Our Staff

Director
Jennifer Summers

Community Education Coordinator
Jennifer Arens

(513) 621-5514 ext. 15

Communications Coordinator
Liz Gottmer

(513) 621-5514 ext. 22

Piano Program Coordinator
Rebecca Smithorn

(513) 621-5514

Girls Writing Circles and Community Organizing:
Joele Newman
(513) 621-5514 ext. 17

Our Board

Bonnie Neumeier
Peaslee Board Co-Chair, Co-Founder of Peaslee
Community Education and Fund Development Committee

Bonnie is a community activist, teacher, a storyteller, a poet, a listener, and one who includes everyone. She is one of the women who founded Peaslee, the Drop Inn Center, Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, and the Over-the-Rhine People’s Movement.

Yet beyond Bonnie’s many accomplishments in fighting for affordable housing and basic human rights, her integrity, untiring efforts, and compassion to include and nurture the voices of those who get dismissed has impacted countless families and individuals.

Bonnie was the recipient of the Inaugural Bob Maxwell Peace Builder Award given by Intercommunity Justice and PeaceCenter at their annual event in September of 2017.

Amy Howton
Peaslee Board Co-Chair and Fund Development Committee

Amy Howton is a mama of three and works at Design Impact, a local non-profit social innovation firm dedicated to working with other groups organizations to address complex social problems. She regularly draws on the inspiration of Peaslee as they aim to infuse creativity and bring community voice and leadership into every change process DI designs.

Nicola da Roza
Peaslee Board Treasurer and Finance Committee

Nicola is the Vice President and Consulting Analyst of Fund Evaluation Group and a former resident of Over-the-Rhine. By day, she uses her skills and passion for finance to help non-profits invest their endow­­ment funds. 

Nicola is a recent transplant to Cincinnati and is looking forward to continuing to work with the community and make Over-the-Rhine an even better place to live.

Chris Heckman
Board Secretary and Facilities Committee

Chris is co-owner of Losantiville Ltd, a design collective, and he has over 15 years’ experience in product development. He lives with his wife, Kristen, and their children, Otto and Flora, on Main Street in Over-the-Rhine. Chris helped found the Cincinnati chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, in order to build political will for putting a price on carbon. “Greening” Peaslee’s building is a personal goal for Chris.

As a member of Losantiville, he creates sustainable products under the brand ‘Hood Ornaments, using reclaimed wood from Over-the-Rhine buildings and designs inspired from the neighborhood’s architecture. He has served on Peaslee’s board since 2011, believing service to others is a critical element of social justice, personal growth and fulfillment.

Elizabeth Burnside
Board Member and Community Education Committee

Though originally from Chicago, Elizabeth has discovered a deep sense of purpose and community in her years in Cincinnati. As an Over-the-Rhine resident, she has worked in early childhood education at Peaslee’s Early Learning Center, in the after-school program at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy, and as a dedicated volunteer in Rothenberg’s Parent Resource Center. She is currently a student in Early Childhood Education at Chatfield College.

She also serves as a Community Mentor in Peaslee’s Community Education Program, and has played a leadership role in the Keep Our Courts/Do Development Differently coalition. Elizabeth’s endless desire to learn and deep well of compassion are life-giving resources to Peaslee and beyond.

Dr. Bob Donovan
Peaslee Board Member

“Dr. Bob” is a family physician with the Health Care for the Homeless Program who’s lived and worked in Over-the-Rhine for over 30 years. He is also a Marianist Brother.

Bob feels that the vision and mission of Peaslee fits well with his personal hopes for all the people of Over-the-Rhine.

Meili Price
Peaslee Board Member and PR Marketing Committee

Originally from northeast Ohio, Meili moved to the neighborhood in 2013 as a student in Miami University’s Over-the-Rhine Residency Program. Five years (and several apartments) later, she has finally made a home in Pendleton with her partner, Adam, and their array of (mostly) living house plants.

She works as a graphic designer at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center where she supports an amazing team of educators who reveal the stories the of freedom’s heroes, past and present. Meili believes in the power of stories to meet across difference, which is one reason she so deeply values Peaslee’s work.

Christopher Wilkey
Community Education Committee

Chris is faculty at Northern Kentucky University.  His area of teaching and research include composition theory, community literacy, rhetorical theory, critical ethnography, and cultural studies.

Chris pursues ways for others to share their voice.  Chris is the embodiment of everything Peaslee wants forOver-the-Rhine and Cincinnati… thoughtfulness of others and pride in your roots.