Village Project Staff

Our small Village Project staff is a multi-talented group of professionals with a passion for our mission, vision, and ideals.  Together, they equip, empower, and encourage over 600 volunteers of all ages.

Barb Harrell

Barb Harrell

Executive Director

bharrell@ourvillageproject.com

 

Barb has an entrepreneurial spirit with a passion to connect individuals of all ages and abilities to make a positive impact in the community.

  • 1983 graduate of Hillsdale College 
  • BA in Business and English Literature
  • Received formal training as a National Sales Manager with Proctor & Gamble
  • Resigned from Proctor & Gamble after the birth of her first son in 1988. Until her children were of school age, she immersed herself in volunteer and community activities as a stay-at-home mom.
  • Has spent the last 24 years in the non-profit sector, serving 16 years on staff at Bay Presbyterian Church as Human Resource Director, then Director of Community Connections. While on staff at Bay Pres., she continued her involvement in the community as a member of PTA, Junior Women’s Club, and Bay Rockets Booster Club. She chaired the fundraising efforts to bring turf and renovation to the Bay High School football field in 2008 by raising over $1 million dollars and earning The Bay High Spirit Award for outstanding contribution to Bay High School.

In September 2010, Barb founded The Village Food Project. During the second year of operation, Barb learned first hand how it felt to be a Village Project client when her husband, Jeff, was diagnosed with a watermelon sized cancerous tumor in his kidney. While no two cancer experiences are the same, Barb was even more equipped to understand and meet the needs of her clients. Jeff Harrell is now four years cancer free and a great spokesperson for Village Project.

Barb credits the success of her leadership to her Board of Directors, volunteers, family, friends, the community and most importantly Jesus Christ who called her to begin this project.  Barb founded Village Project through God’s leading of the scripture verses found in Romans 12.

In her spare time, Barb enjoys biking, reading, and spending time with her family: husband, Jeff, son Josh and his wife Megan, and son Brian and his fiancee Kelsey, and family dog and Village Project Welcome Leader, Ernie.

Awards:
  • 2008 Bay High School Spirit Award
  • Pillar Awards, Honorable Mention, Executive Director of Non-Profit
  • Plain Dealer – Holiday Hero, 2011
  • Bay Village Citizen of The Year, 2012
  • Village Project – Bay Village Project of the Year 2013
  • Hillsdale College – Alumni Spotlight – June 2014

Organizations:

Friends from the Start, Stephen Minister, Bay Village Community Council, Bay Village Mentor, Rocky River Chamber of Commerce, Westside Female Executive Director, Journey Community Church Elder

Lisa McDanels

Lisa McDanels

Executive Operations Director

lmcdanels@ourvillageproject.com

Lisa is Village Project’s Executive Operations Director. She runs the day-to-day operations and oversees our team of volunteers. Lisa brings with her a strong work ethic and over 30 years of organizational, communication and marketing and sales skills having worked at companies such as Eaton, BP Oil, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

She enjoys the camaraderie and diverse backgrounds the volunteers bring to Village Project. From retired engineers and electricians to doctors to graphic designers, everyone brings their own unique skills to the table. Lisa’s also impressed by the commitment and dedication of the volunteers and donors.

Lisa and her husband Kendall Christian live in Bay Village along with their two cats. In her free time, Lisa enjoys exploring new walking trails throughout the country, reading, listening to music and just enjoying the little things in life.

Kira Wynocker

Kira Wynocker

Culinary Director

kwynocker@ourvillageproject.com

Kira is our Culinary Director and oversees our kitchen program, designing menus that are both nourishing and delicious. Having a passion for functional and nutritional health, Kira knows the value and potential impact of wholesome, healthy meals.

She is also a Registered Nurse and was a labor and delivery nurse at Cleveland Clinic’s Fairview Birthing Center for nearly 15 years, helping women assume the mantle of motherhood. Growing up with parents who loved to experiment in the kitchen, her zeal for food is deeply rooted. From preparation to feast, breaking bread with loved ones has always been important to her. Being the Culinary Director at Village Project gives Kira an opportunity to give guidance to young adults in the kitchen and share her love and giving spirit with her community. Continuing her interest in functional health, she also works as a nurse at a wellness center helping clients navigate their health journey.

Kira and her husband Mike live in Bay Village and she is trying hard to pass her love for cooking onto at least one of her four children.

Tricia Steiskal

Tricia Steiskal

Retail & Special Events Director

tsteiskal@ourvillageproject.com

With over two decades of experience in marketing and communications, event planning and the catering industry, Trish has a knack for bringing people and products together.  Serving as Village Project’s former Communications Director, she now brings her passion for food and events to Project Shoppe.  As Retail and Special Events Director, Trish manages Project Shoppe and oversees on- and off-site events.  In her spare time, she loves entertaining, designing with food and floral and enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time with her family.  She received her B.A. from Baldwin-Wallace University.  

Jean Prokes

Jean Prokes

Finance Manager

jprokes@ourvillageproject.com

 

This is Jean’s second year at Village Project as Finance Director and It is truly a labor of love. She has been a CPA for over 30 years and has been a client, volunteer and board member at Village Project during various times over the past ten years. When not working at Village Project Jean spends time with her three children and three wonderful grandsons.

Julie McLaughlin

Julie McLaughlin

Client Intake and Delivery Coordinator

jmclaughlin@ourvillageproject.com

 

As Village Project’s Client Intake and Delivery Coordinator, Julie oversees all aspects of delivery to our clients. She assigns Delivery Angels their routes, packages the food and finds subs when Delivery Angels need one.

Julie is a recently retired preschool teacher and had been volunteering at Village Project for nearly three years before joining our staff. She enjoys the love, joy and care in the Village Project atmosphere. One of her favorite things about being part of the Village Project family is interacting with the Delivery Angels and getting to know them. She is encouraged every week by their caring hearts, as they interact with the clients.  Julie also likes talking to clients, answering their questions and helping them through their difficult journey.

Julie and her husband Dan raised their three children in Bay Village. She enjoys spending time playing the piano, walking, reading, and cooking, and her greatest joy is spending time with her family, especially her four grandchildren.

Sandy Deckelman

Sandy Deckelman

Kitchen Leader

 

Sandy’s past experience as a Social Worker working in the area of Residential Care with the  Special Needs population, where she wrote and implemented many Habilitation Plans, teaching clients step by step to master life skills.  She has also worked for many years with volunteers in Children’s Ministry, at Bay Presbyterian Church, and a few years with Pampered Chef demonstrating how to cook with their products.

Volunteer Leaders

Jim Erlandson

Jim Erlandson

Photographer

 

Jim grew up in Cleveland Heights, graduated from Lutheran High School East and has BS (Biology) and MBA degrees from The Cleveland State University. He has worked in general aviation, medical (Cardiovascular/Hypertension) research, medical device marketing and retail financial services.

When he isn’t photographing fast cars, airplanes, and the people who drive and make them go, Jim can be found in his yard pretending to have a green thumb.

Jim and his wife Linda have lived in Bay Village for 44 years.

Sherri Reilly

Sherri Reilly

Garden Leader

 

This is Sherri’s 10th gardening season with Village Project.  Sherri has a background in Outdoor Education and a degree in Elementary Education from Ohio State University. Sherri organizes and plans the layouts of our many garden plots at the Bay Village Community garden.  It is from these gardens that some of the organically-grown vegetables and herbs used in the preparation of the client’s meals are grown. The gardens are weeded and watered by volunteer children and adults; these indispensable workers are coordinated by Sherri. She conducts several gardening sessions a week in which children are taught every aspect of organic gardening–prepping soil, weeding, planting, watering, pruning, harvesting herbs and vegetables, cutting flowers, and collecting seeds for a later planting. Each week she carefully arranges and fills all of the vases for our clients with the plants and flowers that have been grown in the garden. This year she has been able to continue arranging and filling the vases through the winter with flowers that are donated by Big Hearted Blooms. She and her husband Bill Reilly raised their four daughters in Bay Village, three of whom are married and live in Bay Village with their six grandchildren-their youngest daughter Kelsey (a former Green Apron student volunteer) works and lives in Chicago . She enjoys time spent with family as well as gardening, cooking and the outdoors (especially with children).

Maureen McGlynn

Maureen McGlynn

Client Intake Leader

 

Maureen and her husband Pat I have lived in Bay for 43 years. As she began to think about the end of my nursing career, her focus was on shifting the next chapter in her life where she could incorporate her skills in making a difference. The Village Project fulfilled part of that focus. Twelve years of Maureen’s nursing career was in palliative care, so she is able to assist with guiding our volunteers and clients to cope with the challenges that are brought to a family & community in a cancer diagnosis. 

Ernie Harrell

Ernie Harrell

Welcome Leader