Our Staff - The Cleveland Foundation

More than 60 individuals work at The Cleveland Foundation.  Please meet the members of the Foundation's Leadership team as well as Gift Planning and Donor Relations, Program and Finance departments.


Ronald "Ronn" Richard
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ronn Richard is the president & CEO of The Cleveland Foundation.  Over the past 24 years, Mr. Richard has held a variety of senior management positions in government, the private sector, and the non-profit sector.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Ronn  was the chief operating officer and managing partner of In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital fund.  In this role, he worked to ensure the prompt and effective delivery of In-Q-Tel-sourced technologies into the U.S. intelligence community. 

Before joining In-Q-Tel, Ronn  spent 13 years at Matsushita Electric (Panasonic) in senior management positions.  Among other assignments, he served as president of Panasonic’s North American R&D operations; president of Panasonic Home & Commercial Products Company, a major sales and marketing division of Panasonic USA; president of Panasonic Strategic Ventures Company, in charge of mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances; vice president for planning, technology, and public affairs, which included heading up Panasonic's corporate philanthropy; and as vice president for internet business development. 

Early in his career, Ronn  was a U.S. diplomat, serving at the American Consulate General in Osaka/Kobe, Japan and at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. as a desk officer for North Korean, Greek and Turkish affairs, respectively.  He also served in San Francisco as a Pearson Program Fellow where he researched and reported on U.S.-East Asian and U.S.-Latin American trade and investment flows and technology transfers.

Ronn  began his career at the non-profit Japan Society in New York City as director of the national public affairs program.

Ronn served for many years on the board of trustees of Spelman College and on the board of advisors of the Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.  He was a visiting professor for international business at Bennett College in North Carolina during the spring 2003 semester.  Currently he serves on the board of trustees of the International Biomedical Research Alliance (an academic joint venture between NIH-Oxford and Cambridge Universities).  Since his arrival in Cleveland he has been appointed to the boards of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Ohio Grantmakers Forum, Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, the Ohio Business Development Coalition, the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital National Leadership Council, and the Friends of the Mentally Retarded Campaign Committee.  He also serves on several corporate boards.

Ronn holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, a bachelor’s degree in history from Washington University in St. Louis and an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame College.

J.T. Mullen
Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer
J.T. Mullen is responsible for the financial management of the Foundation. A former manager with Arthur Young & Company, he also worked for the Board of Cuyahoga County Commissioners. Currently, he serves on the Investment Committees of United Way Services, The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation, and the CSA Health Systems. He also serves as the treasurer of the Coalition of Community Foundations for Children and Youth. J.T. holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Cleveland State University.

Robert E. Eckardt
Senior Vice President of Programs and Evaluation 
Bob Eckardt has served as the Foundation's Vice President for Program since July 2000. Prior to that he served as senior program officer in the areas of health, aging and environment. He served four terms on the board of Grantmakers in Health, and was founding board member Grantmakers in Aging and Funders Concerned About AIDS. A past chair of the Grantmakers Evaluation Network and he has consulted with many foundations on program development, strategic grantmaking and evaluation approaches.. He is an active member of several professional organizations and is an elected Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. He holds a certificate in gerontology and a doctorate in public health with a specialty in health policy from the University of Michigan.

Caprice Bragg
Vice President for Gift Planning and Donor Relations
Caprice Bragg leads the Foundation’s Gift Planning and Donor Relations team. She is responsible for leading a development team that helps donors realize their philanthropic dreams. Caprice previously served as director of planned giving and as a gift planning officer at the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Caprice practiced law in-house at KeyCorp and Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP.   She also consulted in the employee benefits and human resources practices with Ernst & Young LLP.

Caprice serves as vice president of the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland and is active with In Counsel with Women and the Ohio Grantmakers Forum. She has received numerous awards including the CCEG “Unsung Hero” Award, National Conference of Community and Justice Young Professional of the Year, YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence, Kaleidoscope Magazine’s “40 under 40” and Kaleidoscope Magazine’s “Women Who Give Back” award. Caprice is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland’s Class of 2005. A native of Akron, Ohio, Caprice earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College with honors in Government and a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law.

Leslie Dunford
Vice President for Corporate Governance and Administration

Leslie Dunford has served as the Foundation’s corporate secretary since 1997 and assumed the responsibilities for administration in 2006.  Prior to her most recent promotion, Leslie served as Chief of Staff.  In her current role, she is the organization’s liaison to its Board of Directors and legal counsel, where she advises on matters of compliance and governance.  She is also responsible for the Foundation’s facilities management, office services and risk management.


A graduate of Cleveland Bridge Builders, Leslie volunteers for several local non-profits and serves on the Northeast Ohio Committee of the Ohio Grantmakers Forum and on the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Leadership Center.  She is a trustee of Youth Opportunities Unlimited.  Leslie earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Gannon University.

Cynthia Schulz
Director of Public Affairs
Cindy Schulz leads the Foundation’s communications, media relations and marketing efforts. Cindy, who joined the Foundation in December 2005, has an extensive background in communications, most recently with public and investor relations firm Dix & Eaton, where she served in a variety of roles during her 15-year tenure, including executive vice president and senior managing director.  Prior to her work with Dix & Eaton, she spent several years as an independent consultant and worked in various public relations roles for Diamond Shamrock Corporation and the East Ohio Gas Company. 

Cindy graduated magna cum laude from Kent State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism.  She is involved in the community as a director on several nonprofit boards and serves as board chair of the Kent State School of Journalism and In Counsel With Women.


James T. Bickel
Director of Technology
Jim Bickel joined the Foundation in 2001. Prior to that, he was manager of applications development for North American Refractories. He currently serves as the chair of CFIT, the Community Foundations Information Technology Group and is a member of the Council on Foundations Technology Steering Committee. Jim holds a bachelor’s of Science from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and an MBA in accounting and information systems from The Pennsylvania State University. He is also a member of Geauga County Habitat for Humanity.


Margaret McGrath

Prior to becoming Chief of Staff at the Foundation in 2006, Maggie worked with the Fund for Our Economic Future, a collaboration of funders in Northeast Ohio aimed at transforming the regional economy.  In her role as Chief of Staff, Maggie serves as the liaison to local, state, and federal governments, as well as other community and national foundations. Before returning to Cleveland in 2004, Maggie served as a development officer for the University of Chicago.  She received her bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University and her M.B.A. from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.


Marvelous Baker
Scholarship Officer 
Prior to joining The Cleveland Foundation, Marvelous also held positions with Doan Center, Inc. and University Circle, Inc.  Marvelous holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Baldwin-Wallace College and an associate’s degree from Cuyahoga Community College. She is a graduate of the 13th class of Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland. Marvelous volunteers at Fatima Family Center.

Beth Darmstadter
Donor Relations Officer
Beth has had extensive involvement in the Foundation’s work with AIDS-related projects. She provides staff leadership for the Cleveland-based AIDS Funding Collaborative and currently chairs the domestic committee of Funders Concerned About AIDS, a national affinity group to the Council on Foundations. Beth received her bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and her master's in public health from San Diego State University.

Mike Grzesiak
Director of Gift Planning
Prior to joining The Cleveland Foundation, Michael served as director of constituent development at Kent State University. With over 10 years of development experience, Michael also held positions at the Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services Foundation and Trinity High School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hiram College and is pursuing a Master of Arts in philanthropic services from Indiana University. Michael is on the board of the Greater Cleveland chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is a member of the National Committee on Planned Giving.

Marie Monago
Gift Planning Officer
Marie was vice president/manager of the Personal Trust Department at Fifth Third Bank, where she oversaw the administration of personal trusts, investment management, custodial and estate accounts.  Prior to joining Fifth Third Bank, she was an associate at Johnson & Crane (Miami, Florida), a judicial apprentice at the Appellate Court and associate judge at the Regional Court in Sweden.  Marie is a board member of the Northern Ohio Planned Giving Council and the May Dugan/Near West Multi-Service Center.  She is also a member of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and the West Shore Chamber of Commerce. 

Marie has a Master of Laws degree from the University of Miami and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Stockholm

Karen Sayre
Donor Relations Officer
Karen M. Sayre joined The Cleveland Foundation’s gift planning and donor relations department in June 2004 as a donor relations officer. Prior to joining the Foundation, Karen was program director for children and families at United Way Services of Greater Cleveland. Previously, she was director of resource development for the Center for Families and Children and program officer for Nordson Corporation Foundation in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties. Karen is a former board officer for Ohio Grantmakers Forum, the Cleveland Christian Home and the conference planning committee for the Council on Foundations’ Corporate Council. She also is a past chair of the national conference planning committee for Neighborhood Funders Group. Sayre holds a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in communications from Cleveland State University.

Lemuel E. Stewart, III

Donor Relations Officer

Lemuel E. Stewart, III joined the Cleveland Foundation as a Donor Relations Officer in January 2006. Lemuel previously served as the director of administrative operations for the Hitchcock Center for Women, Inc. Lemuel has extensive experience in the non-profit sector and has held leadership positions with several organizations in the community. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Cleveland State University and a Master of Science Degree in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University. Lemuel is an American Marshall Memorial Fellow class of 2003 and a graduate of Leadership Cleveland class of 2005. Lemuel is also former Board Chairman of Senior Outreach Services Inc. and he is an active member of The Cleveland State University School of Social Work advisory committee for Field Education.



Goldie Alvis
Program Director
Goldie serves as vice-chair of the Cuyahoga County Human Services planning committee advising on welfare reform implementation. She is a member of the steering committee on Children Who Witness Violence and the advisory council for a Comprehensive Strategy on Delinquency Prevention and Juvenile Justice. She holds a master’s degree in social administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and a Juris doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Kathleen Cerveny
Program Director
Kathleen has been a working artist, educator, development officer and an award-winning producer of arts programming for public radio station WCPN. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, she has exhibited her artwork nationally. She is a past board president of Ohio Designer Craftsmen and a past member of the Executive Committee of Grantmakers in the Arts, a national service organization. Currently, she serves as an advisor to the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture and the Convention and Visitor's Bureau Cultural Tourism Committee.

Stacey Easterling
Director of Community Responsive Grantmaking
Stacey Easterling oversees the Foundation’s community responsive, donor-directed and philanthropic sector grantmaking. She also manages the Foundation’s Successful Aging Initiative, a $4 million initiative that seeks to create resources and opportunities for seniors to age successfully in Greater Cleveland. Prior to joining The Cleveland Foundation in April 2000 as program associate for health, she served as director of client services for Planned Parenthood of Greater Cleveland. In this role, she was responsible for the overall operations of four clinics. Stacey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in human biology from Stanford University and a master’s degree in public health from The University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.

India Pierce Lee
Program Director
India Pierce Lee has responsibility for the Foundation’s grantmaking in support of neighborhoods, housing and community development. The Cleveland native previously served as senior vice president of programs at Neighborhood Progress Inc. (NPI), where she led several joint initiatives, including the Cleveland Neighborhood Partnership Program. Prior to joining NPI, Lee spent six years as senior program director for the Northeast Ohio Local Initiatives Support Corp. She was also director of the Cleveland Empowerment Zone with the city’s department of economic development, and an executive director of the Mt. Pleasant NOW Development Corp. Lee has been recognized for outstanding service to the Cleveland area throughout her career. She was awarded the “Key to the City of Cleveland” by former Mayor Michael White and was named one of the “500 Most Influential Women in Northeast Ohio” by Northern Ohio Live magazine. She was also a member of the 2002 class of Leadership Cleveland. She earned her bachelor’s degree in management from Cleveland’s Dyke College and her master’s degree in social administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Science at Case Western Reserve University. .

Brad W. Whitehead
Program Director 
Prior to joining the Foundation, Whitehead was a senior partner with the Cleveland Office of McKinsey & Company, an international management consulting firm, which he joined in 1982. While at McKinsey, Whitehead was the leader of the firm’s Growth and Business Building Practice and also worked throughout North America and Europe on a wide variety of growth, new business creation, alliance, strategy development and performance improvement issues. He also led the firm’s Environmental Practice and served a number of nonprofit agencies.  Whitehead is the founder of CoreResources, a firm that works with private equity investors, entrepreneurs and early-stage companies to commercialize environmentally sustainable technologies and service-based concepts and build/fund businesses.  He has also worked for the Alliance to Save Energy, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Harvard Institute for International Development, and the National Westminster Bank.  Whitehead graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University. He also holds a Master’s of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government.

Helen Williams
Program Director
Helen Williams oversees the Foundation’s grantmaking in all areas of education. Helen has more than 25 years of experience in executive management and consulting in non-profit, public and corporate organizations, specializing in strategic planning and leadership development. Helen is the former associate director of the Cleveland Initiative for Education (CIE). Under former Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste, Helen directed the State of Ohio’s regional office in Cleveland. She holds a doctorate in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University.

Richard Stuebi
BP Fellow for Energy and Environmental Advancement
Richard Stuebi
joined the Foundation in March 2006 as the BP Fellow for Energy and Environmental Advancement.  In this role, he works with various public and private sector stakeholders to promote commercial activity in advanced energy in the Cleveland area.  Richard has nearly 20 years of experience as an executive, entrepreneur and consultant in the energy industry, with most of the past decade focused on advanced energy technologies and business opportunities.  Richard shares his perspectives on energy and environmental matters on a weekly basis through www.cleantechblog.com.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Richard founded NextWave Energy, a professional firm focused on capitalizing upon new business opportunities stemming from innovative energy technologies.  As President of NextWave Energy, he assisted several emerging and established private-sector clients in various aspects of business development, including strategy and capital formation. 

Previously, Richard was a senior vice president at Louis Dreyfus, the global commodity trading firm and was a management consultant in the energy practice of McKinsey & Co. Richard earned degrees in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.


Kathy Parker
Kathy joined the staff of The Cleveland Foundation in January 1990 as an accountant in the finance department. Since then, she has held positions of increasing responsibility including senior accountant and accounting manager and her current role, which she assumed in 1999.   Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting, from Cleveland State University. She is a member of the Fiscal and Administrative Officers Group for Community Foundations and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. She is also a trustee and the treasurer of the Cleveland Chinese Christian Church and a 2001 recipient of YWCA’s Women of Professional Excellence award.

Our Staff