Meet The Staff


Leslie Mooney

Executive Director

Leslie Mooney joined the CCAC in October 2013 as the second executive director in its five-year history. Leslie brings ten years of experience in non-profit and museum management to CCAC, having most recently held the position of Director of Development of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. After completing her bachelor’s degree in history at Georgetown College, Leslie lived in Temuco, Chile where she taught English to kindergarten through high school aged students. She has also held research and education positions at the United States Department of Justice and the Boston History & Innovation Collaborative. She received her master’s degree in Public History from Northeastern University, with a focus in non-profit management and women’s history.

Her passion for the arts began at a young age surrounded by a family who was always singing and performing. She was a member of several community productions in and around her hometown of Dixon, Kentucky as a child and received a partial theater scholarship to Georgetown College. Leslie began her career in educational programs and exhibition interpretation and has a personal mission to educate, connect and inspire communities to create a deeper and more fulfilling human experience.

In addition to her love of art and theater is a love of sports, food and wine. She is an avid fan of UK basketball, the Reds (and Red Sox), the Bengals (and, alas, the New England Patriots). Her husband, Brendan, is a Massachusetts native, chef and father extraordinaire to their three sons, Graeme, Colin, and Quinn. They have happily resided in Clifton for the last six years. Learn more about Leslie here.

You can reach Leslie at


Debbie Ollinger Bernloehr

Finance Assistant

Debbie joined the CCAC in February, 2016, to handle the invoicing, bookkeeping and various other administrative responsibilities at the CCAC. Debbie was born and raised in Cincinnati, but also lived in New York and Chicago while she pursued her Marketing career. She previously worked as a Brand Manager at Quaker Oats and H.J. Heinz, then shifted gears to become an Account Director at LAGA, a package design firm in Cincinnati.

She became a stay-at-home mother when her second child was born, and has been busy with volunteer activities ever since. She currently volunteers with the Cincinnati Zoo, and has previously held leadership positions with the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Kindervelt and various community groups and school organizations.

She received her undergraduate degree in International Business from Hofstra University in New York, and her MBA from Indiana University. She is the proud mother of three teen-agers (when she’s not the aggravated mother of three teen-agers) and has been married to her husband, John, for 25 years.

Debbie has always been interested in working with a non-profit and is thrilled to be part of an organization that is so dynamic, educational and just plain fun. Its focus on the arts and outreach to the community is a treasure for the entire city of Cincinnati.


Emalene Benson

Programs & Communication Manager

Emalene Benson became a part of the CCAC team in July 2013. She came to CCAC after a year spent obtaining her TEFL Certification in Florence, Italy and working as an ESL instructor for The New British Centre in Rome. A born and raised Cincinnatian, Emalene is thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in the thriving cultural arts community in her hometown.

Prior to her European adventure, Emalene worked for the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center in Louisville, Kentucky. As Mellwood’s Administrative Coordinator / Galleries Director, Emalene managed artists and artwork in 5+ galleries as well as oversaw the online marketing and promotional aspects of Mellwood’s private and public events.

Emalene attended Bellarmine University in Louisville, and received her bachelor’s degree in arts administration. She was an active member of STAGE – Student Theatre at Bellarmine, and acted in and produced numerous student productions. When not at work, Emalene is an avid creator of crochet afghans, a lover of dive bar karaoke, and a voracious reader.

You can reach Emalene with creative class and community programming ideas at



Kyrin Knopp

Events & Gallery Coordinator

Kyrin Knopp joined the CCAC team in October 2016 as the Events & Gallery Coordinator. Kyrin graduated from Indiana University, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He was on IU’s Debate Team, Model UN, and he helped lead a student movement to create the first food pantry on campus for students facing food insecurity. With this degree he specialized in civil rights, social movement theory and political poverty. He brings nine years of experience in dinner theatre, and was previously a part of the Food & Beverage Management Team at Derby Dinner Playhouse in Louisville, Kentucky. Along with his working experience with Derby Dinner Playhouse, Kyrin has interned for the Center for Women and Families. With this internship, Kyrin developed his competency in program planning and event hosting for a nonprofit advocating for the safety and support of women. Kyrin also held the position of Youth Mentor and Camp Organizer for the Louisville Youth Group which focused on the support and mental health for LGBTQ youth.

In his free time, Kyrin enjoys spending time with his partner, Meg, who is a high school teacher. He and Meg share their passion for the Cincinnati community through the work they do together and apart. Kyrin is an indie film enthusiast and lover of culture. He enjoys spending his free time writing, engaging in activism, and going to concerts.

Kyrin is excited to be a part of the CCAC team! You can reach Kyrin to book your next event or get information on hosting your next exhibition at