Our Team

Dexter Rauch

Co-Founder / Director

Dexter is one of our co-founders and a director of Build a Team of Hope. He resides in Kalamazoo, MI along with his wonderful wife Jessica and their three amazing children – Payton, Quinn, and Tatum. In addition to his role at Build a Team of Hope, he had the honor of serving in the US Army as a 13F (Fire Support Specialist) from 2008 to 2012. During his time in the Army, he gained valuable skills and learned the true meaning of dedication and teamwork. He is currently working at Advia Credit Union as a Project Manager where he utilizes his leadership abilities and contributes to the growth and success of the organization. Additionally, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and spending time on the golf course as time allows. If you have questions about Build a Team of Hope, reach out to Dexter and he would be happy to help you learn more about our organization.

Dan Betke

Co-Founder / Director

Dan is another co-founder and director for Build a Team of Hope. Dan’s current role is the Director of Operations for Veteran Roofing & Exteriors, in addition to managing his own business where he designs websites and consults with local businesses to use technology to simplify their business processes. He loves staying connected with his community through organizations like Guys Who Give and the Bronson Health Foundation. He also enjoys golf, spending time at the lake, and anything that can get him outside. Born and raised in Kalamazoo, a fun fact about Dan is that he is the 3rd generation, and now his kids are the 4th generation in his family to be born at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo. He still currently resides in Kalamazoo with his wife Amanda and their children, Lincoln and Mariam. 

Jessica Rauch

Director of Operations

Jessica is the Director of Operations for Build a Team of Hope. A native of East Lansing, MI, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in education from Albion College in 2007, where she excelled as a basketball player for the Britons. Jessica continued pursuing her passion for education by earning a Master’s degree from WMU in 2009. Currently, she holds the position of Senior Manager of Operations at Pro Athlete Community, dedicated to empowering professional athletes through education, mentorship, and community engagement. She also is the Office Manager for Three Pines Wealth Advisors. Despite her demanding career, she remains deeply connected to athletics and her community, serving as the assistant basketball coach at Kalamazoo College for 12 seasons, and generously volunteering her time at her children’s schools, Special Olympics, and APEX Academy. She and her husband, Dexter, reside in Kalamazoo, where they live in Derek Jeter’s childhood home. They are proud parents to two daughters, Payton (7) and Quinn (4), and a son named Tatum (2).

Amanda Betke

Director of Development

Amanda is the Director of Development for Build a Team of Hope, which was founded in 2020 in honor of her mother Mary Rapelje who lost her life to cancer. she was born in East Lansing and moved to Albion in 2007 to attend Albion College where she earned her Bachelors in Physical Education. In 2010, she continued her education at Western Michigan University where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Adapted Physical Education. Her WHY in life is to impact the lives of others. She currently works as the Adapted Physical Education Teacher at WoodsEdge Learning Center where she teaches K-12 Physical Education and Pool to students of all abilities. When she is not working, you can find her spending time with family, friends and watching sports. She has been a volunteer for Special Olympics Area 16 for over 12 years, and she enjoys giving back to her community. She currently resides in Kalamazoo with her husband Dan, and two kids Lincoln and Mariam!

About Build a Team of Hope

Our organization was born out of a desire to take action. What started as an idea for an annual event has quickly grown into a concept to create hope for people in situations that often feel hopeless. Our dream is to positively impact the lives of those affected by cancer by easing the burdens they feel through what so often feels like a hopeless time in their lives. This organization memorializes Mary Rapelje. Mary was a wife, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, and godmother to many. Her life was spent working tirelessly to improve the lives of those around her. Whether it was the countless days hosting friends and family at her home, teaching her girls the importance of giving back to your community and friends, or just providing a listening ear and a bit of sound advice, you could always count on Mary to leave the things in her life and the relationships she was a part of better than she found them. It is our sincere hope that we can use this organization to honor Mary’s life and positively impact lives the way she did so many times over the course of her life.







“We all have been touched by cancer in some way. This disease impacts all of our lives. We all know someone who has had cancer, whether a close family member or a friend. Those battling cancer and those that have survived cancer are some of the strongest people on this planet. They are our heroes. I can’t think of anyone who better illustrated the strength and perseverance of these courageous heroes more than my mother-in-law, Mary Rapelje.

Mary is my Hero.”