Board of Directors
Mandi Paronish MSN, RN, CPN
Mandi is the founder of Small Town Hope, has created Hopes Villa Children's Center, and is also actively practicing in the Peri-Anesthesia Nursing world. She is an Advanced Practice Certified Pediatric Nurse and Nurse Entrepreneur,
As an 18 year old Mandi found her true passion, caring for children through her volunteer work at cardiac and trach/vent camps. She has worked for numerous Children's Hospitals and incredible organizations including Johns Hopkins Hospital most recently. Mandi's experiences revolving around pediatric nursing span from safety & quality to level one trauma. Mandi also has a passion for the arts and loves to think and work creatively. In undergrad, Mandi played volleyball at the Division One Level while attending Saint Francis University. Home is her favorite place to be with her golden retriever Tripp.
Katie is the Board President...Also known as Jersey, KT, Toole, Toolebox, Ms. Toole is a proud graduate of Saint Francis University. She was an instrumental part of women’s golf team Division One, North East Conference (NEC) invited her to the NCAA championship tournament for 2 years! Katie loves the outdoors and all things green.
Katie has participated in volunteer work throughout her entire life dating back to when she
was a candy striper for the Valley View Hospital in NJ. She treasures the time spent volunteering at the orphanages in Cuernavaca, Mexico and serving patrons of the Salvation Army in Johnstown, PA.
Katie is employed by The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BNY Mellon)
within the Pittsburgh, PA office, Admired by her coworkers for her organization and planning skills, Katie is a Lead Technical Writer for the Technology Services Group. She has been married for more than 7 years and resides happily in Pittsburgh, Pa. She also loves being an Aunt and on the weekends she is most likely to be with her Nieces & Nephews. She enjoys yard work and relaxing with family & friends. Katie is extremely enthusiastic about the actual and potential operations within Small Town Hope Inc.
Stephanie is the Vice President of Small Town Hope Inc. Stephanie is a well-seasoned Senior Analyst. She holds an MBA in Finance from Texas A&M University. She has gained worldly experience from Hong Kong, Europe and Great Britain. Stephanie completed her undergraduate degree in Business and Fashion Merchandising from the University of North Texas.
Stephanie's passion for helping kids is derived from her own struggles with learning to read and write as a child. Growing up in rural Texas, she understands the value of love and hope in a small town. She looks forward to using her skill sets as launching pads for children to surpass the
obstacles that prevent them from learning.
Stephanie enjoys traveling, boating, paddle boarding, riding side by sides, and knitting. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Gary and her golden retriever, Buddy.
Beth Paronish has made an Art Education Degree go a long way in the small town of Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania. Beth has led quite a path of diverse experiences with her Bachelor’s degree obtained from Indiana University in 2006 in her pocket. After 2 years of teaching in the public school system, Beth decided to venture in a different direction. In 2014, Beth joined Mandi Paronish on the adventure of opening Hope’s Villa Children’s Center. While taking care of children of all ages there, she loved using her art knowledge and skills to brighten the kids’ days. Drawings, sculptures, murals, sensory walls, upcycling projects and even parade floats became a large part of Beth’s passionate days at Hope’s Villa. The building was a blank canvas and Beth got to color it with happiness for many people using her art talent. In 2016 when Beth was invited to join the Board of Small Town Hope, and she excitedly accepted. She has helped with Small Town Hope’s annual events including Summer Adventures, Christmas Cookie Event, and now she teaches Small Town Hope’s Preschool class of 20 brilliant developing minds. When Beth is not working with children of the community, she is at home soaking up love from her son and daughter. She and her husband have made a home in the country setting that surrounds them, proudly raising their kids on family values and traditions.
With a passion for educating ALL learners of any age, Brenda Calhoun comes to us with a background of experience working within a local education service agency, primarily in the areas of instructional technology, STEM, social media management, and digital productivity strategies.
Before joining Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8, Brenda earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in Adult Education. These programs focused on the development of skills such as communicating effectively, guiding adult learners, and using technology wisely, all of which are critical in successfully navigating the world in which we live today.
Personally, her time is spent with her husband and two daughters, reading, traveling, striving to live in an environmentally friendly manner, advocating for students with special needs, and participating in organizations such as Girls Scouts, 4H, JDRF, and certainly Small Town Hope!
Ashley is a graduate of Mount Aloysius College where she studied nursing and continues to further her nursing education. Formerly a registered nurse in a Neurovascular ICU, Ashley is now pursuing her dream of travel nursing. She has a strong desire to help those around her. Ashley enjoys volunteering her time and helping hands to support the visions of Small Town Hope. Small Town Hope values Ashley as the organization's skilled "fix-it" lady who impressively tackles any job requiring tools. Ashley also volunteers her time to help at STH events. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially her two nephews. In her spare time, you can find Ashley fixing or building things, riding her side by side, and loving up her golden retriever, Aspen.
Bio on the way!
Dr. Laura Lansing
Laura has a passion for all things academic as indicated by her diverse academic background. She graduated from Rockford College in Illinois (B.A. in Philosophy and another in Mathematics), The College of William and Mary in Virginia (M.S. in Mathematics), and Lehigh University (M.S. in Industrial Engineering and another in Psychology and Ph.D. in Psychology). Her interest in helping children has its roots in many years of helping others raise their children and in her own struggles as a child with a physical disability. She is currently a professor of psychology at Mount Aloysius College. When not at work, Laura enjoys gardening and playing with her dog, Kharma.