Board Of Directors

Matt Presley - Board President

Board Member since January 2008.

Matt is an English teacher at La Porte High School. He obtained his Bachelor degree from Indiana University Bloomington in 2004 and is currently pursuing a Masters in English at Indiana University South Bend. Matt also coaches tennis at La Porte High School.

Shaw Friedman - Vice President

Board Member since January 1998.

Shaw Friedman was one of the co-founders of Harmony House which began in 1999. He is on the Board of Swanson Center, the county’s community mental health center which is a strong supporter of our program and has provided its former outpatient facility at 1005 Michigan Avenue as our permanent home. Working with Executive Director Karen Biernacki and former CASA Board President Betty Daniel-Lanie, Friedman helped create the concept of Harmony House. A practicing attorney in La Porte since 1984 with the law firm of Friedman & Associates, PC he is very committed to non-profit programs such as Harmony House/CASA Program and says some of his most “satisfying work is seeing programs like this one grow and thrive and provide much needed services for our community.”

Rudy Kohn - Secretary/Treasurer

Rudy joined the Board of Family Advocates in 2018, after volunteering for two years as a CASA.He feels that “being a CASA was an eye-opening experience. It made me realize how essential this organization is for LaPorte County.” Kohn retired as Director of Junior Achievement of LaPorte County in 2011. Previously he worked as a Systems Analyst at Jaymar Ruby, and as the Director of Systems and Programming for CSI Inc. in Valparaiso for 25 years. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Purdue University. Kohn also currently serves on the Board of the Michigan City Community Enrichment Corporation and is chair of the Unity Foundation of Laporte County Community Grants Committee. He previously served as President of the MCCEC and as a Board Member and Past President of the Washington Park Zoological Society. In retirement, along with serving as a CASA, he has volunteered at St. Anthony, served as a Math instructional assistant in the Adult Education program at the A. K. Smith Center, and was Head Girls Tennis Coach for Michigan City High School. Kohn lives in Michigan City with his wife, Betsy and their daughter, Sydney, who attends Purdue. His sons Scott and Jeff also live in Michigan City. He is an avid Purdue fan, and enjoys hiking and playing pickleball.

Douglas Waters

Board Member since September 2006.

Douglas is a resident of Michigan City, IN, and a graduate of Indiana University School of Business. He has been active in the real estate business for many years with Long Beach Realty, and serves on La Porte County Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors and MCNEAT in Michigan City.

Kim Sauers

Board Member since December 2014


Sean Fitzpatrick

Board Member since January 2019


Becky Pressel

Deb Varnik

Lorri Feldt

Sarah Brown