Kathy Highhouse - Vice Chair
Kathy was born and raised in Honesdale, PA. She has eight brothers and is the third of nine children. Se went to Marywood University to obtain her degree, first in Elementary Education and then onto Special Education. Kathy went on to teach for 35 years and retired in 2006.
Her dedication to the Human Resources Center has been since the very beginning of the organization in 1973, still serving on its Board of Directors today. Kathy has also been involved with The ARC since her college years and currently serves as Treasurer. She also co-founded the Dyberry Day Camp which provides a supervised, summer recreational program for those who cannot participate in local or community programs, now in its 49th year.
Jeffrey Firmstone - Treasurer
Mr. Firmstone has been a lifelong resident of Honesdale, PA, residing outside the tiny Borough of Bethany in Dyberry Township. Married for 31 years to the former Polly Werner with two daughters, Morganne and Justine.
Mr. Firmstone has been the Business Administrator for Wayne Highlands School District for 22 years. Prior to, he served as Chief Accountant at Wayne Memorial Hospital. Volunteerism and giving back to the community is firmly rooted within the Firmstone family. In addition to serving on the HRC Board, Mr. Firmstone was Past President of the Honesdale Area Jaycees, Past President of the Honesdale Golf Club, past member of the Honesdale Borough Planning Commission, and is currently intensely involved with the Wayne County Fair serving as a Director and is the 2nd Vice President of the Wayne County Cooperative Agricultural Society.
Joe Adams, former Chairman of the Board, is a life-long friend of Mr Firmstone. Mr. Adams and former CEO Mark Hoover approached Jeff in 2014 to serve on Board. Mr. Firmstone is particularly proud of HRC's involvement in Project SEARCH at Kalahari Resort because it weds the mission of education and lifelong empowerment for the young adults within the program.
Thomas Kulesza - Secretary
Mr. Kulesza resides in Wayne County PA and has for the last 32 years. In 2002, he retired from the Wayne Highlands School District after 31 years as an Elementary Counselor. Prior to, he had taught Grade 5 and Special Education. He presently maintains a limited private counseling practice.
35+ years ago, Jim Austin, a parent of one of HRC's consumers, invited Mr. Kulesza to a Board meeting. He has remained a Board Member ever since. In addition to serving on HRC's Board, Tom has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for the last 17 years. In 2015, he received the Habitat Golden Hammer Award. And for the last 11 years, Tom has volunteered at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.
"My long tenure as an HRC Board Member has given me the opportunity to see the changes in this great organization - growing from a small program here in Wayne County to now serving those with special needs in over 7 counties across NEPA. We have some of the most dedicated and compassionate staff.
Derek resides in Honesdale with his wife of nearly 27 years, their son Brock, and dog Pancake. Their son Brock is 16 years old and is on the Autism Spectrum. Brock is diagnosed with Asperger’s/Autism Level 2. Brock is schooled at home through Commonwealth Charter Academy and despite his diagnosis, he will be completing 4 years of high school coursework in only 3 years and plans to attend Liberty University beginning in the Summer 2020.
He has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Mansfield University and a Master’s of Science degree in Human Resources Administration from the University of Scranton. Mr. Bellinger currently works as a lender with Wayne Bank in Hawley, PA – serving Wayne and Pike County. Very active in the community, Derek served as President of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce in 2018 and served several years on the Chamber’s Board prior. He also served several years on the Board of Directors for United Way of Pike County and currently serves on the Board for NEPA Alliance, Wayne Pike Adult Literacy, and the Pocono Workforce Alliance. Mr. Bellinger is a member of the Honesdale Lions Club and a volunteer coach with the Special Olympics Area P Basketball and Golf.