Mission, Leadership, & Staff

Prevention Action Alliance is an Ohio 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization with a mission: leading healthy communities in the prevention of substance misuse and the promotion of mental health wellness. To accomplish that mission, we rely on the leadership of our board of directors and the hard work of our staff.

Board of Directors

At-Large Member

Corinne Gasper, Parent Advocate


Claudia Khourey-Bowers, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Kent State University

John A. Heer, Esq., McDonald Hopkins, LLC

Derek Siegel, Ohio HIDTA

Past President

John P. Curp, Esq., Blank Rome, LLC


Jody Allton, MSW, LISW-S, LCDCIII, OhioHealth Mansfield/Shelby Hospitals


Bobbie O’Keefe, Esq., O'Keefe Family Law, LLC


Gene Pierce, Pierce Communications

Amy Kurtz-Nagel, Ontario Local Schools

Lt. Col Alexander Alston III, Ohio National Guard Counterdrug Task Force


Ashley Neel, CPA, GBQ Partners, LLC


David A. Bell, Esq., Case Western Reserve University


Diahn L. Hevel, Hevel and Company, LLC

Paul Schoonover, Gardiner Allen DeRoberts Insurance

Stephen D. Richman, Kohrman, Jackson & Krantz

At-Large Member

Peter Walsh, Columbus Temperature Control Co.


Don Wells, CPA, Wells, CPA, LLC

PAA Staff

Youth Development & Prevention Research Coordinator Evi Roberts

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Evi joined Prevention Action Alliance in 2018 to bring her advocacy efforts to the statewide level. She transitioned from Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery where she coordinated the Stark County Youth-Led Prevention Coalition. Before that, she earned her Master of Public Administration from the Voinovich School of Leadership & Public Affairs at Ohio University and completed internships at America’s Essential Hospitals in Washington, DC and the OhioMHAS Prevention Bureau.

Now, Evi coordinates the OYLPN Youth Council, supports the development and expansion of youth-led prevention across the state, and represents the organization at several statewide committees: the OhioMHAS Planning Council, the Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success Evidence-Based Practices Workgroup, and ADAPAO’s Young Prevention Professional’s Project (YP³).

Director of Community Engagement Programs Rachael Kenter

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Rachael joined Prevention Action Alliance as the Director of Community Engagement Programs in 2018 to return to her passion of promoting wellness in Ohio’s communities. Previously, she served as a Training and Technical Assistance Associate at Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies where she worked to strengthen prevention systems through supporting state governments.
Rachael has a Master of Public Health from the Ohio State University and is an Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant (OCPC) and Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). In her spare time, Rachael enjoys baking bread, gardening, yoga, and spending time with her family.

Manager of Legislative Affairs and Administrative Services Jean-Philippe Dorval

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Jean-Philippe Dorval joined Prevention Action Alliance as the Manager of Legislative Affairs and Administrative Services in the fall of 2018 with plans to continue his journey toward being an advocate for improved, equitable health outcomes in Ohio’s most vulnerable communities.

Originally from Upstate New York, Jean-Philippe’s Haitian heritage and experiences growing up sparked an early interest in public service. This interest has guided him through all of the opportunities and positions he has held thus far and continues to inspire him today. Through his role as Manager of Legislative Affairs and Administrative Services, Jean-Philippe aims to use his experience and love for public service to help increase Prevention Action Alliance’s impact and reach.

Prior to joining, he served as the Senior Legislative Aide to the Ohio Senate’s Assistant Minority Leader, Senator Charleta B. Tavares of the 15th District. In his role as Senior Legislative Aide, he was responsible for numerous administrative and legislative duties, including but not limited to legislative research, bill tracking, constituent relations, and stakeholder organization.

Jean-Philippe has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Chicago and has done work in the Chicago Public Schools System, the Office of Presidential Correspondence under the Obama administration, and 270 Strategies, a Chicago-based management consulting firm. He enjoys playing basketball, listening to and making music, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

Special Events Coordinator Brittany Koza

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Brittany joined Prevention Action Alliance as the Special Events Coordinator in 2018 to combine her skill in planning events with her passion for helping others.  She focuses her time on planning the details of and coordinating the logistics for the various trainings, summits, conferences, rallies, and other events that Prevention Action Alliance hosts. She also coordinates the use of the Matthew B. Schoonover Educational Center. Brittany has a degree in English from The Ohio State University and spends her free time going to concerts, watching movies, reading books, and spending time with her dog, Max.


Director of Problem Gambling Prevention, Project Manager of Special Projects James Syphax

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James serves Prevention Action Alliance as the Director of Problem Gambling Prevention and Project Manager for Special Projects. James’ background in prevention includes serving as the coalition coordinator for a county-wide coalition as well as several years serving as a primary prevention provider in schools across two counties. While providing direct service, James worked with school administrators to implement programs such as Botvin LifeSkills, S.S. Grin, and Signs of Suicide. James also served as an administrator, working in human resources, for one of the largest treatment centers in the State of Ohio.

James joined the Prevention Action Alliance team in 2019 and is excited to use his skill set to serve all areas of Ohio. As the Director of Problem Gambling Prevention, he will promote the awareness of problem gambling and work to help implement prevention strategies.

Project Assistant Lauren Marshall

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Lauren joined Prevention Action Alliance in 2019 after graduating from The Ohio State University. She came on to work in a support role for all PAA staff, helping where necessary and learning along the way. Lauren hopes to gain experience in nonprofit work and to use that knowledge to make an impactful difference in the world around her, as well as employing the skills learned to further her career in the field. When not at work, Lauren enjoys biking, visiting national parks, and spending time with loved ones (and their pets).

Marcie Seidel

Executive Director Marcie Seidel

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Marcie became executive director in 2011 after serving as assistant director for four years. Before joining the agency, she served as chief of staff to Ohio’s First Lady, Hope Taft, serving on the senior staff of advisors to the governor. In that capacity she worked extensively on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention activities at both the state and national levels. She previously served as director of the Women’s Division at the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services. Marcie earned her bachelor’s degree from Miami University and is a Certified Prevention Specialist.

Since Marcie joined DFAA, the agency has become a national leader in prevention expertise, advocacy and coalition development.  Throughout the opiate epidemic in Ohio, Marcie has also become a reliable consultant to state and local leaders to include good prevention strategies in policy and community work.

Marcie serves on several committees preventing substance misuse and abuse as well as promoting mental health. Among others, Marcie serves on Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee, Coalition for Healthy Communities (co-chair), State Health Assessment and State Health Improvement Plan Advisory Committee, and the Ohio Join Study Committee on Drug Use Prevention Education, Ohio Prevention Roundtable, and Ohio’s Anti-Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Initiatives.

Assistant Executive Director Fran Gerbig

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Fran joined Prevention Action Alliance as its Assistant Executive Director in 2017 after enjoying a long-standing relationship with our agency, which included serving on our committees and participating in our learning collaboratives.

At Prevention Action Alliance, Fran supervises staff, assists in program and grant development, and represents our agency at various state and local committees, boards, and coalitions. She serves on the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Association of Ohio Board of Directors and the Ohio Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Steering Committee, and she is a member of the Coalition for Healthy Communities and the Ohio Prevention Roundtable.

Previously, Fran worked as the Health and Wellness Manager for Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery in Canton, Ohio, where she coordinated Drug Free Stark County, a Drug Free Communities-funded substance misuse prevention coalition. Fran has earned a bachelor’s degree in child and family ecology from the University of Akron in Ohio and a master of public health in health planning and administration from the University of Tennessee, and she is an Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant.

When she isn’t working, Fran enjoys reading, attending concerts, and hiking, especially with her husband and family. She believes each child deserves the opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive, and it is the responsibility of each community to provide the best environment possible for that child to have that opportunity.

Director of Youth-Led Programs Harim Ellis

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Harim came to Prevention Action Alliance in 2017 to build and strengthen the agency’s youth-led programming, including the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network. As director, Harim hopes to include youth from all walks of life into the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network, provide training for adult allies, and coordinate the network’s annual We Are The Majority Rally.

Prior to coming to Prevention Action Alliance, Harim worked as the statewide youth-led coordinator for the Federation of UMADAOPs. Previous to that, he was the wellness and prevention manager for Cincinnati UMADAOP and has more than 10 years of experience working with youth. While studying at Northern Kentucky University, Harim studied organizational leadership, an expertise he hopes to use for OYLPN and PAA.

Senior Airman, Ohio National Guard Sean Oziegbe

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Senior Airman Sean Oziegbe of the Ohio National Guard Counter-Drug Task Force worked as a criminal analyst for the Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force tracking down drug traffickers and crippling their organizations.

While at CODE, Sean also worked with a local coalition. He decided to transition from working in law enforcement to working in prevention, and in so doing, was embedded with Prevention Action Alliance.

As a father, the increasing dangers in society worries Sean. He wants his children to get to be children, live in a society where they can flourish, and make decisions on which superhero they want to be rather than which bully to avoid or which drugs are too dangerous to try.

Sean has a master’s degree in human resources and identifies as a “super nerd.” He loves playing video games, working out, and spending time with his family and friends.

Communications Manager Nathan Kraatz

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Nathan left the newspaper business to become Prevention Action Alliance’s communications manager in 2016. He handles media requests and social media and supports staff members and their programs. Previously, he worked as a reporter in Ohio and Mississippi, where he reported on several topics, including substance misuse. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from Virginia Intermont College.