Big Brothers/Big Sisters adds five to board of directors

The Bellingham Business Journal

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Washington (BBBSNW), the largest mentoring organization in the northern Puget Sound region, has announced the appointment of Bob O’Brien, Cyndie Shepard, Janet Lippert, Chris Farkas and Jacob Petz to its board of directors.

O’Brien is the production manager of the Shell Oil Refinery, located in Anacortes. He was drawn to Big Brothers Big Sisters to “impact the lives of kids: to help them become all that they can be—socially, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.” His previous volunteer experience includes coaching both baseball and basketball, and serving in his church as a small group Bible leader and deacon.

Shepard is an educator at Western Washington University; she is also married to the university’s president. She has an extensive background in education and mentoring, having taught for 36 years at both K-12 and college levels. Shepard co-founded the Phuture Phoenix Program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and is in the process of establishing a similar program at Western.

Lippert is an accountant with Samson Rope Technologies Inc. in Ferndale. She has previously volunteered with the New York Police Department and hopes to “see [BBBSNW] expand and provide Bigs to more children in the community.”

Farkas, a real estate agent with Exit Realty in Bellingham, had previously volunteered with the Junior League in both South Carolina and Utah. She continues to support women and children in the community through a variety of roles and on multiple committees.

An account executive with Oasys Inc. in Bellingham, Petz joined the board after serving in BBBSNW’s School Buddies Program. His other community service experience includes being a youth sports coach for football, basketball and track and field, and being a committee member of the BIAWC Home and Garden Show.

“The additions to the Big Brothers Big Sisters board have been a step forward in growing our influence within the community.  [These] successful business professionals from our community bring expertise, enthusiasm and a passion for children into our board,” said Scott Caldwell, board president.

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