Our Philosophy

Each spring city lampposts are adorned with flower baskets, and each fall they’re decorated with holiday wreaths and garlands. LEADS conducts a variety of fundraisers to pay for these programs, and, since we’re a volunteer organization, virtually all contributions go directly to these costs.

As the LEADS footprint has grown, so have our expenses. Annual expenditures for the flower basket program now total $30,000. Our “Adopt-A-Basket” donations go toward the flowers, leaving another $13,000 for watering. And, when the city recently installed new light poles, we outfitted them with custom-made brackets at a cost of $40,000. We receive no assistance from the city or the county, relying completely upon private contributions.

Board of Directors

Joel Henry


Joel is general manager of BUiLDiNG CHARACTER and started working with LEADS in 2015 as the watering contractor taking care of the flower baskets each day. He joined the board in 2017 and was elected Vice President in 2018 and begins his first term as President in 2019. Originally from Baltimore, Joel and his wife Shawna and four children live in the city’s Stadium District.

Emanuella Parveris

Vice President

Emanuella is a Senior Buyer and Head of Marketing and Social Media for Savemart Inc. and owned Nick’s Pizza on North Queen Street from 1998 to 2008. She attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and has volunteered as social media manager for LEADS since 2014 and with other organizations. She joined the board in 2018 and begins her first term as Vice President in 2019. She lives in East Hempfield Township.

Amber Strazzo


Amber is the Communications and Marketing Manager for the City of Lancaster. She graduated from Millersville University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in print media studies. Amber volunteers at the Lancaster Central Market and is an active member of Lancaster Young Professionals. She joined the LEADS board in 2016. Amber lives in West End with her Boston terrier, Doug.

Christopher Stetler


Chris a Senior Tax Accountant at Trout, Ebersole and Groff and studied Collision Repair Technology at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology before pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Millersville University where he graduated in 2011. Chris and his wife Michelle and children Riley and Gavin live in West Hempfield Township.

Joyce Heberlein

Joyce is owner of Lancaster Galleries. As immediate past treasurer of LEADS, she has served on the board since 2012. She lives in Manheim Township.

Marty Hulse

Marty is owner of BUiLDiNG CHARACTER (est. 2007) and Madcap & Co. (est. 2015), two retail stores on the 300 Block of North Queen Street in downtown Lancaster. For 20 years he was an editor and designer at newspapers in Lancaster, York and Dover, DE. He joined the LEADS board in 2012 and served as its president from 2015-2018. A Lancaster native and alum of the School District of Lancaster, Marty lives in Lancaster Township.

Natalie A. Lascek

Natalie is the Director of Admissions Marketing & Recruitment at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. She also is serving a third term on the City of Lancaster Public Art Advisory Board. Originally from Pittsburgh, Natalie relocated to the City of Lancaster, PA, in 2000. She joined LEADS in 2015 and is the chair of the Holiday Decor Committee and organizes hundreds of volunteer hours to refurbish and ready decor for the season. Natalie lives in the city’s East Side neighborhood.

Kathleen L. Peck

Kathy is fundraising chairwoman and was president of LEADS from 2012-2015. She and her husband Mike live Downtown.

Linda Sheetz

Linda Sheetz is a pharmacist at Ganse Apothecary in downtown Lancaster. Born and raised in Elizabeth, NJ, she has lived in Lancaster for nearly 40 years. Linda previously was Admissions Director at The New School of Lancaster and later served on the Board of Trustees. She also is an officer in the Lancaster Irish American Cultural Society. Linda joined the LEADS board in 2013. She and her husband Rick live in Lancaster Township.

Stephanie Townrow

Stephanie Townrow is the Director of Education and Public Programs at LancasterHistory. She moved to Lancaster in 2016 after many years in New York City, where she received degrees from Hunter College (B.A.) and NYU (M.A.) and worked in history museums. In addition to being a museum educator and a James Buchanan enthusiast, Stephanie serves on the Historical Commission for the City of Lancaster and is passionate about Lancaster’s beautiful and historic downtown. She joined the board in 2019.

The LEADS Mission

To support the economic vitality of downtown Lancaster through beautification initiatives that will attract visitors, residents, and businesses.

Who Are We

In 2000, a group of savvy volunteers got together, creating a grassroots effort to beautify downtown Lancaster. The goal: make the city a more attractive place to visit, shop, and live. Then, as now, we are a completely volunteer organization.

How You Can Help

If you care about the beauty of downtown Lancaster and appreciate the difference the LEADS initiatives make, you can help by participating in one of our many initiatives. Check out the Adopt-A–Basket, Water-A-Block, Light-A-Pole, and Make-A-Contribution links to learn more.