Board of Directors

Hope is the Spark that Changes Lives

Bill Garbarino, President

Bill GarbarinoProfessor Bill Garbarino is a full time faculty member at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Since 2004 Bill has also been the Program Coordinator for the Business Marketing diploma, and 2 business certificate programs. Prior to joining Algonquin College in 2003 Bill enjoyed a 28 year career in Sales & Marketing.

Bill's Management roles included Regional Sales Manager, Long Distance and Telemarketing Consulting Support Director, and Vice President of Bell Canada's E-Marketing & Distribution channels unit called Bell Direct. Bill finished up his management career from 2000-2003 at BCE Emergis as Senior Vice President of the Product Management and Product Marketing units.

Bill is an avid athlete and has coached youth and adults in several sport disciplines. He is married for nearly 30 years with 2 adult sons.

Bill actively supports many charities including sponsoring Plan International Foster Children for nearly 30 years, cancer fundraising and awareness events, and AIDS related non-profit organizations. Since 2010 Bill has been an advisory board member for the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA) and its Canadian affiliate, CFCA. Bill is the currently the President for AFCA.


Anne L. Parmer, Vice President

Anne L. ParmerAnne L. Parmer is a dynamic partner in the success of entrepreneurial endeavors. With a background in marketing, strong communications skills, and a deep intellectual curiousity, Anne quickly analyzes and understands the business issues and articulately applies elegant solutions. Anne is a partner in the strategic HR firm, Intenuity, which assists organizations with strategic training and development and long-term succession planning. Additionally, Anne is the founder and CEO of Pepper Assistants, Inc., a boutique business assistant firm and her projects include planning (National Kids Yoga Conference), on-going office administration skills, marketing/research projects, and coordination. She is also a registered yoga teacher and brings a sensitive and intuitive approach to problem solving. Anne is a distinguished graduate of Lebanon Valley College (BA) and Penn State University (MBA).


Michael Kracht, Director

Michael KrachtMichael Kracht is a shareholder in the Law firm of Weber, Kracht and Chellew in Perkasie, PA. Michael works principally in the areas of Defense litigation, Municipal, and Land Development in eastern Pennsylvania. He has for years actively participated in and represented numerous charitable organization. He is a founding member and current Board Member of the Keystone Opportunity Center which provides, among other things, emergency shelter, transitional housing, food and clothing for the Bucks and Montgomery County’s less fortunate. He has traveled on mission projects and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador from 1981-1983 working with the Indigenous population teaching school and constructing several community projects.

Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, Michael grew up in Iowa, graduated with a degree in Education from Northwest Missouri State University and finished his formal education with a J.D. from Washburn Law School in Topeka, Kansas in 1979. He is admitted to practice not only in State Courts of Kansas and Pennsylvania, but also several Federal Courts, including the United States Supreme Court. After graduation, he served in the Kansas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. After returning from Peace Corps, he also worked several years for Legal Aid before entering private practice with his current firm.


Stephanie Watkins, Treasurer

Stephanie WatkinsStephanie Watkins became a part of the Board of Directors in 2013.

Stephanie is a Government Relations Specialist with the Ridge Policy Group based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C where she represents clients in both the non-profit and corporate worlds. She works with government officials and agencies on a daily basis navigating the intricate world of policy and politics.

Stephanie earned her BA in Political Science from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and her LLM in Public International Law from the University of Kent, United Kingdom.

Stephanie and her husband, Kip, currently reside in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


Jen Panattoni, Secretary

Jen PanattoniJen Panattoni became a part of the Board of Directors in 2016 and came to us though our brand partner, Lewis N. Clark where she is the director of business strategy for the adventure travel brand. A highly seasoned sales and marketing professional, Jen brings over 17 years of experience to the table with a creative outlook and strong critical thinking skills. A passion for communication and consumer behavior led Jen down her marketing path and she enjoys staying abreast to current trends in marketing automation. Jen earned her BA from DePaul University and she currently resides in Chicago with her husband Dan, two kids and one on the way. In her free time, she likes to be outside as much as possible enjoying nature with her family.



Nick Cassino, Director

Nick CassinoAFCA board director since 2005

Lives by the credo . . ." Do no harm, help when you can"






Karin Stortz, Director

Karin StortzKarin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Illinois. Her masters degree includes a focus in international and program development. Karin completed her graduate thesis in Cape Town, South Africa. It was this experience that she attributes her passion for providing tangible resources and solitions for those in need. Karin’s work has included community mental health advocate, violence prevention trainer, private practice clinician, trainer for educators on topics from bullying prevention to teen dating violence, as well as media expert resource. She is currently working as an educator on the topics of mental health, and stress management for the Cook County Departments of Corrections. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two young children. What free time she has is spent adventuring with her family to new places and capturing it all with her love of photography. Karin is dedicated to cultivating change through empathy, insight and tangible strategies.


Renee Gabbett

Renee GabbettRenee Gabbett is a Chef and Culinary School Consultant. Renee started her career working as a Private Chef in New York and Chicago. As much as she She enjoyed this chapter of her life, upon starting a family, she felt a need to share her knowledge as a chef with others.

Wanting to provide needed culinary guidance for people in their busy lives, she pursued instructing and ran a corporate cooking school, which ultimately shaped her career as a Chef Instructor. The journey led to teaching others about healthy cooking and living naturally through simple techniques and education. She believes we can all eat so well with a few simple tips and the idea that "you are what eat”.

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