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Board of Directors

Our Board


Shannon Ortiz, LPCCS, CCTP

Shannon is the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Light after Loss. Shannon lost her husband, Craig, to suicide August 3, 2016, leaving her and their two young girls behind. She was the Director of Counseling Services at The University of Mount Union and the President of NAMI Stark County at the time.


Christine Donato-Yurich

Christine and Shannon crossed paths not long after Christine’s journey as a loss survivor had started. Her passion is contagious; always being a voice for those who don’t have one. She shares in the pain and the passion. She was an obvious choice and am honored to have Christine Donato as the Vice President of our Board.


Nicole Lockard

I met Shannon, Founder of Light after Loss, in the spring of 2016 and vividly remember thinking that I needed to get this internship because this woman had SO much knowledge to offer about counseling in general, but also about a topic that I needed help with – suicide.


Scott Hajba

Scott is the Treasurer of Light After Loss. He obtained his Associates Degree in Police Science, which led to being the Director of Security for the Richard E Jacobs Group and Professional Security Consultants at Wausau Venter Mall and Belden Village Mall for 21 years.


Carolyn Ruschak

Fully trained in EMDR, a therapy specific to reprocessing traumatic memory, Carolyn is in private practice, Courage & Grace Counseling LLC, to walk alongside those who struggle with adjustments, anxiety & depression, addictions, and trauma.


Dena O’Neill

I am the Secretary for Light after Loss and the owner of Bella Volpe Designs, where I make handcrafted leather jewelry and accessories. I worked as an Administrative Assistant and Commercial Real Estate Paralegal for many top-level executives throughout my career, but this creative outlet came at just the right time and pulled me out of a very dark place.


Barb Underwood

Barb Underwood is a General Board Member for Light After Loss. Barb has spent her career as a Registered Nurse and is currently employed at Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Kent State University and Master of Business Administration from Walsh University.


Rachelle Ketron

Rachelle Ketron obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling and Human Services from Northern Kentucky University.  She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Walden University. Improving the quality of mental health has always been a deep passion for her.

Julie Kernan

Julie Kernan

Julie is the Treasurer of Light after Loss.  Julie graduated from the University of Akron with a degree in Accounting and has been an accountant for CAM, Inc., a commercial developer/builder in Green for the past 32 years.