City Year Columbus Board of Directors
Local community and business leaders work together to advance our mission to ensure public schools are places all students can thrive.
Synettra is a Business Development Manager for Consumer Bank, Community and Business Development team. She is responsible for leading the innovation and implementation of student financial health programming and financial health program strategies for JPMorgan Chase employees. Prior to this role Synettra was a Sr. Project Manager on the Consumer Banking Portfolio, Strategy and Execution team responsible for leading and executing projects that drive improvements and innovations for the Chase branch network.
Synettra is entering her 12th year with the firm where she has also held positions in Home Lending and Human Resources. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan Chase, Synettra worked in the mortgage industry and held her Loan Officer license.
She was the project market lead for the Columbus Chase Diversity & Inclusion Council for 5 years, a graduate of internal development programs VP Academy, Rising Stars, and is the Governing Board Chair for City Year Columbus.
Synettra resides in Columbus, Ohio and has been married to her husband Paul for 22 years. She is the mother of three children and has one grandson. She has a passion to preserve her family memories and her hobbies include crafting, traveling, and photography.
Derek graduated from Ohio State University in 2014 with a degree in economics and a passion for education, which led to him serving with City Year Columbus at Mifflin High School during the 2014-2015 school year. He spent two years in public school administration with Columbus Collegiate Academy and KIPP Columbus prior to joining Deloitte Consulting as a human capital analyst. There, he primarily serves state government clients and their employees as they undergo significant organizational changes. His time with City Year taught him personal and professional skills, showed him the difference a single individual can make and provided an invaluable network of support throughout and after service. He hopes to pay that forward through ongoing service on the City Year Columbus Board and Alumni Board.
Teri worked at American Electric Power (AEP) for 33 years and retired in September of 2018. While there, she held a variety of positions in the areas of load research, business planning, energy efficiency, customer billing and credit policy as well as in the transmission business unit as the transmission field services performance management manager.
Teri graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science degree and majors in statistics and psychology. She also received a master's degree in applied statistics from The Ohio State University and an executive MBA from The Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. In addition to the City Year Columbus Board of Directors, she is on the Board of Directors of CATCO (a local theater company), is a member of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Association and is a volunteer with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. She is also a member of the American Statistical Association, Women’s International Network of Utility Professionals and Leadership Columbus Class of 2008. Teri lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband, Mark.
Josh Cochran is a Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager with Huntington’s Commercial Banking team. In this role, he manages relationships with businesses whose revenue ranges between $20 million-$500 million, and he has provided over $400 million of financing to middle market businesses for the purposes of acquisitions, capital expenditures, working capital and owner-occupied real estate. He has also assisted businesses in managing over $300 million in deposits and helped them to achieve cost efficiencies through streamlining their payments and payables processes.
Josh earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mount Union and his MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University. He served seven years as board treasurer for Open Doors Academy, a developmental enrichment program for at-risk teens in Cleveland, Ohio. Josh lives in Hilliard, Ohio with his wife and two children. He is an avid runner, having completed eighteen marathons, including six Boston Marathons. He and his family are also passionate Ohio State and Cleveland sports fans.
Mike Cvengros graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Arts in marketing and management information systems. After graduation, Mike accepted a full-time role within the IT organization of Cardinal Health. He has worked in a variety of functional areas in his 17-year tenure with Cardinal Health including IT, project management, strategic pricing, finance/deal modeling, marketing and customer service. Mike currently holds the role of vice president, customer experience and analytics within the Customer Support Services (CSS) organization, where he leads a team responsible for quality, organizational change management, risk and controls, program management and analytics. Mike is a two-time Chairman’s Award winner and was a finalist for the Founder’s Award in 2014. Mike is the executive sponsor for the Analytics EMERGE program and CSS EMERGE program, which are rotational leadership development programs. He is also on the Board of Directors for the North Central Region of Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly-trained assistance dogs at no charge to the recipients.
Brad Griffith is a lifelong entrepreneur. He grew up working for his dad's veterinary hospital, learning the joys and challenges of business ownership. He believes in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to drive meaningful change in our community. Brad is now President of Buckeye Interactive, the web strategy and engineering team he started in 2009 to amplify the impact of innovative businesses and organizations through exceptional web engineering and design. His team of 14 includes designers and developers who love building and supporting websites,
web applications, and mobile applications. Their clients span many industries and include tech startups, libraries, and local and county governments among others.
Prior to starting Buckeye Interactive, Brad spent several years consulting and developing web applications in-house for a variety of companies including JPMorgan Chase, QUALCOMM, and the Go Big Network. He earned his Masters in Business Administration after completing his Bachelor's in Electrical and Computer Engineering with honors, both at The Ohio State University.
Brad has more than 25 years of web development experience and has worked from coast to coast with small and large companies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to build innovative web solutions. He lives in New Albany with his wife and two young daughters.
Brad was selected in 2020 to the inaugural class of the Columbus CEO Future 50.
Dr. Rodney Harrelson is an educational strategist and consultant for RTH Strategic Planning and Consulting, LLC. Dr. Harrelson previously served in a variety of roles during his more than sixteen years in Columbus City Schools, including most recently as a district administrator supporting school improvement efforts in the district’s lowest performing schools. He is a skilled facilitator who brings a high level of expertise and experience in urban education, organizational development, collaboration, special education, school improvement and innovation.
John Jackson joined Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company in 2005. He is an officer of the company and currently serves as an associate vice president for mergers and acquisitions. In this role, John is responsible for leading the evaluation of potential acquisition targets and execution of mergers and acquisitions transactions for all Nationwide companies. He has held many other roles at Nationwide including associate vice president of staff administration for Kirt Walker, president of Nationwide Financial Services and associate vice president and associate general counsel. Prior to joining Nationwide, John held roles at Cardinal Health, Inc., Nash Finch Company and Popham, Haik, Schnobrich and Kaufman.
John received his Juris Doctorate degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. He has also received dual degrees in finance and accounting from Miami University. John has served on the Board of Directors for Children’s Hunger Alliance and the After-School All-Stars. He has also volunteered with and served as president of the mentoring organization, 100 Black Men of Central Ohio, Inc. At Nationwide, John has served in various leadership roles for Corporate Connections, an associate resource group focused on the mentoring and development of African American men.
Scott began his career in banking as a trust officer and estate settlement manager at First Financial Bank in Cincinnati, OH, in 2014. In 2016 Scott joined Fifth Third Bank as a senior financial auditor for the wealth and asset management division. Scott joined the Fifth Third Private Bank in 2017 as a trust officer in the Central Ohio investment management and trust division.
Scott earned his BS in business administration from Cleveland State University and his MBA and JD from the University of Akron. Scott and his wife Jessica have been married since 2014. They live with their Norfolk terrier on the edge of downtown Columbus in German Village. Scott enjoys being outdoors and especially loves to play golf.
Alex is an alum of City Year Columbus '20 '21 where they served in a 7th grade ELA classroom. Currently, they are studying at Kent State University, earning a dual Master's in Library and Information Science (MLIS) and Master's in Education in Educational Technology (M.Ed) to one day become a school librarian. When Alex is not studying to become a school librarian, they are a substitute teacher within Columbus City Schools. They are also the Chair of GLSEN Central Ohio, a local chapter of a national nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ students and educators in K-12 schools. The City Year value they resonate with most is “Service to a Cause Greater than Self” and they hope to continue that value throughout their service to the City Year Columbus Board and Alumni Board.
Susan Steinman is an active community member and serves with a variety of Columbus organizations. She previously served as the director of divorce services for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and as a consultant for Bexley City Schools. She resides in Bexley, Ohio with her husband.
Nikki Smith currently works as a Vice President & Branch Manager with PNC Bank. In her role she leads, plans, and executes branded sales processes to achieve sales targets and build customer loyalty and engagement.
During her 23-year career with PNC Bank, Nikki has worked in the areas of sales, management, refinance, fraud investigations, personal banking, risk management, and financial services. She is certified in Risk Management, serves as an Employee Engagement Advisor, and holds certifications in NMLS and Sigma Six.
A product of Columbus City Schools, Nikki graduated from Independence High School. She also graduated from Colorado Technical University with a degree in Business Management and Marketing. Nikki and her family reside in the Pickerington community.