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About Us

Seeking Stillness Ministries is a unique non-profit organization that seeks to support the Christian spiritual growth of women.  Spiritual practices like prayer, journaling, deep Bible reading are used by Seeking Stillness retreat directors, in a variety of retreat and devotional settings, to help women develop their relationship with God.

Seeking Stillness is a virtual community of women who support each other in seeking God. Sponsored retreats and devotionals are times to quiet prayer and reflection during which God is present in powerful ways.  These times away with God help build the spiritual “muscle” and hunger to spend more time with God day-to-day.

What We Believe

  • The Bible is God’s true and inspired Word to us.

  • Jesus Christ is the only Lord and Savior, redeemer of our brokenness and of our broken world.

  • The Holy Spirit is the teacher and guide Christ left with us when He ascended into heaven.

  • God showered His grace upon us by sacrificing His Son Jesus and creating a way for us to live eternally with Him.

  • Salvation is given to all those who profess faith in God and is never revoked.  We are all sinners and by God’s grace we are saved.

  • Prayer is the tool God has given us so that we can have a personal relationship with Him.

  •  Our relationship and time with the Lord enlivens and strengthens us to do the work He has planned for us to do.

Our Team: Board Members

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Cindy Rios – President

Cynthia Rios is the Executive Director of The Haven Home which provides emergency shelter for women with children.  Cynthia is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace College with a degree in Business Management.  She also holds a certificate in Project Management from Kent State University.  Cynthia is a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church and attends with her husband, Tony.  

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Leslie Gicei – Treasurer

Leslie is a member of Bethel Lutheran Church in Bath.  She served on its church council and leads its education ministry.  She also served on and chaired a number of not-for-profit boards including Building Hope in the City and Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries (and its Support to At-Risk Teens pillar).  Leslie is the President of ABL Products, Inc., and she has over 33 years of experience as a lawyer. With her business and legal backgrounds, she consults with other companies to help them improve their bottom lines.                               

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Corrie Purdum – Secretary

Corrie Purdum is the Executive Administrator for Social Enterprise (HopeWorks) with Building Hope in the City.  She earned a degree in Theater from Baldwin Wallace University and spent 20 years in the theater industry, working as a Stage Manager and Assistant Production Manager, before joining Building Hope.  Corrie has a heart for Jesus and has enjoyed time spent on church worship teams and as administrative support. 

Latoya Ellington – Member

Latoya faithfully serves the Lord, and has been a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church (EBC) in Cleveland for 28 years. At EBC, Latoya serves on several ministries that include audio/visual, community outreach, community garden, and women’s ministries. She is an Operations Supervisor at a Cleveland investment firm with 29 years of experience in the financial industry. Latoya has a Bachelor’s degree in Business, and Associate degrees in Accounting and Arts. She lives in Solon with her husband of 25 years, and they have two young adult children. 

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Lori Dewitt – Member

Lori is a semi-retired nurse, spending most of her career in Perianesthesia nursing and nursing leadership. The last 8 years were spent as a Director of Nursing. She has a Bachelors in Nursing from Michigan State University and a Masters in Nursing Leadership from Kent State University. Lori played music for several years on the Church Worship Team. In addition, she has volunteered on more than ten Salvation Army medical mission trips. She was a leader in Cleveland Tres Dias organization and weekend events. Lori lives in Cuyahoga Falls with her husband Dave and attends Christ Community Chapel.  She enjoys spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren along with hiking, gardening, playing sports, working out, and traveling. 

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Shawn Gibeault – Member

Shawn Gibeault is a Sales and Marketing Consultant with Spectrum Reach.  She has over 30 years of experience in traditional and digital advertising.  She guides business leaders in creating and implementing marketing strategies to grow their companies.  She is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Communications. Shawn has volunteered as a Church Elder,  Kids Worship Leadership Team Leader and on numerous planning and leadership teams within congregations.  She worships at Heartland Community Church in Medina.

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Sharon Martin – Member

Sharon Martin, CPA, is an Associate Professor (adjunct) in the department of Accountancy at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. Sharon is a graduate of both Baldwin Wallace College (EMBA) and John Carroll University (BSBA – accounting). Sharon had 24 years of experience in Ernst & Young’s audit practice prior to Weatherhead in 2010. Sharon and her husband Kevin are parishioners at Saint Paschal Baylon church have 2 children and 3 grandsons.

Our Team: Staff

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Debra Griest – Executive Director / Founder & Women's Retreat Director
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Michelle Gregory - Program Manager
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Bertha Simpson – Book Keeper

Michelle joined the Seeking Stillness team as a contractor to assist with retreats and administration. She has a professional background in Children’s and Youth Ministry and has worked for several non-profit ministries in the Akron area that support under-resourced children and teens.  She recently launched her freelance Virtual Administrative Assistant business, “4 Freedom VA Services” in order to support small non-profits. Michelle loves the outdoors and traveling and has 4 grown children and 4 grandchildren.

Deb has over 15 years of experience directing retreats and providing spiritual guidance. She has a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Formation from Ashland University and received her spiritual direction training at the Shalem Institute and The Ignatian Spirituality Institute (John Carroll University) . Deb was a business consultant and executive coach until her retirement.

Bertha is retired with 29 years of experience in various capacities in the Banking Industry. Her prior experience, the gift of administration and love for God has enabled her to serve in various positions at True Vine Baptist Church during her 13-year membership there. Currently, she serves as the Church Administrator.

“But as for me, I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me.”

[Micah 7:7]

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