Names in the News … July 29, 2020

An occasional digest of who’s moving where within the nonprofit community of Cincinnati.

Bethesda Inc.

The board of trustees of Bethesda Inc. have elected Ellen Katz, CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, as its next chair.

Ellen Katz (photo by Tina Gutierrez)

Bethesda Inc. is a multimillion-dollar nonprofit that serves as co-sponsor of the TriHealth hospital system and creator of the health-focused, grant-making initiative bi3.

“Through bi3, Bethesda Inc. is uniquely positioned with resources and a willingness to take risks and challenge the status quo,” Katz said. “I look forward to engaging in the policy and advocacy needed to advance health equity and reduce disparities, creating the systems change needed to make our community a healthier place for everyone.”

Katz has served on Bethesda Inc.’s board since 2006. She succeeds Kathy Kelly, retired president of the Kroger Personal Finance division of Kroger Co., who remains on the Bethesda Inc. board and also serves as vice chair of the TriHealth board of trustees.

Urban League

Rickell Howard Smith

The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio has announced the establishment of the Center for Social Justice, made possible by a $1M sustainable pledge from J. Phillip and Gail Holloman. After an extensive search, they have introduced Rickell Howard Smith, J.D., as the center’s inaugural executive director.

Smith comes to the Center for Social Justice with 15 years experience advocating for social and criminal justice reform. As a civil rights attorney, she has held positions with the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, Ohio Justice & Policy Center, and Children’s Law Center, Inc. Most recently, she served as senior director of community strategies at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

The center will initially focus on police reform monitoring and citizen complaints for municipalities in and around Greater Cincinnati. The work will then expand to the Greater Dayton area. 

“It is an honor to step into this role, shape the center’s focus, and partner with communities that have been fighting for systemic reforms for decades,” Smith said. “This is a critical time for our nation and region. It is paramount that we center the voices and solutions developed by communities directly impacted by systemic injustice. WE are the catalyst for change in our own communities.”

Ellen Katz, president and CEO of Greater Cincinnati Foundation, supports Smith’s transition and looks forward to continuing to build upon the existing relationship between the two organizations.

“The time for racial justice is now,” Katz said. “We can only make our community more equitable if justice is achieved. This is an exciting moment and a pivotal one for our region. Rickell has had a tremendous impact on Greater Cincinnati Foundation and we are thrilled that she has been appointed as the founding executive director.”

Cinnamon Pelly

In addition, the Urban League has named Cinnamon Pelly as chief operating officer. As CCO, Pelly will oversee human resources, facilities, Urban Leaders Institute, strategic relationships, and communications. She joins the Urban League from CEAI, Inc., a nonprofit, community development corporation based in Roselawn, focused on real estate and community development.

Jewish Federation of Cincinnati

Debbie Brant

The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati recently installed Debbie Brant as its new board president. Over the past twenty years as a volunteer with the federation, she has served on the Young Leadership Cabinet and Women’s Philanthropy division, and has chaired the Annual Campaign. Debbie is also past president of the Mayerson JCC. She has been recognized as a Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year. She is the immediate past chair of Cincinnati Ballet, and serves on the boards of ArtsWave board and Most Valuable Kids.

Legal Aid Society

Gerald Greene

Gerald Greene is the 2020 recipient of the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation Presidential Award for Pro Bono Service. The award is given annually to individuals, law firms or organizations that have made outstanding efforts in improving access to justice in Ohio.

Greene came to the law later in life. After a 33-year career in engineering management with Procter & Gamble, Greene decided not only to attend law school at age 60, but to use his second career to serve others in need. 

For 18 years, Greene has volunteered as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati. He takes on divorce cases that often involve clients and children who have experienced significant physical and emotional abuse. In his time with Legal Aid, Greene has resolved 269 divorce and custody cases, pro bono.

“Gerry’s dedication has truly expanded high quality access to justice for some of the most vulnerable in our community,” said Kelly Malone, managing attorney, Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati.

Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University has named several new heads of academic programs in its School of the Arts. Brad McCombs will transition from program head of music to the same position for visual arts. Kimberly Gelbwasser Lazzeri assumes McComb’s role as program head of music. Michael Hatton will be program head of theatre and dance.

Dress for Success

Entrepreneur Donna Salyers has been named honorary chair for The Fashion Show, this year’s in-person and virtual fundraiser for Dress for Success.

Donna Salyers
Donna Salyers (photo courtesy YWCA)

Beginning in 1989 in the basement of her Cincinnati home, Salyers has grown Fabulous-Furs into a majority asset of Salyers Group, a diversified investment company. Fabulous-Furs products are sold in 46 countries via catalog, internet, retail and wholesale accounts in more than 4,000 retail locations, boutiques, hotels and casinos.

This year both the in-person and online experiences of The Fashion Show include outfits from Portaluca, the nonprofit’s resale boutique; presentation of the Mary Ivers Success Award; a virtual Saks runway show highlighting the latest styles; a raffle full of fantastic prizes, and more.

Dress for Success also welcomes several new board members:

  • Melissa Bertke been an auditor in the financial services industry for more than 20 years and currently is AVP, audit services at Ohio National Financial Services. 
  • Israel Bonnell is a technology consultant for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. 
  • Carolyn Gorman is a senior VP and home lending operations director at Huntington Bank.
  • Candice Marie Kramer is chief compliance and privacy officer for Tri-Health. 
  • Lali S. Minocha, D.D.S. has retired after having owned her own dental practice for more than 20 years. 
  • Amanda van Rooyen has been with Fabulous-Furs for more than 16 years as wholesale director and owner.

Franciscan Ministries

Bassette Smith II

Basette Smith II, a Finneytown area resident, recently joined the board of directors for Franciscan Ministries.

“We’re thrilled that Basette has agreed to serve on our board, knowing that his extensive background with non-profits and dedication to enhancing this community will greatly benefit our programs and clients,” states Elaine Ward, executive director for Franciscan Ministries. “He has many connections in the social service arena and is a leader in mental health and supported employment services.”

Smith currently serves as social services and community engagement coordinator for Nehemiah Manufacturing Company. He previously worked for the Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services as team leader for supported employment for the organization’s mental health services.

Smith has also been active with several nonprofit organizations, including Cincy Afterschool – Academy of World Languages, AmeriCorps Corporation for National and Community Service, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Coalition (VITA).

Center for Addiction Treatment

Sharlene Brown

This summer has seen several personnel shifts at the Center for Addiction Treatment. Sharlene Brown has been promoted to VP of finance. Sean Wiley, previously maintenance supervisor, has been promoted to facilities manager. And Tricia White has joined the agency as human resources director.

Visionaries + Voices

Dawn Perrin

Dawn (Taylor) Perrin, comes to Visionaries + Voices as development director, bringing more 24 years of experience in the Greater Cincinnati nonprofit sector. Since 2014 she has served as director of development for Cancer Family Care. Prior to that she held fundraising positions at both the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

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