Lee 16 frontMatthew Lee, PhD, is Professor of Sociology at the University of Akron. His current research explores topics such as the causes and consequences of benevolent service to others, organizational compassion capability, and adolescent recovery from alcohol and drug addiction and desistence from delinquency. He is Vice President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love and previously served as Vice President of the Center for Restorative Justice of North Central Ohio. His latest book (with Margaret M. Poloma and Stephen G. Post) is The Heart of Religion: Spiritual Empowerment, Benevolence, and the Experience of God’s Love.


Don LichiDr. Donald A. Lichi is a licensed psychologist in Ohio.  He has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops on integrating spiritual and emotional health, education, parenting, marriage, and family issues and has published several articles on Christian mental health.  His ministry has taken him to sixteen different countries.

While providing clinical services at EMERGE Counseling Services in Akron, Ohio, he also serves as Vice-President and is on the Emerge Leadership Team and Clinical Leadership Team. He has also co-authored a book, Broken Windows of the Soul.  Best of all, Dr. Lichi is married to Marcie and they have three adult children and seven grandchildren!


Jeremy LileJeremy Lile, M.Div. is the Executive Director of Heart to Heart Communications. Click to read his Heart to Heart bio

In addition to his Heart to Heart staff role, he is also currently the Visionary Director for City Hope Akron – a community based non-profit working for the restoration of people and place in West Akron. City Hope thrives on helping people discover their sense of vocation and then helping them deploy that vocation for the benefit of others. 


Bob PacanovskyBob Pacanovsky is a speaker, trainer and entrepreneur and an expert in making people make great first impressions and turning clients into loyal fans!  With over two decades of working “in the trenches” to cultivate loyal and raving fans, Bob knows what it takes to elevate the customer experience. Bob launched a new company, The Vation Group, in January, 2015, after selling his catering and event company that he founded in 2000. 

Bob is a graduate of The University of Akron with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.  Bob is a Leadership Akron-Class 23 graduate and serves on the boards of OPEN M and the Greater Akron Chamber-Small Business Council. He is also the chairperson of the Stewardship Council for his church.


Vicki PerfectVicki Perfect, OPA has a Masters in Adult Education/Design from University of Akron. She also has over twenty-five years of experience in health care human resources and operations. She is an active Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Peace (OPA), and recently self-published her third book of Perfect Prayers, Unfolding Now (2015). Vicki enjoys stone carving and walking, but her most coveted role is “hippie grandma” to her two grandkids, her son Cory, and daughter–in–law.



John RoparJohn Ropar, PhD, is originally from Pittsburgh.  He has a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University, a Master’s in Community Counseling from Duquesne University, and a Doctorate in Counselor Education from The University of Akron. John was the director of the counseling center at John Carroll for 15 years before entering private practice in Hudson, Ohio.  He has presented numerous programs and workshops on mindfulness and meditation to teacher’s groups and parents. In March 2015, he was a keynote speaker at the Ignatian Spirituality Project National Conference.  Dr. Ropar has completed a two year training program in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and has been a spiritual director for eleven years. He is married to Eileen Goodall Ropar and has helped raise three wonderful stepdaughters.


Cathy Shew resizedCatherine M. Shew (Cathy) is a certified executive coach and business advisor who is passionate about positive leadership, coaching and strategy. Her clients, both individuals and organizations, consistently acknowledge her talent for “unleashing their best”.  She brings unique and comprehensive business acumen to her work given her broad set of demonstrated competencies and experiences in many key focus areas of business.

Cathy retired from FirstEnergy in Akron, Ohio as Director of Business Development. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Case Western Reserve University with a MS in Positive Organization Development and Change (MPOD) in May, 2013, and earned certificates in Emotional Intelligence, Appreciative Inquiry and Executive Coaching.  Cathy resides in the Akron area with her husband Scott, and they have an adult daughter.


Photos 012Larry Vuillemin co-founded Heart to Heart Communications in 1990. Click to read his bio.






Chris WilliamsChristine Williams, PhD, President of Focus Consulting Group, has spent most of her professional career as a facilitator and consultant helping co-workers throughout the United States communicate with one another in constructive and productive ways. She has worked with health care, educational, manufacturing, and non-profit organizations.  After witnessing first-hand the transformational power of effective communication, and in particular listening, with individuals as well as organizations, Chris now focuses much of her time in this area.

Chris has published two books – “Working as One: Fundamental Conversations That Build Cooperation and Get Results” and “The Listening Project”.  She has served in various leadership board positions and is currently a volunteer for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.