Partners, Staff & Alumni Partners
* Founding Partner
Jon Adams is an entrepreneur who has twenty-five years of experience working for technology companies. In 1995, he founded Audiopack Technologies, a company specializing in the design and manufacture of wireless communications devices. After leaving Audiopack, Jon founded Noom Enterprises, which invests in start-ups and growth-oriented privately-held companies. Recently, Jon founded Smart Hotels Group, a firm developing campus-based boutique hotels. Jon serves as Chair of the Rivergate Park Advisory Council, Co-Chaired the Rivergate Park fundraising campaign, is a Mentor with the Cleveland Foundation Civic Innovation Lab, a member of the North Coast Angel Fund, an advisory board member of Evolution Capital and Rockwood Equity Partners and serves on the boards of several privately held companies. Jon received his BA from Harvard College and his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Bishara Addison is a young professional committed to the revitalization of Cleveland. She has 5 years of experience in community engagement, volunteer management, and donor relations. In the last two years, Bishara has had success fundraising for a community development corporation in Boston, developing proposals for their place-based initiatives. For the last few months, Bishara has engaged in a statewide advocacy effort to shape policies around collateral sanctions -- legal barriers to reintegration for those with criminal backgrounds. Alongside her Executive Director, she made a series of recommendations for the legislation, two of which were introduced as amendments and were accepted into the signed bill. She is the direct product of a family with a strong social justice orientation. This exposure led her to seek experiences in college that would combat challenges faced by disinvested neighborhoods. As she has progressed in the early stages of her career, she will combine her formative experiences of college with strategies she is learning now to ameliorate problems that seem to persist into Cleveland neighborhoods.
Alexander AuWerter - Juventas Therapeutics
Cindy Bailie - The Foundation Center
Reka Barabas is a consultant who focuses on program design, implementation, and evaluation, as well as funding research. A native of Hungary, Reka moved to the US in 2000, and has since worked in nonprofits and is a 2006 graduate of the Mandel Center certificate program in nonprofit management at Case Western Reserve University. Reka also holds Masters degrees in German, English as a Second Language, and European Studies. She spent more than four years at the Cleveland Council of World Affairs as the Director of International Visitor Programs, and serves on one of the United Way Services community investment committees. Reka and her husband, Jeff Moore, live in Hudson with their two young daughters, Hanna and Izabell.
Jim Bright* - Spieth, Bell, McCurdy, & Newell
Mary S. Bright* is an attorney who specialized in business law. A 1976 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Mary spent most of her career as in-house counsel for a Fortune-100 company and three years as in-house counsel for a large nonprofit healthcare system. She left the practice of law in late 2001 to focus on volunteer and community activity. Mary serves on the Cleveland SVP board as vice president and secretary and is the President of Social Venture Partners International. She is also on the boards of the Centers for Dialysis Care (serving on both its Administration and its Strategic Planning Committees) and of New Life Community (serving its Strategic Planning Committee). In mid-2003, she founded BrightPath industries, a micro-enterprise which employed homeless individuals in the program at New Life Community. A member of Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights, Mary is a small-group ministry leader. She lives in Shaker Heights with her husband, Jim, and has two adult children.
Dick Cahoon - (board treasurer) Dick Cahoon, a native of Akron, and his wife, Doreen, have worked with Cleveland not-for-profits like the Children’s Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in capacity-building roles. After Dick’s long-time friend, Claude Case (SVP Santa Barbara and SVP Arizona), connected him to the SVP affiliate in his own backyard, they knew right away they wanted to contribute to CSVP. The Cahoons joined as partners in January, 2010 and Dick served on the 2010 Investment Team. After the Investment Team selected MedWish International, Dick became lead partner and continues to lead the engagement. Dick recently became the newest member of the CSVP Board of Directors.
Dick’s background includes work with Firestone Tire and Rubber and Dunlop Tire, which he left in 2000 to assist with the start-up of Dealer Tire where he remains a Partner Emeritus. Dick and Doreen have lived in Cleveland Heights for many years. When they’re not volunteering with not-for-profits, they enjoy traveling, golf, and spending time with their two daughters and two grandchildren.
Doreen Cahoon - Community Volunteer
Pam Conover, M.D. is a retired pathologist. She worked with West Side Pathology Associates at St. John West Shore Hospital for 12 years. While there she became the Medical Director of the Laboratory and Chair of the Department of Pathology. She served on the Medical Executive Committee, chaired the Blood Utilization committee, and was a leader in Quality Assurance in the lab and hospital. After retiring she became a partner at Cleveland Social Venture Partners where she participated on the Investment Committee and is volunteering at Medwish International. She is currently a Preceptor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She led the Facilities Plan committee at her church, has been involved in the Shaker Heights High School geranium sale and has tutored students at Fernway Elementary school in reading and writing. Dr. Conover received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1983 and her M.D. from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in 1987.
Corinne Ehretsman - Cleveland Clinic
Lin Emmons* has served for 20 years as a board member and as president of the Women's Community Foundation. She also serves on the boards of the Cleveland Restoration Society and Women in History and is a member of Women Historians of Greater Cleveland. She received a dietetic degree in her native Canada, then Ph.D.s in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota and in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University. She has taught nutrition, counseled eating disordered patients, done research on the effectiveness of food assistance programs, and been recognized for her work to increase the coverage of these programs.
Jon Englander - A CPA, Jon has been with MedCom Solutions, a boutique healthcare consulting firm since 2009. He previously held numerous hospital and physician-practice positions in finance and operations, including 17 years at The Cleveland Clinic, where he retired. Jon has a special interest in mental health and has served on the boards of a number of mental health organizations, currently with Recovery Resources. He and his wife, Marlene, live in Shaker Heights. They have two adult children.
Ramadesikan Gandarvakottai is a consultant for mid-cap companies in the areas of strategy development, technology assessment and market response. Prior work experience in India is in the area of public policy formulation, strategy consulting, technology transfer and medical equipment design. He holds a bachelor engineering degree and a master’s degree in business administration from India, and most recently, a Masters in Management from Weatherhead Business School at Case Western Reserve University. At Cleveland SVP, Desikan is involved in the Partner Education programs and is representing CSVP at the Fund for Our Economic Future. Desikan and Shilpa live in the city of Cleveland.
Becky Gaylord - Gaylord LLC
Mark Grossi has over 25 years of experience in the banking, thrift, and brokerage industries. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Lowell Group Fund, a private equity fund, and is one of its founders and owners since its creation in 2006. From 2004, Mark has provided consulting services to some of the largest financial services companies in the country, including Goldman Sachs, Washington Mutual and Capital One Financial. He served as Executive Vice President, Chief Retail Banking Officer, and member of the Board of Directors of Charter One Bank from 1992 until its $10.5 billion sale to the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2004. From 1987 to 1992, he served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of First American Savings Bank in Canton, Ohio. Mark currently sits on the Boards of Energy West, Inc., John D. Oil & Gas, and Roseville Properties. He is also on the board of Trustees for Walsh University, Greater Cleveland Boy Scouts of America, Lake Ridge Academy, and Ohio Independent College Foundation. Mark lives in Westlake with his daughter Sarah who attends Lake Ridge Academy.
Evan Ishida - Eaton Corporation
Andrew Jackson - The Greater Cleveland Partnership, Commission on Economic Inclusion
Shilpa Kedar is Program Director of Economic Development at The Cleveland Foundation. Shilpa has 15 years of diverse experiences from the business and nonprofit sector in the United States, India and Romania. As research staff for the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, she focused on the use of Information and Communication Technology for rural development, working on projects for clients such as World Bank. Her experience includes four years as a placement consultant with a recruitment firm in Ahmedabad, India. A graduate of Delhi University, Shilpa has two master’s degrees – an MBA from Som-Lalit Institute of Management Studies and most recently, a Master’s in Management of Nonprofit Organizations from Case Western Reserve University. She resides in the City of Lakewood with her husband, Desikan.
Wallace Lanci - Consolidated Graphics Group, Inc.
Marcia Levine (board secretary) spent her professional social work career at Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland. She retired as Associate Executive Director, following assignments as director of staff education, capital campaign coordinator, staff supervisor and therapist. A graduate of Northwestern University and CWRU Mandel School of Applied Social Science, Marcia has been active with many organizations in Greater Cleveland. Past board service includes Divorce Equity, Women’s Community Foundation of Cleveland, WCPN-FM, ACLU Cleveland Chapter, Cuyahoga Community College, Jewish Community Federation, Cleveland College of Jewish Studies, and Through the Flower. She volunteered as a Supervisor of social work interns at The Free Clinic; and in leadership roles with United Way Services and the Jewish Community Federation.
Currently she is on the Advisory Committee for CWRU-MSASS and on the Board of Trustees of ideastream, Cleveland Public Theatre, Fairmount Temple, and The Mt Sinai HealthCare Foundation. She is active with the newly formed Greater Cleveland Congregations.
Carol Lowenthal is a native of Iowa, and earned her BA from Grinnell College before receiving her Masters of Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago. In Chicago and Tacoma, Washington, Carol worked in individual and family counseling, primarily with high-risk pregnant women and unmarried pregnant teenagers. Carol has lived in the greater Cleveland area since 1976, and has since been highly active in the Shaker Heights community and schools, having served as the president of Friends of Shaker Square, Inc. and as founding editor of a neighborhood newspaper, The Connection. She and her husband, Gil, have three adult children and six grandchildren.
Gilbert Lowenthal, M.D. - (board member) In addition to his work as medical director of employee health plans and staff physician at the Cleveland Clinic, Gil was involved with education of medical residents and medical students. While now officially retired from the Clinic, he continues to see patients part time. He recently completed a 9 year stint on the board of the Shaker School Foundation and was an active member of Doctors for Ohio Health Care Reform. Currently he is a board member of Care Alliance (Healthcare for the homeless). Gil received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Columbia University and later continued his education, earning a Master of Business Administration from Case. Raised in Pennsylvania and Maryland, Gil resides in Shaker Heights with his wife, Carol.
Randy Markey is a Partner at GBX Associates (dba globalX), a tax credit syndication company, in Cleveland, OH. In addition, he serves as Executive Chairman of Phylogy, Inc. in Santa Clara, CA; as director of Wireless Environment in Cleveland, OH; and as a director of LVH Holdings in New York, NY. Previously, Randy was Managing Partner of Capital Acceleration Partners, a private equity firm in Cleveland, OH, and Managing Director of a turnaround and restructuring firm. Randy has served on SVP's Board of Directors and on numerous committees, as President of the Association for Corporate Growth, as a Trustee of the Suicide Prevention Education Alliance and on the Funders Committee for the Fund for Our Economic Future. He has a B.A. in economics from the University of Vermont, and earned his MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Randy and his wife Molly live in Shaker Heights with their two children.
Carrie Miller - The City Club of Cleveland
Courtney Nicolai - YMCA of Greater Cleveland
Dave Pavlich is Partner and Chief Information Officer at Dealer Tire LLC in Cleveland, Ohio. Previously, Dave was Vice President of Information Solutions with YRC Corporation and held similar positions with Roadway Express in Akron, Ohio. He has a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Kent State University and an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Dave serves on the Board of Directors at the Rainey Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, a non-profit helping Cleveland’s youth. He and his wife Laura have three children.
Sylvia Perez - The Cleveland Foundation
Peter Ranney*- The Generation Foundation
Charles Ratner - Forest City Enterprises, Inc.
Ilana Horowitz Ratner - Integrated Visions
Chris Renner - Inverness Holdings
Rick Renner - Inverness Investment Group LLC.
Dominique Litmaath River (board VP) is a management consultant specializing in sales compensation and performance management. Previously, Dominique led the global field compensation and international benefits group at Robert Half International, was a senior consultant at Towers Perrin and had a career in sales and sales management at Hilton Hotels Corporation. Dominique earned an MBA from the UCLA Anderson graduate school of management and currently sits on the executive committee of the school’s alumni network board of directors. Prior to moving to Cleveland six years ago, Dominique lived in San Francisco and Reno, NV where she taught courses in management, business plan writing and business ethics. Since moving to Cleveland Dominique has become deeply engaged in the nonprofit community and currently serves as the board vice president of Social Venture Partners (csvp.org). She is also the co-founder of the Dutch language school of Cleveland, which is in its fourth year. Dominique is actively involved with MOCA Cleveland (Museum of Contemporary Art), and has co-chaired fundraising galas at Ruffing Montessori School in Cleveland Heights and the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. She also serves on the board of the Youth Endurance Network, a nonprofit organization based in Hong Kong. Dominique was born and raised in Hong Kong and is a dual Dutch and American citizen. She speaks fluent Dutch and conversational Spanish and French. She lives in Cleveland with her two young daughters.
Shelly Saltzman has been been an educator in Cleveland-area independent schools for 20 years. A graduate of the John Carroll University Teacher Apprentice Program, she first worked as a pre-kindergarten teacher at The Agnon School and as a kindergarten teacher, fifth grade teacher, eighth grade English teacher, department chair, grade team leader, and assistant middel school director at Hawken School. She has presented at the state and national levels of the National Association of Independent Schools. Most recently, she was the middle school director at University School and co-director of the school's Center for Excellence. Shelly and her husband Mark live in Gates Mills. Their daughter Amy is an M.D./Ph.D. candidate in Boston and their son Andy is an outdoor educator in Portland, Oregon.
Kathleen Sanow - Right Work for You
Mike Shafarenko - Civic Commons
Kevin B. Shaw (ex officio board member) is Chairman of Fathom, an online marketing firm and a principal with Thunder Bay Enterprises, a firm which invests in private companies. Previously, Kevin served as President and CEO of NCS Healthcare, a public institutional pharmacy. He co-founded NCS in 1986 and worked with the company until its sale in 2003. Kevin joined CSVP in 2003. He led the volunteer team for Near West Theatre during our engagement that ended in 2006. He is a past President of the CSVP Board and he currently serves on the Social Venture Partners International Board. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and an M.B.A from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Kevin serves on the Board of Directors of Fathom, Near West Theatre, Federal Process Company, and several area private companies.
Joyce Shaw is a trustee on the board of Reaching Heights and a mentor for Youth Opportunities Unlimited. For over twelve years she has been associated with various school-related activities including co-president of Roxboro Middle School PTA, chairman of the Roxboro Arts Festival, and treasurer of the Heights Baseball Boosters. Joyce has degrees in communications and business administration from the University of Toledo. Kevin and Joyce live in Cleveland Heightswith their two teenaged children.
Jeffrey Simske - MetroHealth Medical Center
Joan Soskin - McMaster-Carr
Chann Spellman - Community Volunteer
Linda Springer - Social Venture Partners
Debra Vail - Artist
Jim Vail, Esq. - Schneider, Smeltz, Ranney, and LaFond
Heather Vallier (board president) is an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at MetroHealth Medical Center. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at Northwestern University and her MD at Stanford University. After specialty training in orthopaedic surgery and traumatology she and her husband relocated to Cleveland in 2001. Heather holds the inaugural Clyde L. Nash MD Professorship in Orthopaedic Education at Case Western Reserve University. She enjoys clinical practice, teaching, and research. Heather joined CSVP in 2006 and participated on the Investment team several times, leading the group in 2008.
Doug Wang (board member) has been the Senior Vice-President of Northern Trust bank since 2008. He is one of the founders of Lakepoint Investment Partners and served as portfolio manager. A graduate of Kenyon College and MIT’s Sloan School of Management, he has held top finance positions with Stein, Roe & Farnham, American Asset Management, and The First Boston Corporation. Doug is a trustee of the St. Luke’s Foundation, a member of the Hawken School investment committee, and an alumnus of Leadership Shaker.
Holly Wang is a graduate of Westminster College and an active community volunteer. She works part-time at the Shaker School Foundation and is a co-president of the Shaker Band Boosters. Holly also serves as Congregation Secretary at Grace Lutheran Church and as Treasurer for the League of Woman Voters - Shaker Heights. Doug and Holly have four children.
Alesha Washington - The Centers for Families & Children
Neil Waxman, managing director at Capital Advisors, Ltd., has been recognized nationally as a leader in the financial services industry. A Certified Financial Planner (CFP©), he has 25 years of experience as an advisor, coordinator, and catalyst for high net worth families and their companies. Neil has been honored six consecutive years as a member of Worth Magazine’s annual list of America’s Top Wealth Advisors. Neil serves as Board Director for the for-profit companies, Interlake Industries, Inc. and Monarch Teaching Technologies, Inc, and is a Trustee for the following not-for-profit organizations: Jewish Federation of Cleveland (JFC), Cascade Capital Corporation, Jewish Education Center of Cleveland, Cleveland Society of Financial Service Professionals, Chairs the Cleveland St. Petersburg, Russia Partnership of the JFC, and serves on the University School Planned Giving Advisory Committee, Overseas Connection Committee of the JCF, and the Orange School District Community Finance Committee.
Connie Waxman earned a degree in social work from Edinboro State University, and worked with at-risk youth before moving to Cleveland. She worked as a research doula with CWRU’s Bonding Study, examining whether first-time mothers who labor with the assistance of a doula experience healthier bonding with their babies. Connie was co-chair of The Agnon School’s Art Show, the school’s largest fundraiser, for three years. She also served on the Board of Trustees at Congregation Bethaynu in Pepper Pike, and served on the Transition Committee during the synagogue’s recent collaborating with B’nai Jeshurun Congregation. Connie lives with her husband, Neil, in Pepper Pike, Ohio. They are adjusting to life as empty nesters, as their eldest son, Drew, recently graduated from Middlebury College, and is working in Washington, DC. Their youngest, Peter, is a student at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Connie works at University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio as Associate Director of the Annual Fund.
Emily Wengel is a Business Analyst for BioMotiv, LLC in Cleveland. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania, Emily received dual degrees with a concentration in Operations and Information Management and major in Biology. Emily has a broad background that includes microfinance in India and social housing projects in Beijing. She has a deep interest in utilizing entrepreneurship within economically-disadvantaged communities as a solution to poverty. In her spare time, Emily enjoys yoga, as well as practicing Chinese and Spanish.
Christi Woods - St. Joseph's Hospital
Jill Miller Zimon - Civic Commons
Linda Springer joined Cleveland Social Venture Partners (CSVP) as the executive director in November, 2004. She brings to the position experience in creating and managing programs in alumni and donor relations at Case Western Reserve University and Lake Ridge Academy. In an earlier position, she worked with Ohio Designer Craftsmen managing galleries around the state selling work by Ohio artisans. Her early career includes critical care nursing and teaching. Linda holds an M.B.A. from the Case Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, a bachelor's degree in nursing from Mount Mercy College, and has taken courses in nonprofit management at the Case Mandel Center. Linda previously served on the board of Lake Ridge Academy as vice-chairman, secretary, chair of the president search committee, and chair of the development committee. Linda lives in Rocky River, Ohio and has two adult sons.
Hilary Sparks-Roberts joined SVP as its Director of Partner Engagement in September, 2011. While an English major at Kenyon College, Hilary established a chapter of Amnesty International and helped raise campus awareness about disabilities and eating disorders. She continued to champion social causes in a variety of arenas including the trenches of state government, Juvenile Court, and the classroom. In fact, after graduating from CWRU Law School, Hilary returned to her roots in literature – teaching first at Rhodes High School and later at Lake Ridge Academy. She found literature to be a powerful tool for advocacy and social change as it urges us to learn about ourselves and our world while remaining open to other perspectives and choices. This background led her to join SVP whose diverse partners are an engine for good in Cleveland’s nonprofit community. Hilary lives with her husband, Kevin, in Olmsted Falls, joined periodically by their adult daughter and son.
Caroline Linden began working at SVP in November 2012 as an intern, and in February 2013 she joined the staff as Program Assistant. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2012 with a double major in political science and international studies. While at NU, she was greatly involved in organizations and coursework related to social justice. She became interested in venture philanthropy while working as a co-chair of the Global Engagement Summit, an annual conference to build the capacity of the next generation of global change leaders. She was also Co-Director of LIFT-Evanston, a nonprofit which helps community members achieve economic stability and well-being. These experiences allowed her to combine global thinking with local action, and be continually motivated to do good well. A native of Northeast Ohio, she is excited to work with SVP in Cleveland, and have the opportunity to affect the community where she was raised.
** Founding Partners
Michelle Phillips Fay
Lynn-Ann GriesJim Haas
Sonni Kwon Senkfor