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Board of Directors

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Dawn Steffen

Dawn has spent the past 40 years working at the headquarters for Northwestern Mutual in the underwriting department.  Most recently, she is part of the technical consulting team that works with underwriters, Financial Representative's and others to help solve complex problems and also helps set direction in the area of disability underwriting.  Dawn also has been involved in non-profit work for the past 20 years, specifically pertaining to mentoring and programs for inner-city youth.  Additionally, she enjoys spending time with her church family and actively participates in outreach programs such as feeding the homeless.  On a personal note, Dawn loves spending time with her family.  She and her husband Sam have been married for 39 years and have 3 children and 3 grandchildren.  She also loves to walk and hike, cross country ski, travel and read.

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Arne De la Peña

Mr. Arnel “Arne” De la Peña hails from Subic Bay, Philippine Islands. He graduated in the dean’s list from Southern Illinois University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration and completed an Executive Program, MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, Lake Forest, Illinois in 2000. He also earned graduate education on Emerging Economies in Poland, Czech Republic and Lithuania. He served for two years as a member of the medical team, caring for the Commander-In-Chief, the Vice President and their immediate families. His awards include a Joint Meritorious Service Medal, four Navy Commendation Medals, three Navy Achievement Medals and other personal and campaign awards. Mr. De la Peña is currently employed as the Business Manager for the Inpatient Services Directorate, at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center. He is passionate about ministry and helping his community.  

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Matthew Forner

Matthew S. Forner is a strategic communications advisor who harnesses the best aspects of branding, advertising, and public relations to provide future-focused solutions that grow executive, corporate, and non-profit brands.  Matthew helps his clients communicate successfully, lead effectively, and profitably manage and understand the intersections between global business, society, politics, and religion.  

Having experience in radio broadcasting, motion-picture development, television production, and the electronic music industry allows him to bring an insider perspective to multiple industries. Matthew is an avid traveler and is currently interested in visiting Russia, Brazil, and India. Other personal interests of his include international relations, philosophical history, and global business. This unique background allows him to approach projects from numerous angles, creating strategic campaigns that implement artistic creativity, concrete brandology, and integrated communication insights. 

Matthew is passionate about numerous causes including environmental and climate-related causes, such as our needed move towards clean energy, as well as wildlife preservation. An interesting facet of climate-policy that interests him is transportation, particularly high-speed rail. He is involved with multiple associations that both raise awareness with the public and lobby politicians for regionally focused high-speed rail in North America. Some government-lead reforms he would like to be more involved with are increasing access to affordable health care and drug reform through harm reduction, viewing drug abuse as an addictive health issue, instead of as a criminal offense.

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