Board Members: What The Family Center Means to Me

The Family Center of Grosse Pointe & Harper Woods boasts an outstanding board of directors, whose members not only provide their time and expertise to the running of the 11-year-old nonprofit organization but also devote countless hours volunteering. We could think of no better way to describe what The Family Center means to them and the community than in their own words:

Carla Palffy, LPC, School Counselor, GPPSS

My first experience with The Family Center was taking advantage of Play Central where I met new friends, was able to form sentences with adults and my little kiddos got their wiggles out on cold winter days. I’m grateful to be able to give back through volunteering at events and now serving on the board.

Linda Whitman, AI Teacher Assistant, Grosse Pointe Schools

As a board member and long-time volunteer, I’ve learned that The Family Center works on behalf of every single member of this community, making citizens more informed through education, recreation and the vast resources we have to live more meaningful lives.

Mary Beth Garvey, Clinical Therapist

Having served as a volunteer, Early Childhood chair, board member and past president, I have great confidence in our ability to enhance the inherent strengths and competencies of our families. As both a parent and a mental health professional in this community, it has been a pleasure to serve The Family Center in advancing their mission.

Deann Newman, Tax Partner Deloitte Tax, LLP

The Family Center is a premier organization that brings unique programs to families in our community. Getting involved to help out another volunteer seemed like a natural for me which then moved into a role on the Finance Committee followed by my current treasurer role on the board.

Lisa Domas, Speech & Language Pathologist, GPPSS

I have served on the board of The Family Center for almost three years and love how it fosters a true sense of healthy family neighborhood in our community.

Cathy Leverenz, Community Representative

I have been an active Grosse Pointe volunteer for years and look forward to my new role with The Family Center continuing their good work supporting families in our community and faith communities with educational opportunities, enrichment, and resources to benefit and guide our youth.

Beth Moran, Early Childhood Program Teacher, Grosse Pointe Schools

Serving on The Family Center Board has kept me connected with the community and the needs of families. In this ever changing, frantic world it is good to support families and offer programs for raising happy, healthy children.

Lynne Merrill Aldrich, Pitts-Aldrich Associates

I joined The Family Center board to be an advocate of its mission and to work with others to ensure a strong community by providing programs and services that nurture healthy, resilient families and kids.

Tom Quinn, Deloitte Consulting, LLC

I am a past president and have served on the board for over six years. I am still impressed by how we continue to refine and enhance the programs that we offer so that we are addressing the ever changing needs of the community.

John Minnis, Publisher, Grosse Pointe Magazine

Parenting is probably the most important thing we will ever be called upon to do. Yet we receive little or no formal training in parenting. The Family Center fills the role of getting the experts together with parents, grandparents and other caregivers to help us raise children who will become successful members of our community and successful parents when their time comes.

Maureen McKinley Light, Clinical Therapist

I see this organization growing in depth and scope and I want to be a part of that: to have the chance to offer resources to families in this increasingly complex and challenging world.

J. Theodore Everingham, Everingham & Associates

I can think of no better way to serve our community than to serve The Family Center, which in turn helps to build healthy, happy and thriving families.

Sean Hogan-Downey, Clinical Therapist

I enjoy being on a “working” board. The Family Center is actively involved in this community and I am proud to be part of it.

Torrey Stackpoole, Community Representative

Having been a volunteer and a participant in many early childhood events over the years, it’s an honor to be part of The Family Center board. The Family Center touches so many people, families and our community as a whole that it’s amazing to be part of such an important organization!

Diane Strickler, Founder

Since its inception, The Family Center has believed that knowledgeable parents are more skilled and successful at raising healthy children. One of my joys, over the years, is seeing more and more parents attending our presentations, accepting that the landscape of childhood is changing and there is always more to learn.

Cindy Banaszewski, Community Representative

Being an active part of a group, with so much to offer the community, has given me such pride as a volunteer and as an individual. Because I am part of The Family Center, I am able to reach out and touch so many lives in a positive way without even coming into direct, person-to-person contact with them, and it’s important to me to be able to contribute in such a way.

The Family Center is always looking for volunteers to write grants and press releases, to serve on program planning and event committees and to work events. Volunteers often move on to become board members and, if they wish, officers to help shepherd the organization in its second decade.

Enriched Communities Through Stronger Families
The Family Center serves as the community’s hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded to promote a deeper understanding of the role of parents and others in supporting our youth to become competent, caring and responsible community members.

All gifts are tax-deductible.
To volunteer or contribute, visit, call (313) 447-1374.
Email: or write to: The Family Center
32 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236