Wittenberg recently welcomed eight new members to its Alumni Board. Committed to serving as a liaison for the University by engaging and connecting the alumni body for the purpose of supporting Wittenberg’s mission and values, the Alumni Board works to encourage alumni engagement in the life of the institution.
"We're proud of the work we do to support our beloved Wittenberg and are eager to welcome this new slate of Alumni Board representatives," said Alumni Board President Jenn Ramage, class of 2000.
This year, a total of 18 nominations were submitted for consideration. The newest members will meet with the executive team for orientation in late June before starting their respective terms on July 1.
Joining the Alumni Board this year are: Elizabeth Ayers, class of 1980; Todd Friend, class of 1992; Kevin Hooker, class of 2002; Evelyn Jones, class of 1984; Manny LaMarre, class of 2009; John LePelley, class of 2005; Chad Minnick, class of 1998; and Barry Zulauf, class of 1979.
Ayers, who resides in North Carolina, is the executive director of gift planning at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. She is a former member of the Board of National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (NACGP) and is also a member of NACGP Leadership Institute and the North Carolina Planned Giving Council where she served on its board from 2013 through 2016.
Prior to joining UNC in 2008 she worked at The Ohio State University, where she served as director of planned giving for the medical center and associate director of planned giving for the university. She has worked for the Columbus Foundation, served on non-profit boards and committees, and was president of Central Ohio Planned Giving Council in 2007. Practicing law in the areas of estate and charitable planning and civil litigation, Ayers holds a J.D. from Capital University and a master’s degree from Ohio University. She has presented on various charitable topics at local and national conferences around the country.
Friend, who earned his Wittenberg degree in political science, was a member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, holding the position of social chairman. He was also a member of the men's tennis team, earning conference champion honors as both a singles and a doubles player, along with being a member of the overall team conference champions in 1989.
Residing in Ontario, Ohio, Friend currently works for the Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company in their neuroscience division, serves as vice president on the Ontario Local School Board, and is the Ontario girls tennis coach. He also serves on the Ontario Enterprise Tax Zone Abatement committee, the Ontario Athletic Counsel, and the Community Engagement committee. Friend and his wife, Keeley, have four children – son Conner, a current Wittenberg class of 2022 student, daughters Alaina and Lexi, and another son, Cameron, who passed away in 2017 after courageously and bravely fighting cancer.
Hooker is a major and mental health flight commander with 87th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, 87th Medical Group, and 87th Air Base Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. A board-certified diplomat in clinical social work, Hooker is also licensed as an independent social worker in the state of Ohio. As flight commander, he oversees mental health operations for 86,000 beneficiaries, three elements, and over 15,000 annual appointments. Additionally, he is the biomedical sciences executive officer, mentoring 22 officers among 10 different career fields.
Born in 1980, in Lima, Ohio, Hooker graduated summa cum laude and with departmental honors from Wittenberg with degrees in political science and sociology in 2002. He earned a master’s in social work from the University of Michigan School of Social Work in 2005 with a focus in interpersonal practice and children, youth, and families. He entered the Air Force in March 2008 after receiving a direct commission as a first lieutenant in the Biomedical Science Corps, then completed a nine-month social work residency program at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In 2011, he deployed to Craig Joint Theatre Hospital, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the sole combat stress clinical social worker and the sexual assault clinician for Regional Command East and North supporting over 60,000 troops.
Jones graduated from Wittenberg in 1984. While a student at Wittenberg, she was resident advisor in Firestine Hall, a biology teaching assistant, and a member of Concerned Black Students. After graduation she attended the University of Dayton where she obtained a secondary education certification and became a high school biology teacher with Dayton Public Schools. It was there that she developed a passion for child advocacy issues and transitioned to a pursue her passion through medicine. As a result, she attended medical school at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, then completed the pediatric residency program at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Jones has been a practicing pediatrician in Cincinnati, Ohio, for more than 29 years, where she has varied experiences throughout both Cincinnati’s community-based health centers and private practice. She is currently working as a hospitalist and as a newborn nursery specialist with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She has volunteered for a variety of community-based committees, including the University of Cincinnati’s medical school admission committee, her community’s human right commission, and the Cincinnati Health Department, helping advocate for and vaccinate against the global COVID-19 virus pandemic. She currently resides in Cincinnati with her husband and puppy, Junie B Jones.
Since graduating from Wittenberg in 2009 with a degree in political science, Lamarre has worked at the intersection of research, policy, and practice in the areas of economic and workforce development and education in various cities across the United States as a K-12 teacher, policy advisor, and a foundation administrator.
Currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, he is a senior program associate at WestEd, a nonpartisan research and development agency where he focuses on economic mobility for youth and adults. He serves as a workforce subject matter expert in areas such as career pathways, work-based learning and apprenticeships, industry partnerships, and federal policies. Prior to this role, Lamarre served as a governor’s appointee and the founding executive director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation and the Governor’s Designee on the Governor’s Workforce Development Board where he supported and led the implementation of the state’s workforce vision and policies from 2015-2019. He has authored several workforce reports, and has studied and shared workforce best practices with national and international stakeholders.
During his time at Wittenberg, Lamarre was the Alma Lux recipient and held leadership roles on the track and field team, Pre-Law Association, and the Political Science Honor Society. He was also an active tour guide, member of Concerned Black Students, and involved in the student newspaper, the football team, and other honor societies. He holds a master’s degree in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he was the recipient of the Class Marshal Award for leadership and service to the Harvard community. He also holds a certificate in Educational Leadership & Management from Georgetown University, McCourt School of Public Policy.
LePelley, of Cleveland, Ohio, graduated in 2005 with an interdepartmental major in Africana studies and minors in art and art history. While at Wittenberg, he was a resident assistant, served as the fine arts and diversity chair of Union Board, was Homecoming king, and was awarded the John F. Mitchell Award. Along with his friends Allison Helmuth and Kimie James, he won the contest to rename the commons to “Post 95.” LePelley was also a member of one of H.O. Hirt Endowed Chair of History Scott Rosenberg’s Lesotho trips and spent a summer abroad with fellow Wittenberg art students in Ireland on an adventure led by Professor of Art Ed Charney.
After graduation, LePelley immediately started a career in urban education. For the past 16 years, he has served in the roles of teacher, assistant principal, non-profit director, principal, and currently as head of the Cleveland School of the Arts in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. He earned his M.Ed. and MBA from Cleveland State University and his doctor of education from the University of Pennsylvania’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Education Leadership. He also serves on the board for LAND Studio, Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio. LePelley and his husband reside in Oberlin, Ohio, and enjoy spending their time cooking, gardening, hiking, and biking around the trails of Northeast Ohio.
Minnick of Seattle, Washington, graduated from Wittenberg in 1998 with a degree in psychology. While at Wittenberg, he was a varsity swimmer, leader in Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, the Wittenberg Choir, and a tour guide and intern in the Office of Admission. After graduation he established a career in higher education for eight years, including two years working in Wittenberg’s Alumni Relations and for the Wittenberg Fund.
After moving to the Pacific Northwest, Minnick transitioned to a career in technology, building customer lifecycle and engagement strategies designed to strengthen brand identity and customer community, including 10 years at SAP Concur and recently beginning a role at Infoblox. Employee resource group development has been a major focus, and after serving as a national co-chair for North America Pride at SAP, he is currently helping to build a global ERG for the LGBTQI and Ally community at Infoblox. Outside of work, Minnick volunteers for the Human Rights Campaign, Greater Seattle Business Association’s Scholarship program, Out & Equal, and is the alumni advisor for the University of Washington Lambda Chi Alpha chapter. Minnick and his husband, Alex, live in Seattle, and are the proud parents to Chad’s son Liam.
Zulauf, Wittenberg class of 1979, is from Vienna, Virginia. He graduated from Wittenberg with honors in political science and history and was a member of Delta Sigma Phi and Beta Iota. A member of the Advisory Board for Wittenberg's graduate program in data analytics, Zulauf went on to earn a Ph.D. from Indiana University in international relations. Also, a retired Naval officer with a combat tour in Afghanistan, Zulauf is a career intelligence analyst. He is currently a senior leader and educator in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. During the '21-'22 academic year, he will be a Recanati-Kaplan Fellow in Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.