Our Team

Jennifer Carson

Founder & Executive Director

Jennifer Carson is Founder of The Children’s Park of Tyler. She was the original Board President and now serves as the Executive Director. She began the monthly support group Glory Babies in 2001, for couples who have experienced the devastating loss of a baby during pregnancy or infancy and manages the other support groups provided through the Park at Alison’s House.

Jennifer graduated from Texas A&M University in 1989 and from Texas Woman’s University with her MS Degree in Physical Therapy in 1992. She married Billy Dan in 1992 and they have 3 children, 2 on earth and 1 in Heaven. She is also a Home Health Physical Therapist for Paradigm Homecare in Tyler, leads women’s growth groups/bible studies, co-leads a small group with her husband and loves mentoring younger women. She is passionate about coming alongside others who are hurting and in need of comfort and support.

April Chesley

Volunteer Coordinator
E-mail April Chesley

April Chesley joined The Children’s Park of Tyler Foundation in July of 2009. Before then she had been a stay at home mom and had volunteered with various organizations within the community.

She has heart to come alongside others, helping and encouraging them through difficulties and to guide them into their full potential. Her position at The Children’s Park gives her a special place to use those gifts helping others along the way, while attending to her duties for the foundation.

April and her husband Bryan have one son. They are well rooted in the Community. They feel blessed to be raising their son in such a wonderful place like Tyler.

Rachel Anderson

Administrative Assistant

Rachel Anderson was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She received a BS degree in Child Development from Mississippi State University in 1993. Rachel married Rod in 1996 and they moved to Tyler in 1998. They have 5 children and are dedicated to their lives and spiritual well beings. Rachel prays weekly with a group of women through the ministry of Moms in Prayer. Their main goal is to serve Christ by stewarding the precious gifts he has given us here on this earth. Rachel also works at Venture, a Christian homeschooling co-op, as a kindergarten teacher. She also teaches Chinese children English through an online platform called Vipkids.

Rachel met Jennifer Carson since 1999 at Grace Community Church, while attending life group together. They became dear friends over the loss of Jennifer’s son, Braden. Rachel was on the initial steering committee for The Children’s Park 2001-2005 and was hired as the Administrative Assistant in 2019.

She is excited to have the opportunity to love, serve and guide families through this season of grief, allowing them to experience joy through difficulty.

Kenneth Sigler

Board President

Kenneth Sigler was born and raised in East Texas. He is a graduate of TJC and UT Tyler where he studied Political Science and History. He married Beka, a registered nurse, in 2011. They live in Flint and have two boys, Jude (4) and Benjamin (1).

Kenneth is a former senior consultant for a firm serving nonprofit organizations in the areas of fundraising, strategic planning, and board governance. In October 2018, he began his current position as director of major gifts for The UT Health Science Center at Tyler.

Kenneth and his family are members at Flint Baptist Church and plan to raise their children right here in East Texas.

Lisa Lujan

Board Secretary

Lisa M. Lujan was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She and Michael married in 1993 and they moved to Tyler, Texas in 1995.  In 2003, they co-founded Mentoring Minds.

Lisa is driven by her commitment to her family, especially her two daughters, Michelle and Monica who have inspired so much of the Mentoring Minds philosophy and core values.  She is passionate about giving back to the community and is actively serving on the boards of The Children’s Park, Smith County Champions for Children, East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN) and the Tyler Chamber of Commerce.

Lindsey Gainer

Board Member

Lindsey Gainer has been active volunteer for The Children’s Park serving as one of the founding board members of The Children Are a Gift Foundation. She is delighted to have an opportunity to share her passion for children; and through her service honor those who have eased the path of personal tragedy.

Lindsey has shared an active role in several not-for-profit organizations and church outreach programs for many years.

Lindsey, a proud graduate of Texas A&M University, earned her MBA from LeTourneau University and certificate in Executive Healthcare Management from the Wharton School of Business, University of PA.  Lindsey currently serves as a member of the faculty for Tyler Junior College and as an adjunct professor for LeTourneau University.

Maureen McCullough

Board Member

Maureen McCullough retired in 2015 from All Saints Episcopal School after 21 wonderful years. A dear friend of the school asked her what she would do when retired? She did not hesitate… Maureen immediately replied that it must be something deeply meaningful. Then her friend introduced her to Jennifer Carson. What a wonderful day!

Maureen and husband Lynn have a daughter who lives in North Carolina with her husband and son, Taylor.

Maureen has been on the Board since 2017. She has learned so much about grief and loss. The Children’s Park has her whole heart.

Neal Franklin

Board Member

Neal Franklin joined the The Children’s Park of Tyler Board of Directors in 2018 and is thrilled to play a small role in the future of this amazing organization. Neal has a passion for those who have experienced loss and a strong desire to help them find peace in their current storm. He considers his volunteer work a blessing.

Neal has been married to Valli for over 33 years and they have three adult children. A graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, he served the City of Tyler as Fire Chief for many years. After retirement from the fire service, Neal was hired by ETMC EMS as their General Manager. He served in that role for over seven years. Neal is currently with Core Insights providing leadership training and strategic planning.