Wendy assumed the role as Interim President of Leadership Akron in March 2018. Wendy spent nearly 31 years with FirstMerit Bank before her retirement in 2016. Prior to her retirement, Wendy served as Senior Vice President and Business Banking Manager for FirstMerit Bank, where she led multiple teams of 15 Business Bankers in the greater Akron, Canton, Columbus and Western Pennsylvania markets.
In addition to her career, Wendy has had a lifelong passion for community development, health, and welfare. She has served on a variety of non-profit boards and committees including the United Way Public Policy Committee and the Summa Healing Arts Council. She coordinated the Fire Truck Fund of Greater Akron which raised $1.4M in 4 weeks facilitating the purchase of 7 emergency vehicles for the City of New York.
Wendy holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Baldwin Wallace University and an Associate of Applied Business degree in Business Management Technology from the University of Akron. She is the 2014 recipient of the “Barbara Mathews Woman Philanthropist of the Year” Award presented by United Way of Summit County. She has also been recognized by the YWCA with the “Woman of Professional Excellence” Award in addition to many other awards and honors.
Vice President, Learning Experiences
Susan grew up in North Royalton and has lived in northeast Ohio her entire life. She joined the Leadership Akron team in 2008 after a ten-year hiatus from the work force to stay at home with her children. Prior to this, Sue worked in Human Resources for National City Bank (now PNC) in Cleveland for 14 years. She attended both Bowling Green State University and Baldwin-Wallace College, earning a BS in Business Administration.
Susan's husband, Maurus, is a graduate of Leadership Akron Class 22. They live in Copley and have four children ranging in age from 15 to 24.
Heather is originally from a small town in upstate New York. She moved to Akron in 2014 after serving 8 years in the United States Marine Corps. Heather is a graduate of Park University, with a B.S. in Social Psychology.
Heather currently serves on the Board for the Copley-Fairlawn Youth Football and Cheer Organization, and is a Coach for the Cheer Program. She and her husband Ryan reside in Copley with their three children: Xzandre, Aubree, and Natalie. Family time includes bike rides on the Towpath in the summer and viewing the foliage during the Fall Hiking Spree with the Metro Parks.
Sheri grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. She attended Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education, Social Studies. Shortly after graduation she married Akron native, Charles Myricks, Jr. and officially became a Buckeye.
Her career path has included teaching for Akron Public Schools, serving as Office Manager and Executive Assistant for the Nashville Sports Council and Director of Marketing and President’s Hall Operations for Akron Urban League. A passion for assisting organizations which seek to build a stronger community led her to Leadership Akron in February 2016 where she serves as Operations Coordinator. A graduate of Leadership Akron (Class 28 - 2012) and Project Blueprint (2005 - now Leadership Akron’s Diversity on Board), Sheri is no stranger to Akron’s commitment to developing vibrant, engaged leaders.
Sheri resides in west Akron with her husband and two teenage children, Kristen and Charles III. The couple has an adult daughter, Kathryn, who resides in the Cleveland area and a dog named Icee. The family attends Arlington Church of God.
Kara is originally from the Seattle, Washington area. She earned a degree in International Business from Pepperdine University in California, and later, a degree in Accounting from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. Kara has worked in financial administration for an international non-profit based in Columbus, Ohio, and for a regional non-profit in Bellingham, Washington.
Kara, her husband, and their two sons live in West Akron. They settled in Akron in 2016, and are enjoying the multitude of Akron treasures – family favorites include the Akron Zoo, the MetroParks, the Akron-Summit County Library and its programs, the Akron Children’s Museum, and Lock 3.
Shelley is a proud Akron native and has been with Leadership Akron since June, 2015. A graduate of University of Cincinnati, she has been Director of Development for Victim Assistance Program, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations at Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children in San Antonio, TX and Director of Resident Life and Volunteer Services at Rockynol Retirement Community. She has served on numerous boards as a volunteer including most recently the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northeast Ohio Chapter and W.I.T.A.N. (Women In Touch with Akron’s Needs).
Shelley lives in Bath with her husband David. In their spare time they enjoy hiking, traveling and spending as much time as possible with their two married children who live in Chicago, Illinois and Corvallis, Oregon. They are adoring grandparents of Miles Alexander who arrived in December, 2015 and Eliana Ley who was born in August, 2016.
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Arica grew up in Reynoldsburg, Ohio and moved to the Akron area to attend The University of Akron. In May 2015, she graduated with her B.A. in Business & Organizational Communication: Public Relations with a minor in Dance.
Arica joined the Leadership Akron team in September 2014 as an intern. She continued her internship through the following summer, before becoming a full-time employee. In January 2016, Arica took the role as Program Coordinator for Leadership Akron, providing administrative and logistical support across several programs. In June 2017, Arica took the role of Marketing & Communications Coordinator, where she is sharing her passion for the work of Leadership Akron with the Akron community.
In her free time, Arica enjoys serving as the Philanthropy Chairman for the Alumnae Chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta at The University of Akron, traveling with friends, and spending time with her cat, Rory Gilmore.
Kelley Ann Behrens
Kelley grew up in Westfield Center, Ohio and currently lives in West Akron. She attended the University of Akron and has been an active volunteer and board member in the community for over 20 years. She previously owned a Prescription Benefit Plan Company and The Pink Door, a specialty boutique.
Kelley has a knack for event planning and enjoys entertaining, cooking, baking and playing tennis. She has a daughter who lives in West Akron and a son at High Point University in North Carolina. They love to travel together and spend time as a family with their two dogs, Midge and Louis.
Janna grew up in Wichita, Kansas and has lived in Kansas, Missouri, Rhode Island and Ohio. She attended the University of Akron and has worked in Fundraising Development since 2000.
Janna’s husband Mark is the Executive Director of The Love Akron Network and a graduate of Leadership Akron Class 29. They live in west Akron and have two married children and seven grandchildren. Janna enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren who live in Uniontown and Columbus.