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Highlighting our Board


Our board members are doing amazing work in our communities!


The Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Board of Governors is comprised of community leaders and volunteers who are committed to the Foundation’s mission of enhancing the quality of life of people in Northeastern Pennsylvania through the development of organized philanthropy.

Our board members are appointed because of their knowledge and understanding of community issues and opportunities.

We are proud to recognize their achievements in the community…

Congratulations to our Board Vice-Chair, Barbara O’Hara, Esquire, for being recognized as one of Happenings Magazine‘s Most Influential Women! You can find her appearing in the March 2021 edition of Happenings!

Not only is Attorney O’Hara on our Foundation Board, but she also dedicates her time and talents to support the mission of our Women in Philanthropy initiative, where she serves as a founding and active supporter working to empower and transform the lives of women and girls in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

We are grateful for all she does to support the work of the Foundation serving as our Board Vice-Chair and as a Founding Supporter of Women in Philanthropy.

Congratulations on this notable recognition, Attorney O’Hara!

The Scranton Area Community Foundation recently welcomed Dr. Lia Richards-Palmiter as a newly elected board member!

Lia Richards-Palmiter, Ph.D.
, is the Director of Student Equity and Inclusion and adjunct faculty at Marywood University in Scranton. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and completed her master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Denver. She earned her Ph.D. in Human Development with a specialization in Social Work from Marywood University. Dr. Richards-Palmiter has spent the past 19 years mentoring BIPOC students, faculty, staff, and community members in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She has a private practice that focuses on empowering clients who are members of traditionally disenfranchised groups. Dr. Richards-Palmiter has provided hundreds of trainings and discussion forums on multiculturalism for two decades.

Dr. Richards-Palmiter joins 18 other board members who serve as stewards of the Foundation to carry out the mission of enhancing the quality of life for all people in the Lackawanna County region through the development of organized philanthropy. We are grateful to have her serving on our Board!

Welcome, Dr. Richards-Palmiter!

Congratulations to our Board Treasurer, Ellen Burkey, for being named among the TOP 25 Women in Business in 2021 by the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal!

In addition to serving as our Board Treasurer, Ellen also serves as the Financial Confidence and Matched Savings Chair of our Women in Philanthropy initiative.

We are grateful for all she does to support the work of the Foundation and to empower and transform the lives of women, girls, and their families in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Congratulations on this notable recognition, Ellen!

Our Board works to ensure the highest levels of executive and management performance, responsible grantmaking, quality donor relations, accountable stewardship of philanthropic funds, and overall financial health of our organization.

The Staff at the Foundation would like to publicly thank the Board for their leadership and unending dedication to making our region a better place to live.

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