OURS - Ohio Urban Resources System

OHIO URBAN RESOURCES SYSTEM - Improving The Lives of Ohio's Urban Core

Board of Directors

Back Row: Cheryl D. Grice, Shelia Triplett, Robert “Bo” Chilton and Rodney Reasonover
Front Row: Douglas E. Bennett, Dr. Jacklyn Chisholm, Gwen L. Robinson and Jackie Boehnlein

Congratulations Ms. Grice!

The Ohio Urban Resources System is excited to announce new Board Chair, Ms. Cheryl Grice, President/CEO of Pathway, Inc.

Ms. Grice is the recent OURS Conference Chair and under her leadership the 3rd Annual Conference, “Let’s Get Back to Work” held in Toledo, OH generated more than 100 urban community action agencies staff and elected officials.

Ms. Grice is a passionate leader with years of experiences as an agent of change with great results in improving the lives of Ohioans.

“Most people who are in poverty do not aspire to remain there. Every effort we make to change the poverty paradigm in Ohio will enhance the lives of those directly impacted as well as the entire community within which we live.”


Malcolm J. Costa, President/CEO

Community Action Akron Summit. Inc.

Malcolm J. Costa has devoted his life to community service: developing programs and creating opportunities to benefit workers in Akron and Northeast Ohio.

Born and raised in Akron, Mr. Costa is a graduate of Akron South High School. He started his career at the IBM Corporation as a computer service dispatcher while earning a bachelor’s degree. From 1972 to 1974, Costa served as Director, United Services for All at the Akron Urban League while pursuing a master’s degree in Urban Studies and Public Administration. From 1974-1977, Costa held the position of Director of Student Development at Youngstown State University where he designed and implemented programs for non-traditional students. Costa also completed his master’s degree in Urban Studies at the University of Akron in 1977.

Since 1977, Costa has served as President/CEO, Community Action Akron Summit, Inc. where he manages 250 employees operating Head Start, the Foster Grandparent Program, Emergency Services, Child Assault Prevention, Emergency Home Energy Assistance (E-HEAP), and other community programs. In 1983, when Community Action Akron Summit, Inc. (formerly Akron Summit Community Action, Inc.) and Mahoning Youngstown Community Action Partnership created the Greater Ohio Health and Welfare Benefits Plan (GOHIO), Costa was appointed as a trustee and vice chairman for 600 employees’ health benefits; he was elected chairman and administrator of the trust in 1989. Costa is certified as a community action professional (1996) by the National Association of Community Action Agencies. From 1994-2001, Costa served as an outside director of Bank One Akron NA. He is also a graduate of the 1990 Class of Leadership Akron.

Costa currently serves as Secretary - Downtown Akron Partnership. He received the University of Akron Outstanding Alumni Award in 2000.

Mr. Costa and his wife Crystal Ann have five children.

Rodney Reasonover, CEO

Stark County Community Action Agency

Rodney Reasonover has served since 2007, as Chief Executive Officer of the Stark County Community Action Agency, where his responsibilities include mission and vision leadership, administrative oversight and management of an annual corporate budget in excess of $13M.  Prior to his serving in this capacity Rodney served as the Agency’s Deputy Director for fourteen years with responsibilities for organizational compliance management within the Agency’s program delivery system.  Prior to service with the Stark County Community Action Agency he was a Personnel Representative with Gates McDonald & Co.

Rodney is from Toledo, Ohio, a graduate from the University of Akron and a father of three.  He currently serves locally, statewide and nationally on the boards of the Greater Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, Ohio Urban Resource Systems, National Head Start Association Region V, and is a recent member to the Malone University President Advisory Council.

Mark B. Lawson, President/CEO

Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency

Mark B. Lawson succeeds as the new President/CEO of Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency. Mark currently serves as Managing Attorney of Consumer Law at the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, where he has worked for almost 20 years.

Mark is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati, Class 37, and is currently a member of Leadership Action, Class 4. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from Xavier University and his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati.

Mark was a member of CAA’s Board of Directors for 18 years, serving 12 of those as Board President. 

Jacklyn A. Chisholm, PH.D.

Council For Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland

Jacklyn A. Chisholm, Ph.D. is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC), a private nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives through education, personal and professional development programs and support services.
Prior to joining CEOGC, Dr. Chisholm served as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Music Cultural Center (GMCC), a museum and cultural arts center planned for Atlanta, Georgia. She is the former Vice President of Planning and External Affairs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum where she
was responsible for the development and implementation of the Museum’s strategic plan, management of government relations and community outreach
activities and Project Director for the construction of the Rock Hall’s $13 million Library and Archives. Dr. Chisholm also served as Associate Vice President for Community Partnerships at Case Western Reserve University, where she developed the Center for Community Partnerships.

She is the recipient of numerous awards including Crain’s Cleveland Business Woman of Note, YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence, Women of Color Foundation ISIS Award, Council for Opportunity in Education National TRIO Achiever, Cleveland Educators Forum Alumni Achievers Hall of Fame and Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. Dr. Chisholm is an alumna of Leadership Cleveland and a past member of The Western Reserve Chapter of Links, Inc.

A Cleveland native, Dr. Chisholm is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, where she earned three degrees: Bachelor of Arts in medical anthropology, Master of Arts in psychological anthropology and a doctorate in psychological anthropology with an emphasis in educational anthropology. She has earned certificates from Harvard Business School Executive Education, Cornell University Administrative Management Institute and the HERS/Bryn Mawr Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration. She is also a University of Pennsylvania Wharton Executive Fellow. Dr. Chisholm is a member of the Cuyahoga County Early Childhood Education Partnership Council.


Robert “Bo” Chilton, CEO

IMPACT Community Action

Bo Chilton is the CEO of IMPACT Community Action, one of the leading human service agencies fighting poverty in Franklin County.  With an annual operating budget of $7 million dollars, a staff of more than 75 employees who serve over 25,000 customers annually, IMPACT is on the frontline of the war on poverty and is dedicated to reducing poverty by providing hope-inspiring help and real opportunities for self – sufficiency.

Bo states that the scripture, “to those whom much is given, much is required,” serves as a guiding principle for his life.  Bo’s passion for empowering people and building our sense of community is reflected in his work as the immediate past Chair of the Franklin County Human Service Chamber, the Co-Director for the African American Leadership Academy, and as a Board member for Learn 4 Life, Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation (COWIC), the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies (OACAA), and the Urban Resurrection Development Corporation.

Originally from Springfield, Ohio, Bo graduated from Wright State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Education in secondary teaching.  He also earned a second Master’s degree in Higher Education from the Ohio State University.  Bo is a member of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.  His career background includes serving as a middle school and high school teacher in Springfield City Schools, Assistant Director of Career Services at Otterbein College, Academic Counselor and Technology Coordinator for the Arts and Sciences Dept. at the Ohio State University, Legislative Analyst for Columbus City Council, Director of African American Male Initiatives at the Columbus Urban League, and a veteran of the Army Reserves.

Bo and his wife, Audrey Chilton, are the proud parents of 12 year old Brandon Emmanuel Chilton and 8 year old Sydney Aaliyah Chilton.

Jackie Boehnlein, President/CEO

Lorain County Community Action Agency
Jackie Boehnlein believes her job is to build on strengths in order to make change that matters.  As the President and CEO of Lorain County Community Action Agency (LCCAA), she trusts those the Agency serves and the community to define what matters most.
Promoted from within the Agency in 2012, from Chief of Operations, she also served as LCCAA’s Chief of Staff and Director of Strategic Planning and Organizational Development.  LCCAA hired her in 2007.
She graduated with honors from Tiffin University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management as a transfer student from Cleveland State University.  She has held certifications in Quality and Organizational Coaching.
She is a hands-on leader who uses mission to guide her decision making.  She also calls on her extensive experience with Baldrige-based excellence award/accreditation programs and quality peer reviewing to help keep LCCAA responsive to local need.
She and her husband, Chuck, have lived in Lorain County for nearly 20 years. Their daughter recently graduated from Towson University in Maryland, and continues to reside near Baltimore.  A recent aspiration of Jackie's is to become a hydroponic gardener.

Shelia Triplett, Executive Director

Mahoning Youngstown Community Action Partnership

Shelia Triplett graduated from Youngstown State University with a BA degree in Social Work, and later earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Management, she is a Licensed Social Worker and Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional. Mrs. Triplett began her professional career working with Minority Youth in an Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center in Youngstown Ohio. She worked for many years for Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic creating and established Culturally Specific Outreach and Treatment Strategies for women and minorities. She later worked at Beatitude House as the Director of Transitional Housing for Homeless Woman and Children. Her Community Action involvement began many years before she worked for the program, as a Head Start Parent actively involved from the beginning as a member of Policy Council and later as a Community Representative. Mrs. Triplett’s commitment to the mission and values of Community Action led her to take a job at MYCAP as the Director of the Homeless Program and later as the Director of Social Services for MYCAP. Mrs. Triplett left MYCAP to complete her Master’s Degree, returning to be part of the change management process leading MYCAP in re-visioning its purpose and place in Mahoning County; revamping and stabilizing the services MYCAP has provided in the community since 1965.

Janice W. Warner, CCAP, President/CEO

Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron & Richland Counties, Inc.

Janice W. Warner is the President/CEO of Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron & Richland Counties, Inc. (CACEHR) in Sandusky, Ohio. She has been an employee for 23 years and has been the President/CEO since April, 2003. She has always been active within the community. She has served as chairperson of BANDC; chairperson of the Civil Service Commission; board member of Family & Children First Counsel of both Erie and Huron counties, Erie County Transportation Advisory Council, Erie County Housing Task Force, and United Way of Erie County, Allocation Committee.

On the state level, she served on one of the work groups for former Governor Strickland’s Anti-Poverty Task Force - Multiple Barriers, and she is secretary for Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies (OACAA) and the vice-president for Ohio Urban Resources Systems, Inc. (OURS).

Ms. Warner is a Certified Community Action Professional, CCAP; a graduate of Community Action Leadership Academy (CALA); and, a graduate of Bowling Green State University. She is a lifelong member of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where she serves as a deaconess, church treasurer, trustee, and Children’s Band Advisor. Ms. Warner is married to Robert L. Warner; and they have ten children and a whole “bunch” of grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. And a dog name Zoey.

Cheryl D. Grice, CEO

Pathway, Inc.

Ms. Grice currently serves as CEO of Pathway, Inc. the local Community Action Agency serving Lucas County, Ohio.  She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Coppin State University and a Master of Science degree in Organizational Development from The Johns Hopkins University.

Ms. Grice has enjoyed a rich career in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Prior to her role at Pathway, Ms. Grice served as Director of Energy Efficiency and Empowerment Services at IMPACT Community Action in Columbus, Ohio, Executive Director of City Year Columbus and Vice President of Business Development at the Central Ohio Transit Authority in Columbus, Ohio.  Prior to her positions in Columbus, Ms. Grice served as Director of Corporate Contributions and Director of Customer Communications at the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, Director of Weatherization Assistance at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Deputy Director of Energy Assistance at the Maryland Department of Human Resources.

Ms. Grice has served on the boards of Advance Bank in Baltimore, Maryland, the Urban Medical Institute, in Baltimore, Maryland, and YouthBuild USA, Inc., in Somerset, Massachusetts.  She has received numerous awards and citations including a U.S House of Representatives Congressional Achievement Award and United States Senate Citation for community building in the Sandtown-Winchester community in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Van Dennis Nelson, Jr., President/CEO

Trumbull Community Action Program

Van is a lifelong resident of the City of Warren. He and his wife, Wanda, have two sons, two daughters, and six grandchildren.

Van holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Business, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He was hired by the Trumbull Community Action Program (TCAP) in December of 1981. During his career he served as Intake Worker, Special Services Manager, Personnel Director, Chief of Staff, and Chief Operating Officer. In August of 2016, the retiring CEO recommended him to be Interim CEO. He was officially voted in as the Chief Executive Officer in January of 2017.

He has been Treasurer for the Warren/Trumbull Branch of the NAACP since the year 2000. He holds a seat on the Trumbull County United Way Board and on the Board of the Youth Alternatives Academy after school program. He has been a member of the Trumbull County Camp of the Gideons. He has been a board member of the local Urban League and the Warren Rape Crisis Team.

Without reservation or shame, he states that he grew up as a low-income resident in public housing who remembers how it was and realizes the importance of the work of Community Action Agencies. He goes above and beyond the call of duty where TCAP is concerned. He is committed to what it stands for and all that it does in Trumbull County. Having observed his first anniversary as CEO of TCAP, Van hopes to expand agency services to include more assistance with household emergencies and more accessibility for the outlying residents of Trumbull County. Van proudly states that the skills and knowledge of the existing staff members and management at TCAP continue to make his job easier than he had anticipated. He plans for TCAP to implement more programs that result in long-term and permanent solutions that help county residents move closer toward self-sufficiency.

Larry Price, Legislative Consultant

Larry Price & Associates

With over 30 years’ experience in working with state and municipal processes, legislative and public procedures and urban community relations, Larry brings a wealth of strategic management skills involving public relations, organizational mediation, community development and domestic public policy.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Larry received his B.A. in Journalism from The Ohio State University. In 1979, he began what would become a long and impressive career in public service working as a Message Clerk for the Ohio Senate.  After a two-year stint at the State House, Larry embarked on a public service path of increasing responsibility that included Staff Assistant for Congressman Bob Shamansky, and then back at the Ohio Senate in an elevated role as Sergeant at Arms.  Larry’s upward trajectory in public service would eventually lead him to the Office of the Mayor, City of Columbus, working as Special Assistant to the Mayor.    Larry’s next move took him to the State of Ohio House of Representatives as he was elected to serve as State Representative of the 26th District, Columbus, Ohio.  Larry was the main architect of a $54 billion state budget that restored $2.9 billion of prior cuts to head start, daycare, senior citizens and local governments.  Community outreach has always been a passion with Larry and something at which he has excelled, and that passion was even more apparent in his role as State Representative, as he founded the Urban Crime Advisory Commission in Columbus to explore ways to eradicate crime from Columbus neighborhoods.   He also hosted a radio show on 1580 WVKO called “Representative Larry Price’s Eyes on Columbus” to maintain constant communications with his constituents, and allow them access to information about governmental activity, legislative policies and community activities.

In addition to a successful public service career, Larry founded L. Price & Associates.   L. Price & Associates is strategically positioned to provide consultative service to private, public and faith-based organizations in the area of public relations, governmental affairs, public policy and community relations.  L. Price & Associates specializes in helping to insure inclusion and diversity for minority business owners in acquiring state and local contracts. L. Price & Associates helped to write workforce inclusion policies for The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

A shortened list of past and present clients include:   The Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, City of Columbus, Franklin County, Columbus Public Schools, Resource International, Roetzel & Andress Law Firm, Brown & Caldwell, Ohio Urban Resource Systems, Urban Growth Corporation, Ribway Engineering, and Impact Community Action Agency.

Larry has also provided community service and leadership to many organizations including Triedstone Baptist Church, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT), to name a few. Larry has also served on the boards of several organizations (The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, Boy Scouts of America, CMACO, The Columbus Urban League, NAACP– State of Ohio, State Chiropractic Board, Mt. Olivet Christian Academy, Africentric Personal Development Shop, and Heritage Day Health Centers).

Yvonne C. Freeman, Project Manager

Ohio Urban Resource Systems (O.U.R.S.)

Yvonne C. Freeman, respected advocate of social justice, equity and fairness for all people serves as the Project Manager for Ohio Urban Resource Systems (O.U.R.S.). The Ohio Urban Resource Systems (O.U.R.S.) is a statewide network comprised of nine (9) Community Action Agencies in Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Erie-Huron Mansfield, Lorain, Youngstown and Toledo. O.U.R.S seeks to strengthen the social and economic security of families and their communities as a recognized leading resource for breaking the poverty cycle in Ohio. Yvonne helps lead agencies through the process of organizing personnel into action teams that will carry out the goals of the strategic plan. 

As founder of Freeman Focus Management, Inc., Yvonne brings a wealth of expertise in leading diverse collection of social service agencies to sustainability, greater public policy visibility and leadership.

Yvonne is a member of several Boards most namely, Policy Matters Ohio, the Governor’s Council on Juvenile Justice and a reserved trainer for “Race Matters” through Annie E. Casey Foundation. As a graduate of the African American Leadership Academy Cycle IX and Cleveland Leadership Center – Bridge Builders Program 2009, Yvonne’s style is energetic and impetuous.

Yvonne also expands her leadership skills through her civic and community engagements as the President of Delta Omicron Sigma Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She facilitates more than 40 members, three undergraduate chapters and two affiliates. She also serves as the Central Region Nominating Chair, where she is responsible for training and the nominating process covering 13 states.

Yvonne is a proud graduate of Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, OH.