The CCAC Board has approached its startup, mission, renovation planning, and sustainability planning with a level of diligence typically applied to for-profit corporations. The Prospective Project Review report conducted by the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission states, “From the information given in the Business Plan, the Board of Directors for the CCAC appears to have the expertise of a financially healthy organization” and “appears to contain members with requisite experience in fundraising, construction, legal and financial disciplines, among others.”
The Board’s careful, collaborative approach to planning has propelled CCAC forward continuously since 2004 and is evidenced by its relationships with established arts organizations, strategic partners, and community leaders.
Though relatively new to Clifton, lifelong Cincinnatian Betsy Neyer is not new to working with Cincinnati’s talented arts and volunteer community. Over the last 20 years she has served as both consultant and volunteer leader for Madcap Puppet Production Theater, ArtWorks, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Cincinnati Opera and many other community and civic organizations.
Her day job as Chief Operating Officer of School Outfitters has her busy working with her team to create outstanding learning environments through the sourcing, sale and delivery of 21st Century furniture for education. Through her work Betsy gets to see firsthand the changes happening in education, and the difference that excellent space makes in educational outcomes, both in and out of the classroom.
Betsy and her wife live in Clifton with their twin daughters. Joining the board in 2017, Betsy said “I am thrilled to be part of the CCAC Board to help build on the great programs and creativity already happening here everyday. That foundation provides an exciting launchpad for even more opportunities to be a treasured community resource, not just for Clifton but for the entire City.”
Patty Cottingham retired after 38 years with The E.W. Scripps Company where she worked for two of its newspapers – The Cincinnati Post and The Kentucky Post. For the last 19 years, she served as Vice President of Administration for the Scripps Howard Foundation, the charitable giving arm of the company. At the foundation, she administered contributions to Greater Cincinnati nonprofit organizations; created and managed the Nonprofit Internship Program designed to provide college students with internship opportunities at regional nonprofits; oversaw the foundation’s budgeting and financial administration, and played a key role in the prestigious National Journalism Awards program. Throughout her career with Scripps, Patty served on several boards including the United Way Impact Cabinet and United Way 211 and volunteered for many nonprofits.
Patty learned about CCAC through her work at the Scripps Howard Foundation. She embraced the center’s vision, fell in love with the historic building and quickly became a volunteer. She recruited colleagues and friends to renovate two classrooms into the center’s Second Floor Gallery. After retiring in 2015, Patty joined the CCAC board. A native of Cincinnati and current Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky resident, you’ll see Patty at the center’s Wednesdays on the Green (her favorite), Sunset Salons and every sunny Friday morning working outside in the gardens with a group of dedicated Clifton residents, who love gardening too. Come join her!
Barbara Sferra returned to Cincinnati in October 2006 after living in Mexico City, Mexico, for four years. She immediately became involved with CCAC by writing grants as a community volunteer, and subsequently joined the Board of Directors in 2007, where she has served as Treasurer since 2009.
Barbara has over 22 years experience in Human Resources Management, specializing in Employee Relations. In her most recent position, Barbara worked as Principal Consultant for HR Solutions, Inc. facilitating employee opinion surveys and employee feedback sessions, and subsequently developed improvement plans for a variety of clients. She received her Master of Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University, and her Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University.
“It has been very exciting to be involved in CCAC’s growth and viability over the years. CCAC’s success is a direct result of dedicated members of the Clifton community, as well as the city as a whole. The diversity of programming we have accomplished in our short life span in incredible. We had our doubters, but have proven to be a strong, successful cultural arts center.”
Sean Kelley, his wife and four children and have been residents of Clifton since 2008. They enjoy life in the city and especially appreciate that CCAC is located right in their neighborhood. They are members of St. Monica/St. George Parish and their children attend Fairview-Clifton German Language School.
Sean is the Director of the Talent Pipeline Initiative, a collaborative effort between United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, StrivePartnership, and Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, that connects students and employers through career-based learning experiences. Sean also currently serves on the boards of INTERalliance and Emerging Workforce Development Council.
Joe Huber is a native Cincinnatian who has worked as the Chief Operating Officer for the Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) since 2006, financing significant community development projects in Greater Cincinnati. Prior to CDF, Joe worked ten years at Fifth Third Bank. Besides the CCAC, Joe’s board experiences include The Cincinnati Preservation Association, Hamilton County Development Company, the Community Development Corporation Association, Price Hill Will and Warsaw Federal Savings and Loan.
Joe, his wife and three daughters, who are students at CPS, have been Clifton residents for over 15 years. His hobbies include running, singing and coaching soccer. Regarding his passion for the CCAC, he states, “My life has been enriched by music, from my high school glee club through my current performances with my band. Everyone deserves meaningful exposure to the arts to help shape them and create positive experiences, and the CCAC offers this creative outlet. In addition, the CCAC has helped bring our diverse community together, allowing people of all walks of life to share in the joys of art, music, and dancing, while making connections with new friends. The CCAC is an absolute TREASURE!”
George Vredeveld moved to the Cincinnati area in 1977 where he and his wife Rose raised their three children. In 1999 they moved to the Clifton area and have been active in the community. In October 2016 George joined the board of CCAC an organization that he has admired and supported since its beginning. He is especially impressed with the positive role CCAC has played by offering a variety of programs that are of interests to different demographics in the area.
Prior to his retirement in 2013, George was a professor at the University of Cincinnati where he held the Alpaugh Family Chair in Economics and was the past director and founder of the UC Economics Center for Education and Research. He is noted for his observations of the local and world economies and especially factors that affect regional economic development. He has directed more than 100 studies on regional labor markets, economic impact of institutions, economic development and the role of education in meeting the needs of industry.
George is a member of the Academic Council and a Research Associate at Varna Free University in Bulgaria and a member of the Board of Advisors for the European Leadership University in North Cyprus. He also serves as the lead independent director for a national mutual fund.
Dr. Vredeveld received his Ph.D. in economics from Indiana University, a Masters degree from Purdue University and his B.A. degree from Calvin College.
Since 2017, Ms. Cull has served Xavier University in the role of Associate General Counsel. Prior to returning to her alma mater, Ms. Cull had been a partner at the law firm of Kohnen & Patton, where her work focused on general litigation, employment law, and appellate practice. During her third year of law school, Ms. Cull served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Northern Kentucky Law Review. She is a St. Louis, Missouri native and stubbornly remains a Cardinals baseball fan. She and her husband, Brendon, live in Clifton with their young daughters, Maggie and Ginny. The Cull family loves all that the CCAC has to offer, especially the summer Wednesday concert series, and Becky looks forward to collaborating with the Board to creatively and carefully steward the CCAC into its next chapter.
Craig is a certified public accountant and has over thirty-five years of experience working in the public accounting and private industry sectors. He recently retired as a principal at the public accounting firm of Clark, Schafer, Hackett, where he specialized in financial statement-related audit and assurance services, and business consulting. His focus included serving clients in a variety of industries including financial institutions, SEC, employee benefit plans, not-for-profit, manufacturing and distribution. He previously worked for the national public accounting firm KPMG and served as the local market chief financial officer for PNC Financial Corp.
In his retirement, Craig is passionate about volunteering and giving back to the community. He is excited about the opportunity to serve CCAC and participate in an organization that focuses on important multi-generational arts and cultural needs of the greater Uptown community. Craig also devotes his volunteer efforts by currently serving on the leadership council and is the finance director of Clifton United Methodist Church, serving on the Audit Committee of the Easter Seals Tristate, and has frequently consulted with the Clifton Market. Craig has also served on a variety of not-for-profit boards and audit committees, including the American Red Cross – Greater Cincinnati Chapter and the Freestore/Foodbank. Craig is a graduate of Purdue University and received his MBA from Miami University. He and his wife, Valerie, have lived in Clifton since 1993 and have two grown children.
Kelly D. Robinson currently works as an Independent Consultant with a specialty in meeting and event planning. Most recently she worked as Senior Manager, Network Events for StriveTogether and managed the event planning and execution for a national network of more than 60 cradle to career education partnerships. She brings 8+ years of experience in communications, meeting and event planning, project management and program coordination from both local and national work.
Kelly earned a B.S. in Broadcasting from Belmont University and a M.A. in Television, Radio & Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Kelly is passionate about giving back to her community and is engaged as a volunteer with several organizations in Cincinnati and a board member of the Avondale Community Council.
Cindy and her husband, both lovers of urban living, moved to Cincinnati in 2002. Cindy has channeled her passion for viable urban communities as a trustee of the Clifton community council, member of the steering committee for the Clifton Main Street program, community representative on the Fairview School Local Decision Making Committee, news editor of the Clifton Chronicle and as a founding director and board chair of the regional Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC).
In 2012 Cindy received the annual Woman of Distinction award from the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, honoring women leaders in the greater Cincinnati region, who demonstrate strong initiative and personal leadership on issues relating to women and girls. Cindy was recognized for her work with CCAC in 2009 as one of five Cincinnati finalists for the Jefferson Award. During the 1990s Cindy formed and operated Source Markets International, Inc. an exporter of consumer goods to major retail chains in Australia and New Zealand. In addition to her entrepreneurial endeavors, she has worked in marketing positions in film and packaged goods companies and has a Bachelor of Science of the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering. In 2014 Cindy completed a 500-miles walk across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago.
“Through its central location, the Clifton Cultural Arts Center is an ideal gathering spot for the diverse population of Uptown to gather and build cross-cultural connections through engaging with the arts.”
Mark McKillip is a founding director of CCAC and, as an architect, has a special affinity for the building that CCAC calls home. He retired as Principal Architect/Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Cincinnati in 2006. During his City career, Mark directed numerous downtown projects, such as the Saks Fifth Avenue/Hyatt Regency Hotel project, the Aronoff Center for the Arts, Fountain Place, and the Greenwich, Groton Lofts, and Shillito Lofts housing projects. Since his retirement from the City, Mark has maintained a practice of providing Owner’s Representative services for construction projects to local non-profits including the American Red Cross Cincinnati Chapter, the Cincinnati Nature Center, and the Cincinnati Art Museum, as well as for CCAC’s renovations of Clifton School.
A native Ohioan, Mark graduated with honors from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning and pursued postgraduate studies in real estate development. Mark is a licensed architect in the State of Ohio. Mark formerly served as an officer with the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati and the Hamilton County Convention Facilities Authority. He is currently a member of the City of Cincinnati’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
Allan Daily is a partner with the Cincinnati based law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP. After graduating from Stanford law school in 2002, Allan practiced law in the San Francisco Bay Area where he represented technology focused emerging growth companies and venture capital firms. A native of Cincinnati and former Clifton resident, Allan returned to Cincinnati in 2010 and now focuses his practice on corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic transactions, and general corporate governance and organizational matters.
Allan and his family spend time enjoying the arts and family activities the Cincinnati community support. His hobbies include swimming and photography.
Fran Larkin is a Cincinnati native and an Uptown resident. After graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in Biology, he joined the AmeriCorps program City Year. Inspired by this opportunity to serve, and having seen the untapped potential for change that young people provide to communities across the country, Fran chose to move back to his hometown to become an AmeriCorps VISTA. His service as an AmeriCorps VISTA landed him at the University of Cincinnati Center for Community Engagement, where he now works full time. Through his work in the Center for Community Engagement, he was connected to CCAC—a place that reflects his passion for community and appreciation for culture and the arts. Fran is working toward a doctorate in Educational Studies and is happily married to his lovely wife, Molly Willis.
“The CCAC is the perfect place for children, families, and folks from all walks of life to learn, grow, and share in the humanizing power of the arts. Created and sustained by the community it serves, it has been inspiring to see CCAC grow from a grassroots movement to an indispensable part of the community fabric.”
Sander Vinks moved to Cincinnati and Clifton in 2000 from The Hague, The Netherlands with his wife, who is an artist and painter, and son. As art and music lovers and supporters, he and his wife have been supporting CCAC from the beginning and have actively participated in events such as the Golden Ticket, the Center’s annual prestigious award for local working artists in the Cincinnati region. Sander joined the board in the summer of 2018.
Sander is a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine and holds the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation Endowed Chair in Clinical Pharmacology. His research focusses on precision medicine and predicting response to medications based on genetic make-up (pharmacogenomics). He directs a National Institute of Health (NIH) supported training program to train the next generations of pediatric clinical pharmacology subspecialists. He serves on several professional boards including as an advisor for federal agencies.
Sander received his Ph.D., Pharm.D., and MSc from Leiden University, in The Netherlands and has a Masters degree from the University of Toronto, Canada.
“I have enjoyed being involved in CCAC and seeing its diversity of programming flourish and expand over the past years. It has been inspirational to be surrounded by so many dedicated members from the Clifton community and beyond who all actively contribute to the growth of the cultural arts center. I look forward to contribute to furthering the success of the CCAC in bringing highly accessible arts and cultural programs to the Uptown communities and beyond as part of my role as board member.”
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.
You can reach Leslie at email@example.com.
Emily Versoza joined the CCAC team in July of 2017. Previously, Emily attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati, graduating in 2013 with a degree in Fine Art and Art History, and dedicated much of the years in between to cultivating her own studio practice. Born and raised in Clifton, Emily is delighted to be able to be a participant (in a more behind the scenes capacity) in the arts community of Cincinnati.
Outside of her duties as Office coordinator, Emily can be found traveling with her husband Joey, compulsively researching future travel, pursuing carbohydrates, or participating in a wide spectrum of visual culture.
You can reach Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 attended Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY and received her bachelor’s degree in arts administration. She’s previously worked for the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center in Louisville. 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 is actively involved in our city’s vibrant arts community: you may see her around town singing with the Young Professionals Choral Collective, participating in flash mobs with DANCEFIX by HBDC, or attending a production by one of the many wonderful theatre groups that call Cincinnati home.
You can reach Emalene with creative class and community programming ideas at email@example.com.
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.