A nonprofit ministry professional who co-founded the organization he currently directs, Brian believes he has the best job in the world. He coaches a ridiculously talented and creative staff, enjoys collaborating with other church and organizational leaders to fuel renewal and transformation in urban Cleveland (a town he adores), and believes it a great privilege and opportunity to partner with donors and volunteers to achieve their philanthropic and Kingdom interests.
Brian started in his career in the fast-paced fields of public relations and marketing communications, working for many high-profile agencies and clients. These experiences gave him an affinity for deadlines, multi-tasking, results-driven project planning and execution, and relationship management. He graduated from Kent State University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations.
In the course of his work at Building Hope in the City, Brian led the organization through the completion of The Cleveland Foundation’s Project Access, a three-year capacity-building initiative for emerging nonprofits. In 2009, he was appointed as a member of the Ohio Refugee Advisory Council. He is also a licensed facilitator/trainer of Bridges Out of Poverty by aha! Process.
For the past 10+ years, Brian has also served as a deacon at his church, where he has been highly involved in leadership development, teaching, preaching and training. Brian loves to see people normally divided by culture, race, language and socio-economic class brought together through the Church and community development.
In his spare time, Brian enjoys traveling with his wife, great food/wine, long conversations over a good cup of coffee, running, music, and spending time with family and friends.
Director, Ministry Engagement
In her current role as Director of Ministry Engagement, Sharon spends most of her time assisting volunteers in finding a place to unleash their passions and gifts, training those volunteers for service, assisting with program development and implementation, planning servant events and retreats, and helping the church to embrace its role as a beacon of hope in dark places.
Director, Refugee and Immigrant Ministries
A global citizen at heart, Eileen is thrilled to be able to meet the world at her doorstep while maintaining her status of being born and bred in Cleveland, Ohio. There is nowhere else she would rather live!
Her 20+ years in Business and Information Technology at major Fortune 500 companies in Northeast Ohio and her Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix have formed in her a belief in the impact that leadership and teamwork can have in transforming this city. This, coupled with her years as a certified ESOL teacher, her work as a BIA Accredited Representative and conviction that God is up to something good in this great city, give her a broad perspective on the challenges this fast paced culture presents to the refugees and immigrants that grace the streets of Cleveland.
Eileen’s determination to strive for excellence has led her to be recognized as an outstanding leader including being the recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership at YRC Freight Inc. in 2007. She continues to apply her experience and perspective to the challenges that face those she meets on a daily basis who are excited to call Cleveland their new home.
In her spare time, Eileen loves to travel, visiting 34 countries on 6 continents and loves to meet people here in Cleveland from the areas of the world in which she has traveled. As a second generation child of immigrant parents, she loves to see the strength that multiple cultures brings to a region believing that we are better together and that each of us is uniquely gifted to shape our city’s future.
Eileen was blessed to be able to present at the National Refugee Conference in Chicago in 2013 and continues to present and teach classes in her local church and through her ministry at Building Hope in the City. Her passion is to see Greater Cleveland and the Church awakened to the plan God has for this city!
Director, Social Enterprise (HopeWorks LLC)
An innovative business professional with experience in national and international cross-cultural contexts, Jeff enjoys using his systems-oriented thinking to live out the Great Commission in business creation and workforce development.
Jeff’s background includes 10 years in engineering, marketing / sales, business development, and new market development roles for a privately held engineering firm with global reach. While his business acumen has created growth in the for-profit world, he has likewise invested in the development of his local church and urban Cleveland neighborhood. Jeff appreciates his background as he’s now comfortable in settings ranging from Fortune 100 company boardrooms to his neighbor’s front porch.
As the Director of HopeWorks, BHITC’s Social Enterprise endeavor, he is responsible for the launching of for-profit businesses that serve the mission goals of the Kingdom while also increasing sustainability for BHITC. Through these Christ-centered efforts, holistic transformation of urban people can happen through employment, mentoring, workforce development and self-sufficiency. His first task will be the launch of BHITC’s new upscale thrift store, which is scheduled to open Spring 2016.
Jeff also provides leadership, teaching, and mentorship in his local church, MetroAlliance Church. He serves as an elder, teaches Bible studies, and works with other leaders to create strategic plans for Kingdom impact in Cleveland. He has been privileged to be shaped by God’s hand in this local faith community for more than a decade, learning / serving in various roles and enjoys the diversity of countries, languages, cultures, ages, and socioeconomic levels reflected in its members.
In his spare time, Jeff enjoys exploring Cleveland with his wife and two children. He loves sports, weight lifting, being a jungle gym for his kids, reading business literature, and pretending to be an American Ninja Warrior.
Director, Urban Family Learning Centers
A dedicated educational professional, Laurie thrives in her role as Director, Urban Family Learning Centers, as she uses her passion for education and literacy to develop children around the city.
After successfully homeschooling her three children, Laurie continued to impact the education world through various roles including Director of Advancement and Educational Instructor for Lutheran Memorial School (LMS). In this role, she implemented both extended summer and weekly evening tutoring programs for urban and refugee students. She created custom learning plans to meet the needs of these kids and promote literacy and personal growth.
At LMS, where she will continue in a part-time role, Laurie works with urban and refugee children and their families, by providing support in their transition from LMS into high school and helping them navigate the financial aid process. She also teaches history and Latin.
In her role at BHITC, she sees so many urban and refugee children struggling in literacy and wants to see this change through the impact of tutoring and educational investment. She believes that reading is one of the most important skills a child needs to master. Laurie knows firsthand that tutors offer more than educational mentoring. They are also a place of stability and security for children with often times unsteady home lives. Tutoring is also a fun experience for both the students and the tutors as they work through homework, talk about life, and enjoy each others company.
Laurie and her husband of 30 years, Jeff, reside in Fairview Park, where they enjoy family time with their three grown children, gardening, and having tea with friends. In their spare time, they love to travel, eat good food, and play with their one-year-old grandson.
An enthusiastic communications professional, Dana specializes in writing and especially loves telling the stories of God’s people on mission, showing His love and transforming lives for His Kingdom.
Prior to joining Building Hope in the City, she worked in public relations with several well-known consumer product brands at one of Cleveland’s largest and best-known advertising and marketing agencies. From there, she entered the business sector at one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric utility companies. Her roles with the Fortune 500 Company ranged from process improvement and change management initiatives to investor relations and financial analytics.
Dana knows the fast-paced nature of both the marketing and corporate environments, which developed her ability to manage multiple projects, think critically and analyze the needs of her audiences. She has 9+ years of professional experience and a bachelor’s degree in mass media from the University of Mount Union.
Dana serves as Fundraising and Communications Manager at BHITC. In her role, she manages print and electronic communications for BHITC’s donors, volunteers and partners, oversees fundraising and donor appreciation events and supports strategic fundraising efforts within the organization.
She entered full-time ministry in 2013 and has been involved within her church for the past six years. She and her husband, Cody, live in the City of Lakewood. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, music, reading and working on home renovation projects with her husband.