Brenda Pier Beck, President
Brenda Pier Beck (member Since 2016) has been pleased to call St. Sebastian Parish home since 1987 when she and her husband, Jim, moved into the neighborhood. Being the mom of two boys at St. Sebastian School, she volunteered for a wide variety of projects and committees, everything from School Advisory Council member and Sanctuary President, to coordinating the building of the first playground on the school yard (beyond “the tire”).
She brings her experience from the CYO Board and as a past Co-chair of the St. Vincent-St. Mary High School Showcase fundraiser, and she continues to volunteer as a Mass Coordinator and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Brenda graduated from Miami University with a degree in Interior Design, and her company, Pier Concepts, does residential design around northeastern Ohio.
She has two sons Brian (Emily) and Gregg (Nicole) and has been continually blessed to have met Mike Beck and married him in 2014. Brenda and Mike have a combined family that includes five graduates from St. Sebastian School and an ever-growing number of grandchildren that they hope to see attend as well. Brenda and her family established the Jim Pier Scholarship Endowment at the Foundation, which continues to help St. Sebastian students and faculty since its inception in 2007.
The Beck Family Foundation, established by Mike Beck’s family, provides tuition assistance to students from St. Sebastian Parish School attending Walsh Jesuit High School and Our Lady of the Elms High School.
Ken Contrera, Treasurer
Ken Contrera (member since September 2015) is an Executive Director at Transaction Tax Consulting Group, which is a boutique firm that assists Fortune 1000 companies in the recovery of their overpaid sales and use taxes. Ken earned a BSBA in Accounting and Finance from The Ohio State University as well as an MBA from The University of Akron, and he is also a CPA. In addition to serving on the Foundation Board, Ken serves as chairman of the St. Sebastian Parish Finance Council. Ken and his wife, Peggy, have been members of the parish for over 35 years and live in West Akron.
Formerly a CYO Coach for 13 years, Ken is a member of the Knights of Columbus and is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Ken and Peggy have 3 sons and 1 daughter, all of whom graduated from St. Sebastian Parish School.
Reverend John Valencheck, Secretary
Fr. John Valencheck (member since 2008) is the Secretary of the Foundation Board and keeps the Foundation grounded in its primary mission of helping to bring Christ to the world. Fr. Valencheck is a graduate of The University of Akron with a degree in Theater Arts. He followed a vibrant career path during his college years and “followed the circuit” of the industry, taking contracts all over Northeast Ohio for two years after his graduation. At that time, Fr. Valencheck “stopped fighting his call” and entered St. Mary’s Seminary and Graduate School of Theology. After his graduation from seminary, he served as Parochial Vicar at St. Ambrose in Brunswick for seven years, then Parochial Vicar at St. Clare in Lyndhurst for three years.
He is currently the pastor of St. Sebastian Parish and has been with the church since 2008, successfully leading the parish into a renewed level of grace and stewardship. Fr. Valencheck has been a lifelong member of the Domavina Lodge (which his grandfather founded) and is a member of such illustrious organizations as the Chesterton Society, the Bluecoats, the American Legion, the Fraternal Orders of the KSKJ and SNPJ, and the Knights of Columbus.
When Fr. Valencheck is not managing his many roles within the parish, he can be found somewhere in nature with his K9 companions, Sebastian and Chesterton (aka Chester).
Timothy Beringer, Sr.
Timothy Beringer, Sr. (member since 2008) is the retired owner of Ceeco Equipment, Inc., which is a leader in providing air pollution control (APC) systems and engineered process equipment to utilities and industry. Tim has very deep roots here at our parish, and in addition to his service with the Foundation, Tim serves as a Mass coordinator, Eucharistic Minister and lector, and he served as the athletic director for our parish school for 20 years.
Tim is also deeply dedicated to our community, having served as a past president of the Board of Portage Country Club, president of the Loyola Board, past chair of the CYO Board and past executive committee member of the Catholic Charities Board. Tim is also a past Board President of Bluecoats, Inc., which serves the safety forces of Summit County, and he is a member of the executive committee at Walsh Jesuit High School.
Tim DelMedico (member since 2011) is co-owner of Chez-Del Interiors, where he specializes in residential and commercial interior design. Tim has been an active member of the Akron Rotary Club, serving various roles including President of the Board (two consecutive terms). He previously co-chaired the Akron Area Spina Bifida Association.
Tim is a lifelong member of our parish and graduated from St. Sebastian Parish School in 1970. He has been very active in many facets of our parish over the past 20 years, including serving on the Facilities Committee and recently helping Fr. Valencheck beautifully transform both the rectory and Forest Lodge to name a few projects. Tim and his wife, Jennifer, live in Akron and have four children and 5 grandchildren.
Lois Gerstenmaier (member since 2012) has been a passionate member of our parish for over 35 years, 19 of which she was one of the school’s most involved parent volunteers. In 1997, together with Patrick O’Neill, Lois started the Art Fund to provide our parish school with an art room and supplies. The fund still exists under the name “Spectacular Arts & Culture Fund” and continues to provide support for arts education.
In 2011 Lois started the Gerstenmaier Family Scholarship Endowment to provide scholarship aid to graduates of our parish school to attend Walsh Jesuit High School. While her three children were attending our parish school, Lois co-chaired the yearbook committee, chaired Drama Club props, was an active member of HASA, co-chaired the Playground Initiative, was chairman and secretary of the School Advisory Council and was awarded St. Sebastian Parish Volunteer of the Year.
In addition to her service with the Foundation, Lois is a member of our parish Grounds Crew and School Advisory Council, and she is also a long-time Eucharistic Minister. Plus, her grandchildren, Andrew and Ben, are students at our parish school! Lois is very active in our community and is a member of several organizations, including the Akron Dental Auxiliary, Junior League of Akron, the Women’s Board of Children’s Hospital, the Mother’s Club at Walsh Jesuit High School and Walsh Jesuit’s Booster Club.
Lois and her husband, Dr. John Gerstenmaier, were the chair couple for Walsh's prestigious Powwow, and she has been involved in every aspect of the event for many years. When Lois is not at work or serving our community, she is spending time with her family.
Heidi Heinle (member since 2011) has been a passionate volunteer for our parish and parish school for many years. In 2010, she helped initiate and endow the St. Sebastian Parish Social Ministry Fund, which supports teacher wellness funds for the staff at our parish school. In addition, Heidi and her husband Matt were honored to co-chair the school’s annual Spectacular fundraiser in 2014, which celebrated Catholic education in honor of the school’s 85th anniversary. Heidi is the ex-officio president of the Foundation Board, having served as board president from 2018-2020.
For over 20 years, Heidi has been actively involved with the American Youth Foundation, which inspires children to develop their personal best through outdoor adventures and be a positive influence in their local communities. She is a graduate of DePauw University. Heidi and Matt reside in West Akron and are parents to three children who attended St. Sebastian Parish School.
Amanda Leffler (member since 2019) is Co-Chair of Brouse McDowell’s Insurance Recovery Practice Group. Amanda has extensive experience in numerous types of insurance coverage disputes, including general liability, property and business interruption, construction, directors & officers, cyber, professional liability, asbestos, and environmental liability. Amanda also has experience representing companies of all sizes in their business disputes, including employment litigation, construction disputes, shareholder disputes, breach of contract, business torts, and zoning issues. Amanda is currently a member of the Leadership Akron Board of Directors, the United Disability Services Board of Directors, and the Sisler-McFawn Foundation Distribution Committee. She and her husband, Dan, live in West Akron with their two daughters, who are students at St. Sebastian Parish School.
Patrick L. O'Neill (member since 1999) is President and CEO of the O'Neill Group, a regional independent insurance and risk management firm, located in Wadsworth, Ohio. A graduate of The University of Akron with a B.S. in Accounting, Patrick is a Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Risk Manager.
Patrick is deeply committed to the St. Sebastian Parish Foundation. Patrick served as president of the Foundation Board for 12 years, from 2006-2018. In 1998 he and his wife Pam established the Graves-O'Neill Endowment (now the GOAL Endowment) at the Foundation to provide scholarship monies for our young and aspiring parish school students. Patrick and Pam have four children, Patrick (Sarah), Lauren, Luke (Elyse) and Mari, as well as four grandchildren. They have been members of St. Sebastian Parish since 1985 and have been active in the parish ever since.
Sophia Veillette (member since 2019) is a partner with Schulte & Company CPA’s Inc., which provides tax, tax planning, business valuation, accounting, payroll, and financial statement services with the personal touch of a local firm. Sophie earned a BS in Accounting from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a Master of Accounting from University of Illinois, as well as a Master of Taxation from The University of Akron; and she is also a CPA. In addition to serving on the Foundation Board, Sophie serves as Treasurer of the Akron Zoo Board of Trustees and Foundation. Sophie and her husband, Bob, have been members of St. Sebastian Parish for over 29 years and live in West Akron. They have 2 sons, both of whom graduated from St. Sebastian Parish School.
Stephen D. Wilt
Steve Wilt (member since 2010) is Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor with CAPTRUST Financial Advisors. Steve provides investment advisory services to fiduciaries of corporate retirement plans as well as education for their plan participants. Steve co-authored the book, “The 401(k) Sales Champion: A Guide for Financial Advisors to Acquire and Retain 401(k) Plans,” originally published in 2001 and now in its third edition. In addition to his stewardship to the St. Sebastian Parish Foundation, Steve is dedicated to our community and currently serves on the board for the Julie Billiart School of Akron, the Goodwill Industries of Akron Investment Committee, and the Portage Country Club Long Range Planning Committee.
He is an active member of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce and is a Leadership Akron graduate. Steve and his wife, Holly, live in West Akron with their two children, Charlotte and Charlie, who are graduates of St. Sebastian Parish School. Steve and Holly served as the chair couple for the 2012 Summa Sapphire Ball, 2013 Stan Hywet Gala, and St. Sebastian Parish School’s 2015 September Spectacular.