We’d like to thank our Board Members for their time, talents, and commitment to The Center.

Executive Board

Deb Bookman, President

Debbie serves as as the Chester County Prothonotary. In 2005, she moved to Chester County with her daughters. Since then, she has served as a Coatesville City Councilmember At Large, Coatesville’s Parks and Rec Commission Member, Vice-President and Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the CYWA, and Council representative on Western Chester County Council of Governments. When she isn’t serving her community or solving problems, you can find her reading, singing, watching sports, or spending quality time with her family.

Deb Sahijiwani, Vice President

For over 25 years, Dr. Sahijwani has worked with children, adolescents and families of children concerned with various learning differences. She is a PA Licensed Psychologist. As a teacher, counselor and administrator, in both the private and public sector, she has been involved with students diagnosed with learning disabilities, ADHD, Tourette's Disorder, Asperger's Disorder and other factors affecting learning. Dr. S. has been involved with the Melton Center off and on since 2006. She is also a member of the Passport Rotary Club.

Evan Witmer, Treasurer

With over 15 years of banking experience and a passion for helping others, Evan joined the board in January of 2020 with a focus on providing guidance and assistance with financial matters. A graduate of Leadership Chester County, Evan understands the important role non-profit organizations play in providing services and resources for those who are underserved. Evan resides in Chester County with his wife and two children, and in his free time enjoys coaching youth sports, hiking, traveling, and anything basketball.


Jennifer Johnson, Secretary

Jennifer is a Marketing Manager with Ricoh USA where she also leads Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. She has 15 years of experience in Marketing and Communications and is a graduate of Temple University. Her passion and commitment to service and community started early on and has spanned her career, she continues to look for and create opportunities to get involved. Jennifer lives in West Chester with her husband and two young children. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors with her family.

Korey Bell

Dr. Koreem Bell recently returned to the Melton Center board of directors after serving two consecutive terms from 2008-2016. Born and raised in West Chester, Koreem currently works as a secondary school counselor for the West Chester Area School District. Dr. Bell earned his doctorate writing about the history of the West Chester Community Center. He is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and a member of St. Paul’s Baptist Church of West Chester.

Lisa Dorsey, Former Board President

In 2008, Lisa joined the board, and shortly after, she was elected President of the Board of Directors, and held the role until December 2020. During that time, Lisa assisted guiding the board and staff methodically through strategic and financial planning that has positioned the Melton Center for the future and as a beacon in the community. She is a West Chester native that grew up going to the West Chester Community Center as a young child in Head Start with Mrs. Williams through high school and Senior Pals with Mr. Bell. Lisa is Senior Director at FIS. In July 2020, she was appointed to West Chester Borough Council as council member of the 7th ward, where she will continue to serve and support the West Chester community.

Tamika Gallimore

Tamika Gallimore is an insurance agent at the Benner Insurance Agency LLC., in Strasburg, PA. She was born and raised in West Chester, PA and has worked in insurance for the past 30 years. Tamika has her Associate of Arts with a concentration in Business Fundamentals and is working towards her Bachelor of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University Of Phoenix. She is a mother of three and grandmother to three. She is making it her mission to educate everyone, but in particular people of color of the legacy and value of life insurance. Tamika is an avid reader and lover of football, even if the team happens to be the Cincinnati Bengals!

Glenn Fricke

Glenn has been a member of Chester County community for over 25 years. He served as the CEO in the non-profit social services field; taught special education classes; founded Second Chance, a consulting firm that worked with families with special needs children and at Community Foundation, where he opened over 50 group homes and vocational programs throughout 6 counties in Pennsylvania. His most recent career as CEO of Safe Harbor of Chester County, a non-profit homeless shelter extended over 10 years.

Kelly Jurs

Kelly is an Associate at the law firm Lamb McErlane, PC, located in West Chester where she focuses her practice in the areas of Real Estate, Business, and Municipal Finance. Prior to entering private practice, Kelly was an attorney in the Chester County Public Defender's Office for nearly 15 years. Kelly also serves on the Board of Directors of the Marshallton Conservation Trust, the West Bradford Township Historical Commission, and the West Bradford Open Space, Recreation and Environmental Resources Steering Committee. She is also active in the Chester County Bar Association and is a Member-Owner of the West Chester Cooperative.

Jonathan Long, Governance Chair

Jonathan is a partner at the law firm Buckley Brion McGuire & Morris LLP in West Chester. Outside of his activities with the Melton Center, Jonathan is active in the greater West Chester community, serving on the Comprehensive Plan and University Area Neighborhood Task Forces for the Borough of West Chester, the board of directors for the West Chester University Alumni Association, the West Chester Business Improvement District as well as the Chester County Bar Association.

Darryl McLain

Darryl is a West Chester native, and she was raised at the Melton Center since age 4, attending the pre-k program and took swimming and tennis lessons while growing up. She has been serving as Judge of Elections for Ward 2-East for over 25 years. A lover of music, particularly hymns, spirituals, and old school gospel She founded and directs 3 West Chester choirs. For over 20 years, Ms. McLain has been a tutor, educator and public speaker; mostly spreading the word about the truth of Black History and inventions, her passion is that our people know the truth, because “They are not teaching it to our children in the schools”. From 1970-1973 she worked at the West Chester Community Center’s office as secretary for Mr. Charles A. Melton and was on the original committee of re-naming the Community Center to the Charles A. Melton Arts & Education Center.

Alice Thomas

Ms. Alice has been a trailblazer in the West Chester community for decades. Born and raised in West Chester, she grew up at the Center, and has spent her life fighting for the rights of others. From 1978-2006, she worked at Henderson High School as a guidance counselor. She helped build a relationship between Henderson High School and the greater community. In 1978, Mrs. Thomas helped form the Black Student Union because there was a lack of minority leadership in the student government at that time. We've proudly called her a board member for forty years (on and off).

Not Pictured

Jean Newsome Larry Washington

Advisory Council

  • Irv Friedlander
  • Darryl McLain
  • Myrtle Paskins
  • Renee Washington
  • Hester Davenport
  • Joshua Carter

Additional Advisors

  • Sam Stretton 
  • Korey Bell