Meet Our Advisory Board
Jeffrey Bowen is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), and a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer (CGT), with a BA in Psychology from Kent State University, and a Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) and an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Certificate in Positive Business and Society Change from The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Jeffrey earned a Certificate in Fund Raising from The Fundraising School at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and was trained by Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland at Cleveland State University. In addition to many years in Sales & Marketing, Jeffrey's career as a nonprofit professional includes working as a Crisis Intervention Counselor, Youth Services Caseworker, After-School Program Fundraiser, as Director of Development & Public Affairs for the Lake Erie Girl Scout Council, and as the Executive Director of Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. Jeffrey is College Lecturer in Organizational Leadership at the Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.
Deanna Clifford currently serves as the Program Manager for Ohio University’s Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service. Deanna works to support the continued growth and development of the Voinovich Academy, located in Dublin. She manages operational, marketing, and new business development activities for professional and executive education programs and related initiatives. Deanna has a Bachelor of Science in Communication and a Master of Arts in Communication from Ohio University.
Lamont D. Dodson grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Cleveland Central Catholic, Cuyahoga Community College graduating from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, and earned accreditation from Cleveland State University and National Certified Public Manager Consortium. Lamont has been employed with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District since 1997. He has served in many capacities walking the halls working as a security officer in schools, gang officer working collaboratively with the Cleveland Police Department gang task force serving as a liaison to mediate conflict resolution. Lamont rose through the ranks serving as a Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and his current position as Deputy Chief.
Crytal Franklin serves as the Director of CSforCLE. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Crystal has directed CSforCLE at Cleveland State University for over three years. She has a keen understanding for the students that attend schools in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and issues surrounding access to equitable education. As a result, she has developed a passion for working with students and families to break through barriers and factors that lead to marginalization. Crystal serves on the Ohio CS Policy Coalition, ECEP National Executive Board, volunteers as the Education Liaison for the American Heart Association STEM Goes Red for Girls, was recently named the 2021 Dean’s Diversity Award recipient and is engaged in countless other diversity, equity and inclusion activities
Darryl Graves currently serves as the Reentry Administrator for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Darryl is an experienced and passionate leader in the public, nonprofit and community-based sectors. Darryl has, over the past thirty plus years, served others in roles including public administrator, executive coach, non-profit president, board member, mentor, sports coach, and coalition leader. Darryl understands the importance of building bridges and possesses the commitment, focus and fortitude to help build them. He strives to accomplish his goals of lifting our community and fostering excellence and unity by practicing effective communication and relationship building.
Colonel Jay Johnson is a lecturer and director of the George V. Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service located at Ohio University's Dublin Campus. Jay joined the Voinovich School with more than 30 years of government/military experience with an extensive background as a Marine Corps officer collaborating with interagency and international organizations in several executive level leadership positions. Jay’s career in the Marine Corps focused on leadership development and team building across a wide spectrum of organizational levels. Jay is a graduate of Ohio University receiving a bachelor's in criminal justice in 1986. He also holds master’s degrees in public administration from Webster University and national resource strategy from National Defense University (The Eisenhower School.) He is an active volunteer with the Toys for Tots and the Semper Fi Society, which supports wounded Marines. His hobbies and interests are physical fitness, military history and spending time with his family and friends.
Barbara Kakiris is Director of Engagement and Stewardship for The MetroHealth Foundation, a role in which she designs, implements, and evaluates comprehensive donor engagement and stewardship programs for the hospital system. MetroHealth is redefining healthcare by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being by focusing on health equity: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help, and other services. Prior to her foray into the healthcare arena, she spent a decade in higher education (as Deputy Chief of Staff at Cleveland State University and Director of Summer Programs at Kenyon College) and 20 years in the federal government at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in various public relations, protocol, and event management roles. Before moving back to Cleveland, she was an elected official in Knox County, Ohio, helping to run and manage Gambier, OH as a member of Village Council. She earned a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree from Kenyon College in Gambier, OH and a Master of Studies (one of the first graduates in Women’s Studies) from The University of Oxford in Oxford, England. She has also completed certifications from Cleveland State University, MIT Sloan School of Management, The Brookings Institution, and The Protocol School of Washington. Barbara has been recognized by various organizations with honors including the NASA Public Service Medal, United States Congressional Achievement Award, Inside Business Magazine’s ATHENA Award, JLC’s Frances Payne Bolton and Ruth T. Lucas Awards, Kenyon College’s Anne J. Robinson, and Distinguished Service Awards, GLAMOUR Magazine’s Women at Their Best Award, and the Greek America Foundation’s Forty Under 40 Award. She was also inducted into the Lakewood Rangers Education Foundation (LREF) Alumni Hall of Fame. Barbara is active in her community, serving as President of The Junior League of Cleveland and Vice President of the Lakewood Rangers Education Foundation. During her spare time, Barbara enjoys traveling to visit her nephews and friends, attending live concerts and shows, reading, and most of all—spending time with her three Standard Poodles.
Jennifer Kuzma As the executive director of the Northeast Ohio First Suburbs Consortium, Jennifer has developed regional initiatives serving the council of governments of Cuyahoga County’s inner ring communities to improve services, increase productivity and redevelop housing and economic development within member-communities while nurturing a collaborative and inclusive organization with a focus on regionalism.
Mary Siwierka - Board Chair has held various positions in local government for nearly 40 years. During her career of service, she was elected to Elyria City Council, served on the Civil Service Commission, and was the first woman to hold the position of Safety Service Director in Elyria's 200-year history – second highest position in the 14th largest city in Ohio. In addition to her public service, she also worked for the Cleveland Clinic where she served in multiple roles including supporting the Chief Experience Officer (a C-Suite cabinet level position) and the regional hospital system. Currently she serves the City of Avon Lake (workforce of nearly 200, with seven unions) as the Human Resources Director. She is a graduate of Tiffin University, holds a CPM credential from CSU and holds a Senior Certified Professional -with International Public Management Association for Human Resources. She and her husband of over 40 years are the proud parents of one adult son and enjoy traveling. She treasures the women who have mentored her and seeks to continuously mentor women – especially those who are involved in government.
Philip Wenk earned his BSBA and MBA from Xavier University within four years. Approximately 25 years later, he achieved a PhD in clinical psychology with a specialization in trauma. Driven by a passion to serve, he guides children and their families through the healing process from trauma. Wenk has enjoyed an amazing journey both professionally and personally. Throughout his career, Phillip has served on numerous advisory boards and committees. His philanthropic efforts began right out of college, establishing a foundation that provided after-school programs for children in project areas. Recognized for his effort to help empower children, Wenk received the National Point of Light award from President George H.W. Bush. As a senior technical consultant for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, he was awarded a Presidential Citation by President William Clinton for his innovative programs benefiting multiple municipalities and public housing authorities. Phillip has raised over half a billion in resources for the nonprofit sector. Today, he is the founder and trustee of the Wenk Family Foundation, supporting over 40 local agencies and addressing unmet community needs. Additionally, Wenk is co-developer of the nationally recognized Power of Harmony program, which offers music therapy and mentorship to incarcerated young men. Phillip also serves as the Social Innovator in residence and an Adjunct Professor at John Carroll University. Amidst his achievements, his greatest joy lies in cherishing life with his partner Valorie and their three adult children.