Mr. Erik L. Walter joined the ESC of the Western Reserve Board in 2013. Mr. Walter is a partner at the law firm of Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A. He has served on the Board of Directors for the YMCA in Lansing, Michigan, is currently on the Board of Directors for the YMCA in Lake County, Ohio, the Northeast Ohio Autism Group and Lake County Jail Ministries. Mr. Walter, his wife Melissa and three children Hannah, Noah and Isaiah reside in Concord.
Dr. Susan Culotta was appointed to the Board in 2014. Dr. Culotta is a Professor of Psychology at Lake Erie College. She also serves on the Board of Health for the Lake County General Health District. Dr. Culotta holds a doctorate from Cleveland State University, a Master's Degree from John Carroll University and a Bachelor's from Kenyon College. Dr. Culotta lives in Kirtland with her husband, Judge Vincent Culotta, and their two daughters.
Mrs. Jean Brush has been a member of the Board since 1990. She is active in her church. Seeing her children succeed and helping families step up in life are the rewards she receives from her countless hours of volunteerism. Prior community involvement includes service at Forbes House, the YMCA, St. Clair School, the Rape Crisis Center, Lake Health, the courts, and Neighboring. Mrs. Brush lives in Painesville and has two grown children, Dr. James J. Brush and Betsy Chen. They have three grandchildren, Sarah, Adrian, and Colin.
Kenneth Cahill, Board Member
ESC of the Western Reserve
Mr. Kenneth Cahill joined the ESC of the Western Reserve Board in January, 2019. Since 1991, Ken Cahill has been practicing family law, working toward outcomes that are in the best interest of families and children. Ken is a noted speaker on issues of family law and serves as chair of the Family Law Committee. Protecting dependent, neglected and abused children was the role of Family Law attorney Kenneth J. Cahill at the Lake County Prosecutor’s Juvenile Division representing the Lake County Department of Jobs & Family Services. Practicing Family Law since 1991, Ken started first as an Assistant Lake County Prosecutor enforcing and modifying child support orders before joining the Lake County Prosecutors Juvenile Division. Ken has also prosecuted criminal cases against juvenile offenders. In 1993, he commenced his private practice primarily focusing on Family Law before joining Dworken & Bernstein in 2000.
Ken Cahill has frequently lectured on several topics related to divorce and family law matters including legislative developments involving family law, marital & separate property issues, and child custody matters. He is frequently appointed by trial courts to serve as Guardian Ad Litem to represent the best interests of children.
Mr. Geoffrey Kent was elected to the ESC of the Western Reserve Board effective January 14, 2014. He served as Lake County Recorder, Painesville City Councilman and Council President and retired from Maximus, headquartered in Wash DC, as a budget cost analyst. He is vice-pres of the Lake County Employee credit union, serves on the Lake Central YMCA Board of Directors, and has been an official with the Ohio High School Athletic Association for 33 years. He and his wife Marilyn live in Painesville Township and have one son, Mark.
Mr. Klima has been a member of the Auburn Vocational Board of Education since January 6, 1998. He also represents Cardinal School District and serves as President on their Board. Mr. Klima lives in Parkman with his wife, Sharon, son Joe and daughter Kristina.
CJ Paterniti, Board Member
CJ Paterniti is the President of D&S Automotive, one of Northeast Ohio’s largest and most respected Collision Centers, and Owner/CEO of Defender Auto Glass, a mobile glass repair company that services the Greater Cleveland Area into Akron.
CJ began working for D&S under his father, Carmen Paterniti. While working his way up in the company and learning the business model, CJ gained over 20 years of experience in the automotive collision repair industry. Through decades of hard work, he was appointed President of D&S Automotive in 2019.
In 2014, CJ founded Defender Auto Glass. Defender has experienced significant growth in the industry, while filling a major need for a quality, customer-focused automotive glass service provider. While the company performs mobile service all over the Greater Cleveland area, Defender Auto Glass has two in-shop locations, one in Mentor and the other in Elyria.
Through the businesses that CJ leads, he strives to not only be a part of the community, but to be an asset. D&S Automotive and Defender Auto Glass are heavily involved with community events, chambers of commerce and other local organizations.
CJ is an active member of the Auburn Career Center Advisory Board and acts as a representative in PPG’s Performance Group, a group comprised of top performing shop owners across the nation.
Outside of the office, CJ enjoys time with his wife Casey, and three daughters. CJ and his family spent time at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, upon the birth of his twins, triggering CJ’s desire to give back to the Hospital. D&S holds an annual Cruise-In to benefit the Hospital and has raised $49,000 over the years.
Mr. Stefanko has been a member of the Auburn Vocational Board of Education since January 6, 2009. He also represents Chardon School District and was elected to their Board of Education in 2005. He lives in Chardon with his wife, Sandy and his daughter Janna, who was a student at the Chardon School system.
Mr. Stefanko is the Telecommunications Director for Lake County Government where he works with 12 employees and manages several public safety communication systems.
Mr. Stefanko enjoys volunteering his time as an advisor with the Geauga 4-H organization, he is an avid backpacker, plays softball, and enjoys spending time with his family.
Tom Fazekas, Board Member
During Mr. Fazekas first position as a building-level administrator, he witnessed his district become the most improved in the state under the Performance Index metrics, managed numerous state innovation grants, and oversaw a consistent growth in enrollment. During that time, he made Auburn a priority along with Early College enrollment. In his current position in Akron, he participated in a ground-up restructuring, worked with students of diverse abilities, and insured compliance under ODE and ODJFS requirements for child care and scholarship providers. As an elected public official, he has served his home district proudly as part of a team committed to academic improvement and fiscal responsibility.
Regardless of the situation, he has found success by listening to stakeholders, collaborating towards consensus, and then moving forward with purpose. From funding models to accountability metrics, this is a time of unprecedented instability in public education. Now more than ever, our communities need places like Auburn Career Center for creating innovative models for student success. As a parent of a recent Auburn graduate, Mr. Fazekas knows first hand the doors an Auburn education opens in this new economy.