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Board

of Directors

Board

of Directors

Officers

Officers

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Officers and Directors - Step Forward - Providing Cuyahoga Community Services to our residents

Kathryn M. Hall
Chairperson
Kathryn M. Hall

Kathryn M. Hall is the Corporate Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for JACK Entertainment. Kathryn has more than 20 years of experience in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is passionate about helping others and deeply committed to the community.

Hall is also a Training Consultant with Corporate College, a Division of Cuyahoga Community College. She also owns her own Diversity Consulting Firm, The Essence Group. LLC.

Kathryn previously served the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District as the Chief Diversity Officer, a position she also previously held for Case Western Reserve University and Cuyahoga Community College as well. Kathryn is actively involved in the community and serves numerous organizations, including Board Chair for Step Forward (formerly The Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland); Board Member for the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival; The Commission on Economic Inclusion; The Artist Review Panel for Cleveland Hopkins Airport; The United Black Fund of Cleveland, and The UNCF of Northeast Ohio.

Hall graduated from Cleveland State with a master's in Psychology with an emphasis in Diversity Management. She is also a Certified Diversity Professional. Kathryn received her Executive Coaching Certification from Weatherhead School of Management. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Baldwin Wallace University. Kathryn was recently named as one of the 2021 YWCA of Greater Cleveland Career Women of Achievement.

A Cleveland Native, Kathryn is an avid sports fan, a proud lifelong Cleveland Browns fan and Cavaliers season ticket holder. When she is not cheering on her hometown teams, Kathryn enjoys collecting fine art and traveling.

LaRese Purnell
Vice Chairperson
LaRese Purnell

LaRese Purnell has 18 years of experience in business management, tax and finance. He is one of the founders and managing partners of CLE Consulting Firm, an accounting, tax and payroll company located in downtown Cleveland. As a strong, innovative financial and strategic leader with both instincts and intellect, Purnell is a formidable combination in the business world. He has served in executive positions, leading business and finance departments within multi-million dollar for-profit and non-profit corporations.

Purnell received his MBA in Finance from the University of Toledo. He is currently pursuing his master's in Accountancy in Corporate Taxation from John Carroll University, with an expected completion date of December 2022, and is part of Leadership Cleveland's class of 2022. Purnell is committed to the community and its residents and serves on the Board of Directors for numerous organizations, including Vice Chairman for Step Forward (formerly The Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland); 2nd VP for the YMCA of Greater Cleveland; The Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital; Vice-Chairman of Cleveland Public Library Foundation and the Treasurer of the NAACP Cleveland Branch.

Purnell is the author of Financial Foundations: Building Financial Freedom One Tool at a Time, where he uses everyday language to address the fundamental questions people have about money. Purnell also created The Real Black Friday, an organization that brings awareness to and creates educational and collaborative opportunities for hundreds of small Black-owned businesses. Purnell has traveled to over 35 cities nationally to teach financial literacy at conventions, seminars, colleges, universities and other events. He has been featured in local and national publications and has appeared on multiple radio and television programs discussing financial matters. Purnell has received several awards, including the Smart 50 Business award, Crain's Business 40 under 40, Cleveland Magazine's Most Interesting People and more. Outside of work, Purnell stays busy spending time with his beautiful wife Rashaunda, his son Gaven and daughter Gabbi, playing sports and traveling.

Brian Gallagher
Treasurer
Brian Gallagher

Brian Gallagher is a Senior Vice President and Managing Director in the Corporate Banking segment at Huntington National Bank. His functional title is Relationship Manager. In this role, Gallagher has the primary responsibility for managing a portfolio of large corporate profile customers for the Bank, the majority of which are located in Northeast Ohio. More specifically, he coordinates closely with credit underwriting/portfolio management colleagues, as well as various “product specialists”, to deliver financial support and solutions to his clients. Because of the high-profile nature of the majority of these customers, Gallagher has frequent interaction with senior and executive management of the Bank. In this role, Gallagher is a member of the Cleveland Regional Leadership Team, and frequently represents the Bank at various charity and fundraising events in Northeast Ohio.

Gallagher joined Huntington National Bank in 2009, and his banking career dates back to 1995 with a few other financial institutions. His experience spans various roles in both retail/branch banking and commercial banking. Gallagher serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors for Step Forward (formerly The Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland) and has been actively involved in numerous charitable organizations and activities throughout his career, including Pelotonia, the United Way, the American Red Cross, and more . He is also actively involved in supporting various activities of his church. Gallagher earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Miami University, and his master’s of Business Administration degree from Xavier University, with a concentration in Finance. In 2017, he achieved his Series 79 “Investment Banking Certification” from FINRA.

Yomarie Gonzalez
Secretary
Yomarie Gonzalez

Directors

Directors

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Cassandra Brown-Collier

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Kira Kammenzind

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Cecil B. Lee

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Michael Moore

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Deidra Davis

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Sherelle L. Tucker

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Eugenia Cash-Kirkland

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Theresa Carter

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Jerry Primm

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Joyce L. Walker

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Judge Michael J. Ryan