An elected steering committee provides continuity between meetings and helps make organizational decisions. The elected members serve two-year terms, which are staggered so every year at the annual dinner LEPOCO members vote on approximately half of the steering committee.
The current LEPOCO Steering Committee members are:
Martha Christine of Bethlehem has been a member of LEPOCO for over 20 years, participating in many activities including participating with the Peace Singers for many years. An elementary school teacher she is also an active member of the Lehigh Valley Quaker Meeting, Bethlehem Backyards for Wildlife, and the L.V. Climate Lobby Group. She led the effort for Bethlehem to be certified as a Community Wildlife Habitat. This is her second term on LEPOCO’s Steering Committee.
Dan Miller of Coopersburg has been a member of LEPOCO for over 20 years. Dan and his family have been mainstays of Peace Camp since the 1990s — Dan and Ronnie Arena (his wife) as leaders and helpers, and their three young adult daughters were first campers and now are also leaders and helpers. In 1977, Dan co-founded the Perkiomen Valley Academy, a private day treatment program servicing Montgomery County young people and their families. He worked at this alternative school for disadvantaged and emotionally disturbed teenagers for 35 years. Dan is a beekeeper and has coached youth sports for over 20 years. This is his second term on the Steering Committee.
Susie Ravitz of Easton was a founding member of LEPOCO and has been a faithful member of the Steering Committee for many terms. She is a mainstay of the Stop the Wars Committee (previously Nuclear Abolition Sisters). Her peace work has included participation in an Interfaith Peace Builders delegation to Israel /Palestine. Retired from her work at Valley Youth House and Art’s Toy Manufacturing Company, she travels a lot to visit her children and grandchildren from California to Israel — the youngest being twin granddaughters in Brooklyn.
Scott Slingerland of Easton has been involved in LEPOCO for about five years. He has been the bike route expert for the LEPOCO Peaceathon for several years and participated in other events. He works for the Coalition for Appropriate Transportation and teaches yoga with Shanthi Project at Northampton County Prison and for other under-served populations. He previously worked for 12 years as a combustion engineer for power plants, designing emission control systems. This is his first term on the Steering Committee.
Amanda Zaniesienko of Bethlehem has been active in LEPOCO since 2004. She is an alto with the Peace Singers and has been a leader with Peace Camp for over a decade, during which time her two sons have been active participants. She grew up overseas, living in Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and England. With a degree in art education, she has contributed some of her work to the Art Raffle. She has worked in the LEPOCO office, Mayfair Festival of the Arts and currently works for Home Instead Senior Care. This is her first term on the Steering Committee.
Nancy Johnston of Easton arrived in the Lehigh Valley from West Virginia in the 1970s. She is a Quaker and has been involved in Peace Camp for 25 years. She is known for teaching children how to hug trees and love the environment — her own home having been certified as a National Wildlife Backyard Habitat. She participates in the Peace Pilgrimage and has been with the Peace Singers for five years. She has been an Associate Professor in the Nursing Department at Cedar Crest College for 20 years.
Olivia Arena-Miller of Coopersburg has been involved in LEPOCO activities for over 15 years — having participated in demonstrations against the Iraq War as a high school student. Olivia has participated in Peace Camp as a camper, helper and treasured group leader. She attended United Friends School and at age eighteen lived in Brasil for a year as an exchange student. She has lived in Spain and Portugal working in hostels and tourism. She works as a child care provider, animal and house sitter, and leader of foreign exchange student tours in the U.S. Olivia is an animal rights activist and proud vegan for over six years.
Jim Orben of Springtown has been a LEPOCO member since the Vietnam era. He is retired from his work in the environmental field on pollution control and testing facilities for various companies. A Quaker, he has been active with the Lehigh Valley Friends Meeting for three decades. He has been active with the Cooks Creek Watershed Association for almost 40 years. He and his wife Debbie live on a rural homestead (with garden and orchard) near Springtown. He is an avid biker, skier, runner, hiker, and golfer. In his first term on the Steering Committee he has been especially helpful in LEPOCO’s opposition to the PennEast Pipeline. He is a regular helper at Peace Camp and with the Annual Dinner.
Terry Briscoe of Bethlehem is coordinator of Pax Christi Lehigh Valley, part of the international Catholic peace organization. He is a long-time member of LEPOCO and was a leader in the L.V. Peace Coalition when it was active, 2002 to 2010. Retired from Bethlehem Steel, he and his wife Sylvia have four children and nine grandchildren. In his two terms on the Steering Committee he has been active in dealing with staff issues and in organizing delegations to meet with local elected representatives.
Janet Ney of Allentown has served as an at-large Steering Committee member for over ten years. She has been facilitating the Annual Dinner for many years, and sometimes sings with the LEPOCO Peace Singers. She previously served on the National Committee of the War Resisters League for several years. Janet is employed by the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, having worked for the organization for over 30 years. She is an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown and volunteers for the Presbytery of Lehigh.
Treasurers are: Julius Iwantsch of Bethlehem has been a LEPOCO member since the mid-1970s. He works as a design drafts person, working mainly with municipal clients. His interests include U.S. military involvement, military service alternatives for young people, and bringing this country’s reputation up to what it should be — through change. He enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, and home renovations. He has been co-treasurer for over 12 years.
Tom Stinnett of Riegelsville has been a co-treasurer since 2009, as well as solo treasurer from 1974-1983. A mechanical engineer, he is mostly retired from his work in the biotechnology equipment field. He has served as president of Riegelsville Borough Council for many years and is married to LEPOCO staff-person, Nancy Tate. He has been active in many aspects of LEPOCO’s work since 1971.
Join us at our monthly Action Meetings, held on the second Monday of each month, 7-9pm.