BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Committed to growing equity in our community.
Programs & Communications Committee
Collective Good[s] Committee
With Your Store of the Queen City since its founding, Melissa Baker is one of our veteran board members.
Melissa is a resident of Lower Price Hill. She is a mother of 3, step mother of 2, and grandmother of 5 biological and 5 by marriage. She also adopted her nephew. Her grandmother was part of Santa Maria’s Mother’s Club and a lifelong member of the State Avenue United Methodist Church, both of which she is actively connected with. Melissa’s grandmother lived at 719 Neave St for about 25 plus years and she lives on North State Avenue. She is also a member of the Lower Price Hill Neighborhood Action Team. One of Melissa’s favorite quotes is “I am proud to say I’m from Lower Price Hill, we are always on the rise.” As an artist in the Lower Price Hill Arts Collective, Melissa shares “I like to crochet, it's a form of relaxation for me. I make: blankets, hats, gloves, scarves, and most recently I have been making dish/face cloths from 100% cotton yarn.”
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Committed to growing nutritional and financial equity in our community.
President & Founder
Small groceries run in Reba’s family. As a female entrepreneur in the early 1900's, Reba’s maternal great grandmother often bragged that her store, Schulz Carryout, was one of the first small groceries to carry ice in the mid-Ohio region. Her paternal great-uncle Charles Sommer owned a convenience store in Dayton, Ohio where he spent most of his adulthood. Early in her own education, Reba began to develop her own invaluable leadership and relationship building skills through work in corporate retail operations and as a night-shift convenience store clerk.
After graduation with a BSA from The Ohio State University, Reba dedicated herself to learning about systems of justice as an office manager / bookkeeper and lead paralegal for law firms practicing in the areas of corporate litigation, labor law, child protection and adoption, family services, immigration and estate planning. She has been a board member for Community Matters, a neighbor empowerment service organization in Lower Price Hill, serving on its Executive Committee as Secretary, Governance Committee Chair, and member of its Youth Leadership Taskforce. Reba has a combined 7 years of nonprofit programming, budgeting, operations and fundraising experience with the literacy organization WordPlay Cincy, fundraising over $2m since its opening. She exited from the legal world to begin her nonprofit life as a volunteer in 2013, she helped grow the start-up organization's annual revenue from approx. $40k to over $1m in her final year ending 2019.
Board Secretary, Executive Committee
Governance Committee Member
Desirae “The Silent Poet” Hosley is a nonprofit professional who was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a Spoken Word Artist, Motivational Speaker, Program Developer and Community Organizer.
Desirae served for AmeriCorps Volunteers of America and her first assignment was with the Urban Appalachian Council (currently known as the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition) in Lower Price Hill. That was the start of her love for the nonprofit world. In addition to her work with UACC, she has collaborated with Community Matters and local teens around creative writing, spoken word expression and performances. Desirae also serves on the Board of Queens Village. As the world continues to shift, she has created a community called Social Therapy where young adults and adults come together to bridge the social gap in this new pandemic world through writing and storytelling. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Programs Committee, Food Management Taskforce
Chef Dion Jones is the owner of Food for Thought Catering, and was a co-founder of one of the Cincinnati region's early earmark-setting social enterprises, an Evanston based eco-cafe focused on social responsibility, called Community Blend Coffee Shop.
Chef Dion's new trusteeship with Your Store of the Queen City brings the community unparalleled entrepreneurship and food industry expertise along with culinary education. Already, with the partnership of Your Store of the Queen City, he has launched a youth cooking program in Lower Price Hill neighborhood. Dion is a true believer in the way that passion for food and hard work can create personal opportunity.
Read more about Community Blend here: http://www.cincychic.com/social/community-blend
Programs Committee, Neighborhood Communications Taskforce
Nancy Laird is a dedicated community leader who brings multitudes of administrative and social impact expertise from her 30+ year career with Lower Price Hill's Santa Maria Family Center.
As she joins Your Store's Board of Trustees, Nancy brings long-term volunteer leadership relationships with severeal Lower Price Hill organizations, including State Avenue United Methodist Church and the Urban Appalacian Community Coalition. She is also a member of the Women's Circle of Lower Price Hill. She is the namesake of the Nancy Laird Spirit of Service Award created in 2020 by Healthy Homes Block by Block (now merged with Community Matters as the Family Team.)
You can read an interview by Urban Appalachian Community Coalition with Nancy here: https://uacvoice.org/2019/11/nancy-laird-spirit-of-service-award/
Programs & Communications Committee
Jami Luggen is a caring parent who has served as Resource Coordinator for Community Learning Center Institute at Oyler School for more than a decade, facilitating the legeraging of Oyler School a a hub for educational, recreational, cultural, health and civic partnerships--all of which optimize the conditions for learning within the Lower Price Hill Community.
She is a passionate connector between families and opportunities, and is already connecting Oyler students and families with visioning and opportunities through Meiser's Fresh Grocery & Deli. It's for the betterment of the LPH Community, she shares; and an enriched quality of life for the surrounding neighborhood means greater support for academic excellence.
Trusted allies in Your Store of the Queen City's mission and work.
VALERIE LEE PEREZ
Programs & Communications Committee
Valerie Perez is a Community Health Worker certified through the Ohio Board of Nursing, as well as a caring mom of two and a dedicated member of the Lower Price Hill community. She works as a part of the Family Team with Community Matters (previously Healthy Homes Block by Block); as well as a fierce advocate for equitable food access, as a parent advisor for Cincinnati's Children's Hospital's All Children Thrive nutrition and food security task flows.
She brings strong ideas for outreach and inclusion to the board, and shares her passion for the Lower Price Hill Community: "It's time that Lower Price Hill has help from people who make seats at tables where community voices and concerns and needs get shared . I want to be that person making the space for our Lower Price Hill voices."
Collective Good[s] Committee
Rico Rodriguez was introduced to Your Store of the Queen City as part of his capstone work to receive a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Administration from the University of Cincinnati after receiving an Associates Degree in Electronic Media Technology.
During his time studying, he realized his passion for abstract art and the layers behind the emotions of color theory and the abstract. Within that study of self, he found his purpose to instill life with balance, as a designer, artist and musician. He is a member of The Collective of Lower Price Hill Makers and Artists.
Planning & Building Committee
Mati works as a nonprofit consultant in grant writing with an educational background in city planning and economic justice. Her skills include knowledge of neighborhood development principles and are fueled by a passion for the stories and crafts that spring from communities’ interwoven cultural backgrounds.
She is the Communications Director for the Northside Community Council and, in that role, brings important perspective from collaborations with community and organizational collaborative efforts around equitable food access through holistic neighborhood planning.
Board Vice President, Executive Committee
Chair, Governance Committee Chair, Executive Committee
Ashley-Devon is an anthropologist, activist, and artist who currently resides in West Price Hill and works with Johns Hopkins.
They have worked with several community-building efforts in the city and began working on anti-hunger efforts in Price Hill during an AmeriCorps VISTA term with the local non-profit Community Matters. After completing an M.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati in 2018, they secured a position as a remote Research Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University where they currently work to study issues related to pregnancy and incarceration in the tri-state area.
Their goal as a member of the YSQC board is to utilize their understandings of both local communities and broader social systems to help ensure that every project empowers residents in achieving their goals.
Chair, Finance Committee
Betsy Young is a consultant with a background in nonprofit management, administration, grant writing, and communications. Her current nonprofit work focuses on creating a variety of technical and non-technical materials including instructional, promotional, web, and proposal writing. Additional accomplishments in website creation and design, maintaining web content and quality, SEO, social media marketing, distribution and graphic design. She is also the co-owner/publisher/editor of Aurore Press, a independent Cincinnati-based publishing house that specializes in promoting local artists and writers.
These extraordinary volunteers provide unparalleled fuel for our work on an ad hoc basis through their generous gifts of perspective and expertise.
COLLECTIVE GOOD[S] COMMITTEE
The neighborhood vendors of Collective Good[s] are driving the development of opportunities within the neighborhood, and supporting each other during the progress. Click here to read about the Collective Good[s] Committee Members.
Your Store's work wouldn't be possible without the extensive organizing and food for thought provided by our amazing community partners. Click here to read more about them.
Angelo Rodriguez, Apollo Visual & Media
Sandra Hughes Coaching
Social Venture Partners Cincinnati
Deep gratitude goes to these board members who made a lasting impact on the mission of Your Store of the Queen City with their wisdom, service and talents.
As one of our founding Board Members from the Lower Price Hill Neighborhood Action Team, as well as being a food business owner and Community Council Treasurer; Tameca's passion and vision helped establish the possibilities and values of how Your Store of the Queen City could find success as both a grocery and a launching pad for local, minority, woman and youth entrepreneurs. She continues to offer her wisdom and support through her connection with the Collective Good[s] Committee.
With her partnering community roles as Lower Price Hill Neighborhood Action Team member, Resident Artist with The Collective of LPH Artists + Makers, and an Entrepreneur/Founder of B.YOUnique Soulistic Healing center; Julia has led Your Store of the Queen City as its first Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Ambassador. She continues to be a valued advisor for the organization through her connection with the Collective Good[s] Committee and friendship.
Another early board member, and Licensed Social Worker, Elaine helped establish essential approaches to values and relationships through Your Store of the Queen City. She has been a member of the Lower Price Hill community for several years, along with two of her family members and also has a background as a hospitality industry kitchen manager and working in an independent grocery and deli. Prior to that work, she was a top-performing fundraiser working as a Lead Caller for Ohio State Univerisity. Elaine's ongoing support and advice in these areas is invaluable.