Oops! That page can’t be found.

Meet our new Board Members!

We are thrilled to welcome five exceptional new women to our team of dedicated community members charged with driving our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women forward. Since its creation in 1889, YWCA Lancaster’s board has been fully represented by female-identifying community members, and we are proud to have these women with their expansive experience, perspectives, and expertise join our ranks to help move our mission forward in 2024 and beyond!

We can’t wait to learn, grow, and build a just future with them in the coming years.

Meet our new board members!

Beth Beam, MSW
Beth is a strategic and transformational human resources leader and coach with strong business acumen and business partnering experience. She creates and delivers progressive career experiences and programs that demonstrate an unwavering commitment to igniting positive change and cultivating growth. Beth shares a unique blend of strategy alignment, a zest for transformation and an unwavering dedication to cultivating a sense of value and belonging in the workplace.
Martha A. Guaigua, CPA
Martha, a seasoned Senior Manager at Trout CPA since 2014, excels in Estate & Trust Administration, Taxation, Small Businesses, and Tax Planning & Preparation. With a Business Administration degree from Millersville University, she’s a vital part of the firm’s success. Beyond her role, Martha is a devoted Board Member at the Literacy Council of Lancaster Lebanon, showcasing her passion for education and community service, making her an invaluable asset to Trout CPA and the broader community.
Cindy Lam Guo
Cindy Lam Guo, co-owner of Silantra Asian Street Kitchen, transformed her business since 2015, expanding to three stores. Through partnerships with local nonprofits, she’s donated $35,000, 3000+ pounds of food, and 1000+ items to combat hunger, empower women, and support education. Notably, she responded to the 2020 toilet paper shortage, distributed it free, provided water for BLM rally participants, and led a fundraiser for AAPI Heritage Month. In 2023, she co-led Lancaster City’s first public Lunar New Year celebration, gaining recognition for the Lancaster AAPI Organization. Dedicated to positive change, Cindy works for a future free from racism for her children and generations to come.
Dr. Towahna D. Rhim
Dr. Rhim, Founder and CEO of TD Rhim Consulting, LLC, passionately develops authentic leaders. Backed by evidence-based research, she fosters leaders with the resilience to navigate challenges, lead by example, and own their decisions’ impact. Dr. Rhim’s approach creates psychological safety, empowering potential leaders to fully develop their skills. As a regional Director of Operations with over 33 years in healthcare, she facilitates organizational strategies, manages multi-million dollar projects, and leads facility builds. With degrees from Duquesne University, Lebanon Valley College, and a PhD from Walden University, Dr. Rhim combines her academic achievements with over five years of leadership in the US Army’s medical field.
Beth Ross
Beth Ross, former President of ECW Marketing Group in Lancaster, PA, brings extensive plastics industry experience. With roles at ICI Advanced Materials and GE Plastics, her background includes Electronics Marketing and Sales Development. Holding a B.S. in Home Economics from Hood College, Beth seamlessly combines professional expertise with community service. She has served on boards like Overlook Community Foundation, coached basketball, and volunteered for organizations like St. Joseph Health Ministries and YWCA Lancaster. Currently on the Hood College Board of Associates and Manheim Township Planning Commission, Beth demonstrates dedication to both professional and community roles.

Want to help shape our work?

We have standing committees that help guide and inform YWCA Lancaster’s work at all levels! From finance, to development, to marketing, and more, there is a committee for all interest, passion, and skill set! While our board is only available to female-identifying community members, folks of all genders are able to join committees!

YWCA has a proud history of promoting justice (column)

The following is a column from Stacie Blake first printed in LNP/Lancaster Online on August 14, 2022. Read it on LNP

When I first walked through the doors at YWCA Lancaster on North Lime Street in 2019, I knew immediately that I was part of something bigger than just a building, beautiful as it is.

Something stronger than just a team of dedicated professionals, extraordinary as they are.

Something more than our letters, YWCA, proud as I am to find a strong positive association with our national family of agencies no matter where I go.

It was clear that this organization was both deeply embedded in our community’s history, but also part of its future. And it was not alone.

I have come to work to find a woman in labor right on our couch in the lobby. And I have come to work to find that a resident has passed away in the night, having taken their last breaths in a room here. I see young, single parents juggling three or four children through our doors each morning and safely into child care rooms staffed with caring professionals.

YWCA Lancaster — like so many organizations in Lancaster County — is part of an immense legacy of community care, civic leadership and advocacy for the needs of residents. A legacy that I am honored to continue. The role of this organization and so many others in the social sector is both interwoven with, and supported by, the business and government sectors, and it is intentionally separate. This separation helps us center and support our community’s most important resource: its people.

The social sector includes so much of what keeps our community strong: fraternal organizations, social and recreational organizations, community and private foundations, churches and religious organizations. Our scope as a sector is vast, but we all have a similar foundation, to undertake private action for public good.

YWCA Lancaster’s mission was questioned recently by two Lancaster County commissioners; at issue was whether our organization “crossed over into political advocacy.”

Our mission at YWCA Lancaster is simple, but far from easy: We strive to eliminate racism and empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. It’s a mission that is apolitical, as well as universal. It’s a mission that centers our community’s most pressing needs. It’s also a mission that has supporters on all sides of the political spectrum and champions in elected offices at all levels throughout Lancaster County.

Our history is proud. YWCA Lancaster has been here since 1889 with women leading every step of the way. That means that this is, in fact, our second global pandemic. We have been in advocating for women’s empowerment since before women could vote — our organization was the first in Lancaster to offer voter registration and education in 1920, work that continues to this day. We have been steadfast in our work to counter racism since before the rights of Black Americans were codified. We pressed local hotels in Lancaster to allow Black delegates to our regional conference to use their facilities in the mid-1950s. We have been a voice for reproductive justice since before Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 and will continue to be that voice in its absence.

Our present is active. Last year we reached more than 8,000 Lancaster County residents with services including child care for working parents; counseling and support for victim/survivors of sexual abuse or assault; new career pathways for individuals in transition; training to learn more about equity and bias; support for parents struggling with court involvement with their families and dozens of individuals who reside in our Lime Street building. Every program we offer has a wait list and our list of partner agencies and donors is long.

Our future is just, because it is being built in partnership with you to respond to community needs. For us, that means a future in which victim survivors of abuse can heal from past trauma, and sexual assault is prevented entirely. We are expanding our Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center and adding a private, accessible entrance to better meet the needs we see. It means a future in which residents of our community have access to affordable housing, so we are working to add 16 units of low-income housing right here in our building by repurposing existing space and adding a full-size elevator. You can find examples of these important community responses all across Lancaster County, powered by our social sector.

As we await one of the largest investments in our community in recent history through the American Rescue Plan, our community has a profound opportunity to create lasting and just change if we focus on the needs of the most marginalized and leverage the unique power of the social sector to address these needs.

This is a future we all should want, because it’s a future bigger than ourselves. We center eliminating racism and empowering women — just as it says on the side of our building — because if we do this everyone will prosper, and our community’s future will be just.

I am proud to be part of YWCA Lancaster’s mission: a call that has endured for decades, and one that will continue until the mission is met. And, as I learned when I first started, we are not alone. I am proud to be in community with so many other local organizations working for emergent causes, and leaders of all levels who are working to make positive change. We value our community — our people — and will not stop advocating for their needs, or for their voice to be heard, to build a just future together.

YWCA Lancaster announces the election of Deborah Wilson Gadsden as the Chair of the Board of Directors.

“In this time of racial and social reckoning, I want to be on the right side of history, helping to lead the YWCA forward with equitable and sound solutions.” Deborah Wilson Gadsden.

Ms. Gadsden is a 47 year veteran of the child welfare arena in Pennsylvania. As a Training Specialist with Family Design Resources, she has recently focused her efforts on racial and social justice issues. She is a certified trainer in school and workplace bullying prevention, the University of Pittsburgh Child Welfare Resource Center and a member of the YWCA Lancaster Social Justice training team. She has served as a Board member since 2014. She was previously a member of the Executive Committee and the Women of Achievement Selection Committee. For the past several years she has led a very active Mission Committee of the Board where the work has focused on assuring the agency mission is evident and moving forward.

A Harrisburg, PA native, she and her family have lived in Lancaster County for the past 30 years. She and her husband, Nathan, have a blended family that includes five children, 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild. She relaxes by reading, volunteering, and crafting. She is also a member of the Lancaster Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. They live in Mount Joy, PA.

Ms. Gadsden follows Sheila O’Rourke as Chair of the Board. Additional Executive Committee selections were made at the December, 2020 Board meeting with Kesha Morant Williams and Shruti Sharma joining the Executive Committee. Current and continuing members also include Kathleen Bowers, Molly Ramos, Angela Rieck and Jennifer Reiner.

To see the entire list of YWCA Lancaster’s Board of Directors visit our Teams page.