ITNLehighValley appoints new executive director

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BETHLEHEM – Independent Transportation Network Lehigh Valley (ITNLehighValley) has named a young professional as its new executive director.

Jessie Shappell became the leader of the nonprofit on July 6 after a unanimous vote from the organization’s Board of Directors. She takes the reins from founder and former executive director Lois Favier, who started the Lehigh Valley affiliate of ITNAmerica in 2013. Favier will remain on the Board of Directors and will continue to actively volunteer with the organization.

Shappell comes to ITNLehighValley from Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley, where she served as the Director of Marketing and Development. She began her career in grant writing for Miller-Keystone Blood Center, and has been dedicated to the nonprofit sector since.

Shappell holds a B.A. in Professional Writing from King’s College and an M.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University. A lifelong native of Eastern Pennsylvania, she is passionate about serving the Lehigh Valley and addressing unmet needs in the community. She is excited by the challenge of working with the Board, volunteers, and members at ITNLehighValley to continue to keep seniors active and healthy in the Lehigh Valley, especially in the face of COVID-19.

ITNLehighValley provides dignified transportation to seniors and visually impaired adults when and where they want it. Member riders have access to safe and reliable transportation 24/7, 365 days a year. There is no limit on ride purposes within the designated service area of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, and the surrounding suburbs. To date, ITNLehighValley has delivered over 47,500 rides helping Lehigh Valley seniors to age in place, thanks to the commitment of volunteer drivers.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Pennsylvania, ITNLehighValley leadership acted quickly to continue essential frontline service to riders in need of life-sustaining trips, such as cancer treatment and dialysis. The organization created and implemented stringent new health and safety guidelines for drivers and riders including mandatory masks, maximum distancing in vehicles, the suspension of ride sharing, and thorough sanitizing between every rider. ITNLehighValley also instituted a new touchless grocery and pharmacy delivery service available to any senior in the Lehigh Valley.

Now that the Lehigh Valley is gradually beginning to open up, ITNLehighValley will continue to prioritize safety under Shappell’s leadership to ensure area seniors continue their access to vital transportation. Shappell will also be working to recruit more volunteer drivers across the valley.

Information provided to TVL by:
Independent Transportation Network Lehigh Valley (ITNLehighValley)
35 E. Elizabeth Ave., Suite 20A
Bethlehem, PA 18018