Andrea Casteel Smith is an author(Scarred Beautiful), TEDTalk speaker, a Certified Professional Life Coach, Certified Professional Christian Life Coach, an ordained minister, a licensed Chaplain, and completing Christian Counseling at Trinity College and Seminary. She started the Scarred Beautiful movement, a community, a platform and a training forum for those who want to take their purpose and destiny to a new remarkable levels.  Andrea was Ashley’s children’s church and youth leader and has continued to mentor and impact her life.



Richard Lopez is entering his twenty-first year of ministry with FCA.   He is currently the FCA campus director at the University of Arizona where along with being the team chaplain for football, and also meeting with athletes throughout the day, pouring into them, and teaching them how to live and play for Christ. Richard also leads different Bible studies throughout the week for coaches where he challenges them to build up athletes not just in sports but also in everyday life.  Richard gave Ashley her first job after being widowed in 2005 and continues to champion her on this journey.


Mary Beth Meyer graduated from Trinity Christian College where she studied Philosophy and Elementary Education.  She has been a teacher in her hometown, as well as Chicago. She is most recently a former Willow Creek Community Church pastor where she led and coordinated the MOPS ministry.  She now runs @Myintentialfamily where she helps and inspires other families through their adoption journey.  Mary Beth was the first one Ashley called when her spouse died, since they were all close friends.  She has continued to be a blessing and comfort ever since.


David Hughes, President of the Board and Ashley Hughes, Founder, Executive Director

David and Ashley Hughes were married in 2008. They worked in corporate America until they both moved to the nonprofit sector and vocational ministry in 2013.  David recognized God’s calling in Ashley’s life for those in mourning, and when the dream of Joy in the Mourning came up in March of 2017 he encouraged her to start a ministry.  In March of 2020 Ashley officially stepped into that calling!  David has worked and volunteered in various ministry leadership roles the past 14 years.  He is passionate about developing, discipling and building leaders. He has served on the Tucson Ministry Alliance Admin Team, facilitating and leading monthly gatherings to promote unity in the Body of Christ through collaboration, networking, and awareness of issues impacting our local community.  Together they are committed to helping others in their community and beyond to find Joy in the Mourning.