Board Members

Jennifer and Jody Scharfenstein – Savannah’s parents, Co-Founders, Executive Director

Jody and I are the blessed parents of Kayla, Savannah, Grace and Madison.  We never would have thought that we would lose one of them.  We are the co-founders of Savannah Smiles and I, Jennifer, am the Director of the organization.  We love the Lord and have always taught our girls the same.  Savannah’s death was the greatest test of our faith but as God held us through this tragedy, we began to see His plan for us to help others who would experience this same pain.  I have always been a stay at home mom, homeschooling my girls for the first years of their lives and being the helper to my husband I was designed to be. I love those jobs!!  I am also a local consultant for a dual marketing company.  Jody worked for a ship assist company for 18 years and is now is the administrator for our local church.  He is a huge part of organizing and running Savannah Smiles fundraising events.  My main job with this ministry is to take the weekly calls from families who need our help.  He and I both oversee the operations of Savannah Manor and I assist in the planning of Camp Savannah. There’s nothing better than being right in the center of God’s plan, even if it’s hard!

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Tim and Julie Walker – President and Director of Baton Rouge Office

It has been an honor to be a part of the Savannah Smiles Board of Directors from the beginning.  My family and I love Savannah and her family. It is out of this deep love for them and God, that I have been dedicated to Savannah Smiles and its various ministries that help hurting and grieving families. Savannah Smiles has helped over 1,200 families with burial expenses for their beloved children. What an honor to be able to help so many. Currently, I have the distinct privilege to lead Savannah Smiles as president of the board.

I am a Director of Engineering and Reliability for John H. Carter, Company, headquartered in Baton Rouge. I have been with this company for six years but have been in the oil field for over twenty-five years. Savannah Smiles helps families all over south Louisiana.  Baton Rouge is one of the major areas for donations for funeral expenses. Also, I serve in different ways at my local church in Baton Rouge. It is my great privilege to serve the Lord through Savannah Smiles.

Kayla Alford – Treasurer and Savannah’s older sister

My name is Kayla Alford and I am Savannah’s older sister. As you might guess, I have been involved with Savannah Smiles since its inception in 2007 when I was just 13 years old. It has been such a blessing to grow up and watch my parents allow the Lord to transform a devastating, life-changing loss, into a God-glorifying, people-loving ministry. My husband and I live in Hattiesburg, MS where I am a CPA currently serving as an auditor for a public accounting firm. Since God has given me a head for numbers, I am so excited to use this gift to serve Him and hurting families as the Treasurer of Savannah Smiles.

Danielle and Ted Morrison – Secretary and Website Administrator

I have been blessed to walk alongside her husband Ted since they married in October 2010. We have two beautiful children who fill our home with laughter, chaos and an abundance of joy.  Growing up an army brat, I am very close to my family and I carry the values instilled in me by my parents as I raise my own children. I pray my kids grow to love and know Jesus Christ and have a desire to serve others.  I have enjoyed being involved in the community through Girl Scouts, FBC Preschool Ministry, Upward Cheer leading and Savannah Smiles. In my professional life I have worked for the US Congress as a Field Representative since 2007.

I have had a special connection with Savannah Smiles since I first heard Jody Scharfenstein speak about the loss of his daughter in 2007.  God brought me and my family to FBC Slidell after the tragic death of my own father and on the first Sunday we visited, Jody spoke, and God laid the ground work for a dear friendship and years of service to follow.  I truly believe in Savannah Smiles’ mission of helping hurting families and leading them to the hope that is offered in His promises.  After volunteering with Savannah Smiles for a few years, I along with my husband, officially joined the board in 2011 and we look forward to continuing to serve.

Brett Groom – Board Member

My wife and I have served on the Board of Directors for Savannah Smiles since its inception. The Scharfenstein family are dear friends to us and we are honored to serve alongside them to honor Savannah’s memory. I am a Mechanical Engineer for a major oil company. We are members of First Baptist Church Slidell where I serve as a Deacon and a youth boys Sunday school teacher as well as chairman of multiple committees. We are also very active in the Upward Basketball league. We have a daughter, who is attending the University of South Alabama, and a son in high school.

Gary LaFollette – Board Member

I am new to the Savannah Smiles family, but have known of its wonderful reputation for helping people for many years through my time at First Baptist Church Slidell.  What I admire most about this ministry is that it seeks to stand beside those hurting often in the darkest of places. Experiencing loss is often lonely and it is in those seasons that we need direction to true comfort.   This ministry introduces families to the Word and at the same time is a beautiful example of how the Word becomes a loving and caring force for healing.  My wife and I feel blessed to be a part of Savannah Manor and are excited to see how God works in the lives of the families that call it home for a season.  Many years ago, a minister came to me in my own despair and poverty.  He spoke words of hope into my life… told me that my situation was not my destination, that where I was at that point was not where I would end…. A hope and a future awaits…. This, I believe is the message and ministry of Savannah Smiles.

Carl Fredericks – Board Member

I have been involved with Savannah Smiles as an original board member since the foundation’s inception in 2007. I served for 3 years then rolled off but continued to participate in fund raisers and events.

I have been inspired by the life and legacy of Savannah so much so that I am writing a novel and screenplay about an adventure searching for treasure that incorporates many aspects of Savannah’s life into the story.

I have worked as a Case Manager for almost two decades for STARC helping families with special needs adults with one-on-one services, funding and support.

I am very active with church activities serving as a deacon, Sunday school teacher and hurricane relief.

I love playing and coaching sports like basketball, baseball, volleyball and golf.

I, my wife Maggie and our five children have been active supporters of Savannah Smiles by collecting toys and distributing food baskets for families in need. Our children were close friends with Savannah and they were often found riding bikes, swimming and doing bible study together.  I have a new grandson; Chandler, and I can’t wait to share Savannah Smiles with him as well.

Haley Orillion – Director of Camp Savannah

Hi! My name is Haley Orillion I am the director of Camp Savannah. My husband Travis and I have been married since 2016 and we live in New Orleans. I am currently pursuing my masters in Church and Community Ministries and a master’s in social work. I have been involved with Savannah Smiles for about 8 years. I have loved the mission of Savannah Smiles and their ministry of helping hurting people. Over time this has really become my mission as well.  As someone who lost her dad at the age of 14, I believe my calling in life is to help hurting people in whatever capacity I can. This has looked like being a Casa, being the camp director, and pursuing my master’s in social work. I’m not sure what God has in store for me, but I am excited to run the race He has for me.

Eric and Kara Hammond – Resident Managers at Savannah Manor

I am new to the Savannah Smiles family, but have known of its wonderful reputation for helping people for many years through my time at First Baptist Church Slidell.  What I admire most about this ministry is that it seeks to stand beside those hurting often in the darkest of places. Experiencing loss is often lonely and it is in those seasons that we need direction to true comfort.   This ministry introduces families to the Word and at the same time is a beautiful example of how the Word becomes a loving and caring force for healing.  My wife and I feel blessed to be a part of Savannah Manor and are excited to see how God works in the lives of the families that call it home for a season.  Many years ago, a minister came to me in my own despair and poverty.  He spoke words of hope into my life… told me that my situation was not my destination, that where I was at that point was not where I would end…. A hope and a future awaits…. This, I believe is the message and ministry of Savannah Smiles.