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Thank you, Paul Cochran

After nearly two decades of dedicated service to FamilyForward, Paul Cochran is retiring from the board of directors.


Paul Cochran, retiring FamilyForward board member

In May 2024, Paul Cochran, a member of the board of directors since 2008, is retiring after more than 18 years of service to FamilyForward. Cochran has served in numerous roles, beginning with his involvement as a mentor for families in the FamilyForward program. This organization, and the community, are better off because of Paul’s work at FamilyForward.

Finding a ‘hands-on’ opportunity

In 2006, Paul had a discussion with his local pastor about his personal interest in finding a “hands-on” opportunity in a community-based, charitable organization. Having participated in the early formation of FamilyForward (originally known as Faith Community Homes), the pastor suggested that Paul speak with Lou Walton, one of the organization’s founders. Lou convinced Paul to attend a training session for mentors. Impressed with the session and the chance to work with local families, Paul committed to the volunteer position and was paired with another mentor. He served as mentor to several families from 2006 to 2015, eventually co-mentoring with his wife, Lana.


Mentoring was certainly not Paul’s only calling and contribution to the organization. He also participated in the annual Faith Community Homes organ concert as both coordinator and organist from 2009 to 2017. In 2015, Paul began his role as treasurer of Faith Community Homes, lending his expertise and experience from his career as an actuary. In that role, which he held until 2021, he successfully modernized the financial-reporting and budget-preparation processes, making “the numbers” easier for both the board of directors and grant reviewers to understand. Paul has been on the Finance Committee since 2015 and served on the Outreach Committee from 2017 to 2019.

Serving critical needs

Cochran believes that FamilyForward serves a critical need in the community. “Most of the families I have worked with want to be contributing members of the community. FamilyForward gives them ‘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.”

Citing the impact that volunteering with FamilyForward has had on his own life and perspective, Paul believes, “It has made me feel how fortunate I am to have had parents who cared. I also had mentors in my life who provided good role models.”

We on the board of directors thank Paul for his commitment to the organization through the many roles he has filled in serving low-income, working families in our community. As he continues with his duties as organist at St. John United Church of Christ in Arlington Heights, Paul will now deservedly have more time to enjoy his grandchildren, play golf and perform music. Play on, Paul!


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