1st Row, Officers: Chair - John Zaranec, 1st Vice Chair - Anita Miller,
Treasurer - Ted Grabowski and Secretary - Joshua Berman
2nd Row: Marissa Beechuk, Cathy Belk, Claire Shands-Waag, Stephanie Niehaus, Monica Banks-Hines and Nicole Wilson
3rd Row: Sue Kenney-Pfalzer, Elaine Schulte, Lesa Evans, Tom Dent, Daniel Gisser, Eric Clark and Christina Royal
Not Pictured: Mary Ann Arnold, Patricia Ballard, Meredith Bowen, Lisa Buescher, Bernie Kerrigan,
Board of Directors 2013 Biographies
Chairperson: John Zaranec – Senior Manager, KPMG
John is a senior manager in KPMG’s Audit practice in Cleveland, Ohio. John has over eight years of experience providing financial statement audit and audit of internal control services in accordance with SEC, U.S. GAAP and IFRS requirements. John was introduced to ANC through Business Volunteers Unlimited (BVU) speed networking event in 2008. He has no personal direct ties to the adoption triad, but was inspired by the dedication and goals that were discussed by the ANC representatives at the BVU event. Since that time, John has been an active member of the Finance Committee and has served as Treasurer since 2010.
1st Vice Chair: Anita Miller – Product Manager, Progressive Insurance
Anita Miller is a Product Manager at Progressive Insurance, where she manages Progressive’s personal auto insurance business in Iowa and South Dakota. Before joining Progressive, Anita worked in mergers and acquisitions for Eaton Corporation and, prior to that, as a product development engineer for Ford Motor Company in Detroit. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Anita and her husband Joe live in Shaker Heights with their four children – Ava (9), Isaac (7), Eleanor (5) and Aaron (3). Their older three children joined their family through adoption and they enjoy relationships with varying degrees of openness with each of their birth families.
Secretary: Joshua L Berman – Director, Business Analytics and ICD-10 Lead, RelayHealth/ McKesson
Josh Berman received his Bachelor’s in Health Administration with a minor in business at Ohio University. Shortly after graduation he moved to Cleveland to join the Cleveland Clinic. During that time he worked in the revenue cycle doing a little bit of everything including collections, software development, billing and electronic data interchange. Prior to leaving the Clinic he was in charge of the biggest patient financial application at Cleveland Clinic, which involved billing and processing all of Cleveland Clinic's revenue. Josh left the Clinic after 12 years to take on a new role as a Director in McKesson’s technology division, RelayHealth. In his short time with RelayHealth Josh lead his team to build one of the biggest new analytic and business intelligence software solutions in the company’s history. As of late 2012, Josh will lead a new team overseeing the ICD-10 project for RelayHealth which focuses on national healthcare changes. Josh was born in Colombia and adopted at 4 days old, he grew up in Youngstown Ohio with his parents and his adopted sister (also from Colombia). Despite all the traveling for work Josh is grounded by his girlfriend and two adopted rescue dogs in Berea where they reside.
Treasurer: Ted Grabowski – Assistant Vice President, Private Client Services, First Place Bank
Ted Grabowski is an accomplished and respected banking professional with over 20 years of extensive experience in personal, one-on-one banking. Ted received his degree in Business Administration from Thiel College in Greenville, PA. He volunteers for other non-profit organizations including Mainstreet Amherst, Cystic Fibrosis, WECO Fund, Habitat for Humanity and has served as a classroom teacher for Junior Achievement Project Business. Ted is an adoptee and he resides in North Olmsted with his wife, Colleen, their 2 year-old daughter, Brigid and has another child on the way in late February 2013.
Mary Ann Arnold – Hub Manager, Continental Airlines
Mary Ann has been employed in the airline industry for over 16 years. She was selected to represent Cleveland Hopkins Airport at the 2008 Continental Airlines Shareholder’s meeting. Mary Ann is a respected leader of customer-focused teams, instilling a shared, enthusiastic commitment to customer services. She received her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing for the Ohio State University. She is a member of the Big Sister organization of Dayton, Ohio. Mary Ann is a reunited adoptee.
Patricia Anderson-Ballard – Founder, Changing Attitudes Utilizing Skills from Everyday Life (CAUSE)
Patricia Anderson-Ballard is a wife, mother and entrepreneur who founded CAUSE (Changing Attitudes Utilizing Skills from Everyday Life) after recovering from a health challenge that resulted in her becoming quadriplegic. With an understanding and appreciation for second chances, she took CAUSE to the community to inspire others. CAUSE has collaborated with my agencies and is currently involved with the Governor’s Call to Action and their mission is to “Plant the Seeds of Success” and promote self-sufficiency through instruction. Patricia holds memberships in several community organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was named an Entrepreneur of the Month (2002) by the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO) and holds a degree in Human Services and Communication from the University of North Carolina. She is a native Clevelander and resides with her family in Beachwood.
Monica Banks Hines – President and Owner, MBH Global Communications
Monica Banks Hines is the president and owner of MBH Global Communications. She moved from California to host public affairs talk shows on WUAB-TV- 43, Cleveland. She worked as a news reporter, executive producer and hosted several talk shows before being promoted to the station’s public affairs director. Since then Monica founded E-ProToCall Marketing Solutions, achieved significant success as partnership specialist during the 2010 United States Census and worked with the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners during the transition to a new form of government. Recently she revamped her first consulting practice and opened MBH Global Communications which promotes social programs for non-profit and government agencies. Monica is a graduate of Indiana University, lives in Solon with her daughter Jackie and husband Ray. Monica is an adoptive parent.
Marissa Beechuk – Analyst & Marketing Manager, BrownFlynn
Marissa Beechuk has worked at BrownFlynn, a corporate responsibility and sustainability consulting firm, for the past 4 years. As analyst and marketing manager, Marissa serves in a client-facing role working on projects that include sustainability reporting, public engagement and communications, as well as manages all marketing for the firm. Marissa has a Masters Degree in Communications Management from John Carroll University and has been a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland since April 2011.
Cathy Belk – Chief Relationship Officer, JumpStart
Cathy serves as JumpStart’s Chief Relationship Officer and manages engagement with the community through marketing, development, investor relations, strategy and outreach activities.
Cathy brings a wealth of experience in consumer and business marketing and business management to the JumpStart team. Most recently, she held a series of brand and business management roles, including Director of the American Greetings brand at the Cleveland-area greeting card company. As Director of Innovation, Cathy led a team that developed and launched a product, eventually taking over management of the product as it developed into an $80 million annual business.
Prior to American Greetings, Cathy worked in branding, marketing and communications management at The Coca-Cola Company and Procter and Gamble. Before that, Cathy dedicated six years to the commercial banking industry, holding a series of positions at Bank of America.
Cathy was a Keller Scholar and received an MBA with a focus in Marketing from Duke University in 1998. She earned a BA in Economics from Davidson College in 1990.
Meredith W. Bowen, Esq. - Judicial Attorney, Eighth District Court of Appeals
Meredith is a native of Cleveland and a graduate of Hathaway Brown. After attending Syracuse University, Meredith spent a year at the Rift Valley Children's Village, an orphanage in Tanzania. Inspired by the children she met, Meredith founded the African Orphan Education Fund, a 501(C)3 dedicated to granting scholarships to orphans in need. After a life-changing year, Meredith returned home to attend law school at Case Western Reserve University. Upon graduation, Meredith returned to Tanzania to live, work and adopt! Having completed the adoptions of her son and daughter, Meredith returned home and is currently a judicial attorney at the Eighth District Court of Appeals.
Lisa A. Buescher
Lisa is an adoptee born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. Her parents adopted her, and her younger brother, at birth. After having her first child, Lisa appreciated even more the importance of the loving and stable home her parents had provided. Giving birth also raised her interest in looking into her biological past. Searching for answers, Lisa connected with Adoption Network Cleveland’s Search & Reunion program. She feels that her first exposure to the greater value of Adoption Network Cleveland came from a General Meeting she attended four years ago. A brief, but memorable, interaction that evening with a prospective adoptive parent who was wondering if she was doing the right thing made Lisa feel that maybe she could help. This was the beginning of her involvement with Adoption Network Cleveland as a volunteer and member of the Events Sub-Committee. She now chairs the Outreach and Development Committee. Lisa received her bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Wright State University and her master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Michigan. She has worked in product liability, product design, and manufacturing. She is currently a full-time mother and lives with her husband and their three young children in Chagrin Falls. When not chasing after a little one, she is a mentor at Adoption Network Cleveland, involved with her local primary schools and volunteers with the MS Society.
Eric Clark – Electrical Engineer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Thomas W. Dent, Jr. – Senior Vice President, PNC Bank
Thomas W. Dent Jr. was raised in Columbus as the adopted child of a high school chemistry teacher and a bookkeeper at a law firm. He has an adopted younger sister. After graduating high school, Tom attended the U.S. Naval Academy where he studied aerospace engineering. Upon graduation in 1990, he was commissioned in the U.S. Navy and subsequently became a helicopter pilot. Tom did an operational tour flying H-53E’s out of Sicily and finished his naval career as a flight instructor in Florida. After ten years on active duty as a naval aviator, Tom returned to Ohio and attended the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State and earned an MBA in finance in 2002. He was awarded his CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter in 2005. Tom joined National City Bank following business school and served in several different risk management positions. He currently leads the SBA (Small Business Administration) lending business at PNC. Tom and his wife Tricia have been married for 18 years and have two children, Liam and Sofie. He enjoys playing golf and ice hockey, music and traveling.
Lesa Evans – Executive Vice President and Human Resource Director, Corporate Bank and Risk Management, Key Bank
Lesa Evans leads the HR function for the Corporate Bank, Risk Management, and Victory businesses at Key. Lesa and her team develop and implement human capital solutions that contribute to the growth strategies of the businesses and elevate the performance and engagement of the workforce.
Lesa is an experienced executive with over 18 years of experience in setting and achieving results in the area of Human Resources. She is recognized as a trusted advisor to senior executives in the area of transformation, people management, strategic organizational alignment and employee development.
Prior to her current role, Lesa led the enterprise training function for Key Bank. Throughout her 15 year career at Key, she has held various HR positions and has supported the Community Bank and Corporate Bank businesses and administrative support groups.
Prior to joining Key, Lesa was a National Training Manager for First Nationwide Bank and a Loan Officer for Bank One. Lesa holds multiple human resource certifications such as Myers Briggs, PDI, Lominger, Hermann Brain Dominance, Organization Design, and Instructional Design.
Lesa is a Board Member for the Adoption Network and is an active mentor in the International Adoptive Parent program. In addition to her role at Key, Lesa is active in her community and resides in Canal Fulton, Ohio with her husband Matt and daughter Mahlee.
Daniel J. Gisser – Director of Corporate Marketing, Eaton Corporation
Daniel J. Gisser (Dan) is Director of Corporate Marketing at Eaton Corporation. He is leading Eaton’s programs related to environmental marketing and corporate sustainability, especially as they tie to Eaton’s power management products and services. He is also driving improvement in innovative growth processes and functional excellence in marketing and sales across the global corporation. Dan is a frequent invited speaker and guest lecturer for MBA classes and conferences, especially on topics of marketing, growth, and corporate sustainability. Prior to joining Eaton, Dan worked for 10 years at Eastman Kodak where he worked in new business development in the electronics industry.
Dan and his wife Kathy were both born and raised in greater Cleveland. Their adopted daughter, Emily Thom, was born in Vietnam in 2001. The family has a semi-open relationship with Thom’s birthmother, Thuy, and other birth-relatives, and hopes to see them again in late 2012. Dan has a BA from Dartmouth College, PhD in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, and MBA from the University of Rochester.
Susan Kenney-Pfalzer – Attorney, Susan Kenney-Pfalzer, Attorney at Law
Susan is an adoptive parent as well as a birth sibling who she reunited with about 12 years ago. She considers herself as an adoption advocate and feels strongly about issues such as access to records, openness, and eliminating restrictions on who can adopt. She is a licensed attorney since 2003 and ran a successful family law practice in Columbus, Ohio until 2008, and re-opened her family law practice in Elyria in 2011. Her practice includes finalizing agency adoptions. Susan was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2007. In 2008, she took a position with Micronesian Legal Services in the Republic of Palau. After two years, she and her family moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where she and her husband taught at an international school. Susan is in her last year of the Master of Public Administration program (specialization in nonprofit management) at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.
Bernadette (Bernie) Kerrigan, LISW --- Chief Talent Officer, The Centers for Families and Children
Bernadette Kerrigan (Bernie) is the Chief Talent Officer of The Centers for Families and Children (The Centers), a $40 million private, non-profit human services organization. Bernie came to The Centers after 17 years at United Way Services of Greater Cleveland, most recently as Vice President, Community Investment for the Community Vision Council, a position she held for six years. During her tenure at United Way, she led a community process to invest over $300 million into local health and human services agencies. She is recognized nationally and locally for her work in launching outcomes measurements for United Way in Cuyahoga, Medina, and Geauga counties. She was co-leader of a national United Way of America outcomes measurement standard of practice initiative, which insured that local investments of United Way were based on best practices and outcomes measurement data results. In addition, she was staff lead for United Way’s core services planning project that researched best practices and outcomes data for 81 core services areas including child care, mental health and family programs. Bernie holds a bachelor’s degree in Clinic Social Work from Ohio State University and a Master of Science degree in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University. She began her career as a medical social worker at University Hospitals of Cleveland. Bernie is proud to be the single adoptive parent of two adorable daughters – Emma, age 8, and Kiara, age 7.
Stephanie E. Niehaus – Partner, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP
Stephanie Niehaus is a partner in the litigation group of Squire Sanders (US) LLP. Her practice focuses on complex commercial, products liability, and toxic tort matters. She has appeared and argued in state and federal courts across the country and has participated in several jury trials and arbitrations. Stephanie is listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2013, has been recognized five out of the last six years as a Rising Star in Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, and was selected by her firm and the YWCA of Greater Cleveland as a 2010 Woman of Professional Excellence. She received her J.D., summa cum laude, from the Notre Dame Law School and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University. Stephanie came to Adoption Network through Business Volunteers Unlimited, and was particularly drawn to the organization after representing friends through the adoption process. She resides in Rocky River, Ohio with her husband and son and enjoys running and traveling in her free time.
Christina Royal – Associate Vice President, eLearning & Innovation, Cuyahoga Community College
Dr. Christina (Tina) Royal has been involved in Education for over 15 years, in both academic (community college and private four-year institutions) and corporate environments. She currently serves as the Associate Vice President of eLearning & Innovation at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), and has district-wide oversight over one of the largest distance learning units in Northeast Ohio. Her extensive experience as an administrator, faculty member, instructional designer, and student of online and blended instruction allows her to bring significant expertise and value to discussions, and a forward-thinking approach to ideas associated with contemporary teaching and learning practices, approaches, issues, and solutions.
Dr. Royal is leading Tri-C’s $2MM Title III grant to enhance distance learning in four key areas: student success and retention, innovative faculty development, infrastructure and technology, and quality. She also led the College in obtaining its first regional accreditation (Higher Learning Commission) for fully online programs at Tri-C. Dr. Royal developed and led the College in its most comprehensive strategic planning process for distance learning. Under her leadership, Tri-C has advanced policy and program development, virtual support services, faculty professional development and training, and technology system integration and innovation in support of teaching and learning.
Dr. Royal is actively involved in educational technology initiatives including serving on the EDUCAUSE Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning, as an Advisory Board Member for Marist College, and as an Academic Advisory Board Member for McGraw-Hill. Dr. Royal has also spoken at several conferences and events on topics related to leadership, distance learning, emerging technologies, strategic planning, organizational change management, and educational technology.
Dr. Royal received her Ph.D. in Education/Instructional Design for Online Learning and a Graduate Certificate in Teaching Online from Capella University. She also received a Master's in Educational Psychology and Bachelor's in Mathematics from Marist College. Dr. Royal is the recipient of the 2012 United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) International Award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual.
Elaine Schulte, M.D., M.P.H – Chair of the Department of General Pediatrics and Medical Director for the International Adoption Program, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Elaine Schulte, MD, MPH is a native Clevelander, but has spent most of her professional career on the East coast. She attended Skidmore College, and earned her medical degree at Albany Medical College. She completed her pediatric residency training at Albany Medical Center Hospital, and completed a preventive medicine residency at the New York State Department of Health where she earned her Masters in Public Health. She then joined the faculty at Albany Medical College. During her tenure in Albany, Dr. Schulte served as the pediatric residency program director and the division chief of general pediatrics. She also was the medical director of the lead poisoning resource program. In 1996, she founded the international adoption program, which she directed until 2007, when she moved to the Cleveland Clinic. While in Albany, she cared for nearly 2000 internationally adopted children, many of whom have learning disabilities. Currently, Dr. Schulte is the Chair of the Department of General Pediatrics at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, she maintains an active clinical practice, with specific interests in learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, lead poisoning, immunizations and residency education. She is the Medical Director of the International Adoption Program. She is involved in the Clinic’s Staff Mentorship Program and the WPSA. She is an active member of many national organizations, and serves on the AAP Executive Committees of the Section on Adoption and Foster Care and the Section on Early Childhood, Adoption and Dependent Care. Locally, she is a board member of Lawrence School, and is a member of the Invest In Children Partnership Committee. She is an adoptive parent of two daughters from China. She loves being a mom, classical music, and ballet.
Claire Shands-Waag – Human Resources Director, Positive Education Program
Claire Shands-Waag serves as Human Resources Director of Positive Education Program (PEP) where she oversees all human resource activities of PEP’s staff of over 500.
Ms. Shands-Waag’s tenure at PEP spans more than 30 years. During that time, she gained classroom, clinical and administrative experience, providing her with the unique ability to understand the needs of the agency’s large and diverse staff. She is an integral member of PEP’s Cultural Diversity Committee, which promotes diversity awareness and acceptance among staff. Prior to her role as Human Resource Director, she was a liaison teacher and a clinical supervisor at two PEP Day Treatment Centers. Prior to joining PEP, she served as a college recruiter.
Ms. Shands-Waag is the Board Secretary of the Ohio Association of School Personnel Administrators and previously served as Chair of the Northeast Ohio Chapter. She is a member of the Council of Agency Directors (CAD) where she serves as Co-Chair of the Human Resources group. She is a past chair of the Cleveland Area Minority Educators Recruitment Association (CAMERA).
Ms. Shands-Waag is active in the St. Clare PTU and is a sustainer with The Junior League of Cleveland. A graduate of Hiram College, she holds two master’s degrees from Cleveland State University, one in school psychology, the other in counseling.
Ms. Shands-Waag has been involved with Adoption Network Cleveland as a volunteer in the past. She and her husband, Eric, are the proud parents of two wonderful adopted children.
Nicole K. Wilson – Attorney, Thompson Hine LLP
Nicole is an attorney with Thompson Hine LLP, where she practices primarily in the Business Litigation group. Originally from Warren, Ohio, Nicole received a Liberal Arts degree from Thomas Aquinas College and her J.D. from Duke University School of Law before returning to Ohio in 2001. Nicole came to the Adoption Network Cleveland Board in 2005 through Business Volunteers Unlimited. Nicole has served as the Chair of the Public Policy Committee for several years, and is a past-member of the Executive Committee.