Board of Directors

Melissa Eshbach
Governance Committee Chair

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.

Zach Lightner
Vice President


Zach received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and his law degree from IU McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.  Zach formed Lightner Law Firm P.C. in 2020.  He is on the Board of Directors for Auburn Main Street, a steering committee member for 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 Kristin have a golden retriever named George and enjoy spending time at the lake with family.  Zach enjoys flying, skeet shooting, and working on his house.

Chris Clear
Finance Committee Chair

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.

Tonya Weaver
Community Impact Co-Chair

Tonya graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.   She received her Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Indiana-Purdue University.  She has been employed with the Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District since 1990 and currently has the privilege to serve the community as the Superintendent.  Tonya also has been a classroom teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach, elementary principal, and Director of Innovation. Tonya, a lifelong resident of DeKalb County, enjoys spending time with her husband Doug and two daughters, Sydney and Abby.

Karla Benitez Estrada
Addiction Team Chair

Kristina Brockhouse
Childhood Trauma Team Chair

Dave Bunn
Campaign Committee

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.

Rev. Dr. Marcus J. Carlson

Rev. Dr. Carlson is an ordained Lutheran Pastor in two different Lutheran bodies. He currently teaches for Toccoa Falls College and Sioux Falls Seminary. In addition to his work as a pastor and professor, Marcus is an author, speaker, consulting and spiritual director. His wife, Jessica and him also do some hobby farming. Dr. Carlson earned his Bachelors Degree from Eastern University and his Masters from Fuller Seminary. He earned his Doctoral degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. His doctorate was interdisciplinary in nature focusing on child and adolescent development, culture, leadership, theology, leading change, practical theology and family ministry among other things. His dissertation focused on the role of the community in healthy adolescent development. He has been married to his high school sweetheart Jessica for 15 years and they have two children, a son Micah and daughter Abigail.  Rounding out their family are a handful of pets and hobby farm critters. Marcus loves to spend time with his family, read, hike, and share a cup of coffee and conversation. Marcus is very involved in the community serving on various boards as well as involvement in many other volunteer efforts with a variety of organizations.

Tasha Eicher
Power of the Purse Committee

Julie Fellers Hook
Early Childhood Education Team Chair

Julie was the Director of General Studies degree program and an instructor for the Organizational Leadership Studies degree program at IPFW/PFW. She retired after nearly 40 years summer 2019.  Julie graduated from Indiana University with an Ed.D. and from Drake University with a BSE/MSE. Julie has been a part of the Auburn Arts Council, Tri Kappa, the Scholarship Committee and currently the Grant Committee of the Community Foundation of DeKalb County as well as a founding member of Mother Goose on-the-Loose.  Her board experience includes: Butler Public Library, DeKalb Leadership, Children First Center, and the United Way.   She and her husband Larry have two children, Karen and Steve Case and Gail Hook, as well as two grandchildren, Colton and Ella Case and two grandpuppies, Moe Hook and Chloe Case.

Lori Kaiser
Power of the Purse Chair

Amy Rupert
Community Impact Co-Chair