Torchbearers Announces Class of 2020

Torchbearers is proud to announce that 40 of greater Akron’s emerging leaders have been selected from an exceptionally competitive field to join Torchbearers in 2020.

Applicants completed a detailed process to be considered for membership, including completion of a written application and an interview with current Torchbearers members. The entire process spanned three months and culminated with a group of diverse candidates from various backgrounds and experiences.

“The Class of 2020 is an incredibly talented group of individuals from diverse backgrounds in the for-profit and non-profit industries throughout greater Akron, and we’re so excited for these 40 members to make an impact in our community,” said Eric Chojnacki, co-chair of Torchbearers’ membership committee. “This will be an amazing group of leaders, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to Torchbearers.”

These forty up-and-coming leaders will join approximately 80 other active members in the journey to better themselves personally and professionally as they strive to make meaningful contributions to the greater Akron community.

“Torchbearers is proud to welcome this new class of changemakers to the organization. They will be part of a nearly 17-year old tradition of service, professional development, and relationship building,” said outgoing Torchbearers president, Samantha Coldwell, “I am excited to see how this new group of leaders shapes the future of Torchbearers and our region with their ideas, enthusiasm, and dedication.”

The Class of 2020 will gather for the first time in mid-December, and they will begin their year-long journey of leadership development curriculum beginning in January. The curriculum aids new members in learning about their leadership styles individually and as a collective group as well as preparing them to lead cooperatively with other community members and organizations.

“In 2020, this very talented and passionate new class will be able to work with our returning members and continue to allow Torchbearers to make an impact in our community,” said incoming Torchbearers president, Vish Bhatt, “I’m humbled and excited to lead this organization and its amazing leaders in the upcoming year.”

Torchbearers is delighted to announce the following outstanding leaders who are selected for the Class of 2020:

Spencer Baker, Client Educator, IBH Addiction Recovery Center

Jesse Beal, Commercial Portfolio Manager, Westfield Bank

Katie Beck, Director of the Block / Artistic Director, North Akron CDC / Gum-Dip Theatre

Gia Bell, Manager of Training and Development, Red Oak Behavioral Health

Pamela Bennett, Child Advocate/ Guardian ad Litem, Summit County Juvenile Court

EbaNee Bond, Akron Entrepreneurial Fellow, The University of Akron Research Foundation

Annie Boyer, Manager of Marketing, Communications and Events, Summit Education Initiative

Kael Campbell, Associate – Transaction Advisory Services, Sikich LLP

Brenda Colter, CEO, Managing Partner, HER Beautiful Mind, LLC

Dioswal Cook, Recruiter and Retention Coordinator, University of Akron

Dominic DeMartini, Quality Initiative Specialist, Akron Children’s Hospital

Mathew Doney, Attorney, Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., LPA

Aaron Engelhart, Employment Services Coordinator, Summit County Department of Job and Family Services

Laneé Foster, LPN, Primary Care Nursing Services, Inc.

Mark Greer, Coordinator, Great Streets Akron, City of Akron

Emily Grnach, Educational Instructor, FedEx Custom Critical

Lindsay Hailer, Branch Manager, Peoples Bank

Morgan Heskett, Research Engineer, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics

Sharetta Howze, Executive Director/Poetry, Creative Coping and Writing Instructor, Hidden Tr3sures/Urban Ounce of Prevention

Ally Kovach, Program Coordinator – Research Administration, Summa Health

Katie Mattise, Assistant Director, Kent State University, LGBTQ+ Center

Christian McCauley, Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Akron-Canton Airport

Kelly McHood, Fund Development Director, The Well Community Development Corporation

Rayshaun Moore, Customer Relocation Specialist, FirstEnergy

Aiesha Motley, Director, Multicultural Development, The University of Akron

Nathan Ollish, Associate Wealth Advisor, Impel Wealth Management

Maggie Olson, Marketing Specialist, Smithers

Jaclyn Palumbo, Attorney, The Palumbo Law Office, LLC

Shelby Ranier, Attorney, Brouse McDowell

Amanda Reynolds, Electrical Engineer, Burns & McDonnell

Jillian Roth, Project Coordinator, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Elizabeth Scozzaro, Content Marketing Specialist, Focal Point

Patrice Smith, Owner, PS Boutique

Andrea Stephens, Protective Caseworker, Summit County Children Services

Max Straus, Associate advisor, SVN Summit Commercial Real Estate Group, LLC

Megan Vermillion, Volunteer and Outreach Advocate, Hope and Healing (Battered Women’s Shelter and Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit County)

Koblia Vue, Senior Executive Assistant, AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc.

Jordan Williams, Training Officer II, Summit County Department of Job and Family Services

Carly Zalenski Mental Health Therapist, Akron Children’s Hospital

Geoffrey Zion, Tax Supervisor, Bober Markey Fedorovich