Meet Our Staff
The mission of the Co-Op is to glorify God and to demonstrate God's love. The Co-Op is an intentionally Christian organization seeking to honor the Lordship of Jesus Christ in Word and Deed by following His example in sharing and caring for neighbors in need. The Co-Op seeks to preserve clients' dignity while encouraging self-responsibility and spiritual growth.
Tom Balog began his role as Executive Director of the Lawrenceville Co-Op on January 1, 2017. He came to the Co-Op with 16 years experience working in a church environment, most recently as the church business administrator at McKendree United Methodist Church (Lawrenceville).
Tom has a Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory; his undergraduate degree is in Decision Sciences from Georgia State University.
Throughout his life, Tom has been involved with missions and working in, and with, the community. He is guided by Mark 22:37-39: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment, and the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Ruth Hardy joined the staff of the Lawrenceville Co-op in October 2017 as the Saturday Supervisor. Just two months later, she was promoted to the position of Assistant Director. Prior to being hired, Ruth volunteered for several years as our friendly Front Desk Screener.
Ruth has a bachelor’s degree in Middle Grade Education from Georgia State University. She worked for the Cobb County School System teaching math, reading and science at Griffin Middle School in Smyrna. When her daughter was born, Ruth left teaching to be a fulltime mom and homemaker. She homeschooled both her daughter and son and was very active in the Gwinnett homeschool community.
She is active in her small group that crochets and knits scarves for the homeless and prayer shawls. Ruth has always had a calling for serving others and enjoys helping our clients by understanding their needs, so that they may receive the proper assistance.
Glori Smith joined the Lawrenceville Co-Op in May 2018 as Communications Coordinator. In this role, she develops website content, manages social media, helps to write key publications, and gathers stories and photos that document the work of the Co-Op. Glori also works with new volunteers and groups that want to come and serve.
Prior to joining the staff, Glori volunteered at the Co-Op for many years as a pantry worker. She earned her B.S. in Political Science from Spring Hill College and her Master Of Public Administration and Doctor Of Philosophy in Public Administration and Public Policy from Auburn University. She took time off to raise her two sons and was very involved at their schools. Glori brings many years of work experience in the areas of administration, communications, and bookkeeping.
Paula Anderson joined the Lawrenceville Co-op in February 2020 as Pantry Manager. She comes to the Co-op with over 7 years of experience in youth ministry and office administration.
Paula has her Bachelors degree in Childhood Education from Georgia State University. Prior to her work with youth ministry, she taught preschool for over 8 years.
Paula enjoys volunteering with the youth at her church. She also loves spending time traveling & having fun with her family.