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Scranton Area Community Foundation Board in Motion

06.16.21

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 elected because of their knowledge and understanding of community issues and opportunities.

We are proud to recognize their achievements in the community…


Congratulations to Board member Ida Castro, J.D., who recently announced her plans to depart from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) at the end of June to launch a consultant/think tank LLC focused on building alliances and developing inclusive environments. Ida has served as the Vice President for Community Engagement and the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at the school since the school’s founding.

During her time at the school, Ida has been recognized for conceiving, building, and generating millions in funding for the school’s Regional Education Academy for Careers in Health – Higher Education Initiative (REACH-HEI), which has created opportunities for thousands of underprivileged high school students throughout the region, many of whom are now solidly on the path towards productive careers in health care.

Ida is also a Founding Philanthropist of Women in Philanthropy, the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s initiative that focuses on empowering and transforming the lives of women, girls, and their families in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Ida also serves as Women in Philanthropy’s Health and Wellness Co-Chair.

Additionally, Ida was recognized as a 2021 Latina Trailblazer during the 12th Annual LatinoJustice Latina Trailblazer Celebration, held virtually on June 15, 2021. You can view the recording of the celebration that aired live here.

Read the official news release from Geisinger HERE…

We are grateful for all she does to support the work of the Foundation and Women in Philanthropy and we wish her much happiness and success in her new endeavor! We look forward to continuing to work with you on our Board.

Congratulations, Ida!


Congratulations to our Board Chair, Ken Okrepkie, for being recognized as one of Happenings Magazine’s Most Influential Men in NEPA! You can find him appearing in the June 2021 edition of Happenings!

In addition to serving on our Foundation Board, he also serves as the Pocono Northeast Regional Manager at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, which invests in technology companies that create jobs in our region.

Ken was instrumental in leading the Foundation during the COVID-19 pandemic and, under his leadership, helped to launch one of the first COVID-19 funds in the country which raised and distributed over $1.2 million quickly over a three month period immediately after COVID-19 began to impact our communities. This funding went to support nonprofit organizations directly affected throughout NEPA.

Check out the article in Happenings Magazine HERE…

We are grateful for all he does to support the work of the Foundation serving as our Board Chair.

Congratulations on this notable recognition, Ken Okrepkie!


Scranton Area Community Foundation board member Dr. Lia Richards-Palmiter recently spoke at the Empower Women’s Leadership Conference hosted by the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce earlier this month at Kalahari Resort where she spoke about implicit bias and accountability.

Lia Richards-Palmiter, Ph.D., is the Director of Student Equity and Inclusion and adjunct faculty at Marywood University in Scranton. She also 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.

(Photo credit: NKG Photography)

Thank you for serving on our Board, Dr. Richards-Palmiter, and thank you for your inspirational leadership in our community!


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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