Chris Liberto
Executive Director
Employed Since 2016

Chris Liberto is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Prior to joining Camp High Hopes, Chris helped lead a health and well-being initiative called the Blue Zones Project.  The majority of Chris’s professional career came in broadcast journalism where he spent 10 years as a news and sports anchor for ABC.  Chris serves on the board for Mid-Step services and has helped found organizations like the Pier Center for Autism and 100+ Men Who Care.  Chris was also recognized as a “Ten Under 40” award recipient in 2016 for his work in the community.  Chris and his wife Jenna live in Dakota Dunes, SD and have three young children named Hunter, Quinn & Kennedy.
Phone: 712-224-2267 ext 100

Stephen Fasnacht
Camp Director
Employed Since 2018

Stephen Fasnacht started working at camps for people with special needs in high school. He worked at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club Camp after high school. During the summers while attending the University of Missouri, Stephen worked at another special needs camp in the Catskill Mountains of New York. After college, he joined the staff at Camp Courageous of Iowa to get camping out of his system. After being a counselor, nature director, adventure specialist, lifeguard and eventually Asst. Program Director, he realized that was never going to happen. Stephen loves working in such positive environments with people that have special needs, because camp never tells people what is impossible to achieve. It doesn’t matter if you have a disability or not, we can all sing, dance, play, and do things we never thought possible. He is the proud father of two boys. He has also volunteered as an EMT and helped at animal shelters. He loves biking, running, and being outdoors.
Phone: 712-224-2267 ext 102

Sarah Morgan
Advancement Director
Employed Since 2016

Sarah Morgan is graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, but is originally from Colorado. She holds degrees in Broadcast Journalism and French. She started her broadcasting career at KMEG 14 in Sioux City where she met her husband, Travis. After getting married, they moved to Omaha, but they missed their family, friends, and home in Sioux City and moved back. Sarah was the morning anchor at KTIV News 4 for four years. After 12 years in the TV biz, Sarah decided it was time for a change. Sarah began working at Camp High Hopes in March of 2016. She and Travis live in South Dakota with their daughter, Cate, son, Cameron, and a fur baby Boston Terrier, Mugsy.
712-224-2267 ext. 107

Teresa Brus
Office Manager
Employed Since 2017

Teresa Brus is a graduate of Western Iowa Tech Community College with an Associates Degree in accounting. Originally from Harlan, Iowa, she has lived and worked in the Sioux City area since graduating from WIT. After 20 years of working for BPI Technology, Teresa decided it was time for a change and went to what she considers her dream job, Camp High Hopes. She lives in Sioux City with her two teenage sons, Matthew and Christopher, and their dog, Cooper. Teresa was also involved with Sioux City-Westside Little League as their treasurer for a number of years. Teresa loves the outdoors and volunteers when she can.
Phone: 712-224-2267 ext 101

Phoebe Matibe
Program Director
Employed Since 2019

Phoebe Matibe earned her degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from Purdue University (Boiler Up). She comes to Camp High Hopes with a background in applied behavior analysis, recreational and special needs camping, photography, and speech therapy. Phoebe loves watching campers witness growth in themselves as they explore the world around them through new and exciting experiences. She enjoys working at Camp High Hopes because she is passionate and committed to improving the minds, characters, and lives of students both in and out of school. Phoebe enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, listening to live music, and playing outside!
Phone: 712-224-2267 ext 105

Kody Gafkjen
Assistant Program Director
Employed Since 2019

Kody Gafkjen started working at camps while in high school, and while he was in college he started working with people with varying abilities. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in Leisure, Youth & Human Services and is a Certified Nonprofit Professional and Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. During the summers, he started working at Camp Courageous of Iowa as a counselor and completed his internship in the camp’s Travel Department. After graduating, he continued working at Camp Courageous as a Program Specialist, Lifeguard, and Evening Program Activity Specialist. He enjoys the outdoors and experiencing it with others. He is excited to be a part of the Camp High Hopes staff and is looking forward to meeting all of the fantastic campers.
Phone: 712-224-2267 ext 109

Joe Hlas
Facilities Assistant
Employed Since 2017

Joe Hlas is a graduate of Iowa State University with a BS degree in Agriculture Studies. He has been at Camp High Hopes since May of 2017 as a part time maintenance assistant. He continues to farm near Kingsley, Iowa which he has done since 1988. He has also worked the past 13 years with a construction crew when not in his tractor. Joe has been married to wife, Julie, for 25 years and they have three college-aged children, Michael, Elizabeth, and William. They live on an acreage west of Lawton, Iowa.
712-224-2267 ext. 112

Melissa De Kok
Employed Since 2019

Melissa De Kok started working at Camp High Hopes in 2019 after spending most of her time in customer service roles. Finally realizing there is no better role than one that allows you to be involved with people from all backgrounds and abilities, she decided to try a new path and joined Camp High Hopes. She currently lives in Sioux City with her two daughters, Brianna and Kennedy, and their German Shepard, Lola. When she isn’t balancing activities with the kids, she enjoys puzzles, Pinterest projects, and anything outdoors.
Phone: 712-224-2267 ext 108

Dr. Thomas Wente
Volunteer Medical Director
Volunteer Since 2012

Siouxland Native, Dr. Thomas Wente, earned his degree in Osteopathic Medicine from the University of Osteopathic Medicine in Des Moines.  As a provider of family practice medicine, Dr. Wente has been in practice with Family Health Care of Siouxland clinics in South Sioux City, NE and Moville, IA.  Dr. Wente provides knowledge, direction and oversight to the camp’s medical policies and procedures and is accessible to the camp’s onsite medical staff to help in guiding them as they care for the medical needs of individual campers.