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Board of Directors

2022 - 2023

Leah Lamkin, President

Leah Lamkin is a wife, mother, daughter, friend and registered architect from the coast of Maine. Leah moved to Fort Collins area in 2017 with her husband Nate and two daughters, Gershona and Miriam. She uses open-minded thinking and detail-oriented action to accomplish tasks and support others.

In addition to teaching sixth grade at Har Shalom Religious School on Sundays, Leah is also active in fundraising and congregation engagement activities. After returning from Israel on the Momentum trip, Leah works to infuse her continued love of learning and Judaism into her life with gratitude. Serving as President on the Board of Directors is an exciting step for Leah filled with opportunity and possibilities. 

Picture coming soon! 

Debbie Duffy, President-Elect

Originally from Seattle, Debbie has been a part of Har Shalom since her oldest daughter joined the preschool in 2001. All 3 of her girls graduated from the preschool and the religious school and became b'not mitzvah at Har Shalom. Debbie served as a religious school, Hebrew school, and Hebrew High teacher for nearly 20 years at Har Shalom. She was the b'nai mitzvah coordinator for 5 years and has served on both the Spritual Practices Committee and the Education Committee (where she currently still serves).

These days, she puts her Masters Degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies to good use tutoring students as they prepare to become a bar or bat mitzvah. As her daughters have grown, Debbie has enjoyed the many Adult Education offerings at Har Shalom. She hopes to play a role in creating welcoming spaces for those congregants, like her, who no longer have children in religious school. Serving the whole community is extremely satisfying. When not at Har Shalom, Debbie enjoys spending time with her family, reading, learning to play Mah Jongg, knitting and crocheting, writing, and researching her family's genealogy. And, hopefully, now that the world is opening up a bit more, she'll embark on traveling adventures. 

Barak Banta, Past-President

Barak Banta has enjoyed a diverse career track exploring professions that challenge different passions and skillsets. As a young man he served in the US Army as an Intelligence Analyst, working with a Joint Task Force in support of several intelligence efforts. He has worked as an operations manager for the Telluride Ski and Golf Company, been the internet sales manager for a car dealership, worked as an EMT in a busy ER, and worked for an IT startup to develop a cloud-based speech-to-text language recognition program for the healthcare vertical. The guiding principle throughout most of Barak’s professional explorations has been in helping people and developing relationships that provide a needed service. Returning to college in his thirties, Barak earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Currently, Barak works as a Security Specialist and Protection Agent, consulting with individuals, organizations, and houses of worship on various aspects of personal and facility security and safety measures. He is actively involved in developing relationships with local and federal law enforcement partners, collaborating with the Secure Community Network, and participating in the recently formed FBI Colorado Courage effort. Barak enjoys scuba diving, sailing, martial arts, and spending time with his family.

Chad Pfeif, Treasurer

Chad was born and raised in Greeley, CO. After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado with a B.S in Geography/GIS, Chad moved to Fort Collins where he works as a Project Manager. Chad’s wife Kyla, and his two daughters have been members of Har Shalom for many years. They are active members of Har Shalom Preschool and Religious School.

Chad enjoys serving on the Operations Committee and on the Response Team. He looks forward to serving Har Shalom as Treasurer. In his free time, Chad enjoys camping, running, playing with his kids, and geography. 

Picture coming soon! 

Susan Baum, Secretary

Susan, along with her husband, Rob, has been a member of the Har Shalom community since moving to Fort Collins in 1991. They have raised two children here, taking part in both the religious school and the founding year of the CHS preschool. Susan has previously served as board member and on the Personnel Committee.

She is currently a Program Manager at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in Industrial Engineering from Penn State and Georgia Tech. Susan is an avid cyclist and skier, and also enjoys live music and travel.

Picture coming soon! 

Steve Garber, Board Member

Steve was born and raised in Southern California. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Chemistry, Steve moved to Boston for graduate school and received a PhD in Chemistry. While in Boston, he met a nice Jewish girl from Connecticut while on JDate. After 10 months they were engaged and moved to Colorado. The plan was to be here for 5 years and move back to New England. But here we are almost 20 years later with two kids, Zach (13) and Sam (10), and no plans to leave.

Steve is currently the Science Department Chair and teaches Organic Chemistry at Front Range Community College. He enjoys playing with his two kids and has many hobbies, including playing Boogie Woogie on the piano. Steve is honored to have been asked to serve as a Board Member and is very optimistic for the future of Har Shalom.

Michele Gliszinski, Board Member

Michelle grew up in Florida and Colorado and has lived in Fort Collins with her husband Benjamin since 2012. Her two children attend religious school and preschool at Har Shalom and Michelle has taught both the 6th and 7th grade religious school classes.

After graduating from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology, Michelle received her Masters in Elementary Education from Vanderbilt University. She then taught middle school math for 9 years. Michelle was fortunate to participate in the 2019 Momentum mission to Israel and will return in the fall of 2022 as a trip leader. In her spare time, Michelle loves to bake, cook, and garden.

Dr. John J. Hanck, Board Member

I attended the University of Illinois and received a B.S. and D.D.S. degree.  In 1972 I moved to Fort Collins, Colorado and started a dental practice. I served in the leadership positions in the Colorado Dental Association and served four years as a representative of the 14th district of the American Dental Association and as Chair of the National Fluoridation Advisory committee to the American Dental Association. 

I was a founder of Har Shalom, served as President in 1982 and served on the Board for ten years.  I am again presently on the BOD of Har Shalom.  We have two daughters and four grandchildren. We are retired and are enjoying our grandchildren and traveling.

Giovanna Henery, Board Member

Giovanna (Gia) is originally from the Fort Collins area but left for roughly 18 years before meeting her (now) husband, Dustin. Gia and Dustin live in Berthoud, CO and are the proud fur-parents to (dog) Kiva and (kitties) Barnabas Collins and Warlock Whitebeard.

Gia is a second-year PhD student at CSU, whose research focuses on online extremism and the differences in how people interact with their online vs offline spaces. In her free time, she likes to go into VR, soak in hot springs and design tiny spaces. 

Picture Coming Soon! 

Joseph Hershman, Board Member

Joe grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received his B.S. in Engineering from the University of Illinois. He moved to Fort Collins in 1991 to attend graduate school at CSU and received his M.S. in Engineering.

In 2010 Joe moved to the UAE where he met his wife. They returned to Fort Collins in 2014 after a brief stay in Memphis. They now have two boys, Ari and Jacob. Ari had a COVID- shortened career at HSPK and now attends HSRS. Jacob will start at HSPK in the fall. Joe moved to Colorado because he loves the outdoors; he skis and bikes whenever possible. Professionally he works in software, developing and deploying mapping applications within the utilities industry. 

Sonia ImMasche, Board Member

I am originally from Denver.  I received my B.A. degree in History from Colorado College, and my M.A. degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Denver. The first 4 years after grad school, I worked as a Residence Hall Director at Western Illinois University. In 1974 we moved to Fort Collins, and I began a 29 year career at CSU working with fraternities, sororities, honor societies and “other duties as assigned”.  

We joined Har Shalom in 1975. I was a member of the Eretz Group (which completed the purchase of the land our synagogue stands on today). We dedicated this building in May, 1982 – two months before my son (Eli) was born. Eli attended Har Shalom religious school and was Bar Mitzvah here.

I have been involved with numerous committees at Har Shalom during the years, until my involvement in the leadership of the Junior League of Fort Collins put my involvement on the back burner. After my term as the President of JLFC, I retired from “full-time” involvement and got re-involved with Har Shalom.

Outside of Har Shalom, I still volunteer with Junior League; am involved with Red Hat; serve in several positions in the Fort Collins Area Alumnae Panhellenic; and hold a 2nd Degree Black Belt in martial arts. I also am a grandma to 4 boys, who live in Greeley. My 5th grandson is due in spring 2023.

Picture coming soon! 

Anne Wera, Board Member

Anne grew up here in Fort Collins. After graduating from college in New England, she returned to her hometown and decided that this is where she wanted to settle down. After spending eight glorious years teaching middle school, she decided to change careers to become the C.E.O. of the Wera/Dineen household (AKA a stay-at-home-mom.)

She spent 10 years in that position where she was able to spend her days with her stepson (Sam, now 26) and her twin daughters, Hailey and Cecilia. When her girls started preschool at Har Shalom she began to get involved with the congregation. She met a wonderful group of friends here that made joining the congregation so delightful and fun. Just recently Anne changed careers again and have since returned to education. Now she spends most of her days playing in kindergarten as a paraprofessional. In her free time, she loves building with LEGO, paddle boarding, reading a good book, or creating and building whatever comes to mind.

Thu, March 23 2023 1 Nisan 5783