Board of Directors
Kellan Duffy is the Co-Founder of Bridge the Gap Mission. She is mother to 3 beautiful children Caroline, Drew & Anna. After 9 years of living in Asia, Kellan wanted to continue the charity work she started along with her children in Hong Kong & Shanghai. Due to stricter regulations involving young children and volunteering in the United States, Kellan set out to start her own charitable organization so younger families could volunteer together. After meeting Otis Hardy at First United Methodist Church in Cary, a new partnership and a dear friendship was born. For 2 years Kellan worked tirelessly with Otis to carry on the work he and the late Lee Viersen started in SE Raleigh as well as bring a name and new vision to our "organization". Kellan's family together chose the name Bridge the Gap Mission as we are connecting communities that would never otherwise intertwine regardless of race, creed or color.
Otis Hardy serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Bridge the Gap Mission. Otis was in prison from 1979 till 2000 when he received a pardon from then-Governor Jim Hunt. Otis while in prison served as the personal chef to Governor Hunt. His life changed in prison during Disciple Bible Study with Dr. William Green, one of the pastors at First United Church in Cary. Since 2000 he has served in ministry to persons in poverty. In 2002 he was honored for his volunteer work with a private dinner with President Bush at the White House. He is in demand as a speaker throughout the state. Becky Viersen, Kellan Duffy and Otis Hardy met at the Celebration Service at First United Methodist Church in Cary and founded Bridge the Gap Mission.
Dr. Viersen retired from Wake County Public School System after 38 years. Her last job was as an assistant principal at Washington GT Magnet Elementary School for 13 years. All of her education degrees – Masters in Early Childhood, Masters in School Administration and Doctorate in Educational Leadership were from UNC at Chapel Hill. Her work with families at Washington Elementary who lived in Walnut Terrace Housing Project prepared her for Bridge the Gap Mission. She continues to volunteer at Washington. Dr. Viersen teaches high school equivalent preparation classes. She and Bob Umstead along with volunteers teach Beginning Basic Computer Skills.
From the once rural town of Apex, NC, Kelli has remained in the area over the years to help her community as it continues to grow. She studied at Wake Tech to later decide that she was going to jump in and take a more hands-on approach to education.
With 20 years of experience in the service industry, she loves food, music, and great people. She’s done years of work with St. Baldrick’s Foundation and became an Honorary Knight. Owner and lead coordinator for The Perfect Plan Event Services, she brings love and kindness everywhere she goes. She loves love and loves to spread it. If you have a chance to meet Kelli, she radiates excitement about her work and passions while leaving you wanting to be a part of her adventures.
Kelli pursues her dreams of a more loving world through her work with Bridge the Gap Mission as Director of Events and fundraising.
Steve Glass serves on the Board of Directors as our attorney. He practices Business and Corporate Law, Employment Law [employers], Nonprofit Tax Exempt Organizations, Sale and Purchase of Businesses, Trusts and Estates, Wills, Probate, Business Succession Planning. Mr. Glass attended Wake Forest University, B.A., 1963 [Student Government President] Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., 1966 [Student Bar President]University of Virginia, U. S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School, Military Judge Curriculum, 1969. He is involved in many community activities and has received numerous awards.
Janis Kennedy Guimond
Dr. Janis Hedberg, aka Jan, is a veteran educator. After teaching for 35 years, she decided to retire in 2004. Her teaching experience ranges from teaching on the elementary level through adult education. She holds duel certification in Special Education and Elementary Education. Her Masters Degree is in Administration and Supervision. In 1990, Dr. Hedberg completed her doctoral work in Curriculum and Instruction. Her doctoral study of High School dropouts provided her with a great deal of insight into learners frustrated with school and the learning process.
Since moving to Cary in 2010, she participated in a six-week Guardian ad Litem program. She is now court certified to be an advocate for children placed in Foster Care. She has spent time tutoring young learners who are struggling with reading and writing. Then in 2014, her love of learning motivated her to help people in Southeast Raleigh.
Bob Umstead is a retired Elementary School Principal with 30 years of service, mostly in the Wake County Public School System. He earned a Bachelor's and Master's degrees from UNC-CH. He works with Ms. Viersen teaching basic computer skills.
Susann “Zanny” Wigger has a long history of civic and community involvement, driven by her compassion for the earth and love for all who live here. She has over 20 years of experience in marketing, consulting, and communications in both industry and in the non-profit sector.
She most recently started volunteering with Carolina Cares in 2015, initially helping prepare and distribute food and meals to the homeless and helping with events.
In 2018 she joined the administration for Carolina Cares, and in 2020 joined the Board of Bridge the Gap Mission to further both groups’ missions.
A life-long vegetarian, now vegan, she lives in Raleigh and does all her service work in honor of her late husband, who went through treatment for Stage IV Esophageal Cancer in a homeless shelter prior to their meeting. She believes in helping everyone attain dignity and self-sufficiency.