Meet the Team Behind the Emerald Foundation
At Emerald, we are proud to have wonderful team members that are able to work with each initiative and event with the utmost care and attention.
Our Emerald Foundation Team
Joseph E. Besecker
Founder, President, and CEO Emerald Asset Management and Emerald Foundation
With tenacity and vision as his tools, Joe Besecker (Jeb) founded both Emerald Asset Management and Emerald Foundation. He built Emerald Asset Management from a start-up investment to a diversified asset management firm with over $5 billion under management today. That same drive for growth led Jeb to found Emerald Foundation, which to date, has distributed around $400,000 to 70-plus charities. Emerald Foundation is here where Jeb can lead the way for traditional non-profit programs as well as define cutting edge non-profit enterprises such as the Emerald Esports Initiative.
Jeb has served as a National Trustee and Past President of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and as a board member of the Boys and Girls Club (Lancaster, PA). Under his leadership Emerald Asset Management was named the Corporate Citizen of the Year in 2005 by the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal. He has received numerous community and national awards including the Lighting the Way annual award from Merakey.
Interim Executive Director, Emerald Foundation
Martha comes to the Emerald Foundation with a diverse background of project management and problem-solving skills. With a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University, Martha approaches each project with a unique, creative perspective. Her strong appreciation of the arts and humanities gives Martha the inspiration needed as the point person for the Emerging Artist Series. She has served on the board of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County and is currently on the board of the Emerald Foundation.
Residing in Lititz, Martha lives with her husband, four very active children, a menagerie of dogs, cats, fish and an occasional horse. When not tending their 10-acre property, Martha loves a good book or binge watching a Netflix series with one of her children. She also maintains a design studio from where, on occasion, she consults.
Motivated by the impact that a diverse and equitable community brings, Rachel enthusiastically leads the Emerald Foundation Esports Team as they encourage students to embrace their potential through their passion of gaming. As a mother of two school aged daughters, she is inspired by the testimonials and scholastic results that reflect an increase in student engagement when esports is added to their curriculum.
Rachel’s community experience includes leadership roles with Lancaster Recreation Commission, Red Rose Film Festival, as well as Leadership Lancaster’s 2020 Core Class.
Lisa W. Dichter
Lisa plays an integral role in day-to-day operations of Emerald’s Leola headquarters. She handles everything from IT to human resources to digital marketing. Lisa has been a crucial part of Emerald’s inner workings since the day it began and continues to ensure the organization runs like a well-oiled machine.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from American University and prior to joining Emerald, she was employed at Conestoga Title Insurance Co., holding a variety of positions, most recently as VP of Administration.
Assistant Education Director, Access to Opportunities After School Program
With a passion for equipping individuals, Mollie assists in ensuring Emerald is providing the best resources available to the community. She finds it extremely important that all members of the community are aware of the resources available to them and to have an outlet through which they are able to more easily access these resources.
Mollie obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Millersville University and has worked in the human services field supporting adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities as well as mental health diagnoses. Her main emphasis at Emerald is the Access to Opportunities After-School Program.
Esports Event Coordinator
Chris Frei serves as the Esports Event Coordinator, coordinating and producing Esports events online and offline for students. His innovative and creative mind allow Chris to analyze trends and collect data within the Esports industry to create competitions that are enjoyable for both casual and intense competitors.
Chris is an Indiana University of Pennsylvania Alumni who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications Media with a minor in Journalism & Public Relations. He’s passionate about the industry and loves seeing students come together at events.
Education Director, Access to Opportunities After School Program
As the Education Director for the Access to Opportunities After-School Program, Bob is charged with ensuring the Access to Opportunities is as effective as it can be. Both Bob and this program are dedicated to providing low-income students with the tools needed to not just survive school, but thrive.
Bob retired from 35 years in public education which included 11 years teaching of social studies in the Eastern York and Penn Manor School District and 24 years as a school administrator. Those 24 years included serving as an assistant middle school and high school principal in the Penn Manor School District and 19 years as the principal at Conestoga Valley Middle School.
Building/Operations Director, Rise 'N Shine Director, Manager of Facility Room Rentals
As Building/Operations Director for the Emerald Foundation, Suzy has a wide range of responsibilities. She handles all room and property rentals with the exception of ballroom rental. She manages maintenance staff, janitorial staff, coordinates all building inquiries from tenants, visitors, and contractors and contributes to writing Policy, Procedure and Safety Guidelines for the Foundation. As part of the Rise ‘N Shine Initiative, she manages volunteers from intellectually disabled adult communities who provide cleaning, gardening, and Autumn’s Food Pantry assistance.
Suzy has a Bachelor of Science from Duquesne University with a major in Professional Studies, Leadership and Communication. She also holds an Associate in Arts Degree in Business Administration from Harrisburg Area Community College. She comes to the Emerald Foundation with respected leadership and management experience and has worked in the behavioral health, legal, accounting, private business and hospitality fields. She has significant experience in writing Policy and Procedure and Safety Manuals and has managed (3) businesses from build-out to startup as well as done private business consulting.
Chief Esports Strategist
Not only is Terry an integral party of the Esports operations at Emerald, but she also is the Founder and CEO of The Pivotal Group, a consulting firm based right here in Lancaster. This group was founded with a passion to empower individuals and organizations to embrace and ignite their potential. Terry brings that same tenacity and energy to Emerald, as she oversees the strategy to bring the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) platform to high schools and community organizations on the east coast.
Throughout her career, Terry has held leadership positions with local and national organizations in both the private and not-for-profit sectors creating impactful mission-based programming and innovative development opportunities. She currently serves on the President’s Leadership Council at Elizabethtown College and is a founding member of the Lancaster County STEM Alliance Advisory Board where she chairs the Community-based Learning Initiative.
Facilitator, Access to Opportunities After School Program
Her passion for the community brought Hilary to Emerald in a volunteer capacity, where she immediately fell in love with the program, its vision, and the children it serves. When the opportunity arose to become a more permanent fixture in the program, Hilary jumped on it.
Her goals while working with kids throughout the school year, are to encourage them to be the incredible humans that they already are. Some of the activities that Hilary facilitates are yoga practices, physical games and activities, mindful minutes, and a girls-only empowerment group. Hilary wholeheartedly believes that these children truly are the future of our community and is excited to support them in any way possible.
Program Facilitator, Access to Opportunities After School Program
Currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in psychology, Alexis uses her communication and insightful people skills as the Program Facilitator, working with all program participants. She loves helping to create a safe and enjoyable environment for children to be a part of.
Alexis has experience working with elderly and physically disabled individuals, in a group home setting as well as an in-home setting. She is so passionate about Emerald’s program and making it successful, which drives her each and every day. Alexis is proud to be a part of programs that help students grow educationally, socially, and individually.
James S. Roussel
Esports Program Coordinator
Passionate about providing opportunities for students to collaborate, learn, and grow through Esports, James works to promote the North America Scholastic Esports Federation program (NASEF) on the east coast. His goal with this initiative is to develop services that help connect low-income students and provide them with new, unique opportunities.
He has previously worked for United Way of Lancaster County to facilitate a joint partnership between the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) and Lancaster County’s largest anti-poverty organization, Community Action Partnership.
After hanging up the delivery van keys at Neffsville Flower Shoppe, Kathy hoped to find a job that would welcome a mature, white-haired lady. After months of searching and praying, Kathy found her place at Emerald. Kathy’s many skills perfectly matched the opening at Emerald and she’s been an integral part of the operations ever since.
Kathy’s original plan was to never work outside the home since she so enjoyed raising her two sons, Mike and Tim, along with other household duties during a 48-year marriage to her husband, Bob. But, she’s beyond happy to have a found a career perfect for her! Kathy loves the saying “Nothing is ever wasted,” which definitely applies to her role at Emerald.
Esports Communications and Public Relations Coordinator
Brianna’s passion for the program and wonderful people skills allow her to effectively promote the Esports program in high schools, middle schools, and community organizations around the east coast. She works closely with NASEF communications and implementation teams to promote the brand and coordinate promotions by serving as the Emerald Foundation's east coast representative.
With a Bachelor’s in Communications and a concentration in Public Relations from Elizabethtown College, Brianna actively implements her communication skills throughout the organization. She is also charged with identifying Esports internship opportunities at the Emerald Foundation and managing participating students.
Leraunt J. van Loon
Director of Events, Manager, Ballroom Rentals and Food Pantry
As an independent contractor, Leraunt is responsible for all ballroom event rentals and is the supervisor in charge of the food pantry operation. His role is crucial to keeping both services organized and running so Emerald can meet and exceed its impact goals.
Leraunt has extensive experience in creative event planning and provides exceptionally attentive personal service to his clientele, whether it’s a gala or a birthday party. He cares deeply about the individuals experience and values the people above all else.
Become a Team Member
Get in touch to learn more about our staff, find out about job opportunities, or to find out ways how you can get involved.