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, graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Culture. As a member of the Army ROTC, she was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Military Intelligence Branch. Yuolanda’s husband is the Pastor of Greater Avery A.M.E. Church. She works with the Third Episcopal District Women’s Missionary Society Young People’s and Children’s Division, at the local level, which encourages youth to participate in programs designed to enhance their leadership skills. As the Adult Basic Education/GED teacher and computer instructor at the YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Homeless Women and Families in Charleston, WV, Yuolanda expanded the program to include job coaching, life skills and survival skills for women. Yuolanda also designed the program and facility layout for its Job Readiness Center for homeless adults and served as its first coordinator.
Graduate Support Manager, Marissa Williams is a graduate of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and also holds Bachelor’s degree from Willamette University in Salem, OR. She grew up in Cleveland Heights and now resides in Lakewood. Following graduate school she worked as the Community Planning Coordinator for Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, where she developed a strategic plan to address neighborhood blight in the City of Warren. In 2015, Marissa was selected as the 2015-2017 George Gund Foundation Fellow. During her fellowship she worked across the Foundation's strategic and responsive grantmaking portfolios to deploy resources to Greater Cleveland nonprofits. She worked heavily in the areas of health & human services and community & economic development and helped to coordinate collaborations to tackle complex community needs.
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.
Coach, 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, Alan Seifullah, has a passion for the arts and for bringing together people with a variety of art backgrounds to create an artistic energy. He experienced this type of collaboration and melding of the arts in a program he took at Ohio State University, and wanted to start similar programming here. He currently runs a series of music programs and weekly workshops in poetry and the visual arts in Cleveland. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Ohio University where he also helped to found the Department for African American Studies. After working as a reporter for the Plain Dealer, he became Head of Communications for the Cleveland Public Library and then for the Cleveland Municipal School District. He worked as Public Relations Director for the Department of Public Utilities until his retirement. Alan and his wife operate an art gallery in the Cleveland area and he has served as a NLDP Program Coach since 2013.
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