know so many people who make our work at Stepping Out possible.”
Moore said that she feels that the Lord led her and her husband, Chris, to the Lakeway Area a year and a half ago from Logan, West Virginia.
“I was a director of a nonprofit organization crisis resource center called One Voice in West Virginia,” Moore said.
They had spent their entire lives in the Logan area until Chris’ job loss in the coal industry.
“After much prayer, we felt the Lord was shifting us and calling us to relocate to Morristown,” she said. “As difficult as it was to leave our home, families and our ministry, we were obedient to the call.”
Moore uses Proverbs 3:5-6 as a guide: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”
She said that sudden calls are an extraordinary occurrence of divine intervention to do something that may appear out of ordinary, such as moving family in the middle of a pandemic.
“Sometimes we just know God is moving us rather abruptly into a new season,” Moore said. “We felt confident that God had a purpose. We know where God guides, He provides. My experience as a director has given me great appreciation for how nonprofits seek to improve the quality of life in our community.”
Moore seeks to grow Stepping Out’s profile in the Lakeway Area.
“We want to definitely be a resource to other organizations into the participants and their families,” Moore said. “Patrice has built such a strong foundation here. That’s just making it stronger and available to more individuals, and, and just growing, what we already have great programs.”
Lori Jarnigan, who will continue as assistant director, sought a balance between her duties and family.
“Patrice was a very amazing lady and she was able to fit in the meeting hours, and to into Stepping Out and she did 70-80 hours a week,” Jarnigan said. “With my family at home I couldn’t give them 100% and Stepping Out 100%. I realized that I needed help in that, and Laura came through our door, and I’ve been praying for about a year asking the Lord to send somebody to help that will keep the foundation strong and what Patrice started, keep the Lord in the center of it and be able to make Stepping Out stronger.”
Stepping Out Chairman of the Board Steve Amos sees Moore’s arrival as an enhancement of the Stepping Out team’s mission.
“With the loss of Patrice it has required adjustments for the agency, Lori had worked with Patrice a lot, and she kind of came into the role new to everything and she’s grown so much,” Amos said. “With Lori’s family commitments, she really needed some help. So we talked about that along the way. And when Laura came, we just needed it. It was right.”
Amos said that Moore and Jarnigan complement each other in leadership. They’re stronger together.
“We were able to take the responsibilities and split them so that both of them have the opportunity to be effective, and to promote Stepping Out, but then at the same time, it allows them to have that healthy home life balance with work, so they’re able to continue the mission, but at the same times have their personal lives and be able to commit fully to both, both activities so I think it’s been an it’s been a great fit,” Amos said.
Chris and Laura Moore have been married 11 years, and they have four children. They enjoy taking adventures, traveling, boating on the lake and spending time on their farm with the animals. They are the outreach leaders at their church and Laura helps with children’s ministries.
“I am passionate about giving resources to achieve goals, sharing the love and hope of Jesus and through his word bring restoration,” Laura said. “I want to thank the community for their continued support and for being part of the change within our community. Your generous giving helps others gain the skills and confidence they need to become successful, empowers them to be better parents, contributes to stronger families and creates a more dedicated workforce and community engagements.”