Program Team

Program Staff 


Program Director, Michael R. White, was born and raised in Cleveland‘s Glenville neighborhood. He received a BA in Education and a MPA in Public Administration from The Ohio State University. He currently serves as the Neighborhood Renewal Consultant to the Mandel Foundation and the Program Director for the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program. He began his political career in 1974 and served as an Assistant to the Mayor of Columbus Ohio, Cleveland City Councilman and Ohio State Senator. In 1989 he realized his boyhood dream and was elected Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio where he served three, four year terms before retiring from government after 32 years. In addition to focusing his energies on Urban Development and Leadership he also owns and operates several business enterprises with his wife JoAnn.




Program Administrator, Sandra Kluk, is a native of Cleveland and has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Cleveland State University. Her work has mainly focused on directing and managing youth programs and social change organizations. She started her career in the Buckeye-Woodland neighborhood of Cleveland as a community organizer. There, she developed community networks and strategies on issues of housing, banking investment, affordable insurance, crime and community development. Later, Sandra turned her attention to youth advocacy and assisted in the creation and management of a career and GED preparation training academy for out-of-school disadvantaged youth. Her most recent work was as Director of Special Projects for a foreclosure prevention counseling agency. 



Program Associate, Yuolanda Murray has worked with varied non-profit organizations including Special Olympics, the American Red Cross, the YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Homeless Women and Families in Charleston, WV, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  Upon graduation from Howard University with a Russian Culture major and German minor, she was commissioned a Second Lieutenant through Army ROTC and served as a United States Army Military Intelligence Officer attaining the rank of Captain.




Graduate Support Manager, Julia Ferra
is a graduate of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies with a minor in Sustainable Urban Development. She grew up in Westlake but lived Downtown and in Lakewood in college. Julia worked with the Community Outreach and Events Coordinator as an intern at Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation while she was at CSU. Following graduation, she moved to San Francisco to work with AmeriCorps as a Volunteer Coordinator at a nonprofit serving those experiencing homelessness in the city. Julia realized her love for volunteering at the age of 8 when she began helping at a soup kitchen on Cleveland’s west side and later traveled to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity for a week in New Mexico.



Program Coaches


Lead Coach,
Erica Merritt, is a skilled coach, program designer and facilitator.  As a consultant, Erica supports organizations and individuals in realizing their full potential.  She has held key roles at Case Western Reserve University and the YMCA of Greater Cleveland. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Psychology Department at Cuyahoga Community College and a Gestalt Professional Certified Coach. She has coachedparticipants in the Gestalt Coaching Certification Program, Case Western Reserve University’s LEAD Certificate Program for Supervisors and the Women’s Staff Leadership Development Initiative.  Erica holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Relations from Ursuline College and a Masters of Arts Degree in Organizational Psychology from Cleveland State University. 



Laura Junglas, has worked with the nonprofit and small business sector for over 25 years. Her background includes working with neighborhood based Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and local and national intermediaries. Laura has provided services to a wide range of organizations and cultures, both locally and on a national basis. These services have included leadership development, behavioral change and problem solving coaching. Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts Management and French from Virginia Wesleyan College and a Master’s in Organization Development from the Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University. In addition, she has served in leadership roles as a board and committee member for several nonprofit organizations, including a CDC, farmers market, hostel and homeless shelter. Since 2000, Laura has been an independent consultant.



Coach, Michael Walton, has over 20 years experience coaching individuals in business, education, social service and grassroots organizations.  During his 30 year career as a consultant Michael has been a project manager, lead facilitator, curriculum designer, inside sales associate and associate director.  Michael has been one of the most active facilitators of adventure-based experiential education in Northern Ohio, and has demonstrated skill in applying this methodology to a wide range of client groups. He is trained as a coach by CoachNet Global, and has numerous certifications, including training as a conflict management and mediation trainer by the Kent State Center for Applied Conflict Management.  He has worked as a church administrator, an assistant pastor, and a chemical dependency counselor. Michael and his wife Veronica have been leaders in Greater Cleveland’s Urban Agriculture movement since its beginning, and they are strong advocates for food security and healthy lifestyles



Coach, Zach Prosser is about empowering others to accomplish more and go forward faster. Zach Prosser is an International Coach Federation member and credentialed coach, Certified Behavior Consultant, and MCore Certified. Zach also serves as the ICF Cleveland Chapter President. Zach's coaching approach provides a welcoming and safe space to embark on a journey of creative self-discovery. Zach's unique coaching presence coupled with 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector and over 12 years in executive leadership, provides a dynamic opportunity for any coaching client. Additionally, Zach has received the ICF Chapter Excellence Award and is a 2019 nominee for the ICF Young Leaders Award.