Lisa Caruthers, Director a lifelong resident of Luzerne County, began her career with The Salvation Army in 2005. Lisa graduated with a Master’s in Social Work from Temple University and additionally holds degrees in Education as well as Professional Studies. Lisa’s prior experience includes work with juvenile sexual offenders and at-risk juvenile populations, as well as adjunct instruction/field instruction at our local community college. The Salvation Army’s mission is aligned with Lisa’s personal and professional beliefs, serving a community using grace and second chances to combat despair and shattered lives. “Doing the most good” is much more than a slogan for her, but rather, a way of life. Lisa’s passion is empowerment; using a strengths-based perspective coupled with compassion and a genuine human regard to bring about change. Where there is a need, she will serve.
Mark Jacukowicz has been a Salvationist since 2012. He felt the need to become a member of a community. He then began coming to Sunday service and decided to become a senior soldier. Once he finished his classes, he began volunteering at our Corps daily. Mark is very active in our Bible Study, Men’s Fellowship, and our annual Kettle drive. 8 years later, Mark has shown up Monday through Friday, in addition to Sundays. Never missing a day. He runs our food pantry, as well as responds when there is a disaster and a need for our canteen services. He is dedicated and willing to serve. He goes above and beyond, doing whatever is asked of him, with a smile!
William Famea grew up in the Salvation Army, coming to the Wilkes Barre Corps for his dedication after being born. Billy was a junior solider and very active within the Salvation Army, coming with his grandmother for many years. In 2014 Billy became a volunteer, assisting daily. He participates in our Bible Study, Men’s Fellowship, our annual Kettle drive, EDS, and became a senior solider in 2015. Billy is a hard worker, always willing to be of assistance.
Garrett Gagliardi was born and raised in Wilkes-Barre and has worked as a Resident Advisor at the Kirby House since May of 2019. He joined the KFH team because he had a great respect for the work of the Salvation Army and wanted to help combat homelessness in his community. Garrett graduated from Coughlin High School and currently attends Wilkes University. He will graduate this spring with a degree in accounting.
Ceil Golightly, Bookkeeper was born into a family of Salvationist parents. As a young adult, Ceil completed 1 semester of college, 2 years of training school, spent 3 years as an Officer, and then worked in a local bank before taking a position at The Salvation Army in Wilkes-Barre as a bookkeeper. Ceil has been employed with The Salvation Army since September 1981. She has also been a church member since birth, being dedicated to God as a child in Corry, Pennsylvania. Ceil strives to follow Colossians 3:23 NIV “Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Henry Seersma, Maintenance was a painting apprentice instructor for a local union. He took his class over to the Salvation Army Corps in Norristown Pa. to do some hands-on training. Henry states he looked around the Corps and saw these people who had fallen on hard times. He felt so sorry for them. His ego was so large. He had plenty of money and a really nice house in the country. He bought a new truck every 3 years. Then life as he knew it fell apart. His wife at the time got very sick, his son and daughter followed suit. He held everything in and didn’t share his dilemma with anyone. He exploded and ended up being transported to a psych ward. When released from the ward he started to drink and then lost his job, truck, house and his wife divorced him. His children went to live with family members. His life ended as he knew it and he became suicidal. He ended up at the Salvation Army in Nov. 1998. They loved him, he states, until he was able to love himself. God had a sense of humor, Henry feels. He felt sorry for those people who had fallen on hard times and now he became one. He was saved and loved by the Salvation Army. Ever since that day he has been trying to give back all the love he had received.
Jennifer Carey is a Residential Advisor for the Salvation Army Family Kirby House. Jennifer found her passion of helping people during her first Human Services position as a Youth Service Specialist at ResCare Workforce Services. She has gone on to be of service for at-risk and adjudicated youth all over Luzerne and Lackawanna county by providing clients assistance with job seeking skills, family skills, and help with overcoming addiction. She has also worked as an Assistant Counselor in outpatient drug and alcohol facilities, a Clinical Assistant at a Juvenile Detention Center and is an accomplished Group Therapy Facilitator. She has specialized training in trauma therapy, drug and alcohol recovery therapy and SMART recovery therapy. Jennifer recently enrolled into a Bachelor's Degree Program to become a Licensed Therapist. Jennifer is happily married with 3 children and 2 stepchildren, 2 dogs and 2 cats. She prides herself in excelling in her career and being the best mother she can be. She has been free from drugs and alcohol for 7 years, and uses her life experience to lead, help and guide others on the road to recovery and success.
Jean Marie Jacukowicz has been coming to The Salvation Army since 2012. She is a senior solider, actively participates in Bible Study, Women’s group, and volunteers her time weekly cleaning the Corps and assisting with food bank. Jean Marie likes to do our landscaping; cutting the grass and trimming the hedges. Jean Marie enjoys coming to our Corps because she loves to serve. She also actively assists with our annual Kettle drive as well as emergency disaster services.
Jessica Pardo started working as the Case Worker at Kirby Family House in August of 2015. Ms. Pardo holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Psychology with minors in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Wilkes-Barre’s own local, King’s College. After graduating college, she worked as a counselor with different populations such as at-risk youth and adolescence with mental health disorders and provided case management to the intellectually disabled adults in the criminal justice system and currently, with the homeless population. Working at the Salvation Army has allowed her to utilize her prior experience to help the extensive array of clients served and expand her knowledge in community resources and outreach skills. Ms. Pardo has a passion for helping and guiding others that are experiencing difficult times and strives to ensure clients achieve their goals and successful completion of the Transitional Living Program. Currently, she is attending Colorado State Global Campus to earn a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership in order to go beyond serving clients and to gain the fundamental knowledge of business to help achieve her goal of career advancement.
Cathy Talerico is a resident of Pittston. She enjoys being employed by The Salvation Army as she loves helping. She’s always known The Salvation Army to be a worthwhile organization and believes in our mission. Before becoming employed with our agency, Cathy worked in a nursing facility as an Activities Assistant. In her spare time, you can find her taking her grandchildren to local restaurants.
Deidra Lamont has been working with The Salvation Army as a Resident Advisor since June 2020. She feels humbled, being able to help those in need, feeling adamant that everyone at some point needs a helping hand. She feels it is important to refrain from being judgmental and instead, offer support. She loves to bake with the children living in our housing program and is always coming up with creative ideas.
Roberta Pocceschi came to us as an intern in 2019. She graduated Luzerne County Community College with an Associates Degree in Human Services. Prior to her education, she was a fabrication specialist. Roberta wanted to begin a career in Social Work because she felt she could make a difference in the lives of those in needs. After completion of her internship, The Salvation Army was able to offer her employment as a temporary employee. Roberta feels as though her own personal life experiences allow her to have empathy for others without judgement.
Lieutenants Ismael and Irseris Ortiz
Lieutenants Ismael & Irseris Ortiz are newly commissioned Officers of The Salvation Army, whose first assignment is leading the Army's Wilkes-Barre Corps in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Before commencing their studies at The Salvation Army's College for Officer Training in New York in 2018, the Ortiz's served in the York Temple Corps in York, Pennsylvania for ten years. While at York Temple, Ismael & Irseris were active local Officers who served the youth group, men's club, women's ministry, and pastoral care council. The new Lieutenants have a passion for helping their community and love to see the Lord transform lives. They are both currently working on bachelor’s degrees in ministry administration at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.