2024-2025 OFFICER BIOS


Marcy Schwartz has been a member of NCJW/CLE for eight years. Marcy has served as Vice President of Membership, co-chaired the 2019 opening meeting and the Women’s Health Speaker Series, co-chaired Designer Dress Days in 2022 and 2022, worked on Partners in Literacy and Done-in-a-Day efforts, and coordinated the sewn mask making project for community agencies in need. Marcy has participated on several social justice and advocacy committees including Legislative committee, Reproductive Health and Rights committee, Promote the Vote, Protect the Vote, Focus on Foster Care, and TLC. Marcy graduated from the University of Arizona and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and she later went on to do her pediatric residency and fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Marcy practiced at Children’s Hospital, Boston for 10 years and then at Cleveland Clinic until 2016. Marcy is married to Dr. Daniel I. Simon, and they have three sons: Ben, Max, and Aaron. Marcy was the recipient of the Arline B. Pritcher Award in 2019. Marcy shared why she loves NCJW/CLE: “I am so grateful to NCJW for giving me opportunities to learn and grow with energetic, passionate women, who are working to make a positive impact in our community.”


Ann Markoff has been a member of NCJW/CLE since 2020. During her time with NCJW/CLE, she has co-chaired Operation Warm Up, organized two program and education events (including the popular Inspiring Women speaker event), and served as a board member. Ann is an alumna of Mayfield High School. She earned a BS in Education at Kent State University and holds endorsements in Hard of Hearing and Transition to Work.  Ann began her career as a teacher for the hard of hearing in Dayton, Ohio, before working at the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center and Lakewood High School. For 34 years, she served as a Job Training Coordinator for Mayfield City Schools, where she provided job readiness training and job placement for high school students with special needs, collaborating with local business partners. After retiring, Ann sought meaningful community involvement, which led her to NCJW/CLE.  She quickly jumped in and was  honored with NCJW/CLE’s Emerging Leader Award in 2022. Ann is married to Mike Markoff and they have two sons, Aaron and Evan. Aside from volunteering, Ann enjoys traveling and reading. When asked why she values giving back, Ann explains “Volunteering is at the very core of being a human. No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.”


Rena Wertheim has been a member of NCJW/CLE for four years. She co-chaired Operation Warm Up with Ann Markoff for two years and was also a co-chair of the Lois Zaas Memorial Lecture, among other things. Rena is also an active volunteer with Share What You Wear and DigKnitty, NCJW/CLE’s knitting group. Rena grew up in the southern suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Thornridge High School. She earned a BS in Elementary Education with Special Education certification from Northern Illinois University and later received an MS from Kent State University, focusing on transition services for students with special needs. She also completed her Supervision & Administration certification at Cleveland State University.

Rena has served as the Principal of North Coast Academy for at-risk high school youth and as a supervisor of teachers of the visually impaired and hearing impaired. Her last position before retirement was as the Program Director of Friendship Circle of Cleveland. At the suggestion of Ann Markoff, Rena joined NCJW/CLE in 2020, during the pandemic. She quickly found a niche at the organization, and received the Emerging Leader Award in 2022.

Rena has been happily married to Stephen Wertheim for 41 years. Their son Max lives in Columbus with his partner Jenny, and their daughter Judith lives in Cincinnati with her husband Aaron. They are grateful their children are only a car ride away! In addition to volunteering, Rena enjoys reading, traveling, knitting, and cooking. While in Israel volunteering last week, Steve and Rena took an Israeli cooking class after making 250 sandwiches for soldiers in Gaza. When asked why she enjoys being a member of NCJW/CLE, Rena said, “I love being a member of NCJW/CLE because there are many meaningful hands-on projects where I can use my time and talents for the benefit of women, children, and families in the Cleveland community.”


Heather Schlang has been a member of NCJW/CLE for ten years. Combining her work ethic, developed as an Ohio farm girl, and a degree in Business Administration from Baldwin-Wallace College, Heather has worked to develop and re-engineer NCJW/CLE projects to meet community needs. At NCJW/CLE, Heather has led the reenvisioning of Share What You Wear, which she chairs. For her work with Share What You Wear, Heather was honored with both the Federation of Cleveland Women in Philanthropy Irene Zehman Volunteer award and the Cleveland Jewish News Difference Maker Award. She is a past recipient of the Arline B. Pritcher Award. Heather resides in Moreland Hills with her husband, Brad. She has three adult sons, Andy, Sam, and Brian. When she isn’t volunteering, Heather enjoys playing tennis and hiking. Heather shared why she loves NCJW/CLE: “I love NCJW/CLE because the organization provides opportunities to learn, to lead, and to serve and support others.”


Char Rapoport Nance has been an active member of NCJW/CLE since 2019, after a friend asked her to co-chair the Annual Fund. Though she had only attended a few NCJW/CLE events before, she appreciated the organization’s work and, being newly retired, decided it was the perfect time to dive in. Char humorously notes, “It seemed like a good time to spread my wings and jump in with two feet.” Char served as co-chair of the Annual Fund for a few years before becoming the VP of Fund Development. During this time, she also co-chaired several events and participated in various committees, including Bylaws, Strategic Planning, and the Executive Committee. Char graduated from Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illinois. She earned a B.S. in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. Before retiring, she worked as the Ohio Director of ORT America and had previous roles in development at Hillel at Kent State, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. Char has one son, Michael. In 2022, she was honored with the Alice & Eugene Weiss Esteemed Service Award. She proudly shares that the plant she received from Gail Sands when informed about the award is still alive and thriving. In her free time, Char enjoys being with friends, going to the theater, taking classes (primarily with Jewish content), and traveling to visit friends and family. Reflecting on her involvement with NCJW/CLE, Char says, “I think it’s important to give back to your community in whatever way you can. Whether it’s time or treasure, I believe anyone who is fortunate enough to be able to give back should take that opportunity to help make the world a little better. We’ve been going through some very challenging times for the past several years. Having come through it relatively unscathed, I value being able to offer whatever I can to those who did not.”


Lisa Cynamon Mayers has been a lifetime member of NCJW. Her mom, an active member and former president of the Syracuse section, introduced Lisa to the NCJW world at an early age. Lisa grew up participating in NCJW events, sneaking food from NCJW meetings her mom held at their house, and “schmoozing with the nice ladies.” When moving to Cleveland in 2002, Lisa knew that NCJW/CLE would be the ideal starting point for meeting and engaging with people in the community. She currently serves as the VP of Membership and acts as a liaison to the JCC Book Festival. For the past 20 years, ​Lisa has serve​d as a senior admissions consultant for Road to College, a Boston-based, boutique college admissions consulting firm. Outside of NCJW, Lisa is a co-chair of the JCC Cleveland Jewish Book Festival and Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation board member. A voracious reader Lisa attempts to read 100 books each year, maintaining an Instagram account of the books she reads. She’d love you to follow her at @novel.tea.in.cle. Lisa is married to Josh Mayers. The two live in Beachwood with their daughters Ellie and Nina (who are also NCJW life members). 

Lisa shares why NCJW is important to her: “Connection. NCJW has always given me a sense of connection to other women volunteers, a segment of the Jewish community, and the greater community. At every stage of my life, NCJW has given me a place to be involved and connected. I’ve made wonderful friends through NCJW and found incredible mentors.”


Berna Bader joined NCJW/CLE in 2020. She has served as co-chair of the 2023 Opening Meeting, Volunteer Recognition and the Women’s Seder. Berna is actively involved in the ongoing Coffee Connections, Legislative, and the Membership and Program and Education committees. Berna is a Brooklyn, New York native and grew up on Long Island, NY.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Queens College, City University of New York. She started working in the nonprofit world working as a manager in daycare and later at theYM-YWHA of North Jersey, where she became Assistant Executive Director. Later, she served as Executive Director for several Assisted Living communities. Berna moved to Cleveland in 2019 after her daughter’s family moved here; she knew she wanted to be with her family. Knowing no one in Cleveland, she was looking for a way to make connections and become involved in her new community. Enter NCJW! If you talk to Berna for even two minutes, you know just how much she loves her family: her daughter Stacey, son-in-law Mike and granddaughter Olivia. Berna shares what she likes best about NCJW/CLE: “I so appreciate how welcomed I have always felt in any activity I have participated in. The passion members have for carrying out the mission of NCJW/CLE is simply admirable and remarkable”


Barbara Goldberg has been a member of NCJW/CLE since 1984.  Taught from a young age the importance of volunteering, Barbara, a Shaker Heights native, found her sweet spot volunteering at NCJW/CLE. Barbara has served as an officer of Council MS., vice chair and chair of Cleveland Shalom for 7 years, VP Program and Education and as a past NCJW/CLE board member. While her kids were young, Barbara worked as a dental hygienist – but she was called back to NCJW/CLE when her daughter, Zoe Baris, came up with the idea for Share What You Wear, a program originally started to provide kids and teen clothing to the under-served. NCJW/CLE took on – and helped to expand – the project. Today, Barbara serves as the current chair of fine jewelry for DDD, and is excited to take on the co-chair position of DDD, where she has worked on and off for years. Along with Zoe, Barbara has a son, Zachary Baris. She is happily retired, married to Dr. Julio Popovsky, and enjoys traveling. When asked why she loves NCJW/CLE, Barbara says: “I love the fact that NCJW represents women, children and families and thoroughly enjoy the comraderie with the DDD crew!”


Beth Milstein serves as co-Vice President of Retail Operations and instrumental at planning and executing Designer Dress Days. A member of NCJW/CLE since 2014, she has served on the NCJW/CLE Board of Directors, the Leadership Development Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, was a co-chair for the Women’s Seder, Volunteer Recognition event and the Opening Meeting featuring author Liz Murray, in addition to co-chairing this year’s Annual Meeting. Beth was the deserving recipient of the 2019 Emerging Leader Award. A graduate of Indiana University with a BS in Business, Beth previously worked in commercial real estate and owned a small business. Beth and her husband, Mark, have three children Jacob, Holden and Cami.


Elaine Geller began her professional career at the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland and San Francisco. With a rich history in finance, she brings experience and dedication to her roles at NCJW/CLE. For the past 15 years, Elaine has been a vital part of the organization, currently serving as the co-VP of Social Justice and Advocacy. She joined NCJW/CLE upon retirement, eager to spend her time productively and contribute meaningfully to the community. During her tenure, Elaine held numerous leadership positions, including President, Recording Secretary, and VP of Finance, along with participating in various volunteering opportunities. Her commitment to social justice and advocacy is evident through her active involvement and leadership. Elaine is a proud alumna of John Carroll University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in History. She furthered her education with a Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. A Cleveland native, Elaine balances her professional and volunteer life with a rich family life, being the mother of two sons and two daughters, and the grandmother of three grandsons and one granddaughter. Her contributions to the community have been recognized with several prestigious awards, including the Hannah G. Solomon Award, the Alice and Eugene Weiss Award, and the Advocacy in Action Award. In her leisure time, Elaine enjoys reading, knitting, and playing golf. Her passion for lifelong learning and community involvement continues to inspire those around her.


Jodi Jackson started her professional career as a high school social science educator, and for the past 25 years has worked in corporate training and professional development for Progressive Insurance. She joined NCJW/CLE in 2018 because she wanted to collaborate with others who are champions of more progressive approaches to improving and strengthening our community—especially with more marginalized communities. JODI JACKSON She currently co-chairs the Protecting and Promoting the Vote Committee and helps with the State Advocacy and Legislation committee—connecting with state lawmakers to let them know our position on key issues. Jodi is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master of Education Degree from George Mason University. The Cleveland native lives in Solon with her husband, Tom Jackson. They are parents to two adult children—Sari and Alex.


As an active member at NCJW/CLE, Stephanie is recording secretary and co-chair of the Reproductive Rights and Health committee.  Stephanie was a corporate attorney for 15 years, working at Latham & Watkins in New York City followed by Jones Day and Sonkin & Koberna in Cleveland. In addition to her work at NCJW/CLE, Stephanie volunteers with her children’s schools and sports teams. Stephanie is a graduate of Marietta College and earned a law degree at American University, Washington College of Law. She lives with her husband and two kids, Jonathan and Abigail. In Stephanie’s words, “One of the things I like best about NCJW/CLE is how organized and committed each woman is to the work that they do. If a member commits to do something, then it will get done.”


Ellen Rabb has been a dedicated member of NCJW/CLE since 2007. Her initial connection with the organization began with Designer Dress Days. Since then, Ellen has taken on various leadership roles, including co-chairing the DDD Fur Department, serving as co-vice president of communications, and acting as parliamentarian.

Ellen is an alumna of Shaker Heights High School. She pursued higher education at Cornell University, graduating from the School of Hotel Administration. After working for a few years in the restaurant and food industry, she switched gears, and received a law degree from Cleveland Marshall Law School. Ellen’s professional background includes work as a Guardian in juvenile and domestic courts.

Ellen and her husband Richard are the proud parents of twins Rebecca and Jonah. In her free time, she enjoys picking berries and making jams, crafting chocolate, and gardening.

Ellen, a former recipient of NCJW/CLE’s Emerging Leader Award, appreciates the focus, professionalism, and diverse talents of NCJW/CLE members. “Everyone fits together to achieve so much for women and families in Greater Cleveland,” she says.