Chattanooga Office Staff

Marina Peshterianu, Associate Director / Interim Executive Director

Marina Peshterianu joined Bridge Refugee Services Chattanooga in 1999 transitioning from the career in education. Before joining Bridge, she taught in an inner-city magnet school focusing on environmental and global issues.

During her time at Bridge, Marina participated in resettlement of refugees from Vietnam, Bosnia, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Liberia, Sudan, Burundi, Tanzania, Congo, Chad, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Cuba and Colombia and performed a variety of job responsibilities such as case-manager, job developer, Early Employment (MG) program coordinator, sub-office coordinator, and became Associate Director in 2014.

“I am honored to have an opportunity to help refugees from all over the world to make a transition into their new life in our community and reclaim their freedom and independence. Their achievements are an everyday affirmation of human capacity to survive, rise and step forward”

(423) 954-1911
mpeshterianu@bridgerefugees.org

Angel Daugherty, Senior Case Manager/TOR Liaison

Angel Daugherty is our Tennessee Office for Refugees Liaison/Senior Case Manager. She is responsible for enrolling clients into appropriate TOR funded programs, managing cash and medical assistance eligibility, and timely reporting for all programs.  TOR provides state administered refugee resettlement programs providing assistance (cash and medical) and social services to refugees with the purpose of increasing refugee prospects for early employment and self-sufficiency. She is responsible for providing Health Literacy Training (general health, nutrition, mental health, and other special topics) to all newly arriving clients, as well as assisting case managers with medical case management for clients with ongoing or more serious health concerns. Angel works closely with program staff to provide ongoing support and/or training as needed.

(423) 355-5969
adaugherty@bridgerefugees.org

Jennifer Croxall, Case Manager/Employment Liaison

Jennifer Croxall has traveled extensively and has a passion for other cultures. She has been volunteering with Bridge Refugee Services in various capacities since 2000, when her church co-sponsored a refugee family. Jennifer became a Pre Arrival Specialist at Bridge in 2015. Her responsibilities include securing affordable housing for refugees, preparing apartments with community volunteers for newly arriving refugees, and providing them with housing orientation to assist them in their transition into their new home. Jennifer graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a B.S. in Psychology.

(423) 355-5969
jcroxall@bridgerefugees.org

Bonnie Boley, Case Manager/R&P Lead

Bonnie Boley is passionate about welcoming newcomers to Chattanooga and connecting with other cultures. She graduated from Pellissippi State Community College with an Associate of Science in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Middle Tennessee State University. Before joining Bridge in 2019, Bonnie worked for a U.S. Member of Congress as a caseworker and event coordinator. Her responsibilities include overseeing setting up apartments, meeting families at the airport, connecting refugees with language and social services and ensuring they receive extensive cultural orientation. She also supports refugee families through the Matching Grant Early Employment Program with the goal of refugees becoming financially independent within 4-6 months of arrival.

(423) 954-9288
bboley@bridgerefugees.org

Nate Hiltibran, Volunteer & Co-Sponsorship Manager

Nate Hiltibran joined the team at Bridge Refugee Services as a Youth Mentoring Program Coordinator (Americorps Member) in June of 2020. During this time, he helped develop a new Youth Mentoring program for Bridge that seeks to benefit young refugees as they pursue their goals. Nate was hired as the Volunteer & Co-Sponsorship Manager in July of 2021. In this role, Nate recruits, trains, and provides support to volunteers and Community Assistance Teams who welcome their refugee neighbors as they integrate into their new community.

Witnessing a community come together in support of new neighbors from around the world is one of Nate’s favorite parts of his job, but when he’s not working you can find him hiking, playing music, or spending time out in Chattanooga. Nate grew up in Budapest, Hungary, and graduated from Wheaton College with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.

(423) 713-9477

volunteermanager@bridgerefugees.org

Kelsey Brown, Capacity Building & Integration Specialist

Kelsey Brown joined Bridge in March 2021 as our Office Coordinator and Program Specialist then moved into the Capacity Building & Integration Specialist in August 2022.

Starting at a young age she volunteered with an organization that helps developing countries, called Mission Discovery — serving at orphanages in South Africa and Mexico was one of the great opportunities presented to her through MD. Through these experiences she became passionate about intercultural nonprofit work. She graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelor of Political Science in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. At Bridge, she currently serves refugees by connecting them with existing services and resources in the community, encourages them to actively participate in civic life and contribute economically and culturally. Kelsey cultivates and develops new relationships with partners who may assist in the refugee integration process.

In her free time, she enjoys putting on a Louis Armstrong vinyl, making lattes, antiquing, and spending time with her dogs, Ginger and Nooga. 

kbrown@bridgerefugees.org

Sarah Pedersen, Case Manager/RSIG Liaison

Sarah Pedersen is passionate about helping others and learning new cultures.  After growing up in New York around many diverse cultures and around family members who worked with refugees and non-profit agencies, Sarah has always had the desire to use her talents to serve her community and make it a welcoming place for all people.  She joined Bridge in January 2022, after teaching second grade for 4 years, and made the transition out of serving children through education into serving families with Bridge Refugee Services. She works to ensure refugees integrate into the community by providing social adjustment and employment services while orienting them to their new community. She will also be a school liaison, helping students and families navigate the education system.  She graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.

spedersen@bridgerefugees.org

Chloe Nicholson, Preferred Communities Intensive Case Manager

Chloe Nicholson joined the agency in 2021 as an MSW intern. At the beginning of 2022 she took a position of Bridge Preferred Communities Intensive Case Manager. Chloe found her love for helping others in the resettlement process while being a teacher and working with students who had recently immigrated to the United States with their  families. She learned about challenges and struggles of New Americans and decided to take on a career where she could do more to ease their transition and encourage their integration. She continues to pursue her Masters in Social Work degree while assisting clients to overcome barriers to successful resettlement. She truly values human relationships and learning about people’s stories. Her favorite part about working at Bridge is how much she is able to learn from her clients’ unique experiences.  In her free time Chloe loves traveling, baking, reading, and spending time with her dogs Marley and Royce. 

423-661-3144

cnicholson@bridgerefugees.org

Megan Revis, Case Manager

Megan Revis joined Bridge Refugee Services in February 2022 as a Case Manager. She graduated from Liberty University with her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master of Public Health. Megan’s desire to work with refugees began when she had the opportunity to work with refugee and migrant centers in Europe during an internship. As a Case Manager, she is passionate about helping refugees resettle and integrate into Chattanooga. Megan enjoys a good book, a long walk, and kayaking in her free time.

(423) 954-9288

mrevis@bridgerefugees.org

Peyton Jocsing, Case Manager/Wilson Fish TANF Liaison

Peyton Jocsing joined Bridge in March of 2022 as a Case Manager and the Wilson Fish TANF Liaison. Prior to Bridge, she worked as a case manager at another nonprofit organization in Chattanooga. Peyton became interested in the social sector during her time as a collegiate and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and History with a minor in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from UTC. After university, Peyton moved to Spain in 2018 to teach as an ELA at a high/middle school for an academic school year. Once coming back to the States, she went on to obtain her TEFL certificate and is certified to teach English as a second language. Peyton has dedicated the past three years to nonprofit work and is excited to work with refugees at Bridge.

(423) 954-9288

pjocsing@bridgerefugees.org

Sarah Copeland, Youth Mentoring Program Coordinator
– AmeriCorps VISTA

 Sarah Copeland joined Bridge in August 2021 as their AmeriCorps representative, coordinating the Youth Mentoring Program. After hosting exchange students throughout her childhood and being exposed to displacement living in Turkey and Spain during two of her summers breaks, her desire to learn about people and serve people from different countries grew. She graduated from Covenant College with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, with a focus on migration, and is eager to learn more through Bridge and the people it serves. In her free time, Sarah enjoys baking bread and being outside.

vistachatt@bridgerefugees.org

Wies De Laat, Programs Support Specialist

 Wies de Laat joined Bridge in August 2022 as a Programs Support Specialist. She was born and raised in The Netherlands where she graduated from Radboud University Nijmegen with a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology and a Master’s degree in Human Geography: Globalization, Migration and Development. Her interest in topics related to migration started when she lived a year in Mexico, where she learned more about undocumented migrants and migrant caravans passing through the South American continent. Having studied migration, she is excited to put her knowledge into practice at Bridge and assist those who come to this country through the refugee program. Her responsibilities include locating appropriate and affordable housing for newly arriving refugees, managing in-kind donations, and coordinating apartment set up with volunteers and Bridge staff. She will also provide clerical and administrative support for all Bridge’s programs.

In her free time Wies enjoys traveling, ballet classes, and going for a hike with her dog Cindy.

wdelaat@bridgerefugees.org