A safe place for victims of abuse and their children  
(815) 872-0087  

         Princeton, Illinois            

Freedom House Board of Directors
as of October 2017


Marshall Jones (Henry Co)


Diana Whitney (Henry Co)

Vice President

Shelley Giesen (Bureau Co)

Secretary / Treasurer
Heartland Bank and Trust


Paula Evans (Henry Co)

Retired Educator

Sheila Rumbold (Stark Co)

Business Owner

Christian Cyr (Putnam Co)

Owner, Cyr Financial

Jim Padilla (Henry Co)

Sheriff (Ret.), Henry County

Rev. Mark Harkness (Henry Co)

Pastor, Walnut United Methodist Church

Kevin Doyle (Putnam Co)

Sheriff, Putnam County 

Janice Verbeke (Henry Co)

Director of Human Resources

Martin Engineering

Executive Director

  Michael Zerneck

Michael was appointed Executive Director by the Board of Directors in May 2016.

Previously, he was the Associate Director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Peoria County, with responsibility for grants, major gifts, marketing, training, and staff and volunteer supervision. Michael began his association with CASA as a volunteer Special Advocate for abused and neglected children in 2010, and joined the staff of CASA in 2013 as an Advocate Supervisor.

Before joining CASA, Michael spent the bulk of his career in continuing medical education, most recently as Co-Founder, Board Chairman, and CEO of NCM Publishers Inc. and NCM Nexus Inc. (1987-2012), and before that as President of Park Row Publishers Inc., a division of John Wiley & Sons (1982-1987).

He began his career as a science writer at Science & Medicine Publishing Company and later moved into creative direction at Biomedical Information Corporation. He left there to launch his first medical education company, Projects in Medicine LP.

His diverse 30-year portfolio of work includes numerous award-winning patient education and advocacy programs in the fields of HIV/AIDS, oncology, cardiovascular disease, neurology, and psychiatry, produced in concert with medical schools, hospitals, and patient advocacy groups.

Michael served on the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn (NY) Public Library Foundation (1999-2004), the fourth-largest library system in the US, and Artecel Sciences Inc. in Durham, NC (1999-2006), a biotechnology company involved in stem-cell research, and has advised numerous healthcare education and advocacy organizations both in the US and abroad.