Our Staff

The people who work at Prevention Action Alliance share in our mission of leading healthy communities in the prevention of substance misuse and the promotion of mental health wellness. We’re dedicated professionals who are passionate about prevention, and we’re excited to get to know you.

PAA Staff

Executive Director Fran Gerbig

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Fran joined Prevention Action Alliance as 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 collaborative. In July 2020, she took the position of executive director.

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 is a member of ADAPAO (the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Association of Ohio) and the Ohio Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Steering Committee, as well as a member of the Coalition for Healthy Communities and the Ohio Prevention Advocacy Network.

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  degree in health planning and administration from the University of Tennessee, and she is an Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant.

Deputy Executive Director Bobby Persinger

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With a career spanning more than 25 years, Bobby has had the privilege of working in higher education, youth development, and behavioral health, holding positions at The Ohio State University, Central Ohio Technical College, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Licking and Knox Counties and most recently as the director of the Center for Prevention Services at Pathways of Central Ohio.

Bobby joined Prevention Action Alliance in 2019 to lead the G.A.P. Network and the Ohio College Initiative after an enduring relationship with PAA, including serving as past SPCA chair and helping to develop the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network. Currently serving as deputy executive director, Bobby is responsible for programming, outreach, engagement and strategic agency initiatives. Additionally, he leads the training team and development of the Matthew B. Schoonover Educational Center at Prevention Action Alliance.

Bobby is active in Licking County and across Ohio. He has held a variety of volunteer positions, including serving nine years on the ADAPAO board of directors, with the last two as its president. Additionally, he was a founding member of the Licking County Prevention Partnership and the OhioMHAS Prevention and Wellness Roundtable. Currently, Bobby is a member of the prevention committee of the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board, a member of the Ohio Prevention Advocacy Network and a board member of the United Way of Licking County.

A two-time graduate of The Ohio State University, Bobby is a certified prevention consultant, bullying prevention specialist and mental health specialist. Bobby has been named Mental Health Professional of the Year by Mental Health America of Licking County and received the Cyril G. Ransopher Visionary Award from Mental Health & Recovery for Licking and Knox Counties. In his spare time, Bobby enjoys traveling, coffee shops, new restaurants, giving back and especially laughing.

 

Resource Development Manager Alyce Jennings

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Alyce joined Prevention Action Alliance as Resource Development Manager in 2021. With more than 10 years in prevention, Alyce has had the opportunity to develop and supervise after-school prevention programs as well as implement environmental prevention initiatives at the local and state level.

Prior to joining PAA, she worked as the Director of Development at Summit County Community Partnership and served on the SPCA Advisory Council. She is also an active member of the Portage County Substance Abuse Community Coalition’s Prevention Committee.

Alyce is an Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Malone University and a Master of Nonprofit Organizations from Case Western Reserve University.

In her spare time, Alyce enjoys playing piano, reading books and spending time with her husband and four children.

Community Prevention Manager James Syphax

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James serves Prevention Action Alliance as community prevention manager. 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.

Community Prevention Manager Julianna Fellows

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Julianna serves Prevention Action Alliance as the Community Prevention Manager overseeing the Ohio College Initiative.  Julianna’s professional background includes 20 years of experience working in the public health field in a variety of capacities that include working with families in the Head Start program, Mental Health Ombudsman and her prior position as Community Outreach Coordinator for addiction services in Cleveland, Ohio. Julianna’s greatest involvement, in the past 6 years, has been working with youth and youth-led prevention initiatives as an Adult Ally throughout the state of Ohio.  She is a published author on topics pertaining to youth and youth-led prevention and originally developed the Adult Ally Northeast Regional Learning Collaborative.

Julianna joined the PAA team in 2020 and applies her experience and skills toward the support of healthy college campuses throughout the state.

Accountant and Human Resources Officer Sondra Mellott

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Sondra joined Prevention Action Alliance in 2019 to serve as the agency’s accountant. In addition to running financial reports and looking over balance sheets, she ensures that the agency’s operations continue by drawing down grants, preparing for audits, and paying vendors. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is currently working to complete her master’s at Strayer University. She enjoys spending time with her family in Kentucky, listening to music and traveling.

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).

Marketing and Communications Officer Kim Schuette

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Kim joined Prevention Action Alliance marketing and communications officer earlier this year. She has management experience in fast-paced marketing-communications departments for regional, state, and national organizations in both the nonprofit and business sectors.

Kim is known for implementing strategies to amplify brand messaging across channels that drive measurable results. She has a successful track record of connecting and building audiences at the intersection of digital and traditional media. A career highlight for her was that she was chosen to participate in a social media event at the White House for the 2013 State of the Union address.

With a master’s degree in journalism from Marshall University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio Northern University, Kim stays up-to-date in marketing and communications trends. She enjoys traveling, reading, and watching movies in her spare time. Kim also is an avid photographer and would be happy to have you check out her photo gallery.

Civil Operator, Ohio National Guard Counterdrug Task Force Reshawn Smith

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Reshawn Smith is a part of the Ohio National Guard Counter Drug Task Force and is working with Prevention Action Alliance as a civil operator. Reshawn’s background in prevention includes serving as an advocate in training for several years within the Ohio Army National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. Reshawn has played a major role in providing soldiers with required annual trainings and the tools and resources to prevent the occurrence of sexual assaults within the Ohio National Guard through increasing awareness and educating all service members about sexual assault frequencies in the military and the prevention of sexually-based incidents while also protecting the rights and dignity of victims.

Geena Crosby

Prevention Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Services Geena Crosby

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Geena may be new but she brings a wealth of experience, including helping PAA launch the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network back in 2011. She will be responsible for coordinating the OYLPN Youth Council, the annual We Are The Majority Rally, and the Big Bowl Vote Campaign. She also will coordinate collegiate-based educational opportunities through the Ohio College Initiative (OCI).

Geena is a Licensed Social Worker and Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist. She received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Capital University and currently is pursuing her master’s degree in public administration and leadership from The Ohio State University.

Geena started her youth-led prevention journey in high school when she became a member of Youth to Youth International as a part of their youth advisory board and serving as a youth staff member at camps and conferences. After graduating high school in 2010, she continued to volunteer at Youth to Youth and in 2011 was hired as the coordinator for the OYLPN Youth Council in its inaugural year. She worked with the youth council to develop and implement the rally in its first three years.

The majority of Geena’s time doing youth-led work came from the eight years she worked for Youth to Youth International. She served as a prevention assistant supporting programming for a couple of years before becoming the youth services coordinator. Geena then served as the wellness coordinator for alcohol and other drug prevention at Ohio State where she worked with student staff and volunteers to develop and implement primary prevention strategies on campus, coordinated the BASICS and CASICS programs, facilitated the OSU Alcohol Diversion Program and served as the OCI Advisory Council chair.

Geena is excited to join PAA’s staff and is eager to use her experience in youth-led and higher education to help enhance prevention efforts for youth and young adults across the state.

 

Marketing and Communications Intern Alec Guy

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Alec Guy serves Prevention Action Alliance as a Marketing and Communications intern. He joined the organization in 2021 and will be assisting for the entirety of the 2021 Summer quarter. Alec also has professional experience with content and copy creation from a prior internship with Waxman Consumer Products Group, Inc.

Alec currently attends Kent State University and is scheduled to graduate in the upcoming Fall semester with a major in Communication Studies, with an applied communication concentration, and a minor in Advertising.  Upon graduation, Alec hopes to secure a career with an advertising agency or company that allows him to efficiently express his creative and professional ability.