Our Contributors

Alan Jennings started with CACLV in 1980, becoming executive director in 1990.  During his tenure, the agency grew from 9 employees and a $500,000 budget to nearly 100 employees and an $23 million budget, winning a wide range of awards at the local, state and federal level.

Ellen Larmer  is the associate executive director for community development at CACLV and formerly served as the director of Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem (CADCB) for over ten years. Ellen has over 15 years of experience in government, military and non-profit organizations, including working both locally and internationally for the protection and well-being of children and families.

Chris Hudock is the Director of The Rising Tide Community Loan Fund.  Chris is a strong supporter of our local communities’ small businesses.  He has been providing financial support to small businesses in the Lehigh Valley since 2005.

Chris Cassidy is a Senior Planner in CACLV. She is a dual Canadian/U.S. citizen who lived in Canada, Guatemala, the United States, England and Switzerland before landing in the Lehigh Valley. She worked as a writer and earned a Master’s in archaeology from the University of Reading (UK) before her work on the last presidential campaign inspired her to pursue a career as a planner at CACLV.  Chris began her career with CACLV as an assistant planner in 2009 and in September of 2010 was promoted to senior planner.

Janet Ney is the former associate executive director of CACLV.  For over 28 years, Janet has enjoyed working in a variety of positions and currently serves as the coordinator of advocacy and outreach for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania.  Janet is a founding member of the Pennsylvania Association of Regional Food Banks, (now called Hunger-Free Pennsylvania), serving as its president for two terms. Currently, She is a member and chairperson of the Allentown Human Relations Commission.

Kahtryn Hoffman is the Food Stamp outreach representative for Second Harvest Food Bank. Kathryn has worked for anti-poverty and human service programs for decades.  She has a Master’s in Educational Policy from the University of Wisconsin, where she met her husband and lived before moving to the Valley in fall of 1987.  She enjoys her job with CACLV, doing outreach and applications for the food stamp program at Second Harvest.  In her spare time, Kathryn is active in the local peace and justice group, LEPOCO.

Lindsay Deemer is the project coordinator at Second Harvest Food Bank. Lindsay oversees the packing and distribution of nearly 1900 boxes of food that are given to low-income seniors throughout our region each month. She has the opportunity each month to interact with many interesting people, both the recipients and the volunteers who assist with preparing the boxes.

Delia Marrero is a full-time employee at the CACLV with the Weatherization program.

Jessica R. Dreistadt is a planner with CACLV, providing support to the Lehigh Valley Community Land Trust, Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, West Ward Neighborhood Partnership, and Renew Lehigh Valley. She previously worked for CACLV as director of Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem and the Sixth Street Shelter as well as coordinator of advocacy and outreach at Second Harvest Food Bank.

Manuel Ayala is the former deputy executive director of CACLV.  Manuel is not foreign to the price of change, diversity and hard work!  During his time with the YMCA he turned around challenged facilities, created programs, reached fundraising goals and helped in the overseeing of the construction of a $13.5 million, 45,000 square foot facility.

Staci Bell was formerly a caseworker and office manager at the Sixth Street Shelter (SSS).  Staci oversees the caretaker staff and daily operations of the front office, in addition to providing administrative support of the Director, caseworkers and other office staff.  She has the opportunity to interact daily with residents, volunteers, donors and the community.

Esther Y. Guzman is the former director of the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership. Esther was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is the proud mother of two sons, Angel Luis and Francisco Javier.  Over the years she has been involved in the fight against domestic violence, Puerto Rican and immigration rights and cultural affairs.  She is a certified trainer for “Diversity & Sensitivity” classes.   Esther has been serving as the Director of the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership for over a year and has worked for CACLV for many years prior to that.

Eric Ward was the Family Resource Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA at the Sixth Street Shelter. He graduated from Kutztown University in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s in Psychology. He has provided assistance to the parents and children at the shelter by offering classes and workshops as well as assisting with making resumes, applying for jobs, and searching for apartments.

Jennifer Hernandez-Reyes formerly served as the Communication and Reporting Coordinator at the Sixth Street Shelter (SSS) and former a Caseworker for Turner Street Apartments at the SSS. Through the years at CACLV, she has witness the importance of the community’s voice in public discourse and the future of the community.

Ann McManus wass the Director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania.  Ann is an ardent supporter of access to fresh food. She has been the director of the Food Bank since 1999.

Elisa Zaehringer is the former Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator for the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania, and later served as a CACLV planner. She is a graduate of both Muhlenberg College and Lehigh University.

Jennifer Gable is a former AmeriCorps VISTA who served as the communications specialist for CACLV. She is a Muhlenberg College graduate.

Ryan Champlin is a former CACLV employee who was a contributing writer during his time as a planner with CACLV.

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