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Class Notes – December 2021


Lloyd Trotter (BBA ’72, Hon DBA ’01) is founder and managing partner of GenNx360 Capital Partners. 

Larry Bole (BSCE ’73) retired after 47 years in the music industry, having spent two years at WCSB/WCSU, six years in record retail, two years on-air at WMMS-FM, 28 years at Warner Bros. Records and 11 years at Concord Records.   

Catherine Kenny (B.S.Ed ’76, M.Ed. ’00), director and professor of respiratory therapy at Lakeland Community College, led the college’s Respiratory Therapy Program to receive the Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.  

Marc Bergsman (JD ’77) is an administrative trademark judge for the U.S. Trademark and Trial Appeal Board.


Cathy Pennington (BSW ‘82) was elected as president of the National Leased Housing Association. Pennington is senior vice president and general manager of Phipps Housing Services Inc. in New York City. She has a 30-year career dedicated to providing affordable housing to low-income households in cities including Cleveland, Chicago, Newark and New York City.

Karl Kovacs (MBA ’83) retired as the chief executive officer of Northern Lakes Community Mental Health in Michigan.

Glenn Coyne (BA ’84) joined Goodwyn Mills Cawood in Augusta, Georgia, as a senior planner. 

Charles McConnell (MBA ‘84) is the executive director of Carbon Management and Energy Sustainability at the University of Houston.

Bryan Bickimer (BME ’85) was appointed as CEO of Stoneworks, a countertop fabricator headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Lori Caterini (BA ’85), a registered art therapist and licensed professional counselor, was honored for her commitment to the profession in the Racine County Eye, a publication based in Racine, Wisconsin.

Geoffrey Church (BA ’85) released Europa the Ocean Moon, a futuristic tale about how the former United States president executes his plan to build a presidential library on Europa, a recently discovered incredible ocean world hidden beneath the frozen surface of Jupiter’s mysterious moon.

Bill Haney (BA ‘86) has been promoted by Plastipak Packaging, Inc. to west coast regional sales manager based in Las Vegas, NV.

Leonard DiCosimo (BM ’87) was elected treasurer of the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor, serving in his sixth term as president of the Cleveland Federation of Musicians.

Cathy Stang (BBA ’87), a beloved teacher in South Euclid and Lyndhurst, Ohio, retired after 31 years.

Robert White (BA ’87, JD ’91) is a judge with the Elyria Municipal Court.

John Richard (M.Ed. ‘89) is the president of the Stark Education Partnership. He previously served as the Ohio deputy state superintendent.


Tammy Livers (BA ’92) is president of World Electric Supply, an electrical distributor that serves customers in Florida and Georgia. 

Sam Burruano, Jr. (JD ‘93) was recently promoted to EVP, chief legal officer and corporate secretary for Five Star Bank where he oversees legal, governance, audit and HR functions and is responsible for developing and implementing ESG strategy.  

Katherine Lammert (BA ’93) was promoted to trust officer at Western Reserve Trust Company. 

Maryrose Sylvester (MBA ’93) joined the board of directors at Clarios, a world leader in advanced energy storage solutions. 

Teresa Underwood (BBA ’93, MPA ’01, ’02) was appointed court administrator by the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court in Tucson, Arizona. 

Ginger McGee (BA ’94) is author of He’s Not Broken: A Mother’s Journey to Acceptance. It is the story of how she learns her son Jake, diagnosed with severe Tourette’s at six, and severe OCD at eight, wasn’t broken and was exactly the child she needed in her life. 

Michael Doud (BA ’94) was named executive director of the Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services Board of Lorain County. 

Janice Holt (BS ’95) is national dean of VN/PN Programs at Unitek Learning, the parent company of several healthcare and nursing education institutions. 

Terri Bradford Eason (MBA ’96) was named chair of the Notre Dame College Board of Trustees. 

Kate Hubben (MA ’96) was named vice president at NFP Corporate Benefits. 

Ramona Lowery (BCE ’96) is the commissioner for water pollution control for the City of Cleveland. She is only the second woman to hold the position. 

Anusha Gibson (BA ’98, JD ’06) was appointed to the Akron Art Museum board of directors. Gibson is senior vice president and head of diverse growth segments for PNC Bank. 

Dan Montenaro (JD ’98) is executive vice president and general counsel at Alorica, Inc., a global leader in customer experience solutions. 

Roderick Ingram (BBA ’99, MBA ’02) was elected board chair of United Way of Portage County. Ingram is the vice president of communications and chief marketing officer for the Northeast Ohio Medical University. 

Laura Redinger (MBA ’99)  has been named principal at Investment Partners, LLC, a Cleveland-based private equity firm. 


Christine Holt (JD ’00) is chancellor for the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope-Texarkana. She is the first black woman to lead a public higher education institution in Arkansas. 

Heather Clayton Terry (B.S.Ed. ’00, MPA ’06) was promoted to senior philanthropy coordinator at Dominion Energy overseeing charitable giving efforts across the state of Ohio for the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. 

Ben Hodge (M.Ed. ’01) was named superintendent of Avon Schools in Avon, Ohio. 

Shawn Montgomery (MS ’01) was named vice president of operations for Nth Cycle, a metal processing and recycling technology company. 

Sean McGinnis (M.Ed. ’02) was named as the first-ever head men’s lacrosse coach at Thomas More University. 

Ann Aber (JD ’03) was promoted to senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at Joann, Inc., based in Hudson, Ohio. 

Bette Lou Higgins (M.Ed. ’03) released a new book The Lost Restaurants of Downtown Cleveland in September 2021. 

Kathryn Hall (MA ’04) is the vice president of diversity and inclusion for JACK Entertainment and was recognized as one of the 2021 YWCA of Greater Cleveland Career Women of Achievement. 

Stephanie M. Mercado (JD ’05) is project director at Biggins Lacy Shapiro and Co. 

Julie Peters (MA ’06) has been promoted to senior director in RSM’s technical accounting consulting practice. RSM is a provider of audit, tax and consulting services. 

Maria Spangler (MPA ’06, JD ’06) is on the leadership team for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s 2022 Cleveland Man & Woman of the Year. 

Jessica Berger (MSW ’06) was named vice president of university advancement at Cal State San Marcos in San Marcos, California. 

J.P. Krainz (MBA ’07) is director of the account services department at thunder::tech, an integrated marketing agency in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Katie White (M.Ed. ’07) serves as the associate director of programming and assessment at Towson University Campus Recreation.  

Saree Doyle (BSEd ’08) was named director of Summit Academy Community School, which serves K-12 students, and specializes in educating diverse learners with ADHD and autism. 

John LePelley (M.Ed. ’09, MBA ’12) was named to the alumni board at Wittenberg University. He is currently the head of the Cleveland School of the Arts.


Hannah Belsito (MUP ’11) is chief experience officer at Destination Cleveland. 

Leon Karas (BBA ’11) is service director for the City of Macedonia. 

Andrew Gotlieb (MUP ’12) was named to Pro Builder’s Top 40 Under 40 list for his accomplishments in home building. Gotlieb is the business development director at Keystate Homes & Development in Bedford Heights, Ohio. 

Garrett Humes (JD ’12) joined the Real Estate Practices Group at the law firm Ulmer & Berne LLP. 

Valissa Turner Howard (MA ’12) joined the Greater Cleveland Fook Bank as vice president of talent and legal affairs. 

Taylor Thomas Cera (MBA ’12) was named COO of the Youngstown Orthopedic Associates/Orthopedic Surgery Center in Youngstown, Ohio. 

Frank O’Grady (M.Ed. ’12) teaches middle school history at Menlo Park Academy, a public charter school for gifted children in Cleveland. 

Brittany A. Carbaugh (MA ’13, Ph.D. ’20) recently began her first staff psychology position with the James A. Haley Tampa VA Medical Center. 

Sara Continenza (MPA ’14) is founder and executive director of  Food Strong, a civic and social non-profit organization that serves Cleveland-area communities by promoting the cultivation, purchase and consumption of fresh and local foods while simultaneously linking the same communities with vital services and resources. The organization is headquartered in South Euclid, Ohio. 

Bilal Akram (BA ’14, MA ’16) is the CEO of Code Media Group, which seeks to address the ”emotional, financial, physical, psychological and spiritual wellness of men of color.” 

Jen Elliott (MBA ’14) was named the new Forest Primary School principal in North Olmsted, Ohio. 

Monique Hebert (BA ’14) released a children’s book Mom and the Mythical Creatures earlier this year.  

Jason Kassabri (M.Ed. ’14) and his wife, Kristina (BBA ‘09, and MBA ‘14, opened Hawthorn Grove Childcare in Bay Village, Ohio. 

R.S. Veira (BBA ’14) released a new book, Dream With Me: A Dreamer’s Ramblings on Life, Love, God and Achieving the Dream, through his imprint, RSV Ink. 

Chris DeMarco (BMus ’16), a bassist, opened Bowed String Shop in Lakewood, Ohio, focusing on violin, viola, cello and bass rentals, repairs and sales. 

Melanie Rose Davis (BA’16) joined Cleveland Ballet as production manager. 

Linda Marshall (BS ’16, MS ’17) has been appointed as vice president of operations for National Church Residences of Columbus, Ohio. 

Mark Nagorney (BSN ‘17) is a surgical nurse in general surgery at the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic. 

Brandon Rounick (BA ’17), launched the podcast Men Who Talk Heal with friend Zach Miley. Rounick is a life, health and wellness coach certified by the Health Coach Institute. 

Derek Sloan (BBA ’17) was named interim head coach of the West Virginia Wesleyan men’s basketball program. Sloan was a member of CSU’s men’s basketball team from 2013-2018. 

Annie Sobotka (BSN ’18) married Chris Yannon in August 2021. 

Ryan Kelly (BA ’18) is vice president of operations for Transition Film Studios, headquartered in Cleveland. 

Nicole Kay Kline (JD ’18) joined Benesch law firm as an associate in the Corporate & Securities Practice Group. 

Tyler Mercado (BA ’18) is a member of the Independence Police Department in Ohio. 

Paul Fitzpatrick (BA ’19) is executive director of Clevelawn, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce poverty and violence in Northeast Ohio by providing pathways to the workforce and training, while earning a wage. 

Kortni Rechelle Spates (BBA ‘19) has joined the firm of Ancora as an assistant vice president and financial accountant. 

Chad Felton (BA ‘98) is a staff writer at The News-Herald covering, among other topics, county government and various Lake County agencies. 


Sheena Holland Dolan (BA ’20) is a multimedia journalist at The News-Herald. 

Albert A. Bragg Jr. (Ph.D. ’20) is the executive director of Alpha Phi Homes, a non-profit housing, development and management corporation formed in 1966 by the members of Eta Tau Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Adam Tubbs (EMBA ’21) was named CEO of FIT Technologies. 

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Three alumnae named Crain’s Cleveland Business 2021 Women of Note

Diane Beastrom (BA ’77, MA ’79), Sarah Flannery (JD ’02) and Marcia Moreno (MA ’07) were honored as Crain’s Cleveland Business 2021 Women of Note. Beastrom is president and CEO of social services agency Koinonia, Flannery is a partner at law firm Thompson Hine and Marcia Moreno is president and founder of AmMore Consulting.

Four alumnae named Crain’s Cleveland Business 20 in their Twenties

Not one. Not two. Not three, but FOUR alumnae were recognized in this year’s Crain’s Cleveland Business class of 20 in their Twenties. From left to right are Brandilyn Cook (JD ’18), Nichole Davis (BS ’20), Samira Malone (BA ’17, MUPD ’20) and Juliana Petti (BA ’18). 

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