Our Staff

 

Tricia Abruzzino

Development Manager

Hi, I'm Tricia Abruzzino and I'm the Development Manager at Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland. I work with some pretty amazing individuals in our community. CEO's, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and volunteers. With my background in hospitality and public relations I believe that the best part of any organization should be how it seeks to develop and nurture relationship with its clients, supporters, and team. I look for any opportunity to build positive connections that ensure a better understanding of a joint partnership.

I joined the JA team after spending nearly a decade working and living in San Diego, Atlanta, and Houston at a variety of positions including Account Executive for one of the country's largest and most respected meeting planning firms and as Development Director for the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization. Each stop of the way, I developed a stronger attraction and understanding for building lasting relationships and truly what working in your community means. After my experience living in those cities, I decided there was only one place I wanted to be and that was back in the greatest city ever, my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio.

My Favorite…

Part of my job: Relationship Building and working in the community.

Fun Fact: I climbed twice the highest summit in the contiguous United Sates and the Sierra Nevada, Mt. Whitney with an elevation of 14,505 ft.

Favorite Place in Cleveland: Hands down anywhere in the Cleveland Metroparks or the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. How lucky are we that we have a National Park in our backyard!

Thing to do after 5pm: Hang out with my dogs Rudi and Bandit.

Maureen Brown

Resource Coordinator

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My name is Maureen Brown and I am the elder statesman (or should I say woman!) here at Junior Achievement.  I celebrated my 14th JA anniversary in August. My husband and I now consider Cleveland our "hometown" as we have been here for the last 20 years. We have two daughters, one who recently graduated from Miami University and is a 5th grade teacher in Cleveland. Our younger daughter is a college junior studying Occupational Therapy.

It has been a pleasure to work here at JA these last 14 years and I look forward to many more anniversaries. I enjoy working behind the scenes providing support for our Program team.

 

My favorite

Part of my job: Working with the most dedicated staff, volunteers, educators, companies and community partners in the world! I am passionate about JA's mission and it is great to connect with others who feel like me about the future of the Greater Cleveland area's most valuable asset – our youth!

Spot in Cleveland: The Cleveland Art Museum.

Quote: The secret to happiness…. is knowing that you are 100% responsible for it.

Thing to do after 5 PM: I love to scrapbook!

Al DiFranco

Program Director

Hi! My name is Al DiFranco, and I am proud to serve as the Program Director at Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland. I was born and raised in Lake County and moved back to my hometown of Willoughby a few years ago. I graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a political science degree and also have a Master's in Higher Education Leadership from Capella University. I really enjoyed the JA experience as a student, then as a volunteer, and now am proud to lead our program staff in making a difference for young people in our community!

I am a strong believer in the philosophy of "Servant Leadership" and speak to professional and student groups about the importance of enriching the lives of individuals, building better organizations, and creating a more caring world through service. I try to make this concept the center of my personal life and the mantra for my program team here at JA.

My favorite…

Part of My Job: Watching our students and volunteers actively participate in our programs and learn from each other – that's what it is all about!

Spot in Cleveland: Progressive Field, cheering on my favorite team. Go Tribe!!!

Quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel" – Maya Angelou

Amanda Dureiko
Fundraising Specialist

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Hi! My name is Amanda Dureiko.  I was born and raised here on the Eastside of Cleveland.  I graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Child and Family Studies.  I became actively involved in my sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, and I was lucky enough to be elected as the Philanthropy Chair.  Through that position I grew a passion for fundraising.  I am so excited to make an impact on the children of the Greater Cleveland Area through Junior Achievement!

My Favorite…

Part of my job: Hearing stories from former JA students of how much of an impact our programs have had on their lives.

Spot in Cleveland:  I don't have a favorite spot, but during the summertime, you can find me at Walnut Wednesday.  All of the best food trucks are there!  

Quote: "Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."- Babe Ruth

Thing to do after 5pm: Hang out with my family and friends exploring all that Cleveland has to offer! I also love playing Just Dance in my spare time.

Joe Faulhaber
President

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Hello! My name is Joe Faulhaber and I joined JA in 2015, just as the organization prepared to celebrate its 75th year of service in the Cleveland community. As President of Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland, my focus is on advancing the organization's mission throughout the region. Together with JA's dedicated Board of Directors, community partners, donors and volunteers, I am honored to lead initiatives which help prepare young people to lead successful lives after school. 

My Favorite...

Part of my job: I enjoy connecting volunteers, donors and community partners with thousands of students throughout Greater Cleveland. All of these important relationships further the mission of JA and help impact students and the future of our community.

Place in Cleveland: Progressive Field during October baseball.

Quote: 

Thing to do after 5pm: I love exploring the restaurant scene in Cleveland, spending time with family/friends and am an avid skier and golfer. 

Marc Hildebrandt-Malleske
Program Coordinator

My name is Marc. Originally from Youngstown, I graduated from Walsh University with a degree in Corporate Communications. I moved to Cleveland in March 2013 and put down roots in Lakewood. Before becoming a Program Coordinator at JA, I tried my hand in various lines of work but never felt that what I was doing was purposeful.  I've been with JA since the spring of 2016.  

My Favorite…

Part of my job: I really enjoy meeting and working with other associates from JA offices across the nation. It's inspiring to know how many lives the mission touches in all parts of the country!

Spot in Cleveland:  My couch with my two cats, Marvin and Elizabeth Taylor. 

Quote: "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." – Robert Burns

Thing to do after 5pm: It's a 50/50 split. Somedays you'll find me doing CrossFit, other days you'll find me 6 episodes deep into a Netflix binge.

Josh Lehman
Fundraising Specialist

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Pleased to meet you!  My name is Joshua Lehman, but you can call me Josh.  I have had the privilege of being a native of Northeast Ohio my entire life, having been born and raised in the Akron area.  Growing up, I was always excited to visit to the Science Center, explore the animals at the Zoo, and of course catch as many Indians games as possible with my family (Go Tribe!). 

As a 2013 graduate of the University of Akron, I studied marketing management, and founded an amazing club sport which introduced me to my passion for fundraising.  Since 2010, I have developed a background in marketing, sales, and fundraising that centers on my belief in providing an uplifting and outstanding experience to everyone that I interact with.  I believe in the power of kindness, and being a part of Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland allows me to interact with the amazing resource that is people of Greater Cleveland.  Our corporate and community partners, board members, volunteers, passionate staff, and everyone that I have the privilege to interact with give me the opportunity to immeasurably impact the lives of children all over the Greater Cleveland area. 

Make it a great day!

My favorite…

Part of my job: Leaving an impact!  By this I mean the impact that I am able to make on the lives of children by helping them experience better opportunities, the impact that this makes on their family's future, the impact that this future has in their community, and the fact that this impact will reach further into the future than I can imagine.

Cleveland Spot: As I am sure you can venture to guess, my favorite place in Cleveland is watching the Indians play at Progressive Field.  One more time… Go Tribe!

Things to do after 5pm: I am a very active person that loves being outside and all things sports (I think I mentioned, go Tribe!). That being said, paintball is my second home.  I was the team captain for the University of Akron's team all throughout my college career, I currently volunteer to coach Akron's team, and I travel the country playing in regional and national leagues.  

Quotes: "There is nothing stronger than gentleness" – Abraham Lincoln

"Never try to be better than someone else, but never cease trying to be the best person that you can be" – John Wooden             

 

Breanna May
Program Coordinator

Hello! My name is Breanna May. I grew up in Delaware, Ohio and went to Kent State University for college. I studied Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and earned my Bachelors of Science degree in December of 2014. While I was at KSU, I was heavily involved with different non-profits in Portage County. I decided a few weeks before graduation that I didn't want to be an audiologist, but I wanted to continue to work with non-profits.  I am so happy to be part of an organization that has such a huge impact in Cleveland and to be doing work where you can make a difference in thousands of students' lives.  Plus, I love being a Clevelander!

My favorite

Part of my job: I love working with the community of Greater Cleveland. I have met so many different people, and I love seeing how important JA is to entire area that it serves.

Cleveland SpotProgressive Field… GO TRIBE!

Thing to do after 5 PM: Go on a walk with my husband and two dogs.

Quotes: "We don't stop playing because we get old. We get old because we stop playing"

 

Daisha Perry

Program Coordinator

Hello there! My name is Daisha Perry. I was born and raised here in Cleveland, specifically the Glenville area. I am currently in school for Public Health. I also am an assistant coach for volleyball and basketball for The Lady rebels of John Adams High school. Go Rebels!!

There is no place I'd rather be than in the community working with our youth! Giving back and bringing awareness to social justice is what motivates me. Working with JA enables me to give back and bring our youth knowledge about Entrepreneurship, Career readiness, and Financial literacy in the classroom.

 

My Favorite…

Part of my job: Being at the schools during our JA in A Day events. I love seeing the volunteers engaging with the students and hearing about the connections that the volunteers made during the event.

Cleveland Spot: The Cleveland Metroparks or the South Chagrin Reservation. Nature is everything!

Quote: Umuntu ngumuntu ngamantu. Meaning: "I am a person through other people. My humanity is tied to yours."  — Zulu Proverb

Things to do after 5pm: Listen to Jazz in the purest way that it can be recorded, on vinyl.

Jessica Walters 
Development & Operations Director

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My name is Jessica Walters.  I graduated from CWRU and am a proud Cleveland native! I have a lot of fun getting to know all of our awesome corporate and community partners and hearing all the fun and creative ways they are fundraising to sponsor JA students.

My favorite

Part of my job: When I am out in the community, I frequently meet people who had Junior Achievement when they were in high school in the 1960s and 70s. I love hearing all the stories from JA alums about the products they sold and marketed - wooden mazes, scented lotion, jewelry, paperweights, and even a solar-powered music box! It makes me proud to be part of such a common experience in this community, and inspires me to help more students learn about financial literacy and business.

JA memory: I taught my first JA program to third graders at R.G. Jones School in Cleveland. For the last class, my students wrote me a letter thanking me for teaching them about their city, listing all the concepts we'd reviewed. I have their letter hanging in my office to remind me of the impact JA has on local students.

Starbucks drink: Grande Pike Place, usually (at least) once a day.

Thing to do after 5 PM: Hang out with friends or visit my family!

Laura Weyenberg 
Controller

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HI!  My name is Laura Weyenberg, and I have been the Controller at JA of Greater Cleveland for well over 20 years—wow, time flies when you are doing something you love!  Originally from Louisville, Ohio, I moved to Cleveland after graduating from Kent State University, with a BBA in Accounting.  I was previously an Audit Manager at KPMG, specializing in Middle Market clients and Real Estate, but left there in 1992 to spend more time with my kids. I was enticed to come back and put my CPA certification to good use (on a part-time basis anyway), and joined JA in 1993.  My husband Tom (an avid JA volunteer) and I have 3 sons and live in Solon.

My favorite

Part of my job:  I'm constantly inspired by our amazing volunteers who are so passionate about Junior Achievement!

Cleveland Spot: Cleveland Metroparks.  We are so lucky to be surrounded by such a magnificent park system!

Thing to do after 5 PM: Tennis, tennis, tennis (ok, probably before 5pm too)

Quotes: "Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely."