Board of Directors

Grace Wakulchik, Chairman
Akron Children’s Hospital

Grace joined Akron Children’s in 1992 and held various nursing and hospital leadership roles, focused on skill development, team-building, operational excellence and encouraging clinical staff to pursue management roles. As Chief Nursing Officer, she was instrumental in Akron Children’s receiving its first American Nurses Credentialing Center designation as a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence.

Grace began her career as a registered nurse after earning bachelor’s degrees in nursing and sociology from Case Western Reserve University in 1979 and 1978, respectively. In 1982, she earned her master’s degree in nursing from Case Western Reserve University. In 1996, Grace earned a master’s degree in business administration from Kent State University. In 2002, she completed the Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellows Program in Management for Nurse Executives at The Wharton School and Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Grace’s collaborative leadership philosophy helps all of Akron Children’s stakeholders stay focused on keeping patients and families as a top priority, but she is also passionate about regional economic development as a means for promoting the health and wellness of children, families and communities.

Julie Wesel, Vice Chairman
Chief Executive Officer
Chemstress Consultant Company

Chemstress is a full-service engineering and design service provider for industrial capital projects, locally and throughout North America.

Julie graduated from The Ohio State University with an accounting degree and later earned her CPA.  Julie worked for a large public accounting firm after college on the audit staff.  Julie specialized in real estate and banking.  Julie worked for 24 years at Forest City Enterprises(a real estate developer and operator)  in a variety of accounting, finance, business process and leadership roles.  Julie has return to her home town of Akron, to lead Chemstress.

Ebony Yeboah- Amankwah – Secretary
Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Ethics Officer
FirstEnergy Service Company

Dan Rice
President and CEO
Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition

Mark Lerner
President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director
GOJO Industries

Mr. Mark Douglas
Tri-County Building & Construction

Mr. Tracy Dowe
Relationship Manager, Commercial Banking

The Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA) are community and economic development finance specialists, primarily focused on Northeast Ohio.  Assists others in obtaining capital that otherwise might not be available by issuing taxable and tax-exempt revenue bonds and tax credits for projects.  To achieve its purposes, DFA is affiliated with several private non-profit entities; including the Akron-Summit County Energy Special Improvement District (ESID), Development Fund of the Western Reserve (DFWR), and Western Reserve Community Fund (WRCF).