Staff

Since 2012, Mark Vance has served as the Director of The Salt Company at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Prior to his time at Salt, Mark served on the pastoral staff at Saylorville Church in Des Moines, IA for six years. The Salt Company is the college ministry of Cornerstone Church and has grown to be one of the largest student ministries in the country, with over 1200 students attending weekly. Mark is married to Crystal and they have three children: Owen, Avery, and Reid.

Sol joined the Salt Company in the spring of 2017. Previously, he served for 6 years as the college pastor at University Fellowship Church in Eugene, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon with an accounting degree, he earned a Masters of Divinity at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. For fun he likes to ride bikes, play music, and watch sci-fi thrillers. He and his wife Lizzy have been married for 5 years and they have 3 kids; Crystal (23, adopted), Israel (3), and Georgia (1).

During Kendra’s senior year of high school, she heard the gospel with fresh ears and surrendered her life to Jesus. She came to Iowa State in the fall of 2006 and God exceeded any expectation she had for her college years. Through The Salt Company she led connection groups, served in the International ministry, and spent a semester in China before graduating and jumping on TSC staff in January of 2011. She recently completed her Masters in Theological Studies and particularly enjoys discipleship and leadership development. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, being active, and making things look pretty and taste yummy.

Kourtney moved to Iowa City right after high school to join Cornerstone’s first church plant, Veritas. Her love for the gospel and reaching lost people took root. She graduated from the University of Iowa and began working full time for Salt Company U of Iowa. Kourtney began working for Cornerstone in June of 2017. Outside of the Salt Company, Kourtney loves watching thought-provoking television with her husband and playing with her silver lab, Magnolia. Her two other passions are cleaning and working out. On average, Kourtney proudly vacuums 15 minutes per day. Her gym mentality is, “It never gets easier, you just get better.” In all areas of her life, Kourtney considers herself to be intensely passionate and just a touch dramatic.

Ali was born and raised in Northern Iowa. Upon graduating from Newman Catholic High School, she was recruited to swim at Iowa State University. During her time at Iowa State, a teammate invited her to attend The Salt Company – the place where she would find community and accept the Gospel for the first time. During her time at Iowa State, God changed her heart to wanting to work in ministry instead of pursuing a Law Degree. After a transforming four years, she graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. In her free time she enjoys swimming, running and crafting.

Dana was born and raised in the plains of North Dakota. In 2013, Dana received his Bachelor of Arts from Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska. Dana majored in Christian Ministries with a concentration in Worship and a minor in Bible. He and his wife, Kirstie, have been leading at several churches, camps, and retreats across the midwest through out the three years of their marriage. Dana joined the Salt Company Staff as the Worship Arts Leader in the summer of 2015. Dana loves Jesus, comedies, Bear Grylls, music, and his little boy Crusoe.

Alex grew up in Ankeny, Iowa knowing who Jesus was, but still lacking a personal relationship and understanding. That all changed when she agreed to come to Iowa State to swim and study Graphic Design. Through the encouragement of several teammates, Alex began attending Salt the Fall semester of her Freshmen year. Through those Thursday nights and Godly community in her connection groups, her heart began to shift to desire the things that God desires. He is so very good and Alex is so excited to be able to serve Him with the talents He’s given her within the Salt ministry. Alex loves reading, movies, photography, and hanging out with students.

Amalie was born near Sydney, Australia to parents who desired to spend their lives serving God. At the age of five she began trusting Christ as her personal Savior, and within the next year Kansas City became her new home. She has been an RN for 10 years and has served many summers at camp, on a variety of mission trips, on staff at a crisis pregnancy center, at a ministry to business women in Sydney, with children’s ministries, and with church ministries for high school and college girls. She has a bachelor’s degree in Missionary Nursing and Biblical Studies and is currently pursuing her M.A. in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA . She loves sharing Christ and serving alongside her college girls and the TSC staff.

Stephen grew up in Des Moines and came to Iowa State in 2012. There, by the providence of God, he stumbled into the Freshman Kickoff and joined The Salt Company as a student. God used his friendships and the teaching at Salt Company to change his life. In 2015, Stephen graduated from ISU with a degree in Biology. He worked in an interim youth director position at a church in Des Moines for a year and a half. Stephen married his wife, Natalie, in April 2016. In August 2016, Stephen and Natalie moved back to Ames and he joined The Salt Company staff. Stephen loves his wife, burnt ends, and The Office.

Molly is an Eden Prairie, Minnesota native, but has been an Iowa transplant since 2012. Although she had a relationship with Jesus at a young age, God used her freshmen year at Salt Company and faithful mentors to open her eyes to the truth that her identity and hope is found in Jesus alone, not in success or approval from others. Since then, Molly has led worship at Salt Company, spent a summer overseas in Central Asia, got a degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services, and continued to learn to see Jesus as most beautiful in her life. As a CST Resident, Molly is taking classes towards her MATS and will help train and disciple Salt Company musicians. Molly’s passions outside of her job include: Mexican food, the Green Bay Packers, making bad jokes, writing music, and spending time with friends – preferably on a lake.

Emily grew up in Ankeny, Iowa and attended her local youth group from 6th-12th grade. She heard the gospel clearly in 8th grade and understood the weight of the cross and her need for salvation. At ISU, Emily joined Salt Company and fell more in love with Jesus through the community He provided for her throughout college. Since then, Emily has traveled to China, got her degree in Advertising and Communication Studies, has lead middle school girls, and has been a basketball coach. Currently, Emily is pursuing her Masters in Theological Studies. She enjoys reading multiple books at a time, doing puzzles on the weekends, binge watching The Office, and eating Mexican food regularly.

Mikaela is from Lakeville, Minnesota but has called Ames home since starting at Iowa State in 2013. She has known Jesus since she was little but her freshmen year of college was a critical point in her walk with the Lord. Through Salt Company Mikaela began to see the beauty of walking with Jesus in authentic community, committed to walking in the light. God’s faithfulness and grace continued to be evident throughout her college years. Mikaela recently graduated from ISU with a Communication Studies degree and Psychology & Business minors. Her time as a student will continue as she pursues her Masters in Theological Studies as a CST Resident. When she isn’t studying Mikaela likes to craft, explore the outdoors, drink coffee with friends, watch football (you guess the team…) and eat chocolate gelato.

TJ was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. He grew up attending church and learning about Jesus but lacking a personal relationship with Him. It wasn’t until his senior year of high school that TJ finally understood what it meant to follow Jesus. It meant to surrender his life completely to the leading of Jesus Christ, not matter the cost. By God’s grace, he chose to hand his life over to Jesus and has been following Him ever since. TJ has recently graduated from Iowa State with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in marketing and management. Following graduation, he jumped on staff with Salt Company where he serves as a Global Ministry Leader all the while studying for his Masters in Theological Studies. He enjoys reading, fishing, and anything else that allows him to get outside and enjoy God’s creation.

Linnea is originally from a small town in Illinois. But after her freshmen year of high school, her family relocated to Urbandale, Iowa. She graduated from Des Moines Christian School and then lived at home for her first semester of college. This time was the loneliest period of her life and brought her to a point where she was asking herself, “Who am I?” and “Is God actually able to save me from my brokenness?” Coming to Iowa State in the spring, she met Kendra, a salt staffer, who shared the Gospel with her. The gospel became for her the greatest story, of how Jesus was perfect for her and made her God’s child. She wanted to know more of what it looked like to know Jesus and walk with Him daily. Through the rest of her time at ISU, she was involved with The Salt Company and graduated with a degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services. She loves meeting new people, being in a city, conversational running, and swinging at the city park!

Derek’s life got flipped rightside up when he met Jesus his sophomore year of college and got plugged into the Salt Company. Shortly after, his passion for entrepreneurship led him to create CIKK Apparel. He finished his track career (400 hurdles) and graduated May of 2017 from ISU with a Bachelor’s in Marketing before jumping on staff as a resident. Derek was born in Albuquerque, NM but is really from Glenwood, IA. He likes dogs more than cats but would prefer neither. He has one tattoo, loves playing with the other staffers’ babies and enjoys waking up before most people. His favorite book is Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis); his favorite show is The Office; his favorite food is coffee; and his favorite person on staff is not Kourtney Vier. He likes meeting new people, so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.

Abbie grew up in Ankeny, Iowa knowing who Jesus was from her parents. They taught her the Bible and demonstrated God’s love in their home while faithfully raising a family of six (crazy) kids. She surrendered her life to Jesus at a young age, but it was during her sophomore year of college at Iowa State that God completely challenged and stretched her through a God-fearing community called The Salt Company. She began to understand that being a Christ follower meant so much more than a proclamation, but that it was a lifestyle. She has loved walking alongside friends by leading connection groups and getting to lead an overseas summer team. After graduating in May 2017, Abbie jumped on The Salt Company staff and is also pursuing a Masters in Theological Studies. Some of Abbie’s favorites include: all things cozy, anything salty (pun-intended), THE PACKERS, good books by a fire and the more than occasional trampoline session.

Jesus rescued Hannah Beth as a child, but her life was shattered and re-built around Him in her teenage years. She graduated from the University of Oregon and spent a year in full-time college ministry before she heard about The Salt Company. After learning where Iowa was (thanks Google), she went to see Salt first-hand. The way the staff and students adored Jesus was infectious, and it took her less than 24 hours to ask “How fast can I move to Ames?!” In June 2017, God gave her the huge privilege of joining Salt in taking the good news of Jesus to the next generation. Hannah Beth is native to Houston, TX and was raised in Portland, OR, so Iowa has been a fun culture shock – especially the bunnies that run around literally everywhere.

Daniel Nemmers is from Des Moines, IA. At the age of 11, Daniel understood what it meant have a relationship with Jesus Christ and placed his faith in God at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp. God has given him a passion for the Gospel and joy in seeing God save the lost and broken around him. He will graduate this fall from Clarks Summit University with a Christian Ministries degree with an emphasis on pastoral work. Daniel is also currently pursuing a Masters in Theological Studies at Midwestern Theological Seminary. He and his wife Kayla have been married for two years and are expecting their first baby girl in November! He enjoys watching his dearly loved Cubs, Colts, and Cyclones and dominating (allegedly) in staff volleyball games.

Josh is from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. While he placed his trust in Jesus as a child, High School and College were very formative years for his faith in Jesus. Since first attending Salt Company his freshman year in college Josh has learned to walk in Christian community and has seen God’s love and faithfulness through the relationships he has built. He has loved leading connection groups and participating in discipleship groups over the past two years. He also spent a summer overseas in Eastern Asia. Josh will graduate from ISU with a degree in Computer Engineering this fall, and will pursue a Masters in Theological Studies as a full time CST Resident once he graduates. He enjoys hanging out with friends, reading, watching good TV, rock climbing, hiking, playing sports, long walks on the beach, and sunscreen.

Rob grew up in Ohio and has spent the last 10 years leading H2O church at Bowling Green State University. Joining the Salt Network in 2016, Rob is working with The Salt Company and Cornerstone Church as he prepares to church plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rob’s ‘God Dream’ is to see a Jesus loving, Gospel preaching, next-generation church in every major college town throughout Wisconsin and the country. Rob is married to Lisa and they have 2 children: Lily and Titus.

Ronnie grew up in Michigan and attended Bowling Green State University where God would eventually call him into vocational ministry. He served on staff with H2O Church on campus at Bowling Green until joining the Salt Network in 2017. He is serving with The Salt Company while preparing to be sent to Madison, Wisconsin to plant a church with The Salt Network. He will be the Salt Director at the new plant, working with students from the University of Wisconsin. Ronnie is married to Kaitlyn and they have a son named Jackson.

Caleb grew up in Southern Illinois and came to know Jesus through the faithful community of First Baptist Church Harrisburg. He graduated in 2015 from Union University in Tennessee. Caleb married his wife Brandie in November of 2016, and they rejoice in the gift of their daughter Mila Kate (birth Fall 2017). Caleb is currently serving with the Salt Company and Cornerstone Church of Ames as he prepares to be sent as the Salt Director to University of Kansas. His desire is to lead in teaching, serving, and discipling college students to love Jesus as they engage their campus with the gospel. He enjoys baseball, bow hunting, early morning coffee, and gathering round for meals with family and friends.

Jacob grew up on a small family farm just outside of Spencer, Iowa. A passion for technology landed him at Iowa State University where he is currently working towards a degree in Computer Engineering with minors in Business Economics and Music Technology. Although active in his faith growing up, it was not until coming to college and becoming fully connected to Salt and Cornerstone that the Christian identity became his true identity. As Salt’s Production Coordinator, Jacob is responsible for stewarding the effective and creative use of production technology as a tool for pointing people to Christ. In his own words, “my job is not to create incredible experiences nor to impress or influence others; instead I serve to help our leaders bring people close to God – the only true source of change in our lives.”

Matt hails from Scandinavian immigrants in northern Minnesota. He embraced the gospel at a young age and felt a call to vocational ministry in high school. His vocation was clarified as he pursued questions about his faith in seminary. He is currently pursuing theological leadership within the church by working on a PhD at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School under Kevin Vanhoozer. Since college he has lived in Iowa, Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin, and back to Iowa. He came on staff for The Salt Company in June to work with Mark Vance and to coordinate fundraising while finishing his dissertation.