About Our Board

Our Board

Jessica is a Research Attorney at the Third District Appellate Court Research Office. She took over as President in October 2023.
Earl “Gip” Seaver moved to DeKalb in 1975. He and his wife Pam (a Sycamore native and former professor at NIU) have two children who attended and graduated from the DeKalb Public Schools and live in DeKalb and Sycamore. Their son lives in Iowa City. They have four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He is a Professor Emeritus and former Vice Provost and Deputy Provost at NIU where he was employed for nearly 40 years. Currently he serves as a higher education consultant and has served on several non-profit boards. Gip and Pam enjoy spending time with their family and traveling.
Marc and his wife, Julie live in DeKalb. Marc is a currently the Director of Finance and Operations at Link Unlimited Scholars. Link Unlimited Scholars links high-potential Black students in Chicago to the path to, through, and beyond college. Previously, Marc was CFO of Hearing Help Express in DeKalb for 19 years. He has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign. He also received his MBA from U of I. Marc and Julie enjoy traveling, barbecuing, and spending time with their pups, Red and Andy. As any student of math should, Marc loves problem-solving and is passionate about using that skill to help others and improve the community.
Bill and his wife, Maureen moved to Sycamore in 1996 from the Chicago area where they were born and raised. Bill and Maureen have been supporting the Pay it Forward House for the last ten years. Maureen retired 4 years ago and has been volunteering for the House regularly.

Bill is a semi-retired Engineering Manager with 40 years of experience in Engineering, Project Management and Construction. He has an Engineering Degree from Purdue University and furthered his education at Illinois Institute of Technology completing significant coursework towards a master’s degree prior to moving to Sycamore. Bill was also a volunteer member of the advisory board for the NIU School of Mechanical Engineering for 8 years.

Bill and Maureen enjoy traveling, hiking, and outdoor activities. Bill also enjoys cooking, grilling and fine wines. He enjoys golf any chance he gets as well. Bill considers himself a handyman and has done a lot of remodeling work on homes and basements.
Jason joined the Pay-It-Forward House Board of Directors in November of 2019. He served as Secretary of the Board for his first year and as President from September of 2020 through September of 2023. He currently works for DuPage County as the Policy & Program Manager and is Of Counsel with Donahue & Rose P.C. Jason’s legal work primarily deals with governmental law.

He graduated from Bradley University in 2016 with a double major in Political Science and Economics, then went on to Northern Illinois University to receive his Juris Doctorate (December 2018) and Masters of Public Administration (May 2019).

Outside of work Jason enjoys sitting out on the water on his kayak or taking hikes with his dog, Pistachio.

He is excited to be a part of the Pay-It-Forward House Board of Directors and wishes to help the organization with their mission.
Rich grew up in Sycamore, after moving to town in grade school after a field trip to Pumpkinfest, leading to his family falling in love with the town. Rich and his wife, Patty, have 3 children who keep them very busy and involved. Rich has coached youth soccer for over 14 years and has himself been playing in an adult league for 20 years. Prior to his involvement on the Pay-It-Forward House Board of Directors, Rich was the treasurer of the Southeast Elementary PTO for 8 years. Rich has worked at many special events in the community as a member of the Sycamore Police Auxiliary, which he joined in 2009. Rich holds a Computer Engineering degree from the University of Illinois. His work experience is primarily in Information Technology, but is now the Operations Manager at Hearing Help Express, where he has been employed since June of 2000.
Heather started with Pay It Forward House NFP as a friendly face in 2014 and was later asked to join the Board. She became involved with Pay It Forward House NFP because of an experience a family member had with a Ronald McDonald House. She felt this was a way to help visitors in the area feel welcomed during a time of need.

Heather is a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones. Heather began her career with Edward Jones in 2013 in Sycamore. Prior to becoming a financial advisor, she was a teacher at Mooseheart Child City and Schools. She loved teaching, but felt it was time for a change and feels this is where she belongs.

Heather enjoys camping with friends and family, spoiling her dog and cat, and taking care of those around her.


Role of the Board

The Board of Directors has three principle functions related to governance general oversight of Pay-It-Forward House, NFP:
  • To ensure that the organization is faithfully executing its stated mission in compliance with the organization’s bylaws.
  • To ensure good stewardship of generously donated funds and plan for the NFP's future.
  • To ensure that the actions taken by volunteers and staff of Pay-It-Forward House will maintain or enhance, not harm, the reputation and the goodwill that the organization has worked hard to develop within the Northern Illinois community.
  • Is the highest level of authority in the organization.
  • Sets policies and procedures for implementation of the organization’s mission by the E.D. and those to whom the Executive Director (“E.D.”) delegates authority. Reviews and votes on innovations and adjustments to policies and procedures recommended by the Steering Committee or other groups.
  • Monitors program results, including nights of rest provided and number of people served and assesses effectiveness of and need for services provided.
  • Reviews staffing levels and determines if additional positions are needed and financially possible.
  • Examines issues and opportunities brought to it in light of the three foci outlined above. Members regularly ask:
    1. Is what is being proposed in keeping with and/or necessary to our mission?
    2. Will our donors understand and appreciate the connection between what is being proposed for the use of the funds they have so generously donated and our stated mission?
    3. What are the possible consequences, both positive and negative, of what is being proposed and is there any potential for harm to the NFP's reputation and goodwill?
  • Reviews and approves the salary of the E.D. and approves salaries and salary increases for other employees based on recommendations by the E.D.
  • Sets the annual budget for the organization based on recommendations from the Treasurer and E.D. and determines the level of reserves the organization should hold and the form/institution such reserves are held. Determines when reserves are to be used.
  • Approves the calendar of planned capital projects and maintenance developed by the E.D. with assistance of Facilities Manager from Steering Committee.
  • Sets fundraising goals for the organization and participates in fundraising events and activities.
  • Sets spending guidelines for the E.D. Current guidelines adopted at Dec. 2011 Board meeting.
  • Ensures the sustainability of the organization by checking the progress of implementation of the organization’s strategic plan and conducts new strategic planning as the end of the prior plan period approaches.
  • Ensures that the organization is compliant with all IRS regulations, including good governance requirements specified on the 990.
It is the generosity and care of the community volunteers and donors that make Pay-It-Forward House possible. It is our hope that the hospitality our guests experience will inspire them to someday pay it forward when they are at a less stressful point in their life.

The Board of Directors is responsible for general oversight and governance while also advising and assisting staff as to the detailed operational implementation of the organization’s mission. A paid part-time Administrative Support person was hired in September 2008 and a paid, part-time Executive Director was brought on staff in October 2011.

Our organization has “job descriptions” (entitled Roles and Responsibilities) for key committees and key individual contributors to the organization’s success. Attached you will find these documents for the Board of Directors and each of the officers on the Board as well as for the Steering Committee. We hope these documents will help you gain insight into our operations.

The Board of Directors meets once a quarter, (i.e., four times a year) in January, April, June, and September, with e-mail used to handle matters that need to be addressed between meetings. Meetings are scheduled at a mutually convenient time. (For the past year, meetings have been planned for 5:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each of these months.) Our practice has been to meet off-site so as to avoid interruptions from volunteers and guests.

The agenda for the Board of Directors meetings is prepared by the Executive Director with input from the President of the Board. The agenda, consent agenda items and financial reports are circulated to members five to seven days before the meetings.

At its meetings, the Board reviews issues and opportunities on the agenda in light of the three principal foci outlined in the Roles and Responsibilities, Members regularly ask:

  • Is what is being proposed in keeping with and/or necessary to our mission?
  • Will our donors understand and appreciate the connection between what is being proposed for the use of the funds they have so generously donated and our stated mission?
  • What are the possible consequences, both positive and negative, of what is being proposed and is there any potential for harm to the NFP's reputation and goodwill?
Most Board members do not have active day-to-day involvement with House operations. Their distance from the daily activities helps them identify pitfalls and opportunities that the members of the Steering Committee may not recognize because they are actively implementing the mission and living out the values of the organization.

Our values are:

  • Trust in people’s kindness to others and in their respect for the facilities made available to them
  • Respect for all, especially our guests and the physical and emotional fatigue they are experiencing
  • Caring, demonstrated by a willingness to provide as little or as much companionship and support as each guest welcomes
  • Gratitude for the generosity of others who make it possible for guests to find a place of rest and respite
The by-laws provide that a director may be removed for good cause, including, but not limited to, missing three (3) consecutive meetings without excuse. At its Dec. 2010 meeting the Board adopted the following guidelines for term limits:

It is recommended, but not mandatory, that after serving two consecutive three-year terms on the Board of Directors, Board members take a one-year hiatus in order to promote Board diversity and maintain Board enthusiasm and commitment. Members wishing to continue to serve without interruption after six years will advise the Board of their wish at the spring meeting of their sixth year. The Board will advise said member of its acceptance or refusal of the offer of continued service at the summer meeting that same year (when nominations for new members are normally brought.)

It is expected that each Board member will financially support Pay-It-Forward House, NFP at a level that is significant for him or her. This financial support may be through direct personal contributions or through obtaining significant in-kind or financial donations from others.

Because of the extended time between meetings, minutes are (ideally) circulated for approval via email shortly after each meeting, so that Board members can review and suggest corrections/additions while matters are fresh in their minds. If no changes are needed, members signify their approval via email. If changes are requested, the Executive Director works with concerned party/parties to amend the minutes as necessary and re-circulates the minutes until all agree on an approved version.


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