Leslye received a BFA in Ceramics and Painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1976. After working as an artist for just two years, she transferred her skills to graphic design and took a job in an architectural signage company creating sign systems for hospitals and office buildings. Carried by a wave of innovation in the field of computer graphic messaging, Leslye became the first woman owner of a signage company, Architectural Communications, Inc., in 1981. She provided Cleveland developers and hospitals with architectural signage that used graphic design as a marketing tool. To this day, she advocates for equal pay for equal work and for gender equality. After the arrival of her second child in 1989, she sold her company but continued to rely on her ability to think creatively, working in non-profit development for more than 20 years for agencies and organizations where she could continue to impact positive change. She has now committed her considerable energies to a resumption of her first and beloved career as an artist, making good on a promise she made to herself many years earlier. Leslye serves on the Cleveland Institute of Art Alumni Board and in 2015, initiated the Fire Centennial Pocket Park Public Art Project for the City of Shaker Heights and the Shaker Community Gallery Project at Christ Episcopal Church in Shaker Heights.
A native of New York City, Vicki attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature. She has lived in New York, California, Illinois, and Shaker Heights, Ohio, where she has been a resident for more than 25 years. Vicki has held positions with law firms, advertising agencies, non-profits and consulting firms and has been a freelance writer, editor, and business consultant. She now serves as Director of Communications and Marketing for the City of Shaker Heights and has been responsible for shaping and executing strategies designed to attract and retain residents and businesses to the city. She has been engaged in development of Shaker’s brand, capitalizing on its long-held national reputation for excellence in quality of life, education and exquisite housing options. She was Shaker’s facilitator in creation of the Fire Department Centennial Pocket Park Mural project (unveiling in September 2017) working alongside fellow SCG co-founders Leslye Arian and Scott Goss. Raised by a musician and a journalist and immersed from an early age in the cultural riches of New York City, Vicki has a lifelong and abiding passion for the arts.
Christine Bretz, CPA, CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst), is a graduate of Dickinson College and has worked in the field of public accounting for more than 30 years. Her focus has been financial and tax advisory/preparation services for small business, individuals, estates and trusts, and non-profits. She frequently lectures to business groups and professional organizations about tax planning, current tax issues, and legislation. She shares her interest in helping entrepreneurs develop their financial and accounting knowledge by presenting workshops at the Women’s Business Center and expects to become part of their Professional Advisory Network. She has also participated as a panelist for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. Christine has volunteered for Shaker Heights organizations for more than 20 years, in various Treasurer roles at PTO for the Shaker Schools, as Treasurer at Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights and as a board member and chair of the Plymouth Foundation, as President of the Friends of Shaker Library, as a graduate of the Shaker Heights Citizens Police Academy, and currently as Treasurer of the Shaker Historical Society and the Shaker Community Gallery.
Randi Cone has consulted major corporations in public relations, marketing and promotion, both in-house, as head of several corporate communications departments, and as an agency executive, overseeing the implementation of hundreds of successful, high profile public relations campaigns. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Randi started her career as a Broadway press agent. She was the head of corporate communications at King World, where she oversaw public relations for Oprah, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and Inside Edition; Showtime; PBS, the Museum of the Moving Image; Conde Nast, and AOL. She was also executive vice president at Rogers and Cowan, an entertainment public relations agency, where she launched Judge Judy, Access Hollywood, X Files and the SAG Awards. Ten years ago, Randi launched Cone Media and Associates, specializing in lifestyle, non-profit and media clients. Cleveland clients are the Cleveland Foundation, where she handled national media relations for the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, the Cleveland World Festival and FireFish Festival. Randi creates multi-platform branding campaigns that build name recognition and expand consumer awareness through targeted public relations including print, digital, social media and broadcast outreach as well as publicity generating promotional events.
Nick Fedor is the Executive Director of Shaker Heights Development Corporation (SHDC). Nick, a resident of Shaker Heights, brings extensive leadership experience to the position. He comes from the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, where he served as Economic Development Director. In that role, he led all economic development activities, such as retail recruitment, commercial zoning assistance, site selection, and other business support services. He also handled marketing and communications. Previously, he served as Executive Director of Washington Gateway Main Street in Boston, where he was responsible for leading the organization’s strategic direction and fulfilling its mission of creating and maintaining an economically vibrant neighborhood.
Jennifer Leach earned a BFA from Kent State University in Graphic Design and Illustration and worked as a designer at Nesnadny & Schwartz in Cleveland’s University Circle before starting her own business creating books, annual reports, and other printed materials for Cleveland area businesses and non-profits. She published illustrations in the Plain Dealer and Northern Ohio Live magazine on an ongoing basis in addition to corporate and children’s publications. In 2010 she received a Post Baccalaureate K-12 Visual Art degree from Cleveland State University. She taught art in a number of Cleveland-area schools including student teaching at Boulevard Elementary and a long term teaching assignment at Mercer and Lomond schools, both in Shaker Heights. Jennifer is currently focusing on printmaking as art. Her work has been accepted into juried gallery shows including the Erie Art Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art, Morgan Conservatory, and the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve.
Peter Faass, Ex Officio
The Rev. Peter Faass received his BA in History, with a minor in speech arts, from Western Connecticut State University in 1977, and his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from the General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1999. Peter was born in Delft, the Netherlands, grew up in Connecticut and has lived in New York, New Hampshire, Florida, and now Ohio. He has been the rector of Christ Episcopal Church since 2006. His previous ministry positions were in New England. Prior to entering ordained ministry, Peter was a certified club manager working in management at private clubs for eighteen years. He has extensive background in event planning, administration, and food and beverage service. One of his passions as an Episcopal priest is exploring the intersection of the arts and spirituality. In his faith tradition it is believed that God gifts us with our creative nature and that the arts are an outward and visible sign of that nature. Shaker Community Gallery, being located in a sacred space, provides him with new opportunities to explore and observe how our spiritually presents itself in human artistic endeavors. Peter has been offering a community conversation on a topic that reflects the intersection of faith and arts during each of SCG’s exhibitions.