Community Advisory Board

Board Members

Montrie Rucker Adams

 

Montrie Rucker Adams, APR is president and “Chief Visibility Officer” of Visibility Marketing Inc. Visibility Marketing helps businesses communicate the right messages to key audiences. Through strategic and effective marketing communications and public relations campaigns, companies become “more visible” – thus increasing their public awareness and ultimately impacting the bottom line.

Clients include authors, academic institutions, construction companies, non-profit organizations, and retail establishments.

 

Adams has contributed to several publications including the Women of Color Devotional Bible, BlackAmericaWeb.com, and Kaleidoscope magazine where she once served as Managing Editor and Editor-In-Chief.

Her civic responsibilities include serving as president of the Board of Directors for Continue Life Inc., a homeless shelter and transitional housing program for expecting and parenting young women, and is on the Board of Directors of East End Neighborhood House.

 

Adams  is a former board member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and a lifetime member of the National Black MBA Association.

 

Linda Alexander

 

For over the past four years, Linda Alexander has been the Executive Director of the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools (CCIS), which consists of 13 unique schools located in Northeast Ohio. Her primary focus is faculty and staff professional development, community outreach and service, diversity and inclusion, and collaboration with a shared purpose to maximize each child's potential. Prior to CCIS, she co-founded and chaired Community Partnerships for Youth, an organization focused on at-risk youth issues.  She has been an independent consultant, analyzing and identifying opportunities for improving organizational effectiveness within public, independent, and charter schools, and has consulted within the business community. She has held positions within the corporate world, including Director of Human Resources, Director of Field Training, Training Manager, and early in her career managed 24 specialty retail stores. 
In 2007, Linda published with Charles Sachs, Parents Working with Schools/Schools Working with Parents within A Guidebook to the NAIS Principles of Good Practice.  She has a BA from Ursuline College, and anticipates finishing her MALS thesis at Ursuline this year.

 

Current Memberships:
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS); Independent School Association Network (ISAnet); The Teaching Cleveland Foundation, Board Chair; Fowler Center for Sustainable Value, Weatherhead School of Management, Executive Committee, Educators for Sustainability.
Married to Philip Alexander, CEO of BrandMuscle, Inc. Two grown children:  Philip Alexander, CWRU, MBA candidate; Rachel Alexander, a junior at the University of Vermont. 

 

Britney A. Bennett

 

Britney A. Bennett is a 2005 graduate of Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. After HB, Britney completed a B.A. in English from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. During her summers at Spelman, Britney served as an intern with the City of East Cleveland Economic and Community Development Office, a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Scholar with Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and an intern with the Atlanta Spirit, LLC (Home of the Atlanta Hawks, Thrashers & Philips Arena).


 


Britney is currently a second-year JD/MBA student at Case Western Reserve University and serves as the student representative on the Federal Bar Association, and is Associate Editor for the Journal of International Law. She is also co-President President of Dynamic Weatherhead Women in Business, a group at Case that provides networking opportunities for women in business both within the Case community and within the greater Cleveland community. She spent her first summer of law school with Jones Day and U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth S. McHargh.

 

Currently, Britney clerks with Giffen & Kaminski, LLC, a woman-owned law firm housed in Downtown Cleveland. Britney spent her winter break studying bioethics in Costa Rica and will spend Spring 2012 in China.

 

Susan (Sue) T. Berlin

Degrees:  BA, Pennsylvania State University, Master of Library Science (MLS), Western Reserve University, Educational Media Specialist, CWRU.

 

Work:  Upper School Librarian, Hawken School; Manager, Adult/Young Adult Materials Selection, Cuyahoga County Public Library (wrote, received and administered federal grants; hired, supervised and evaluated staff; founded and edited library newsletter that developed nationwide distribution), Executive Director, Women’s Community Foundation.

 

Community Service:  Fundraiser for local, county and statewide political campaigns; planned benefits, identified and contacted donors, supervised volunteer staff; Board of Directors, Women’s Community Foundation; Vice-President, WomenSpace (revitalized and Chair of the Women in Appointed Office Project, an effort to promote qualified women candidates for service on Ohio boards and commissions), Board of Directors, ACLU of Ohio, Board of Directors, Preterm, about to be appointed to the Board of Directors of The Women’s Center at CWRU, Board of Directors, Association of Continuing Education (ACE), CWRU, participant in ACE’s Senior Scholars’ program.

Publications:  Authored several books and articles related to public library service.

 

Hobbies:  Reading (after all, I’m a librarian!), theatre, film, the study of U.S. History, Senior Scholars’ classes.

 

Denise K. Davis

 

Beth Embrescia (President)

 

Katie Emerson

 

Lin Emmons

 

Holly Moten Fidler

 

Holly Moten Fidler is the founding director of the North Star Collaborative. A highly qualified classroom teacher by U.S. and State of Ohio Department of Education standards, Holly stands out as an education professional who consistently goes above and beyond the basic duties of her job.

 

Throughout her twelve year teaching career, she has contributed to school district level curriculum writing and textbook selection teams, implemented professional development activities and school improvement interventions as grade-level chair and legislative liaison, coached her schools’ basketball, peer mediation, mock trial, Power of the Pen (writing) and track and field teams, and facilitated countless discussions on race, gender, access, equity and inclusion in education.

 

From 2003 to 2006, Holly was recognized annually with Columbus Public Schools’ Performance Advancement System Award for utilizing data to drive her instruction, conducting action research and realizing increased student achievement on state standardized tests.

 

Jane Finley

 

Katharine Hendrix Foster

 

Terri Garfinkel

 

Collette Taddy Hart

 

Colette Hart is Director of Outreach and Business Centers for the Nance College of Business at Cleveland State University. In her capacity as Director, she is responsible for establishing Centers of Excellence in the College of Business that provide responsive and strategic business educational programs for the Northeast Ohio business community. Colette was instrumental in establishing the Global Business Center and securing over a million dollars in funding to develop interdisciplinary academic, research and outreach programs focused on applied international business education. The Global Business Center is the 2006 recipient of the Ohio Governors Export Award and the 2010 Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade from the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the 2011 President's E-Award.

 

Ka-Pi Hoh

 

Kathryn Karipides

 

Rachel Kirsh

 

Rachel Kirsh is the Chief Risk & Compliance Officer of Oliver Wyman Group (OWG), a role she assumed in January 2012. She is responsible for overseeing global management of Oliver Wyman Group’s Enterprise Risk Management program which includes identifying, assessing, and prioritizing risks; working with the Management Committee and individual Business Unit leaders to develop risk mitigation plans; handling crisis management planning and execution; providing regular risk reporting and periodic reviews; and leading all risk training and communication efforts. She will also lead all compliance efforts for OWG working closely with the other members of the MMCo Compliance team on developing and implementing policies, procedures, systems and controls that support OWG’s ERM program.

 

Sue Klarreich

 

Selina Rivera

 

Noha Ryder

 

Nirvana St. Cyr

 

Nirvana St. Cyr is a leading voice in the areas of personal and professional development for women. An entrepreneur with years of experience, Nirvana is cutting edge. She is able to implement her MBA credentials with real life solutions to the many challenges women in business face today. Nirvana has the unique ability to motivate, inspire, and elevate ideas from the planning stage to implementation, and ultimately to success. After nearly 20 years in corporate America, Nirvana found that capitalism and entrepreneurship create economic sustenance and build strength, courage and character. It exists for those who seek it. Nirvana is also an adjunct professor of English and Business.

 

Lisa Weitzman

 

Victoria (Vikki) Winbush, MSSA, MPH, LISW, PhD.

 

Victoria has over 20 years experience as a diversity consultant and has worked primarily with human services organizations and those delivering health care, mental health, educational services.  She is the Interim Director of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.  She previously served as the director of the Multi Cultural Training Institute and implemented a cultural competency curriculum geared toward mental health professionals employed in county-funded agencies in Greater Cleveland. 

 

Dr. Winbush is also a member of the teaching faculty at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and is an adjunct instructor and research adviser at the Smith College School for Social Work.  She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in clinical social work from Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, MA.  She also holds a Masters degrees in social work administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, and a Master’s of public health administration from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

 

She is a licensed social worker and enjoys working with adolescents and their families.  Her research interests include identifying the processes used by parents to facilitate mental health treatment for their youth, and better understanding the impact that diversity has on both clinical practice and on organizational change initiatives.

.


Honorary Members

Caryn Foltz

 

Lynne Alfred Hanson

 

Patricia Kilpatrick

 

Deb Nash

 

Susan Troia

 

Sandra Vodanoff