ARF LEADERSHIP
BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND STAFF

ARF Board of Directors

Michelle Palmer

Michelle Palmer

President

Michelle brings 20-plus years of experience as a marketing professional to her roles at ARF. In addition to the Board, she serves as chair of the Development Committee and Fundraising Committees, and maintained a weekly dog walking shift for 10 years.  Michelle is thrilled to be a part of ARF’s exciting future, and is continually humbled by the passion and commitment shown by ARF volunteers each and every day.    

 Jake Poloha

Jake Poloha

Treasurer

Jake currently serves as the Treasurer of ARF. In his professional life, he is an Underwriting Team Leader for SBA at KeyBank. In his free time he enjoys exploring the Metroparks and the Tremont neighborhood, renovating his new house, and traveling the US with his fiancé, Megan, and their rescue, Sadie.

Shelley Fleming

Shelley Fleming

Secretary

Shelley has been with the organization for ten years, and served as a member of the Board for the past five years, currently as Secretary. She’s co-chair of the Volunteer Action Committee, serves on the Cat and Program Committees, and is an active Feline Friend at the shelter. In her professional life, Shelley is an Associate Attorney at Dworken and Bernstein, and has previously worked as an attorney for the Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas and the Eighth District Court of Appeals. 

Board Members

Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith

Lauren is fueled by three things in life: empowering entrepreneurs (her day job), painting, sculpting, and other fine arts (her side job), and advocating, volunteering, and living for the betterment of animals (her true passion). Lauren has been a volunteer Dog Companion with Berea ARF for several years, and has recently joined the board. She shares a happy home with her fiancé Dan and their three dogs Winston, Perry, and Maple. 

Joe Kohut

Joe Kohut

Joe is proud to have lived his entire life in Northeast Ohio.  He retired March 2019 after 21 years as Controller/Treasurer of Mickey Thompson Tires, and previously held positions in a wide variety of industries including The Cleveland Museum of Art, Stouffers, and the local KFC franchisee for Northeast, Ohio. He lives in Strongsville with his wife of 44 years; they’ve had four Golden Retrievers over the years and hope to adopt another soon.

Susan Frollo

Susan Frollo

Susan began volunteering with ARF Feline Friends in 2014 after retiring from a career in Accounting and Business Excellence at Eaton Corporation.   She is currently on the Cat Committee and Program Committee for ARF, and has fostered numerous kittens for the past several years (including two foster failures).  She holds a B.A. from Baldwin Wallace College and an M.B.A. from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.  When not devoting her time to ARF, you can find Susan on the Metroparks trails with the Cleveland Hiking Club. 

Pat Brinks

Pat Brinks

Pat was employed with the City of Berea for 23 years where she held various positions. She’s been a volunteer for 16 years and the Cat Committee Coordinator for the past 10.  She’s been very active in several committees and has served on the Board of Directors for the past 2 years. She’s thrilled to have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people over the years, and to have helped place thousands of animals into their forever homes.

Samantha Nealon

Samantha Nealon

Samantha is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University and became involved with ARF through local events such as the Monster Mutt Dash and K9 Splash. Her passion for animals carries over into her professional career as a Finance Manager for brands such as Meow Mix, Rachel Ray Nutrish, and 9Lives at the J.M. Smucker Company. She’s a recently named member of the Board and the Finance Committee.

ARF Staff

Amy Fischer

Amy Fischer

Shelter Operations Manager

A certified trainer for over 20 years, Amy specializes in working with shelter and rescue dogs, as well as bully breeds.  Amy has been with ARF for 10 years, heading up the training and behavior programs on a volunteer basis.  She was hired for the position of Shelter Operations Manager in the fall of 2018.