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Farewell to two wonderful leaders: Lou Walton and Paul Cochran

Thank you, Lou, and Paul, for your long-enduring enthusiasm and commitment to helping FamilyForward in its mission to strengthen low-income, working families.


In May 2024, we will bid farewell to two long-time leaders who are retiring from the FamilyForward Board of Directors. We are very grateful to Lou Walton and Paul Cochran for their dedicated service and leadership over the past two decades. Their efforts have truly shaped the vision and mission of our organization since its early days.


Lou Walton, retiring FamilyForward board member, has been a wonderful leader

Lou Walton: A force for good

Lou Walton has been a force for good at FamilyForward (formerly known as Faith Community Homes) since our beginning in 2003. As one of the founders and an original and ongoing board member, she has played an important part in the development and growth of FamilyForward’s work to equip and empower low-income, working families in the northwest suburbs. Walton has served on a variety of committees and projects as a board member and leader at FamilyForward, from recruiting mentors to doing committee work to raising community awareness and funds, including making significant financial contributions with her husband, Dwight, and their extended family. As Lou retires from her leadership role spanning more than 20 years, we thank her for her service and significant efforts to guide the mission and impact of FamilyForward in the community.


Paul Cochran, retiring FamilyForward board member, has been a wonderful leader

Paul Cochran: Gifted servant

Paul Cochran has been a member of the board since 2008 and is retiring after more than 18 years of service. Cochran has served in numerous roles, beginning with his involvement as a mentor for families in the FamilyForward program. Cochran also coordinated and participated in the annual Faith Community Homes organ concert (2009–2017) and in 2015 began his role as treasurer, which he held until 2021. He successfully modernized the financial-reporting and budget-preparation processes and has continually served on the Finance Committee since 2015. He was also on the Outreach Committee (2017–2019).


Observations and advice

Both Walton and Cochran believe FamilyForward serves a critical need in the community. FamilyForward “gives families ‘breathing space’ to get their finances in order, ensures the well-being of their children, improves their education, and/or helps them find better employment,” Cochran says.


Walton agrees, citing the importance of staying focused on our purpose. “Our first and only mission is to serve families who are struggling and help raise them up to become self-supporting and confident members of our communities.” Lou’s advice for the future? “Carry on!”


Thank you, Lou, and Paul, for your long-enduring enthusiasm and commitment to helping FamilyForward in its mission to strengthen low-income, working families. We will carry on, but please do stay in touch!

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