City Year Columbus Board of Directors
Local community and business leaders work together to advance our mission to ensure public schools are places all students can thrive.
Synettra is a Business Development Manager for Consumer Bank, Community and Business Development team. She is responsible for leading the innovation and implementation of student financial health programming and financial health program strategies for JPMorgan Chase employees. Prior to this role Synettra was a Sr. Project Manager on the Consumer Banking Portfolio, Strategy and Execution team responsible for leading and executing projects that drive improvements and innovations for the Chase branch network.
Synettra is entering her 12th year with the firm where she has also held positions in Home Lending and Human Resources. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan Chase, Synettra worked in the mortgage industry and held her Loan Officer license.
She was the project market lead for the Columbus Chase Diversity & Inclusion Council for 5 years, a graduate of internal development programs VP Academy, Rising Stars, and is the Governing Board Chair for City Year Columbus.
Synettra resides in Columbus, Ohio and has been married to her husband Paul for 22 years. She is the mother of three children and has one grandson. She has a passion to preserve her family memories and her hobbies include crafting, traveling, and photography.
Derek graduated from Ohio State University in 2014 with a degree in economics and a passion for education, which led to him serving with City Year Columbus at Mifflin High School during the 2014-2015 school year. He spent two years in public school administration with Columbus Collegiate Academy and KIPP Columbus prior to joining Deloitte Consulting as a human capital analyst. There, he primarily serves state government clients and their employees as they undergo significant organizational changes. His time with City Year taught him personal and professional skills, showed him the difference a single individual can make and provided an invaluable network of support throughout and after service. He hopes to pay that forward through ongoing service on the City Year Columbus Board and Alumni Board.
Sara Bode, MD, is a primary care pediatrician and the medical director of School Health Services at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the medical consultant for Columbus City Schools. She is also the co-director of the Pediatric Residency Advocacy Training at Nationwide Children's Hospital. She serves on the Executive Committee for the AAP Council on School Health and is also the Deputy Editor for AAP’s Pediatric Care Online. Her clinical work and research centers around the intersection of health and education and providing care for the underserved. She is committed to training new pediatric physicians how to advocate in the field of pediatrics through policy and community action and serves as a National Coach for the AAP’s Community Pediatrics Training Initiative to help improve advocacy training for faculty and pediatric residents around the country.
Sara has three teenagers (13, 14, 15) who keep me her busy at home. Sara also plays tennis and loves to be outside hiking in national parks. Her family also enjoys sports, and spends a lot of time watching their kids’ games.
Andy Biesterveld is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio serving as Chief Engineer & Mechanical Officer at COTA. He joined COTA in 2018 as Director of Capital Projects. Andy oversees a diverse team at COTA responsible for Vehicle Maintenance, Vehicle Engineering, Facilities Maintenance, Engineering Design, and Construction.
Andy’s nearly 20 years of engineering and project management experience include all aspects of design, construction, and facility and maintenance management of industrial and commercial buildings, infrastructure, and equipment. He started his career as a Naval Officer managing shipboard maintenance and operations. He spent 10 years as a facilities and construction project manager at CSX Transportation.
In his time at COTA, he has worked to modernize project delivery methods and improve internal management processes while overseeing the progress of high profile projects at the Fields Avenue, McKinley Avenue, and downtown administrative office facilities. He leads COTA’s sustainability and electrification efforts and is one of the key COTA leaders for LinkUS, a collaborative regional mobility initiative. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and a master’s in Applied Physics from the Naval Postgraduate School. Andy is also proud to serve as the executive sponsor of COTA’s Veterans Employee Resource Group
Josh Cochran is a Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager with Huntington’s Commercial Banking team. In this role, he manages relationships with businesses whose revenue ranges between $20 million-$500 million, and he has provided over $400 million of financing to middle market businesses for the purposes of acquisitions, capital expenditures, working capital and owner-occupied real estate. He has also assisted businesses in managing over $300 million in deposits and helped them to achieve cost efficiencies through streamlining their payments and payables processes.
Josh earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mount Union and his MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University. He served seven years as board treasurer for Open Doors Academy, a developmental enrichment program for at-risk teens in Cleveland, Ohio. Josh lives in Hilliard, Ohio with his wife and two children. He is an avid runner, having completed eighteen marathons, including six Boston Marathons. He and his family are also passionate Ohio State and Cleveland sports fans.
Mike Cvengros graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Arts in marketing and management information systems. After graduation, Mike accepted a full-time role within the IT organization of Cardinal Health. He has worked in a variety of functional areas in his 17-year tenure with Cardinal Health including IT, project management, strategic pricing, finance/deal modeling, marketing and customer service. Mike currently holds the role of vice president, customer experience and analytics within the Customer Support Services (CSS) organization, where he leads a team responsible for quality, organizational change management, risk and controls, program management and analytics. Mike is a two-time Chairman’s Award winner and was a finalist for the Founder’s Award in 2014. Mike is the executive sponsor for the Analytics EMERGE program and CSS EMERGE program, which are rotational leadership development programs. He is also on the Board of Directors for the North Central Region of Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly-trained assistance dogs at no charge to the recipients.
In his current role, Matt works with the Foundation and the Impact Cleveland consortium partners on a new initiative to grow the social impact investing ecosystem in Greater Cleveland.
Prior to his current role, Matt worked at Brixey & Meyer where he helped clients understand the growing field of ESG, assess their performance compared to ESG best practices, and develop & implement strategies that drive sustainable value for shareholders. Matt also spent 8 years at JobsOhio, most recently serving as a Director of Operations. While at JobsOhio, Matt was selected as one of Columbus Business First’s 40 Under 40 honorees for 2022.
Outside of work, Matt enjoys spending time with his partner Anna and their dog EJ, completing his MBA at Ohio State, fixing up their home, and volunteering with Meals on Wheels & Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.
Brad Griffith is a lifelong entrepreneur. He grew up working for his dad's veterinary hospital, learning the joys and challenges of business ownership. He believes in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to drive meaningful change in our community. Brad is now President of Buckeye Interactive, the web strategy and engineering team he started in 2009 to amplify the impact of innovative businesses and organizations through exceptional web engineering and design. His team of 14 includes designers and developers who love building and supporting websites,
web applications, and mobile applications. Their clients span many industries and include tech startups, libraries, and local and county governments among others.
Prior to starting Buckeye Interactive, Brad spent several years consulting and developing web applications in-house for a variety of companies including JPMorgan Chase, QUALCOMM, and the Go Big Network. He earned his Masters in Business Administration after completing his Bachelor's in Electrical and Computer Engineering with honors, both at The Ohio State University.
Brad has more than 25 years of web development experience and has worked from coast to coast with small and large companies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to build innovative web solutions. He lives in New Albany with his wife and two young daughters.
Brad was selected in 2020 to the inaugural class of the Columbus CEO Future 50.
Charlie joined Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) in 2014 as a Public Services Director and was promoted to the role of Chief Administrative Officer in 2018. In the CAO role, he was responsible for the Human Resources, Information Technology and Security departments. Charlie moved into his current position of Chief Customer Experience Officer in May of 2020 where he oversees services to the public across CML’s 23 locations. Prior to coming to CML, Charlie served as the Director of Loudonville Public Library and Granville Public Library (both in Ohio), developing strategy, policy and managing operations for those two library systems. Charlie and his family reside in Westerville. His wife Amanda is a middle school English teacher, and they have a young daughter, Lena, and son, Quentin.
Dr. Rodney Harrelson is an educational strategist and consultant for RTH Strategic Planning and Consulting, LLC. Dr. Harrelson previously served in a variety of roles during his more than sixteen years in Columbus City Schools, including most recently as a district administrator supporting school improvement efforts in the district’s lowest performing schools. He is a skilled facilitator who brings a high level of expertise and experience in urban education, organizational development, collaboration, special education, school improvement and innovation.
John Jackson joined Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company in 2005. He is an officer of the company and currently serves as an associate vice president for mergers and acquisitions. In this role, John is responsible for leading the evaluation of potential acquisition targets and execution of mergers and acquisitions transactions for all Nationwide companies. He has held many other roles at Nationwide including associate vice president of staff administration for Kirt Walker, president of Nationwide Financial Services and associate vice president and associate general counsel. Prior to joining Nationwide, John held roles at Cardinal Health, Inc., Nash Finch Company and Popham, Haik, Schnobrich and Kaufman.
John received his Juris Doctorate degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. He has also received dual degrees in finance and accounting from Miami University. John has served on the Board of Directors for Children’s Hunger Alliance and the After-School All-Stars. He has also volunteered with and served as president of the mentoring organization, 100 Black Men of Central Ohio, Inc. At Nationwide, John has served in various leadership roles for Corporate Connections, an associate resource group focused on the mentoring and development of African American men.
Teri Kerrigan has spent her 20+ year career advocating for brands, driving growth, and listening to the customer along the way. She joined American Electric Power in 2017 and is currently leading the corporate marketing and branding efforts across AEP’s 11-state footprint. Prior to joining AEP, she held various marketing and leadership positions at AAA in Tampa, Florida and Columbus, Ohio. During her tenure, she was responsible driving membership growth, increasing awareness of member programs and evolving one of the oldest and most respected brands in the country.
Teri earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. She is a member of the American Marketing Association, National Association of Advertisers and the Women's International Network of Utility Professionals. She resides in Westerville, Ohio with her husband Mike and two sons. In her free time, she enjoys reading a good crime thriller novel, long walks and cheering on her Dayton Flyers basketball team.
Jake is a Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Audit & Assurance practice in Columbus. He is a Certified Public Accountant with nearly 10 years of experience leading and mentoring cross-functional teams providing audit and assurance services, primarily serving Fortune 500 companies with specialization in Retail, Consumer Products, and Homebuilding industries.
During his time at Deloitte, Jake gained a passion for volunteerism and corporate citizenship. He is a founding member of the Deloitte Columbus Social Impact Committee and has established multiple social impact initiatives within the Deloitte Columbus Office. He is excited to bring this passion for giving back to the community to the City Year Columbus Board. Jake resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, son, and two dogs.
Alex is an alum of City Year Columbus '20 '21 where they served in a 7th grade ELA classroom. Currently, they are studying at Kent State University, earning a dual Master's in Library and Information Science (MLIS) and Master's in Education in Educational Technology (M.Ed) to one day become a school librarian. When Alex is not studying to become a school librarian, they are a substitute teacher within Columbus City Schools. They are also the Chair of GLSEN Central Ohio, a local chapter of a national nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ students and educators in K-12 schools. The City Year value they resonate with most is “Service to a Cause Greater than Self” and they hope to continue that value throughout their service to the City Year Columbus Board and Alumni Board.
Ryan J. Schmiesing, PhD, began his appointment as senior vice provost of external engagement on August 15, 2022, having previously served as vice provost for outreach and engagement.
As senior vice provost, Ryan leads external engagement strategy that connects Ohio State expertise, scholarship, and service to local, statewide, national, and international communities. He also provides leadership of regional campus strategy and operations in partnership with our campus deans and directors.
Throughout his career he has focused on and led efforts related to program and strategic planning as well as improved organizational operations. With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, he has also worked at state and federal levels in program, youth and volunteer development. Ryan lives in Columbus with his husband Steve and their two dogs Reba and Murphy. They enjoy traveling, being active outside, and a good documentary!
Kashif E. Smiley joined Capital One as the Head of Tech Campus Recruiting. After 6-months he was asked to join Tech Chief of Staff leading efforts in Tech Work Force Development. Before joining Capital One, he was at JPMorgan Chase as, Vice President - Home Lending East Sales Strategy Owner. In his role, he is responsible to developing strategy in key markets that help Black and Hispanic people become homeowners. Prior to this role, Kashif led the firmwide diversity recruiting strategy across all six (6) lines of business and was a Strategic Sourcing and Category Manager in Global Supplier Services for the firm. Kashif joined JPMC in 2017, after four years at Procter & Gamble as a Senior Manager in Global Procurement & Supply Chain, and three years at Accenture as a Strategy Consultant.
Kashif has experience developing innovative business solutions with large-scale transformation efforts and strategic initiatives that exceed targets and optimize resources. He is also a high-performance strategic thinker, with expertise in relationship management, project management, strategy execution/implementation and strategic negotiation techniques with experience leading cross functional teams. Kashif is a problem solver and critical thinker, who analysis and identifies business process improvement opportunities. In addition, he is a team builder and organizational culture developer who communicates effectively with customers, stakeholders, and cross-functional teams building trust and supporting the proper execution and enforcement. Kashif is a native of Miami, Florida and an alumnus of Florida A&M University where he received a BS in Business Administration, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA). In his spare time, Kashif enjoys watching and playing sports, mentoring youth, relaxing on the beach, cooking and traveling to learn about other cultures.