Bruce Akers

Civic Leader


Bruce is a Cleveland native and a graduate of Princeton University and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.  In 2000 he retired from a 52-year career in banking as Senior Vice president, Civic Affairs, for Key Bank and Chairman of the Key Foundation.  He also was the Mayor of Pepper Pike, Ohio for 20 years.  Bruce’s service to Northeast Ohio including the number of boards he has chaired and the awards he has won, are too numerous to mention here, but include virtually every important organization and cause in Greater Cleveland.  He currently serves on the boards of City Year Cleveland, Positively Cleveland, and the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland, to name a few.  In 2009 he co-chaired the Citizens Committee for the Cuyahoga County government reform.  In 2006 he was named Municipal Leader of the Year by Northeast Ohio Leadership Magazine, and in 2009 he was named one of the 100 most influential people in Greater Cleveland by Inside Businessmagazine.

Dr. Stephanie Fallcreek

DSW Fairhill Partners


Stephanie has served as President/CEO of  Fairhill Partners since July, 1992, leading a diverse staff in a multi-agency environment.  She received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and spent 5 years as a gubenetorial appointee in various agencies in New Mexico, before coming to Cleveland.  In 1999 Stephanie was one of the 3 founders of The Intergenerational School, an award-winning urban charter school.  In 2004 she was named a “Woman of Note” by Crain’s Cleveland Business, and she currently serves on various local nonprofit boards.

Howard Pincham

Hyland Software


Howard is a lifelong resident of  Northeast Ohio, having attended  Cleveland State University and received his Batchelor’s Degree from Yougstown State University .  He also holds numerous professional certifications and has worked in the technology sector, both as a longtime systems manager with AT &T and then as an IT Professional at Hyland Software since 2008.  Howard is very generous with volunteering his time, both for Choosing Success Programs and other organizations.  He is married and has a daughter who is approaching her high school years sooner than he can believe!

Michael Pope

Citizens Bank


Michael Pope is a graduate of Benedictine High School and has spent over 25 years as a Financial Services Sales Executive with experience in commercial banking, covering private corporations and non-profit organizations.  He attended Marietta College in southern Ohio where he played varsity baseball and wrestled. Michael is active as a mentor for young people as well as a volunteer and board member for youth programs like Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.), The Cleveland Metropolitan Schools “Making Money Matters” program as well as others. Michael is married and has two children and two grandchildren, and he and his wife are avid long-distance cyclists.

Robert Yanega

The 1990 Project


Bob is a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio and received his BA from Kent State University.  He has been a longtime successful entrepreneur as well as focused on giving back to Cleveland and the surrounding region as a member of various nonprofit boards, a mentor, and a volunteer career speaker and workshop leader.  As a Certified Speaker for’s Making it Count program, Bob spoke to thousands of students from Detroit to Dallas over a 4 year period, and built relationships with almost 50 school districts in NE Ohio.  Bob’s research and writing over the past 6 years on the opportunities available in NE Ohio and the cessation of the MIC program due to budget cuts, led him to found The 1990 Project in January 2012.  Bob is married and has two grown children.

With all of the cutbacks, this kind of information gets dropped from the core curriculum. This program brings resources back into our school. Choosing Success Programs does an excellent job relating to the students in an authentic way.”

– Bill F., Principal, Madison High School

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