2020-2021 Board of Directors
President: Sarah E. Rieger
Sarah E. Rieger is currently the Executive Director of Brookdale Senior Living. After receiving a B.A. in Organizational Communication from Miami University, Sarah moved to Chicago and worked in sales before finding her true passion of working with older adults. Sarah was a new member of the Junior League of Chicago and transferred to Cincinnati in 2010. Sarah is a graduate of C-Change Class 8. She was also a participant in the inaugural class of The Shift, a social innovation challenge with the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. After completing The Shift, along with her co-founder, Sarah launched Community Grandparents in Lower Price Hill. Community Grandparents fosters trusting relationships between low income parents and older adults to build support networks and create self-sufficiency. Sarah has also been an active volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association, Girls on the Run, working with women in transitional housing and the foster care system in Butler County.
During her time with the Cincinnati League, Sarah has served as VP Training & Development, chaired both Membership Outreach & Events and New Members, along with working on the strategic plan, program development, Kids in the Kitchen and CinSation. She received the JLC’s Excellence in Training Award in 2016. She now serves as our President.
President-Elect: Tara J. Mosley
Tara J. Mosley holds a Bachelor of Science from Wilberforce University and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. Currently working at ChaseDesign as an Account Director, Tara has had a long career in the consumer goods industry. Previous organizations have included the Kroger Company where she led merchandising for the Small Format division, focused on launching new store formats & partnerships nationwide, and strategic planning & trade/brand marketing roles at Spectrum Brands and Procter & Gamble. Tara has prided herself on using her understanding of consumer behaviors and brand awareness to create effective marketing and merchandising plans to benefit some of the nation’s top brands and retailers. Tara is very involved in her community and works with several organizations in the Cincinnati, Ohio region. Tara joined JLC in 2012 and has served as vice chair and chair of the New Members and Nominating committees, worked as a sponsor for new applicants, and most recently served as co-VP of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. She serves as a speaker, mentor, and job coach with Dress for Success Cincinnati’s Professional Women’s Group and is a Portaluca (the retail branch of Dress for Success) board member. She is a mentor in Public Allies’ mentoring program, and a member of NEW (Network of Executive Women).
Board Secretary: Kate Fortlage
Kate Fortlage has 15 years of consumer package goods (CPG) and materials marketing, innovation and management experience. Her most recent role at Formica Corporation was the Director of Strategy and Innovation, where she reported directly to the president as acting General Manager of new technology product. Prior to Formica, she was a Brand Manager for KAO USA, where she worked for 9 years. She received her B.A. from Bowling Green State University and her MBA from the University of Dayton.
Kate joined the Junior League of Dayton in 2000 and transferred to the JLC in 2006 when she relocated after graduate school to start her brand management career. She has served on every JL Council and has been a leader on all Councils but one (New Member Vice Chair and Chair, Social Vice Chair and Chair, Nominating Committee Vice Chair and Chair). Kate also serves on the Board of Directors for Keep Cincinnati Beautiful and the Home Improvement Research Institute.
Outside of her profession and volunteer work, Kate enjoys traveling internationally, scuba diving, boating, and trying new restaurants (you can find her on Yelp frequently) or recipes at home.
Sarah Houseman is a Cincinnati attorney licensed in both Ohio and Kentucky. A Northern Kentucky native, Sarah is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where she received both her undergraduate and legal degrees. She currently practices at the law firm of Barron, Peck, Bennie & Schlemmer, located in Oakley. Her practice is focused primarily in the areas of general civil and commercial litigation, small businesses advising, contract drafting and review, and estate planning and litigation.
Sarah joined the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2016 in order to engage with other professional, like-minded women and become more active in the community that she calls home. In addition to her legal practice, Sarah stays active by playing golf, sand volleyball, and spending time with her rescue dog, Sawyer. She is an avid sports fan and loves to travel – even spending an entire summer in Cape Town, South Africa where she interned at the Black Sash National Headquarters. Outside of Junior League, Sarah serves on the board of directors for the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky and is a member of the Charities Guild of Northern Kentucky.
Allison Smith works as a Director of Contract Strategy in the Strategic Customer Group at Johnson & Johnson. She is responsible for go to market contract strategies and effectiveness for Ethicon Inc. She graduated from Miami University in 2009 with a BA in accountancy.
Allison joined the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2015 and has served the organization through a variety of roles including Chair and Vice Chair of Leadership Development and on the Program Acceleration committee.
As a Cincinnati native, Allison has a long history of volunteerism in the Cincinnati community with a passion around ensuring everyone feels welcome in the city. She resides in Terrace Park with her husband, Ian, their daughters, Eliza and Campbell and two border collies, Mic and Ryn. In her spare time outside of work and family, Allison enjoys sheep herding with her dogs, traveling and taking advantage of the Cincinnati culinary scene.
Strategic Planning Director: Ann Crilley
Ann Crilley works as the Manager of User Education for Discovery Education, a multimedia company designed to support educators in bringing real-world content to their classrooms. Prior to working at Discovery Education, Ann was a high school math teacher, elementary school instructional technology coach, and a professional development writer. She graduated from Elon University in 2006 with a B.S. in Mathematics and graduated from East Carolina University with a Masters in Instructional Technology. Her passion for training and education transcends all that she does.
Ann joined the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2018 and has served the organization through a variety of roles including Chair of New Members as well as a leader of the Core Curriculum team.
Ann, a native of Richmond, Virginia and later a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, moved to Northern Kentucky in 2017 with her husband, Sean. Her family has grown by eight paws since then with two poodles – Ember and Ada. In her spare time outside of work and family, Ann enjoys escaping to the outdoors, traveling, and taking advantage of the Cincinnati brewery scene.
Past President: Meredith Comin
Meredith is a Senior Director of Program Management at Empower, a local agency specializing in a variety of creative media advertising and marketing practices. She received her B.A. in Public Relations with a concentration in Marketing from Auburn University in 2006.
Her leadership in the JLC includes serving as President during the League’s 100th year, President-Elect, a member of the Nominating Committee, Co-Chair of the Spring Fundraiser CinSation, Chair of the Cookbook Committee, in which she and the committee were responsible for the creation of the JLC’s fall fundraiser, Tour of Kitchens, VP of Communications and VP of Membership. Always up for life’s adventures, she spent time as a proud transfer member of the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach (VA) where she served as Chair of the Research & Development Committee and along with the committee cultivated and successfully launched the JLNVB’s new fundraiser, Brunched. She was elected to the Board of Directors as VP of Fund Development before re-locating back to Cincinnati.
A fourth-generation Junior Leaguer, she has been active in the Junior League since joining the JL of Atlanta in 2008. She has been recognized with the Rising Star Award for her work and dedication to the JLC. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, she now resides in Over-the-Rhine.
Presidential Advisor: Dionn Tron
Dionn holds a BA in psychology and mathematics from Miami University. She has held a variety of positions in marketing, branding, strategic communications and human resources at companies such as Procter & Gamble, Miles Labs, Bayer, Agfa Corporation, United Technologies and Miami University
Dionn has served in leadership roles in several Junior Leagues, including JLC, Junior League of South Bend, Junior League of Montclair-Newark and Junior League of Hartford. Positions include VP Sustainer Council, marketing, advisory future planning, training, provisionals, three cookbooks and various projects, including Kids Helping Kids, Women and Alcohol and Adopt A Class in Cincinnati.
She has served on community boards including United Way, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Theaterworks, the Homeless Coalition, Summerfair and ZooArt.
She currently serves on the Foundation Board for AOII and as an advisor to AOII at Miami University. Her passion lies in women’s and children’s issues, primarily education and mentoring women.
At-Large Member: Sarah Clark
After to moving to Cincinnati in 2006 from Lexington, Kentucky, Sarah Clark has been an active member of the Cincinnati Community. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky and her Master’s of Business Administration from Xavier University. Sarah currently works as a Finance Manager at Ethicon, part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, where she has been for 7 years. She shares her home with her husband Harrison and their French Bulldog, Belle.
At-Large Member: Judy Schneider Dalambakis
Judy Schneider Dalambakis has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Cincinnati. Her past work experience includes: Associate Director of Admissions at the University of Cincinnati, Director of Community Relations for Joseph Beth Booksellers, Columnist for the Cincinnati Post and a Columnist for Express Cincinnati.
Judy served as President for the Junior League of Cincinnati, President of the Cincinnati Parks Foundation, Chair of the Friends of the Cincinnati Art Museum and President of BRAVO of the Cincinnati Ballet.
She has served on numerous boards including the Alzheimer’s Association, Playhouse in the Park, Association of Volunteers for Children’s Convalescent Hospital, Friends of the Art Museum, UC Alumni Board of Governors, Civic Garden Center, Junior League of Cincinnati, Women Helping Women, Impact 100, and currently serves on the UC Bicentennial Commission, the Christ Hospital Foundation, and the Cincinnati Ballet Board as the co-chair of Etoile.
Judy has chaired numerous fundraisers raising thousands of dollars for nonprofits including Cincinnati Zoo’s Zoofair, Cincinnati Art Museum, Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Parks Foundation, Junior League and the Alzheimer’s Association.
She has been recognized as a 2006 Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year, A Girl Scout Woman of Distinction, the University of Cincinnati’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award recipient, received the Junior League’s President’s Award and been honored as a UC Communication Alumni Champion.
At-Large Member: Mary Ivers
Mary Ivers started her business career as an entrepreneur, co-founding an INC 500 software company, Software Clearing House. As this company grew over 15 years, Mary learned how to expand an organization on a tight budget and also worked with many of the internal systems for managing clients, databases, mailing campaigns, and websites – all skills that would later prove useful when managing a thriving nonprofit. In 1999 Mary started an affiliate of Dress for Success in Cincinnati. Mary also started an Earned Income Venture, called the 4th Street Boutique, a thrift store, to sell excess clothing to generate proceeds for the support of the Dress for Success mission. Mary retired from Dress for Success Cincinnati in 2012 and continues to serve on the Board of Directors.
Mary is an alum and a trustee of Mount St. Joseph University and has been a Commencement speaker and awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree. She is a Cincinnati Enquirer Women of the Year, a Great Rivers Girl Scout Council Woman of Distinction, and an Athena Award Finalist. Mary is also member of Leadership Cincinnati Class 12 and Leadership Northern Kentucky. However, Mary’s greatest accomplishment is being a mother of four and the grandmother of seven.
At-Large Member: Shelley Poffenberger
Shelley Poffenberger has been a Cincinnati resident for the past 20 years and has been a member of the JLC since 2000.
Shelley has served various roles in the JLC including JLC President in 2010-2011, President Elect and Training and Development Chair, New Member Co Chair and as a member of the Nominating Committee. Shelley won the Excellence in Training Award in 2007 as the New Member Co Chair.
Shelley received her BA in Speech Communication from Indiana University. She was the Sales Manager at Tiffany & Co in Cincinnati.
Shelley is active in her community previously serving on the Vestry Session of Indian Hill Church for five years. She has also served on the Indian Hill Exempted Village School PTO Board for two years as the Primary School Representative as well as serving two years on the IHHS Board. Shelley has also been a member of Kindervelt #50/ Indian Hill.
Shelley resides in Indian Hill with her husband Bill and children Sydney and RJ. Shelley enjoys reading, playing tennis and traveling.
At-Large Member: Megan Stacey
She resides in East Hyde Park with her husband (Drew), daughter (Emory), son (Ford) and two dogs (Murphy & Briggs). When not working or spending time with her family, Megan enjoys several hobbies including her fashion blog, Polka Dots & Pleats, paddle tennis and mentoring other entrepreneurs.
After joining the JLC in 2009, Megan has served in various leadership roles including VP Membership, Co-Chair of The Centennial Campaign, New Member Advisor, Chair of Membership Outreach & Events, and Chair of Major Gifts. She has also served on Ad Hoc Committees, including New Member Curriculum (from her years as a teacher and assistant principal) and Points & Obligations.
At-Large Member: Juliana (J.J.) Wales
For the past 23 years,J.J Wales has been theExecutive Director of Neediest Kids of All, a non-profit that provides basic necessities for the Tri-State’s needy children. Over 15,000 children are served annually in 700 schools and Head Start sites.
J.J. learned the value of community service and importance of volunteering early on from her parents as both were active in giving back and J.J.’s mother was a member of the Junior League of Toledo, OH. After joining the Junior League of Cincinnati in 1977, J.J. served in leadership roles on the Admission Committee, Columbia Center Capital Campaign, Sustaining Advisor to the President and as President-Elect and President.
Outside of the JLC, J.J. is passionately involved in the College and Career Counseling at Sycamore High School, a Magic Circle volunteer with the Mental Health Association of Cincinnati, Knox Pre-School Board member and Chairman, PTO President at Woodford Primary School, March of Dimes Board member, United Way Board of Greater Cincinnati Board and campaign cabinet member, Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Board member and Chair, and Every Child Succeeds Board member and Chair. In addition, she served in the National Council of Kappa Kappa Gamma for 16 years, including National President and NPC Delegate.
After obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Education from Ohio State University, J.J. was an educator in both Virginia and Ohio. She and her husband spend as much time as they can with their sons and their families, which include 5 granddaughters who bring constant joy.
Nominating Chair: Nicole Portal-Velarde
Nicole is a Healthcare Business Consultant for Clinicare Medical Center, a family-owned business operating since 1976. She received her Executive MBA in Healthcare Sector Management and Policy from the University of Miami in 2010. Nicole joined the Junior League of Miami in 2006 and transferred to the JLC in 2010. She has served on various committees (CandO, Refugee Connect, Membership Satisfaction, Spring Fundraiser, Membership Recruitment, and Diversity & Inclusion) and is a Trustee to the Endowment Fund. She now serves as the Nominating Chair.
In addition to her involvement with the JLC, she is involved with The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati and Dress For Success. Nicole lives in Union Township with her husband, Andres, and her children Andres, Alexander, and Aria.
Executive Management Team
VP Communications: Sam Zehdner
Sam Bodner recently took on a new role as the Sr. Product Marketing Manager at 84.51° as a member of the Kroger Precision Marketing team. Prior to her role on the 84.51 team, Sam has worked in various Marketing and CRM positions across diverse industries at Delta Private Jets, EyeMed Vision Care, OneSight and Fifth Third Bank. Sam graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Marketing and a minor in Business from Xavier University. In 2016, she became a Certified Salesforce Administrator.
Sam joined the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2017 and has since served as a member of the Online Committee and Chair of the Marketing and Publicity Committee. Outside of the league, Sam is very involved with Xavier University where she serves as a mentor for undergraduate students and sits as a member of Xavier University’s National Alumni Board. Sam is originally from Danville, KY but now considers Cincinnati ‘home’ and lives in East Walnut Hills.
VP Community Impact: Brooke Olson
Brooke Olson is a Managing Partner at PsychPros, Inc, a recruiting firm dedicated to providing services to the behavioral healthcare field. She has always had a passion for helping people and prior to her work at PsychPros, was a social worker for 5 years.
Brooke went to Indiana University in Bloomington and received a BS in Health and Applied Science.
She has a passion for volunteering and has worked with the Cincinnati Parks Department, GLSEN, and New Beginnings (Prisoner Re-Entry Program). She joined the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2012 and has served as The Program Development Vice Chair, The Refugee Connect Vice Chair and on the Nominating Committee.
Brooke grew up in Chicago, IL (and is still a Cubs and Bears fan) She now calls Cincinnati home and lives in Hyde Park with her husband Mike and happy yellow lab Gus.
VP Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Nazly Mamedova
Nazly is the principal attorney at the Law Office of Nazly Mamedova. Focusing on immigration law, she advocates for her clients in both business and personal immigration matters. An immigrant herself, Nazly came to the U.S. in 2004 to learn English at Xavier University, where she later graduated with a B.A. in International Affairs. She continued her studies at NKU Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where she received her J.D. in 2013. Nazly is fluent in several languages, allowing her to serve a diverse population of clients. In 2019, she was admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States.
VP Finance: Erica Burns
Erica Burns is a Senior Manager in the assurance practice of PWC, a global public accounting firm. After living in several different states growing up, Erica settled in Kentucky and attended the University of Louisville, where she earned her BSBA in Accountancy before becoming a Certified Public Accountant. She has been with PWC for her entire accounting career, ultimately transferring to the Cincinnati office from the Louisville office in 2014 when she moved to Northern Kentucky. Like her professional path, Erica’s Junior League story began with the Louisville chapter in 2010. While there, she served on the Cookbook Development Committee for the release of the 2013 cookbook, as well as oversaw sales and distribution during its initial year. Upon her transfer to the Cincinnati League, she joined the Leadership Development Committee, which she has served on until finding herself in a role that focuses on her natural talent: numbers. In 2019, she served as Vice- Chair of the Finance Committee. Erica has always had a strong passion for working to increase financial literacy in the community, whether through her work in the League or as a Junior Achievement instructor. Erica resides in Northern Kentucky with her husband and daughters, loves to explore the various neighborhoods of Cincinnati, tries to travel as much as possible (when the stars align in the worlds of employment and toddlers), and cannot resist a good neighborhood coffee shop.
VP Fund Development: Kathryn DeNicola
Kathryn DeNicola joined the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2014. After serving as a Spring Fundraiser committee member for two years, she moved into the leadership roles of Spring Fundraiser Vice Chair and then Chair.
Kathryn is also active on the Cincinnati Parks Foundation’s Emerging Leaders committee, which helps to support the preservation of Cincinnati’s parks.
VP Membership: Pamela Long
Pamela is honored to be stepping into the role of VP of Membership. Last year she was Chair of the Leadership Development Committee, having previously served as a committee member for the past two years. Prior to that she was Vice Chair and then Chair of the Spring Fundraiser, CinSation. Since joining the League in 2011, she has served on various committees including Program Development, Membership Satisfaction, Nominating, Public Affairs Committee, and Kids in the Kitchen.
VP Training & Development: Kasha Wiley
Kasha Wiley earned her Bachelor’s degree from Miami University. She also earned her Master’s degree from University.
She has eight years of experience in Clinical Research and combined experience with education, training, and community health.
Kasha first encountered the Junior League of Cincinnati through MindPeace where she worked as an intern. Shortly thereafter, she joined and put her hands to the work of volunteering.
Since joining, she has served on various committees and in different leadership positions.
Recording Secretary: René Robers
René Robers is a Cincinnati native, focused on shopper marketing, building relationships and developing great content. She currently shares her time and talent with HEINEKEN USA as a Senior Customer Marketing Manager on the Kroger account. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Cincinnati, with a minor in Journalism and a certificate in Public Relations in 2008. She cut her teeth in the agency world, and then spent 5 years in shopper marketing at General Mills before joining Heineken. René stays active in the community, as a founding member and past president of the UC Friends of Communication alumni board, and currently serves as the Communications Chair for the Cincinnati chapter of Network of Executive Women and as the Policy & Projects Lead for HEINEKEN USA’s Women’s Leadership Forum. Over the past 9 years in the Junior League of Cincinnati, she has served as Vice Chair and Chair of Columbia Center, Marketing committee member, Vice Chair & Chair of Online through the launch of Digital Cheetah, Nominating committee member, mentored Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank through the RFP process with Program Acceleration committee, New Member Advisor and Chair of Curriculum Development before stepping into her current role at Recording Secretary in 2019.
Kelly Barber, Nominating Vice-Chair
Kelly Barber is a Primary Researcher at 84.51°, a division of the Kroger Company. Her career has focused around marketing optimization and consumer insights work. A member of the Junior League since 2013, she most recently served as Co-Chair of Leadership Development before taking on the role of VP of Membership. She is now the nominating Vice-Chair. Kelly also served on the board of the Kennedy Heights Arts Center from 2014-2018. She earned her MBA at Xavier University in 2008 and her bachelors in Art History at the University of Cincinnati in 2005. She resides in Pleasant Ridge, with her husband, Tony, and their two dogs, Clifford and Clementine. She is a supporter of the local arts and culinary scene and is also a part-time Pilates instructor.
VP Sustainer Council: Lauren Bosse
Lauren Bosse is the Senior Director, Major Gifts for Cincinnati Children’s, raising philanthropic funds from individuals and families in support of the medical center’s research and clinical needs. She received her B.A. in Speech Communications from Miami University and her Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership from Mount St. Joseph University.
Lauren joined the Jr. League of Cincinnati in 2004 and most recently served as co-chair for the Jr. League’s Centennial Campaign to raise $1M, in celebration of its 100th anniversary.
Lauren lives downtown with her husband (Ryan) and enjoys traveling, reading, playing pickleball (a newly formed hobby!), and trying new restaurants.
VP Sustainer Council: Lisa Hubbard
Lisa Hubbard is a Staff Attorney for the Kentucky Court of Appeals, where she has worked for the past 23 years. She is currently working in the chambers of Judge James Lambert. She received her B.A. from Miami University in 1991 and her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1994. Lisa has been a member of the Junior League of Cincinnati (JLC) since 2002 and is now a sustaining member. During her active years in the JLC, Lisa served as co-chair for the JLC’s signature project, MindPeace, on the Nominating Committee, as Community Impact Vice President, as Membership Vice President, and as President during the 2013-2014 year. Lisa received the JLC’s Jeanne Boyce Morrison President’s Award in 2007 for her service with MindPeace along with Melanie Chavez. She also received the Civic Leadership Award, Class of 2014, from Venue Media. Lisa served as a co-chairman on the Community Organizing Committee for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati. Lisa is currently serving as a volunteer photographer with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Lisa grew up just north of Cincinnati in the Village of Glendale. She is currently a resident of Crestview Hills, Kentucky.