The CVC Team

Pastors | Ministry Directors

Chad Allen

Chad Allen | Lead Pastor

Born and raised in California, Chad made the decision to follow Christ as a teenager. He felt the call to full time ministry right out of high school and served 20 years at River Oak Grace Community Church in Oakdale, CA. He then answered God’s call to be “redeployed” to Cleveland Ohio in 2010 and has joined in the Lord’s work to reach and restore Northeast Ohio with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Chad and his wife Rica met in high school, dated for 5 years and were married in 1993. God has blessed them with the opportunity to grow their family through adoption, and they have one son Cruz (2002), and two daughters, Isabelle (2003) and Faith(2010). Chad holds a B.S. in Religious Studies and a Masters of Theological studies from Liberty University

Rick Duncan

Rick Duncan | Founding Pastor / Leadership Development

Ricks missionary spirit to win others for Christ was shaped as he played baseball at Vanderbilt University (B.A.—Religious Studies, 1975) and in the minor leagues. After graduation from Mid-America Seminary, Memphis, Tennessee, M. Div. (1986), Rick and his wife, Maryanne, relocated to NE Ohio to pursue their passion to plant a new church that would reach the unchurched. Rick often exhorts the CVC family to see themselves as missionaries cleverly disguised as… who want to go to heaven and take as many people with them as they possibly can. Rick serves with the North American Mission Board as the Northeast Region Church Planting Catalyst for the Multiply Team.

He and Maryanne were married in October 1976 and have three sons, Alan (1981), married to Joanna in 2006, Ryan (1987) and Evan (1993) and two grandsons, Ethan (2010) and Caleb born (2014).

 

Leigh-Ann Brisbin

Leigh-Ann Brisbin | Director of Women’s Ministries

Leigh-Ann has served in women’s ministry for over 20 years teaching and leading classes and small groups, speaking for retreats and women’s events, and mentoring. She is also a Licensed Clinical Counselor and the author of “My True Reflection; Freedom from Eating Disorders.” She holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Kent State University.

Leigh-Ann has been married to her husband Todd since 1996. They have three children, Emily (1998), Chris (2000), and Annaleigh (2006).

Rick Eimers

Rick Eimers | Pastor of Youth and Missions

Rick is one of our CVCYouth as well as CVCMissions Pastors with an incredible heart to see people using their gifts for the Kingdom. He’s the creative, visionary type, so he’s often coming up with lots of ideas for inviting people to new life in Christ. We love his dazzling wife Brooke, and his children Charlotte, Sami and Jordan. Rick rocks the health food life and is an unapologetic yard sale aficionado. He graduated from Clarks Summit University with a Bachelor’s in Youth Ministry and Bible as well as Cairn University with a Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling.

Nate Green

Nate Green|Worship Arts Pastor

Nate has a passion to see people grow in their relationship with the Lord. He sees meeting together as a church to worship playing a vital role in spiritual growth. Since high-school, God called and directed Nate to serve as a worship leader in various settings, and now has added pastoral ministry to the calling. With a Bachelors degree in Evangelism and Discipleship from Moody Bible Institute (2003) and a year at New Life School of Worship, he went to Willmar, MN, to assist in planting a Spanish speaking church. He met his wife Meagan there and they were married in 2008.

Nate and Meagan strive to know and love the Lord Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. They have five young children and pray their children grow to know, love, and serve the Lord as well.

Amber Hejl

Amber Hejl | Communications Director

Amber joined the CVC team in 2008 and God’s given Amber a passion to create connections for our young adults, while creating an online community to do the same. She’s from Hamilton, Ohio and graduated from Greenville College, Illinois in 2005. Her degree in Digital Media allowed her to be involved in a number of media related ministry experiences in Northeast, Ohio including Communications Associate at Cleveland Hope and Digital Media Specialist for NEO360. Amber is completely smitten with her husband, Matthew Hejl.

Brian Howell

Brian Howell | Executive Pastor of Ministries

Brian oversees all areas of ministry at CVC, including CVC Kids, Impact Student Ministries, Community Life, and Worship Arts. Brian holds a BA in Music and Business from Anderson University (Indiana). Brian surrendered his heart to Christ in 1988 while a junior in college. After 14 years on the road as a musical director and keyboardist for several Christian artists, he is passionate about serving Christ at CVC.

He is married to Jennifer (2000), and the father of 3 girls – Emily (2002), Megan (2004), and Sophie (2006).

Gregg Jacobsen

Gregg Jacobsen | Executive Pastor of Administration

Born and raised in Cleveland, Gregg spent 22 years in the business world before joining the staff at CVC in 1999. He is responsible for overall administration and operations of the church and oversees Guest Services (Greeters, Ushers and Parking Lot Helpers). Gregg holds educational degrees from Parks College of Aeronautics of St. Louis University, B.S. Aeronautical Administration (1975), and Case Western Reserve University, Master of Science in Management (1976).

He and his wife Michele Wagner Jacobsen were married in 1991, and have one son, Christopher (1995).

Denise Petek

Denise Petek | CVCKids Minister

Denise is responsible for the overall planning, implementation, and staffing of children’s programs from birth through 5th grade, including training and shepherding of teachers and helpers. Her passion is partnering with parents and encouraging them in their role as the primary spiritual leader of their children. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Special Education from the University of Toledo.
Denise and her husband Tom were married in 1988. They are blessed with four children, Tyler (1989), Cory (1991), Nathan (1992), and Elyse (1995). Enjoying her new role as a Sito (grandma in arabic).

Dale Piscura

Dale Piscura | Pastor of Men’s Discipleship

Dale serves as a pastor and has been on staff since 2000. He has served in several ministry areas over the years and has been part of CVC since 1987. Dale holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling from Liberty University which he completed during the 1990’s. His first career was spent teaching and coaching in the Solon Public Schools for over 25 years before entering ministry full time. Dale and his wife Jackie were married in 1976 and have 4 adult sons: Josh, Dave, Steve and Mark. They also have 5 grandchildren and too many cats.

 

Dean Siley

Dean Siley |Pastor of Care and Connections

Dean joined the 707 team in January 2004. In his current role as Pastor of Care & Connections, he provides overall leadership to our Care, Benevolence, Membership, Baptism, and New Believers. His passion is to develop leaders and challenge them to use their gifts, time, and talent to glorify God and build a unified community that is spiritually, physically, and mentally healthy. He and his wife Susan were married in 2006 and enjoys being the parents of 4 children. Dean holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary (2012) and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Kent State University (2002)

 

Josh Stone

Josh Stone | Pastor of Community Life and Leadership

Josh leads the Community Life Team which is responsible for all Lifegroups and the leadership development process, called Leadership Greenhouse. He is passionate about seeing CVCers grow in their new life in Christ through Lifegroups. Josh and his wife Deborah have a little boy, Judah, and a little girl, Rebecca.

Josh holds a Bachelor’s and Master of Divinity degrees from Liberty University, a Master’s of Theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and is currently working on his PhD from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He enjoys the outdoors, reading, gardening, watching movies with his wife, and chasing his children.

Joe Valenti

Joe Valenti | Associate  Pastor of Youth and Missions

Joe has been serving at CVC for over a decade in CVCYouth and took additional responsibilities in CVCMissions in 2016. Joe and his wife Linda met while serving at CVC together and have two kids – Grace and Logan. Joe holds a B.A. from Baldwin Wallace and an M.A. in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Joe enjoys racquetball, hiking with his family, and country music with the windows rolled down. Joe also blogs and writes Christian book reviews at Joevalenti.me

Jeff Ziolkowski

Jeff Ziolkowski | Pastor of Technical Arts

Jeff provides leadership for our CVC Technical Arts volunteers. His responsibilities include coordinating sound, video and lighting for the weekend services as he shepherds the 25+ volunteers who support all technical activities, including IT. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications (1991) from the University of Southern Colorado.

He and his wife Laryssa were married in October of 2005. They adopted their first child, Alexa Joy, in 2010, and are pursuing their second adoption.

Ministry Support Staff

Pam Campisi

Pam Campisi | Custodial Team

Pam serves on the custodian team. She’s married to Tom (1976) and the mother of 3 sons—Christopher, Todd, and Nicholas. Grandmother of 6 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. Her heart is to serve whenever and wherever He calls her.  Pam is involved in the ministry of prayer and offering the hope in Christ to walk free from addiction, Hope Over Heroin.

Tom Campisi

Tom Campisi | Custodial Team

Tom serves at CVC as a member of our Custodial Team, a role he has held since 2003.

Scott Exxo

Scott Exxo | Custodial Team

Scott joined the CVC team in 2016 serving on the custodian team. He’s been doing Custodial Work since 2003 and loves volunteering with Sevenoseven.  His heart and passion is with serving with Young Adults.

Melissa Erikson

Melissa Erikson | Technical Arts Assistant

Melissa serves as the Technical Arts Assistant in every way imaginable and then some. A local of Northeast Ohio, she graduated from Baldwin Wallace University in 2013 and has been working in various ministries ever since, utilizing her creative and technical gifts to glorify the God who saved her. If not in the tech booth, Melissa can be found traveling, going on adventures with her best friends, or simply staying home and relaxing with her cats and something to read!

Jeff Ford

Jeff Ford | Technical Assistant – CVCKids

Jeff joined the team in 2016 and is responsible for the technical needs of CVCKids, including coordinating sound, video and lighting for “blast!” productions, Night to Shine and Sports Camp events, as well as technical support in children’s classrooms. He also produces video and animation for the children’s ministry and occasionally for the weekend services. He has been producing video for 20+ years. He has a Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies (Computer Science, Religion) and a Masters degree in Religious Education, both from Liberty University.

Jeff has been married to his wife Leigh Ann since 1993 and they are the proud parents of six kids: Nathan (1994), Hannah (1995), Libby (1997), Rachel (1999), Aaron (2001), and Jacob (2006).

Jeannie Hasman

Jeannie Hasman | IT Project Manager

Jeannie serves in our IT area as Project Manager, a role she has held since 2012. She is responsible for the overall IT Project implementation and vendors required to support the technology needs of the church and staff. Jeannie holds an Associate Degree in IT with a focus on Website Design and Development from Kaplan University and will complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology from Purdue University in 2017. She and her husband Paul have four adult children: Zachery, Joshua, Alyssa, and Ally.

Helen Hren

Helen Hren | Receptionist

Helen was born and raised in the Cleveland area. She has a Bachelors in Science in Law Enforcement Administration from Kent State University, was Safety & Security Director for 2 Sears Stores for 15 years. Helen Married to Myron & we have lived in Seven Hills since 1991. In 2008, she heard the gospel at CVC on Easter, was baptized that summer, then they became members of CVC. She likes serving behind the scenes to help others.

Lorrie Kaczmarek

Lorrie Kaczmarek | Receptionist/Administrative Assistant

Lorrie serves as a receptionist/administrative assistant at CVC, and performs routine operations of the church office to provide informational support. Lorrie’s ministry includes being a friendly, welcoming servant to all who call and visit CVC. She serves on the CVC Altar Prayer Team, as well as on a prayer team for the Youth and CVC Kids’ ministries.  Lorrie and the late Norm have three adult children, Cheryl, Martin, and David, and four Kyle, Jade, and twins Sophia and Gabriella.

Kristy Klasa

Kristy Klasa |Executive Team Project Manager/Administrative Assistant

Kristy serves on staff as the Executive Team Project Manager & Administrative Assistant.  She has been attending CVC for several years and has served in areas such as the Care Team, the Community Life Team, and the Worship Arts Team.  Kristy received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2008 and a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling in 2012, both from Liberty University.  She has worked in the field as a Licensed Counselor but more recently has felt the desire to be more involved in ministry.

Dianne Valek

Dianne Leers-Valek | Administrative Assistant, CVCKids

Dianne serves as an Administrative Assistant to our CVCKids and CVCYouth areas, a position she has held since 2007. Dianne graduated from Normandy High School (1983) and has studied at Cuyahoga Community College (OH). She is married to Tim and she has two children – Pat (1993) and Kellie (1995).

Dahlia Orth

Dahlia Orth | Missions Coordinator

Dahlia is a New Jersey native and has lived here in Cleveland for over three years. Dahlia completed both her undergraduate and master’s degrees through Clarks Summit University. She has a Bachelor’s in Sports and Health Science and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership. Dahlia also volunteers with CVCYouth ministry.  She desires to see students become passionate followers of Jesus Christ and take the good news of the Gospel to all nations. She looks forward to serving the CVC family while continuing to invest in those around her.

Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen | Director of Young Adults

A native to Northeast Ohio, Matt joins our staff as the Director of Young Adults. Serving with the CVCYouth and Young Adults since 2015, he is aiding in the transition period. He holds a Bachelor’s from Liberty University and is currently in school working on his Master of Divinity through Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His passion is to train up and teach pastors overseas, while also making an influence wherever he calls home. With a deep love for God and a love for theology, he wants to see people grow in the knowledge of God and as a result, a deeper love for God. If Matt isn’t working on a paper or reading a theology book, he can probably be found playing a board game with friends.

Verna Plagge

Verna Plagge | CVCKids Supply Manager

Verna serves as the supply manager for our ministry to children, CVCKids. She is a graduate of Wartburg College (IA) with a degree in Business Education. Verna is passionate about equipping parents to raise up their kids in the Lord. Our kids love Ms. Verna! She serves faithfully in the area of missions, and serves the inner city needy through COTS and our CVC Mission Teams. Verna is single, but many friends’ children call her their aunt. She has two nephews and a niece.

Jackie Praskavich

Jackie Praskavich | Accounting/Human Resources Manager

Jackie serves as our Accounting Manager at CVC, and is responsible for ensuring that the resources provided by God’s people are used for His glory. Jackie has more than 20 years of accounting experience as a CPA. She has a BA in Accounting from Cleveland State University (OH). She is married to Dan (1985), and they have two sons, Chris and Anthony.

Darlene Sawyer

Darlene Sawyer | Financial Assistant

Darlene Sawyer serves on the Finance Team as an Assistant at CVC. Darlene studied at Akron University. Her passion and heart is to serve others. “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good students of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10). Darlene is married to Tom, and they have three grown children: Jennifer, Lauren, and Tommy.

Traci Schimpf

Traci Schimpf | Pastoral Assistant, Community Life

Traci as the Administrative Assistant to the Pastor of Community Life and Leadership. Traci has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Bowling Green State University (1993). She enjoys spending time with her family and is always up for a competitive tennis match! She is married to Matt (1995) and they have two children, Madelyn (1998) and Luke (2000). Her desire is to see others draw closer to God by helping them find meaningful connections and support with other believers through LifeGroups.

Raquel Schors

Raquel Schors | Director of Blast!, CVCKids

As a member of the CVCKids’ team, Raquel assists in any way that can help the children of CVC to live new. Her main responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of Blast! and managing the curriculum for the preschool children. She is passionate about teaching children and making a difference in the lives of families. Raquel has her bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Cleveland State University and is the happy mother of two wonderful boys, Oscar (2010) and Frankie (2011).

Mike Slago

Mike Slago | Facility Manager

Mike serves as a member of the Custodial Team at CVC. He has an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Mohave Community College, and has studied toward a degree in Social Work at Arizona State University. Before coming to CVC, Mike worked in the aerospace and lighting industries. Mike also serves at 707, our ministry to young adults, and sings in the CVC Worship Choir. He is passionate about outreach as well as serving in local and international missions.

Greta Smith

Greta Smith | Pastoral Assistant, Care and Connections

Greta Smith serves as the Administrative Assistant of Community Life at CVC since 2002. Greta has an Associate’s Degree In Legal Secretarial Science from Lockyear College, Evansville (IN). She co-leads CVC’s GriefShare special interest group, and has a heart for those who are hurting due to the loss of a loved one. Greta lives in Strongsville with her husband, Kent, and their two happily-rescued cats.

Kathi Tushar

Kathi Tushar | Custodial Team

Kathi has served on the CVC Custodial Team since 2012. She is a 1992 graduate of Orange High School. She serves in Worship Arts on the Vocal Arts Team, as well as in the CVC Worship Choir, and in the Children’s Ministry with Blast!. Kathi is married to Mark (1995), and they have five children: Mark, Jr. (1997), Meghan (1998), Lindsey (2001), Noah (2007), and Krista (2011).

Mark Tushar

Mark Tushar | Custodial Team

Mark has served on the CVC Custodial Team since 2008. He also serves as a drummer on the Worship Arts teams for weekend services. Mark is married to Kathi (1995), and they have five children: Mark, Jr. (1997), Meghan (1998), Lindsey (2001), Noah (2007), and Krista (2011).

Laurie Weiser

Laurie Weiser | Receptionist / Facilities Coordinator

Laurie is a 1997 graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications.  She joined the Cuyahoga Valley Church staff in 2015 and enjoys serving the CVC body by working at the Information Center.  She also coordinates facility usage for the many groups and events here on campus and facilitates “Meet CVC” where she welcomes new guests and helps orient them to CVC.  She has been attending CVC for over 10 years and participates in MOMtourage as a Mentor Mom and enjoys walking through life with her LifeGroup.  She lives in North Royalton with her husband Dave and their three daughters Abbey, Hailey & Whitney.

Jenni Wolfenbarger

Jenni Wolfenbarger | Special Needs Coordinator

Jenni serves as the Special Needs Coordinator at CVC after a career in physical therapy in the school setting. Accessibility and inclusion are the focus of her role as she works with individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities from children to adults. Jenni’s desire is that each individual knows that they are created in the image of God and are an important part of the body of Christ. Jenni also has a heart for the caregivers as a mother of children with special needs. Jenni has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from University of Findlay and Master’s of Public Health from Walden University. She and her husband Eric have six children: Emilia, Jakob, Kofi, Joy, Josie and Eve.