Staff & Board

STAFF

Karen Covell

Karen – Founding Director

Karen speaks and teaches around the country, challenging Christians to embrace the creative and business professionals in Hollywood with the love and compassion of Jesus, and she is a published co-author of two books: How to Talk About Jesus Without Freaking Out (The J Bomb) and The Day I Met God. Karen is also a producer and Co-Founder of JC Productions, an independent films and music production company. She has had extensive experience producing TV specials, documentaries and children’s programming, is developing a feature film and is an active member of the Producers Guild of America. Karen is a graduate of USC and is married to her best pal, Jim, a composer, and they have two sons: Christopher, a script reader and consultant and Cameron, who is an independent filmmaker.

Kelry Kirschenmann

Kelry – Program Director

In addition to her work at HPN, Kelry is a ministry leader with DSM Hollywood (Dan Sherstad Ministries), and a professional web designer, and creative director. She is an avid prayer warrior, a worship leader alongside her husband (saxophonist/ singer/songwriter Timothy), and is a mother of two children. Kelry and Timothy made the decision to relocate to LA from Wisconsin in 2017. While visiting California for the first time, she and her husband were at the Griffith Observatory praying over the valley, and Timothy cried out to God saying “God, send revival here!” The Lord answered him, “That’s why I’m sending you.” Kelry’s desire is to see believers in Hollywood united with one heart, and for Holy Spirit-led revival to be unleashed in the media and entertainment industries.

Karen Covell

Karen – Founding Director

Karen speaks and teaches around the country, challenging Christians to embrace the creative and business professionals in Hollywood with the love and compassion of Jesus, and she is a published co-author of two books: How to Talk About Jesus Without Freaking Out (The J Bomb) and The Day I Met God. Karen is  also a producer and Co-Founder of JC Productions, an independent films and music production company. She has had extensive experience producing TV specials, documentaries and children’s programming, is developing a feature film and is an active member of the Producers Guild of America. Karen is a graduate of USC and is married to her best pal, Jim, a composer, and they have two sons: Christopher, a script reader and consultant and Cameron, who is an independent director.

Kelry Kirschenmann

Kelry – Program Director

In addition to her work at HPN, Kelry is a ministry leader with DSM Hollywood (Dan Sherstad Ministries), and a professional web designer, and creative director. She is an avid prayer warrior, a worship leader alongside her husband (saxophonist/ singer/songwriter Timothy), and is a mother of two children. Kelry and Timothy made the decision to relocate to LA from Wisconsin in 2017. While visiting California for the first time, she and her husband were at the Griffith Observatory praying over the valley, and Timothy cried out to God saying “God, send revival here!” The Lord answered him, “That’s why I’m sending you.” Kelry’s desire is to see believers in Hollywood united with one heart, and for Holy Spirit-led revival to be unleashed in the media and entertainment industries.

Zoe Balzano

Zoë – Office Administrator

Zoë Balzano has a heart for prayer, the industry, and seeing God revealed in Hollywood! She is a former staff member of Youth With A Mission, and believes to see the miraculous in the industry.  Zoë is a creative writer and loves to read, and has a cat named Bamboo. She is responsible for all Prayer Call  correspondence, and keeps Karen and Kelry in line! She is a joyful addition to the HPN Staff, and she would love to connect with you! Email Zoë with any questions about joining our upcoming prayer calls, scheduling a meetup, or to learn more about HPN!

Danae Samms

Zoë – Office Administrator

Zoë Balzano has a heart for prayer, the industry, and seeing God revealed in Hollywood! She is a former staff member of Youth With A Mission, and believes to see the miraculous in the industry.  Zoë is a creative writer and loves to read, and has a cat named Bamboo. She is responsible for all Prayer Call  correspondence, and keeps Karen and Kelry in line! She is a joyful addition to the HPN Staff, and she would love to connect with you! Email Zoë with any questions about joining our upcoming prayer calls, scheduling a meetup, or to learn more about HPN!

Sara Jewell

Sara – Volunteer

Sara Jewell graciously lends her skills to HPN as a liaison to Local Chapter Directors and a social media content creator. She is founder and president of teamofGod.org, a Christian humanitarian non-profit that has supported and continues to support projects and ministries in the United States, India, South Sudan, and Uganda. She holds a master’s degree in Bible Studies from South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary, and has published Christian fiction under Ambassador International for young adults and adults under S. A. Jewell.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Rick Bee – Chair

Faculty, Biola University

Rick is faculty at Talbot Seminary teaching on faith and money dealing with stewardship, credit, work and debt. He received degrees from Biola and Talbot in 1979 (BA), 1990 (MACE), and again in 2001 (Ph.D.). Outside of HPN and Biola, Rick serves as the President of the La Mirada Community Foundation and President of the board of Nightlight Christian adoptions.

Rick Bee – Chair

Faculty, Biola University

Rick is faculty at Talbot Seminary teaching on faith and money dealing with stewardship, credit, work and debt. He received degrees from Biola and Talbot in 1979 (BA), 1990 (MACE), and again in 2001 (Ph.D.). Outside of HPN and Biola, Rick serves as the President of the La Mirada Community Foundation and President of the board of Nightlight Christian adoptions.

Merlinda Balmas

Warner Bros., 9t5 Work-Life Ministry

Merlinda works at Warner Bros. Theatrical Marketing and it was there where she felt God’s calling to start 9t5, a ministry whose purpose is to equip and encourage Christians in their God-given roles to function with a Kingdom mindset and win their sphere of influence for Christ. She is also the Co-Director of Hollywood Prayer Network’s Hollywood Chapter and the President of Open Table Outreach (OTO), an organization that serves the homeless communities in Long Beach and Hollywood.

Merlinda Balmas

Warner Bros., 9t5 Work-Life Ministry

Merlinda works at Warner Bros. Theatrical Marketing and it was there where she felt God’s calling to start 9t5, a ministry whose purpose is to equip and encourage Christians in their God-given roles to function with a Kingdom mindset and win their sphere of influence for Christ. She is also the Co-Director of Hollywood Prayer Network’s Hollywood Chapter and the President of Open Table Outreach (OTO), an organization that serves the homeless communities in Long Beach and Hollywood.

Dean Batali

Television writer, showrunner

Dean Batali is a television writer who worked on “That 70s Show” for seven years, serving as an executive producer for the show’s final season. He wrote for the initial two seasons of “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer” and has written for “Duckman,” “The Half-Hour News Hour,” and “The Adventures of Pete and Pete.” Most recently he was the executive producer and showrunner for two seasons on the Hallmark Channel’s “Good Witch.” Dean co-authored the book “Watching TV Religiously” and was featured in the book “Faith in the Halls of Power.”

Dean Batali

Television writer, showrunner

Dean Batali is a television writer who worked on “That 70s Show” for seven years, serving as an executive producer for the show’s final season. He wrote for the initial two seasons of “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer” and has written for “Duckman,” “The Half-Hour News Hour,” and “The Adventures of Pete and Pete.” Most recently he was the executive producer and showrunner for two seasons on the Hallmark Channel’s “Good Witch.” Dean co-authored the book “Watching TV Religiously” and was featured in the book “Faith in the Halls of Power.”

Dr. Naima Lett

Pastor, producer

Dr. Naima Lett is an award-winning actor, producer, speaker and co-pastor with husband Kevin of Hope in the Hills, a diverse church plant in Beverly Hills. As Dallas Seminary’s first Master in Media & Communications and BIOLA’s first female Doctor in Preaching, she loves helping young leaders find their purpose and follow their dreams while deepening their faith.

Dr. Naima Lett

Pastor, producer

Dr. Naima Lett is an award-winning actor, producer, speaker and co-pastor with husband Kevin of Hope in the Hills, a diverse church plant in Beverly Hills. As Dallas Seminary’s first Master in Media & Communications and BIOLA’s first female Doctor in Preaching, she loves helping young leaders find their purpose and follow their dreams while deepening their faith.

BOARD OF REFERENCE

    • Phil Cooke – Founder & CEO, Cooke Media Group

    • Kathleen Cooke – Founding Partner & VP, Cooke Media Group

    • Karen Leonard – Social Worker

    • Jim Leonard – Pastor, Cornerstone Church Los Angeles

    • Brannon Shortt – Pastor, Saddleback Church

    • Ryan Bethea – Digital Marketing Consultant