So who are we? We are ordinary people trying to fulfill God’s plan for us. We are a family who saw this beautiful property on Star Lake and shared a common vision to develop it as a fun, restful facility where we can serve children, families and community. We saw an opportunity to provide an experience where children and families will have fun without the distractions of daily life and collect lifelong friends and memories that will help shape their lives. It is funny how we got here. As individuals we come from diverse backgrounds with different life experiences. Yet we believe God has brought us together at this time and place to meet the needs of others. Through our life experiences we have acquired unique skill sets that integrate well with our management philosophy. The common thread is that we all share a commitment to the Lord and that it is His plan that the operation of this wonderful facility is our way of serving Him and His people.
The “Haven at Star Lake” is a 501c3 Nonprofit Organization. We are staffed completely by volunteers who are motivated to serve as we are. None of us draws any salary or income. All our profits are re-invested into the property to enhance the experience for our guests. It also helps us also to remain affordable so we can serve more people.
LET US INTRODUCE OUR MANAGEMENT TEAM
- Tom Buckingham – Executive and Finance Director
- Maria Buckingham – Business and Communications Director
- Karen Kuhn – Operations Director
- Warren Kuhn – Facilities Manager
- Teresa von Riegen – Program Director
- William von Riegen – Director of Outreach
The professional background of our Team is very different yet complementary.
Tom Buckingham is a graduate of The College of the Holy Cross with a degree in Chemistry who served as a Naval Officer for over 21 years. A Navy Salvage Diver and Engineer, he served multiple tours on ships and shore stations across the country. Through several deployments overseas the Navy experience enabled him to “see the world” and sample life’s diversity. For the past 12 years Tom has worked as a Senior Program Manager for a major Defense Contractor. He has a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and is Project Manager Professional (PMP) Certified. Tom is one of seven children, father of five and grandfather to four. Family and faith was, is and will always be centric to his life.
Maria Buckingham, Tom’s wife, also hails from a large family, being one of six children. She spent 13 years at the FBI. The majority of her career there was in Human Resources Department as a Staffing Assistant. For three years Maria worked on a Violent Crimes and Major Offenders task force. She was extensively involved in the hiring process for Special Agents, Support Personnel and Specialty positions. During that period she honed her effective organizational skills and developed essential administrative work experience. Dedicated now to raising their two young children, she understands the challenges of raising a family in an increasing conflicted world. Maria has a servant’s heart and volunteers at church, her children’s schools and activities. She is always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need in her neighborhood and community.
Karen Kuhn, Maria’s sister, is the mother of four adult children and 5 granddaughters. As her children were getting older she re-entered the workforce and has worked her way up through a not-for-profit organization specializing in services for the deaf developmentally disabled adults. She served as the Senior Residential Coordinator responsible for the administration of the medical program. She has her Degree in Human Services and is fluent in American Sign Language. Karen is active in her church and spent 10 years coordinating the local soup kitchen. Karen is a member of Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA) with her husband Warren. Recently retired, Karen spends her time working at The Haven with her husband Warren.
Warren Kuhn, Karen’s husband, is an avid motorcyclist who once raced professionally. He still enjoys riding his motorcycle and is currently a long standing member of the Christian Motorcyclist Association (CMA). He built a career at General Motors working in the automotive paint department, specializing in the automation of manufacturing facilities throughout the country. After retiring from GM, he has owned and operated his own home improvement business for 12 years. He took particular pride helping people with limited means. Warren has served as a youth leader, served on Chrysallis and Emmaus teams, completed the Chaplain training for The Church of God and participates in evangelism ministry. He now spends much of his time working at The Haven.
Teresa von Riegen, Karen’s daughter, has worked for Clinique, Inc. for the past 22 years. Having worked her way up from an in-store sales representative to the position of Education Executive, and now to her current position as an Account Executive, she has managed Clinique’s education and training program in the MD/PA/DC/VA region. Teresa looks forward to putting her strong background in marketing and sales to use at The Haven. Believing strongly in the sanctity of life, Teresa orchestrated the formation of the Carroll County and Howard County Right To Life Chapters in 2008 and served as the President for over three years. She loves serving within the Children’s Ministry through her local church alongside her husband. In the summer, she has enjoyed being a camp counselor for young girls at the Delmarva COG Youth Camp. Four beautiful daughters and a young son keep Teresa and her husband very busy!
William von Riegen, married to Teresa, has 17 years of experience as a commercial painter and owns his own commercial painting business in Marriottsville, MD. Before developing his own painting company, Billy worked in the restaurant business for 20 years. His experience and expertise in the food service industry make him a vital asset in facilitating weddings and special events. Additionally, Billy shares his wife’s passion about the sanctity of life. Formerly a New Jersey native, Billy loves boating, fishing, kayaking, and spending time with his family. He enjoys serving alongside his wife within the local church through children’s ministry, and he looks forward to all the outdoor wonders at Star Lake.