Tag Archives: board-of-directors

Mary Anderson celebrates 20 Years with LUM

2014-10-01 MaryAnderson20th 003 (3)Twenty years ago this month, Rev. Carl Malmgren saw something special in Mary Anderson and recommended that she be offered the three-month, part-time position with LUM to coordinate Jubilee Christmas 1994. Malmgren was a member of the LUM Board of Directors and was the chair of the search committee for this position. Joe Micon, executive director, was pleased with Mary’s work with Jubilee Christmas and invited her back in the Spring of 1995 to be the co-director of LUM Camp – another three-month, part-time position. Opportunities like this continued for Mary and in the next few years she served as the Shelter Director, the director of the Summer Lunch program and the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry Director.

In 1998, Mary found her niche when she became the director of the LUM Advocate Program, now known as the LUM Good Samaritan Fund Program. During these early years, Mary was also the director of the Summer Lunch Program and Jubilee Christmas. The LUM Board of Directors demonstrated their confidence in Mary’s work and ability when they asked her to serve as the interim LUM executive director from 2004-2008 (during Joe Micon’s leave of absence to serve as the Indiana State Representative for the 26th District). This was an important time for LUM because they were beginning a capital campaign which would enable LUM to initiate new programs and move into a new office building.

During her tenure with LUM, moving was nothing new. In 1994, Mary started her work with LUM on 8th Street; she served as the director of the food pantry out of a storefront on Main Street; and in 1995 moved to 525 N 4th Street, a new building that would serve as the LUM emergency shelter, youth programs center, and administrative offices. Her final move was in 2010 to her current office in the new administrative building at 420 N 4th Street.2014-10-01 MaryAnderson20th 010 (2)

Today, Mary Anderson could not be more perfectly suited for her role at LUM. Mary directs one program which she founded and another which she has enhanced and modified over the years – the ID Clinic and the Good Samaritan Fund Program, respectively. Reflecting on her 20 years of service to the LUM clients and families, Mary is confounded by how much has changed as well as how many things have not.

Mary looks to two pivotal points in our country’s history as catalysts for change in her work with low income families: the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the recent recession. After 9/11, our country implemented laws and practices that greatly affected the poor and the homeless. Caring for the “least of us” is no longer a priority in our nation – as it was during the Great Depression and again in the 1960’s – and it may never be again. We must accept this and continue to do the best we can within those parameters. This has made Mary a strong advocate for eliminating the Voter ID law – which makes it very difficult for the homeless and low-income individuals to obtain picture ID and to vote. She is proud that her deposition was included in the US Supreme Court case brought against the Indiana Voter ID law.

2014-10-01 MaryAnderson20th 018 (2)

Mary enjoys getting to know those she serves. It gives her joy and hope to work face-to-face with individuals looking for a little bit of assistance to get past a difficult time. These interactions sometimes also give her some sad moments – especially when she sees poverty passed from one generation to the next. Before this recent recession, Mary saw mostly individuals who were “generationally” poor or “gradually” poor. Recently though there have been more and more individuals who are “suddenly” poor and in need of assistance for the first time in their lives. Individuals who used to help others are suddenly asking for help. Upon reflection, Mary shares that she couldn’t do this work if there wasn’t a social justice component at LUM. She is hopeful and see better days in the future only if there is a focus on changing our laws and priorities to serve each and every one of our neighbors.

2014-10-01 MaryAnderson20th 003 (2)

Through all of this, Mary still feels like she has the greatest job around. She emphasizes that one must be realistic on how much one’s able to offer – and must find ways to keep your perspective. Mary proudly proclaims that she has a life outside of the walls of LUM – and engages in some meaningful activities with her church. She also gives her family much of the credit for keeping her grounded. Originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Mary met her husband while attending Purdue and has been here since. Today, Mary and Mike have three sons and four (of the world’s best) grandchildren.

Twenty years have flown by for Mary Anderson. But for this community, for LUM, for the families and individuals served by LUM – we are so much better off for Mary’s years of service – and her vision for what could be done at LUM which has served as a road map to a better future for all.

Meet the LUM Executive Council – Tricia Sembroski

Treasurer: Tricia Sembroski



Tricia is an at-large member of the LUM Board currently serving as LUM’s treasurer, and a member of St. Andrew United Methodist Church.

Tricia is an administrative assistant at Trinity United Methodist Church and works part-time at St. Andrew United Methodist Church. She and her husband, Glenn, have a married daughter who has three children, and a son who lives in Indianapolis. Glenn works in the physics department at Purdue. Tricia enjoys dancing, singing, writing, painting, working with numbers, and even doing taxes!

She is active in Family Promise, the LUM Tax Assistance Program and looks forward to becoming even more involved through her service to LUM as treasurer.

Meet the LUM Executive Council – Kevin Bowers

Liaison for Program & Planning: Kevin Bowers

2013-02-20 LUM board meeting 004 (2)

Pastor Kevin Bowers has represented his church, Bethany Presbyterian Church, on the LUM Board since 2006; and has served in the past as president.

He and his wife Jennie and have a son, Andrew. Kevin finds enjoyment in model railroading, gardening, tinkering around with all kinds of things, and fishing. Outside of his service to LUM, Kevin is active as a Lafayette Police Department chaplain.

For a long time, Kevin has been impressed by the high-quality work LUM does and could not help but get involved several years ago. He looks forward to making more of an impact through his service on the LUM Executive Council as he spearheads program planning and evaluation.

Meet the LUM Executive Council – Robert Hall

Liaison for Facilities: Robert Hall

2013-02-20 LUM board meeting 030 (2)Robert , a 
Realtor in the area, represents St. Lawrence Church on the LUM Board.

He and his wife, Stacey, have two young children. Robert enjoys playing golf, reading, traveling, spending time with his wife, and playing with his kids. Outside of his service to LUM, Robert has volunteered with Faith Based Initiative, served as a big brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and has helped on local builds with Habitat for Humanity.

Robert is encouraged by the work of LUM and hopes to give back to the community that has been so important to him.

Meet the LUM Executive Council – Patty Useem

Secretary: Patty Useem

2013-02-20 LUM board meeting 026 (2)

Patty represents the Federated Church on the LUM Board and currently serves as the secretary.

In addition to her work with her church and LUM, Patty serves on the Board of the Learning Disabilities Association of Indiana. She is the owner of Educational Solutions Indiana which assists students with learning disabilities with school and educational issues.

She has a interest in helping students with disabilities transition to college.

Meet the LUM Executive Council – Joan Low

Vice President: Joan Low

2013-02-20 LUM board meeting 025 (2)

Joan Foord Low represents the 2nd Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where she serves as the Public Affairs Representative for Community Relations.

Joan and her husband Phillip have several married children and are expecting their 13th grandchild in June. Joan enjoys gardening, music, and hiking.

Joan’s church called her forward to serve as the representative to LUM, something she is thankful for since she has always admired the organization.

She looks forward to continuing her service as the Vice-President.