Our staff is a collection of business leaders, educators, coaches and determined problem-solvers who believe every child has the potential to unlock their inner leader and become the very best version of themselves. We truly do! Get to know us a little bit better.

Flo Brett

Founder & Executive Director

Since serving as the Training and Development Lead and Clinical Governance Manager at University Hospitals of Leicester United Kingdom, Flo has built a reputation for developing and implementing action-based, team-building strategies, goal achievement plans and positive attitude programs that help individuals and teams reach their full potential.

Flo’s LinkedIn

Heather Lee

Director of Operations

Heather joined ELA after leading the charge in developing dynamic programs for the Cleveland Museum of History. She has a passion for informal education and being a lifelong learner. As ELA’s director of operations, Heather has a significant impact on mission performance, financial success, internal team collaboration, and day-to-day operations.

Heather’s LinkedIn

Jessica Vaughn

LEAD Facilitator 

Jessica started with ELA in June 2021. As one of the Lead Facilitators involved in all school settings, Jessica has a passion for youth engagement and development and has shown that throughout her career in education. Jessica brings great skill and enthusiasm to the ELA team.


Michael Biedenbach

Effective Leadership Academy Director of Finance Mike Biedenbach
Director of Finance

Michael came to ELA through the Cleveland Encore program, sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation.  As a retired finance executive, he was looking for a meaningful opportunity to utilize his experience and talent to support a community organization that is positively impacting young people. 

Michael’s LinkedIn

Melanie Twomey

Director of Advancement

Melanie has over twenty years’ experience creating and supporting non-profit programs as a teacher, program coordinator and development officer. Her passion is creating sustainable programs that enrich child development. Located in the Washington DC metro area, she is both passionate about the ELA program offerings and looking forward to expanding its reach to new communities.

Melanie’s LinkedIn

Susan Romano

Office Administrator

Susan started with ELA in its beginning stages. She joined the team in 2010 as the office administrator. Susan is the linchpin behind supplies and equipment organization for programming.


Susan’s LinkedIn

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