Peggy loved music, singing and dancing. Dick loved Peggy.

So he gave…

Peggy Dircksen Fund for the Arts. What do you love? We can help you create a lasting charitable legacy.

Board of Directors

Our volunteer board members use their collective wisdom and expertise to guide the Community Foundation’s impact on the community. Their dedication and commitment play a significant role in the foundation’s continued growth and success.

President

Holly Albright

President
Holly A. Albright is a life-time resident of DeKalb County. She graduated from DeKalb High School and later earned a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in accounting from Indiana University at Fort Wayne. Holly is an active member of the Auburn Classic Noon Lions Club, served on the board of the DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership and volunteered for Junior Achievement.
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Vice President

Matt Bechdol

Vice President
“We are in the business of helping citizens build legacies which improve quality of life across DeKalb County and build a culture of philanthropy.” Matt Bechdol moved to Auburn in middle school, graduated from DeKalb High School and married his “high school sweetheart,” Beth. They spent a decade after college working in Washington, D.C. where their daughter Grace was born, and returned home to Beth’s family farm north of Garrett in 2005.
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Secretary

Becky Hefty

Secretary
Becky Hefty is a lifelong resident of DeKalb County. Becky graduated from Garrett High School in 1999 and continues to serve the people of Garrett and beyond as a member of the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of DeKalb County. She has an Associate in Science Degree from Wabash Valley College and a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies from Indiana University. She is the Branch Manager, AVP for Lake City Bank in Auburn.
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Treasurer

Terry Rayle

Treasurer
Terry is semi-retired after spending 36 years with the YMCA, his last position as the CEO of the YMCA of DeKalb County. Terry, his wife Mary Ellen and their children Libby and Brian moved to Auburn in September of 1986. He stays busy working part-time for the DeKalb Chamber Partnership, trying to keep up with repairs on his 127 year old house. He is very active at his church and serving the community on several local not-for-profit and local government boards.
Advisor

Mike Payne

Advisor
Mike was born and raised in Waterloo by his parents Jon and Sharon Payne.  He has one older sister, Susan, who lives in Cambridge England. He graduated from DeKalb High School in 1990. From there he went off to Terre Haute, Indiana to attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology where he graduated with a Civil Engineering degree in 1994.
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Allison Carnahan

Allison Carnahan

Allison Carnahan grew up in DeKalb County. She graduated from Eastside High School before earning her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Trine University and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana Tech. Upon graduating from college, Allison began working at Indiana Tech as an Admissions Counselor.
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Phil Carpenter

Phil Carpenter

Phil has been on the Board of Directors at the Community Foundation of DeKalb County since early 2017. He grew up in St. Joe, IN and graduated from Riverdale High School. He attended Purdue University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering with an Engineering In Training certificate in Mechanical and Civil engineering.
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Judy Hey

Judy Hey

Judy Hey graduated from Eastlake North High School of Ohio in 1970 and from Kent State University in 1974 with a B.S. in Education, majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Physical Education.  She moved to Indiana upon graduation.  Judy taught four years in Fort Wayne Community Schools and 31 years in East Allen County Schools at Leo High School where she taught mathematics and physical education.
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Zach Lightner

Zach Lightner

Zach Lightner joined the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of DeKalb County in 2018. He grew up in Northeast Indiana and attended college at Purdue University and then Law School at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. Zach has worked in a variety of different law firms in Central and Northeastern Indiana.
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Melissa McLaughlin

Melissa McLaughlin

Melissa has been a part of the Dekalb County community for nearly 27 years. She and her husband, John, reside in the city of Auburn where Melissa has owned and operated a CPA firm for the last 19 years. McLaughlin Tax, Accounting and Management Advisory Services, LLC serves closely held businesses, their owners, and individual tax clients in the Northeast Indiana region.
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Ian Mercer

Ian Mercer

Ian received his B.Sc. degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario Canada. He is a retired executive who spent the vast majority of his career in the corrugated packaging industry in Canada and the United States. He is the former Chair of the Administration Council of Auburn First United Methodist Church;
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Barbara Olenyik Morrow

Barbara Olenyik Morrow

Barbara Olenyik Morrow received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Indiana University. She worked for newspapers for twelve years and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial writing. The author of six books for children and adults, Barbara loves history and much of her work highlights aspects of Hoosier history.
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J. Bryan Nugen

J. Bryan Nugen

J. Bryan Nugen was born and raised in Auburn, DeKalb County, Indiana.  After graduating from DeKalb High School, he continued his education at Indiana University, Bloomington, obtaining a B.A. in Psychology, and then obtained his Juris Doctorate from Cleveland-Marshall, College of Law.  He is licensed to practice law in Indiana, Florida, Michigan and Ohio.
Kathie Swaim

Kathie Swaim

Kathie Swaim has resided in DeKalb County nearly all her life. She graduated from Eastside High School. She went to undergraduate school at Indiana State University in Terre Haute and earned a B.S. degree in secondary education. After school she married Mark Swaim and are coming up on 49 years of wedded bliss.
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Susan Whittington

Susan Whittington

Susan Whittington has been a board member since 2016. She was raised in Garrett, Indiana, and graduated from Ball State University with a BS in Education. She was a teacher and an elementary guidance counselor, spending her twenty-three year career in the DeKalb County United School District.

Staff

We are proud of our talented and dedicated staff. They work hard to keep the values, vision and mission of the Community Foundation DeKalb County.

Click on a staff member’s photo to email a message to them.

Mike Hernandezpeterson

Executive Director

Melanie Beer

Office Manager

Mandy Haynes

Staff Accountant

Rebecca Pfeffer

DeKalb’s VOICE Facilitator

Judy Sorg

Director, Learning Link

Ashton Willis

Director of Community Impact

Annual Reports

A published copy of the Community Foundation of DeKalb County’s latest Annual Report to the Community is available at our office, 700 S. Main Street, Auburn, Indiana, or request a printed copy by calling (260) 925-0311 or emailing Mandy Haynes. Recent copies can be downloaded here.

Newsletter

Stay connected to us by signing up to receive our newsletter by email. Download a recent copy below.