Meet Our Team


Bill Purcell, President/CEO

William (Bill) Purcell returns to Crossroads United Way of Elkhart, LaGrange & Noble Counties after almost 30 years, from when he was Vice President of the United Way of Elkhart. Prior to returning to United Way, Bill was a faculty member, advisor and administrator at the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame for over 18 years. He also served in nonprofit and ecclesial leadership roles before that in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Bill received both his BA and his Masters in Divinity degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Community involvement has always been a priority for him including being part of the Laidig Scholarship Committee of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, the Scholarship Foundation of St. Joseph County, Faith in Indiana, past board work with Corvilla, and a leadership role in his faith community, Church of Loretto at Saint Mary’s College.


Natalie Evans, Vice President

Natalie Evans joined Crossroads United Way in January of 2022, bringing 15 years of nonprofit experience. She has been working for United Way at both the local and state levels since 2010.  

Over the tenure of her United Way experience, she fostered relationships with volunteers, led corporate and individual fundraising teams, designed and implemented development plans, and managed community impact programs.  In her prior role as Senior Director of Resource Development for Indiana United Ways, she served as a fundraising consultant providing strategies, developed fundraising plans, and worked with a team of professionals to share best practices to ensure a solid framework for growth and sustainability to the statewide network.       

Prior to working at IUW, Natalie served as Development Director at United Way of St. Joseph County, Senior Manager of Engagement at United Way of Central Indiana, and Development Director at Jackson County United Way.  She has 11 years of fundraising and management experience with proven success in maximizing results and increasing growth.  Natalie’s nonprofit experience includes additional work and volunteer service with United Way’s VITA volunteer free tax program, Kids Coats of Hamilton County, the Economic Club of Indiana, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Goodwill Industries, Junior Achievement, and the Y.  

Natalie is a graduate of Indiana University. (Go Hoosiers!) She received her degree in Applied Health Sciences in Human Development and Family Studies. Natalie holds a master’s certificate in Fund Development from the University of Notre Dame. 


Theresa Brown, Director of Finance and Human Resources

Theresa Brown joined Crossroads United Way in March 2024, bringing over 35 years of accounting experience, 9 years of human resources experience, and over 12 years of nonprofit experience. Theresa is a certified public accountant (CPA) and a chartered global management accountant (CGMA).  She has a bachelor’s degree from Manchester University in Accounting and a master’s degree in human resources management from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is also working on her MBA at Indiana Wesleyan University and has just two classes left to complete.

Theresa has a passion for children, literacy, and education of all types. Her favorite quote is from the 2005 Robots movie: “See a need, fill a need!” She enjoys filling needs by volunteering and helping others. She loves working in the classroom with students, having volunteered for Junior Achievement in elementary classrooms for 13 years and working with multiple classrooms each semester. Theresa also spent several years helping in teacher workrooms and volunteering in elementary classrooms helping students with math. She is excited to volunteer with Read United through Crossroads United Way. Theresa has been a Big Sister, a Girl Scout leader, a respite care giver, the money counter at non-profit fundraisers, and the treasurer of the Foundation for Art & Music in Education (FAME) organization.


Jennifer Haney, Director of Resource Development, focusing on Elkhart County

Jennifer joined Crossroads United Way in the spring of 2021 after serving nearly 18 years at Goshen Health. Jennifer has two bachelor’s degrees from Purdue University (Boiler Up!) in Dietetics and Nutrition, Fitness and Health. The majority of Jennifer’s career she has worked to serve the community in several different roles. Her roles centered around overall community wellness, safety, education, and volunteer engagement. She is a 2023 graduate of the Elkhart Leadership Academy through The Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce. Her passion is community engagement and connecting with people to help with the betterment of their welfare.
As a Director of Resource Development, Jennifer builds and develops relationships in the community to aid in the ultimate impact that United Way has on the residents that we serve. She has a passion for building lasting relationships which ensures a solid framework for this role.

Denise Landers, Area Director, focusing on LaGrange & Noble Counties

Denise joined Crossroads United Way August 2021 after a 30+ year career in healthcare.  Denise received her BS in Business Administration and Marketing from Indiana Institute of Technology and later earned her MS in Human Services and Gerontology from Kansas State University.  Denise started her career in long term healthcare in high school, working at Miller’s Merry Manor in LaGrange, Indiana.  From those days of working in the dietary department, Denise went on to become a Marketing Director for senior communities in Indiana, New Mexico and Ohio.  Denise returned to Indiana in 2010 as a Regional Operations Director, working with seniors in need of behavioral health services. She directed programs in Indiana, North and South Dakota, Idaho, Minnesota, Kentucky and Tennessee.  

Denise has been a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association for 26 years. She has facilitated support groups, helped raise funds and presented programs on behalf of the association in several states.  Today, she facilitates a caregiver support group in Topeka, Indiana and presents programs in the northern counties of Indiana.

Denise represents CRUW in the LaGrange County Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador and is a graduate of Leadership LaGrange County.  She is also a member of the Kendallville Rotary Club and is involved with several non-profit steering committees and groups.  She is on the Board of Directors for St. Martin’s Healthcare which serves patients in both LaGrange and Noble Counties.  


Julie Poertner, Senior Director of Community Impact

Julie joined our team in October 2021.  She was born and raised in Elkhart graduating from Concord High School.  She attended Ball State University and earned a B.S. in Social Work.  Julie has spent her career assisting people with daily needs or referring them to where their needs can be met.  She believes in hard work and supporting individuals and families (ALICE families) who are working but struggle at times and fall short for all kinds of reasons but not from lack of effort.  “We all go through hardships; my prayer is that when the hardships hit our community members, they know they are not alone.”

As Senior Director of Community Impact, Julie manages all aspects of Crossroads United Way's grant processes.


Jill Yoder, Director of Volunteer & Community Engagement

Jill joined Crossroads United Way in Spring 2021 after spending 12 years at Elkhart Public Library, serving as their Community Engagement Coordinator. She recently graduated from WGU Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and is a proud WGU Night Owl who’s still involved with the alumni network and programs. Jill is also involved with the Greater Elkhart Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Council, Greenleaf Senior Health Advisory Board, and volunteers with the CARES Mentoring Program. 

Jill’s role at Crossroads United Way as Director of Volunteer & Community Engagement allows her to fulfill her passion for building lasting relationships that benefit our communities by connecting corporate partners and individuals with high-quality volunteer experiences. 


Michele Marlow, Operations Manager

Michele joined Crossroads United Way in May 2022. Prior to her time here, she spent 20+ years in education serving junior high to college-aged students. Michele brings over 35+ years of administrative support experience to the Crossroads team and enjoys helping others. She is thrilled to be part of the CRUW team and is excited to serve her community.

As Operations Manager, Michele gets to use her talents and skills to further the team’s mission.  Her attention to detail, organization, and support will aid in streamlining processes and procedures.


Yesenia Torres, Coordinator

Yesenia joined Crossroads United Way in March 2024 as the CRUW Coordinator. She brings a wealth of community service experience, having transitioned from roles serving families during the holidays in Texas to a position at a homeless shelter for families in Green Bay. Her dedication to helping others stems from her upbringing in Texas and has been further fueled by her experiences living in Indiana since 2000. Yesenia's passion for serving the community extends to her work with the elderly, inspired by her late grandparents. She finds fulfillment in her role with CRUW's Bright by Text program, where she focuses on providing invaluable resources and support to families. Yesenia's journey, marked by a commitment to helping others and a desire to make a meaningful impact, continues to shape her compassionate and dedicated approach to community service.