Speaker’s Bureau


Conference of Churches Speaker's Bureau
Conference Overview and Specific Programming, Resource Development


Ira Faro


Ira Faro writes and speaks regularly on the full spectrum of the LCCC’s mission in his capacity as Conference’s chief resource development officer. In addition, the directors/coordinators of the Pathways housing and referral service, the Aspires Mentoring Program, and the Pharmaceutical Assistance Program report directly to him. Faro came to the Conference 13 years ago after stints with WDIY-FM and The ARC of Lehigh and Northampton Counties.

LCCC Overview & Specific Programming, Housing/Homelessness Advocacy, Mental Health


Tom Walker


Human Services Director, Tom Walker, has directed our Daybreak, Homeless Supportive Services, and Clearinghouse programs. At the age of 15, through his family's affiliation at Nativity Lutheran Church in Allentown, Walker volunteered at Daybreak. He attended Duquesne University, where he received a Master's degree in psychology. Walker serves as Secretary of Lehigh County’s Mental Health/ Intellectual Disabilities Advisory Board, on Allentown’s Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness Steering Committee and on Pennsylvania’s Northeast Regional Homeless Advisory Board.


Volunteerism, Mission Opportunity, Community Organizing, Special Events.


Abby Goldfarb


Community Relations Coordinator Abby Goldfarb holds a BS from Kutztown University and a MA from CUNY-John Jay College, both in Psychology.  Abby has 10 years experience in community programming and organizing, oversees the LCCC volunteer program consisting of 4,950 volunteers, and manages numerous fundraising initiates.  Abby has been integral in event planning for Allentown’s 250th Anniversary and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

Housing & Housing Advocacy


Deanne Best


Deanne holds BS degree in Criminal Justice from Kutztown University and has served as the Director of the Pathways housing and referral service for the past seven years. She manages a variety of programs aimed at preventing and eliminating homelessness in Lehigh County and her work set the standard for documentation and reporting practices City-wide for the American Recovery Act stimulus initiative.  As a leader in the local housing field, Deanne offers expertise in client screening, HUD requirements, state reporting systems and the 10 Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness in Allentown. 

Episodic and Chronic Homelessness


Ryan Vernick


Ryan earned a BS in Psychology from Penn State University and has been the Director of Homeless Supportive Services since 2010.  He began his career working in the Lehigh County District Attorney’s office as a victim advocate and counselor before he moved on to Resources for Human Development Inc. as a senior clinical case manager.  Ryan sits on several committees dedicated to addressing poverty and homelessness issues in the region.

Outreach to the Homeless



Ben Stephens


Ben Stephens has served as the Linkage Coordinator for five years and holds a BSW from Mansfield University.  He serves as the first point of contact for homeless individuals and is a staunch advocate for those attempting to overcome countless barriers.  Ben works closely with partner agencies throughout the City, particularly local shelters.

Mentoring Youth, Health & Nutrition


Peter Bond


Peter began as the Aspires Mentoring Director in 2011, holds a BS degree from Lehigh University, and has a wealth of experience in at-risk youth programming.  Peter has delivered youth programming in several urban settings including the South Bronx, South Central Los Angeles, and Allentown.  He has expanded the Aspires Mentoring program of the Conference significantly, adding organic gardening, Teen Iron Chef, Outdoor Adventure Club, and a chess tournaments.  Peter excels in engaging at-risk youth in educational and unique programming after school and throughout the year. 

Soup Kitchen


Charles Brannon


Charles joined the Conference in 1999 as a part-time Program Aide with our Daybreak drop-in center.  In 2001, Charles was promoted to Soup Kitchen Coordinator and has done an excellent job managing LCCC’s most widely used service.  Charles oversees more than 1,800 volunteers as they assist him in cooking and serving 35,000 or more nutritious meals for those in need each year.  In the nearly eleven years of serving the homeless, he has never missed serving a meal every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.