8:30 – 9:00: Networking & light breakfast
9:00: Welcome by Kate Weber, Chief Revenue Officer, Advance Ohio
9:05 – 9:40:
Group A: 1-on-1 speed mentor sessions
Group B: Round table discussions
9:45 – 9:55: Keynote by Marianne Crosley – President & CEO, Cleveland Leadership Center
9:55 – 10:30:
Group B: 1-on-1 speed mentor sessions
Group A: Round table discussions
Our 2020 Mentors
Alicia Gauer leads communications for The Lubrizol Corporation, a $6+ billion specialty chemical company serving a variety of industries globally. In this role, Alicia is accountable for communications that inform, inspire and engage the company’s 8,800 employees, as well as communications that protect and propel the company’s differentiated value to external stakeholders. Alicia manages a global team responsible for branding, PR, social media, internal communications, operations communications, web, ecommerce and customer relationship platforms.
Prior to Lubrizol, Alicia led communications for GE Lighting, overseeing the business’ communications over a multi-year transformation, managing a team driving PR, community affairs and internal communications. During her time at GE, Alicia also managed global communications for Current, powered by GE, a first-of-its-kind energy start-up within GE’s walls, overseeing PR, media and social media. She also held a variety of communications roles at GE supporting commercial, operations and employee communications.
In addition, Alicia has managed communications and PR for clients across industries in agency leadership roles at AKHIA and Landau Public Relations. Alicia started her career as a television reporter at KRCG, a CBS affiliate in Missouri’s state capital, honing her unique storytelling skills.
Alicia earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Kent State University.
Bethany Lemley is an Operations Supervisor of the specialized Fine Art and Government teams at FedEx Custom Critical. As a certified Project Manager, Bethany specializes in supporting key organizational strategies with innovative ideas and successful execution. Recent achievements include the reorganization and renewal of the company’s strategies within the government transportation market.
In her 27 years with FedEx, Bethany has worked with several departments to develop improved processes, emphasize compliance and support sustained growth. Lemley is a recipient of the prestigious FedEx Five Star award for excellence and innovation.
As a former Service Unit Director of Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio for over 15 years, she has been awarded numerous leadership awards including the “Distinguished Woman” award. She continues to volunteer for Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity, and various church sponsored outreach programs.
Lemley has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Malone University and a MBA from Southern New Hampshire University. Lemley is also a Notary for the State of Ohio.
Bethany has been married for 30+ years, has 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren.
Cynthia Leitson is the Vice President of Capital, Construction, and Facilities at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®). She is responsible for maintaining, improving, and repurposing existing facilities and for developing new facilities (leased and owned), and managing capital assets. She oversees services including facilities and operations maintenance, facility construction and renovation, infrastructure replacement of furnishings and equipment, site development and college-wide master planning, sustainability, real estate services, and asset management.
Throughout her lengthy career, Ms. Leitson has held top-level executive positions in strategic management and procurement operations. Ms. Leitson joined Cuyahoga Community College in 2010 as the Executive Director of Supplier Managed Services.
Ms. Leitson was selected for inclusion in the prestigious “Women of Note” feature in Crain’s Cleveland Business in 2019. The Metropolitan Campus Center and the Western Campus STEM Center received a pair of 2020 Awards of Excellence from NAIOP Northern Ohio. The College was awarded the 2019 Downtown Cleveland Development Award from the Downtown Cleveland Alliance for the Metro Campus Center and Plaza Renovation project. The Metro Campus Center was also recognized by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) with the Champion Award. The Capital, Construction, & Facilities department was presented with the President’s Award of Excellence in 2018 for Capital Planning on the 2017 Capital Bond Levy Phase II Facilities Master Plan. In 2017, Ms. Leitson was presented with the President’s Award of Excellence for the College-wide Inclusion & Diversity Plan. In December 2016, the Cleveland Chapter of the AIA and the International Interior Design Association presented the Tri-C team with the Client Commitment to Cleveland Award.
Ms. Leitsons’ professional and organization involvement include serving as a member to Greater Cleveland Partnership, Construction Diversity, and Inclusion Owner Group, Construction Engineering Society, COGENCE Alliance, Construction Owners Association of America (COAA), Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), and the ACE Mentor Program as a Board member and volunteer.
Ms. Leitson holds a B.A., Materials & Logistics, from Michigan State University.
Diana Bilimoria, Ph.D. is KeyBank Professor and Chair of Organizational Behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Her research interests focus on gender, diversity, equity and inclusion in governance and leadership, and organizational transformation. Her studies have helped corporate, educational, and nonprofit organizations reinvent themselves and establish practices that attract and retain a high-performance, diverse workforce. She has written several books and academic journal articles, and has served as the editor of the Journal of Management Education. She is an elected member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Management. Recent awards she has received include the Scholarly Contributions to Educational Practice Advancing Women in Leadership Award from the Gender and Diversity in Organizations Division of the Academy of Management, the Weatherhead School of Management Enduring Research Impact Award, the Weatherhead School of Management Teaching Excellence Award, and the Weatherhead School of Management’s Doctoral Teaching Excellence Award. More detailed information is available at: http://faculty.weatherhead.case.edu/bilimoria.
Dr. Jacklyn A. Chisholm
Jacklyn A. Chisholm, Ph.D. is President and Chief Executive Officer of Step Forward, formerly the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC). As the State’s designated anti-poverty agency for Cuyahoga County, Step Forward is tasked and trusted to lead the fight on the ground against poverty in our community. The nonprofit organization helps low-income individuals and families address immediate needs and build long-term skills to transform their lives through early childhood education programs, adult skills training, and other support.
Prior to joining Step Forward, Dr. Chisholm served as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Music Cultural Center (GMCC), a museum and cultural arts center planned for Atlanta, Georgia. She is the former Vice President of Planning and External Affairs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum where she was responsible for the development and implementation of the Museum’s strategic plan, management of government relations and community outreach activities, and Project Director for the construction of the Rock Hall’s $13 million Library and Archives. Dr. Chisholm also served as Associate Vice President for Community Partnerships at Case Western Reserve University, where she developed the Center for Community Partnerships.
She is the recipient of numerous awards including Crain’s Cleveland Business Woman of Note, YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence, Women of Color Foundation ISIS Award, Council for Opportunity in Education National TRIO Achiever, Cleveland Educators Forum Alumni Achievers Hall of Fame, and Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. Dr. Chisholm is an alumna of Leadership Cleveland and a past member of The Western Reserve Chapter of Links, Inc.
A Cleveland native, Dr. Chisholm is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, where she earned three degrees: Bachelor of Arts in medical anthropology, Master of Arts in psychological anthropology, and a doctorate in psychological anthropology with an emphasis in educational anthropology. Most recently, she earned certificates in nonprofit leadership, nonprofit financial stewardship, creating public value, and performance measurement for effective management of nonprofit organizations from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has earned additional certificates from Harvard Business School Executive Education, Cornell University Administrative Management Institute, and the HERS/Bryn Mawr Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration and was selected as a University of Pennsylvania Wharton Executive Fellow.
Dr. Chisholm has served on numerous boards and currently serves on the boards of the Cuyahoga County Early Childhood Education Partnership Council, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, and as an advisory member of the PRE4CLE Early Childhood Compact and United Way’s Accountable Health Communities initiative.
Dr. Lisa Ramirez-Shah
- Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health
- Pediatric Psychology
Dr. Sheerli Ratner
Erin Senediak is a Sales Leader for FedEx Custom Critical, located in Uniontown, OH. She is responsible for leading a team of sales representatives that are located in their Ohio office, their Green Bay office, and remote team members working from home. She has worked for FedEx Custom Critical for the last seven and a half years through various positions. She received her undergraduate degree in marketing as well as her MBA from Youngstown State University.
Heather Marie Holmes is a dynamic communicator, connector, and community leader who, since February 2015, has led strategic marketing and public relations at Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA). She is a trusted advisor, ensuring that the Downtown economic development organization effectively messages, coordinates and convenes with its partners.
Heather’s efforts have contributed to the success of recent milestones such as Public Square’s restoration, the Republican National Convention, 2019’s Cleveland Tall Ships Festival, and the advocacy of Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits. She has also orchestrated promotional and engagement opportunities for partners at signature events such as Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week, Light up the Lake, SPARX City Hop, Ruth Ratner Miller Award Luncheon, State of Downtown, and Winterfest.
During her tenure, Heather has streamlined and enhanced the content and messaging across DCA’s communications channels. Because of her efforts, the organization’s social following has increased more than 30% and its website is now revered as an information hub for Downtown residents, professionals, visitors, developers, and investors. Most recently Heather and her team introduced the DowntownNow! Virtual Briefings and initiatives such as #VoicesofCLE and the #UniteCLE Recovery Response Fund.
As a graphic designer, she also delivers cutting-edge creative services for DCA. This vision has led to impactful content marketing and brand campaigns where her Emmy and ADDY-award winning videos, custom-crafted logos, collateral design, and brand imagery take center stage.
Prior to her role at DCA, Heather consulted the United States Black Chambers, Inc.; former Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones; former Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell; The Cleveland Museum of Art; the Women of Color Foundation; the black YPO network; former Arizona State Representative Cloves Campbell, Jr.; Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper; GAP Communications Group; C L Magazine, Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Ian Smith’s 50 Million Pound Challenge and Super Bowl XLII.
Recognized as part of the 2020 Crain’s Cleveland Business “40 under 40” class, she currently serves on The Cleveland Museum of Art African American Advisory Board; Open Doors Academy Board of Directors; the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., Community Economic Development Corporation, Millennial Entrepreneurs Advisory Board; and is a previous Corresponding Secretary for the Cleveland Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. Heather is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Jessica currently leads Verizon’s philanthropy and community engagement efforts in Ohio. Before joining Verizon, she worked in the nonprofit and public sectors, serving on the staff of U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy and later in institutional advancement and government advocacy roles for Cleveland-based nonprofits. During her tenure at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Jessica became a recognized leader in external affairs and community relations, later serving as Vice President of External Affairs for a Cleveland-based non-profit technology start-up.
Jessica chairs the Cleveland Heights Planning Commission, and represents Verizon on the Government Affairs Committee of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce and the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. She has served in the past on the United Black Fund, Hispanic Alliance, and Future Heights boards. Jessica was chosen as one of the 2015 Crain’s Cleveland Business Forty Under 40, a 2019 Cleveland Jewish News Difference Maker, and a 2020 25 Under 35 Mover and Shaker. She received her undergraduate degree in Government from Harvard University, her Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University, and is currently pursuing her Juris Doctor at Cleveland Marshall College of Law, where she is an associate on the Cleveland State Law Review and a Dean’s Leadership Fellow. Jessica and her husband Eric, a public school teacher, live in Cleveland Heights with their four adorable children.
Jill Hennessey is the Senior Vice President and Market Leader of Commercial Banking in Northern Ohio for The PNC Financial Services Group.
Hennessey joined PNC in 1991 and is responsible for managing the sales and marketing activities of the Northern Ohio Region; which includes Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown. In this role, Hennessey brings 29 years of broad experience to PNC Bank’s commercial client base.
Prior to her current role, she served as Commercial Banking Regional Manager for the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis markets and was the West Market Integration Coordinator on the Commercial Banking Leadership Team. Hennessey held the position of head of Director of Investor Relations prior to her move to the Commercial Banking Group in 2009. She has also held leadership positions in Business Banking, Retail Banking, and Human Resources.
In addition to her business experience, Hennessey is active in the local community. She is Vice Chairperson and board member for The Highland Foundation and also serves as Chairperson of the Special Events Committee. She is an active board member and member of the Finance Committee for The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio. She also serves as a board member for Christian Education at the Medina United Church of Christ.
Hennessey graduated from Ohio University in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communications. In 1994, she earned her master’s degree from Baldwin Wallace College.
Ka-Pi Hoh, Ph.D.
Ka-Pi Hoh is currently an organizational change management director and a process mining business leader at The Lubrizol Corporation. At Lubrizol, she has held a variety of leadership positions involving research technology, commercial development, operations and resource management including expatriate assignments in the United Kingdom and in China. She started her current role in 2018, managing the change aspects for the global SAP upgrade of Lubrizol’s ERP system. More recently, she was also appointed to lead the process mining efforts at Lubrizol.
Dr. Hoh graduated from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) with a B.S. in Polymer Engineering and a minor in Economics. She received an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science from CWRU. In China, Ka-Pi has an appointment as an Associate and Visiting Professor at the Zhuhai College of Jilin University. She volunteers on several visiting committees/boards at CWRU as well as on various boards in the community.
Kathryn Crestani is the Enterprise Biosolids and Residuals Superintendent at Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD). She directly oversees the transformation of 430 wet tons/day of biosolids into 10 million kwh annually and 130 dry tons per day of ash that is recycled into soil blend for the local landscaping market. Ms. Crestani is a founding member of the NEORSD Women’s Employee Resource Group and is in her second year as an Employee Partner with the Good Neighbor Ambassador Program.
Kathryn holds a Class IV Professional Wastewater Treatment Operator certification from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Her educational background includes an MBA from Cleveland State University (Concentration in Operations and Supply Chain Management) and a BS in Biology from Kent State University.
In her previous work, Ms. Crestani was the Pretreatment Program Coordinator for all three of NEORSD’s wastewater treatment facilities. She was also an environmental consultant and a laboratory manager.
Kathryn is a recipient of the Northeast Ohio Section of the Water Environment Federation’s 2018-2019 Merrill L. Riehl Education Award, recognizing her contributions to the educational and professional advancement of wastewater treatment plant operators. She was recognized in 2017 as a YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence.
Kathryn is President of the Board of Directors for the JD Breast Cancer Foundation, an organization that provides a safety net for people in treatment for breast cancer who are experiencing financial distress.
Ms. Crestani also enjoys running 5Ks, although her two cross-country, track-and field–running children like to say “Mom, please don’t call that running. You’re JOGGING.”
I am Kellie Harris, Operation’s Manager for Saint-Gobain’s Aerospace manufacturing plants in North America. I am from the Northeast Ohio area where I live with my husband, David. I have two sons, one who lives at home and one who lives in California.
After graduated from high school I became a certified paralegal. I worked for two law firms over a 5 year period. After the birth of my first son, my husband and I became aware of the need for better health insurance coverage. At the time, most paralegal positions in the area provided part time work with no benefits. I applied for a position as a Sales Assistant at Saint-Gobain’s Ravenna, Ohio plant. I was hired as a full time employee with a benefits package in 1995. After a year or two in my new role, I became more interested in the company’s products and in business overall. Through internal promotions, I moved into different roles with more responsibility. I realized it was time for me to return to school to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Hiram College. During this time, I moved into the role of Sales Manager for Saint-Gobain’s radome repair business and then into several other commercial roles. As my sons became active in school and sporting activities I decided to make another career change that required less travel. Saint-Gobain offered me the opportunity to move from the commercial side of the business into operations where I took on roles with greater responsibilities in purchasing, manufacturing and overall plant management. My current role is Operation’s Manager with direct oversite of multiple sites domestically and a high level of involvement in two international sites. Included in my scope of work is EHS, Union relationships, production, quality, human resources, world class manufacturing and the P&L. I am looking forward to the next steps in my career.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, long walks and jogs and helping others. I love to travel for work and for pleasure, but I especially look forward to beach vacations.
I have been fortunate to have many opportunities within the same organization over the last 25+ years. Based on my experiences, I believe anything can be accomplished with the right level of determination, flexibility and an open minded approach.
Laura Johnston is the content director at cleveland.com and the Plain Dealer. Since joining the newsroom in 2007, she has covered Cuyahoga County government, edited community and government news and built the sister site, RocktheLake.com, with thousands of Facebook followers. Laura grew up in Northeast Ohio, earned her bachelor’s degree at Miami University and her master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University. She has also written for the Associated Press, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and New Jersey Star-Ledger. She is managing working from home, beside her husband, two kids and a pandemic puppy.
Melissa B Smith serves as the Vice President of Liberty Home Mortgage, one of the fastest growing mortgage lenders in the United States. Melissa began her professional career working for the U. S. Army where she learned key leadership skills that have helped to elevate her, in her career.
Melissa works diligently in setting up the strategic direction for her company and believes that ingenuity, communication, and teamwork are all keys to success. While focusing on providing an excellent customer experience, Melissa strives to exceed her colleague’s expectations and to earn their respect.
Melissa resides in Seville, Ohio with her husband Avery and their seven children. In her free time, she enjoys doing home improvement projects with her husband.
Rebecca Ruppert McMahon
Becky Ruppert McMahon is a results-oriented executive with diverse experiences in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Since January 2015, Becky has served as the CEO for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, the indispensable, go-to organization for matters of law and justice in Northeast Ohio. She is also a Director for First Mutual Holding Co., and its largest affiliate, First Federal Lakewood. Beyond her professional commitments, Becky spends as much time as possible outdoors with her fifteen-year-old daughter, Natalie, and their dog, Beatrice.
Dr. Wendy Batch-Wilson RN, Dean-Nursing Center of Excellence, has over 20 years of experience in nursing and health care education. Since joining Cuyahoga Community College in 2002, she has worked in a number of professional capacities responsible for curriculum, recruitment, and evaluation of faculty and staff. Dr. Batch-Wilson is recognized for her nursing expertise on a local, state, and national level, holding various memberships and giving professional presentations. Dr. Batch-Wilson holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing from Cleveland State University, and a Master of Science in Nursing degree and a Doctorate in Nursing Practice both from Walden University.
Yan Maschke, award-winning Executive and Team Coach, helps corporate executives with leadership and strategy so they can accelerate results through their teams in a style that feels authentic and inspiring.
With over 20 years of corporate experience, Yan has led strategy and execution in Fortune 500 environments and has managed multiple $100M+ global businesses. Now, as founder of Yan Maschke Group, she develops leaders and leadership teams worldwide through executive coaching, leadership team coaching, and strategy facilitation.
Yan is the author of the book “Leadership Unlocked: Unleash the Power of Your Body for Impact and Fulfillment”. For her expertise, industry authority International Coaching Federation (ICF) has featured her powerful coaching client stories and has granted her the prestigious President’s Award.
She loves to travel and enjoys dancing, qigong, and yoga. You can contact her or get leadership tips through her vlog at www.yanmaschke.com/contact.
Nine years of Senior Living sales & marketing multi-site leadership experience in Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and skilled nursing. Expertise areas include 4 years of multisite sales support, sales strategy development, analyzing sales statistics and plan development based on data review, and sales training.
Carol leverages more than 30 years of experience in technical organizations across a variety of industries. Currently manages the technical and commercial activities for the Saint-Gobain Aerospace business unit. She is responsible for the Sales, Marketing and Customer Service teams at three global sites, and leads the Engineering efforts. In addition to her corporate experience, Carol has started her own company in the past and currently serves on the Board of a family owned business. She is passionate about mentoring team talent to advance individuals’ personal goals as well as business objectives. Carol is especially committed to supporting minorities in pursuing STEM careers, and has encouraged her two daughters to follow their own passions in technical areas.
Jane Christyson has more than 40 years of nonprofit administration and management experience with a concentration in special events and corporate sponsorships. She is currently Chief Executive Officer for Girl Scouts of North East Ohio which serves over 23,500 girl members and almost 10,000 adult volunteers in 18 counties. She also serves on the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) National Licensing and Philanthropy Committees.
With a budget of $11 million, the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio is focused on building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place through unique programs and opportunities.
Jody M. Wheaton
Jody Wheaton is the Executive Director, Client Solutions and Program Management with Corporate College, a division of Cuyahoga Community College. Jody has her Master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Radford University. With over 18 years of consulting experience, she has had the pleasure of working with organizations such as The Cleveland Cavaliers, The Ohio State University, American Greetings, and MetroHealth to name a few. In her personal time, Jody enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters and resides in Montville Township, Ohio.
Kathy Hirko spent 17 years as the owner of KAZ Company a manufacturer’s representative company in the office products industry, selling school supplies and office products to dealers and big box stores until 2007 when the company’s largest customer moved out of the state. Kathy sold the office products contracts ending the manufacturers rep chapter of the business. She redefined her company in 2010 as an Independent Insurance Agency with a focus on educating people about Medicare and helping them find plans that would best fit their needs. Over the past 11 years Kathy has worked hard to create brand recognition for KAZ Company and has accomplished this through her 2–minute television segments on Sunday mornings with Channel 3 and Channel 5.
Kathy has always been active in the community and is involved as a board member with Boomer and Beyond Magazine, Coats for Kids and is a past Chairperson and current board member of University Hospitals Senior Network. She also co-founded the Fox 8 Stuff the Bus and Cleveland Kid’s In Need Resource Center.
Kim joined Hylant in 2011 with over 35 years in the insurance industry. Her passion for leading evolved during her 20+ years on the insurance carrier side and 15 years in property and casualty and employee benefits brokerage. In her role as president, she is responsible for the overall leadership, direction, growth and success of the office. Kim focuses on leveraging the strengths of her teams by building on their talents, expertise, and industry specialization. Kim also participates on many local boards and actively gives back to her community.
Kim graduated from Clark State Community in Springfield, Ohio and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trevecca University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a graduate of Belmont University’s Scarlett Leadership Program and is certified in Harvard’s Negotiation Techniques. She also holds insurance licenses in multiple states for life, health, property and casualty.
Kim is a dynamic speaker. Topics of her presentations include: “Networking- How to Build your Personal Brand”, “How to Find Your Voice” and “How men and women communicate differently.” Her approach is not a canned delivery, but rather a highly customized approach to meet the task at hand.
Kenya Guess serves as President & CEO of Bonnie Speed Logistics. In this role, Mrs. Guess drives all strategic and operational aspects of the company via operational efficiency and organizational health and development. Currently she serves on the Says Yes Cleveland Scholarship Board, Cleveland Leadership Center Board, GCP INGEAR committee, Customized Logistics and Delivery Association marketing committee, SU754 Girl Scout Service Unit Committee and Co-Chairs the 2019 Leadership Cleveland class.
Prior to Bonnie Speed Logistics, Mrs. Guess worked at Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia for six years holding various positions such as Sr. Financial Analyst, Accounting Manager and later through promotion Senior Manager of the North American Division of General Ledger Shared Services. Other roles include Corporate Accountant at Transcend Services and A&A Senior Assistant at Deloitte & Touché.
Holding an MBA from Florida A&M University and a BS in Business Administration, Mrs. Guess has built a career of excellent leadership and managerial skills with proficiency in analyzing industry specific business practices. She is a proven process improvement-orientated leader with established success in building collaborative teams and improving internal controls.
While Mrs. Guess serves under many titles, her two favorites are: Wife and Mom. Mrs. Guess resides in Willoughby Hills, Ohio with husband Corey Guess and their two children, Nia and Jeremiah.
Margaret Mitchell is a relational leader who anticipates trends and has a proven track record of creating competitive breakthrough strategies. She communicates complex issues with vision, and purpose through her core values. She is a consistent top performer who pursues growth with energy and drive. Margaret is a strong decision maker who builds consensus and strives for personal and organizational excellence. She skillfully develops and coaches others, and is recognized for her savvy ability to build and maintain relationships with children, youth, families and people from all walks of life.
Margaret joined YWCA Greater Cleveland in May 2011 by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors in the capacity of President and CEO. She was recruited to the YWCA as a change agent to energize the strategic vision and elevate organizational relevance and reputation. Under her leadership YWCA Greater Cleveland transformed its traditional preschool into an unduplicated trauma-informed therapeutic model serving homeless families with children ages 3 to 5; leads a community level collective impact collaborative to prevent and end youth homelessness in Greater Cleveland, and put the organization on track to financial health reversing decades of deficit funding.
Prior to the YWCA Margaret served as President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Greater Cleveland where she took an ailing nonprofit and turned around the board of directors, grew revenue, reserves and transformed the agency into a quality performance culture. Margaret moved to Cleveland in October of 2007 from Dallas, Texas where she was Vice President for Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, the largest BBBS agency in the country. During her tenure on the leadership team, BBBS Lone Star received Board of the Year and Agency of the Year national honors. Margaret developed national African American male recruitment strategies still in place, and served on the National Leadership Council as a founding member of the Diversity Committee.
Before her career in non-profit management, Margaret was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Menttium Corporation the global leader in talent development and corporate mentoring. Previous to her business career Margaret was an Associated Press (AP) award winning journalist, managing editor of Today’s Dallas Woman Magazine and the author of more than 12 books.
Margaret was named a 2014 Power Player of the Year by SMART BUSINESS Magazine; a 2013 Woman Worth Watching by Diversity Journal Magazine, is a member of Leadership Cleveland 2011, and In Counsel with Women. Margaret, a graduate of Hampton University, is committed to her faith, and husband of 30 years. Margaret and her husband are the parents of three young adults establishing their careers in engineering, nursing and firefighting.
Marianne Crosley has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Leadership Center since 2010. She leads the civic education, leadership development, and civic engagement organization in its execution of numerous programs to build civic leadership capacity. Previously, she served as the founding Executive Director of Summer on the Cuyahoga, an economic development initiative that attracts young talent to the region. She is passionate about building a pipeline of leaders to forge a successful future for Cleveland.
Crosley graduated from Colgate University and received her J. D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She worked as a prosecutor in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York and rose to be a supervisor in the Homicide Bureau. Crosley is a Trustee Emeritus of Colgate University and recipient of the Maroon Citation and the University’s highest award, The Brian Little Award for Distinguished Service. In 2018 she was recognized as a Crain’s Cleveland Business “Woman of Note” and in 2019 as one of the Notable Women in Nonprofits. She serves on the Board of Trustees for South Pointe Hospital, United Cerebral Palsy, and Cleveland Playhouse, and on the Board of Visitors for Cuyahoga Community College. She and her husband, Tim Clements, have four grown children and live in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Marianne joined Marsh, Berry & Co., Inc. (“MarshBerry”) in 2019 as Chief Marketing Officer. Her responsibilities include leading the strategy and implementation of marketing, communications and branding initiatives that share the story of how we can help clients achieve their fullest business potential. Marianne works closely with leaders across the company to understand market trends and client needs, to create and deliver strategic thought leadership, products, services and experiences that help clients learn, improve and realize their value.
Prior to MarshBerry, Marianne worked at Constant Aviation as the VP of Marketing and Brand Strategy, where she was responsible for leading all marketing strategy, digital strategy, PR, branding, trade shows and events and campaign management in the private aviation sector. She possesses a blend of analytical and creative expertise, is an astute marketer and an energetic brand evangelist. She believes all purchases, tangible and intangible, have an emotional component at various stages across the lifecycle. She is passionate about translating qualitative and quantitative data into insights to shape experiences that form a relationship and emotional connection with clients that ultimately influence the perceived value of a product or company. Marianne has more than 25 years of experience in financial services marketing focused on retail banking, investments and insurance.
Previous roles with GE, USAA, Harte-Hanks and others enabled her to design and build agile internal marketing resource teams, formulate the vision and delivery of digital transformation, create and implement client-centric initiatives, leverage data analysis and predictive modeling for research and product development and transform the role of marketing to a strategic thought partner in the business.
Marianne graduated from Bowling Green State University with a bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal and Public Communications. Outside of the office, Marianne serves as a Board Trustee for Old Trail School and has served on the United Way San Antonio, Leadership Columbia and Women’s Leadership Council in the past. She enjoys her involvement with numerous special committees for fundraising and volunteerism focused on education and community engagement. Marianne lives in the Hudson area with her husband and son, and she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Polly Hanff is the Global Regulatory Affairs and Quality Director at Saint-Gobain Life Sciences with overall responsibility to assure the quality and compliance of single use systems manufactured for the pharmaceutical, cell therapy, and medical device industries. Polly has 15 years of experience in quality, compliance, risk management and regulatory affairs at several pharmaceutical operating companies. In her role at Saint-Gobain, Polly brings her experiences in pharma to the critical supplier where she collaborates toward increased partnership among the suppliers and pharma/medical device as a means to mitigate both business and quality risks.
Sandra Madison, AIA, in March of 2016 became CEO & Chairperson of RPMI and today leads the firm she has dedicated 29 years to its success. During Sandra’s tenure, RPMI has had significant roles on an array of signature projects including the Karamu House, Downtown Hilton Hotel, Cleveland Convention Center, Jack Casino, Ahuja Medical Office Building, GCRTA Euclid Corridor Health Line, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Browns Stadium, Global Cardiovascular Innovations Center, GCRTA Waterfront Line, Cleveland Public Library Main Branch Historic Restoration, Quicken Loans Arena, Great Lakes Science Center, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Sandra’s service and dedication to Cleveland has not gone unnoticed, as she was recognized for the 2018 Progressive Woman Award, President’s Council Business Chamber Excellence Award, as a 2018 Smart Business Honoree, as the top CEO by Crain’s Cleveland Business in 2017 and a top FBE by the OhioMBE Awards 2017. She graduated from the University of Maryland-College Park School of Architecture and attended Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Career Discovery Program for Urban Design. . Her professional affiliations include the American Institute of Architects where she serves on the Women In Architecture Committee and the AIA Outreach Council, the Shaker Heights Architectural Review Board where she has served for over 12 years and also serves on the Shaker Public Art Committee and the Architecture Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentorship Board. She has past affiliations with Kent State University where she served as an adjunct professor for the Environments for Aging Class and a juror for Architectural Design studio. She also has shown service to the community by speaking on several panels, to elementary and high school students as well as having served on the Mount Pleasant Design Review Advisory Board in Cleveland and as a Friend of the Shaker School Foundation.
Shelley Roth is President of Pierre’s Ice Cream Company, an 88-year-old regional ice cream manufacturer and distributor. Pierre’s products are sold throughout Ohio, several other states. The company also manufactures private label lines for several local and national retail chains as well as distributes many national brands of ice cream. Since 1932, Pierre’s has remained in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio; with its original, classic recipes as daily reminders of the company’s dedication to quality.
Shelley has been active in numerous community organizations, and supports the revitalization of Cleveland’s neighborhoods in many ways. Over the past 25 years, the company invested in new buildings for its production, distribution and headquarters on an 8-acre brownfield site at E. 65th and Euclid Avenue. These investments have sustained the company’s operation as well as demonstrated Pierre’s commitment and leadership in revitalization and redevelopment of a once blighted urban neighborhood.
Shelley is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland. She serves on the boards of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cuyahoga Community College Foundation and the International Ice Cream Association.
Shirrell is a native of Youngstown, Ohio and a graduate of The Ohio State University where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Her varied career in education began at OSU, where she held executive positions in Student and Community Services and Admissions. After moving to Cleveland in 1998, she continued her service in higher education at Cuyahoga Community College as Director of its pre-collegiate Upward Bound Program. In a move from higher education to secondary education Shirrell broadened her service in the Chief Academic Office, Office of Professional Development and the Superintendent’s Office of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, before being appointed to the position of Deputy to the Chief Executive Officer which she held for 10 years. In January 2017, she was appointed to oversee the newly developed department of Customer Experience. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Ms. Greene-Joe was recognized by Kaleidoscope Magazine in 2009 as a member of its esteemed 40/40 class. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Ashbury Senior Community Computer Center (ASC3) from 2002-2010, she is currently a College Now mentor, and serves in the capacity of Elder and Administrator of Kingdom Keepers Church, in Beachwood, Ohio.
Susan E Donlan
Susan Donlan is Chief Communications Officer for KeyCorp. In this role Susan leads a team of communications professionals who deliver internal communications, media relations, and reputation management strategies and tactics for the enterprise.
Prior to joining Key, Susan served as Vice President, Corporate Communications at TD Bank Group, where she provided strategic communications support and counsel to a number of the bank’s businesses, most recently the Canadian retail businesses. With more than 20 years of public affairs and communications experience, Susan has an extensive track record in managing high-profile, complex, sensitive, and controversial issues across media relations, reputation management, government relations, community relations, and employee communications.
Before beginning her career in banking, Susan held a range of positions in the Canadian government, including serving as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Housing and Labour.
Susan attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts (Hon.). Susan serves as a Director on the Cleveland Museum of Natural History Board and a member of the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation Board. She lives in the Cleveland area with her husband and four children.
Susan M. Fuehrer joined the MetroHealth System on July 1, 2019 and serves as President for the Institute for H.O.P.E.TM (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment). In this role she aims to address social determinants of health in an ambitious, comprehensive and coordinated manner. Ideally repairing the systemic and root causes that affect the overall well-being of all people everyone can live their healthiest life.
Prior to this position, Susan served as the CEO and Director of the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System. She spent 34 years at the VA and rose from a management intern to CEO. For more than a decade served as the leader and visionary for one of VA’s largest healthcare systems with a strong reputation for excellent outcomes and value for patient care, academic education and research.
Susan completed her Bachelor of Science from University of New Hampshire in 1986 and Master of Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 1990. She is also a graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She currently serves on the boards of the Greater Northern Ohio American Red Cross, Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, the YMCA of Greater Cleveland, Rape Crisis Center and the Center for Health Affairs. Susan was a recipient of a Presidential Rank Award, the most prestigious award in Federal career civil service, in 2019.
Tari S. Rivera founded Regency Construction Services, Inc. in 1994 and with her entrepreneurial vision, determined spirit and solid construction engineering background. She has grown a 3 person start up firm into a multimillion-dollar enterprise with a 45 person staff and 30 carpenters/laborers. Regency’s first employee, Mary Brashwitz is still with Tari today and leads the firm’s master planning services for K-12 schools. Regency has a diverse healthcare, higher education, K-12 and civic client base that traverses the State. As one of Ohio’s largest Female Owned Construction Management, Design/Build and General Contracting firms, Regency has remained steadfast to Tari’s early commitment to diversity and opportunity in the workplace and to creating a professional organization that encourages and empowers women and minorities in construction.
As a leader in the community as well as in her business, Tari currently serves as Past Chair of the ACE Mentor Program in Cleveland and is proud to have been part of this initiative since its inception. The ACE program is very important to Tari because it provides an opportunity to work with and mentor female and minority high school students about career opportunities within the construction industry. Tari is also past Chair of the Sisters of Charity Cleveland Foundation an organization that funds grants to address the core issues of poverty primarily serving the Central neighborhood. In addition, she serves as a Board Member of the Construction Employers Association, Cleveland Build and is a member of the National Association of Women in Construction.
Honored locally and nationally for her unrelenting pursuit of her vision that was the cornerstone of Regency’s founding, some of Tari’s awards include the following:
2019 YWCA Woman of Achievement Award
2008 Cleveland Engineering Society Hall of Fame
2006 NAWIC National Crystal Vision Award
2004 Top 10 Women Business Owners in Northeast Ohio Award
2001 The University of Akron – Distinguished Alumnus, College of Engineering
On a personal note, Tari is married to John Rivera and their son, Trenton is a medical student at Case Western Reserve University.
Sue Workman is responsible for creating the vision and strategies that enable the delivery of technology solutions supporting Case Western Reserve University’s mission of teaching, learning, research, and security, along with day‐to‐day functions of the university.
Workman has been instrumental in an innovative collaboration between CWRU and Cleveland Clinic with Microsoft to develop the first educational application for HoloLens, a mixed reality device. She led an extraordinary change process with CWRU’s initiative to centralize all IT services and community, bringing an individuated culture together into one unified organization. Workman also implemented “Re-Imagining IT,” UTech’s strategic plan, using an unconventional approach engaging the full campus community. Workman is now driving a university-wide expansion of online learning, including curriculum development and delivery methods.
Sue’s leadership service includes: Vice-Chair of Board of Directors for EDUCAUSE; board director for the First Mutual Holding Company; serving on Cleveland’s DigitalC board, and former Northeast Ohio Cybersecurity Consortium President and Board Chair. She is involved with multiple advisory boards.
With a passion for leadership development, strategic planning and team building, Workman has published widely in industry and higher education journals and gives presentations on many topics, offering insights on change process, leadership, team-building practices, and strategic planning.
Patricia Connole (Kendig) is the founder and CEO of US Communications. Pat started the company in 1996 and has led its growth from 2 employees to over 100 currently on the US Comm team. She is an accountant by trade but has had to wear many hats over the years during the company’s rapid growth. Pat is extremely proud of the accomplishments of US Communications and attributes its success to a team of hard working, diligent and caring individuals. She has installed a strong sense of responsibility to bettering the community at US Communications through support and donations to area hospitals, foundations and the USO. Pat regularly participates in fundraisers for cancer research including the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the Komen 3-day Cancer Walk, and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
When Pat is not attending to the many needs of a growing business, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 children and 2 grandchildren.
Océanne is a line of minimalist modern jewelry by French designer Anne Harrill. Established in 2006, Océanne started growing a following in Cleveland, OH and slowly expanded to apparel and home goods. Outgrowing her spare bedroom, then her first studio, she opened her storefront in 2017, with the help of a team of amazing creative women.
With an aesthetic that merges both the maker utility of the rustbelt and the enduring beauty of French design, Océanne is a tribute to Anne’s childhood in France and her journey to the American Midwest.
Robin Doerschuk is an entrepreneur and a growth-oriented business professional. Robin started her career with Alliance Solutions Group, then a small firm of 6 employees, a full-service staffing and recruitment agency, immediately following college graduation in 2004. In 2011 she became a shareholder as the leadership bought out the original investor. She still maintains her equity in the organization today. The company is now one of the largest staffing firms in the United States.
Robin is currently the Vice President and GM of Snip Internet a fiber internet service provider. Robin joined Snip Internet in October of 2018. Robin’s focus is on growth and expansion. Since her start the organization has grown from 1 market to 3 in the last year. Also, with in her first year the organization successfully completed and secured their first raise of 7.75 million and will be expanding into Milwaukee and Columbus in 2020. Snip internet also acquired Rocket Fiber Residential Services out of Detroit, Michigan in July of 2020. Robin is excited to join another Cleveland startup which is positioned for fast track for growth locally and nationally.
As Robin continues advancing within the company, she strives to give back to the community by influencing change within several organizations.
Most recently, Robin recognized a need for continuing education for women in business, so she created and founded the Women’s Leadership Conference of Northeast Ohio. 2015 was the inaugural year and hosted 350+ attendees. The event was a huge success hosting 12 powerful female speakers. She and her team hosted the 5th annual conference that sold out with 740 attendee’s in September of 2019.
She has been on the Board of Directors for Cleveland SHRM for the last ten years, currently serving as Past President and is the current President of the Cleveland SHRM Foundation. Under Robin’s leadership Cleveland SHRM is now recognized as the 2nd largest chapter in Ohio out of 26 chapters. The organization has grown from 400 to 700 in the last 5 years. Robin is an alumni of Bridge Builders, an initiative of the Cleveland Leadership Center.
Loyal to her cheerleading background and her Alma Mater, Robin also created the Kent State Cheerleading Alumni Group, which now has more than 250 active members.
Robin has been recognized for her leadership and outreach in the community: Most recent in 2020 Robin was recognized as one of the top Smart 50 Business Leaders in NEO. In 2009 Robin was recognized by Inside Magazine as “One to Watch” in 2014, Robin was the recipient of the Distinguished Marketing and Sales Awards from SME Cleveland, and in 2015, she received the Women Who Excel Award from Smart Business Network, in 2017 she was awarded Women of Achievement Award by the Women’s Network of Ohio, 2018 she was recognized by YWCA Cleveland and most recently she was recognized by WELD Cleveland as women WELDing the way calendar. She is passionate about her work, and about helping those around her succeed. She is most proud of her family husband Jeff and two children Maximus and Troy.
Janet Kendall White
Janet Kendall White is founder and CEO of Berkshire Group, Inc., an award-winning Authorized Partner with Wiley & Sons, Inc. for Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors™ and certified WBE and WOSB. For more than two decades Berkshire Group has helped organizations grow through strategic planning facilitation, leadership and culture development and process improvement. Berkshire Group’s primary purpose is to equip organizations of all disciplines to meet their current goals and prepare for the future.
Janet has a natural passion to grow, expand and explore. Grow individuals, teams, and organizations. Expand capacity, thinking and vision. Explore possibilities for change, improvement, and influence. Janet adapts to emerging situations, is a quick thinker and focuses on solutions. She drives herself and others to results and initiates innovative change. Janet is often called on to help facilitate executive retreats, boards, and other diverse groups of people to solve complex problems, align around a vision or mobilize energy toward a current vision.
She is a sought-after speaker locally and nationally on a variety of leadership and organization topics. She has been featured in Entrepreneur, Fortune and Bloomberg Business Week as well as other local acknowledgements.
Janet is the author of multiple training workbooks that are utilized in Berkshire Group’s leadership development training for clients and available to the public via www.berkshiregroupinc.com and Amazon. She is currently a monthly contributor to Soar to Success Magazine.
Janet currently volunteers her time with organizations that support women and girls and veterans. Janet currently serves on the NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Cleveland Chapter Board of Directors, Stark State College Foundation Board of Directors and Capstone Strategic Board of Advisors and is the Scholarship Coordinator for Rolling Thunder Ohio Ch. 2 Veterans Scholarship.
Janet holds an MBA from Hofstra University and has completed post-graduate work at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and National Training Labs. She is a Certified Professional Consultant (CPC), SHRM-SCP and is certified in a variety of leadership assessment instruments.
Jean Bornold Angus
Jean Angus is the CEO of Life Sciences within High Performance Solutionsat Saint-Gobain, a 41.8B € (2018 sales) company, operating in 68 countries, with more than 180,000 employees. Saint-Gobain has been recognized as a Top 100 Global Innovator and is one of only fourteen companies recognized as Top Global Employer.
Working in multiple industries, Jean has over twenty-five years of broad-based, global experience, including global business management, strategy development, sales & marketing, manufacturing, supply chain, innovation, and R&D. In her role as Life Sciences CEO, Jean leads the development and manufacturing of high-performance components and integrated solutions for industries such as biopharmaceuticals, medical and food & beverage. Jean and her team are building a customer-focused culture, where strong material expertise complements unparalleled co-development capabilities.
Jean received a Master’s of Science in Business and Environmental Management from the University of Findley and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry from Auburn University.
Joining Marcus Thomas in 1995, Jennifer directs marketing research operations for the agency, playing the role of psychologist, cultural anthropologist, statistician, behavioral economist, sociologist, and let’s not forget, consumer. She has a background in strategic counsel and brand research, and is passionate about translating data into rich insights that uncover new business and marketing opportunities for her clients. Jennifer has led major research initiatives for a range of clients, including Dexcom, Lubrizol, Troy-Bilt, Nationwide, Ohio Lottery and KeyBank to name a few – and has earned a reputation for consistently delivering actionable insights to her clients. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and Insights Association. Jennifer is a graduate of Cleveland Bridge Builders and has authored both academic and practical industry articles over the past 20+ years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The Ohio State University.
Laura F. Sonderman
Laura Sonderman, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional and experienced Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley, and predecessor firms, since 1995, has built and expanded her business through dedicated service as a Financial Advisor to her clients. She has also held the role of Consulting Group Analyst for Smith Barney’s Consulting Group, delivering professionally managed investment strategies to institutional investors and private clients. As a skilled investment professional, she offers comprehensive wealth management services to private and institutional investors in the areas of financial planning, risk management, investment management, estate and tax planning strategies, and retirement planning. With 24 years of experience, she plans and implements wealth management strategies designed to help clients build, preserve and transfer wealth. Laura is Series 7 licensed as Registered Representative in General Securities, Series 63 licensed as Uniform Securities Agent, and Series 65 licensed as Uniform Investment Adviser by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). She is also Life, Accident and Health Insurance licensed in the state of Ohio. Laura has earned an A.A.S. degree in Accounting from York Technical Institute and a B.A.S. degree in Business Administration from Waldorf University. Laura is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland and volunteers in her free time as a board member for Orange Lions Athletic Booster Club, and a member of The Children’s Guild, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote child welfare. She lives in Orange Village with her husband Patrick and daughters, Adelaide and Ava. She works out of the Pepper Pike, Ohio office of Morgan Stanley.
Allison Grealis is founder and president of the Women in Manufacturing® Association (WiM), a national trade association focused on supporting, promoting and inspiring women in the manufacturing sector. She also is president of the WiM Education Foundation, the 501(c)(3) arm of WiM, which provides effective and affordable educational opportunities for women in manufacturing.
From 2001 until March 2020, Grealis also served as vice president of association services for the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), a full-service trade association representing the metalforming industry.
Grealis is a frequent speaker at industry events, including the Financial Times’ Future of Manufacturing Summit, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence conference, the North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit, the Generis American Manufacturing Summit, and more. She also regularly is featured on industry podcasts and in the media.
Grealis was recognized as one of 2018 Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Women of Note, which celebrates women for their outstanding leadership in the community.
Grealis serves as a member of the Community Advisory Board and Outreach Committee of the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women of Case Western Reserve University. She also is a member of the Saint Joseph Academy Engineering and Design Honors Program Advisory Board. She previously served as a board member for the Greater Cleveland Society of Association Executives and Our Lady of the Elms High School.
Grealis earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a certificate in Women’s Studies from Ohio University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Akron.
Delphine Despres is CFO of Saint-Gobain Life Sciences, a division of Saint-Gobain, a 355-year-old company headquartered in Paris, France. Committed to making a material difference during life’s key experiences and critical moments, Saint-Gobain Life Sciences develops and manufactures high-performance components and integrated solutions dedicated to improving the quality of life, from the development of new therapeutic cancer treatments to biopharmaceutical production, on through to intravenous therapies for drug delivery and fluid transfer solutions for food and beverage dispensing and specialty applications. Along with exceptional material science expertise and collaborative design services, Saint-Gobain’s global footprint in 30 sites worldwide and focus on localized quality and regulatory affairs enable it to solve customers’ complex challenges and bring peace of mind to organizations in every part of the globe. Delphine Despres has been part of Saint-Gobain for 24 years, working in two countries and five different business segments. She received her Master’s degree from IPESUP in Paris, France.
Christina M. Moran
Dr. Christina Moran is a licensed Industrial/Organizational Psychologist and currently works for a financial consulting firm to the insurance industry, MarshBerry. An energetic strategist and executer, she has demonstrated exceptional results in a variety of areas including talent management, business operations, organizational effectiveness, marketing, international account management, and analytic modeling. Her career has spanned consulting, business leadership, academia, athletic and performance domains, and nonprofit direction. A unique thought leader, Christina’s research has been published in a number of top-tier peer-reviewed journals in the field. Christina obtained her doctorate and master’s from the University of Akron’s nationally ranked industrial/organizational psychology program and her bachelor’s of science in psychology with a minor in Spanish from John Carroll University. She is licensed to practice psychology by the state of Ohio.
Erica Smeal is an Area Retail Lead for KeyBank, overseeing 13 branches in Lake and Ashtabula in Ohio and Erie County in Pennsylvania.
Erica has been in retail banking for 11 years, holding positions from part time teller to branch manager at PNC Bank. She spent a year as a Business Market Acquisition Lead for Northern Ohio at PNC Bank. She has a passion for small business, retail and coaching others.
Erica is the head Varsity Coach for Laurel School. She has held multiple coaching positions over the past 15 years including The Surge, GaReat, Eastside Cleveland Juniors and Laurel School.
Erica, her Husband, Gary and son Hunter reside in Mayfield Hts, Ohio with their puppy Hershey.
Dalithia Smith currently holds the position of Chief Human Resources Officer at Oatey, a global manufacturing leader in the residential and commercial plumbing industry. In this role, Dalithia serves as the strategic partner to the Chief Executive Officer in leading the global human resources function, including diversity, equity & inclusion and environmental, health, safety and security.
Dalithia’s wealth of experience includes setting the strategic direction for HR and ensuring that human capital strategies align with corporate objectives. She has a heavy focus on leadership & organizational development, attraction & retention, engagement and diversity, equity & inclusion. She is also accomplished in the areas of talent acquisition and executive coaching.
Prior to joining Oatey, Dalithia served as the Vice President Human Resources, Americas Welding for Lincoln Electric, a global manufacturer of welding products. Prior to that, she managed the University Relations function at the Timken Company in Canton. She also held various management positions in Human Resources, Diversity, Corporate Finance and Retail Banking at organizations such as Ernst & Young and Key Bank.
Dalithia holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and the SHRM-Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certifications. She is a national and local member of the Society for Human Resource Management. Past accomplishments include being recognized in the 2018 Notable Women in Manufacturing feature and earning the recognition of Cleveland Crain’s 40 Under 40 which recognizes individuals for their professional success and civic contributions. Dalithia is committed to giving back and currently sits on the board of The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, the YMCA, CollegeNow, the Cleveland Play House and is an Employer Relations committee member for Engage! Cleveland.
Dalithia earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing with a minor in Fashion Merchandising from Ohio University. She also holds an MBA from Cleveland State University. She is a Cleveland native and the proud mom of her daughter Jordyn who is currently pursuing her collegiate studies. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, including her mom and brother who reside in the Cleveland area. She also enjoys reading, traveling, shopping and various community activities.
Darlene J. Thompson, PhD is an industrial and organizational psychologist with a passion for leadership development and team effectiveness. She has dedicated her career to helping leaders and organizations unlock their full potential and achieve breakthrough successes. In this pursuit, she leverages scientifically backed cross disciplinary approaches and best practices. Active listening, curiosity, and leading with empathy are equally important to Darlene’s work and mission.
Currently, Darlene is a Senior Talent Manager, SVP at KeyBank, where she partners with senior leaders to create and implement talent management strategies aligned with current and future business imperatives. Prior to her role at KeyBank, Darlene held various global leadership roles within human resources, talent management, and organizational development at Goodyear Tire and Rubber and Parker Hannifin. Darlene holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Akron, where she focused on leadership development, feedback, and self-awareness. She has presented on these and other topics in professional conferences and has publications focused on feedback. Outside of work, Darlene is an avid gardener and orchidist.
With more than 18 years of public relations and social marketing experience, Amber currently manages a team of social strategists, content creators and community managers at Marcus Thomas, one of America’s leading independent advertising agencies. During her career, she has spearheaded award-winning campaigns and activities for brands like Nestle, Sherwin-Williams and U.S. Cotton. Amber holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications and journalism from Elon University in North Carolina.