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Board of Trustees

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Jennifer Knott - Executive Director
Jennifer is a graduate of Kent State University with a degree in Leisure Studies, with a concentration in Recreation Therapy and a minor in Psychology. Jennifer began Rec2Connect in 2009 with 2 clients. She launched the Rec2Connect Foundation in 2014. Her previous experience includes: Classroom Behavior Therapist at Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism, Job coach at Goodwill Industries, Volunteer in Aquatic Therapy at Hattie Larlham in the Physical Therapy Department and Recreation Therapist at the Cleveland Clinic.


Lynn Barninger - Chairman of the Board
Lynn is a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a degree in Parks and Recreation with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Adapted Physical Education.   Lynn currently works at the Cleveland Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center providing Aquatic Therapy in their outpatient clinic to the veterans.   Her previous experience includes working in long-term care and skilled nursing rehabilitation.  Lynn’s true passion started right out of college when she worked with children and adults with disabilities providing them community leisure opportunities and coordinating a wheelchair sports program for a non-profit organization outside of Chicago, IL. 


Matthew Klein - Vice Chair
Matt is the parent of two boys, one of which has significant delays.  His son has received aquatic therapy and other services from Rec2Connect.  Matt is currently a Principal with Findley, a human resources consulting firm.  Matt is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and an Enrolled Actuary under ERISA.  Matt has a Master’s Degree from Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Ashland University.  In addition to Rec2Connect, Matt is also the director for the Lorain County Special Needs Resource Day and a past Chair of the Board for Middleburg Early Education Center.

 

Lawrence (Larry) Mack - Treasurer
Larry holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from Cornell University, an MBA degree from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is an Executive Vice President at Key Bank.  Larry leads the Private Loan Management group for the Institutional Bank throughout Key’s franchises, focusing on the Industrial, Energy, Consumer, Diversified Industries, Financial Services, and Public Sector Groups. He is responsible for underwriting, structuring and executing large, complex transactions as well as monitoring of the existing loan portfolio consisting of $30 billion in commitments. Larry is also active in the community, recently finishing his term as Board Chair at Montefiore Nursing Home and Treasurer at the Mandel Jewish Community Center.  Larry is currently on the Board of the Association of Jewish Aging Services and Rec2Connect Foundation.


Casey Burns-Secretary
Casey previously assisted in the brand refresh and marketing director with Rec2connect.   Following her departure, she is currently an assistant program manager at Jones Lang Lesalle.  She is a graduate of Radford University, with a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Interior Design.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude, while maintaining a Divisions 1 Athletic Scholarship.   As an Interior Designer, she has had the opportunity to work with clients from various backgrounds. This has helped her develop communication, time management, sales, and customer service. By keeping up with current trends and focusing on brand awareness, she is able to help guide my clients in their design decisions. 

 
Laurie Silver - Officer
Laurie is the parent of 3, including a 12 year old son with special needs. She has extensive experience within the special needs community regarding services available, education, therapy and recreation resources in the Greater Cleveland area. Her son has received aquatic therapy at Rec2Connect for the last 8 years. Laurie received a BS degree from Denison University and a Doctor of Science from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. She has served on the Committee for Capital improvement for the Mandel Jewish Community Center, as Committee Chair for Boy Scout Troop 662 in Shaker Heights, and is currently the co-President for the Shaker Heights High School Band Boosters. She is also a member of the Deafness Advocacy Committee (DAC) at Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, and co-coordinator of EARS, a support group for teens who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.


Morgan Forsythe - Officer
Morgan earned her Special Education degree from Ohio University along with a minor in Psychology and a certificate in Diversity Studies. She is a licensed K-12 Intervention Specialist and she currently works at Friendship Circle of Cleveland as their Behavioral Intervention Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator. Her previous experience includes working with children of varying abilities, coaching a swim team for four years, teaching private swim lessons, teaching toddler fitness classes, fundraising, and interning at a rehabilitation center for toddlers and infants with disabilities in Israel.


Bob Beattie - Officer

Bob is a parent of a child with autism and has seen the tremendous value of adaptive swimming and adaptive recreation in general, not only for his son but for his family as well. Bob has served as a volunteer and board member of nonprofits in Cleveland and professionally, his field is commercial insurance, serving commercial businesses with insurance and risk management needs, as the Insurance Marketing Manager at Jackson, Dieken & Associates in Westlake, Ohio. Bob is a graduate of St. Lawrence University. 


Dan Hannan - Officer

Dan has a son with autism and has experienced Rec2connect programming first hand as a parent.  He has been a dedicated volunteer for our annual fundraiser for the last 3 years.   Dan specializes in Sales and Marketing professional that has strong ties to several local schools, organizations and charities.   He is the Eastern Regional Sales Manager at North Coast Media Cleveland. He assists his marketing partners to reach their goals through digital and print media.  He has years of experience in marketing and sales.     His prior experience also includes project management in construction and demolition projects