Echo Valley Hope Board Members
Kathy “KD” Dancy was raised in Chicago, but shunned city life for a more bucolic existence with her partner of 25 years. She is the adoptive mother of two teenagers and a retired television news reporter, anchor, and video editor. She loves vegetable gardening, making and canning jam, and crossword puzzles, as well as practicing Nichiren Buddhism. Passionate about working toward food and energy sustainability, KD volunteers her time creating a food cooperative in McHenry County.
Dena Eakles is founder of Echo Valley Farm and Echo Valley Hope. A lover of life, people, and the earth, she holds to fundamental beliefs of the possibility of peace, the need to restore human dignity, and this time called now. She insists on having fun and surrounds herself with great people, great actions, and beauty.
Cassi Effing is a nurse in Indianapolis. On a daily basis she sees people at their weakest and most vulnerable, reinforcing that we are here to help each other and be real. Helping craft Echo Valley Hope’s fundraising letters and offering public relations assistance, Cassi’s goal is to help people realize that peace is not just a nice idea to talk about–it is something we can choose every single day.
Joyce Firestone lives in Miami. Currently a substitute teacher in the public schools; past career endeavors have included a business offering interior renovations for private planes, yachts, cruise ships and residences; and organizing and managing meetings, trainings, and events in Miami and around North America. She has been a member of the board of Echo Valley Hope since its inception, and enthusiastically supports its initiatives toward sustainability and peace.
Meg Novick is an artist from Albuquerque. A part-time resident and long-distance friend of Echo Valley since 2011, Meg has served on the Echo Valley Hope Board since 2013. She spends her free time studying music, taking photos, and soaking up the New Mexican landscape. She is inspired by truth-seekers and hard workers and is committed to being both.
Melissa Gordon Rhine lives in Atlanta. She’s a music educator, performer, composer, and band leader for New Territory. Her ensemble is based on improvisation and her positive spirit, performing jazz and many other styles rooted in experiences obtained as she traveled throughout the world. Melissa has performed and organized musicians at Echo Valley Hope events and has served as a board member for the last decade, proudly supporting its initiatives and educational opportunities toward peace and sustainability.
Eduardo Del Signore‘s talents continue to achieve recognition inside the international music business. As a performer, Eduardo has played with Jon Anderson (Yes), Vangelis, Milton Nascimento, Dionne Warwick, Al Jarreau, Eduardo Mateo, Jorge Trasante (Gypsy Kings), and more. As a producer, he has overseen recordings by Jon Anderson, Milton Nascimento, Jon Hassell, Cara Tower, Bernardo Rubaja, Ritual & projects for EverSound Records. As a composer, collaborations include Jon Anderson, Milton Nascimento, Jon Hassell for the HBO movie “Wild Side,” David Tickle for the “American Chronicles” TV series on FOX, Geraldo Azevedo, Trevor Rabin (Yes), and many more. Eduardo is the creator of A Call 2 Peace Multimedia Events and International Concerts Tour, and the director of the USA-URUGUAY Cross Cultural Exchange, in which capacity he has organized events at colleges and universities throughout the USA.
Lauren West has resided at Echo Valley Farm for six years. She loves sharing knowledge of food and cooking with others. She is passionate about sustainable living and finding creative ways toward peace. Lauren has served on the board and the fundraising team since 2013. She helps maintain the vision of Echo Valley Hope.