2019-2020 Leadership

2019-2020 Board of Directors

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.

Prior to serving as President, she was 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 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.

President-Elect: Sarah Rieger

Sarah E. Rieger is Director of Guest Services for Genesis Healthcare, Kentucky Division. 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.

Board Secretary: Kate Fortlage

Fortlage-KateKate Fortlage began at Formica in April 2014 and is a Senior Manager in the Marketing Department with proven abilities in strategic planning, managing projects and direct reports, driving top-line and bottom-line sales growth, and influencing cross functional managers. Prior to Formica, she was a Brand Manager for KAO USA, where she worked for over 8 years. She received her B.A. from Bowling Green State University in 1999 and her MBA from the University of Dayton in 2005. Born in Toledo, Kate relocated to Cincinnati after her MBA to start her marketing career at KAO. Currently, she manages the residential segment at Formica and is responsible for developing and leading brand strategy, innovation, and marketing plans. Kate joined the Junior League of Dayton in 2000 and transferred to the JLC in 2006. She has served on every JLC 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 served on the Board of Directors as Special Projects and led an Ad Hoc Committee in creating the JLC strategic plan. She also led the points system initiative, and served in an Out-of-League Placement as a Steering Committee Chair for the All-Star Game.

Legal Advisor: Beth Berkowitz

Beth Berkowitz serves as Legal Advisor to the Junior League Cincinnati!  An accomplished attorney, she earned her B.A. from the University of Dayton and J.D. from Capital University before passing the Bar Exam in 2006.  She practiced law in Columbus and Cincinnati before taking the bench as a Magistrate at Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court in 2010.  Beth has also served as a Hamilton County assistant prosecuting attorney where she worked to protect the most innocent of all victims, children.
Beth has dedicated her career to helping children and families. She prosecuted cases involving child abuse and neglect, working to remove abused children from dangerous circumstances in their homes. In cases of divorce, Beth helped families navigate the legal system to healthy, positive outcomes. She also served as a Guardian ad Litem, advocating on behalf of the children in divorce cases. Now a full-time mom and wife to her husband, Judge Josh Berkowitz, Beth has three young children.  The Berkowitz’s are members of St. Mary Parish in Hyde Park.
Beth also serves on the Board of Directors for SheLeads, an organization that provides resources, networking, and learning opportunities to women in Hamilton County who are interested in pursuing elected office.
She has served on the Kids in the Kitchen committee combating childhood obesity, as part of our GrinUp! team promoting pediatric oral health, on both our fall and spring fundraisers to support our mission and projects, and on our Leadership Development team.

Treasurer: Meredith Edwards Ficks

Past President: Tara B. Noland

Tara Noland is the founding Executive Director for GreenLight Cincinnati, a non-profit that works to identify and solve critical, local needs. Having earned a B.A., B.S.W., and M.S.W. from the University of Kentucky, she has spent her career in the non-profit sector. She was a member of C-Change, Class 4 and WeLead, Class 10. She was named one of Cincinnati’s Forty Under 40 by the Business Courier and a YWCA Rising Star in 2012. She is also a member of the Source Cincinnati National Connectors Group, a group that works to inform our region’s national storytelling efforts.

Tara enjoys volunteering in the community, currently serving on the local advisory boards for the Center for Employment Opportunities and the Family Independence Initiative. She served as a co-chair for a 2015 MLB All Star Summer committee, president of the C-Change Alumni Society and member of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Senior Strategic Advisory Team for Leadership Programs. A member of the Junior League since 2009, Tara has held positions as the President, Vice President of Training and Development, Vice-Chair and Chair of the Leadership Development Committee, and member of the Nominating Committee. She received the JLC Rising Star award in 2012. Tara lives in Anderson with her husband, Zac, and daughters, Elliot and Norah.

Presidential Advisor: Dionn Tron

Tron-Dionn

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: 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

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At-Large Member: Megan Stacey

Megan Stacey is a Cincinnati native with a passion for giving back to the community. She graduated from Miami University in 2005 and earned her master’s degree from Xavier. Megan helps families buy and sell homes as a Realtor with Keller Williams Advisors.

She resides in Mt. Lookout 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.

After joining the JLC in 2009, Megan has served in various leadership roles including VP Membership, 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

Nominating Chair: Jamie Williams

Jamie is a Vice President at Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company. She started her career at Nielsen in 2007 and has held a variety of positions at the company with a focus on innovation and product development. She also co-leads the Women In Nielsen 

employee resource group for Nielsen’s central region. Jamie received her B.S. in Business from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, graduating with honors.

Outside of the office, Jamie is passionate about volunteering. She joined the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2012. She’s co-chaired their spring fundraiser and served as an active member on many committees including Cando and Membership Recruitment. She is currently the co-chair of the Nominating committee and a member of the Executive Management Team.

Jamie is also active with the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and she sits on the board of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation SW Ohio/Kentucky Chapter. She is a resident of Over-the-Rhine and loves all things downtown Cincinnati.

Executive Management Team

VP Communications: Chelsea Zesch

Chelsea is a strategic communications professional from Cincinnati who works at creative agency Barefoot Proximity as a Senior Strategic Planner, building B2B and B2C strategies for Fortune 500 companies. She has a strong passion for understanding people, cultures, and languages and received her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Chinese from Tulane University.

In addition to her role in the JLC, she gives back to Cincinnati serving as the Philanthropy Advisor to the University of Cincinnati’s Pi Beta Phi chapter. She also served as a member of the Mid-South Collegiate Advisory Team and Collegiate Advisor to the Louisiana State Council for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life program while living in New Orleans.

Prior to her role as Vice President of Communications, Chelsea served as Perspectives Vice Chair and Chair and received the Rising Star Award in 2017.

Chelsea also enjoys traveling, gardening, reading, singing, and anything crafty. A native Cincinnatian, Chelsea is a third-generation member of the Junior League of Cincinnati and currently resides in Oakley with her Japanese Chin pup, Phoebe.

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 & Inclusion: Tara Mosley

Tara J. Mosley currently works for the Kroger Co. where she heads merchandising for the small formats division, which focuses on planning and launching new and emerging store formats nationwide. Prior to joining Kroger, Tara held roles in strategic planning and brand marketing at Spectrum Brands and Procter & Gamble.

Tara joined JLC in 2012. She served as a committee member for two years on the Member, Outreach & Events committee before serving as the Vice Chair and Chair of New Members. She is currently the Chair of Nominating and sits on the Diversity & Inclusion committee. In addition to her committee placements, Tara has had the opportunity to serve and volunteer for many of our signature fundraisers and projects including: Kids in the Kitchen, Tour of Kitchens, Grin Up, and RefugeeConnect.

Tara is very involved in her community and works with several organizations here in Cincinnati. In addition to her work with JLC, she serves as a speaker, mentor, and job coach with Dress for Success Cincinnati’s Professional Women’s Group, is a Portaluca (the retail branch of Dress for Success) board member, a consultant for Public Allies pilot mentoring program, and a college mentor with Cincinnati Youth Collaborative.

VP Diversity & Inclusion: Erin Rolfes

Erin Rolfes is the corporate affairs manager for Kroger’s Cincinnati-Dayton division. She is responsible for driving Kroger’s purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit; by engaging with the community and nonprofit partners in Cincinnati and Dayton and generating uplift through storytelling and internal communications.

Prior to joining Kroger Erin has held several key roles in professional communications including television production, agency work at Vehr Communications, and most recently her role as Manager of Public Relations & Communication for REDI Cincinnati. Erin has a long history of volunteerism and community involvement with various organizations, and real passion for the Cincinnati region.

VP Finance: Kei Lawson

Kei works at Cincinnati Bell as the Senior Director of Investor Relations, where she develops and communicates a consistent applied investment message to the investment community on behalf of the company. Prior to working at Cincinnati Bell, she held several lead positions in Accounting, Credit, and Operations and worked for public companies such as DuPont, Lexmark, and Lockheed Martin. Kei is also a certified Six Sigma Green Belt so she appreciates process implementation and improvement.

Often labeled as a Cincinnati transplant, Kei was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Outside of spending time with family and friends, she enjoys cooking and being a part of professional, community, and social networks. She has a passion for empowering women and helping children.

Kei originally joined the Junior League of Lexington as a Provisional Member in September 2010 where she served as the Assistant Treasurer, then Treasurer. She transferred her membership to Cincinnati in summer 2014, and has enjoyed her experiences on the CanDO and Transfer committees. The friendships she has made in the Junior League have nurtured her spirit and helped her transition to a new city seamlessly. When she thinks of this organization, accessibility comes to mind, as “all things leadership” are available to anyone who wants to learn, grow, and help the community.

In addition to serving as the VP of Finance for a 2-year term, Kei sits on the Board of Women Helping Women–where she is active on the development committee–and tutors Taft IT High School students on a weekly basis during the school year.

Currently, Kei resides in Anderson Township, OH with her husband of 11 years, Shannon, and 2.5 year old daughter, Troi Sinclaire.

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.

Kathryn was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and received her Bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from Miami University. She enjoys needlepointing, cooking, traveling and entertaining. Kathryn lives in Mt. Lookout with her husband and two children, Charlotte and George.

VP Membership: Kelly Barber

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. 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 Strategic Planning, Molly Flanagan

Molly Flanagan is a senior manager for the Global Legal/Government Relations division with The Procter & Gamble Company.  She is chief-of-staff to the Chief Legal Officer who heads a global division of more than 500 employees. In addition, Molly manages P&G’s Good Government Fund (Political Action Committee) and serves as the primary government-relations liaison for P&G’s 25 manufacturing facilities in 21 U.S. states.

Before joining P&G in 2013, Molly began her working career at the White House, which included coordinating over 400 domestic events for the President.  In 2009, she joined the Republican Governors Association, serving as staff director and liaison to 24 Governors and 36 gubernatorial candidates. In 2011, she became deputy campaign director for the Pawlenty presidential campaign, and in 2012 was spokesperson and government-affairs representative at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Molly joined JLC in 2012, serving as chair of Marketing and Publicity and New Member Advisor.  She received JLC’s Rising Star Leadership Award in 2015. She was a member of the Chamber’s C-Change Class VIII and also served as president of its Alumni Program.  In 2016, she received the YWCA Rising Star Leadership Award. In addition, she was a member of the Dan Beard Council Professional Leadership Network and the 4-C for Children’s Ambassador’s Board.

Molly is a sixth-generation Cincinnatian and holds a B.A. degree in political science from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.  

VP Training & Development: Kasha Wiley

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 is aging out of the “young professional” moniker and stays active in the community, as a founding member and past president of the UC Friends of Communication alumni board, and currently serves in leadership roles for the Network of Executive Women and HEINEKEN USA’s Women’s Leadership Forum. During her 7 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 most recently, Chair of Curriculum Development.

Nicole Portal, Nominating Vice-Chair

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.

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.

VP Sustainer Council: Angie Carl

Angie has been a member of the Junior League for 36 years. She first joined in Kingston, New York, where she served as Executive Director for the Ulster County Task Force on Child Abuse Prevention. In 1987 she returned to her hometown of Cincinnati, and immediately transferred to the JLC. Angie has enjoyed placements in several capacities with the League, but her first love and primary League experience has been in Training and Development.  In the Oakland East Bay League, the Training committee developed and presented trainings on a variety of topics for non-profits in the community, sponsored by the United Way. She finds it particularly rewarding to help women develop into strong leaders and volunteers.

In 1988, together with her project committee, Angie developed an educational program for parents designed to provide knowledge and strategies that would help them talk with their teenage children about sexuality and other uncomfortable topics. This League project was a response to a growing rate of teen pregnancy in greater Cincinnati.

Also in 1988, Angie joined the Columbia Center Capital Campaign committee and led campaign donor recognition activities, raising $1.5 million to buy and renovate the Columbia Center!

In 1992 President Jeanne Morrison asked Angie to chair an ad hoc committee to redesign JLC’s training program and, together with a team of several Past Presidents and others, Angie researched how Leagues around the country were handling training and developed a five-year plan for the JLC.

In 2012 Angie served as Sustaining Advisor to the New Member Committee, ultimately helping to build the New Member Bus tour to be what it is today.

Among Angie’s numerous nonprofit experiences in our community include serving as one of the original “BoardWalk” trainers for United Way, serving on the board of the Cincinnati Nature Center for eight years, and serving as the founding Director of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council, a division of Green Umbrella.

Angie has been married to Ed Carl for 47 years, has three daughters, and four grandchildren.

VP Sustainer Council: Martha Steier

Martha is the Development Director for OneSource Center for Nonprofit Excellence.  She began her career at Cincinnati Milacron in operations management after earning her BS and MBA at Vanderbilt. Her second career in Fund Development, incubated by her experience in the JLC, includes serving at two private schools before joining OneSource.

Martha joined the Junior League in Dayton and transferred to the JLC in 1991. She served as JLC President in 2004-05 and has been an active Sustainer with roles including chairing the Sustainer Luncheon, serving on the Centennial Planning Committee and being a Bus Tour guide.

Martha is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati Class 27 and has served on various community events committees including the All Star Game and the Hats Off Luncheon. Martha is an active member of the Cincinnati Woman’s Club where she served as an executive board member and now chairs the Operating Endowment Fund Committee.

A resident of Montgomery, Martha and her husband Gary have two grown sons and enjoy travel and gardening.