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

ELA Founder & Executive Director Flo BrettFounder & 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@effectivela.org
Flo’s LinkedIn

Sue Zawacki

Effective Leadership Academy Director of Operations(Outgoing) Director of Operations

With three decades of experience working as an administrator in higher education at Hamilton College, Amherst College, the University of Chicago, and the University of New Haven, Sue has established a proven track record of implementing broad-based visions, creating effective logistical structures, and matching team strengths with program needs.

sue@effectivela.org
Sue’s LinkedIn

Heather Lee

Effective Leadership Academy Director of Operations(New) 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@effectivela.org
Heather’s LinkedIn

Sara Kelly

Effective Leadership Academy Alumni DirectorCurriculum Director

As a licensed teacher, a former high school intervention specialist, and a mentor for the National Leadership Conference, Sara has spent her career empowering students by developing engaging and functional lessons that help students discover their own potential.  When not developing program curriculum, Sara keeps ELA connected our network of 12,000+ alumni.

sara@effectivela.org
Sara’s LinkedIn

Faith Boone

Effective Leadership Academy Marketing DirectorMarketing Director

Faith brings website development, content writing, graphic design, media relations and marketing expertise to ELA. Her experiences as a newspaper reporter, public relations account executive, social media specialist and broadcast TV web producer helps to expand ELA’s reach across Northeast Ohio and beyond.

faith@effectivela.org
Faith’s LinkedIn

Cathy Papp

Effective Leadership Academy Coordinator of Education & TrainingCoordinator of Education & Training

A former crisis counselor with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and social worker with Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cathy uses her experience working in high-pressure environments to help develop and expand the skill sets of Effective Leadership Academy team members.    

cathy@effectivela.org
Cathy’s LinkedIn

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. 

mike@effectivela.org
Michael’s LinkedIn

Melanie Twomey

Effective Leadership Academy Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic Melanie Twomey
Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic

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@effectivela.org
Melanie’s LinkedIn

Torey Stroud


Lead Facilitator

Torey taught high school for five years before joining the ELA team. Originally from the Sandusky area, he gained experience with a wide variety of different student populations from his time teaching in Nashville and Chicago. Prior to starting his career in education, he was an Army medic for eight years. He has a wife who is just as passionate about education as him and a 9 year old who keeps them grounded in reality.

torey@effectivela.org

Torey’s LinkedIn

Jamison Days


Facilitator/Case Manager

Jamison started with ELA in March 2019. He is one of the Lead Facilitators involved in all school settings, along with juvenile correction facilities. Jamison has a passion for youth engagement and development and has shown that throughout has career in sports administration and marketing. He gained a great deal of youth development skills working in China as a youth basketball director.

jamison@effectivela.org
Jamison’s LinkedIn

Susan Romano

Effective Leadership Academy Office Administrator 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.

info@effectivela.org

Susan’s LinkedIn

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