Who We Are

Our dedicated Board of Directors and staff members work tirelessly to maximize Columbia Life Network’s impact on the community.

 

Our Board Members


Laura Cowburn
President

Laura brings a wealth of management and volunteer experience to the board of Columbia Life Network. In addition to her presidency role with us, she has also served as the treasurer and board member of the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce. Her past professional positions include roles as a School Business Management Consultant, Assistant to the Superintendent for Business Services at Columbia Borough School District, Business Manager at East Stroudsburg Area School District, and Business Manager at Monroe County Vocational-Technical School. Laura has a master’s degree in school business leadership from Wilkes University.


Jeffrey Helm
Vice President

Columbia Life Network’s Vice President, Jeff Helm, has worked as an appointed public officer in the Borough of Columbia for over 18 years, overseeing zoning, planning, code compliance, health/food inspections, historic district, and emergency management. Membership on the Borough’s Planning Commission and Historic Architectural Review Board round out his current professional responsibilities. Jeff conceived the Safety Net organization (now known as Columbia Life Network) as a freestanding, private referral, non-profit partner to assist with resident and community needs identified by the Borough’s Code Compliance Department. A background in engineering, emergency medical service, paramedic and allied health education, and lifeguarding has given Jeff the experience and motivation to help Columbia achieve its goal of greater health and resilience. Jeff’s alma maters include Columbia High School and Penn State University.


Tammy Seifried
Secretary

Tammy Seifried has worked for Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, an organization that has been a longtime partner in the betterment of the community, for almost six years. She has a strong passion for and commitment to helping the underserved improve their quality of life. Tammy currently serves as Manager, Ambulatory Operations for Columbia. In this role, she also serves as Practice Manager for Family Medicine Twin Rose at the Columbia office located in the Columbia Center and the Wrightsville office located on Lincoln Highway. Tammy has strong ties to Columbia, having married the former Columbia Mayor’s (Dick Seifried) son. She has lived in Columbia for eight years. Tammy started her career as a surgical technologist at Lancaster General Hospital and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management from Lebanon Valley College. Continuing her education, she earned her Masters of Business Administration from Eastern University. Tammy has three children and four grandchildren. She loves Disney, traveling, and spending time with family.


Darryl Waters
Treasurer

Darryl Waters is the Sr. Director with the Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster. Darryl has been with the organization for 17 years and has worked in different capacities. Serving the community and changing young lives is his passion. Darryl is no stranger when dealing with the youth in our community. He has dedicated his life to guiding and directing youth on a positive path. Among many of his responsibilities while serving as Sr. Director, is serving as the Food Service Coordinator. The Food Service Program in a partnership between the Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster, Central PA Food Bank, Pa Dept of Food & Nutrition, and the Dept. of Agriculture. With this partnership, Darryl ensures that thousands of youth throughout our communities are served about 50,000 nutritional meals every year.


Carol Arena
Board Member

With over a decade as a Home and School Visitor/School Social Worker for Columbia Borough School District, Carol Arena has a passion for serving the Columbia community. She also serves as the school’s Student Assistance Program Coordinator, Homeless Liaison, and as a Student Support Team member. Her role on our board is a natural fit, as it expands her capacity to connect families with the resources they need. Carol’s past experience includes working as a juvenile probation officer and as Director of Mom’s House in Lancaster.


Jack Brommer
Board Member

Jack is a lifelong resident of Columbia. A 20-year veteran of the Columbia Police Department, Jack started his profession in 1997 as a rookie officer. In 2005, he achieved the position of Sergeant and has since gone on to lead the department as Chief of Police. Throughout his 20 years as a police officer, he has received a number of commendations and completed many specialized training courses. Jack holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice as well as minors in Psychology and Public Administration from York College of Pennsylvania. Jack and his wife have three daughters who keep them busy. When not spending time with the family, Jack volunteers as a coach for basketball and soccer. He also serves as a member of the board of Mariner’s United Soccer Club in Columbia and as Vice President of the Lancaster County Chiefs of Police Association.


Robin Gamby
Board Member

Born and raised in and around Columbia, Robin C. Gamby calls Columbia home. She is married to Jack Gamby, and they have 5 children and 12 grandchildren. Robin enjoys working at Mountz & Kreiser Law Office and has had careers in banking and construction. When not working, Robin loves helping with community events and projects, taking trips to the mountains, and spending time with her family.


Leo S. Lutz
Mayor & Board Member

Leo Lutz has served as a public official in the Columbia community for over 16 years. As Mayor of Columbia Borough, he has overseen more than $30 million in economic development and revitalization efforts. In addition to the board of Columbia Life Network, Leo’s other community involvement, past and present, includes serving in Chairman positions with the Lancaster County Planning Commission and Lancaster County Transportation Technical Advisory Board; board member of the Columbia Borough School District, Compass Mark, and Columbia Borough Zoning Hearing Board; member of the Governor’s Local Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay; and Governor’s Advisory Committee for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation; and Columbia Fish and Game Association. He is a graduate of Penn State University.


Ray McCarty
Board Member

Ray McCarty grew up in Columbia and has been a longtime resident. He works for Wells Fargo Private Bank. In addition to serving on our board, Ray is also President of the Columbia Boys Athletic Association, Treasurer of Columbia Heritage River Cottage Association, and Secretary of Columbia Municipal Authority. He is a dedicated coach and enjoys hunting and fishing.


Susan Stone
Board Member

Susan Stone has worked for Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine for over 16 years. She currently serves as the Regional Director of Operations for the West Side, which includes the Columbia Community. Lancaster General Health has been a critical partner in the betterment of the community for many years. Susan started her career as a medical social worker, and she continues to realize the importance of working together to make positive changes within our community.


Pastor Fred Thomas
Board Member

Pastor Fred felt called to our area around the year 2000. He began his ministry here by holding an interdenominational bible study and taking prayer drives and prayer walks in Columbia. He and his family attended Columbia Church of God (CCoG) upon moving here, and for several years Pastor Fred taught Sunday school and filled in for the pastor there as needed. After CCoG’s pastor resigned in 2008, the Church called upon Fred to take over the position on June 14, 2009, and he has been serving the Church and the Columbia community in that capacity ever since.

 

Our Staff Members


Jamie Widener
Executive Director

Jamie Widener became Executive Director in November of 2017. His past non-profit experience includes working at United Way of Lancaster County, Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness, and Lancaster-Lebanon Habitat for Humanity. In his spare time, Jamie enjoys reading, traveling, and volunteering in the community.


Dolores Cooke
Activity Coordinator

Dolores Cooke has been our Activity Coordinator since March 2015. During Columbia Life Network’s office hours, she works with clients to access community services. Her previous work experience includes serving as a Healthcare Navigator at PALCO (Project Access Lancaster County). When not in our office, Dolores enjoys gardening and spending time with her family.