Meet the Board & Staff

CCAC Board

The CCAC Board has approached its startup, mission, renovation planning, and sustainability planning with a level of diligence typically applied to for-profit corporations. The Prospective Project Review report conducted by the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission states, “From the information given in the Business Plan, the Board of Directors for the CCAC appears to have the expertise of a financially healthy organization” and “appears to contain members with requisite experience in fundraising, construction, legal and financial disciplines, among others.”

The Board’s careful, collaborative approach to planning has propelled CCAC forward continuously since 2004 and is evidenced by its relationships with established arts organizations, strategic partners, and community leaders.

Though relatively new to Clifton, lifelong Cincinnatian Betsy Neyer is not new to working with Cincinnati’s talented arts and volunteer community.  Over the last 20 years she has served as both consultant and volunteer leader for Madcap Puppet Production Theater, ArtWorks, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Cincinnati Opera and many other community and civic organizations.

Her day job as President of School Outfitters has her busy working with her team to create outstanding learning environments through the sourcing, sale, and delivery of 21st Century furniture for education. Through her work Betsy gets to see firsthand the changes happening in education, and the difference that excellent space makes in educational outcomes, both in and out of the classroom.

Betsy and her wife live in Clifton with their twin daughters.  Joining the board in 2017, Betsy said “I am thrilled to be part of the CCAC Board to help build on the great programs and creativity already happening here everyday.  That foundation provides an exciting launchpad for even more opportunities to be a treasured community resource, not just for Clifton but for the entire City.”

Barbara Sferra became involved with CCAC in 2006 by writing grants as a community volunteer, and subsequently joined the Board of Directors in 2007, where she served as Treasurer from 2009 to 2017. Barbara has over 22 years experience in Human Resources Management, specializing in Employee Relations. She is also a budding fiber artist, specializing in art quilts, using hand-dyed fabrics in the majority of her work. She is a member of the Contemporary Quilt and Fibers Artists Guild (CQAFA), Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), the Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati (WGGC), and the Bombshells of Cincinnati. Her work has appeared in several local arts centers as well as at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln Nebraska. She also curated CCAC’s “Fiber IS Art” exhibit in 2019, which featured artists from the WGGC and SAQA. Barbara is also passionate about fitness and is a Certified Pilates instructor teaching classes at CCAC and Anchor Wellness. She received her Master of Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University, and her Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University.

“It has been very exciting to be involved in CCAC’s growth and viability over the years. CCAC’s success is a direct result of dedicated members of the Clifton community, as well as the city as a whole. The diversity of programming we have accomplished in our short life span in incredible. We had our doubters, but have proven to be a strong, successful cultural arts center.”

Barbara Sferra

Patty Cottingham is a native Cincinnatian, who spent her career at The E.W. Scripps Company where she worked for two of its newspapers – The Cincinnati Post and The Kentucky Post. For the last 19 years, she served as Vice President of Administration for the Scripps Howard Foundation, the charitable giving arm of the company. At the foundation, she administered grants to Greater Cincinnati nonprofit organizations; created and managed the Nonprofit Internship Program designed to provide college students with internship opportunities at regional nonprofits; and oversaw the foundation’s budgeting and financial administration.

Patty learned about the CCAC through her work, started volunteering at the CCAC, and then joined the board when she retired in 2015. She lives in Dayton, Kentucky and invites all her Northern Kentucky friends to attend CCAC exhibits and programs – especially her favorite – Wednesdays in the Woods summer concerts.

“One of the many things I love about the CCAC are the sounds…the sound of a voice warming up, the soft sound of a guitar being strummed, the sound of tap shoes doing a shuffle, the sound of oohing and aahing over a work in an exhibit, and the sound of children’s laughter.”

Rebecca Goodall is a native Cincinnatian and has enjoyed living in and around Clifton since she was a student at the University of Cincinnati, where she met her husband, Ian. They remained in the area to raise their two (now adult) children in a diverse and urban setting and to take advantage of the many good schools. Rebecca took great interest when CCAC was founded in her neighborhood, volunteering occasionally and serving on the board from 2009-2017 before returning in 2022.

Rebecca enjoyed arts as part of her early education but chose a STEM field, acquiring a B.S. and M.S in Engineering. She has spent her entire career at GE Aviation and leverages her professional skills to help CCAC define actionable plans toward achieving our mission.

Joe Huber is the President & CEO of the Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF), which finances transformational community development projects in Greater Cincinnati. Besides the CCAC, Joe’s board experiences include The Cincinnati Preservation Association, ALLOY Development Company, Homebase, and Warsaw Federal Savings and Loan.

Joe, his wife and three daughters, have been Clifton residents for over 20 years. His hobbies include running, singing and playing guitar. Regarding his passion for the CCAC, he states, “My life has been enriched by music, from my high school glee club through my current performances with my band. Everyone deserves meaningful exposure to the arts to help shape them and create positive experiences, and the CCAC offers this creative outlet. In addition, the CCAC has helped bring our diverse community together, allowing people of all walks of life to share in the joys of art, music, and dancing, while making connections with new friends. The CCAC is an absolute TREASURE!”

George Vredeveld moved to the Cincinnati area in 1977 where he and his wife Rose raised their three children. In 1999 they moved to the Clifton area and have been active in the community. In October 2016 George joined the board of CCAC an organization that he has admired and supported since its beginning. He is especially impressed with the positive role CCAC has played by offering a variety of programs that are of interests to different demographics in the area.

Prior to his retirement in 2013, George was a professor at the University of Cincinnati where he held the Alpaugh Family Chair in Economics and was the director and founder of the UC Economics Center for Education and Research. He is noted for his observations of the local and world economies and especially factors that affect regional economic development. He directed more than 100 studies on regional labor markets, economic impact of institutions, economic development and the role of education in meeting the needs of industry.

George is a member of the Academic Council and a Research Associate at Varna Free University in Bulgaria and a member of the Board of Advisors for the European Leadership University in North Cyprus and the Netherlands. He also serves as director for a national mutual fund.

Dr. Vredeveld received his Ph.D. in economics from Indiana University, a Masters degree from Purdue University and his B.A. degree from Calvin College.

Dawn E. Grace is the Vice President of Housing & Community Investment (HCI) at FHLB Cincinnati and has over 25 years of experience working in housing development. Prior to her current role, Dawn worked as a Senior Community Development Analyst/Program Manager with the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Community and Economic Development. In her various positions with the city, she provided project management for a diverse range of projects, including market-rate and affordable projects, as well as single-family, multi-family, and mixed-use projects.

Dawn holds an M.B.A in Management from the University of Cincinnati and a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida A&M University (Tallahassee, FL). She also has certifications from the National Development Council (NDC) in Housing Development and Economic Development. She also serves on the board of Homesteading & Urban Redevelopment Corporation (HURC).

Craig is a certified public accountant and has over thirty-five years of experience working in the public accounting and private industry sectors. He retired as a principal at the public accounting firm of Clark, Schafer, Hackett, where he specialized in financial statement-related audit and assurance services, and business consulting.. He previously worked for the national public accounting firm KPMG and served as the local market chief financial officer for PNC Financial Corp.

In his retirement, Craig is passionate about volunteering and giving back to the community. He is excited about the opportunity to continue to serve CCAC and participate in an organization that focuses on important multi-generational arts and cultural needs of Clifton and the surrounding communities.. Craig currently serves on the Board of Directors of LCNB National Bank and devotes his volunteer efforts by serving on the finance committees of Clifton United Methodist Church and State Avenue United Methodist Church, and, serving on the audit committee of the Easter Seals Tristate. Craig has also served on a variety of not-for-profit boards and audit committees, including the American Red Cross – Greater Cincinnati Chapter and the Freestore/Foodbank. Craig is a graduate of Purdue University and received his MBA from Miami University. He and his wife, Valerie, lived in Clifton for 30 years and have two grown children.

Since 2017, Ms. Cull has served Xavier University in the role of Associate General Counsel. Prior to returning to her alma mater, Ms. Cull had been a partner at the law firm of Kohnen & Patton, where her work focused on general litigation, employment law, and appellate practice. During her third year of law school, Ms. Cull served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Northern Kentucky Law Review. She is a St. Louis, Missouri native and stubbornly remains a Cardinals baseball fan. She and her husband, Brendon, live in Clifton with their young daughters, Maggie and Ginny. The Cull family loves all that the CCAC has to offer, especially the summer Wednesday concert series, and Becky looks forward to collaborating with the Board to creatively and carefully steward the CCAC into its next chapter.

Cindy and her husband, both lovers of urban living, moved to Cincinnati in 2002. Cindy has channeled her passion for viable urban communities as a trustee of the Clifton community council, member of the steering committee for the Clifton Main Street program, community representative on the Fairview School Local Decision Making Committee, news editor of the Clifton Chronicle and as a founding director and board chair of the regional Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC).

In 2012 Cindy received the annual Woman of Distinction award from the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, honoring women leaders in the greater Cincinnati region, who demonstrate strong initiative and personal leadership on issues relating to women and girls. Cindy was recognized for her work with CCAC in 2009 as one of five Cincinnati finalists for the Jefferson Award. During the 1990s Cindy formed and operated Source Markets International, Inc. an exporter of consumer goods to major retail chains in Australia and New Zealand. In addition to her entrepreneurial endeavors, she has worked in marketing positions in film and packaged goods companies and has a Bachelor of Science of the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering. In 2014 Cindy completed a 500-miles walk across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago.

“Through its central location, the Clifton Cultural Arts Center is an ideal gathering spot for the diverse population of Uptown to gather and build cross-cultural connections through engaging with the arts.”

As his third and last career, Jens Rosenkrantz Jr. owns and runs The Annex Gallery in OTR’s Pendleton Arts District which hosts exhibitions curated by non-profits including The Carnegie, CAC, Taft Museum, Mercantile Library, SOS, FotoFocus and Friends of Kenya. In addition, it hosts the art exchange between US and Cuban artists, Bridges Not Walls, which he and his wife, founded in 2015 with 10 trips there in five years. His own photographs have been included in private and corporate collections and have been exhibited throughout Cincinnati and Havana, Cuba.

Previously, Jens owned two restaurants in Cincinnati, La Poste and Django, and a wine store, Cincinnati Wine Garage. Before that, he worked for thirty years in private business and investment and securities organizations as a CFO, manager, and salesman.

Jens was born in Boston, schooled in California having graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, and since then, has lived in Cincinnati with family roots going back to the Civil War. In addition to CCAC, he serves on the boards of The Carnegie (as past president), Cincinnati Preservation Association, Aeqai Inc, and is Treasurer of a local investment club. He is married to M. Katherine Hurley, a nationally recognized landscape painter with a studio at Pendleton for thirty years, and together they have five children and five grandchildren.

Cedric Michael Cox is best known for his paintings and drawings that merge surrealism and representational abstraction. As a student at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), Cox was awarded a fellowship to study at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting in 1999, he began to exhibit regionally and nationally.

Cox’s paintings catapult color into rhythmic action with abstract and recognizable images that create compositions inspired by themes in music and the natural world. His work remains true to sharing Cox’s innermost self as his passion radiates from the canvas. Working under several influences which include architecture and art history, Cox’s work ranges from the geometric, to the curvilinear, to floral-like forms, all dancing within surrealistic shapes. In addition to his work being in corporate collections, Cox has executed several large-scale public murals, as well as murals in various public and private schools in The Cincinnati Region.

Cox’s past exhibitions include: The Contemporary Arts Center of Cincinnati, The Weston Art Gallery, The Columbus Art Museum, Dayton Art Institute, Five Myles Gallery in Brooklyn, Museum of Science and Industry and Gallery Guichard in Chicago, and The Taft Museum of Art. In 2019, Cox’s work was on exhibit at 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati, and in 2020, he had a solo exhibition at James Ratliff Gallery in Sedona, Arizona. A 20-year retrospective exhibition at Caza Sikes Gallery and a commissioned body of work was created for the New Kinley Hotel Cincinnati in 2020 and in 2021, a series of 64 paintings for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital was installed. Throughout his career, Cox’s work has been featured in books, magazines, and in the media.

Toilynn O’Neal Turner is a talented artist, artistic entrepreneur, and cultural activist who passionately promotes diversity through the arts, connecting local artists, businesses and cultural institutions. She is the founding director of the Robert O’Neal Multicultural Arts Center (ROMAC) and serves as the Executive Director of the Queen City Foundation. With her long history in the nonprofit sector and demonstrated expertise in fund development, coaching, DEIA, and arts and event management, she is looking forward to utilizing these skills to shape the future of CCAC.
Andrea Poling moved to Cincinnati while pursuing her BFA at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and later graduated from Miami University’s MBA program. Andrea’s career has taken her down many roads, enabling her to build muscle in brand and marketing management, as well as program and product strategy at companies including GE Aviation, Anthem, and Cincinnati Children’s. Beyond CCAC, her volunteer experience includes serving on Hamilton County’s Commission on Women & Girls and as President of AIGA and Division Captain for ArtsWave. In 2015, Andrea and her husband Jason Heil made Clifton their home and enjoy restoration projects on their historic property, antiquing, time with their rescue dogs, and supporting the arts.

CCAC Staff

Leslie Mooney – Executive Director

Leslie Mooney joined the CCAC in October 2013 as the second executive director in its five-year history. Leslie brings ten years of experience in non-profit and museum management to CCAC, having most recently held the position of Director of Development of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. After completing her bachelor’s degree in history at Georgetown College, Leslie lived in Temuco, Chile where she taught English to kindergarten through high school aged students. She has also held research and education positions at the United States Department of Justice and the Boston History & Innovation Collaborative. She received her master’s degree in Public History from Northeastern University, with a focus in non-profit management and women’s history.

Her passion for the arts began at a young age surrounded by a family who was always singing and performing. She was a member of several community productions in and around her hometown of Dixon, Kentucky as a child and received a partial theater scholarship to Georgetown College. Leslie began her career in educational programs and exhibition interpretation and has a personal mission to educate, connect and inspire communities to create a deeper and more fulfilling human experience.

In addition to her love of art and theater is a love of sports, food and wine. She is an avid fan of UK basketball, the Reds (and Red Sox), the Bengals (and, alas, the New England Patriots). Her husband, Brendan, is a Massachusetts native, chef and father extraordinaire to their three sons, Graeme, Colin, and Quinn. They have happily resided in Clifton for the last six years.

You can reach Leslie at leslie.mooney@cliftonculturalarts.org.

Emalene Benson – Programs & Communication Manager

Emalene Benson became a part of the CCAC team in July 2013. She came to CCAC after a year spent obtaining her TEFL Certification in Florence, Italy and working as an ESL instructor for The New British Centre in Rome. A born and raised Cincinnatian, Emalene is thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in the thriving cultural arts community in her hometown.

Prior to her European adventure, Emalene attended Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY and received her bachelor’s degree in arts administration. She’s previously worked for the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center in Louisville. As Mellwood’s Administrative Coordinator / Galleries Director, Emalene managed artists and artwork in 5+ galleries as well as oversaw the online marketing and promotional aspects of Mellwood’s private and public events.

Emalene is actively involved in our city’s vibrant arts community: you may see her around town singing with the Young Professionals Choral Collective, participating in flash mobs with DANCEFIX by HBDC, or attending a production by one of the many wonderful theatre groups that call Cincinnati home.

You can reach Emalene with creative class and community programming ideas at emalene.benson@cliftonculturalarts.org.

Debbie Ollinger Bernloehr – Finance Associate

Debbie joined the CCAC in February, 2016, and manages various financial and development responsibilities. Debbie was born and raised in Cincinnati, but also lived in New York and Chicago while she pursued her Marketing career. She previously worked as a Brand Manager at Quaker Oats and H.J. Heinz, then shifted gears to become an Account Director at LAGA, a package design firm in Cincinnati.

She became a stay-at-home mother when her second child was born, and has been busy with volunteer activities ever since. She currently volunteers with the Cincinnati Zoo, and has previously held leadership positions with the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Kindervelt and various community groups and school organizations.

She received her undergraduate degree in International Business from Hofstra University in New York, and her MBA from Indiana University. She is the proud mother of three grown children and has been married to her husband, John, for over 25 years.

Debbie has always been interested in working with a non-profit and is thrilled to be part of an organization that is so dynamic, educational and just plain fun. Its focus on the arts and outreach to the community is a treasure for the entire city of Cincinnati.

John Leo Muething – Marketing and Development Manager

John Leo joined CCAC in October 2021 after a lifetime of love for theater and the arts. He completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Durham in northeast England and received a Professional Fundraising Certificate from Boston University. He has five years of nonprofit experience, previously working at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Ohio Valley Voices, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. His marketing knowledge comes from providing freelance support to organizations like Matinee Musicale in Cincinnati and an Australian science website.

You can reach John Leo at jl.muething@cliftonculturalarts.org.

Emily Versoza – Office Coordinator

Emily Versoza joined the CCAC team in July of 2017. Previously, Emily attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati, graduating in 2013 with a degree in Fine Art and Art History, and dedicated much of the years in between to cultivating her own studio practice. Born and raised in Clifton, Emily is delighted to be able to be a participant (in a more behind the scenes capacity) in the arts community of Cincinnati.

Outside of her duties as Office coordinator, Emily can be found traveling with her husband Joey, compulsively researching future travel, pursuing carbohydrates, or participating in a wide spectrum of visual culture.

You can reach Emily at emily.versoza@cliftonculturalarts.org.

CCAC Advisory Council

The Clifton Cultural Arts Center (“CCAC”) Advisory Council is an impartial, objective advisory body separate and distinct from the CCAC legal governing body, the Board of Directors. The Advisory Council serves to advance CCAC’s Mission and Guiding Vision.

Murray Sinclaire
Founder, Ross, Sinclaire & Associates

Carolyn Miller
Community Volunteer

Brian Taylor
Lead Pastor, Bethel Cincinnati

Jim Huizenga
Senior Program Officer, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (retired)

Mary McCullough-Hudson
CEO, ArtsWave (retired)

Herb Robinson
Associate Director Worldwide Quality Assurance, The Procter & Gamble Company (retired)

Jamie Easterling
Executive Director, Good Samaritan Hospital

Roxanne Qualls
Former Mayor, City of Cincinnati

Paul Mueller
Mueller Architects

Robert Probst
Dean, College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning, University of Cincinnati

Beth Robinson
President & CEO, Uptown Consortium, Inc.

Mary Jo Vesper
Community Volunteer

John Pepper
CEO & Chairman, The Procter & Gamble Company (retired)

Ron Kull
Senior Associate, GBBN Architects