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

         Princeton, Illinois            

Freedom House Board of Directors
as of July 2017


Marshall Jones (Henry County)

Diana Whitney (Henry County)

Vice President
Shelley Giesen (Bureau County)
Secretary / Treasurer
Heartland Bank and Trust
Paula Evans (Rep. Henry County)   Educator

Bette Themanson (Rep. Henry County)   Retired Nursing Supervisor

Christian Cyr (Rep. Putnam Co) Financial Advisor  Cyr Financial

Jim Padilla (Rep. Henry County)  Sheriff, Henry County

Rev. Mark Harkness (Rep. Henry Co)
Pastor Walnut United Methodist Church
Julie Hubbard (Rep. Marshall County)
Business Owner

Janice Verbeke (Rep. Henry County)
Director of Human Resources

Executive Director

  Michael Zerneck

          Michael Zerneck was appointed Executive Director of Freedom House by the Board of Directors on May 16, 2016.

          Previously, Michael 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).

          Michael 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.