Tony has a variety of past experiences from which to draw, as he helps ACE grow and improve from his position on the board. He attended Buckeye Career Center for Accounting, earned his APICS certification and has worked for a number of companies listed on the Fortune 100 list. While at Buckeye, highlights for Tony include being the first recipient of the Bryce Browning Service Award and being named the Buckeye Student of the Year. Living with bipolar disorder, he says one of the best things about ACE is "Meeting different people, with different backgrounds and mental illnesses brings us all together and helps us understand one another better." Tony feels that serving on the board helps him in his recovery, as well. "Seeing progress is part of my recovery from bipolar disorder- seeing good changes and making decisions for the benefit of the clubhouse, and making a difference." He currently serves as the President of the board.
Ricky Johnson is one of the best loved members of ACE, and could be considered the "clown-prince" of ACE. Ricky enjoys dressing up as a clown to cheer up those who are feeling low, as well as attending local football games and other sporting events in his clown gear, wearing the colors of the contesting teams. One of his favorite things to do at ACE is "bringing laughter and smiles to those that need it in the clubhouse." Many of the members feel that the only thing better than hearing Ricky's laugh at ACE is hearing him sing. Considered the "old-timer" on the board, Ricky has been a member of ACE since its inception in 1994. His past education includes attending Buckeye Career Center. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board.
Karen is, in many ways, the heartbeat of ACE. Her philosophy for ACE is EMPOWERMENT NOT RESCUE. She enjoys being active, compassionate and helping other members in their recovery. Karen is the facilitator for our NAMI support group called "Hopeful Hearts". The group meets Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3 and is open to anyone in the community with a mental health diagnosis, not just ACE members. Karen has attended Stark State University and studied Respiratory Therapy, as well as having been trained by NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) as a support group facilitator. Karen lives with depression and suicidal thoughts, but says "ACE has been my recovery tool. It has helped me to reach out for understanding and allowed me to be there to help others, just as they have helped me." She has been part of many changes and improvements, during her time at ACE, including the hiring of the current director. Karen is the immediate Past President of the board.
Becky is a quiet, calming influence on the board. Her goal is to have some positive input regarding the monthly activities calendar for the members of ACE. Becky hopes to help ACE connect with the people at other Consumer Operated Services around the state, to visit their facilities, so we can learn from and help one another. She also hopes to help ACE continue to take groups of members to mental health forums and conferences, as she sees great benefit in these shared learning opportunities. Becky has a degree in Music Education from Youngstown State University with an emphasis on piano. She serves as a member of the board.
Nelson takes great pride in being an advocate. With his warm heart, gentle nature and wit, he is also able to relate to members on many levels. As a member of the Tourette Syndrome Association of Ohio and the National Tourette Syndrome Association, Nelson triumphs daily in his struggles with mental illness, Tourette Syndrome and chronic physical pain, calling himself a "triple advocate." Nelson feels that "Peer support and relating to members, as well as being a part of criticial decision making for ACE" allow him to use his experience in limitless and empowering ways. A state board member on the Ohio Consumer Advisory Council for the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, he has a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations from Kent State University and is the "official" photographer for ACE activities. Nelson currently serves as Secretary/ Treasurer of the board.
An ACE member since 2006, Lorne started out on the kitchen committee and has since advanced to the position of volunteer van driver. He was born in Dover, Ohio and is a graduate of Indian Valley North High School. He has lived most of his life in Tuscarawas County, but also lived in Indiana for six years. Lorne is the father of two stepsons, has one step grandchild and was a longtime leader for the Boy Scouts. When asked what he enjoys most about ACE, Lorne says that driving the van is among his favorite duties. He says this allows him to get out and see parts of the county he has never seen before, while also providing a service to our members. Lorne has a positive outlook and tries to be a good role model for the members here at ACE. He likes connecting with people, as well as helping to assist members when they need an extra hand. Lorne is a dedicated member of ACE, and the members and staff of ACE have come to trust and to count on him. He currently fills an at-large position on the ACE Board of Directors and also serves as our back-up clients' rights officer.
Edward Newman, Assistant Professor, Business Management Technology, Kent State University Tuscarawas
Jill Lovett, Associate Pastor, First United Church of Christ, New Philadelphia
Carolyn Brodzinski, Retired, Tuscarawas County Auditor's Office