Dunrovin | Christian Brothers Retreat Center
Meet Our Guest Hosts

Meet Our Guest Hosts

Dunrovin’s guest hosts love to serve and help you feel welcome. Here’s a bit of get-to-know-you info.

Leanne Esch

Leanne had no intention of getting another job, but when she was looking for a retreat space and saw the job posting on Dunrovin’s website, she was instantly drawn in. The idea of welcoming guests into a space of love appealed to her, and she knew it was a wonderful fit.

As a spiritual director and retreat leader at Restoration Ministries, Leanne loves to listen to people’s stories and support them in their need for human resiliency. Leanne sees practical ways to offer genuine care, as she embraces Dunrovin’s mission of extending Christ’s warm welcome to all.

I like to offer an extra blanket or a warm mug of coffee, and we [extend Christ’s welcome] in more subtle ways, like giving a sincere smile and an unspoken prayer. No one is excluded from this genuine care and welcome. Exceptional hospitality comes from the heart.  Anyone can serve a great meal, but a great meal served with love is what makes our guests feel at home. I love to pray, so for me, exceptional hospitality means praying for people before, during and after their time at Dunrovin.  Though they may never know I have prayed for them, they may feel the love of Christ because of my prayers.”

During her time off, Leanne enjoys camping, hiking, traveling, writing, and playing with her dog. She does not take for granted the blessing of a full and abundant life.

Leanne is also a songwriter and singer; listen to Leanne’s music on Spotify

Jim Franzen

Jim began guest hosting at Dunrovin in November 2021, but he is no stranger here. He has been involved at Dunrovin since 1982, when he brought his first parish youth group out for a weekend retreat. Eventually, Jim developed and expanded the Getaway Youth Retreats at Dunrovin, saying, “I’ve lost count but led over 200 weekend youth retreats at Dunrovin for middle school and high school students over the years.” Jim also served for twelve years on the Dunrovin Board of Directors. 

Jim continues to serve as a valuable member of the Dunrovin staff.

I took on this new role as guest host to fill a need at Dunrovin and to experience another ministry opportunity. I enjoy being part of providing a positive retreat experience for all who come to Dunrovin. Christ came to serve and show us the kingdom of heaven on earth.  Dunrovin’s guest hosts provide the support and environment for those coming to encounter Christ through the retreat experience at Dunrovin.”

After a 34-year career in law enforcement, Jim brings a wealth of valuable experience to his guest host role. Dunrovin reaps the comfort and security of his steady, calm nature. “Exceptional hospitality to me means not only being responsive to requests from our guests but being pro-active and anticipating and responding to needs they may not express or even know they have!  We want to provide services that will support their retreat experience – even when they are unaware of them.”

Jessica Stimson

Growing up in Wyoming, Minnesota, on a beef cattle farm, Jessica learned to work and serve. She came to Dunrovin initially as a staff cook and has excellent knowledge and experience in commercial kitchen cooking. A favorite place to work was in the kitchen at the Chisago Lakes High School. According to Jessica, “Those ladies were like sailors running a ship! A tight ship, at that! They taught me that hard work can be fun and rewarding.

Now as part of the Guest Host staff, Jessica puts to good use her care-giving skills, transferring love of husband, family, and pets (two dogs, two cats, a bunny, and ten chickens), to caring for guests. She hopes to own sheep or goats someday, saying, “I guess you can take the girl away from the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the girl!

I love everything about this new adventure [at Dunrovin]! From the drive, to the work I do in the kitchen, to the people we serve and the people I work with and for… what’s not to love!!?”

Besides caring for people and animals, Jessica loves to plan parties, sing, and play guitar.

Dunrovin – your home away from home

GuestServices@dunrovin.org | 651-433-2486