Leadership | Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio

Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio LEADERSHIP

Lori McCleese

Lori McCleese – President

Lori McCleese joined the newly merged Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio as the President in July 2019. With a degree in Personnel and Industrial Relations from the University of Cincinnati, she brings with her many years of experience in banking as well as the nonprofit sector. Prior to her role at JA, Lori served for two years as the Hudson Community Foundation and prior to that six years at the Alzheimer's Association as the Director of Development. Lori has honed her development, fundraising and managerial skills, culminating in her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification in 2018 and is currently pursuing her Certificate in Fundraising Management from the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy.

Currently living in Cuyahoga Falls with her two dogs, Miley and Caesar, Lori has two children, one pursuing a degree from the University of Cincinnati and one wrapping up his senior year football season at Hudson High School.

A fun fact about Lori is that learning Spanish is one of her bucket list to-do's!

Denice Schafer

Denice Schafer – Vice President of Programs

Denice Schafer joined the Junior Achievement office in 1986 where she has served as a program manager, program director, and marketing director. In 1995, she became the President of the Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley office in Youngstown. In 2005, Denice returned to the North Central office as Senior District Director. Denice graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BS/BA degree in Human Resource Management and Industrial Labor Relations. She lives in Boardman with her husband Rick. She is actively involved in her community where she teaches a CCD class and has volunteered with many other school and community organizations. 
 
One thing people don't know about Denice is that she and her husband coordinate a baseball tournament every year at the Boardman Community Baseball (BCB) complex. Proceeds from the tournaments are used to award two $2,500 scholarships to BCB alumni and provide capital improvements to the Field of Dreams.

Josh Lehman

Josh Lehman – Director of Development

Born and raised in the Akron/Canton area, Josh Lehman joined the Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio team in November of 2019. Previously, he spent over four years on the development team for JA of Greater Cleveland and brings with him valuable JA experience as well as a passion for our mission. The basis for Josh's connection to the impact that JA provides comes from a prior career where he spent over four years in the field of personal finance working with clients to build a sense of financial security and save for their future goals. A graduate of the University of Akron College of Business Josh earned his BBA in Marketing Management.

Josh's dedication to community impact developed early as a Northeast Ohio native. Exploring regional activities like trips to the Akron Zoo and countless Cleveland Indians games as a child fostered interests during college when he founded a paintball club and discovered his passion for fundraising. Since 2011, he has developed a background in personal finance, entrepreneurship, and fundraising centered around providing an uplifting and outstanding experience to everyone that he interacts with. "I believe in the power of kindness and being a part of JA of North Central Ohio allows me to interact with the amazing resource that is people of Northeast Ohio. 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 young people in our communities," says Josh.

Interesting fact about Josh? He is all about being outside and all things sports (Go, Tribe!). Still actively involved in paintball, he is a volunteer coach for the University of Akron team and as a national semi-professional player.

Holly Dawson

Holly Dawson – Senior District Program Manager

Holly Dawson joined the Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio Education Team as a District Manager in August of 2015. She now serves as District Manager for Medina, Wayne, Holmes, and Coshocton Counties . Holly was born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio.  She studied Financial Management at North Central State College and previously worked as a Licensed Relationship Manager for Key Bank.  She obtained both her FINRA Series 6 & 63 Investment License as well as her Ohio Life Insurance License. Holly has three children and resides in the Lucas area.
 
One fun fact about Holly is that she loves the Ohio State Buckeyes!

Alyssa West

Alyssa West – Special Events Manager & JA Company Program Manager

Alyssa West has been a Junior Achievement team member in the Akron/Canton area since 2014. She also worked as a JA intern in the Junior Achievement office of Cincinnati in 2012 as she finished up her Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Certification in Public Relations at the University of Cincinnati. Alyssa grew up in Plain Township and resides there with her husband and two children.

Outside of work Alyssa continues her passion for mentoring through coaching varsity cheerleading and gymnastics at GlenOak High School. 

Brittney Wells

Brittney Wells – Program Manager

Brittney Wells joined Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio as a Program Manager in September of 2019. She's originally from Phoenix, graduating with her Bachelor's in Communication from Arizona State University and her Master's in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University.

Her family decided to pick up and move to Ohio after they had identical twin boys so they could be closer to her husband's family. Other than being a mom, Brittney was a 4th grade teacher for three years in Chandler, Arizona.

Her hobbies include being outdoors, cooking, and going new places.

Logan Clendenin

Logan Clendenin – Program Manager

Diane Pilati

Diane Pilati – Foundation Relations Manager

Diane Pilati joined Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio in August 2019 as the Foundation Relations Manager and works to secure grant funding throughout the 15 counties served. She has a BSBA in Marketing from the University of Akron, and an MBA from Malone University. Diane resides in Canton with her husband, two children, two dogs and a Guinea pig.

In their spare time, Diane and her family enjoy attending live theater and traveling (especially to Walt Disney World).

Tracy Weatherbee

Tracy Weatherbee – Finance Manager

Ginnie Adams

Ginnie Adams – Marketing & Operations Support Manager

Joining the Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio team in January 2019, Ginnie Adams began as District Manager for Summit County, transitioning into her current marketing and operations support role. With a background in art and photography, Ginnie can typically be found creating graphics and behind the camera at JA events.
 
One look around Ginnie's work space will reveal her interest in all things feline and dinosaur!

Clint Durst

Clint Durst – Maintenance

  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student

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