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Board and Staff Bios

 

Melissa Ressler, executive director, a Lancaster City resident, most recently served as a Career Counselor Manager with the Occupational Development Center where she provided job training services and designed and implemented programming to expand employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.  She holds a degree in Gerontology from Messiah College, and has previous experience as a Care Manager for the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.

 

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.

Carol Eby-Good, secretary, has lived on Nevin Street for over 24 years with her husband, Michael, their high school and college-age children Aaron and Quinn, and their dog, Pepper. Her children have attended the School District of Lancaster from kindergarten through high school, and she currently volunteers with the McCaskey marching band and theater department. She is a member of Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster where she serves on the church council and teaches the 2 and 3-year-old class. She currently works at Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) as Constituent Engagement manager. Carol's work focuses on connecting people with MEDA's business solutions to poverty through events, conferences and trips. She is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite College University with a B.A. in business administration and Penn State with a master's in public administration. Many of the things she enjoys doing are in Lancaster City.

Ken Nissley, treasurer, and his wife have lived on the 400 block of W James Street for the past 14 years. In 2013 he retired as case manager and trainer for the restorative justice programs of Center for Community Peacemaking (now Advoz). He now serves as secretary of the Advoz Board and was a volunteer on one of the Lancaster City Youth Aid Panels for more than 12 years. 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.  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 involvedwith 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.

 

Andrea Sullivan was born in Buffalo NY, but spent most of her adult life in Suffern NY, in the NYC area. After receiving a degree in Occupational Therapy, she worked at BOCES school with special needs students. She and her husband David retired in 2000 and moved to Florida. After nearly 15 years, they began another new chapter in Lancaster PA in order to be closer to their daughter, who resides in Buffalo NY.  She and her husband are both on the Friends of the Lancaster Library Board, where both are very involved. She enjoys travel, meeting new people, trying new restaurants, and reading.

Ellen Berfond is a transplant from New Jersey.  She and her husband, Andy, created and operated their restaurant 'Arcadia Cafe' from 1979-1991.  Ellen then completed her Bachelor's degree in Family and Child Studies and started a career in social services, working with vulnerable adults (primarily in Protective Services).  She retired from the Agency as an Administrator in 2014, after 22 years of service.  The post-retirement move to Lancaster was based on the desire to live in a vibrant, walk-able, downtown area.  Lancaster fit the bill as a historically significant and culturally diverse city.  Ellen currently volunteers as a long term care ombudsman with the Lancaster County Office on Aging.  Her interests include: exploring the area, cooking, and fitness (she became certified as a personal trainer in 2016!) December 2018

Timothea “Timi” M Kirchner is a widely respected, highly regarded public administrator who has lived in Lancaster during all except 5 years of her adult life after graduating from the University of Michigan with a     B.A. in history and an M.S. in Educational Psychology.  After a 20- year leadership role with the School District of Lancaster and various Boards of Directors, she served as CEO of the County of Lancaster for 8 years; then worked as a consultant on leadership and operations, through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development as well as private sector firms. Most recently she served as the Manager of the Borough of Lansdale in Montgomery County. Timi loves the city of Lancaster where she can walk to grocery shops, boutiques, restaurants and friends’ homes.  Her son is a proud McCaskey grad.  Timi hopes to continue living in the city as long as she can. 

Tana Woodcock taught American and World history at Lancaster Catholic High and Warwick High School.  Currently she serves on the Quest Board and as a conductor for the African American tour sponsored by the African American Historical Society of South Central PA.  Occasionally she substitute teaches at Sacred Heart School.  Tana has three sons and eight grandchildren, as well as 2 rescue cats, 2 grand cats, 5 grand dogs and 1 great grand puppy.