Front row:
Ted Grabowski (Treasurer), Marissa Brydle (2nd Vice chair), 
Lisa Buescher (1st Vice Chair), Tom Dent (Secretary)

Second Row:
Dan Gisser, Anthony Sallah, Krysia Orlowski, Alicia Love, Elaine Hagan

Third Row:
Molly Cissell, Gina Gayle, Danielle Gadomski Littleton, Tony Harris

Not Pictured:
Anita Miller (Chairperson), Cathy Belk, Virginia Medina, 
Elaine Schulte, Ellen Stephens, David Yates

Board of Directors 2016 Biographies


Chairperson: 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 M&A at Eaton Corporation and, prior to that, as an engineer for Ford Motor Company in Detroit.   She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a MS 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, Isaac, Eleanor and Aaron.  Their older three children joined their family through adoption and they enjoy relationships with varying degrees of openness with each of their birth families.  

1st Vice Chair: Lisa A. Buescher - Community Volunteer
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. Lisa is a mentor at Adoption Network Cleveland, involved with her local primary schools and volunteers with the MS Society.

2nd Vice Chair: Marissa Brydle – Associate Consultant & Marketing Manager, BrownFlynn
Marissa Brydle has worked at BrownFlynn, a corporate responsibility and sustainability consulting firm, since 2009. As an associate consultant and marketing manager, Marissa works on specific client engagements, as well as manages the firm’s brand, marketing, social media, and public relations efforts. Marissa has a Master’s Degree in Communications Management from John Carroll University (where she is also a part-time lecturer in the Leadership Development minor), and has been a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland since April 2011.

Secretary: 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 over 20 years and have two children, Liam and Sofie. He enjoys playing golf and ice hockey, music and traveling.

Treasurer: Ted Grabowski – Corporate Business Manager, MCPc & Director of Charitable Affairs, MCPc Family Charities
Ted Grabowski is an accomplished and respected banking professional with over 25 years of extensive experience in personal, one-on-one banking in the Cleveland market. In 2015 Ted joined the staff at MCPc as Corporate Business Manager & Director of Charitable Affairs where he works on strategic initiatives for various MCPc projects and works closely with the Chairman of the Board of MCPc Family Charities. Ted received his degree in Business Administration from Thiel College in Greenville, PA. Ted is an adoptee and resides in North Olmsted with his wife, Colleen, and their 2 daughters.


Cathy Belk - President, JumpStart Inc.
Cathy serves as the President of JumpStart. Prior to joining JumpStart, a nationally recognized nonprofit accelerating the success of diverse entrepreneurs, their high growth companies and the ecosystems supporting them. Prior to joining Jumpstart in 2008, she spent 12 years creating innovations to drive business growth at corporations including The Coca-Cola Company, American Greetings, and Procter & Gamble. Among her results were the development and launch of an $80 million new greeting card business and a $20 million new soft drink business, along with growing P&Ls for a number of other initiatives or ongoing businesses. Cathy also worked for six years with entrepreneurs leading growing companies via a series of positions in middle market lending at Bank of America. Cathy was a Keller Scholar and received an MBA with a focus in Marketing from Duke University. She earned a BA in Economics from Davidson College.

Molly Cissell - Administrative Director, Cleveland Clinic
Molly Cissell is an experienced healthcare administrator who currently works as the Director of multiple outpatient facilities for Cleveland Clinic. Her professional experience includes operations management, process improvement, project management, and strategic planning. She received her Master of Health Administration from the Ohio State University, and prior to graduate school, worked for a social service agency focused on helping single parents obtain education and employment. Molly and her husband live in Cleveland Heights and are the proud parents of Lincoln, who joined their family via adoption in 2014.

Danielle Gadomski-Littleton, Esq. – Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
In her Equal Justice Works Fellowship with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Danielle Gadomski Littleton has provided comprehensive civil legal services for youth in foster care and those that have recently "aged out" since August 2013. Danielle continues to serve foster youth and in addition now provides similar legal services to patients at the Buckeye and Broadway MetroHealth Centers through the Community Advocacy Program at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. After graduating from Denison University, Danielle found her passion for child advocacy as a Lutheran Volunteer Corps member in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with Kids Matter Inc., which provides support to kinship and foster families and youth and is a Court Appointed Special Advocates {CASA) program. Danielle pursued her interest in child advocacy at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where she earned a certificate in Children’s Studies. Immediately prior to her work with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Danielle clerked for the Honorable Michael H. Watson of the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio.

Gina Gayle – Community Volunteer
Gina Gayle is a photojournalist and multimedia storyteller specializing in underreported communities whose work has taken her across the United States as well as to Cuba and Italy.  As a former Professor of Practice, Ms. Gayle created the multimedia curriculum for the journalism department at The University of Southern Mississippi.  Prior to that Ms. Gayle worked in New York City with clients including many of the top news organizations, papers and magazines. Being the recipient of many awards and fellowships including the Hearst Newspaper Journalism Fellowship and the NABJ Gulf Coast Fellowship, allowed Ms. Gayle to continue working on personal projects such as her New Orleans Zulu project, the Picture Me project, telling the stories of children in foster care waiting for their forever families in Mississippi. Her current project involves the photography collection of her late father, James F. Gayle, the first Black photographer at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Daniel J. Gisser – Business Professional
Daniel J. Gisser (Dan) is an innovative leader in strategic marketing and business development, especially in technology-centric industries. He was Director of Corporate Marketing and Sales at Eaton from 2006 to 2015, and held various entrepreneurial management positions at Eastman Kodak from 1996 to 2006. Dan has a BA from Dartmouth College, PhD in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, and MBA from the University of Rochester. Currently, Dan is putting together the next stage of his career. He 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 an open relationship with Thom’s birthmother, Thuy, and other birth-relatives. 

Elaine Hagan - Retired, Community Volunteer
Elaine is a birthmother, relinquishing her daughter in 1980, and she has currently not been reunited. One of 14 children, Elaine comes from a large family with 7 brothers and 6 sisters. She has over 30 years of experience working for the Cuyahoga County Board, specifically focusing on child support and paternity cases while working in the Child Support Enforcement Division. Elaine has been involved in politics her entire life - on local, state and federal levels and in many capacities. Elaine is also the proud mother of one adult son named Matthew.

Tony Harris – Business System Consultant, Progressive Insurance
Tony Harris is a Business System Consultant at Progressive Insurance. He is a graduate from the College of Wooster and has an MBA from Cleveland State. Tony is an adoptee and is a passionate advocate to provide improved support and preparation for youth that age out of the foster care system.

Alicia Love – Human Resource Professional
Alicia is an experienced human resources manager focused on partnering with senior leaders to develop HR strategies, talent management and engagement at corporations including Charles Schwab and Alcoa.  Alicia has been an active member of The Junior League of Cleveland [JLC] for 10 years sitting on the Board for 2 years as Community Director and Training Director and chairing the Junior Leagues of Ohio State Public Affairs Committee.  She led the early efforts of the JLC in their ongoing initiative to improve the outcomes of youth aging out of foster care.  Alicia is a graduate of Georgia Tech and received her Master’s degree in human resources management from Cornell University. 

Virginia Medina - Counsel, BakerHostetler
Virginia Medina is a counsel at BakerHostetler and has been practicing law for over a decade. She has a depth of experience with benefit and compensation issues raised in a corporate transaction context and tax and other compliance issues relating to executive compensation. She was the owner of a small business which published travel guides on the cultural, financial and local history of New York City. Virginia and her 3 siblings were raised in the foster care system for several years before moving back in with their father.

Krysia Orlowski - Instructor, Cleveland State University
Krysia Orlowski holds an MFA from the Northeast Ohio MFA program. Currently, she is a part-time instructor at Cleveland State University. After 7 years in book publishing, Krysia worked as a Project Manager at Charles Schwab in San Francisco before coming to Cleveland in 2004. Krysia is a sibling to two adoptees and is also an adoptive parent. She and her husband, Brian Harte, reside in Shaker Heights and are the proud parents of three children.

Anthony Sallah, Esq. – Attorney, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP
Anthony is an attorney at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, where he works in the Litigation Practice Group and Construction Group.  Anthony recently moved to Cleveland from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and not long after his move he discovered Adoption Network Cleveland. Anthony immediately became supportive of Adoption Network Cleveland and wanted to join in furthering its mission. Thus, in November 2014 Anthony joined the Public Policy Committee. Anthony graduated from The University of Michigan, earning his B.A. in Economics and from The University of Toledo College of Law, where he earned his law degree. Anthony and his wife Stephanie live in Tremont and enjoy staying active, dog parks, and volunteering.

Elaine Schulte, M.D., M.P.H – Chair of the Department of General Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Adoption Program, Cleveland Clinic Children's 
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. 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 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 Committee of the Council on Foster Care, Adoption and Kinship Care. Locally, she is a board member of Lawrence School and Adoption Network Cleveland. She is an adoptive parent of two daughters from China. She loves being a mom, classical music, and ballet.

Ellen M. Stephens – Vice President of Human Resources, The Sherwin-Williams Company
Ellen has worked in the HR field for over 26 years. Most of her experience has been working for Sherwin-Williams. Her experiences include recruiting, on-boarding, performance management, conflict resolution, leadership development, training and strategic planning as well as all other HR functions. Her accomplishments include introducing diversity training, an applicant tracking program and revising policies. Ellen also worked on a Hurricane Katrina Employee Relief Fund, raising over $350,000 for affected employees. In 2010 Ellen received the Sherwin-Williams Professional Woman of Excellence Award.

David Yates – Senior Manager, Audit, KMPG
David is currently an auditor working on both for and not-for-profit entities. He has experience reviewing budgets and financial statements as well as having a higher level knowledge of investments and tax regulations. He is a licensed practicing CPA and works on firm initiative for the United Way as well as the Achievement Centers of America.

“As a birthmom it is amazing to get to hear how other triad members are dealing with their relationships.”
Angie Heldman
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