Board of Directors

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Families Helping Families is proud to introduce our hardworking board of directors, all of whom serve as volunteers in the organization. Our team is proud to help support Iowa’s foster children and foster families.

If you’d like to join our team of volunteers, learn more and apply for available volunteer opportunities.

For information or to reach our Executive Board of directors, please contact us today.

Lisa Buckman, Executive Director
Lisa grew up on Lake Delhi, and attended Hawkeye Community College and UNI before moving to Atlanta in 1984. While there she worked as a Corporate Travel Counselor for American Express, and as a Beverage Manager and Catering Sales Associate for the Georgia Aquarium and Woodruff Arts Center. Lisa also was the Delta Sky Club Project Manager and managed a staff of 220 hospitality associates for 3 years before returning to Iowa in 2013 to care for her mother. She was the Owner/Operator of a catering business, A Whimsical Kitchen, and most recently was the Donor Relations Specialist for Regional Medical Center in Manchester. While there she managed the donor database, built and sustained donor relationships, coordinated fundraising efforts and events and helped set fund development strategy. Lisa is married to Mike Buckman, who’s worked as a Computer Programmer for Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids for over 30 years. Mike and Lisa are avid travelers, passionate about all kinds of music and attend Hawkeye sporting events. Lisa is a foodie who loves entertaining and adores her spoiled pit bull, Ruby. She is devoted to non-profit work and has spent years volunteering for several organizations. She coordinated food and hospitality efforts for Lazarus Ministries in Atlanta, was President of her neighbors association, and volunteered for Castle Theatre in Manchester.
Raymond Siddell, FHF Board President
Raymond is a foster and adoptive parent who began volunteering with Families Helping Families in early 2016. He is a life long citizen of Cedar Rapids. Growing up, his family resided on the Southwest side of Cedar Rapids. He is a Jefferson High School graduate - Class of 2008. He currently resides on the Northwest side of Cedar Rapids with his husband, Rob, their adopted son, and their 2 Chihuahuas - Beau and Chloe - and a Black Lab, Duke. Professionally he is an entrepreneur and licensed REALTOR with Keller Williams Legacy Group of Iowa.
Sandy Merritt, FHF Board Vice-President
Sandy retired in June 2014 after more than 40 years in education. She was a first grade teacher and high school drama director and later worked with Grant Wood AEA, College Community, Curriculum and West Elementary in Independence. She is currently works part time at the School Administrators of Iowa in addition to volunteering at her local school, library and Families Helping Families. Sandy is passionate about helping children to grow and learn. She has been part of Families Helping Families since March of 2015 and loves seeing the look in a child's face when he/she gets a new pair of shoes, a new shirt, or a toy! In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and grand-puppies, reading, crafts, traveling, spending time with friends, and shopping.
Maria Johnson, Director of Public Relations & Marketing
Maria was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, and is a Jefferson High School graduate. She went on to receive her Bachelors in Public Relations and Communications from the University of Northern Iowa, and her Masters of Business Administration at the University of Iowa. She has over 15 years experience in Marketing, Public Relations and Communications, working in both Chicago, IL and Cedar Rapids. She is currently the Communications Division Manager for the City of Cedar Rapids, and previously was Assistant Vice President of Marketing at Collins Community Credit Union. Maria began volunteering at Families Helping Families in 2017 because of her interest in providing much needed support for foster children and foster families in her community. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband Matt, and attending the many activities of her teenage twins, Abram and Shea.
Lindsay Klith, Board Secretary
Lindsay began volunteering with Families Helping Families during the annual Christmas party in 2016. The organization appealed to her because having been in a foster home as a child, she wanted to give back to a to which should could relate.  Currently Lindsay works full-time as an office manager for L&P Painting. She also serves as a coach for Farrell's Extreme Body Shaping to help others reach their fitness goals. She completed her associate's degrees in both Business Management and Interior Design at Kirkwood Community College in 2012. Lindsay was born and raised in Cedar Rapids and loves spending time with her son, LaKyle (age 11), daughter, Zaidali (age 2) and rottweiler, JoJo.
Ashley Vanorny, At-Large
Ashley is a lifelong Cedar Rapidian who learned the value of hard work by helping on her family farm. She graduated from Kirkwood Community College with an AS in Criminal Justice, and also holds a BS in Psychology and a BA in Political Science from the University of Iowa. Currently, Ashley is completing her Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration from Des Moines University.  She work as an IT Analyst with the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. Ashley takes enormous pride in her advocacy for foster children, low-income families, and celebrating and supporting diversity. She came to be involved with Families Helping Families through her membership with Junior League of Cedar Rapids and is very excited to be joining the board.Ashley takes enormous pride in her advocacy for foster children, low-income families, and celebrating and supporting diversity. She came to be involved with Families Helping Families through her membership with Junior League of Cedar Rapids and is very excited to be joining the board.
Brenda West, At-Large
Brenda has been volunteering with Families Helping Families since January 2015 and brings a wealth of experience in communications, office management and she has excellent organizational skills. She also brings public relations and marketing skills to the Families Helping Families team. Brenda very much enjoyed serving Waypoint Services as the Senior Executive Assistant to the Executive Board and the Board of Trustees for six years. Since 2007, Brenda has been serving customers at Toyota Financial Services.
Angela Hauskins, Front Office Manager
Angela Hauskins is a lifelong resident of Cedar Rapids. She graduated in 2002 from Jefferson High School. She went on to Hamilton Business College where she got her AA degree as an Administrative Assistant. Angela has a passion to serve her community. She works with preschoolers part time and has a passion for organizing people's homes. In her free time, Angela loves spending time with her boyfriend Casey, their 3 children, and their dog and cat. She also enjoys warm weather, live music and time with friends!