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Gay Community Endowment Fund Board

Board members serve without pay to help the fund continue impacting the lives of Summit County’s LGBT community. 

The diversity of the board helps strengthen the fund's work in the community and provides a vast knowledge base. The following community leaders serve as board members. Click on their names for more information.

Cynthia Christman
Chair
Cynthia Christman

Chair
Lieutenant, Akron Police Department

Cynthia has worked as lieutenant for the Akron Police Department for nearly 25 years. As a zone commander, she protects the citizens of many local neighborhoods, including downtown Akron, Highland Square and the University of Akron. Cynthia is a graduate of the Certified Law Enforcement Executive program, which emphasizes skills in ethics, human resources, team facilitation, strategic planning and budgeting. She has a master's degree in justice administration from Tiffin University and a bachelor's degree in emergency management from the University of Akron.

Charlene Clamp
Secretary
Charlene Clamp

Secretary and Newsletter Editor
Stow-Munroe Falls High School, retired

An experienced educator, Charlene served as unit principal at Stow-Munroe Falls High School for nine years after moving from Coventry High School, where she taught English for 26 years. Charlene received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kent State University. She has spent many years coaching basketball and volleyball, directing musicals and plays, and serving on committees at the local, district and county level.

Jim Pickard
Treasurer
Jim Pickard

Treasurer
President, Pickard Commercial Group

Jim is the president of the Pickard Commercial Group, a commercial real estate company in Akron. He specializes in office and industrial brokerage, construction and facilities management, and sales support. Jim has a bachelor’s degree in logistic/operations management from Michigan State University. He currently serves as the board chairman for Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and is a past board member of United Disability Services and Community Support Services.

Lisa Aurilio
Lisa Aurilio

Vice President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Akron Children’s Hospital

Lisa is the vice president of patient services and chief nursing officer at Akron Children’s Hospital. She is responsible for the patient service areas of both Akron Children’s hospitals, as well as the off-site patient care units within adult hospitals. These areas include the Children’s Home Care Group, emergency services, medical/surgical care units, neonatology units, nursing education and research, pediatric intensive care and more. Lisa also serves as the president of the Ohio Organization of Nurse Executives. Lisa earned a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science degree from the Kent State College of Nursing. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree in Kent State University’s Executive MBA for Healthcare Professionals program.

Bernie Burchett
Bernie Burchett

Consultant, Ohio Department of Education

Bernie is an independent consultant with the Ohio Department of Education. Prior to her work as a consultant, she spent more than 30 years with Akron Public Schools, ending her career there as the executive director of teaching and learning. She's an Akron native who received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Akron. 


Tom Cardone
Tom Cardone

Development Committee Chair
Deputy Court Administrator, Summit County Probate Court

After 37 years of being a teacher, coach and administrator, Tom retired from the education field and started a new position in the Summit County Probate Court. In addition to joining the board of GCEF, Tom is the current president of the Italian American Professional Businessmen’s Club.

Vince Curry
Vince Curry

President and CEO, Fair Housing Advocates Association

Vince is the president and CEO of Fair Housing Advocates Association in Akron, where he investigates housing discrimination cases against racial and LGBT minorities. Most notably, he led the case against the City of Zanesville for its refusal to supply safe drinking water to minorities, resulting in a $10.9 million verdict against the city. Vince also serves as second vice chair for the National Fair Housing Alliance. He has received awards from many organizations for his work, including the Akron Black Women’s Leadership Caucus and the Ohio Senate. He has also been a speaker and panelist at the H.U.D. National Fair Housing Policy Conference. Vince is a graduate of the University of Akron.

John Grafton
John Grafton

Marketing Committee Chair
Retired, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

After spending 33 years at Goodyear, retirement hasn’t slowed John down. A founding member of GCEF, John currently serves on the board of Weathervane Community Playhouse, where he is on the Trustee Nominating Committee, the Governance Committee and the Building & Grounds Committee, as well as volunteering to run the gift shop, bar sales and various backstage duties. John served on the Akron Task Force of Gay Games 9 and was honored to be a torchbearer in the opening ceremonies. He is a member of Plexus, the Lambda Car Club and the Society of Automotive Engineers. John received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently resides in Bath Township with his husband, Richard, and two Great Danes, Apollo and Bacchus.

David Jesse
David Jesse

Senior Director, Global Capital Markets, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

David is a financial executive who specializes in benefit accounting, funding and investing. He currently works as the senior director of global capital markets at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, where he excels in team building and investment strategizing. David has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bowling Green State University. He is an active volunteer in the community and serves on the board of Weathervane Community Playhouse.

Eric Jones
Eric Jones

President, Jones Group Interiors

Eric is the president of Jones Group Interiors, a full-service residential and commercial design group. Eric serves on the board of directors for Keep Akron Beautiful. He is also instrumental in the Gay Community Endowment Fund’s Sugar Plum event and works hard each year to find uniquely designed homes for the tour.

Julie Jones
Julie Jones

Head Softball Coach, The University of Akron

Julie is the head softball coach at the University of Akron, where she leads a top-ranked team of athletes. She previously served as the head softball coach at Cleveland State University. Julie is a dedicated community volunteer, serving on the Women’s Athletic Alumni Association Board of Directors at Baldwin Wallace University and the Women’s Board of the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center. She is also an alumna of Leadership Akron and was selected as one of the Top 40 all-time Softball Players of Influence surrounding the 40th anniversary of Title IX. Julie is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University and Cleveland State University.

Ed Kancler
Ed Kancler

Nominating Committee Chair
Retired Administrative Partner, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP

Ed practiced real estate law and contract litigation continuously before retiring at the end of 2005. He also was the managing editor of the Case Western Reserve Law Review. An active supporter of the LGBT community, Ed previously served as president of PFLAG and has spoken about LGBT issues at the University of Mount Union, Kent State University and a number of high school Gay-Straight Alliance meetings.

Doug Kohl
Doug Kohl

Senior Consultant, Lighthouse Counsel

Doug Kohl is a senior consultant with Lighthouse Counsel, where he assists nonprofit organizations with strategic planning, board development and donor analysis. He previously spent more than 40 years with the YMCA of the USA, including serving as CEO of the Akron Area YMCA, where he helped raise more than $40 million for capital improvements. Doug is active in the local arts community and regularly volunteers with Weathervane Community Playhouse. He also serves on the boards of the Well Community Development Corporation in East Akron, Furnace Street Mission, South Street Ministries and numerous arts organizations. Doug is a graduate of Leadership Akron and is a multiyear recipient of the Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian Award. He has a bachelor’s degree from George Williams College in Chicago and a master’s degree from Aurora University.

Sheila Martin
Sheila Martin

Financial Advisor, Ameriprise Financial

Sheila is a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, and Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Sheffield in England and a master’s degree from Kent State University. Sheila is an active supporter of the Humane Society of Greater Akron and a member of Plexus, serving on its membership committee.

Babette Medcalf
Babette Medcalf
Phil Montgomery
Phil Montgomery
Nicole Mullet
Nicole Mullet
Heather Roszcyk
Heather Roszcyk
Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands
Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands

Judge, Summit County Court of Common Pleas

Judge Rowlands was elected to the Common Pleas Court in 2008 and in January 2013 was elected as presiding judge in the General, Domestic Relations, Juvenile and Probate Divisions of the court. Judge Rowlands graduated from Youngstown State University and received her law degree from the University of Akron School of Law. She is also active in the community, having served two terms as chair of GCEF, as well as serving on the board of the Akron Civic Theatre.
Patricia Rubin, M.D.
Patricia Rubin, M.D.

Scholarship Chair
Cardiologist

Dr. Rubin is a board-certified cardiologist specializing in noninvasive cardiac imaging and diagnostic and clinical cardiology. She is currently a partner in a single-specialty cardiology group and a clinical assistant professor of medicine at NEOMED. Dr. Rubin is a graduate of Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She previously practiced at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Rubin chairs the GCEF Scholarship Committee, which awards scholarships to LGBT and allied students.

Rick Krochka
Emeritus member
Rick Krochka

President, TRIAD Communications/Next Level Interactive

A founder of GCEF, Rick has lent his marketing and communications expertise to many local nonprofit organizations both personally and professionally. His company’s Design4Good program has contributed more than $550,000 in pro bono services over the last 20-plus years. A graduate of Kent State University and Leadership Akron, Rick is also active on several nonprofit boards, including Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Friends of The Summit, and the United Way of Summit County.

Steven P. Schmidt, Ph.D.
Emeritus member
Steven P. Schmidt, Ph.D.

Past Chair
Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Associate Dean of Research, College of Pharmacy, Northeast Ohio Medical University

As a founder of the Gay Community Endowment Fund, Dr. Steven Schmidt has been involved with the fund since its inception. A graduate of Leadership Akron, he has served on numerous boards in the community. Dr. Schmidt retired from Summa Health System in 2014 after 33 years in leadership roles for the health system. He then transitioned to his current role at NEOMED as the chair of pharmaceutical sciences and associate dean of research for the College of Pharmacy. Dr. Schmidt received his bachelor's and master's degrees from DePauw University, and his doctorate from Idaho State University.