Elissa Lappenga – Family Hope Foundation’s Newest Board Member

“It’s so beautifully simple: make vital services available to the families who need them.”

Family Hope Foundation is excited to welcome Elissa Lappenga to the Board of Directors. When asked what Elissa loved about the organization’s mission, she has this to say, “It’s so beautifully simple: make vital services available to the families who need them. Those impacted by disability are so often forced to adjust and adapt to environments and systems that weren’t designed with them in mind, and insurance is no different. Rather than waiting for the industry to catch up and offer the services that will make a difference, we get to offer families a different, easier path – one that was designed with them in mind. I can’t think of a better way to help reshape the world, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to contribute to this mission.” 

Elissa brings a diverse skill set to the board and will be channeling much of her energy to serving on the Scholarship Committee. Throughout Elissa’s career, she has focused on improving access to higher education, technology training, and health services. The mission of the Family Hope Foundation fits right in line with her passion for breaking down barriers. 

Elissa has served as a leader and educator in higher education, as well as the nonprofit and technology sectors, for more than 20 years. Early in her career, Elissa served as Director of Education for a women’s resource center, where she led a grant-funded team of educators in developing and delivering sexual health and substance abuse education programs to students in grades 6-12, across three Michigan counties.

In the higher education space, Elissa has led teams in student life and academic services at both private and public institutions, most recently managing UCLA’s graduate and undergraduate programs across three different life sciences departments. Just prior to joining her current company, Noodle, Elissa designed and launched a global online customer education and community program for a software company based in the UK. 

Elissa completed her B.A. at Hope College in Michigan and earned her M.Ed. from UCLA. In addition to serving on Family Hope Foundation’s board, Elissa also volunteers as a domestic relations mediator and enjoys spending time with her family on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. Elissa married her college sweetheart, Dan, in 2001 and still considers it one of the best decisions she’s ever made. They have two boys and love spending time with their extended family who live in the area, and going on adventures together. 

Family Hope Foundation is delighted to welcome Elissa to the team and looks forward to working alongside her as we continue to “break down barriers.”