Board of Directors
Hospice Caring is governed by a Board of Directors that sets policy, monitors finances, and oversees the strategic direction of the organization.
Nancy Richardson, RN, Chair, leads the Board of Directors and supports the Executive Director of Hospice Caring. She has served on the Board since 2008 and has been involved with Hospice Caring since 2006. Her experience with Hospice Caring includes teaching the health class at various high schools in Montgomery County as well as training new volunteers. She brings specialized expertise to Camp Erin, a bereavement camp for children that Hospice Caring operates one weekend each year. Her related experience includes 33 years owning and operating a business dedicated to school-age childcare programs and summer camps in both Montgomery County and Frederick County, as well as an infant through school age program in Gaithersburg, Maryland and Reston, Virginia. Ms. Richardson is a registered nurse in Montgomery County. She has used hospice services for her own family. Her business, Bar-T has generously contributes pro bono camp space, transportation, and staff time for the Camp Erin Montgomery County weekend.
Audrey Rothstein, CAE, Vice Chair, serves on the board and performs the Chair responsibilities when the Chair cannot be available. She has been a Board member since 2015 and has been involved with Hospice Caring since 2014. She contributes pro bono her skills as a professional photographer to document Hospice Caring events, such as the Camp Erin video. Her related experience includes consulting, staff leadership, board, and camp director positions. She has consulted on communications and strategy for non-profit organizations in the United States and India. She has held staff leadership positions at the Association for Conflict Resolution, the American Occupational Therapy Association, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, and the Child Life Council. She served for 11 years on the Board of Directors of Circle Camps for Grieving Children, Inc., which operates week-long overnight camps for children who have experienced the death of a parent. She served as director of that organization’s flagship camp in Maine. Audrey also brings her experience raising three children, two of whom lost their natural mother to cancer at the ages 4 and 14. Her business, Audrey Rothstein Photography, specializes in portrait, family and event photography.
Jody Snyder Engel, M.A., R.D., Secretary, joined HCI’s Board of Directors in 2017 after serving as a volunteer for several years. Jody, a Registered Dietitian, is the Director of Communications at the Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) at the National Institutes of Health. Jody personally experienced the benefits of hospice care when she and her family utilized these services. After learning more about the expanse of HCI and the breadth of its programs and outreach, she became eager to use her commitment, organization, and communications skills to help others receive the internal strength and peace that was gifted to her by hospice volunteers. Jody is serving in her personal capacity.
Stephen R. Halpin, Jr., Treasurer, has been involved with Hospice Caring for over 20 years, initially as a Trustee and more recently as a Board member. He assumed the Treasurer role in 2015. Steve is the retired former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Chevy Chase Bank. He has also recently been a trustee and Board Chair of The Academy of the Holy Cross.
Gerald K. Gimmel, Esq., Parliamentarian and Historian, oversees bylaws and formal board procedures, and he also maintains the history of Hospice Caring. He has been a board member since 1991 and served as the Board Chair from 1998 to 2002. His related experience includes general-practice law with the firm Gimmel, Weiman, Ersek, Blomberg & Lewis, P.A., a steadfast supporter of Hospice Caring, located in Gaithersburg for more than 40 years. He has been involved for many years in community activities that include serving as President of the Montgomery Village Rotary Club and Chair of the Board of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce.
Debra A. Berner, M.S., has served Hospice Caring since 2015. She provides advice and insights related to school-based programming and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Her related experience includes more than 38 years as an educator, during which she has been a teacher for students with disabilities; Resource teacher in Special Education; assistant to the Director of Special Education; Assistant Principal; Principal at William Tyler Page ES; the executive director for the Chief Operating Officer in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and most recently as the Director of Student Services where she oversaw Psychological Services; Pupil Personnel Services; School Counseling, Residency and International Admissions; Interim Instructional Services; Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS); and Student Affairs. She is currently the principal at Lakewood Elementary School in Rockville. She also teaches a class on Student Services to aspiring administrators for Hood College. Deb is the proud parent of Sam, who lives in Pittsburgh and pursuing his dreams of being a ceramic artist and owning his own studio. Her daughter Abby has followed in her footsteps as a teacher in MCPS for students with autism. Deb has found her home in Rockville since moving from the Midwest in 1992 and contributes to community efforts when time permits.
Gary Franklin, CPA, is a board member and member of the finance committee. He has served on the board since 2013. As a CPA and Partner with CohnReznick, Gary has more than 30 years of experience providing tax planning and business advisory services to clients. Gary currently serves on the board as Treasurer for the Montgomery County Students Construction Trade Foundation and formerly served as Treasurer for other non-profit organizations whereby he worked with the executive committee to refinance debt, strengthened financial controls including issuance of internal financial statements to the board.
R. William Hard, is an active board member and fundraiser for Hospice Caring. He joined the Board in 2008 and served as Treasurer from 2009 - 2015. His related experience includes his role as Executive Vice President and Principal of LCOR, a real estate development, investment, and management company. Mr. Hard also serves on the Montgomery College Foundation of Directors and is Chairman of the Foundation’s Real Estate Committee. In addition, Mr. Hard serves on the Board of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership and the Advisory Board of the Urban Land Institute’s Washington District Council.
Sara Harris is a caregiver, a Board Member of the Montgomery County Retired Employees Association, and retired from serving as the Montgomery County Deputy Election Director and previously Director of Occupational Therapy for a community mental health center. A committed supporter of Hospice Caring for over 25 years, she has served as a Trustee and a Board member, initially and currently, participating in outreach and government relations. Sara is a member of the Leadership Montgomery Inaugural Class, the American Association of University Women, Mobile Med, the League of Women Voters and the Montgomery Village Garden Club. Past community involvement includes elected positions with the Montgomery County Health Planning Commission, Montgomery Village Foundation Board, Stedwick Homes Corporation, and the Maryland Association of Election Officials.
Colleen Luzier, M.P.A., serves as a Board Member for Hospice Caring, Inc. She has served on the Board since 2016 after completing time on HCI’s Board of Trustees and as a volunteer since 2014 for Camp Erin and the Good Grief Club sessions offered to Montgomery County school children. Colleen has over 30 years of experience as an organizational development and human resources consultant and manager for businesses of all sizes, both public and private. She has utilized her expertise to help HCI with various human resources related activities including counseling, job descriptions and the Employee Handbook. Furthermore, she brings to HCI her prior and current Board experience with non-profits such as the Center for Adoption Support and Education, the Treatment and Learning Centers, the Career Transition Center and St. Luke’s House (now Cornerstone Montgomery). Colleen is a 1993 graduate of Leadership Montgomery and a 2000 graduate from Leadership America. In September 2009, Colleen received the Community Leadership Award from Leadership Montgomery in recognition of her years of service to the Montgomery County community. Colleen founded and led a small non-profit, CourageCollages, which offers creative expression workshops that facilitated the emotional recovery, coping and healing process for cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones. Colleen, and her husband, Ron, have both utilized hospice services for their respective parents and recognize how critical to the family’s peace of mind these services are. They are actively involved in supporting a new HCI initiative to provide an annual Caregiver’s Retreat starting in 2017.
Bobbie McNairy, M.S., has been a member of the Hospice Caring Board of Directors since 2009, serving as an ambassador and fundraiser for the organization. She is a resident of Gaithersburg, MD, a retired math teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools, a wife, mother, and grandmother. Bobbie is passionate about the mission of Hospice Caring and enjoys helping the organization to identify and meet community needs around to end-of-life and bereavement. Bobbie holds a degree from LeMoyne–Owen College.
Judith R. Peres, LCSW-C, provides advice and insights related to palliative/end-of-life care policy and clinical social work for Hospice Caring. She has been involved with Hospice Caring since 2016. Judy brings over four decades of experience and expertise in the theoretical and practical aspects of death and dying. Her policy work uses her expertise in the intersection of palliative care hospice and long-term services and supports. In her private psychotherapy practice, she works to assist Medicare beneficiaries in navigating the transitions of aging. Her consulting clients have included the Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Altarum Institute's, Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, the Center for Practical Bioethics and the National Institute of Nursing Research. In addition to her work with HCI, Judy is on the Board of Directors of the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network and is a Commissioner of Aging for Montgomery County Maryland.
Tori Tomlinson, MBA, has been a volunteer with Hospice Caring since its inception and joined the Board of Directors in 2015. She is the founder, president and CEO of US Wellness, a national health solutions company specializing in biometric screening, health risk assessment, online population management, and incentive services. She is responsible for providing the vision, product development and business modeling for the company as well as facilitating opportunities and strategic direction for the organization. Tori has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare arena and is a pioneer in offering corporate wellness and direct to consumer initiatives. Tori holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Maryland and an MBA in International Business from Loyola University.
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