Our Staff and Board


Judy Pedersen / Founder, Board President and Director

“The miracle is not that we do the work, but that we want to do it.” Saint Mother Teresa

In April 1998, a small ad appeared in Judy Pedersen's local newspaper that read, “Hospice volunteers wanted…”  A call to service was triggered from those few words and, since then, Judy has worked to serve those who have experienced life-altering illness, trauma and loss. Read more and view Judy's Professional Bio

Daniel A. Abut / Board of Directors, Vice President

“The only way to do great work, and be satisfied with your job, is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs

Daniel Abut considers himself extremely fortunate, because three of the best firms in the banking business (JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Citi) gave him the opportunity of a long and rewarding career doing something that, over the years, he became quite passionate about: analyzing banks, dissecting their financials, assessing their valuation, interviewing their managements, writing about their tactical and strategic plans, reporting on their successes (and also their failures), and sharing his views with bank investors all over the world.  Read more

Donna Stone / Board of Directors, Treasurer

“I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not ever complete the last one, but I give myself to it. I have been circling for thousands of years and I still don't know - am I a falcon, a storm, or a great song?” Rilke

As a financial services representative, Donna believes her professional calling is a benefit to Hearts of Hope. Within her family and within her client's families, Donna has witnessed what the crises of health, loss and sometimes death can evoke. Read more

Terry Becker / Board of Directors

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."  Muhammad Ali

Few people have a deeper sense of community and a spirit of giving back than Terry Becker.

Hearts of Hope is honored to have Terry Becker as a member of our Board of Directors. She brings a unique skill set to our foundation because of her comprehensive knowledge of nonprofit management and organization.  Read more

Pattie Ptak / President of Newtown, CT Chapter

Life isn't about surviving the storm, it's about learning how to dance in the rain!

After a successful eighteen year professional career as an electrician with Northrup Grumman and IBEW 208, Pattie Ptak has embraced volunteering in a big way. Recently she has worked with Wreaths Across America and the Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders.  Pattie served as CT Coordinator for Wreaths Across America from 2009 - 2012 and 2016. Pattie has made the full escort from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery four times. She has been an active member of the Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders since 2008. Read more

Connie Lester / President of Stratford, CT Chapter

"Try to be a Rainbow in Someone's Cloud”  - Maya Angelou

I discovered Hearts of Hope when I ordered a kit to paint hearts for our Adopt A Soldier program in the Mideast and a unit of over 35 soldiers. Our family adopts soldiers and supports them while they are deployed.  Read more



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Hearts of Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to "creating hope...one heart at a time" ©2018 Hearts of Hope Foundation, Inc.

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Hearts of Hope

24123 Peachland Boulevard, C-4, #134

Port Charlotte, FL  33954

Phone 973.224.6900  

email: info@ourheartsofhope.org