Board of Directors

The Board of Lake Ridge Academy has the ultimate responsibility for our school. The Board is responsible for the integrity of the school, the standing and reputation built by its founders and by those who have labored over the years. The Board holds in trust the school’s future as well as its present.

Responsibilities include:

  • Preparing a clear statement of the mission of the school's philosophy.
  • Establishing policies under which the Head of School will administer the school.
  • Overseeing and ultimate accountability for fiscal affairs of the school including assets represented by buildings and grounds.
  • Developing and implementing the Long-Range Plan.
  • Making early contributions to annual and capital fund drives.
  • Recommending the school, as appropriate, to prospective families and students.
  • Avoiding conflict of interest and the appearance of conflict of interest in all activities on behalf of the school.


The Committee on Directors coordinates the identification, cultivation, recruitment, and orientation of new directors; renominates sitting directors; nominates officers; facilitates Board self-assessment; identifies the Board's needs for education and training; and organizes recognition of individual directors.

The Advancement Committee coordinates the school's fundraising activities; advises the Board on financial goals of annual and other campaigns; reviews case statements; facilitates Board and other volunteer fundraising and friendraising activities; raises funds.

The Finance/Buildings & Grounds Committee works in concert with staff to develop long-range financial plans and annual budgets, sets tuition levels for Board approval, monitors budget, makes periodic reports to the Board, facilitates annual audit.

The Marketing and Enrollment Committee reviews admission policies, marketing literature, ads and campaigns, the website, the master calendar for school promotion, and strategies for recruiting students and doing ongoing cultivation of families.

Ad Hoc Committees may be appointed by the Board Chair for such special tasks as circumstances may warrant. Such ad hoc committees shall limit their activities to the accomplishment of the particular tasks for which they are created. Upon completion of its assigned task, each such ad hoc committee shall stand discharged.

2023-2024 Board of Directors

  1. Brian Shimko ‘04

    Brian Shimko ‘04

    Board Chair
    Brian Shimko graduated from Lake Ridge Academy in 2004. He earned a BA in economics from Fordham University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He is currently a venture capital partner at Maywic Select Investments in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  2. Thomas E. Dake Ⅱ, MPA

    Thomas E. Dake Ⅱ, MPA

    Board Vice-Chair
    Thomas Dake (Benjamin ‘28) is the vice president and partner of the fire and life safety division of Superior Industrial Insulation. He earned his bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Toledo and his master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University. Tom has served on the board of directors of several industry organizations and the Parents Association’s Scholarship Committee.
  3. Jennifer Zinn Lagasse ‘86

    Jennifer Zinn Lagasse ‘86

    Board Secretary
    Jennifer Zinn Lagasse ‘86 (Oliver’ 20 and Sebastian ‘23) pursued a career in automotive manufacturing and business software systems before moving overseas with her family where she volunteered with several philanthropic organizations. Jenn studied at Cornell University and is a graduate of Oberlin College. She currently serves on the board of the CATSS organization along with serving on Lake Ridge’s Development Committee.
  4. Laurie Gatten, CPA

    Laurie Gatten, CPA

    Board Treasurer
    Laurie Gatten (Rachel '23) is a director at Barnes Wendling CPAs, providing accounting, assurance, tax, and consulting services to non-profit organizations and privately held companies. Laurie is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University where she earned a B.A. in business administration.
  5. Manuel Carballo

    Manuel Carballo

    Manuel (Julian '31) earned his B.A. from Swathmore College in Economics, and his M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in International Education Policy. He serves as the Vice President, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Oberlin College. In his role he serves as the Chief enrollment officer, is in charge of financial aid, as well as leveraging and marketing.
  6. John R. Doolos

    John R. Doolos

    John R. Doolos (Vivienne '30, Jackson '32, Veda '35, and Josie '37) is a Managing Director at Keybanc Capital Markets. He earned his BS in Banking and Finance from Case Western Reserve University and serves as the Chair of the Advancement Committee.
  7. Thomas J. Dresing, MD '83

    Thomas J. Dresing, MD '83

    Thomas Dresing, M.D. '83 (Meredith '17 and Sam '22) is a staff cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. A graduate of Dartmouth College, where he majored in Anthropology, Tom earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama's School of Medicine prior to his residency at the University of Minnesota.
  8. Cole M. Fauver ‘79

    Cole M. Fauver ‘79

    Cole Fauver '79 is a lawyer and adjunct law professor. He received his B.A. from Brown University and J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.
  9. Meredith Gadsby

    Meredith Gadsby

    Meredith (Solomon Peterson '25 and Senait Rose '31) is an Associate Professor of African Studies and Comparative American Studies at Oberlin College, Special Assistant to the President for Racial Equity and Diversity, and Co-Chair of the Presidential Initiative for Racial Equity and Diversity. She earned her BA at Vassar College and an MA and Ph.D. from Binghamton University (SUNY). Meredith serves on the Marketing and Enrollment Committee.
  10. Kari Halko '01

    Kari Halko '01

    Kari Sommer Halko ’01 (Ethan ’29, Brooke ’34), was an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper and Vice President of Operations at Sommer’s Mobile Leasing. She earned a double major in Criminal Justice and Sociology and a Minor in Psychology from Ashland University. Kari serves on the Finance and Advancement Committees, 60th Anniversary Campaign Committee, and served on the Lower School Director Search Committee.
  11. Jon Hyman

    Jon Hyman

    Jon Hyman (Norah ‘24 and Donovan ‘27) is a partner at the Wickens Herzer Panza law firm. He earned his BA from Binghamton University and his JD from Case Western Reserve University. Jon has also volunteered on the Marketing and Enrollment Committee at Lake Ridge.
  12. Paula Janmey

    Paula Janmey

    Paula Janmey (Claire ’23 and Erica ’24) is the on-site owner of the new Goddard School in North Ridgeville, which opened next door to Lake Ridge Academy in January 2015. She is a graduate of the University of South Florida where she earned her B.S. in chemical engineering and later earned an M.S. in organizational development from Case Western Reserve University. She held several positions during her 22 years at Energizer, including in the product design and quality control departments. Paula facilitated Lake Ridge Academy’s long-range plan, Vision Beyond 50, and is a Girl Scout troop leader for the classes of 2023 and 2024 at Lake Ridge Academy.
  13. Donald W. Kaatz, MBA ‘70

    Donald W. Kaatz, MBA ‘70

    Donald Kaatz’ 70 (Heather ‘98 and Kayleen ‘19) is the President and CEO of Adventure Growth, Inc.. He earned his bachelor's degree from Hiram College and later his masters of business administration from Indian University. Don was the Lake Ridge Academy Board Chair from 1990 through 1997.
  14. Jeffrey Knapp, BA ‘83

    Jeffrey Knapp, BA ‘83

    Jeffrey Knapp ’83 is currently retired after spending thirty-five years in the pharmaceutical & biotechnology industry. Most recently Jeff was Chief Executive Officer and Director of a San Diego based biotechnology company focused on developing drugs for the treatment of adult and pediatric brain cancers. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wittenberg University and currently resides in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with his wife, Annette (Wasem) ’84
  15. Joseph F. Miclat ‘90

    Joseph F. Miclat ‘90

    Joseph Miclat '90 (Madeleine '24 and Francesca "KiKi" '26) is an experienced private practice tax attorney. Joe earned his B.A. from Boston College, a J.D. and M.B.A. from Case Western Reserve University, an L.L.M. in taxation from Boston University, and an L.L.M. from the University of Miami.
  16. Jared Oakes

    Jared Oakes

    Jared Oakes (Braden ’27, Olivia ’29, Avery ’32, is Partner and Vice Chair of Real Estate and Environmental Practice Group at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP. He earned his JD and MBA from Case Western Reserve University; BA (double major in Finance and Accounting) from Mercyhurst University. Jared serves on the Advancement Committee; 60th Anniversary Campaign Committee; and Athletic Boosters.
  17. Serena Pal

    Serena Pal

    Serena (Jayen '28) earned her B.S. in Economics and Public Policy from Duke University, and her MBA in Finance, Accounting and International from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She has been working at General Mills for the last 19 years, where she currently is part of the company's Global Impact Team and leads the enterprise-wide ESG and sustainability reporting initiatives.
  18. Sarah Parker

    Sarah Parker

    Sarah (Elle '33 and George '34) earned her undergrad degree in Finance from Cleveland State University and her MBA from Case Western Reserve University. She currently serves as as Institutional Investment Advisor for SageView Advisory Group. She holds volunteer roles at Lake Ridge Academy on the Advancement Committee and is the Treasurer for the Parents Association.
  19. Julia Bilz Sertich ’01

    Julia Bilz Sertich ’01

    Julia (Anthony ’34) received her BA in Broadcast Journalism from American University. She and her husband Michael ’01, own three Jimmy John’s restaurants and one Biggby Coffee shop. Julia served as Chair of the Alumni Council for three years, and currently serves on the Advancement Committee.
  20. Mona Thompson

    Mona Thompson

    Mona (Jack ’28 and Ben ’30) earned her BS in Pharmacy, Master in Public Health and Doctor of Pharmacy from The Ohio State University. She is a Quality Improvement Specialist and Evidence Based Practice Program Coordinator at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. Mona serves on the Marketing and Enrollment Committee.