Brave Penny Leadership Team
Sharon Fox is the Executive Director and co-founder with Heather Rodriguez of Brave Penny, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. With the support of a Board of Directors and other interested groups, the goal of the organization is to broaden, through publications, ministry and training, knowledge of the grief journey to those who grieve.
Sharon is a Certified Grief Facilitator though the American Academy of Bereavement and has over 20 years of experience in ministry to those who grieve from losses which would include death, diminished health, adoption, abortion, infertility, divorce, infant death, SIDS, pet death, death of adult child, job loss or any other type of grief event.
While leading a Grief Recovery ministry, Shadowlands, a six-chapter course based on Christian principles and the model of God’s grief for his own son, Jesus, her ministry has included teaching at seminaries in Peru, guest speaking events, training and support.
Reframing Adoption, her first book is specifically written for birthmothers and birth families that have chosen to gift a child through adoption to another family. A Precious Loss was written for families who have experienced miscarriage, SIDS and infant death. Both books are published in English and Spanish. All four of those books are on Amazon and available in electronic formats. Her third book, The Stone Carver’s Son is a children’s Christmas book about a shepherd who taught others about the prophecy of the birth of Jesus. That book is available through the Brave Penny website.
Sharon and her husband, Jim, retired in 2014 from ownership of their family owned business in Frisco, TX.
Heather Rodriguez is co-founder of Brave Penny and a former Board member, now retired.
Birthmother is a very sacred and personal title. Those very words change you for a lifetime. Along with changing you, they weave together the fabric of another family – a family that has nothing to do with you or your child biologically but will forever bond you all together.
When I became a birthmother for the first time, it absolutely crushed my world. It changed me, but not for the better. When God asked me to do it a second time he promised he would redeem my story. He has held true to his word above and beyond what I could ever have imagined. Today the title birthmother is priceless to me.
Brave Penny is the promise that God made to me years ago, but only now has it taken on a life of its own through the works of this ministry.
God has redeemed my story and I know He will redeem yours too. I am now a mother, a wife and a leader in grief ministry.
God’s word heals beyond and above anything else this world has to offer. I hope and pray all who seek lifetime healing will be Brave enough to do the work it take to find abundant life after a grief experience.
Laura Palagyi recently joined the Brave Penny Board and serves as President. She has worked as a financial analyst and has volunteered in many capacities over the last twenty years. Laura served for 15 years as the Treasurer of Threads of Hope, a nonprofit working with women artisans in Peru. She was commissioned as a Colson Fellow (a Christian worldview program) in 2021 and is now part of the Colson DFW leadership team. Laura leads a women’s Bible study small group at her church and is training to be a patient advocate at Real Options prolife ministry. She has a passion for helping people to grow in faith and appreciates that Brave Penny’s programs and resources for grieving people are biblically based.
Laura has been married to Steve for 34 years. They have two wonderful daughters, a terrific son-in-law, and two beautiful grandchildren.
HB Bartz, Treasurer of Brave Penny Board of Directors, is retired after a forty-one year career in the information technology industry. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and served as an officer in the US Army for three and a half years. His work experience included customer and financial management, marketing and sales, business applications development, and people management. He and his family spent eleven years overseas managing customer accounts in Europe and Asia. HB has served his various church families in many roles, as Sunday school teacher, small group leader, lay ministry and lay church leadership. He and his wife, MaryAnn and son live in the Dallas area.
Laura Lee Scherer, Secretary of Brave Penny Board of Directors, has spent the majority of her career in sales and marketing for the food business, with Nestle, Schwan’s and Kellogg’s, with a focus on developing National Account business. Laura has served her church in many roles over the years, to include serving on search committees, being a member of various church board committees, as a Youth Group volunteer, serving as a Greeter, and as a long time Small Group Leader. She has served as a Collin County Master Wellness Volunteer since 2008 and is also a member of Women of Water Tower, an arts advocacy and fundraising group. Laura and her husband, Scott, live in Allen, TX.
Vicky Warren, member of Brave Penny Board of Directors, is a recent addition to the Brave Penny Board of Directors. She has been a long-time friend of founder Sharon Fox and has been personally touched by the ministry of Brave Penny.
Vicky graduated from UCLA with a degree in psychology. She worked for over 40 years in administrative and editorial capacities for both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. For 10 years she was practice manager for her husband Paul who was a behavioral pediatrician in the Dallas area. After Paul’s sudden death in 2006, she worked as Director of Operations and Development at St. Timothy Christian Academy, a school for children with learning differences founded by Paul and the leadership of Christ Church Plano. He died just 2-1/2 months after the school opened. In this capacity, she was reminded each and every day of the truth of Paul’s steadfast belief that relationships come first! One of the things she loves about Brave Penny is the mission to journey alongside those who are grieving—whatever the source of their grief. She was personally ministered to by the Shadowlands ministry after Paul’s death, which came just 11 days after the death of her father, and 16 months before the death of her mother. She looks forward to spreading the word about this wonderful ministry.
Vicky has one son Matthew. He and his wife Kristin live in the Boston area along with their two children Everly and Cameron—the loves of her life!
Linda Carlson joined the Brave Penny Board of Directors in early 2023.
She spent the majority of her professional career in various operations roles and currently is a team leader in the Accounts Receivable Department for a major Convenient Food company in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Linda has served her various church families in many roles, including as a Stephen Minister/Leader, singing in choir, small group leader, bible study facilitator and has volunteered in Kairos Prison ministry.
Some of Linda’s passions that feed her soul are listening to music, bible studies (alone or with group), reading, and recently learning to bake sourdough bread.
She was personally ministered to by the Shadowlands ministry after the death of her two older sisters. Linda has two nieces and a nephew living in Washington State and is a dog mom to Brie, a border collie mix.
Ed Herider joined the staff of Brave Penny with the role of Creative Advisor. Ed has significant and extensive skills and experience in writing, editing, communications and media creation and delivery. He will advise Sharon Fox and the Board in program documentation development and editing, media communications, and video-based training and education content.
Ed Herider was born in Missouri but moved to south Texas at an early age. At the age of twelve, he entered Concordia Lutheran High School in Austin and graduated with honors in 1955. After two years at the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in drama and theater arts, he transferred to Texas
A&M, from which school he graduated in 1960 with a degree in English. After graduation, Ed began working in the family poultry business, a job for which he felt himself to be particularly unsuited. He had always displayed- a special aptitude for the arts, an interest he had followed consistently throughout his life. Now, faced with daily frustration and unhappiness, he sought an escape. Feeling what he imagined to be a call to the priesthood, he enrolled in the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. Although he attended there for three years, the seminary experience turned out to be a largely intellectual endeavor; and was solely an attempt to find personal freedom. It was not until 1976, while on a miraculous trip to Israel, that Ed truly accepted Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.
Ed returned home to work in the family business, which was sold in 1979. He moved to Dallas where he began attending Christ for the Nations Institute, graduating in 1981. Since then, he has been presented with a multiplicity of unique opportunities to follow his interests and various artistic pursuits, many of which have been church centered.
Ed is a writer and editor, an artist and a vocalist. Among other things, he has also had experience as an actor, a voiceover artist and narrator, a playwright, a stage director and a record producer.
There have been many accomplishments in Ed's life, but there have also been significant losses. In 1983, He lost his mother to depression and suicide. In 2015, he tragically lost many of his possessions and his home of thirty-two years due to an incorrect medical diagnosis. It was then that he was first introduced to Shadowlands, where he finally began to find the peace he had looked for.
Ed expresses his deep gratitude for everything the Lord has blessed him with and for all that the Lord has triumphantly brought him through. He now looks forward to coming alongside Brave Penny and serving others who, like himself, have experienced loss and grief in their lives and are now moving progressively toward contentment in Christ.