Torchbearers Selects Its Class for 2023

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Akron, OH – (December 1, 2022) – 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 2023.

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.

“I am thrilled to welcome 40 new emerging leaders into the Torchbearers Class of 2023,” said Meghan Meeker, Torchbearers President. “This group of exceptional individuals come from many different industries and backgrounds and share a dedication to being an involved part of the ongoing improvement of Greater Akron through service. In 2023, Torchbearers will be celebrating its 20th anniversary and this class will be joining a long legacy of service-minded young leaders who, I know, are also celebrating their acceptance into such a life-changing organization.”

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

The new class will meet for a social event in mid-December and commence their year-long leadership and development cohort program in January. Applications for the Class of 2024 will be available in the spring at

Torchbearers is delighted to announce the following outstanding leaders for the Class of 2023:

Monica Andress, Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC

Theresa Attalla, Bounce Innovation Hub

Gina Betti, Edward Jones

Sean Blake, City of Akron: Water Distribution

Michael Bowman, Carter Lumber

Tiara Broady, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio

Kendall Bryte, Tramonte Distributing Company

Matthew Burke, Nestle

Joseph Carle, Huntington National Bank

Michael Carlson, TRIAD

Jason Chapman, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Ayesha Cotton, Community Legal Aid Services, Inc

Charde Deans, The Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

Alyssa Figueroa, Summit Education Initiative

Gabriel Forté, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

Nicole Hagy, Akron Municipal Court

Emanuel Henderson, Akron Preparatory School

Christina Jefferson, Unity Health Network

Tara Jefferson, The Self Care Suite®

Joshua Jones, Jopara LLC / Winery at Wolf Creek

Dee McCall, The Freedom BLOC

Darrick McGhee, Oriana House

Rebecca Miklos, FirstEnergy

Amanda Miles, Signet Jewelers

Deanna Miller, Brouse McDowell, LPA

Chloe Muir, The Intergenerational School

Sagarika Naik, Arcadis

Reyna Perez, Akron Public Schools

Keasia Ray, Americas Pharmacy Source

Ben Reker, Signal Tree Financial Partners, LLC

Chloe Russell, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Erica Rymer, Akron Zoo

Brandy Scheule, OverDrive

Jeremy Seeden, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio

Allyson Smith, Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition

Heather Steele, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC

David Swirsky, AMATS

Arell Tee, Americorp Vista

Candace Tell, Self Employed

Bradley Wimer, Descartes Aljex

For more information on Torchbearers, please visit

Torchbearers is an organization of emerging leaders focused on enhancing the Greater Akron community through leadership development, talent attraction and retention, and community service. Founded in 2003, Torchbearers work to enrich the community by connecting, developing, and engaging leaders in our community and leaders of the future.

In 2009, Leadership Akron and Torchbearers signed an agreement to work more closely together to foster leadership across generations. Today, the membership is over 100 strong and reflects the diversity found across the community. To learn more about Torchbearers, please visit