From the Board President | 2020
Serving Lake County residents since 1973, Lifeline’s mission is to fight poverty and help low-income residents to become more self-sufficient. Each year Lifeline serves over 2,500 households, including nearly 6,000 individuals with health, housing, energy, and consumer education programs.
In 2018, our HEAP programs reached over 1,000 households between summer and winter crisis; our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance [VITA] prepared tax filings for over 220 residents with tax returns generating $341,624 back to our community; our Rental Assistance helped 250 households secure a safe and affordable housing; our healthcare services provided 55 families access to healthcare—providing prescriptions, diabetic supplies, and Medicaid enrollment; and 2-1-1 Lake County answered over 36,000 incoming calls for information and referral services—it’s highest number in years.
In late 2018, Lifeline launched its new Volunteer Guardian Program in partnership with the Lake County Probate Court and Judge Mark Bartolotta. The funding for the program provided by the Lake County Senior Levy, the Lake County ADAMHS Board, the Lake County Board of DD and Lake Health, helps to protect the health and well-being of our senior citizens and other vulnerable populations.
Thanks to the generosity of our community, Lifeline, Inc. has continued to strengthen our endowment, the Lifeline Endowment Against Poverty. In an effort to plan for the future, our endowment has grown reaching over $200,000 in our four short years.
Our 2019, Dancing Under The Stars event, in partnership with the Family Planning Association of NEO, a Division of Signature Health, shattered fundraising records, raising over $100,000 for the very first time.
The immediate future of Lifeline, Inc. has new partnerships and programming ahead. In 2020, we will relocate our offices to a state of the art facility under renovation in historic downtown Painesville; launch a new program, Kinship Navigator, in partnership with RSVP, Lake County Department of Job and Family Services and the Lake County ADAMHS Board. The program will assist grandparents and other kin who are facing the challenge of raising family members’ children due to unfortunate circumstances; and finally, Lifeline, Inc. will be accepting the designation as the community action agency in neighboring Geauga County.
My tenure as President of Lifeline, Inc. has been an exciting time of change and challenge. Thanks to my fellow board members, staff, and our Executive Director, Carrie Dotson, we continue to serve our community in the fight against poverty.
John T Shepard
About The Board
Lifeline’s Board of Directors is a diverse group of public officials, private citizens, and business owners. To accurately reflect the population of Lake and Geauga Counties, our board representatives also include low income, minorities, and mental health advocates. It is the tradition of Community Action to engage low-income populations in the management of their local Community Action Agency. Our Board feels strongly that it is important for our clients to have a voice on our Board to actively advocate on their behalf. We are proud that our membership reflects that.
Lifeline’s Board also strives to accurately reflect the population of Lake and Geauga Counties while also maintaining a Board with a diverse set of skills and resources.
Lifeline Board meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month and we welcome public comments at the start of each meeting.
Current Board Members
Melissa Amspaugh, Treasurer- Private Sector
Melissa was appointed by Lakeland Community College
Aaron Burko- Representative of Low-Income Populations
Aaron was appointed by Crossroads Health
Lenore Collins- Representative of Low-Income Populations
Lenore was appointed by RSVP
Paula Gordos, President- Private Sector
Paula was appointed by the Western Reserve Junior Service League
Pamela Gouldsberry- Private Sector
Pamela was appointed by the Downtown Painesville Organization
Stephanie Johnson- Public Sector
Stephanie was appointed by the City of Mentor
Sean Kramer, Vice President- Private Sector
Sean was appointed by Lake Erie College
Ryan McGinnis- Representative of Low-Income Populations
Ryan was appointed by Ravenwood Health
Pam Morse- Public Sector
Pam was appointed by the Lake County Board of Commissioners
Julie Novak- Private Sector
Julie was appointed by University Hospitals Geauga
Jennilynn Patterson- Representative of Low-Income Populations
Jennilynn was appointed by the Lake County Department of Job & Family Services
Tom Quade- Public Sector
Tom was appointed by Congressman David Joyce
Christine Shoop, Secretary- Public Sector
Christine was appointed by the City of Painesville
Kate Stein- Representative of Low-Income Populations
Kate was appointed by the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Mary’s Church in Painesville
Sarah Wade- Private Sector
Sarah was appointed by The Lubrizol Corporation
Robert Weger- Public Sector
Robert was appointed by the Lake County Mayors & Managers Association
Sarah Welch- Representative of Low-Income Populations
Sarah was appointed by Geauga Metropolitan Housing Authority