Meet the New CAMP Rehoboth
The new year has brought new ideas, fresh energies, and broader expertise to the CAMP Rehoboth Board of Directors. Each of these new board members has already made extensive contributions to our community, and we welcome their increased commitment serving in this vital role and giving so generously of their time.
Amanda Mahony Albanese is an ally both at work and through her volunteer endeavors. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health who specializes in working with the LGBTQ+ population and with trauma. She has traveled overseas as a delegate with the World Federation of Mental Health. Prior to her work as a mental health clinician, Amanda was a junior board member and communications manager for a nonprofit that served survivors of domestic violence in Newport, Rhode Island. Amanda has also worked as a digital marketer and is a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher.
Amanda came to know CAMP Rehoboth through her occupation. “I work with LGBTQ clients in my mental health practice,” she says, “and often refer young patients to CAMP’s youth programs.” She first joined the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Development Committee but hoped to serve on the board from the beginning. She enjoys the sense of community at CAMP and the dedication of the board members. “They are passionate people, who are committed to the organization and the community and are inspiring to be with.”
Serving on that committee has given Amanda the opportunity to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community while utilizing her marketing and development skills, which she was not using in her mental health career. Amanda hopes to help expand CAMP’s mental health advocacy and develop training programs for health care providers and clinicians. She says that the systems in place and ways in which LGBTQ+ patients are served are not always as inclusive as they could be, but education and training can help correct that.
Amanda recently married Alexander Albanese who, along with his family, is also involved in serving the communities of Eastern Sussex County. In her free time, she enjoys antiquing with Alex, going to the beach with family, or gathering with friends at her book club. As much as she likes visiting the mountains in New York where her family lives, she is ready to embrace her new role on the CAMP Rehoboth board. “It’s exciting to sit on a strong board,” she says, and points toward CAMP’s strong strategic vision and the positivity of the other board members. “There is so much opportunity to ensure this rapidly growing community remains as inclusive as possible.” ▼
– CAMP is –
Inspiring, Equality, Fair, Fun
– Fun Facts About Amanda –
She’s an avid snowboarder
She has led sessions in Grateful Dead yoga
She’s a seasoned bartender who filled in when a bartender was needed at SUNFESTIVAL ‘22.
Lewis Dawley This year is Lewis Dawley’s 30-year anniversary with Rehoboth Beach, having first rented a place on Henlopen Avenue with a group of friends in 1993. (He met his now-husband, Greg, the following year.) He retired in 2020, after a 40-year career in the hospitality industry, primarily with Marriott International. Among his accomplishments were developing a new reservation system that generated over $25M in new revenue. During this period, he traveled extensively and held several leadership positions both within individual hotels and in the company’s corporate office. Through visiting other countries and experiencing other cultures, he learned how to listen and observe, skills that are essential when working in a team setting.
Lewis got involved in CAMP Rehoboth through the annual event now known as SUNFESTIVAL and became more involved after moving to Rehoboth full time. For the past two years he has served on the SUNFESTIVAL committee. As he learned more about CAMP and its services, he became interested in getting involved and supporting the organization. He loves the way CAMP Rehoboth supports the community. “They truly deliver in so many different areas and a lot of people just don’t know that if they’re not involved.”
Lewis sees his contributions at CAMP as an extension of his work in the hospitality field. “I really had been in service my entire life, and I wanted to do something in service because that motivates me.” After retirement, he asked himself what his priorities should be and how he wanted to spend his time. The two areas that meant the most to him were Habitat for Humanity (he is now on the board of the Sussex County group) and CAMP Rehoboth. “I have a servant’s heart,” he explains.
Being a CAMP Rehoboth board member provides more ways to serve. He was impressed with CAMP’s multiyear plan and the different areas of focus, especially the four pillars (health and wellness, arts and culture, advocacy and education, and community engagement). He’s looking forward to supporting development and governance activities and is eager to see the strategic vision become a reality. “I’m excited to be part of that journey,” he says. ▼
– CAMP is –
Community, Family, Caring
– Fun Facts About Lewis –
He once worked as a hotel bellman
He has been to six continents and traveled around the world twice
He owns 200+ vinyl records, including the original Fleetwood Mac albums.
Jenn Harpel Being a top-level lacrosse player isn’t a requirement for becoming a CAMP Rehoboth board member, but Jenn Harpel would certainly qualify, having played on the United States Women’s Lacrosse Team. And that’s not the only sport she likes. “As long as there’s competition, I’m in,” she says with a laugh. After retiring from her career in sports, Jenn moved to Rehoboth and began a new career. She is now a financial advisor and financial planning specialist as a vice president for Morgan Stanley.
Jenn got involved with CAMP Rehoboth about 20 years ago, when she volunteered for Women’s FEST. She served as chair of the FEST committee for several years and stayed on the planning committee for several years beyond that. She is now a legacy sponsor for Women’s FEST. Jenn founded CAMP Families, a support group for gay parents and their children. (Jenn and her spouse, Katie, have a son, Jason Harpel-Rickards.) Her financial expertise has also come in handy: she is currently serving as CAMP’s interim treasurer.
Jenn likes that CAMP Rehoboth is the hub of the LGBTQ+ community in Rehoboth. “It feels as though you have an organization that is supporting your lifestyle and fighting for equality and justice,” she says. “It’s the center of the action around here.” She originally was inspired by Murray Archibald and Steve Elkins to make a larger commitment, which led to her taking a position on the board of CAMP Rehoboth. “I like the direction it’s going in and thought that I could give back in a different capacity,” she explains.
Jenn’s goal as a board member is to help streamline the budget and make it easier for volunteers to create budgets and report needs. CAMP Rehoboth has many programs, activities, and events, and she wants to make sure there’s a level of consistency across committees and across budget requests.
Although it might be a stretch to make comparisons between coaching a lacrosse team and guiding committee heads through the budgeting process, Jenn’s skills will be valuable as CAMP continues to expand its reach. “I think CAMP has the ability to grow and continue to serve as a model for other communities,” she says, “and maybe help other communities build something like CAMP.” ▼
– CAMP is –
Pride, Support, Advocacy
– Fun Facts About Jenn –
She loves rainy days
She’s a coin collector
She’s a history buff who has over 1,000 glass-plate historical photos
Teri Seaton When Teri Seaton says, “CAMP is my life right now,” she’s not kidding. She served as co-chair for Women’s FEST last year and has stepped up again for 2023. She was also co-chair of the entertainment subcommittee for SUNFESTIVAL 2022 and is president of CAMP Rehoboth’s theater productions. To all this she can now add “board member.”
Teri worked for the retail division of global investment firm KKR & Co. Inc. for 28 years, helping turn struggling companies around. Her strengths are in management and operations, whether it’s bringing a low-performing company up to standards or running a CAMP Rehoboth theatrical production. In addition to her work with CAMP, she volunteers with the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, Clear Space Theatre Company, Possum Point Players, the food ministry at Epworth United Methodist Church, and the Brandywine Valley SPCA. (She has a soft spot for rescue animals and currently shares her home with two dogs and two cats.)
Teri moved to Delaware in 2007 and began volunteering for CAMP Rehoboth in 2013 after becoming aware of the organization during visits to the beach. She really got involved when the theater program started, having long had an interest in the performing arts, though she prefers being behind the scenes to appearing onstage.
As for her new role at CAMP, Teri says “I’ve been on boards for businesses but never served on a board for a charitable organization.” That means she’s not yet sure what the best fit for her will be, but she looks forward to contributing to development efforts and to helping build membership and plan events, all activities that are clearly in her wheelhouse.
What she is sure of is her commitment to CAMP Rehoboth. She loves the sense of unity and inclusiveness at CAMP. “I feel safe,” she says. Teri also likes that CAMP is so active in the community. “There’s always something going on.”
Like her fellow new board members, Teri likes CAMP Rehoboth’s vision statement and the direction CAMP is heading. She welcomes the challenge of expanding CAMP’s reach. “Growth in the community, I think, is what we look forward to the most—bringing more events and opportunities…building community involvement, youth programs; there’s a lot coming up.” ▼
– CAMP is –
Fun, Unity, Respect, Welcoming, Safe Space
– Fun Facts About Teri –
She’s an avid video gamer
She started reading law books at age 13
She plays multiple musical instruments, including the tenor sax