Melinda Cathey (CEO and Co-Founder) and Alex Krutov (Co-Founder) represent The Harbor on its 7-member advisory board. Having met in St. Petersburg in 1997, both Melinda and Alex were moved by compassion, burdened with the Lord’s mandate to love the orphan, and convicted to address the issue of orphans leaving the state system unprepared for successful adult life. To follow their hearts and meet this need, the two began The Harbor in St. Petersburg in 2001.
The following individuals make up our advisory board, volunteering to serve as consultants in areas of finance, development and fundraising, child care and development, and public relations.
Melinda has lived in St. Petersburg since 1997 with her husband, Mark, and their three children. Prior to their time in Russia, Melinda lived in the U.S. and practiced individual, family, and marriage counseling in a variety of settings. Her caseload has included victims of incest, adult children of alcoholics, addiction, depression, and numerous family and marital issues. She received her MA in Counseling Psychology from Trinity International University in 1985.
Abandoned by his mother when he was just a month old, Alex was placed in the Russian state orphanage system. His tumultuous childhood included adoption, abuse, running away, living on the streets, and a return to the orphanage system. Since that time, Alex has earned an AS degree in Business Administration Management. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Franklin University (Columbus, OH) in 2005.
Leslie delights in her 37+ years as a wife, mother, and now grandmother. She has many years of experience in ministry, teaching Sunday School, leading Bible Studies, and countless hours in personal lay counseling. Her focus has been on sexual and related types of abuse. She currently serves in a number of capacities at Meadowbrook Christian Fellowship in Dublin, OH, teaching Sunday School, leading a Women’s Mentoring Group, facilitating ministry to incarcerated teen girls, and volunteering at the C.R.A.C.K. House Ministries in Columbus, OH. She is a passionate supporter of The Harbor, where she led a small team to visit in 2010. She and her husband, Mark, live in Powell, OH, and have 3 grown married sons and 5 grandchildren.
Mark Brereton, Chairman
Mark has broad bi-vocational experience in both ministry and business. He is one of the founders of Meadowbrook Christian Fellowship in Dublin, OH, where he chairs the board of elders and is a frequent speaker. His business experience spans 38 years, with companies ranging from Fortune 200 to small, closely-held corporations. He has been with TECSYS, a Canadian public company, since 1993, serving in senior management positions, until 2005, when he moved to a Regional VP Sales position to provide more flexibility for ministry. He also chairs the board of a private equity firm. He and his wife, Leslie, live in Powell, OH, and have 3 grown married sons and 5 grandchildren.
For the past 25 years, David has worked in advertising production. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in Business Administration, he joined Professional Litho, a media production company. For the past 18 years he has been a partner in the business. In 2002, David and his wife, Dagni, adopted two girls from a Russian orphanage. They both have a passion for kids that don’t have the opportunity to grow and thrive in a loving family. He has served on his church council as well as various other committees at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. He lives in Woodbury, Minnesota with his wife, their two daughters and three sons.
Bill has been in the fundraising industry for 11 years currently as the Director of Development for Sharp Grossmont Hospital Foundation where he raises money for Grossmont Hospital and Sharp HospiceCare. Bill has volunteered for over 20 years for the Greek Orthodox Church which is where he met his wife Stephanie. They have been married for 14 years and have 2 beautiful children, John and Marina, who they adopted from Russia. It was through their adoption agency, Nightlight Christian Adoptions, that Bill and Stephanie met Alex Krutov and learned about The Harbor. Bill was so moved by Alex’s presentation that he knew he wanted to help The Harbor and all the young adults that graduate from the Orphanage System. Bill hopes to bring much needed funds and awareness to this wonderful ministry.
Linda C. Murray
Linda is an adoptive mother of three older children from a Latvian orphanage, and made her first trip to Russia in 1994, developing a heart for orphaned children over her many subsequent church mission trips to Russia, and as an active supporter of The Harbor. While rearing her family as a single mother, she has also worked on the commercial development side of the Oil & Gas industry for over 25 years. Linda currently is Commercial Marketing Manager, building a new commercial producer services department, for BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P., in Houston, Texas. Outside of her Oil & Gas industry affiliations and service, Linda is active in both the local and international community as well, serving as a Court Appointed Advocate, with Child Advocates, Inc., for children under care of the Texas Dept. of Family Protective Services, serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Annual Oil & Gas Industry Swing for Kid’s Sake Committee, serves as a volunteer with The Carl McCain Memorial Foundation (which provides financial medical assistance to oil industry personnel), and as a past Board Member and host foster family with New Horizons for Children Inc., which brings orphans from Eastern Europe together with host families in the USA, in the hopes of finding their “forever families”. Linda’s experience in both adopting and hosting older orphaned children heightened her awareness for the desperate need of the types of life changing positive support that The Harbor ministry is able to provide, to its residents and vocational students, in order from them to become successful contributors to society.