Board of Directors

2022-23 Board of Directors

Ms. Maria Becerra

Board Chair
Lake County

Ms. Jeanne Wease

Vice Chair
Lake County

"It is an honor to serve as the Board Chair for CoAction. I have watched, and hopefully helped, this organization achieve its mission for nearly 20 years.

CoAction’s board is comprised of an esteemed group of people. We are representatives of our public sectors, people who qualify for services, and private business leaders who all govern and guide in the best interest of the organization. We are a board that cares genuinely and understands the value a Community Action Agency and an Area Agency on Aging bring to our local communities.

We are proud of the hard working, dedicated staff who ensure the agency is in compliance with our funding sources while serving 50,000 people a year.  As our community needs continue to grow, this organization continues to innovate, expand, and collaborate on services to ensure persons with financial needs and other supports get help. Our aim is to support all of our eligible participants, in our most rural and urban pockets, to get the right services, at the right time, and to create financial and healthy independence."

  • Julie Anderson, Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Lake County
  • Maria Becerra, Chair, McColly Real Estate, Lake County
  • Tim Brown, Lake County Community Economic Development Department, Lake County
  • Maggie Clifton, City of Valparaiso, Porter County
  • Howard Conner, Pulaski County
  • Yolanda Davis, Centier Bank,  Lake County
  • Ellis Dumas, III, City of Gary, Lake County
  • Louis Gonzalez, Ivy Tech, Lake County
  • Mary Idstein, Porter County
  • Pastor Tim Knauff, Christ Lutheran Church, Porter County
  • Deborah Kristoff, Jasper County Public Library, Jasper County
  • Andrew Kyres, Lake County
  • Harry Langbehn, First Financial Bank, Lake County
  • Nicholas Neal, Geminus Corporation, Lake County
  • Pastor Ben Schoettel, Real Life Community Church, Porter County
  • Phyllis Schroeder, Porter County
  • Jim Starin, Porter County
  • Jeanne Wease, Vice Chair, Retired Educator, Lake County

AAA Advisory Council Representative

  • Tamara Gingerich, Valparaiso University, Porter County

Democratic Selection of Customer Representatives

One of the important features of Community Action Agencies is that the people served have a voice in the programs and decisions that affect them.  One of the ways we do this is to have at least one-third of our Board of Directors be people who are directly impacted by CoAction’s mission and programs.

Currently there are no openings in the service participant segment on our Board of Directors.