Board Bios

Lancaster Downtowners Board of Directors—2017

Kim van Donk, president, currently works in the development department at Community First Fund in Lancaster, a non-profit lending organization that finances small businesses, especially those owned by people of color, women and low income individuals in downtown Lancaster and the central PA region. She is also an accomplished violinist/fiddler who teaches a small studio of Suzuki violin students and can be found playing Irish traditional music in downtown Lancaster pubs. She lives on the 200 block of East Orange Street.

Janice Stork, vice president, former Mayor of Lancaster (1990–1998) continues to serve the city as a member of the City Planning Commission and the Lancaster Library Steering Committee. She formerly served on HARB, City Council and Downtown Merchants. Her current volunteer activities include Community Meals sponsored by Lancaster County Council of Churches, the brown bag lunch program at St. Anne’s and VITA sponsored by United Way that offers tax preparation assistance. Janice lives on the 400 block of West Walnut Street.

Ken Nissley, treasurer, and his wife have lived on the 400 block of W James Street for the past 12 years. In 2013 he retired as case manager for the Center for Community Peacemaking. He now serves as secretary of the CCP Board and also volunteers on one of the Lancaster City Youth Aid Panels. Previous work included IT manager, computer programmer, teacher, and administrator in various settings including 9 years in Somalia, East Africa.

Judy Zimmerman Herr spent her career in various administrative roles with the Mennonite Central Committee, a faith-based relief and development agency, both in the Akron headquarters office and in several African countries. Most recently, she spent 5 years based in Nairobi as Director of MCC’s programs in East Africa, returning to Lancaster in 2014. She currently works part time for Tabor Community Services. Judy’s hobbies include reading and gardening. She serves on the Worship Commission for the East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church, and enjoys walking and cycling around Lancaster. She resides at 246 West Walnut Street.

John Kanagy grew up on a farm in Kishacoquillas Valley, Mifflin County. After college at Eastern Mennonite Univ. in VA, he moved to Lancaster County and lived in an intentional community with another family on a farmette near Akron. Work included Provident Bookstore (his first introduction to downtown Lancaster) and later warehouse manager at Ten Thousand Villages in Akron. In midlife, he pursued graduate school at Misericordia Univ., obtaining a degree in Occupational Therapy, followed by 15 years as a OT in local retirement communities. In January 2015 he retired and became more actively involved with Downtowners, although a member since its founding. John and his wife Ellen live in Hamilton Park, Lancaster Township. His interests include history, gardening, reading, bike-riding and grandparenting.

Carole Kirchner was born & raised in Lancaster City. She is the youngest of six children and grew up in a family business on Cabbage Hill. Carole attended Lancaster Catholic High School and Cabrini College. She has been a full-time licensed realtor since 1987. She has three children and one grandson. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Humane League of Lancaster County and Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership.

John O’Donnell, retired professor, taught at Millersville University for 30 years and earlier in private and public secondary schools in California, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. He also served as a consultant for The College Board for more than 30 years. Among his favorite pastimes are golf, reading (especially Irish Literature), travel, walking, and ocean swimming at Cape May, his favorite shore point. John resides at Shippen Place.

Meredith Rousseau has lived on Pine Street since 1981. For 22 years, she commuted to York to teach English and Speech at Penn State York. After retirement, she was delighted to be able to reconnect with Lancaster and has involved herself in many volunteer activities ~ offering tours at the North Museum, teaching English to immigrant families, serving as an officer for Torch, an organization for professional people to exchange thoughts on various areas of interest. She is president of Quest, a twice-yearly lecture series for people of retirement age. She has been on the Board of Downtowners for three years and is a member of the Membership Committee.

Danny & Nancy Whittle interrupted their careers in Kentucky as city planner and social worker to become B&B Innkeepers in Lancaster in 1999.  Danny resumed his career as a city planner when he accepted a position with the Lancaster County Planning Commission in 2000.  After operating O’Flaherty’s Dingeldein House Bed and Breakfast until 2006, Danny & Nancy moved to 622 W Walnut St where they restored that home and continue to live there. Danny continues his interest in home restoration and remodeling.  He also has a full woodworking where he spends as much time as possible. Danny and Nancy enjoy US travel including winter trips away from Lancaster’s cold and snows.  They also enjoy European tours.

February 2017