Eric Fontanez, Principal of Marvine Elementary School, a car enthusiast with a fun loving daughter. He was born and raised in Bethlehem by his mother, an elementary school teacher and his father, a Bethlehem Steel worker. In the Fontanez household education came before everything else. After high school Eric knew he wanted to teach so he attended Kutztown University where he received a degree in Elementary Education. He was fortunate enough to find a teaching position in the Bethlehem Area School District where he spent the next nine years.
Working with a classroom of students wasn’t enough; Eric wanted to be able to make a bigger difference. Eric became the Assistant Principal of Fountain Hill Elementary School at the age of 31. He then went on to become the Principle of William Penn Elementary School before moving to his current position at Marvine Elementary.
Eric is very involved with the community. He has been an Executive Board Member at the Hispanic Center of the Lehigh Valley since 2013. He’s also an active member of the Mayor’s Latino Advisory Committee and the Northside Citizen’s Committee. Eric’s involvement with these committees allows him to give back and strengthen the community he was raised in.
Eric is proud to be working in the district where he grew up. Being a bilingual Hispanic, he values diversity and believes all students have the potential to learn when given the right tools. His main priority is helping his students become productive citizens in the wonderful city of Bethlehem.
Jeff Frank is the farmer and owner (with his wife Kristin Illick) of Liberty Gardens in Coopersburg, PA. Since 2000 they have been producing vegetables for the Lehigh Valley and New York City markets. They specialize in intensive growing practices on their small acreage.
Jeff serves on the board of the Lehigh County Seed Farm, an incubator for new farmers in the region, and is active in education initiatives on the farm and in other settings. He is past president of the Emmaus Farmers' Market and has served on the boards of several food and agriculture related organizations.
Prior to farming, Jeff worked for seven years for GrowNYC as a project manager and environmental educator. He helped teach thousands of New York City students the skills needed to effect environmental change in their schools and communities. He served on the boards of the Environmental Education Advisory Council, the Newtown Creek Citizens Advisory Committee and several other organizations. He is the author of "Urban Environmental Education," and "Ozone Air Pollution: Study and Action."
Jeff attended the University of Michigan where he earned a BA in history and an MS in Natural Resource Policy and Behavior. He lives in Bethlehem with his wife, Kristin, and their two children.
Meagan Grega, M.D
Dr. Meagan Grega is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Kellyn Foundation. She is a graduate of Bucknell University with a B.S. in Biochemistry/Cell Biology and earned her MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.
Dr. Grega spent several years as a medical officer in the United States Navy, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander before resigning from active duty service. She has been a staff Family Physician at Hunterdon Medical Center, the Director of Women's Health Services at Lafayette College and is currently the Managing Director of Llantrisant Retreat and Wellness Center (www.llantrisantretreat.com), where Kellyn Foundation is located. She frequently lectures on the topics of Lifestyle Medicine at colleges, universities, hospital Grand Rounds, medical residency programs and community forums. Mentoring residents, medical, dietician and nursing students is one of her passions. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and is board certified in both Family Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine. Child/Family health in general, and the obesity epidemic in particular, are issues in which Meagan has had a long-standing interest. She believes the benefits of regular exercise, adequate sleep, supportive social connections, healthy food choices and the art of balance are the keys to improving our children’s future, as well as our own. Towards that end, she is committed to finding practical solutions that can be implemented by families and communities to strengthen each other physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Will Lewis moved to the Lehigh Valley to accept a job with WFMZ-TV in 2010 after working as a reporter in Portland, Maine. He started as a reporter in the Allentown office, then helped re-open the Easton bureau after the office was closed for five years, and now is the anchor of 69 News Weekend Edition at 6p and 10p.
Originally from Seattle, he graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a degree in broadcast journalism and minor in sociology. After college, he worked at stations in Louisiana, Tennessee, Washington state, North Carolina, and Maine.
Will credits his ability to establish contacts and maintaining those relationships as a part of his success. Not only is reporting on current events important, but helping in the community is important as well. Will has volunteered with the Boys and Girls club, read to elementary students, and recently help raise a record amount of money for the American Cancer Society as part of the Real Men Wear Pink campaign.
You can find Will running, playing basketball, and cooking in his spare time. Having access to good food and living a healthy lifestyle is also a cause close to Will’s heart. He learned to cook as a child from his mother who always made sure he had a home cooked meal.
Melissa Plantone Recchiais the Supervisor and Corporate Secretary at Strunk Funeral Home,
Inc. She has been a licensed funeral
director since 1991. She is a graduate
of Easton Area High School, and continued her studies at Temple University
before graduating from Northampton Community College in 1990 with a certificate
in Funeral Service.
is a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, South Easton, where she currently
chairs the Mutual Ministry committee, is active on the Safe Harbor committee
that volunteers to make and serve food on a monthly basis, and was a former
co-leader of the Junior Youth Group.
She has served on the Alumni Board at Northampton Community College
for over ten years, where she currently serves on the Executive Board, chairs
the Alumni/Student Outreach committee, and was a former chair of the
Fundraising committee and the White House Dinner committee. Melissa
volunteered for IU 20 as an educational surrogate parent for several
include reading, cooking, yoga and pilates.
She and her husband, Nicholas, Jr., reside in Palmer Township with their
three children, Alayna, Andrew and Alisyn.
Marc Rittle is Executive Director of New Bethany Ministries, lives locally on the West Side of Bethlehem. Marc has been in non-profit leadership for over a decade, most recently as Vice President at United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. A champion for housing and food security issues, Marc works together with local partners to solve critical social issues. He co-founded the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council and is a steering committee member of the Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board. Prior to non-profit work, Marc taught adjunct Sociology courses at Loyola University Chicago and other Chicago area universities, writing original course content in topics such as “Sociology of Poverty.” Marc is married to Sarah Andrew, a Bethlehem native and local attorney. Sarah and Marc have two children attending Bethlehem Area School District.
Eric J. Ruth is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kellyn Foundation. The well-being of children raised in today's world has had a significant influence in Eric's life. Raising three children, teaching thousands more and seeing the habits, pressures and influences on our children, has led Eric to co-found the Kellyn Foundation.
Mr. Ruth is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts. Eric spent the initial fifteen years of his career working as an accountant and then as a corporate controller. Later, Eric took his business knowledge into the fledgling Internet industry, where he spent ten years with a strong emphasis in online relationship marketing in the healthcare arena. The combination of a strong financial and online marketing background provides Eric with unique, wide-ranging business expertise. He has extensive experience engaging children and families to embark on healthy lifestyle changes through Kellyn Foundation’s educational outreach programs.
George P. White
Dr. George White was the inaugural Managing Director of Student Access and Success at Lehigh University. In this role he assumed responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive set of university-wide strategies addressing recruitment and admission, financial aid, student life, academic coaching and advisement, and postgraduate support designed to meet the needs of first-generation and low-income students.
Dr. White has served for nearly three decades as a faculty member in the College of Education at Lehigh, specializing in preparing leaders for K-12 education at the local, national, and international levels. He served as the founding director for the Center for Developing Urban Educational Leaders and led Lehigh’s Community School initiative with the Bethlehem Area School District. He has also served as program director for the educational leadership program, and as a three-time chair of the University Faculty Steering Committee.
He is a nationally recognized consultant, having worked with both for-profit and non-profit organizations nationally and internationally addressing issues associated with organizational development, change management, team building, strategic planning, soft skills training, and leadership development.
Dr. White has been the Iacocca Professor of Education and a Class of ’61 Professor, and has also received several awards during his tenure at Lehigh, including the R.R. and E.C. Hillman Faculty Award for excellence in scholarship, teaching and service; the Hillman Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising; and the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for distinguished teaching. Dr. White retired from Lehigh in January 2020 and now serves as an Executive Coach and education and management consultant to universities, school districts and education-oriented businesses.