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Step Forward appoints Jackie Boehnlein as Vice President of Community Services

Step Forward has hired Jackie Boehnlein as the agency’s new Vice President of Community Services.

Jackie Boehnlein

In this role, Ms. Boehnlein will provide strategic leadership and oversight for Step Forward’s Personal Development, Professional Development, and Home Energy Assistance Programs.


Jackie Boehnlein brings more than 20 years of experience in the fields of human services and higher education. Her career includes significant achievements and leadership roles that demonstrate her commitment to improving the lives of individuals and families in underserved communities.


Since 2007, Ms. Boehnlein has been an integral part of the Community Action movement, holding various positions, including Director of Planning and Organizational Development, Chief of Staff, and ultimately served as the President and CEO of the Lorain County Community Action Agency (LCCAA) since 2012. During her tenure at LCCAA, she led an agency that provided critical crisis and empowerment services to low-income residents in Lorain County, Ohio. While President and CEO, she introduced the innovative internal referral program, Star Service, which enhanced communication between program staff, ensured timely responses to customers and simplified the application process for clients.


Ms. Boehnlein’s expertise extends to quality management and continuous improvement, evident through her roles as a Community Action Pathways peer reviewer, Academic Quality Improvement Program peer reviewer, and Ohio Partnership for Excellence peer reviewer. She holds certifications as a Quality Manager (ASQ-QM) with the American Society for Quality and as a Self-Management Group Performance Coach, focusing on maximizing the results of high-effort individuals and teams. She holds a master’s in business administration degree and a Bachelor of Organizational Management degree from Tiffin University, where she graduated with highest honors.


“Her extensive experience in nonprofit leadership, commitment to excellence, and dedication to community empowerment make her a valuable addition to our team,” Dr. Jacklyn Chisholm, Step Forward’s President and CEO, said. “Her experience and commitment to the mission of community action will enable her to immediately contribute to the agency and those we serve. I look forward to the positive impact she will bring in advancing our mission to empower individuals and strengthen our community.”


This change in Step Forward's leadership is occurring because Douglass Bennett, formerly Step Forward's Vice President of Community Services and External Affairs, will be transitioning into a new role as Step Forward's Vice President of External Affairs. In his new capacity, Douglass will exclusively focus on external affairs, enabling him to further deepen our connections with external partners, stakeholders, and the community at large.

The agency believes this strategic realignment of roles will enable Step Forward to be even more effective in our mission of empowering individuals and strengthening communities.


"We are excited about the positive impact this change will have on our organization and the communities we serve," Dr. Chisholm said. "We welcome Jackie Boehnlein to our team and look forward to the continued dedication and commitment of Douglass Bennett as he embraces this new opportunity."

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Looks like Jacqueline Boehnlein is moving over to the poverty fight in Cleveland, after guiding Lorain's supports for challenged households for more than a decade. Best wishes to Jackie, and to all! (from a retired LCCAA employee who benefited from her expertise, Nancy Ann Smith)

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