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About Atlas

Who We Are and What We Do

Companions and Advocates on the Road of Life

Atlas strives to be advocates for those in need as they deal with life’s

relational, physical, emotional, financial, and/or spiritual struggles.

We strive to love unconditionally in every mentor relationship.

Our goal for every on-going client is three-fold:

1. Honest self-assessment of their situation,

2. renewed hope for their future,

   3. holistic growth and betterment in their lives.


The spiritual elements encouraged for successful life change include prayer,

gentle sharing of the Gospel of Christ through actions and words,

and encouraging participation in the local church.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person

falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

— Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT​

Our Mission

Our Mission


Our Vision


Why the Name "Atlas"

          The name Atlas was coined when Atlas of Sioux Center, the original Atlas ministry, was created. That ministry was then expanded into several independent Atlas ministries across the Midwest with a few scattered nationally. All of the Atlas ministries have since been loosely associated as a mutual support for the ministry directors. The name "ATLAS" stands for our hope for personal spiritual growth of our client base. The name is an acrostic as follows:

  • ​      A is for Attaining defined as intentionally working toward a specific goal

  •     T is for understanding and believing the Truth of God's word from the                 Scriptures

  •        ​L is for Love defined as God's love (agape) and sharing it with others

  •        And

  •      S is for Self-Discipline meaning engaging with the Christian church and                       living a positive Christian life for Christ

Meet the Atlas of the Lakes Area Staff















          Dave has often claimed that his only hobby was serving on the board of directors of more than a dozen secular and Christian community organizations, for a total of more than 60 years of service over his lifetime. In his work with Homestead Development,  he also provided reduced or free building design and construction management services to community churches and ministries.

          Dave became acquainted with the Atlas ministry in 2002 and developed a love for the way Atlas became the hands and feet of Jesus to their clients. He joined the board of directors of Atlas of Spencer in 2011 serving as Board President in 2017/18, and then in 2019, he began his retirement career as the volunteer Executive Director of Atlas of the Lakes Area, created as a satellite of Atlas of Spencer. In 2021 Atlas of the Lakes Area became an independent ministry, opening its doors to clients in February.

Dave Butterworth Executive Director

          Dave is a lifetime resident of Spirit Lake, graduating from high school and then graduating  from Iowa State University with a BS in architectural administration in pursuit of a career in light frame building design and construction. Following graduation Dave married his fiancée, Carolyn Cornell, and they chose to "honeymoon" in Alaska for a year as Vista volunteers (Volunteers In Service to America) serving a small community of Eskimo natives on Barter Island located off the North Slope in the Beaufort Sea. Following that experience, they settled in the Lakes Area to begin his construction career, and to start their family.

          Dave was employed by Citation Homes, a ground-breaking manufactured housing company, for fourteen years until he founded Homestead Development Corporation of Iowa, a building design and contract management firm in Spirit Lake. During those years Carolyn and he raised four children who have since given them twelve grandchildren.

          Tonya joins the Atlas Staff with a strong calling to be a part of full time Christian work. Her heart for Christ, desire to help others, and to gently guide people toward a saving relationship with Christ fits perfectly into the Atlas of the Lakes Area environment. Tonya brings experience as an Air Force veteran, with a pregnancy crisis center ministry, and with a veteran’s social service agency, first counseling clients and then as director of the program.

           Tonya’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from UMUC in Maryland and Masters of Science degree in Human Development and Family Science from University of Central Missouri. Her degrees ideally equip her for the challenges faced by Atlas as we seek to help clients work toward changed and improved lives.

          Tonya moved to the Lakes Area in 2021 and has lives in Milford with her husband, Jamie, son Payton and daughter Paige.

           Blending her education, experience, and youthful enthusiasm with Dave’s long-time knowledge of the community and maturity creates a blended team that can move Atlas of the Lakes Area into the future in new and exciting ways.

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Tonya Kuranda Ministry Director


Jodi Wollmuth Church Network Coordinator

          Jodi grew up in Spirit Lake and spent most of her life as a resident of the Iowa Great Lakes. She has a thirty-year career in a variety of businesses in the Lakes Area, each job requiring a self-starter to be successful. She has worked in all phases of her family’s manufacturing business, as a realtor, and as an administrative assistant in her husband’s personnel placement firm.

          Jodi has been active in a wide variety of church activities as well is involved in leading women’s Bible study groups. Through this exposure, she has felt a growing call to Christian ministry serving the needs of others. Although only a part-time position to begin, all of Jodi’s time will be fully invested in establishing a church communication network, developing mentors, and establishing ecumenical prayer groups.

          Jodi is married to Jayson Wollmuth and they have three grown sons and a grown daughter who has provided her with two grandchildren. Still at home are twin daughters currently in high school.

            We are delighted  to have Jodi as a part o the Atlas ministry team.


Meet the Atlas Board of Directors

Neil Heiser
Board President

               Neil joins the board with a background in government service following a 35-year career with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. His first position was serving as a Wildlife Biologist and was in the position of Regional Supervisor of Northwest Iowa. In that role he and concentrated much of his time on the purchase and management of public lands. In this role his motivation was to provide and preserve wetlands for the use of the general public.

               Neil lives his occupation as an avid hunter and fisherman. He still loves to fish in South Dakota and ice fish most of the Iowa Great Lakes. He often then gives  his catch to non-fishermen friends. His life-long hobby of fishing for fish has now been expanded through his position with Atlas as we seek to be fishers of men as well.

               Neil and his wife Pat have resided in Spirit Lake for over 40 years raising two lovely daughters who have given them three grandchildren and thus creating regular places of visitation. Neil is  a member of First Presbyterian Church  serving in several leadership positions over the years with many of those years spent on the Mission Committee sharing mission funding from locally to across the world.

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Roland Schmidt
Vice President


Sandy Krout

          Sandy lives in Lake Park and represents the western part of the Lakes Area on the board. Sandy grew up in Estherville, was married and raised her son Kevin there. She worked in the Information Technology department at Pure Fishing for 21 years and then attended ILCC earning her Associate Nursing Degree. She then worked as a staff RN at the hospital in Worthington until her retirement.

 ​          During all those years she was a committed church member, serving in many offices and ministries in three congregations. She sees her role on the Atlas board as a continuing way to help others in need while growing closer to God.

​           Sandy was married to Merle Krout for 19 years before his death. Amy is her stepdaughter whom she loves to visit in Florida.

Julie is a long-time resident of Spirit Lake, currently residing in Lake Park, her new home town. Julie graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree which she put to use in her long career of serving others.


Most notably are her many years of service to the homeless and addicted as the Executive Director of Discovery House in Spirit Lake. There she applied her education, and built her knowledge of helping those in need through her years of helping unique people one person at a time. She also brings the experience of directing a Christian ministry to strengthen the experience of the Atlas board and staff.


Julie is the mother of three, now parents themselves providing eight grandchildren for her to spoil and cherish. Julie has been an active life-long Lutheran but now calls Lake Park United Methodist Church her home in her new adoptive city

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Julie Scheib
Board  Member

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Clay Norris
Board  Member

              Clay has lived in the Lakes Area for over 25 years and has held positions of media director, brand product manager, and in advertising with various national and regional firms, including Pure Fishing. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association. He has also held numerous positions within CrossWinds Church as a part of His service to the Lord.

              Clay is motivated to help people struggling with any of the many mental issues that face out society today. Such issues represent one of the factors that Atlas clients must face as the combination of difficulties builds and compounds upon each other. Clay has also take that concern into the offering of “Overcome”, which is a Christian based mental  health small group curriculum.


                Clay is married to Kathy and together they have raised six children to adulthood and continue the never ending role of parent and the newer expanding role of loving their grandchildren. Atlas of the Lakes Area gratefully welcomes Clay as a member of the Atlas administrative team.

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