Connie Rubin was elected President of Coming Together Stark County in January 2019, having joined the Board in 2015 and having served as Treasurer for three years. A long-time community volunteer, Connie received the coveted 2016 President’s Award from the Junior League of Stark County and was inducted into the Canton YWCA Women’s Hall of Fame in 2019. Connie worked at the Stark County Park District from 1998 until 2013, serving as its volunteer coordinator, public relations coordinator, and grant writer during a time of significant growth, and helping the District build 80 miles of hiking & biking trails as well as its Exploration Gateway facility at Sippo Lake Park before her retirement. A member and leader in the non-partisan League of Women Voters of the Canton Area since 1973, other community organizations in which Connie has been active include Planned Parenthood of Stark County, the Junior League, United Way committees, the Girl Scouts, and the Democratic Party. She served as chair of the North Canton Charter Review Committee in 2007 and ran for the Ohio Senate in 2014.
Kelly “Prodigal Son” Williams is a seven-time Billboard-charting Inspirational rap artist who encourages the community to “never give up!” Born in a high-crime area of Canton, Ohio, Kelly’s path led him through sports, crime and working in a steel mill until finding his calling in music. His inspirational CDs have procured multiple award/nominations, including Stellar Awards and Grammy nominations.
Kelly is also extremely active in the community. He created the theme song for the NBA G–League Canton Charge powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers, received the prestigious Canton Mayors, US CONGRESS, OHIO STATE CONGRESS, CITY OF COLUMBUS Proclamation, and has become the RE-ENTRY mentor for the Canton Police Department. His other accomplishments include creating the Day Jail Curriculum for Stark County Day Jail program, HOPE TOUR (StarkMHAR) Outreach creator and coordinator for the local prosecutor’s office, and a mentor to high-risk youth on probation through his music academy HOLYwood Music/Music Academy. Kelly is CEO and founder of HOLYwood Music/Music Academy.
Besides serving on the Coming Together Stark County board, Kelly serves on various other boards.
Steve Okey received Coming Together Stark County's “John Spitzer Leadership Award” in 2019 for his 8 years of service on its Board of Directors, including his leadership as president of our non-profit from 2013-2018. His tenure as president resulted in improved financial stability for the organization with establishment of our annual Diversity & Inclusion Conference at Stark State College, as well as Diversity & Inclusion Training Services provided to corporate, business, and non-profit clients by CTSC Board members certified by the nationally-recognized Institute for Diversity Certification.
Steve is president of Okey Law Firm, nationally recognized for providing clients with personal attention for 25 years.
Steve has also served on Alliance City Council 2006-2012, and served as President of Alliance City Council 2014-2015, during which time the Alliance Fire Department’s First Responders program was established, cutting emergency response times from sometimes more than 20 minutes to 2 minutes, saving the lives of many. He also has served as President of the Alliance Area Democratic Club and has been active in the Stark County Democratic Party. He and his wife Deborah also run a bed and breakfast in Alliance OH.
Tiffany Williams is a Coming Together Stark County Certified Diversity Executive and trainer. She has been on the CTSC Board since 2008 and formerly employed as a Program Manager for Basic Needs Services by CommQuest Services, Inc., formerly Community Services of Stark County, Inc. Tiffany joined the agency in 2002, and served as an Emergency Assistance Aide, connected at-risk youth to positive community programs and services, coordinated the Mentoring Network of Stark County (MNSC), and coordinated supportive services for the homeless. She is also a member of Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence, the Homeless Continuum of Care, the Minority Health Coalition, [delete Faith Partnership], and an initiator of the Collaborative Agency Network (CAN). Tiffany was in the first Spotlight Stark County class in 2006.
LaFlovia “Flo” Ginanni has been a Coming Together Stark County Board member since 2018. She currently serves as the Director of United Way’s Project Blueprint for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Project Blueprint is a board and committee preparedness program designed to recruit, train, and place ethnically diverse leaders into policy making roles to enhance the effectiveness of nonprofit agencies. Flo previously served as the Ways to Work Coordinator with United Way, where she helped Stark County residents with less than perfect credit obtain financing to purchase affordable vehicles to maintain employment. In addition to CTSC, Flo is a member of Strengthening Starks’s Minority Advisory Committee. She has served on the Board of Directors of Community One Credit Union since 2014, serves on the Stark County Minority Health Coalition, and is a member of the NAACP. She is an active and involved member of L.I.F.E. Ministries International Church.
Eric Resnick has been on the Coming Together Stark County Board since 2012. A life long resident of Canton, Eric serves on the Canton City School District Board of Education, and is the first openly queer elected official in Stark County. Eric is a former staff reporter for the (defunct) Gay People’s Chronicle, which was one of the major LGBT focused weekly newspapers during its years of operation.
Eric is dedicated to human rights and to advancing community engagement for the purpose of forming what he calls a “more perfect community.” Eric is a 2020 recipient of an Award of Appreciation from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration Committee.
Eric is active with Jewish Voice for Peace and the Queer Palestinian Empowerment Network and participates in workshops promoting Palestinian rights and ending the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. Eric is also the co-host of Gaywaves heard weekly on WRUW FM.
Rabbi of Temple Israel, Rabbi Jon Adland was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in Chevy Chase, MD. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1976 with a BA in Psychology and Jewish Studies. Since arriving in Canton, Rabbi Adland has served on the board of United Way, Coming Together Stark County, and the MLK Commission. He has worked with Thanksgiving Baskets Canton and the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, as well as Habitat for Humanity. Rabbi Adland married his wife Sandy in 1981. Her support in their life’s journey is an important part of his success. They are the proud parents of Joshua who is married to Karen and lives in Chicago, and Rachel who is married to Evan and lives in Columbus. Along with his family, Rabbi Adland’s passions are fishing and woodworking.
Rabbi John Spitzer, along with Ron Ponder founded Coming Together Stark County as the Stark County Town Hall on Race Relations. Rabbi Spitzer served as rabbi of Temple Israel here in Canton from 1981 through 2008. At his retirement from the pulpit he was honored as Rabbi Emeritus of the congregation. Presently, Rabbi Spitzer is an Associate Professor of Jewish Studies in the Theology Division of Walsh University and continues to work with Coming Together in a variety of positions. He was chairperson of the 2018 Diversity and Inclusion Conference: LGTBQ: Super Powers and Super Challenges.
Anne Richards was named President and CEO of Goodwill of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio in June 2017. In this role, she leads one of the largest non-profit organizations in Northeast Ohio, comprised of 23 stores and mission programs that served over 15,500 people last year alone. Anne creates and guides the strategic direction and mission for the $35M+ agency which currently employs more than 700 individuals in 10 counties throughout Ohio and West Virginia.
Before joining Goodwill in 2012 as the Vice President of Human Resources, Ms. Richards was the Manager of Health Plan Services for the Timken Company. Previously, she held Human Resource leadership roles within Timken and Detroit Diesel Corporation.
She is a graduate of the Executive Development Program at Goodwill Industries International, Leadership Stark County and Cleveland Civic Leadership. Anne earned her Bachelor in Criminal Justice and Graduate degree in Counseling and Human Development from Kent State University and Walsh University, respectively.
Ms. Richards and her family reside in Massillon, Ohio.
Joanne Smith has been a board member since 2014. Mrs. Smith is married with six children and ten grandchildren. She retired from Nationwide Insurance Company. Currently, she is the president of the Allegheny Lenape Indian Council.
Isaac Báez joined Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery under the System of Care Team as the Engagement and Inclusion Coordinator in January 2018. His responsibilities are centered on the improvement of Cultural and Linguistic Competency within StarkMHAR and its funded providers by addressing behavioral health equity through the National CLAS Standards. Isaac is a certified trainer for Cultural Competency in Health and Human Services through the Cross-Cultural Health Care Program in Seattle, Washington. He has conducted several trainings throughout Stark County including Cultural and Linguistic Competency, Cultural Humility, Language Access, and LGBTQ+ 101.
His passion to work with those in need has been the reason why he pursed a career in Public Health. This has given him the opportunity to work with different groups such as: The Akron Non-Discrimination Steering Committee, Summit County Ohio Minority Health, Stark County Latino Committee, LGBTQ Youth Task Force, Akron Pride Festival Steering Committee and March Chair, Co-chair of Summit County Refugee Task Force, and board member of Coming Together Stark County. Isaac resides in Akron, Ohio with his spouse, Logan, niece Bella, and his two dogs, Charlie and Osito.
Lois Digiacomo-Jacobson is a founding member of Coming Together Stark County. She was the recipient of CTSC’s 2017 “Diversity Initiative Award for an Individual,” not only for her tenacious commitment to its mission but for her leadership in bringing the “Dialogues on Diversity” play to Stark County in 2015, generating understanding of diversity, cultural sensitivity, and social justice. Following the performance she convened a series of meetings with countywide leaders in government, education, safety, the arts, business, and non-profit organizations to share ideas and programs and develop cooperative initiatives promoting inclusion. Among their initiatives has been the adoption of a common logo, “Stark County, Where Diversity Works!” With more than 30 years as a playwright, Lois has long believed in the power of drama to open hearts and minds. Lois has produced a variety of inspiring plays that spark dialogue to help organizations, businesses, and individuals confront challenging issues like racism, gender inequality, and personal growth. Details on how your organization can sponsor one of Lois’s plays is available by calling Coming Together at 330-454-5880.
Jenna Bucklew has resided in Stark County for over 30 years. She is a 1999 graduate of Jackson High School. She is an attorney who serves as Fair Housing Manager for the City of Canton, Ohio. Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts & Science in Political Science and Sociology; a Masters in Public Administration, as well as a Juris Doctor, from the University of Akron. She also is a trained mediator.
Ms. Bucklew and her family reside in Louisville, Ohio.
When Frank Fleisher sees a need, he takes action! A founding member of Coming Together Stark County, Frank also was a founder of the Prescription Assn. of America and the American Board of Certification in pedorthics (the design, manufacture, fitting of shoes/shoe-related appliances). He was also trained in hypnosis and was certified to conduct lie detecter tests. Frank is now retired from his family’s business—Fleischer Shoe Company—that was started by his father in 1920. He had stores in Belden Village Mall, Country Fair Shopping Center, as well as Dover, Alliance and Louisville. Frank has also been active in the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Canton Retail Merchants Assn., the Mayor’s Task Force on Crime, and the Philomatheon Society of the Blind. He is currently also on the board of the Rotary Club of Canton and is co-chair of the Criminal Justice Reform Committee, another group he co-founded with the late Judge Harry Klide.
Jim Molnar has lived in Stark County for 30 years with his wife, Lauri, and two adult children. His background is in communication and training, as well as volunteer work and development. He co-founded a non-profit focused on prevention of child sexual abuse and is the author of two children's picture books. He is currently the marketing chair for the Stark County Juvenile Human Trafficking Task Force, a member of the Ohio Citizen Review Panel, a trustee of the Austin-Bailey Health and Wellness Foundation, and board member of Phoenix Rising Behavioral Healthcare and Recovery and the Stark County Fatherhood Coalition.
Marisha Holman-Mitchell is the Executive Director of the Canton Community KidSummit Against Drugs. It is a nonprofit providing services to enhance the quality of life for families and their children of Stark County through necessary activities designed to preclude the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. She is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor III and a Licensed Professional Counselor with the state of Ohio.
Marisha attended Belden Elementary, Hartford Middle and McKinley Sr. High schools. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Kent State University and has a double Masters from Walsh University in Education and Counseling. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Walden University.
Marisha’s current activities include serving on several boards in the community and belonging to three county tasks forces. Marisha is married to Dennis Lance Mitchell and has one daughter LaMiesha Lytle (age 22yrs), who is a Senior in Pre-Medicine at Kent State University
Martha is active as a community volunteer. Besides Coming Together Stark County, her volunteer work includes assisting at Faith In Action and the American Red Cross. She taught in the Akron elementary school system before her retirement and currently lives in Massillon. Martha is a long-time member of the Baha'i Faith, the central teaching of which is unity and elimination of prejudices. She enjoys traveling, reading and bicycling.