Speaker Bios – May 2018 Meeting


Dave Holmes
Cleveland Lead
Foundation Center

David Holmes returned to Foundation Center Midwest last year as Cleveland Lead after serving as Senior Consultant with Cleveland fundraising firm Grants Plus. In his initial nine-year tenure with Foundation Center, Dave served in various roles including Regional Training Specialist, Interim Director of Foundation Center – Cleveland, and Director of Capacity and Leadership Development. Earlier in his career, Dave served as a Program Officer for the Stocker Foundation in Lorain, Ohio, and Director of Grants and Prospect Research at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio. He is a former board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Northeast Ohio Chapter and of Joyful Noise Music School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, an MA from Villanova University, and an MLIS from Kent State University.

Naomi Worthington
Senior Consultant
Grants Plus

Naomi has more than ten years of program management, volunteer training, and fundraising experience for schools, cultural institutions, media projects, and social service agencies.

Before joining Grants Plus, she oversaw free tax preparation assistance for the Cuyahoga County Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition, resulting in more than half a million dollars in tax returns for low-income residents of Cleveland. Naomi volunteers as a tax preparer for the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and is a certified yoga teacher.

Naomi holds a BA in International Relations from Kent State University and an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco.

Kari Mirkin
Grants Plus

Kari has ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector, most recently at the Foundation Center-Cleveland and through her local and national leadership roles with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN).

She’s also a contributing blogger for Idealist Careers. Kari received her MNO from Case Western Reserve University and holds a BA in History and German from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She’s loved writing for as long as she can remember, and enjoys helping nonprofits share their stories with the community.


Jeanine Gergel
Foundation Management Services

Jeanine Gergel is an associate with Foundation Management Services (FMS), a consulting firm that manages grant making and supports governance for the William Bingham, Bruening, Woodruff, Thomas White and Abington foundations.  In this role she serves as a program officer for all five foundations and also leads the Bruening Foundation’s Strong Start proactive grant making strategy in early childhood learning and literacy.

Prior to joining FMS, Jeanine held leadership positions in both the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors.  She was Assistant Executive Director, and prior Development Director, at North Coast Health, a charitable clinic serving the low-income uninsured on Greater Cleveland’s West Side.  She also served as Director of Fund Development for Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, which spans 18 counties and serves approximately 40,000 members.  Prior to her transition to the non-profit sector, Jeanine spent 12 years in management consulting for Fortune 1000 clients in health care, insurance, financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, travel and consumer products on sales and marketing effectiveness.  She led consulting engagements for clients that included AT&T, Dow Agro Sciences, GMAC RFC, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and many BlueCross BlueShield plans.

Jeanine has an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  She is a 2010 Fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Ladder to Leadership Program for emerging non-profit leaders.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Lakewood Senior Citizens, Inc., LSC Service Corp., Barton Center and Barton Center Memorial Foundation.  She also serves on the United Way of Greater Cleveland Education Impact Committee and the City of Lakewood Wellness Foundation Planning Task Force.

Karen Hooser

The Reinberger Foundation

Karen Reinberger Hooser is a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio. Her early years were spent in Independence as the youngest of 3 daughters of William and Mary Ann Reinberger.

Karen graduated cum laude in 1978 with her Equine Studies degree from Lake Erie College. For the 8 years following her time at Lake Erie she ran a therapeutic riding program, Centaur, in the Cleveland Metroparks.

In 1992 Karen joined her father, William C. Reinberger as a Trustee of The Reinberger Foundation. Karen became President of The Reinberger Foundation in 2009.

Karen has been actively involved in Philanthropy Ohio (formerly Ohio Gramtmakers Forum) and Exponent Philanthropy. Her current focus is cultivating a passion for philanthropy in the 8 family members of the 4th generation recently seated on the Board.

The Reinberger Foundation began in 1968 by Clarence T. Reinberger. Over the past 50 years over $110,000,000 has been given by The Foundation in support of non-profits in the Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio area.

Bob Cahen
Lakeland Foundation

Bob Cahen serves as the executive director of the Lakeland Foundation and director of development for Lakeland Community College located in Kirtland, Ohio.  He has held that position since 2003.  In addition, he has an active consulting practice which focuses on such issues as research, planning and resource development for nonprofit organizations. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Case Western Reserve University, an M.A. from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. from Miami University.

Bob held a variety of senior positions in area nonprofit and pubic organizations: assistant executive director and acting executive director, Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (1979 – 1983); executive director, Jewish Vocational Service of Cleveland (1983 – 1987); director of strategic planning and marketing, assistant director, Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland (1987 – 1997); executive director, Jewish Community Center of Cleveland (1997 – 2003).  In addition, he has taught courses in political science, social science, literature and writing at a number of Northeast Ohio colleges, including Cuyahoga Community College and Lake Erie College.

In recent years, Bob has served as a consultant for the Mandel Foundation, as consultant and founding executive director of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges Center for Development, and as a consultant for a major fundraising campaign for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio.

Bob is a past secretary/treasurer of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He volunteers in various capacities with several national professional associations, and serves in a range of volunteer roles with nonprofit organizations in Northeast Ohio. In May of 2013, Bob was named the 2013 Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year by the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the AFP.

He lives in Shaker Heights with his wife, Alice.  He has three grown sons.

Benjamin Kroeck

Benjamin Kroeck is the Senior Philanthropy Coordinator for Dominion Energy.  He represents the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and South Carolina while overseeing the charitable giving budget and several signature programs.

Originally a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania he moved to Cleveland at the end of 2013.  He began his career at Dominion Energy in 2007 as an intern with the Media Relations Department before transitioning to the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation from 2008-present.

Benjamin obtained a Master of Public and International Affairs with a concentration in Global Political Economy from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs in 2010.  He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Washington and Jefferson College in 2008.

Benjamin lives in Lakewood with his domestic partner, Alexis Kunsak, and their cat Lemon. He is an avid bicyclist, hiker, camper, canoeist who is proud to call Ohio home.