Board of Directors

joanna edits-28.jpg

Joanna Dennstaedt

Executive Director & Chair

Visit Joanna's page to find out more 

Nances_Headshot.jpg

Nance McCown

Board Member

Professor of Communications at Messiah College

  • Interests in PR include: leadership influence on internal PR; PR and activism; PR ethics

  • Regularly attends and presents research at national conferences    and regional professional seminars; submission reviewer for scholarly conferences and journals

  • Faculty Advisor, PRSSA-Messiah College Chapter

  • Robert and Marilyn Smith Excellence in Teaching Award recipient, 2011

  • Interests/Hobbies: Worship leader, youth mentor, knitting, geocaching, gardening, getting lost in a great book, watching movies, rising to challenges, enjoying an ice-cold Coca cola

  • Ph.D. in Public Relations University of Maryland

  • M.A. in Journalism Temple University

  • B.A. in English (with teaching certification) Messiah College

  • Other things noted personally about Nance: She taught the class that lead Radiant Hope through a marketing over hall last year with her PR marketing class. She is a mentor to Joanna and Radiant Hope. She is a donor and sold out to our mission, on top of that she lost her mom to breast cancer when she was 13 and that has impacted her life greatly.

john-2.jpg

John Dennis, LPC, NCC, ACS

Board Member

Co-owner and Chief Clinical Officer of Parenting & Family Solutions

  • As a licensed professional counselor with over 16 years of experience he specializes in both marriage and family counseling for individuals, couples, children, and adolescents. He focuses on working with anxious teens and adults, couples who are struggling to connect with one another, and those dealing with grief and loss.  

  • He is a member of the APOS (American Psychosocial Oncology Society), he is a Level-2 Trained Gottman Counselor and uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as the foundation for his therapy framework.

  • His training, experience, and skills enable him to assist clients in developing their own personalized solutions and improve communication within the family unit. In addition, he offer a number of trainings for parents, youth groups and school staff on a variety of topics ranging from Social Media Awareness, Suicide and Self-Injury, Human Trafficking, Dealing With Anxiety, Avoiding Burnout and more.  

  • John is a great friend to Joanna, as they have known each other for over 20 years. He lost his brother to cancer 2 years ago and that has impacted his life greatly. He will be a great sounding board and advisor as we seek to step into the lives of really hard situations. On top of that he helped start and runs his own counseling business which will bring value to our organization.

Debra-Pierson-2-oc41a2xzzo15g0gv3lym4hgv

Deb Pierson

Board Member

President and CEO of Pierson Computing

  • A certified Project Management Institute Professional. Deb has built  a solid reputation for technical support and project management services, first at IBM and now at Pierson, she founded in 1993. As President and CEO, she oversees business development and operations and establishes relationships with key business partners. 

  • Deb thrives on watching her team members consistently solve customer challenges. As a women owned enterprise, she is passionate about lending guidance and assisting women in business. 

  • Deb donates her time to worthy causes such as being on the board of the alzheimer’s association of greater PA and Executive Women International. She has 2 daughters and her husband Jeff. Despite her impressive business success, Deb feels her most significant accomplishments are rooted in her deepest passions, which are supporting working women, serving as President of the Christian Business Women’s Fellowship of Central Pennsylvania, mentoring for the Harrisburg Regional Chamber, and sponsoring Dress for Success.  

  • Personally Deb is a mentor to Joanna and passionate about our mission and helping the foundation of our organization succeed. She brings a wealth of knowledge about business but also to the board as having served on many boards throughout her years as CEO of Pierson. 

chris.jpg

Chris Latta, MBA

Board Member

Deputy Executive Director

  • Pennsylvania Legislative Budget &Finance committee

  • Chris comes with a wealth of knowledge having his MBA in finance. He will be unmatched in helping us create a strategic plan, budgeting and financial responsibility, and process our operations. Along with this, he will help establish our bylaws and articles, and align that with our organization. 

  • *Some of the things he has done in his job have been:

  • Direct the process of preparing, negotiating and presenting an intensely complex $60B state budget, addressing the needs and views of stakeholders and balancing competing interests to achieve a fiscally sound result. Manage a 14-member team of budget analysts and support staff. Evaluate individual performance to optimize operational effectiveness. Set scope and workflow on a process involving multiple priorities and schedules to ensure that financial resources are available and properly allocated to meet the goals of state government. 

Kelly-Phipps-President-CEO-208x300.jpeg

David M. "Kelly" Phipps

Board Member

President/CEO of Rider Musser Development, LLC

EDUCATION:

  • J.D. Law from University of Akron School of Law

  • M.A. Ethics from Ashland University/Seminary

  • B.A. Business Management from Malone University

  • In, 1999 Messiah College, hired Kelly to be the Director of Development and Government relations.  He led and organized several campaigns for Messiah and other business entities raising more than $200M.  He has appeared in many townhall and community hearings and gained the experience in getting projects approved. He organized government relation programs resulting in millions of dollars in federal funds to supplement costs.  He has extensive experience with executive contacts, strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, as well as building a development team and implementing strategic plans. 

  • President of Rider Musser Development, LLC building the Oakwood Hills Project near Messiah College.  He is on the board for the Alzheimer’s Associations of Greater PA and Part of the Philanthropy Advisory committee for the Brethren Housing Association.