Council for Relationships Welcomes New Board Members

October 24, 2019

The Board of Directors is integral to advancing the mission of Council for Relationships which is to help people from all walks of life improve their important relationships by providing exemplary therapy, educating and training clinicians in the family systems approach, and advancing the behavioral health field through research. We are pleased to welcome the following Directors to the Board this fiscal year.


Lisa Koblin

Lisa Koblin is an Associate at Saul, Ewing, Arnstein & Lehr. She assists employers with labor and employment disputes, including litigation in state and federal courts as well as mediation. She represents clients dealing with OSHA citations and unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and defends clients who arbitrate employee grievances before the American Arbitration Association. Her experience with labor and employment law is also informed by her past involvement with employment-related cases when she served as a deputy attorney general for the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. Lisa was first-chair in a successful employment litigation trial in state court, obtained summary judgement on behalf of an employer and defended state agencies and individual employees from lawsuits. Additionally, Lisa completed an externship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of New Jersey while in law school.

Lisa earned her BA at Rutgers University and her JD at Rutgers University School of Law.

Samantha Porter

Samantha is an enthusiastic public administrator with an interest in interdisciplinary, community-driven approaches to planning and community development. She currently serves as Deputy Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives in the Mayor’s Policy Office for the City of Philadelphia. She joined Philadelphia city government in 2017 as Director of Place Based Initiatives for the West Philadelphia Promise Zone. Her unique perspective stems from her work on the Superstorm Sandy Recovery in both New Jersey and New York. Through the lens of a practitioner, Samantha offers a blend of theory and practice in policy development, community development, and disaster recovery program design and implementation.

A 2004 magna cum laude graduate of Temple University, where she majored in German and Political Science, Porter earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, in 2012.

Paula Smith-Benson

Paula Smith-Benson is the Chief Visionary Officer & Executive Director at Women Veteran Command Center. She is also the founder and Pastor at Reign in the Rain Ministries Inc. where she preaches, teaches, and provides pastoral care. She retired as a Major from the United States Air Force Nurse Corps following more than 20 years of active service including as Flight Commander, Family Advocacy Nurse, and Troop Commander in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  She has also held positions as Clinical Nurse, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Quality and Patient Safety Manager. She continues to exhibit a strong commitment to the community as a member of the National Association of University Women, National Black Nurses Association, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Paula earned a BS in Nursing from Hampton University where she was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.  She also earned an M.S. in Nursing specializing in Nurse Midwifery from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  She is a Certified Christian Life Coach from Freedom Bible College and Seminary and Fellow of the Institute of Systems Wisdom.

Judith Tykocinski

Judith S. Tykocinski is an attorney, having specialized in the practice of banking law, from 1979-1994. In 1994, she retired from practicing law and joined McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, working from 1994-1998 in the Cleveland and New York offices. There she trained and counseled the firm’s consultants and clients in the preparation and delivery of effective and compelling communications. She moved to Philadelphia in 1998 and worked at Accenture; a management consulting firm. Most recently, combining her legal and communications backgrounds, she developed and marketed a CLE- approved communications training program for young attorneys. Presently, she has a private communications practice, offering training, drafting, editing, and coaching services. Also, she is writing a short memoir on the divergent Jewish influences that have impacted her family.

Judith earned her AB from Barnard College, and her JD from Columbia Law School. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association, and is licensed to practice law in New York, Washington, D.C. and Ohio.