Board Members

The Beacon Place Board of Directors is a group of highly talented and committed individuals with a passion to support the children and families in the local community. It is their goal to ensure that Beacon Place stays financially strong, is well supported and connected to resources, and is positioned to deliver outstanding  programs and services that ensure the children and families in our area truly see a path toward a brighter tomorrow. As Beacon Place grows, our need for additional board members grows as well. If you are interested in learning more about potential Board of Director opportunities, please contact

Paul Barrett, Board Secretary

Paul Barrett joined the Beacon Place Board of Directors in April 2016 because he connected with the work that Beacon Place was doing in the local community, and wanted to use his leadership expertise to help a growing not-for-profit move from creation to sustainability.

He currently is responsible for strategy and corporate development at North American Corporation. Prior to North American he has been an executive with several Fortune 500, mid-size, and start-up companies including Chief Operating Officer – Industrial and Automotive at Essendant, Inc. and  President of Lagasse, Inc.

In addition to his executive roles, Paul was Chair of Essendant’s Enterprise Risk Management Committee and Board member of their 47 council Foundation.  From 2011 to 2014 he was an officer of the Lake Forest High School Booster’s.

Paul has a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Eastern Michigan University. Paul, originally from Birmingham, MI, has resided with his wife Sue, and their two boy’s Andrew (Drew) and Matthew (Matt) in Lake Forest, Il  since 1998. 

kevin bishopKevin Bishop, President, Board of Directors

Kevin Bishop joined the Beacon Place Board of Directors in January of 2016 and is currently serving a three year term. He joined the board of Beacon Place in January 2016 having been introduced to the program through a family member who is an active volunteer in their programs.

Kevin recently served as Corporate Vice-President and lead a significant global operational group within PAREXEL Informatics. He began his career as a pre-clinical and clinical research scientist in the United Kingdom with various pharmaceutical companies before moving to the US in 1999 with ClinPhone PLC to lead the development of their US operations. Currently Kevin is a Global Vice-President at Bioclinica Inc.

He graduated from the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and Pharmacology. Kevin and his wife Morag have one son and live in Lake Forest, Il.

Robert Dodd, DirectorRobert Dodd

Robert “Bob” Dodd joined the Beacon Place Board of Directors in January of 2016 and is currently serving a three year term. Bob has a deep commitment to the Waukegan community and he and his family began volunteering at Beacon Place in 2015.

Bob is currently the Business Department Chair for the College of Lake County (CLC), Grayslake, IL where he has been teaching full time since 2008.

Prior to his tenure at CLC, Bob served in a variety of senior management roles at Hewitt Associates with more than 30 years in business management and management consulting. Bob also served as the President of the Board of the Hewitt Associates Foundation until 2005.

He has a A.S. from the College of Lake County, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Iowa, and a Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University. He and his wife Kathy have two daughters and reside in Wilmette, IL.

barb lafastoBarbara LaFasto, Executive Director

Barbara LaFasto, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Illinois University and a Master of Science in Labor and Industrial Relations from Loyola University. Barbara has more than 25 years of experience in Human Resources and Compensation Management, working at Rust-Oleum, Baxter Healthcare and Hewitt Associates, before retiring in 2007.

Barbara first fell in love with volunteering while in college and her passion for assisting the hungry and the homeless led Barbara to a local food pantry where she volunteered for more than five years after her retirement.

In 2012, as a founding member of Beacon Place, Barbara was excited to join a group of dedicated volunteers that wanted to do more for the children and families in Waukegan.   Barbara has assisted in developing and coordinating the Summer Lunch and Backpack program, and the Teens/Tweens programs at Beacon Place. She has also held several board positions and began serving as the Executive Director in 2016.

Barbara and her husband Frank have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren and reside in Lake Forest, IL and Littleton, CO.

mary ellen pattonMary Ellen Patton, Director

Mary Ellen Patton joined the Beacon Place Board of Directors in January of 2016 and is currently serving a three year term. Mary Ellen previously served as President of the Parents Association at Lake Forest Academy. Among many other school, church, and community volunteer roles, she worked extensively in fundraising for Ragdale, the artist in residence community in Lake Forest, and co-chaired their Gala benefit for several years.

Mary Ellen has an extensive background in facilities planning and construction management from her 14 year career in the industry. She received a BS in Communication Disorders from St. Louis University in 1981 and has a strong commitment to organizations that focus on education and academic support. Mary Ellen and her husband Don have two children and live in Lake Bluff, Illinois.

robin powersRobin Powers, Vice President and Nominating Committee Chair

Robin Powers officially joined the Beacon Place Board of Directors in January of 2016 after spending 7 months as an interim board member and is currently serving a three year term. Robin is also currently serving as Divisional Vice President, Global Commercial Excellence: Abbott Diagnostics following a successful career at Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

In a career of more than 20 years in sales, operations, marketing, managed markets, and project management in the pharmaceutical industry, including working for Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc as well as TAP Pharmaceutical Products. Robin graduated from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Marketing. She began volunteering at Beacon Place in 2014 through a commitment to the North Chicago and Waukegan Community. Robin and her husband John have two children and live in Lake Forest, Il.

peggy talbotMargaret Talbot, Board Treasurer

Margaret “Peggy” Talbot,  graduated from the University of Dayton in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a major in Marketing.

She began her career as a buyer for a midwestern division of Federated Department Stores in Cincinnati, Ohio and then relocated to Chicago, spending more than 10 years working in various positions at Northern Trust Bank. In her most recent position at Northern Trust, Talbot was Vice President of Global Custody Product Development. She then left Northern Trust, choosing to be a full-time mother and dedicating herself to volunteer efforts in her local community.

She has served in various volunteer capacities within school, church, and community groups, but began a focus on the needy in Waukegan and North Chicago in 2009 through her volunteer work at a local food pantry. Peggy was a part of a core group of volunteers who founded Beacon Place in 2012 and has served in a variety of volunteer and board roles since that time. Peggy and her husband Charlie have 4 sons and reside in Lake Forest, IL.