Governing Board for Nonprofit Devoted to Ending Homelessness – One Family at a Time – Enhanced with the Additions of Mona Reiser Armstrong, Stephen Emert and Cathe Reams
Duluth, Ga., January 18, 2021 – For the last 31 years, Rainbow Village has thrived on the belief that “it takes a village.” In order to pursue its mission to provide help, hope, housing and healing to families facing homelessness in North Metro Atlanta, the nonprofit has assembled a steadfast staff, a devoted group of volunteers, and an extensive collection of corporate, community and faith partners. Working tirelessly behind the scenes to govern the organization, Rainbow Village’s Board of Directors is made up of a diverse and dedicated collection of some of Metro Atlanta’s most notable leaders. Rainbow Village is proud today to announce the addition of three more – Steve Emert, Mona Reiser Armstrong and Cathe Reams.
As Managing Partner of Emert Law Firm, Steve is proud to offer real estate closings among his practice areas. Often involved in the sale and purchase of homes, he is accustomed to helping people who have one to two homes. He believes that no one in this country should ever be homeless and that every American should have their basic needs met. Having been involved in two of Rainbow Village’s biggest annual fundraisers in the past – the We Are Family Benefit Gala and Second Chance Golf Classic – he was impressed with the nonprofit’s programming designed to move families experiencing homelessness from a state of dependency to self-sufficiency. When invited to join the board by friend and fellow member, Paul Culbreth, and Rainbow Village CEO, Melanie Conner, he didn’t hesitate to join the fold and hopes to bring something of value to the organization and the families it serves. In addition to his service on the Rainbow Village board, he is also honored to serve on the boards for Heirborn Servants and Life Radio Ministries. Steve has lived in Gwinnett County since 1989. He and his wife Katie – a former Gwinnett County school teacher – have two children and attend 12 Stone. When he’s not practicing law or attending board meetings, you will find him outdoors – mountain climbing, golfing or skiing.
Mona Reiser Armstrong
In her role as COO of Access Education Holding Corporation – a company that owns and runs a collection of beauty and wellness schools – Mona witnessed the impact of homelessness firsthand. More than one of her students found themselves homeless but continued to come to school despite living out of their cars, couch surfing with friends or spending the night at homeless shelters. She was always impressed by their desire to finish their education and get licensed so they could “right and begin to steer their ships”. She was always saddened when some had to withdraw due to no longer having a roof over their head or a support system at their back. Introduced to Rainbow Village by friend and fellow board member, Michelle Livingstone, Mona found that the nonprofit’s mission and vision really resonated with her and fulfilled her desire to support an organization that focuses on homelessness. She believes that when a person has a roof over their head, that most basic of needs are being met along with the help and resources they need, soon follows hope, a sense of healing and the ability to see beyond the current day. She hopes to leverage the lessons learned during her 30 years of operational/logistical/supply chain experience to the benefit of Rainbow Village. In her free time, Mona loves photography, floral arranging and baking the best baklava in the world.
As Communications Director for Siemens USA – a longtime Corporate Partner to Rainbow Village – Cathe has been intimately familiar with the nonprofit for years. She volunteered – both as part of a corporate effort and in her free time with her husband, Mark Reams. She readied apartments for incoming families, took part in holiday events and led a professional development series for adult residents called The Brand of You. She was first asked to serve on the Rainbow Village board in 2015 and served two terms. During her first turn on the board, she supported the Communications and Marketing activities of Rainbow Village and began her service on the Gala Committee. When asked why she chose to return to the board and why homelessness is such an important issue to her, she stated, “For me it was about those who are oft referred to as the “hidden” homeless. Those families working below a living wage that have created a patchwork of temporary housing through their church, family and friends. Those amazingly resilient parents are likely the same people I encounter at the grocery store, gas station, church and school – but I would never know because they find a way to get through each day with such grace. Finding a way to help these families really inspired me. It’s a fairly narrow segment of the entirety of the homeless issue but it’s a segment I felt I could impact. The Board of Directors is made up of great folks with incredible networks and vast talents. What we need to do is find our space in this new world to make the biggest difference for the most folks we can, and I’m thrilled to work side-by-side with my Board colleagues to help figure that out.” A master at taking on projects, this University of Alabama grad has been married to her electrical engineer husband for 31 years and is proud to be considered “Best Auntie” to seven extraordinary godchildren.
“We are truly blessed with the additions of Cathe, Mona and Steve to our Board of Directors,” said Melanie Conner, CEO of Rainbow Village. “Each of them brings a special brand of experience and enthusiasm to the group. Last year marked the 30th Anniversary of our organization. I am filled with such hope and excitement over what the future holds for Rainbow Village and the families we serve thanks to the support we receive from a wonderful collection of individuals I am not only honored to call our board members, but also devoted members of our ‘village.’”
To learn more about Rainbow Village and its programs, make a donation or register as a volunteer, visit www.RainbowVillage.org.
About Rainbow Village: Established in 1991, Rainbow Village is a transformative 501(c)3 nonprofit program located in Duluth, GA that serves families that are currently experiencing homelessness. Our model provides safe housing, education, and community support systems that allow families to confidently embark on the journey to self-sufficiency and thrive beyond our village. To learn more about Rainbow Village, register as a volunteer or make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.rainbowvillage.org. To stay up-to-date on the latest Rainbow Village news, the nonprofit invites you to connect with them on social media, including Facebook @RainbowVillageInc, Instagram @rainbowvillageinc, Twitter @rainbowvillage1, and LinkedIn @rainbow-village-inc.