Board of Directors Officers and Members

The eight-member Board of Directors executes all the business of the organization.

Thomas V. Barnes - President
The Mayor of the City of Gary, Indiana for eight years (1988-1995), Tom Barnes has been licensed as an attorney in the state of Indiana for thirty years. Mr. Barnes also is managing partner of a family business established by his late father over fifty-two years ago. During his tenure as mayor, Mr. Barnes was co-chair for the World Health Organizationís 1992 conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Also, for one term, he provided leadership as President of the World Conference of Mayors.  Prior to that Mr. Barnes served nine years as the Assessor for the second largest tax assessment jurisdiction in the state of Indiana, the Calumet Township.

Anne F. Thompson - Vice President
Anne Thompson is a retired educator of the Gary Community Schools Corporation who held classroom and administrative positions at the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels. She earned an A.B. degree in speech and drama from St. Louis Unversity; an M.A. in Classical Latin from DePaul University;an Ed.S. in Secondary Administration from Indiana University.  Mrs. Thompson served as Coordinator of Elementary Gifted Education centers, Academically Gifted Middle School and Secondary Honors Programs and ultimately as Supervisor of Foreign Languages for the Gary district. She taught both Communications and Classical Latin at Indiana University Northwest Campus. Mrs. Thompson was the sole author and designer of an innovative summer program S-A-I-L (Study Alternative International Languages), which exposes students to Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese, and Russian languages. The program received national, regional, and local recognition and has continued to the present time.

Reverend Robert P. Gehring - Treasurer
Father Robert Gehring grew up on a farm in North Judson, Indiana.  He attended Ss. Cyril and Methodius Elementary School and North Judson Public High School. He earned a B.S. Degree in Business Administration from Saint Joseph College in Rensselaer, Indiana and a Masterís Degree in Education from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.  His Philosophy and Theology education were at Mount St. Mary Seminary in Norwood, Ohio. He was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on August 14, 1966 for the Diocese of Gary.  Prior to entering the seminary, Fr. Gehring served in the United States Army Signal Corps from 1958-1960.  His assignments after ordination were six years as Chancellor of the Diocese of Gary; Director of Catholic Relief Services in Cambodia, 1974-75; pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in East Chicago, Indiana, 1975-85; missionary serving in the Bolivian Amazon, 1985-93. Since returning to Gary, Fr. Gehring has served as a pastor in the city of Gary.

Dr. John R. Crise - Secretary

Dr. Rose Marie Banks

Monsignor William L. Martin
Msgr. William Martin has spent a lifetime in the service of the people of Northwest Indiana. For twenty-six years he was actively involved with the African American and Hispanic communities.  In the earlier years, Msgr. Martin served as both teacher at two elementary schools and as pastor/administrator of one of the schools. As the Diocesan Director of Youth for twenty-five years and the Director of the summer camp, Camp Lawrence, he garnered the respect and admiration of a wide spectrum of colleagues, parents, teachers, and youth.  He is a member of the Kiwanis Club, has held board memberships on the United Way and the Methodist Hospitals, and was the founder and director of the Permanent Deacon Program in this region. Msgr. Martinís wise counsel is a valuable asset to the Drexel Board.

Mrs. Sandra Richardson
Mrs. Richardson is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, attended Lincoln University in Missouri where she received a Bachelorís Degree in English Education.  After graduation she found herself teaching in Gary, Indiana at Roosevelt and West Side High Schools.  With a thirst for greater knowledge and adventure, Mrs. Richardson later earned a Masterís Degree and an endorsement in Counseling. She also traveled with students to England and Paris.  Mrs. Richardson was selected as one of thirty teachers across the nation to spend six weeks at Georgetown University where she studied the works of William Shakespeare at the Folger Library.  Mrs. Richardson spent the last six years of her career as chairperson for the Counseling Department. After thirty-four years in the Gary schools, Mrs. Richardson retired, but remains dedicated to improving the lives of children.

Dr. Chantal Walker, MD
Dr. Chantal Walker, Pediatrician, is the daughter of a school teacher and firefighter, and was born and raised in Gary, Indiana.  Dr. Walker is a graduate of Colby College, Waterville, Maine, in 1991, and the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1997. In spite of many other options, Dr. Walker chose to return to Gary to practice Pediatric medicine wher her services are channeled through the Life Services Professional Corporation. Highly visible in the community through health fairs, career seminars, and public speaking events, Dr. Walker embodies the example of leadership being reinvested in the community in which it was nurtured.

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