Meet Our Leadership Team

Joel Johnson - Senior Pastor
Joel Johnson
Senior Pastor

952.224.7314

I have served as Senior Pastor since the start of Westwood Community Church in 1995. Prior to Westwood, I served at Wooddale Church where I helped oversee the strategic plan for starting new churches. I graduated from Bethel Seminary in 1986 and completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA in 1999. My wife Keri and I anticipate a future for Westwood that will increase the reputation of Jesus Christ in this area and around the world.

Scott Sturm - Executive Director
Scott Sturm
Executive Director

952.224.7380

I have been part of Westwood from the very beginning and served on the leadership board for ten years. My career experience of 20 years in the semiconductor industry provided opportunities in global sales, marketing and management. I have an undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Wisconsin Madison. My wife Cheryl and I have two adult children, Tyler and Tasha, and a dog, Bryn. We truly enjoy being together anywhere and do what we can to take in God’s creation.

Brian Suter
Brian Suter
Adult Ministries—Pastor

952.224.7340

I joined Westwood’s pastoral staff in May of 2004 and served in student ministry for my first eight years here. I have an undergraduate degree in Communication from Bethel University and have an MDIV from Bethel Seminary. I love Westwood, and I am grateful I get to serve in a church like ours. My wife Courtnay and I live in Victoria with our two kids. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially when the golf course is involved with these two groups of people.

Monica Held
Monica Held
Adult Ministry Coordination—Director

952.224.7350

I’ve been on staff at Westwood since January of 2002. It’s my hope that people will experience a sense of belonging and community at Westwood.  I have a BS in Nursing from St. Olaf College and am certified in Case Management. My husband, Dean, and I live in Chanhassen and are empty nesters. In my spare time I love to cook, read, walk and spend time with family and friends. I’m currently enrolled in a Master’s program in Marriage and Family Therapy, and look forward to how God will use this in my future.

Dianne DeKonig
Dianne Cotten Dekoning
Adult Ministry Initiatives and Women's Groups—Pastor

952.224.7308

I joined Westwood’s pastoral staff in January of 2010.  I grew up in Chicago, although I call Minnesota home now. Bethel University brought me here and I have stayed since graduating with a degree in Youth Ministry and a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership. I find myself outside when the weather is nice, walking the lakes, working out and gardening. We like to host friends for bonfires and dinner at our house, too.  I live in Eden Prairie with my husband Andrew and 2 sons.

Zac Bush
Zac Bush
Bush Lake Campus Pastor

952.283.2901

I am a native Texan who moved up to Minnesota to play hockey in 2009. While working on my undergraduate degree at Bethel University majoring in Communication Studies, I met my wife Cassie. We were married in 2013 and shortly after moved to Dallas, so I could pursue a Master of Theology degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. During our time in Dallas, I worked as the Minister to college students at Park Cities Baptist Church. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with Cassie, watching movies and college football, reading good books and drinking coffee. We also welcomed our first child, a son, in January 2017.

Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley
Bush Lake Pastor of Family Ministries

952.283.2903

I am from southside Chicagoland. My wife Gina and I have been married since 1999, and we have 3 kids. I graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a BA in Bible/Communications/Theology and Northwestern (MATS). I attended Calvin Theological Seminary and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary with a focus on Historical Theology. Presently, I am completing a degree an MA in Transformational Leadership at Bethel. I have worked in student ministry since 1997. I served as a senior pastor, taught theology at Crown College and served in the Air Force. In my free time, I enjoy trail running, hunting, fishing and portrait photography.

Scott Sample
Scott Sample
Communications—Director

952.224.7352

I love to tell the story of what God is doing in and through Westwood Community Church using the art of language, design and digital media. Prior to Westwood, I was a creative professional in Boston, Providence and Minneapolis and was the Executive Creative Director/Principal Partner of Initio Marketing Communications. As a visual artist and designer, I explore ways to capture the beauty of life, and the joy and certainty of faith.

Dave Trautmann
Dave Trautmann
Community Care—Pastor

952.224.7304

I’ve had the joy of being part of Westwood since 1996.  As Pastor of Community Care, I oversee ministries designed to share the love of Jesus with individuals and families during times of transition, loss and healing. Sheri and I have been married 28 years. We have three adult sons: Ryan and his wife, Rachel, have a little boy, Grayson; Aaron; and Mark. I’ve completed a Masters of Divinity from Bethel Seminary, along with advanced coursework in marriage and family studies through Denver Seminary. I’m an avid runner, enjoy the lake in summer and the trails in fall and winter and live in Carver.

Jim Theis
Jim Theis
Facilties—Director

952.224.7378

I am currently the Director of Facilities which entails managing all Westwood campuses and the Security and Medical Teams. I grew up on a farm and am 1 of 12 kids. I have been married to my lovely wife, Christy, for over 20 years. I have been at Westwood since 2005, serving as a small group leader, usher, greeter and founder of the Westwood Wheelers car club.

Lisa Nebel
Lisa Nebel
Groups—Director

952.224.7348

I am a lifelong Minnesotan. I started coming to Westwood in 2005. After serving as a volunteer in High School Ministry for many years, I joined the Westwood staff in 2013. I am passionate about developing leaders who create environments where people can belong to God and to each other through Groups here at Westwood. I have a degree in Marketing from Carlson School of Management. My husband Scott and I live in Chanhassen and enjoy traveling, biking, reading and laughing together, especially when it includes our two adult children.

Matt Velasco
Matt Velasco
High School Ministry—Director

952.224.7463

I joined the Student Ministries team back in 2016. I love working with students because they have the capacity to change the world, and their schools, with the love of Jesus. I lead not only the students but also an amazing team of volunteers. I am passionate about seeing students come to know Jesus and the love that He has for them.

Jon Ditty
Jon Ditty
Kids Ministry—Pastor

952.224.7338

I have been with Westwood since February of 2017. I come to Westwood with 15 years of Family and Youth Ministry experience. As the Kids Pastor, I get to lead the Kids Team and together we have the fantastic opportunity to help connect church and home. Along the way we get to do some fun events, help kids build true community, and help parents connect with one another. When not at Westwood, you will find me at home with my wife Tracie and our three kids Grace, Elise, and William. I can’t wait to meet you and your family.

Spencer Larsen
Spencer Larsen
Middle School Ministry—Director

952.224.7302

I attended the University of Northwestern St. Paul for my undergraduate in Youth and Family Studies. I am passionate about guiding students toward Jesus and seeing Him work in their lives’. God has continued to call me into different avenues of student ministry and I am excited to be at Westwood serving as the Middle School Ministry Director. I desire to see students encounter a real and living God, who created us uniquely and for a unique purpose. I love to go hunting and fishing in my free time. Most of my time is spent with friends and family!

Mark Nelson
Mark Nelson
Minnetonka Campus Pastor

952.224.7382

I have been with Westwood since 1995. I am a graduate of Bethel Seminary with a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Biblical Greek. I love the local church and understand that it is built by the Word of God and prayer. I know that my job as a Campus Pastor is to help others find their calling, or vocation, in Christ. My wife Elizabeth and I live in Excelsior and have three grown children who are all serving in local church ministry in the greater Twin Cities.

Kevin Christian
Kevin Christian
Minnetonka Pastor of Family Ministries

952.224.7342

I have been working with students for 25 years, so stepping into the Family Pastor role was a very natural move for me. I oversee Kids Ministry, work directly with middle and high school students and offer any support that I can to help families raise kids in today’s world. My wife Kelly volunteers in kids and student ministry and my daughter Kira sings on Westwood’s worship teams. In the summer, I love cook-outs with my family, hanging with friends on the golf course, riding motorcycles with my wife and mowing my lawn.

Chaz Nichols
Chaz Nichols
Missions and Outreach Initiatives—Director

952.224.7464

In 2005 my family and I moved to Minnesota from Utah. Almost immediately we started attending Westwood. After 15 years of working with tech companies on strategic alliance business initiatives, I joined the Westwood staff as the Director of Outreach in 2013. My wife, Roberta, and I have two sons Ben and Mark.

When I am not in the office, I enjoy hanging out with my family, single-track mountain biking, skiing, sailing and international adventure travel. But I also enjoy being quiet and spending time daily reading the Word.

Jill Fox
Jill Fox
Next Gen Ministries —Pastor

952.224.7480

I serve as the Pastor of Next Gen Ministries. I have a Communications degree from Bethel University and received a Masters in Transformational Leadership from Bethel Seminary. Prior to joining Westwood, I was a Young Adults Pastor, Creative Arts Pastor, Volunteer Development Pastor and The Gathering Service Pastor at Wooddale Church. I am passionate about developing the next generation of leaders for the church. In my free time, I enjoy boating, gardening, shoe shopping, running and talking. I also enjoy being with my husband Paul and our kids Grey and Thia Ruby.

Kevin Klingbiel
Kevin Klingbiel
Next Steps—Pastor

952.224.7354

I began attending Westwood in the Fall of 2011. I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Crown College. My wife, Olivia, and I live in Chanhassen. I enjoy a good cup of coffee and college football.

Tami Stordahl
Tami Stordahl
Online Campus Pastor

952.224.7306

Dinner with friends, traveling, my nieces and nephews, yummy food, and reading a book in a hammock by a lake are a few of my favorite things. Helping to start Westwood in 1995 and being part of our church community is one of the most life-changing, exciting and humbling experiences of my life. I have always loved providing spaces and experiences where people can fall more in love with Jesus. A conversation over tea, a retreat experience or people around the world worshipping together through Westwood’s online community–it’s all about being and living like Jesus. I graduated from Moody Bible Institute, the Soul Care Institute in Colorado.

Kate Peabody
Kate Peabody
Operations—Director

952.224.7376

My family and I attended Westwood’s first service in 1995. I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health and a Master of Arts Degree in Industrial Relations.  I joined Westwood’s staff in 2011 and oversee Accounting, Facilities, Food Services and Human Resources. When not on campus, I can be found on the water or a tennis court; in the spring I’m deep in the forest hunting for morels. My husband Mark and I live in Shorewood and have two children, John and Lauren.

Becky Steffenson
Becky Steffensen
Preschool Ministry—Director

952.224.7452

I’ve been married to my husband, Corey, for 22 years and we have three wonderful kids…all teenagers! And we are proud parents of one crazy dog who seems to get into as much mischief as the teens do. I began attending Westwood when services were held at Chaska High School in 2001. I have been a part of Westwood Preschool since February 2010.

Megan Sage
Megan Sage
Student Ministry—Pastor

952.224.7334

I attended Bethel University for my undergraduate in Biblical and Theological Studies. I am currently pursuing my MA in Christian Thought from Bethel Seminary. I am passionate about helping others live into the calling God has placed on their lives and developing them into leaders. In my free time, I enjoy coffee with my husband Billy and spending time with our son Hunter.

Tim Remington
Tim Remington
Technology—Director

952.224.7360

I have a degree in Communications from the University of Minnesota and have lived in the state all my life except for a brief stint on the east coast. I have three married children and three grandchildren, all a joy! My wife Colleen and I live in Chanhassen. In addition to participating in choir at Westwood, we are part of a non-profit Christian theater arts ministry in the Twin Cities

Ben Rosenbush
Ben Rosenbush
Worship Arts—Pastor

952.224.7436

I’m a follower of Jesus, husband, worshiper, singer/songwriter and artist with purpose. I graduated in 2005 with a degree in Commercial Music from Belmont University and in April 2014 I joined the team as the Worship Arts Pastor. My great desire for us as a community is to be invited into transformative encounters with the beauty of God and go out in the world as light and as true worshipers. My wife, Jacquilyn, daughter Fiammetta, son Wilder and I live in Bloomington and have a friendly beast named Taz. If you’re an outdoors person, you may run into us all on the hiking trail or at a campsite, as we try to get out into the woods as much as we can.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Leadership Board Chairman

952.220.0344

I have been at Westwood since 1995 and have served in several ministry areas. Listening to God and then acting on what he is doing in our midst is something I value. My wife Jackie and I have two children. I am the Vice President of Operations for Viking Client Services. In my free time, I enjoy water skiing, golfing and most importantly spending time with my wife.