Building on over twenty-five years in Higher Education, Marriage and Family Therapy, Leadership Development, and Pastoral Ministry, Ava served as the Doctor of Ministry Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Leadership Studies for The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary at Evangel University for the last 11 years. She teaches as an adjunct professor at Vanguard University of Southern California, Northwest University, and The School of Urban Ministries College and Seminary. She practices as a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate, and has a thriving Leadership Life Coaching Ministry (www.INspire2Grow.net.)
Ava is an ordained minister and has served in some of the most influential Assemblies of God churches in the U.S. She served as the first female presbyter in the Northwest Network of the AG. She brings to the role an extensive background in organizational leadership, systems thinking, counseling, education, and integration. Ava also has partnered with inner city ministries and recovery centers such as Salvation Army, Teen Challenge, and the Walter Hoving Home in California. She serves on the National Board of Directors for Teen Challenge USA.
Ava and her husband live in Lake Forest, California. They have two grown children. Emalee Rose, who recently graduated from Vanguard University, and Bergen, who is launching his own business. They have two dogs, Scooby and Finley, and a cat named Zeke.
Network of Women Ministers Vice President, Shelby Britos
Shelby Britos is currently serving the women of SoCal as the Vice President of the NWM. She is currently bi-vocational, working at a public charter school full time, as well as serving along side of her husband as the young families/ children's pastors at Crosspointe Life Church in La Mesa. Shelby is a SOM graduate and is an ordained minister. She and her husband, Juan, have been married since 2004 and have two children. Shelby loves mentoring and teaching people who they are in Christ and helping them walk in their God given authority. She also loves to lead missions teams along side of her husband any chance that arises. In her spare time she loves to play indoor soccer, enjoy a good cup of coffee with a friend, and spend time with her family.
Network of Women Ministers Treasurer, Emily Sombrito
Emily Sombrito is a graduate of Vanguard University and currently serves as Children's Pastor at Life Center Church in Lakewood. She will be ordinated at the SoCal Network Conference 2019 and is passionate about kids and families. She is excited about her new journey as Treasurer in the Network of Women Ministers. Emily enjoys watching cooking shows, baking, and crafts. She and her husband, Jacob, share the joy of their toddler twins, Marty & Maggie.
Network of Women Ministers Secretary, Nicky Stade
Nicky Stade is the NWM Secretary, serving as a pastor on staff at RefugeOC in Orange, CA (Region 10). She has been married to her husband, Jason, since 1999 and together they have three awesome nearly-grown kids. Nicky has a passion to help people of all ages realize their value and find their calling, then empower them to step out of their comfort zones and walk down the path that God has prepared for them.
Female Representative Executive Presbyter: Karla Gutel
Karla Gutel has faced many experiences in her life’s journey and has found in every situation that Jesus is more than enough. She presents a fresh, candid approach in ministry. Karla married Jim Gutel in 1974 on her twenty-first birthday and they began their life and ministry together. She graduated as a registered nurse from the Los Angeles County/University of Southern California School of Nursing in 1975 and with a BA in Religion from Vanguard University in 1984.
In 1984 she and Jim went to Thailand as appointed Assemblies of God missionaries with their two children. Karla was ordained to the ministry in 1989. In 1997 a tragic accident changed the course of their lives and they became parents to five more children aged 2 years to 10 years old. The Gutels then became home missionaries, ministering to the many ethnic groups that have settled here in Southern California. Her children have grown; her oldest son, Joseph and his family are now on staff at Covina Assembly of God, Her oldest daughter has her doctorate in psychology, and serves as the director of the student counseling center at Vanguard University. Two of the children are also involved in ministry after graduating from Assembly of God Universities, one as a youth pastor, and the other as a MA in the country of Ethiopia. The two youngest are attending Vanguard University preparing for their own call to the ministry. Karla is the proud grandmother to Jubilee, Luke, Theophilus, and Noah.
She serves with her husband Jim, as an Assemblies of God U.S. Missionary. They have founded the SoCal School of Ministry that has over 700 students studying to complete their requirements for credentialing within the Assemblies of God. In 2010, Karla was elected as the first woman to the Executive Presbytery of the SoCal District Assemblies of God. In addition to duties as an Executive Presbyter, she represents the women of Southern California who are credentialed. Karla’s ministry also includes sharing with others how to find victory and joy in the face of difficulty.