Board Members & Team

Joe West


Joe grew up in Mason City, Iowa. He was one of 10 ten children. Joe is a graduate of North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, MN. He and his wife Sharon met in college. They traveled on weekend ministry teams. Joe and Sharon celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary. They have three amazing sons and their wives, and they love spending time with their eleven grandchildren. 

Joe began his ministry in 1972, when he served as a summer intern youth pastor in Rio, Wisconsin. They returned after graduation in 1973 and served for almost two years. He then took the position of pastor at Suburban Assembly of God (now Hobson Road Community Church) in Downers Grove, IL. He served as lead pastor for 38 years. He led the church through two building projects. He retired from pastoring in 2012 and began his ministry as the Director of popwe and tour pastor, alongside of his son, Matthew. He loves traveling and ministering around the nation with Matthew, seeing God change lives, one story at a time.  

John Horton

Board Member

John Horton is a seasoned marketing and business strategist whose desire is to assist leaders who are experiencing challenges in either organizational issues or falling short on corporate objectives. He retired from the Walt Disney Company in 2019, and then served at Covenant College until 2022. He and his lovely wife Leia recently moved to their forever home in Pendleton, SC, near Clemson University. They have three children and two grandchildren.

From John about Matthew: I have known Matthew for almost twenty years, beginning when I toured him throughout Florida in my wife’s mini-van to promote the Disney Christian music event Night of Joy. Even then, we brainstormed ideas to take his music ministry beyond the concert venue. So after all these years, it is great to see how his special God-given gift of storytelling is being used to reach “beyond the concert venue” to change lives and impact the world for Christ. It is one of the great honors of my life to serve on this board.

Sharen King

Board Member

Sharen is a business consultant from Wisconsin, living the dream with Mike, husband of 27 years, along with two beautiful daughters, Lauren and Coryn.

From Sharen about popweNow more than ever, we need each other, we need hope, and we need to know our story matters. What I love most about this ministry is knowing that every single day, lives are touched and hearts are changed through the powerful stories shared and prayers lifted. I continue to be awestruck by the inspiration, passion, and energy of Matthew and Joe West as they live into the vision of the ministry, supported by hundreds of courageous storytellers, prayer warriors, and popwe partners working together to create a ripple effect of God’s love, grace, and mercy.

Diane Leede

Board Member

For the last fifteen years, Diane has been a hands-on philanthropist, investing significant time and efforts in leading capital development and building construction campaigns for Christian schools, ministries and her home church. These campaigns have included annual expendable funds for private Christian schools and the construction of a 94,000 square foot, student-centric high school performing arts center, which included a professional auditorium, a recording studio, an orchestra rehearsal suite, acoustical isolated practice rooms, animation and design studios, a broadcast center and art spaces. The project at her home church was a sanctuary remodel with updated aesthetics and state-of-the-art audio-visual technologies which enhance onsite sound and visual tools and facilitate both live streaming and recording services. 

Diane has personalized expertise in the production and promotion of contemporary Christian rock concerts as development events and fundraisers for church and ministry organizations. Other tools have included sound and film materials in support of specific ministries. Prior to the ministry focus, Diane worked for twenty years in private business accounting and in the medical waste industry. She has been a board member of PopWe, a Matthew West ministry, since inception and is a past board member of The Spot Urban Peak, Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, Musana Community Development Organization, and Valor Christian High School. She served as an elder of Greenwood Community Church from 2012 through 2018. 

Diane earned a B.S. in accounting in 1981 from Texas Tech University and she lives in Greenwood Village, Colorado with her husband, John. Their son has graduated from university, and their daughter has recently married. 

From Diane: popwe, from inception, has encouraged people to honestly see their past and share their stories for healing to begin, prayer for continued growth and sharing the Word of God for spiritually maturity in Jesus.  It changes our perspectives’ to “The Light of Eternity” (Matthew West song, History album 2005)

Charles Petersen

Board Member

Charles retired in 2017 from the engineering firm he started in 1998. He currently resides on Franklin, TN. He has been married to his lovely wife Anita for 45 years. He has 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren.

To keep himself busy, Charles volunteers to work on the farm his church in Franklin owns. He also builds hot rods in his garage. He is the treasurer for Matthew West’s foundation, popwe.

Ardean Veldkamp

Board Member

From Ardean about popwe: We love seeing how God uses music, people and His Word to change people’s lives! God calls us to obedience in carrying out His mission.

Marquisha Thomas

Admin and Tech


Marquisha now resides in the Washington, DC area with her husband, Mike, and their two daughters, Aline and Ava. 

She joined the popwe team after working at Apple for 5 and 1/2 years, primarily in business customer acquisition. She is thrilled to be apart of a team that assists in the "soul saving" business. She has a strong passion for people, which includes connecting with and mentoring others.