Suzanne Tierney, CEO/President – Suzanne@lupusgreaterohio.org
“I have spent the last 30 years dedicated to the lupus patients in Ohio. The goal is to provide a better quality of life until a cause or cure for lupus is found. My passion is providing programs to empower those affected by lupus so that they will have a better journey with lupus through education and emotional support. Lupus does not have to be a lonely, miserable, and misunderstood illness. My goal is to provide my chapter with the tools and resources to provide such services to all those in the state of Ohio.
It was my privilege to serve as a National Board Member. This position has allowed me to be a part of a thriving National organization that has been leading the lupus movement. For many years my skills have included Board Development, Strategic Planning, Program Planning, Fund Raising, Development initiatives and much more. Together, with my colleagues, we have created operating standards for our affiliate chapters and guidance documents. As a long standing member of the Chapter Network Committee, I have an active, instrumental role in setting guidelines for the chapters across the country. I am an advocate in local government and have been to Washington many times to be heard as the voice of those we serve here in Ohio to make change.”
Leslie Vizcarra, Vice President of Operations and Lead Patient Navigator – Leslie@lupusgreaterohio.org
“I have dedicated over fifteen years to the Lupus Foundation of America, Greater Ohio Chapter. I started volunteering in middle school and have grown with the foundation. I have been able to see firsthand all of the achievements our chapter has championed. My dedication is driven with passion to help fight lupus. All the people I have met and worked with throughout the years have inspired me to want to do more for them and our community.
My personal background in nursing has given me a stronger platform to assist the people who need our services. I have been able to strengthen my knowledge about lupus through direct patient contact. Lupus leaves more of an impression when you witness it in person. The Lupus Foundation of America, Greater Ohio Chapter and the members have become an extension of my family. I genuinely care for all people affected by lupus. In my efforts to help assist our chapter, I have made it my personal goal to help any patient better self-manage their disease.”
Kathy Holmes, Finance Manager – Kathy@lupusgreaterohio.org
“After a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ohio University, I worked as a retail manager and gained accounting experience from working in my husband’s family business. I have been married for over 30 years and we have a daughter, Stephanie, who now also works at the LFA, GOC.
I was diagnosed with lupus in 1989 and joined the Lupus Foundation of America, Greater Cleveland Chapter the same year. Back then, we did not have an office or paid staff, we were run by volunteers. I have been able to grow with the organization, as it became the LFA, Greater Ohio Chapter. Being a patient, starting out as a volunteer, and eventually becoming an employee gives me a unique perspective. Knowing how important it was to have somewhere to turn when I was first diagnosed is what motivates me to do all I can to help our chapter continue in our mission. Being in remission for the past 20 years has enabled me to take an active part in the growth of our chapter.
If you have any questions on how to support our cause or if you want to share your experiences on living with lupus, send me an email or give me a call!”
Adrienne Rice-Fernandez, Lead Project Coordinator – Adrienne@lupusgreaterohio.org
“I am the Lead Project Coordinator at the LFA, GOC. This means I help with anything from grant writing, coordinating advocacy efforts, managing projects, writing/editing, and whatever else our office needs.
I’m also a patient, so finding a cause and a cure is especially important to me. I love speaking with patients and caregivers when they call the office because I can empathize and offer a sympathetic ear.
Finally, I am also a proud wife and mom to two beautiful young ladies. When I have a moment alone, I can be found making vegetarian food, addictively reading, exercising, and sneaking chocolate out of the office candy jar.”
Aletha Acree, Community Outreach Coordinator – Aletha@lupusgreaterohio.org
“I am the devoted mother of two wonderful sons, they are the reason I fight lupus daily. I share my story every day hoping that it might help or encourage someone else on their journey. I try to leave lupus patients with these thoughts and that is keep your environment positive in all aspects and do what you can while you can!”
Rita O. Piccin, BS, ND, RN – Lead Patient Navigator/Outreach Coordinator – Rita@lupusgreaterohio.org
I am a caring, collaborative, and resourceful nursing professional with over 30 years of experience in a variety of roles. I have a BS in Biology and French from John Carroll University and a Doctor of Nursing degree from Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.
I am passionate about giving effective and empathetic customer service and education to patients, caregivers, families, colleagues and community organizations. I am honored to be a part of the LFA,GOC and dedicated to providing education, support, and resources to lupus warriors.
Tina Flynn, Communications Director – Tina@lupusgreaterohio.org
“I graduated from Purdue University with a BA and from The University of Akron with an MA, both in Communication. With my degrees, I have focused on nonprofit communication as I have always enjoyed working for nonprofits and helping those in need. Working for LFA, GOC is truly rewarding because I know my efforts have a direct effect on our community members. I’m a jack of all trades and help with everything from database management to marketing efforts to event help.”
Mackenna Willis, Creative Design Manager – Mackenna@lupusgreaterohio.org
“I’m the marketing manager and creative developer when it comes to strategizing new ideas for Lupus awareness. As a graduate from Bowling Green State University with a BFA in graphic design, I’ve always envisioned utilizing my skills to make a difference. My enthusiasm to help others through design has always been a passion of mine and having the opportunity to share and grow with the LFA, GOC team has been nothing but inspiring. “
Alex Acevedo, Digital Assets Manager – Alex@lupusgreaterohio.org
“As the digital assets manager I assist our team with anything in the digital space. After studying business management and marketing at Kent State University, I realized my passion was to help small businesses and other local organizations. I spent 11 years in the pet care industry working primarily in the boarding, grooming, and veterinary spaces. I joined the LFA, GOC team to help our chapter continue to grow and help lupus patients for years to come.“