Henry R. Johnston III
Henry Johnston has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2006. He was recruited by his friend, Charlie Ross, who served on the board and thought Henry would be a good fit. As an attorney, Henry brings expertise in the legal world of nonprofit entities. His leadership skills have proven invaluable to both the board and the organization. Henry believes that anyone who has been as fortunate as he, should pursue volunteerism as a way of giving back to the community.
“Mainstay is different from other organizations because of its superior strengths in two main categories: the skills, experience and dedication of its senior staff and the experience, dedication and caring of its direct care team members.”
Cara Cortes joined Mainstay Life Service’s Board of Directors in 2017 after board member Rebekah Herman introduced Cara to the opportunity. Her experience as a commercial insurance advisor gives her the management skills that can be utilized in various aspects at Mainstay. Cara has been inspired by the work the Mainstay staff and board has done thus far and looks forward to supporting their efforts.
“Mainstay is an incredibly professional organization. It is clear the team is ethically bound and conducts themselves with integrity.”
Bryan A. Cox, Treasurer and Past Chair
Bryan Cox has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2010 after being introduced by board member Marvin Gold. As Treasurer and Past Chair, Bryan brings practical financial experience, and is actively involved with the executive, development and finance committees. As former CFO of a similar human services organization, he understands the financial and human challenges inherent in successfully delivering Mainstay’s services. Bryan is firmly committed to helping the organization continue providing quality programming while expanding in scope and developing further opportunities for staff professional growth.
“Mainstay has operated responsibly in providing a high-quality product, in the way it supports its employees, and in encouraging board development.”
Linda Zane, Ed.D.
Linda Zane has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2007 after a friend and then board member, Winnie Feise, asked her to join. As someone whose father’s career was devoted to serving people with intellectual disabilities, Linda has a personal passion for Mainstay’s mission. Through her previous experience as the director of a childcare program and her current position as a university professor, Linda provides expertise in program development and finding creative solutions to improve services. Linda actively participates in the executive and development committees, as well as serving as Secretary.
“The Board and the executive staff effectively work as a symbiotic team, guiding the organization in a conscientious and responsible manner.”
Sister Barbara Ann Boss, S.C.
Sister Barbara Ann Boss has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2005. As President of Elizabeth Seton Center since 2001, Sister Barb previously served as its Director of Child-Care Services for 14 years. In her career, she has been a teacher and has served as the education coordinator for Head Start at Seton Hill Child Services, where she is currently a board member. She is also a board member of the Brookline Chamber of Commerce and Seton Hill University.
James T. Gemperle
Jim Gemperle has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2014. He joined the board through the Boardswork program that encourages people to become more deeply involved with local nonprofits. His match with Mainstay struck a chord with Jim, whose aunt had similar disabilities and lived in a nursing home. Although he felt his aunt was well-cared for, he thinks she would have enjoyed an environment like the one Mainstay provides. He is most impressed with the executive staff who he says has a very focused idea of services and a plan for how to provide them in a fiscally sound manner.
“Mainstay provides people with an opportunity to thrive, while giving their families the security of knowing that their loved ones will be safe and well taken care of now and in the future.”
Bob O’Gara has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since the early 1990’s. He joined Mainstay, then Idlewood Center, at the request of friend and Board Chair Tom Junker. His involvement was propelled by his desire to give back where his talents could best be utilized. Bob brings communication and development expertise to the board and believes the strength of the board lies in its ability to run competently with respect to fiscal responsibility and community needs.
“Mainstay serves a vital public with services that maximize quality of life for very needy people.”
Marvin Gold has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2003 after first hearing about the organization from then board member Charlie Ross. As a fundraising expert, Marvin brings a deep understanding of nonprofit boards and what it takes to make them successful. His brother Israel resided in a Mainstay home for 11 years so Marvin understands firsthand the compassion shown by Mainstay and the wonderful work being done. He remains impressed with the depth of experience of the highly qualified executives and managers who oversee Mainstay, as well as the direct care staff who provide quality services.
“Mainstay is an extremely well-run organization that provides great care for those it serves and its staff”
Traysean Harris has been a member of the Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2020. Supported by Mainstay Life Services since 2015, he is an active member of our Self Advocates Advisory Board. Traysean sees his role as bridging the communication between these two very important boards. Traysean has spoken publicly about his experiences as a self-advocate and how Mainstay Life Services supports him as he lives his “good life.” He has been employed in customer service at Home Depot for the past six years, has been a community volunteer and is active in advocating for the needs of himself and others.
Tom Junker has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since the early 1980’s. He first learned of Mainstay, then Idlewood Center, through Board Member Winnie Feise. Tom became involved with Mainstay because he was impressed by the organization’s caring and compassionate work. He takes pride in his length of service and historical knowledge of the organization, bringing legal and financial expertise. He believes what sets Mainstay apart is the dedication and proficiency of the board, administration and front-line staff.
“Mainstay is a model of how the system should work. The agency is working hard in difficult financial and political times to provide the services that are so desperately needed by those we serve.”
John Lovelace has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 1985. His membership began with Horizon Homes prior to its merger with Idlewood Center. John has a long history of involvement with human services, Medicaid, and other government funded services. When he speaks about Mainstay, John focuses on the organization’s solid record of growth and service development in the disability community, while it maintains consistent funding and an excellent reputation among its consumers and families.
“Mainstay is open, straightforward, and responsive to consumers and families. The senior staff makes efforts to attend to needs of staff, as well as consumers and the community.”
Jack Ryan, Vice Chair
Jack Ryan has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2014, joining through the Boardswork program. Jack has been actively involved with Special Olympics, serving as a coach since 2000. Through his community service, Jack is constantly learning about new initiatives and programs set up to assist people with developmental disabilities. His focus on current trends and new developments offer a fresh perspective. Jack is most impressed with the dedication of the people who work for Mainstay. In addition to his role as Vice Chair, Jack is a member of the executive, real estate and finance committees.
“From my short time with Mainstay, I have been very impressed by the employees, executive staff and Board. The connection with each one is how much they care about the people they assist and the organization.”
Janna M. Chiurazzi Young
Janna Chiurazzi Young has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2010. Her brother-in-law received residential services through Mainstay and, because of her family connection, Janna brings a unique voice to the board. Her strong community connections and business acumen are essential to her role on various fundraising event committees. Janna believes the staff, as well as the organization’s mission to empower people and unlock potential set Mainstay apart from other nonprofits.
“Mainstay is an organization to which you would entrust your family. If you had a family member with a disability and wanted to provide an opportunity for them to feel empowered, cared for, to be their very best, Mainstay can provide such an experience.”
Judith Hulick, Ph.D.
Judy Hulick has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2008. Having had a sister with Down Syndrome gives Judy personal insight enabling her to share a family perspective with the board. She first learned of Mainstay when her sister needed comprehensive residential care. From day one, Judy was impressed with the quality of life her sister experienced while receiving care from Mainstay. Although her sister has passed, Judy sees the value in programs like Mainstay and feels honored to be involved with the governance of the organization. She is a strong advocate promoting quality of life for people with disabilities.
“Mainstay enhances the quality of life for people in the community. I am honored to be a part of this organization.”
Rebekah Herman, Chair
Rebekah Herman has been a member of Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2014, joining through the Boardswork program. As the mother of a son with multiple physical health issues and an Autism diagnosis, Rebekah empathizes with families and those served by Mainstay, and appreciates the organization’s mission. Additionally, she looks forward to leveraging her work experience in healthcare and non-profit banking to serve in her role as Chair. Rebekah also chairs the executive committee and participates in both the development and finance committees.
“As the mother of a son with a developmental disability, I appreciate Mainstay’s mission and empathize with families and those served by Mainstay.”
Mahmood (Mike) Usman, MD, MMM
Mike Usman has been a member of the Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2020. He was recruited by Mainstay CEO Kim Sonafelt, who had worked with him at Merakey. Initially trained in psychiatry and behavioral neurology, he subsequently gained training, experience and certifications in disaster medicine, medical leadership and public health. Mike has always felt a need to serve the community, both by serving on the boards of medical and social service not-for-profits and by responding to disasters in the U.S. and abroad.
Lauren Zetts has been a member of the Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors since 2016. She first learned of Mainstay and was inspired to get involved after participating in the skilled volunteer program at the Bayer Center for Nonprofits. As a marketing and development professional at Covestro, Lauren is excited to share her knowledge and expertise to support similar efforts at Mainstay.
“Mainstay Life Services is a professional but caring organization full of hard working people that feel strongly about helping those with developmental disabilities to lead fulfilling lives.”
Brittany Daniels joined Mainstay Life Services’ Board of Directors in March 2019. Brittany is a self-advocate and an accomplished artist who specializes in photography, painting, knitting, and sculpture. Not only is Brittany an artist herself, but she also enjoys sharing her talents with others. As a volunteer, Brittany has facilitated several craft groups for other Pittsburgh residents.
Brittany received her diploma from Thomas Jefferson High School and currently holds the position of Volunteer Home Aide at Summerdale Court.
“When it comes down to it, Mainstay helps people. Whether it’s being more independent, or just helping with anything that is needed.”