Board of Directors
Eric Robuck is an Independent IT consultant who specializes in programming and security. He comes to HSI with 26 years of military experience and having taken his own software platform from concept to product to buyout in 12 years.
Eric serves on the board because HSI’s program organizations are caring and impactful and because working on the cutting edge of social change with HSI is very exciting!
Founder and CEO
Linda Rentschler is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Humanitarian Social Innovations. In 2014, she incorporated HSI to equip and serve people who wanted to begin charitable programs that would raise the quality of life for people around them but found the red tape and expense involved in gaining a 501(c)(3) status to be prohibitive. She is motivated by the potential of HSI to increase social impact and to improve the quality of life for those served by HSI’s program community. In addition, Linda volunteers as the Director of Children’s Ministries at Hamburg Bible Church.
Linda holds an M.Ed. in Leadership and an M.B.A. from Lehigh University and a B.A. in Biology from Gettysburg College.
Linda’s values are to love God, love others, and work hard. Her heroes are her children and grandchildren because they remind her of all that is good in the world.
Andrew Ward, Ph.D
Andrew Ward is the Chair of Corporate Governance and a member of the faculty of the Management Department at Lehigh University. Prior to joining Lehigh University, he was a member of the management faculty at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and previously at the Goizueta Business School of Emory University. He conducts research on issues related to corporate governance including CEO successions, CEO compensation, the roles and concerns of the chief executive officer, CEO/board relations, reputation, and leadership, and has published articles in several leading academic journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly and Organization Science, and he serves on the editorial boards of the Strategic Management Journal and the Journal of Management Studies.
Dr. Ward’s work has been featured in numerous publications including Harvard Business Review, Business Week, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, Directorship, Directors and Boards, Investor’s Business Daily and Leaders Magazine. His first book, The Leadership Lifecycle: Matching Leaders to Evolving Organizations (Palgrave, 2003) examines how leadership needs change over the course of an organization’s life. His book, Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound After Career Disasters, is co-authored with Dr. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of Yale University and was published by Harvard Business School Press in 2007. Firing Back has received national and international media attention with reviews in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times, Forbes, Business Week, and The Economist among other publications. His most recent book, Strategic Management: From Theory to Practice, was released in 2020 and is co-authored with Dr. Allen Amason of Georgia Southern University. It is available for purchase here.
- University of Surrey (England), B.Sc (Hons)
- Emory University (Goizueta), M.B.A.
- University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), Ph.D.
Governance & Marketing Committees
Because Chuck believes small business owners should have every opportunity to accomplish their goals, fulfill their vision, and live life on their terms, he developed Chuck Holder, LLC, a business consulting firm. Small business owners are his heroes. Chuck studied accounting and business management at Shippensburg University.
Chuck believes a majority of nonprofits have their hearts and souls in the right place but lack the business knowledge and savvy to fulfill their mission. He serves HSI as the president of the board of directors in order to bring the organization’s vision to fruition. Chuck is on the advisory board of Genesius Theatre in Reading and is the President of Reading Entrepreneur’s Connection.
Chuck enjoys golf and PSU football and making a difference.
Board Treasurer, Finance Committee
John started his first business when he was eight years old and has had the entrepreneurial spirit ever since. During his career, he has worked for more than twenty different companies in ten different industries. He lived in southern California for ten years, where he worked with NASA’s International Space Station Program, successfully negotiating over $6 Billion in major subcontracts with Lockheed, Honeywell, IBM, and RCA. After moving back to Pennsylvania, he led the development of a chain of seven TGI Friday’s restaurants. He has experience in strategic planning, business plans, real estate development, and project management. He recently worked with the Vanguard Group where he honed his financial analysis and strategic planning skills – he wrote the Vanguard enterprise profitability model still being used by Vanguard’s corporate strategy team to advise the CEO and Board of Directors. John is currently the owner of Robinson & Associates, a full-service business consulting firm.
Rita Fredericks was born in Easton, Pa. on July 10, 1948. Rita then moved to the big city of Reading, Pa at an early age to start a new life and raise a family. The love of the Lord had Rita attending many churches to become familiar with several types of teachings. Her father, Arthur Fredericks taught her to follow her heart and the Lord will guide her to where and how long she should settle. This took Rita to Bethel A.M.E. Church serving the Lord in many positions for over 30 years. Rita is now a member of the Spring Valley Church of God.
Rita worked for 37 years at CNA/Allstate with a steady climb to the top management positions. She was selected for the major acquisition project to merge the CNA/Allstate personal lines business in Chicago, Ill. She retired at an early age in 2004 with a Diversity Trainer Certification. She took that opportunity to follow her dreams to become a successful entrepreneur for many business ventures.
These are a few of her business ventures: Gentlemen Quarters Unisex salon – Owner/Cosmetologist, NVJ Consulting – Diversity Trainer, Dream Investors LLC - Real Estate Investor, Mary Kay consulting, It Works Consultant,. Rita’s passion is travel, therefore, Rita's 1st class travel agency is the business venture she enjoys the most. She travels every chance she gets mostly with friends and family.
Rita tries to stay involved with community organizations that help make our lives better for our future generations. She has been involved with Berks Women In Crisis-Camp-Peaceworks, United Way of Berks County, American Cancer Society – Look Good Feel Better Trainer, Entrepreneur Connections, The People Chronicles, Vo-Tech Advisory Board – Students Manufacturing Clothing Design, Red Hat Society, NAACP as a Board Member, and Maryalice Temple #108 Vice Daughter Ruler early 70-80’s.
Rita also is a community activist that will not hesitate to get involved with Political empowerment to raise awareness to our rights and our need to stay involved as a community for fairness and our right to Vote. She is most proud of working on the 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns and will continue to march and fight for our Constitutional rights being protected as written and not as interpreted.
Board Vice-President, Development and Fundraising Committee
Diane Donaher is the Executive Director at IronPigs Charities, supporters of educational and recreational opportunities for Lehigh Valley youth. She earned her MS in Training and Organizational Development from St. Joseph’s University.
Diane breathes nonprofits through a lifetime of experience working in the field. She currently also serves with the RK Laros Foundation and Rotary International. Diane has been an active Rotarian since 1990. She has served as the President of both the Bethlehem and Morning Star Rotary Clubs.
Having worked in the nonprofit industry for most of her professional career, served on many boards, and consulted with many nonprofits Diane is convinced the need for an organization like HSI is not just nice but necessary. She lends her expertise to the board because limited resources in the nonprofit sector and limited return on investment of resources make the HSI models an answer to nonprofit sustainability
Michael P. Wagner
Michael is the Vice President at Blue Marsh Insurance which provides insurance and risk management solutions to its clients. In addition, he volunteers with the Fleetwood Area Baseball Association as a Head Coach.
Michael graduated from Exeter Township Senior High and has a number of advanced certifications in the insurance field, including as a Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Risk Manager from the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, as a Construction Risk Insurance Specialist from the International Risk Management Institute, and as Certified Insurance Specialist in Construction from the Insurance Skills Center.
Michael enjoys spending time with his wife and four children and coaching youth sports to teach kids the value of teamwork, good sportsmanship, and hard work. He is on the board of HSI to help forward Christ’s mission through nonprofit organizations.
Board President, Program & Finance Committees
Todd Watkins, PhD
Todd is Professor of Economics in Lehigh University’s College of Business & Economics and Executive Director of the Martindale Center for the Study of Private Enterprise, an interdisciplinary resource in Lehigh University’s College of Business and Economics that advances educational programs to increase understanding of the U.S. economy and its relationship with the world economy.
Todd’s extensive nonprofit experience currently includes serving as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Rising Tide Community Loan Fund in Lehigh Valley, PA, serving on the Board of Directors of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, serving on the Board of Directors of the Africa Network, San Antonio, TX, and being a founding member of the Faculty Advisory Council for ACCION International, Center for Financial Inclusion, in Washington, DC.
Todd holds a Ph.D. and Master in Public Policy from Harvard University, as well as a B.S. in Optics from the University of Rochester.
Todd’s interests and activities span the arts, environmental and non-profit sectors, including bird watching, film, travel and family history. Todd is also a violinist in the Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra. His research and teaching revolves around social entrepreneurial organizations and innovations. Through these pursuits, he has witnessed many early challenges and barriers that emerging organizations face as they try to grow. He believes that HSI’s mission squarely addresses those barriers, enabling organizations to focus on scaling more quickly for greater and more immediate impact.
Adrienne McNeil is the Assistant Vice-President for Community and Regional Affairs at Lehigh University, a top tier private residential research university located in Bethlehem, PA in the Lehigh Valley.
She earned a BA in Public Administration from York College of PA, an MS in Human Resource Development from Villanova University, and is currently completing her PhD in Higher Education Administration with University of Phoenix.
Adrienne has served as the VP/COO of the United Way of Lancaster County, and has past and present board and advisory experience for many nonprofit organizations such as The Hispanic Center of the Lehigh Valley, Junior League of Lancaster, Junior League of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation, SouthSide Arts District, and SouthSide Vision 2020.
Adrienne definitely keeps busy. She remembers a pivotal moment when she was young and spending time with her cousins. An older cousin who was in medical school told her, “Time is going to go by anyway, so make the best of it.” She clearly has taken her cousin’s advice to heart!
Adrienne serves HSI on the Program Committee because her experience with the United Way in Lancaster convinced her that an organization like HSI can provide much-needed support for new ideas and organizations while helping them build capacity, and preparing them to approach funding organizations like United Way.
Founding Board Member, Marketing Committee
Mike is a Co-Founder at Soltech Solutions and has been focused on expanding the company through introducing new innovative products. With an entrepreneurial mindset, Mike is always looking for new opportunities to bring value to his customers. With help from his co-founders, Mike grew Soltech Solutions to 15 employees and has won multiple awards including 40 under 40 and the Small Business Administration's Eastern Pennsylvania's Entrepreneurial Success of the Year Award for 2022.
A true entrepreneur, Mike is driven by the belief that when you follow your dream, it opens the door for others to follow theirs. He understands the challenges people face starting a business and participates on HSI’s board to support other entrepreneurs, share experiences and provide new ideas. Mike has volunteered with other nonprofits both in the U.S. and abroad and is always looking for the next adventure.
Founding Board Member, Finance & Governance Committees
Paul graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He is also Co-founder of Soltech Solutions, a company which develops and provides a first-of-its-kind series of LED plant lights. Through the distribution of their products, Paul intends to further the incorporation of organic plant growth into modern culture and the many lifestyles that flow from it.
Paul is a founding board member at HSI and continues to serve in order to grow the organization and enable it to inspire and facilitate the growth of charitable projects. He believes that there are many individuals who seek to help and grow their communities but have a difficult time reaching their potential impact. He also believes that HSI not only supports these individuals and their charitable missions, but draws measurable outcomes from their visions and efforts, creating tangible growth within a community.