Board of Directors

Ian Mercer
Governance Committee Chair

Ian received his B.Sc. degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario Canada. He is a retired executive who spent the vast majority of his career in the corrugated packaging industry in Canada and the United States.  He is the former Chair of the Administration Council of the Auburn First United Methodist Church; is a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Dekalb County and has been a Dekalb H.O.P.E volunteer/mentor for the past 5 years.

Bret Claghorn
Vice President

Bret Claghorn has been in Healthcare Finance since 2008. Prior to Healthcare, he worked in public accounting as a CPA focusing on audit.  Bret is currently the CFO at DeKalb Health overseeing all financial operations.  Prior to joining DeKalb Health, Bret was the Director of Finance for Parkview Physicians Group. At PPG, he managed a staff of 10 professional staff leading financial analysis and reporting for 500+ providers.  Bret also was the CFO at Lutheran Medical Group.  Bret has led the Junior Achievement JA in a Day program for Parkview Health the past two years.  He is the coach for baseball and soccer in Roanoke Youth Sports league.  Bret received an undergraduate degree from Ball State and IPFW. He is married with three children.

Dave Bunn

David has been with the City of Auburn Fire Department for 30 years and is currently the Fire Marshall.  He received his associate degree from Ivy Tech and is also an adjunct professor for the college. He is the United Way of DeKalb County's immediate past president and also serves on the DeKalb County Fair Association board.

Chris Clear

Chris is a Product Engineer for DeKalb Molded Plastics and has been there for over ten years. He attended Tri-State University and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has been a member of New Hope Christian Center in Waterloo for over 20 years.

Julie Hook
Governance Committee Co-Chair

Julie is the Director of General Studies degree program at IPFW and is an instructor for the Organizational Leadership Studies degree program. Julie graduated from Indiana University with an Ed.D. and from Drake University with a BSE/MSE. Julie is part of the Auburn Arts Council. Her board experiences include: Butler Public Library, DeKalb Leadership, Children Fair, and the United Way. She is an Education Honoraryof Delta Kappa Gamma.

Zach Lightner
Campaign Chair

Zach received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and his law degree from IU McKinney School of Law in INdianapolis.  Zach is an attorney at the Law Firm of Meffrod, Weber, & Blythe and a deputy prosecutor for DeKalb County.  He is on the Board of Directors for ADAC, a steering committee memberfor Learning Link of DeKalb County, a committee member for the Hometown Collaboartion Initiative as well as a member of the Auburn Rotary Club.  Zach and his wife Krisitn have a goldren retriever named George and enjoy spending time at the lake with family.  Zack enjoys flying, skeet shooting, and working on his house.

Nick Scheumann
Community Impact Chair

Nick Scheumann has been a financial advisor for over twelve years and is a founding member of Oak Partners Auburn.  Nick is a graduate of Manchester University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Mathematics.  He is currently on the board of directors, the Finance Committee and the Chair of the Community Impact Committee of the United Way of Dekalb County. He is also on the Board of Directors for the ACD Festival.  Nick and his wife Shannon have a son, Matthew, born in July 2008 and a daughter, Myla, born in October of 2010. They enjoy going to the lake on the summer weekends as a family. Nick also enjoys spending time playing golf with friends, clients and business associates.

Sue Carpenter
Events & Marketing Chair

Sue received a bachelor degree in History from Indiana University. She also graduated from the DeKalb Leadership program. Sue works for KPC news as a journalist. She has been involved with committees and boards such as: the YMCA, Garrett Heritage Days, Garrett Rotary President, Library Friends, Garrett High School ICE program and of course the United Way of DeKalb County.

Kyle Vanover
Day of Caring Co-Chair

Al Wleklinski

Al is a retired director of Material Management for DeKalb Health. He earned his B.S. from St. Joseph College. He has been the secretary for the Auburn Plan Commission, president of Board of Zoning Appeals, and is a member of Knights of Columbus.  

Chris Stark

Chris graduated from Ohio State University for both his undergraduate and graduate degree. He has been with Wells Fargo Bank for over 8 years and is the Senior Agriculture/Business Banker. He is the treasurer for DeKalb County D.A.R.E.  

Tonya Weaver

Tonya graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.   She received her Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Indiana-Purdue University.  She has been employed with the Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District since 1990 and currently is the Director of Administration and Innovation.  Tonya also has been a classroom teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach, andelementary principal. Tonya, a lifelong resident of DeKalb County, enjoys her involvement with the Garrett Public Library Board of Directors, Junior Achievement, Learning Link of DeKalb County, and the Small Wonders Steering Committee.

Bill Stephan

Bill Stephan is the Senior County Director for the Otis R. Bowen Center. He has worked in Social Services for the last 30 years and raised 29 teenage foster boys. Bill splits his time between Fort Wayne, DeKalb and Middlesboro, Kentucky. He has been married to Lorna for 40 years and has two children, Marty and Nick. In his spare time he enjoys 4-wheeling, farming, and raising pastured livestock and chickens.

Kristen Payne

Kristen graduated from International Business College with a B.S. degree in Accounting. She has worked for Tower Bank & Trust in Fort Wayne as an HR Generalist, DeKalb Health in Auburn as the HR Director and currently Hallmark Home Mortgage as the HR Director.  Her expertise includes employee relations management, benefits administration, recruitment, hiring, polices and organizational development. Kristen’s certifications include Professional Human Resources (PHR) and most recently Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) from Society of Human Resource Management. She was born and raised in Elkhart, IN and moved to Fort Wayne in 2002 to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She has a wonderful husband of 11 years and a very rambunctious, yet loving, three-year old son. Much of her time, outside work, is spent with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, traveling and volunteering at church. She truly enjoys being able to serving others as a board member of the United Way of DeKalb County.

Jennifer Kasmier

Jennifer is currently working for Wellspring Interfaith Social Services in Fort Wayne.  She has lived in Auburn for the past 18 years, graduated form DeKalb High School and atteneded IPFW where she earned her degree in Human Services.  She has worked in the non-profit sector for the past four years and can't imagine doing anything else! She has served as a board member/secretary for A Day Away Adult Daycare, Inc., and on the board for The Village of Birchwood - Lutheran Life Villages.  She has been on the allocation review committe for United Way of Allen County, and a Volunteer Grant Coordinator for Congregation Achduth Vesholom. Jennifer is working toward obtaining her Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership and Certificate in Fund Raising Management from IUPUI. When the weather gets above 50 degreees, you can often spot Jennifer taking long walks around Auburn neighborhoods and frequently shopping at Lyn-Maree's! She is looking forward to getting involved whole-heartedly at the United Way of DeKalb County and giving back to her community.

Tyler Cleverly

Tyler is the Agency Owner of Shelter Insurance in downtown Auburn, which opened in September 2015. Prior to moving back to DeKalb County, he worked in college and professional basketball for ten years.  Tyler graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Administration and a minor in Foundations of Management. He then received his Master of Arts degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Sport Administration, also from Ball State.  Tyler is currently on the Community Impact Committee of the United Way of DeKalb County. He is also on the Board of Directors for NeighborLink of DeKalb County.

Melissa Eshbach

A degreed chemist, with Star Technology since 1997.  Currently a partner and Operations Manager.  I have been privileged to work with global organizations to engineer and manufacture custom adhesive solutions. Personal time is spent serving my community in variety of capacities including prior Board of Directors for DeKalb County Community Foundation and Learning Link, and board member of the Crossing, a faith based alternative school serving northern Indiana. Have volunteered  with United Way Day of Caring and TriKappa as prior chair of Honor Banquet and co-chair of Pink Out.  Actively involved with the Miss America organization as a local co-director for Miss Auburn Cord Duesenberg.  Blessed with wonderful family of 22 years with husband Mike and two teenagers Evan and Emily.

Kristina Brockhouse

Kristina is the Executive Director at Children First Center.  She holds a Master's of Social Work from Indiana University.  Kristina is also the Vice President of the Accreditation Board at Saint Francis University.  Kristina has been employed at Children First Center for 9 years and has an extensive backgroung in Clinical Social Work; she is committed to helping children and families become all they can be!

Rebeca Ackermann

Rebeca Ackermann grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana where she attended North Side High School. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington and obtained her Masters of Science in Education with a Concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy from IPFW.  She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Rebeca has been with the Otis R. Bowen Center since 2010. She started as a RSP/case manager then later became an outpatient therapist for the Fort Wayne office. In 2016 Rebeca accepted a position in the DeKalb County Bowen Center in Auburn as an Assistant Director and in 2017 she was promoted to Director of the DeKalb Bowen Center. “DeKalb is a warm and welcoming place and it is obvious as soon as you get here how deeply the residents care about the community. I am very excited to work towards positively contributing to DeKalb county and honored to be a member of the United Way Board!”

Lori Casiano

Honorary Sustaining Members

Dan Green

Doug Marsh

Bob Zimmerman