Bloomsburg Welcomes 2022 New Board

January 24, 2022

The Community Giving Foundation: Bloomsburg recently welcomed four new members to its 2022 Board of Directors.

Ms. Elizabeth Dowd

Ms. Dowd is a resident acting company member with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (BTE). She moved to Bloomsburg from Chicago to pursue private study with legendary acting teacher Alvina Krause when she became part of the founding of BTE. Forty-four years later, Bloomsburg has long been the place she calls home. Ms. Dowd is the grateful partner of Rand Whipple and mother to two adult children. She is an active community member, most recently with the Coalition for Social Equity, Women in Action workgroup, and co-organizer of the “Bloomsburg Reads” event.

“Partnering with the Community Giving Foundation provides me with an empowering means to direct my energy towards the greater good.”

Dr. Heather S. Feldhaus, PhD

Dr. Feldhaus is a sociologist who specializes in the study of social problems. She earned her BA and MA in sociology at the University of South Alabama and her PhD at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She is currently the Interim Associate Provost for Faculty Development, Dean of Graduate Studies, and Professor of Sociology at Bloomsburg University. She also founded the Center for Community Research and Consulting at BU. Her research focuses on how communities define and think about social problems and how this shapes their efforts to solve problems. She is particularly interested in issues surrounding rural poverty and homelessness.

Dr. Feldhaus enjoys being active in the community. She is currently the vice president of the board of directors for the Community Strategies Group and serves on the United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties allocations committee. She is a regular volunteer for the Bloom Seed Library and uses her professional skills as a frequent volunteer or consultant for many regional groups that need help with strategic planning or data collection and analysis. Dr. Feldhaus lives in Orangeville with her husband and two sons.

“I have been involved with the Foundation for many years as a consultant on various projects, as a board member for organizations that received Foundation support, and as a researcher who used Foundation funding to help answer important questions for our regional communities. I have also worked with members of the Foundation staff for decades and always admired their knowledge, professionalism, and drive to make these communities stronger. I’m honored to be invited to work more closely with the team and excited to be involved in helping our community.”

Mr. Jeff Lylo

Mr. Lylo is the owner of J. Lylo Jewelers, located in downtown Bloomsburg. Born and raised in Berwick, he graduated from Berwick High School and then Penn State University with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management. After completing gemological certifications and apprenticing at Good as Gold (Bloomsburg), Mr. Lylo opened his own business in 1999. Through the jewelry business, he plays a role in community members’ major life events from births to engagements to wedding anniversaries. This role is a legacy from his grandfather, owner of Nespoli Jewelers, who instilled the importance of personal relationships with customers.

In addition to his constant presence at J. Lylo Jewelers, Mr. Lylo also serves on the board for Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. As the father of two active boys, he can often be found around town at youth sporting events, church activities, and school performances.

“As someone who has built a life in Bloomsburg, I look forward to helping others to do the same. I anticipate that my board membership will allow me to cultivate opportunities for people in the community.”

Mr. Leo V. Sokoloski

Mr. Sokoloski is the Chief of Police at Bloomsburg University, overseeing the day-to-day management of police operations and life safety, property protection, and investigations on campus. He also serves as a consultant for the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, offering school crisis preparedness and practical services to help make schools safer and ready for all emergencies. Mr. Sokoloski was the previous Chief of Police for the Town of Bloomsburg for 12 years. He has served on many initiatives and community groups across the region to promote education and safety for local residents.

“Through this partnership with the Foundation, I am excited to meet new community-minded persons equally committed to doing great work—and of course work with my college pal, Holly Morrison, too!”

About the Foundation

In addition to the four new board members, the Bloomsburg board is represented by: John Thompson (chair), Pam Young (vice chair), Donna Coombs, Lynn Cromley, Tom Kapelewski, Jessica Lehman, and Patti Leighow.

Bloomsburg is an affiliate of the Community Giving Foundation, which manages over 300 charitable funds and makes grant investments throughout the region to improve the quality of life in the Central Susquehanna area.