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CORNERSTONE OF HOPE

Cleveland

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5905 Brecksville Road
Independence, Ohio 44131

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READY TO GET STARTED?

Please complete our Client Services Interest Form to get started with services at our Cleveland location.

Since Cornerstone of Hope was founded 2003, we have created a comprehensive bereavement support center with themed rooms to hold support groups, individual counseling, and educational and training courses.

Our spaces are uniquely designed to facilitate creative therapies, and we have dedicated spaces for different age groups. Our ultimate goal was to create a comfortable, home-like environment that welcomed all individuals and families entering our doors. After years of service to the grieving and the incredible generosity of our individual and corporate donors, we are so pleased to present to you our facility and beautiful campus.

Who We Are

Meet the dynamic team of professionals who serve at our main campus in Independence, Ohio.

 

Our Leadership

MarkTripodi

Mark Tripodi

CEO & Founder

BIO
ABOUT ME

My wife, Christi, and I are the founders of Cornerstone of Hope. We experienced the sudden death of our three year old son, Bobby, in May of 2000. Our lives have been forever changed since that very day. Soon after, we felt God’s call to offer support to families who have experienced the death of a loved one. Cornerstone of Hope was founded in 2003. Since our inception we have served over 40,000 individuals of all ages through our core services: counseling, support groups, youth camps, retreats and education/training for professionals and lay leaders who serve the bereaved. 
I am passionate about introducing Cornerstone of Hope to families in need, to volunteers who want to make an impact and to companies and individuals who feel called to generously support this crucial mission.


FUN FACT

Cornerstone has a beautiful Treehouse. In 2014, we were blessed to gain national exposure during an episode of Animal Planet’s hit television series “Treehouse Masters”. Locally, the treehouse is known as Lisa’s Butterfly Treehouse in memory of Lisa Kurtz Luciano whose estate gift help construct this sacred space in the trees. You can watch this episode on Amazon Prime or iTunes, Season 2 Episode 4, The Wild Butterfly Escape.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

"Jesus told her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?'" —John 11:25–26

 

JuliaEllifritt

Julia Ellifritt, LISW-S

Education Director

BIO
ABOUT ME

Hello, I am Cornerstone of Hope’s Education Director, where I oversee the development of our educational programs.  I have been at Cornerstone of Hope for over 16 years. I have served as a Clinician as well as the Director of Programs and Community Outreach.  My whole career has been devoted to working with the grieving. Over the years, I have provided bereavement training to thousands of professionals at funeral homes, hospitals, and other organizations, as well as developed the continuing educational programs that happen here at Cornerstone. I have also built a network of local community professionals and organizations in order to reach and serve more people. I have two grown children who were adopted internationally.

 

FUN FACT

I have travelled internationally 17 times, to mostly Africa and Asia, caring for the poor and powerless.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“Pure religion that God the Father accepts as pure is this: to love orphans and widows, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
James 1:27 


DebbieGalland

Debbie Galland

Development Director

BIO
ABOUT ME

Hello!  I am the Cornerstone of Hope’s Development Director.  In this role, I identify and steward prospective donors, cultivate major donors, and manage the organization’s budget and fundraising income programs.  I also serve as a community outreach liaison on behalf of Cornerstone of Hope to raise greater awareness of our mission and to connect those in need of our programs and services with our Clinical Team and Education Director.

 

FUN FACT

I enjoy traveling and have hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“Faith does not make things easy, it makes them possible.” – Luke 1:37


CathyPalcisco

Cathy Palcisco, LISW-S

Clinical Director

BIO
ABOUT ME

My history with Cornerstone of Hope began when it first opened. As a Hospice Social Worker, Cornerstone of Hope became a valued referral and educational resource for families grieving their losses. Since retiring from Cleveland Clinic Hospice/Palliative Care, I have been a Clinical Supervisor for SW Graduate Interns here at Cornerstone. In addition, I now coordinate the Internship Program and also provide grief counseling to Cornerstone of Hope clients.

I can honestly say that I have learned about life through death in my career. My faith in God has grown beyond anything I ever expected as a result of the people I have encountered and learned from in this journey.

Our clients are our teachers – I look forward to learning more.

 

FUN FACT

My husband and I are grateful for the gift of life’s journey that has led us in raising three sons and a daughter.  We are now enjoying the additional gift of an expanded family with six precious grandchildren that offer love, joy, and hope.

MaryannMackey

Maryann Mackey

Executive Assistant

BIO
ABOUT ME

I joined Cornerstone of Hope as an Executive Assistant in 2019. Previously, I worked for AT&T in a variety of roles, most recently as Director, Regulatory Affairs, managing numerous public policy and business initiatives and ensuring corporate compliance with state statutes and regulatory agency mandates. My husband and I have two adult children, both of whom live in New York.

 

FUN FACT

I am a fitness enthusiast who loves to hike, bike and exercise.  I also enjoy various culinary and crafting pursuits.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.  Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14


 

Our Clinicians

Danielle-Goddard-1

Danielle Goddard, LPC

Intake Coordinator

BIO
ABOUT ME

As Cornerstone of Hope’s Intake Coordinator, I hope to offer you warm, empathetic, and efficient support in connecting you with our grief services. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with a history of therapeutic work in community and college settings. I am graduate of Boston College, and have earned Master’s degrees in Mental Health Counseling and Theology & Ministry. Prior to my work as a counselor, I served in various ministry roles including spending a year in Guayaquil, Ecuador working at a domestic violence shelter.

 

FUN FACT

I’m an Ohioan at heart, but in recent years have also spent time studying in Boston and accompanying others in Ecuador. Some of my favorite things include a warm cup of coffee on a cold day, meaningful conversations with family and friends, and exploring new places to eat, hike, and explore in the Cleveland area.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” – Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

 

LisaLeopold-1

Lisa Leopold, LISW

Bereavement and Trauma Informed Clinician

BIO
ABOUT ME

Grateful to join Cornerstone of Hope in the new year of 2022. I come from a background of working in diverse communities and backgrounds during my years as a missionary. As a clinician, I have spent years in community mental health and specialize in working with persons who have suffered trauma. I look forward to and am privileged to accompany others in their grief toward hope.

 

FUN FACT

I love to hike and spend time with my family. Love to cook while dancing and listening to music.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:3-23

 

Hannah-Suttles-2-1

Hannah Mascio, LPCC-S

Clinical Supervisor & Support Group Coordinator

BIO
ABOUT ME

Returning to COH recently as a full-time staff, I am bringing my experience in working with children and adolescents as a former school-based counselor, as well as my respect for and commitment to helping anyone needing support through their grief. I first came to Cornerstone of Hope as an intern in 2018 while attending John Carroll University as a graduate student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. That year was so fulfilling as I felt I was where I could best serve others, putting my passion for counseling and empathy for others to the best use. I am graced to be able to continue serving others at the place where my heart has always been, Cornerstone of Hope.

 

FUN FACT

 I enjoy anything where I can use my creativity, so I dabble in art, especially painting, changing my interior decorating with every season, and journaling.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security.” – Job 11:18

 

MariaMiravalle

Maria Miravalle

Spiritual Care Coordinator

BIO
ABOUT ME

I came on board with Cornerstone of Hope as the Spiritual Care Coordinator in 2020. Previously having studied Theology and the Spiritual life, and ministered in prisons, hospice, rehab facilities, outreaches to the homeless and schools, I have seen many facets of suffering, and feel drawn to work that involves compassion and healing. I provide Spiritual Direction to clients, and lead the Cornerstone Bible Study, and enjoy walking with and attending to the spiritual part of every person who has been impacted by tragedy and tries to find God in the midst of turmoil. I am so glad to be at a place that utilizes art, faith, beauty, expertise and most of all love to bring healing to the whole person and infuse them with hope!

 

FUN FACT

 Outside of work, my other passions include music, stone art, driftwood décor, and seeing my very adorable nephews and nieces on Facetime.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

 

BrieTolley

Brianne Tolley, LISW

Clinician and Trauma Specialist

BIO
ABOUT ME

I joined the Cornerstone of Hope team to help serve as one of our clinicians; prior to joining Cornerstone of Hope, I worked in Hospice for several years.


FUN FACT

I interned at Cornerstone of Hope 12 years ago. I enjoy hiking, gardening, and knitting.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

"But I will trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.”
– Psalm 13:5-6

 

 

Our Staff

PeteBliss

Pete Bliss

Community Outreach

BIO
ABOUT ME

I joined the Cornerstone team in November 2020. As the new Community Engagement contact point, my role is to educate the Cleveland community about COH services, network with relevant community service providers and stakeholders, and represent COH at meetings, events and activities. I also serve as a group facilitator and trainer here. Professionally, I have been in the crisis intervention field for 30 years, and personally, I am a survivor of multiple suicide losses. Companioning those who have experienced traumatic loss and training responders is my passion.

 

FUN FACT

Cleveland has been my lifelong home, and I currently reside in Old Brooklyn with my lovely wife, Ramona. We have five grown children, four grandchildren and a dog named Molly.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34:18

 

KristenCook

Kristen Cook

Clinical Receptionist

BIO
ABOUT ME

Hello!  I am Kristen, and I am often the first person you see when you come to Cornerstone of Hope. As someone who has been touched by loss and grief throughout most of my life, I feel that I am able to bring a level of comfort and stability as I welcome clients into our building while also providing important office support to my fellow administrative colleagues. I have professional certificates in both Business Administration and Guest Services in Hospitality. I have been married to my husband Sean for 19 years and we really enjoy traveling together and trying new restaurants.

 

FUN FACT

I am a voracious reader, enjoy writing, baking, and shopping.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.” – Psalm 143:8

 

MollyDugan

Molly Dugan

Graphic Designer

BIO
ABOUT ME

Hello! My name is Molly Dugan, and I am the graphic designer at Cornerstone of Hope. When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to intern with Cornerstone in the Marketing Department, where I fell in love with graphic design. I got to work on designs for numerous projects, including the Gala, summer camps, Taste of Hope, and with clinicians on support groups. After attending Kent State University and obtaining my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication Design, I am back!

One thing that drew me to Cornerstone of Hope was its mission. The people at Cornerstone come to work every day with one goal in mind – to serve the people who need our help. I am excited to be a part of the team, and I pray that the Lord works through me to bring hope to those who need it.

 

FUN FACT

In my free time, I enjoy doing anything artsy – sewing, DIY projects, painting, etc. I can also be found snuggling up with my two pups, Betty and Charlie, or my sassy calico kitty, Snickers and watching Hallmark movies.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.” – Matthew 6:34

 

JudiHorvath

Judi Horvath

Accounting

BIO
ABOUT ME

I joined the Cornerstone team in June of 2016. My roles include all things financial – from accounts payable and accounts receivable to budgeting and accounting reports. I am also part of the team that uses and upkeeps our donor database. There are many other hats we all wear as part of this Cornerstone family to provide the community with a wide array of programs and services. I am a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College with a degree in management and the arts and I was able to use my love of music as an elementary parochial school music teacher for 15 years. My three brothers and I have a family steel fabricating business for which I also provide payroll and benefits administration as well as bookkeeping duties. I am married with two grown children and love to travel. I am honored to be a part of the Cornerstone family!

 

FUN FACT

My first language was Hungarian, as my parents were immigrants from Hungary after the revolution of 1956.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“If we could spread love as quickly as we spread hate and negativity, what an amazing world we would live in.”

 

JenniferKnechtel

Jennifer Knechtel

Event & Program Coordinator

BIO
ABOUT ME

I joined the Cornerstone team in March of 2021 as the Event and Program Coordinator. Within this role, I oversee the planning of Cornerstone of Hope’s fundraising events, third-party fundraising and client-oriented programs. I am a graduate of Penn State and have been blessed with the opportunity to work within nonprofits throughout my career, with a focus on special events and development, and I am incredibly grateful to be a part of the Cornerstone team in fulfilling its mission. My husband Dan and I have two children, Mason and Riley, and two chocolate labs, Olive and Reese.

 

FUN FACT

My family and I are very involved in our church, where I teach and serve on our children’s ministry team.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Phil. 4:13

 

EileenKoborie

Eileen Koborie, MA

Marketing Coordinator

BIO
ABOUT ME

I joined Cornerstone of Hope as the Marketing Coordinator in September, 2021. I have over twenty years of combined experience in Marketing Communications, Public Relations and Development. Originally from New York, I’ve worked in a variety of communications roles for nonprofit and for-profit organizations, large corporations and small businesses — on both coasts — but have been an Ohioan since 2000. I’ve also worked with local and national Christian ministries in both professional and volunteer capacities including The Worthy Walk, FamilyLife, ACLJ, and Samaritan’s Purse. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Communication/Media from SUNY Fredonia, and a Master of Arts in Public Relations from Kent State University. I live in Tallmadge, Ohio with my husband, two children, and dog Sally.

 

FUN FACT

I love singing and was a vocal performance minor in college. In fact, my husband and I met there performing in a B-52’s cover band.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” – Romans 5:2

 

Sue-M-crop

Sue Mackovjak

Volunteer Coordinator

BIO
ABOUT ME

I joined Cornerstone of Hope as Volunteer Coordinator in June 2022. I am inspired by the sizes of the volunteers’ hearts that I have already met. I hope to grow the core of volunteers to the point that everyone in the community and beyond knows the impact Cornerstone of Hope makes in peoples’ lives. I have a Business degree from Kent State University and my High School Mathematics teaching degree from Cleveland State University.  Over the years, I have had the privilege of teaching Algebra, other mathematics courses, and Religion to many talented and intelligent students.

 

FUN FACT

I am married to my Holy Name High School sweetheart and together we have four amazing daughters and one awesome son-in-law (so far). 

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

"Never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.” – St. Pope John Paul II

 

AngelaPolter

Angela Polter

Accounting and Data Entry Coordinator

BIO
ABOUT ME

I am Cornerstone of Hope’s Accounting and Data Entry Coordinator.  In this role, I maintain our electronic databases, reconcile invoices, perform data entry, and ensure proper handling of financial data. I am a graduate of Bowling Green State University.  Prior to Cornerstone, I worked as a Consumer Loan Coordinator and a Volunteer Coordinator.  My husband and I have 3 children.

 

FUN FACT

Me and my family love the outdoors and make frequent trips to Cedar Point.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

"For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” – Jeremiah 29:11

 

KatieZucca

Katherine Zucca, J.D.

Program and Grant Coordinator

BIO
ABOUT ME

As Grant Coordinator, I apply for grant funding on behalf of Cornerstone of Hope from community, corporate, and family foundations. Within this role, I work closely with the Clinical Team to coordinate program initiatives, gather data, and analyze metrics. I enjoy the opportunity to connect Cornerstone of Hope’s critical bereavement work with the philanthropic goals of the grant funders and tell the story of our clients’ positive outcomes. Before joining Cornerstone of Hope, I worked as a government lawyer.


FUN FACT

I am an avid distance runner and have competed in several marathons, including the Boston Marathon.

HOW I MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

 

 

Board of Directors

Cornerstone’s Board of Directors meets every other month and advises of all aspects and finances of the organization. In addition to reviewing and approving the upcoming year’s operating budget and participating in the development of our Strategic Plan, all board members are financial contributors to Cornerstone’s mission.

Board of Trustees

Tom Futey

Chairperson

Jamie Vilchek

Treasurer

Christi Tripodi

Founder / Ex-Officio Board Member

Mark Tripodi

Founder / Ex-Officio Board Member

Kumar Arora

Sheryl Caine

Maria Dean

Tony Esposito

Kathy Futey

Cynthia Haire

Dan Hartnett

Missy Hayes

Kyle Kiffer

Emilie Kurtz

Willie Littlejohn

Kent Manson

Laura Manuel

Joan Maser

Wayne Ostrosky

Jason Palus

Loree Vick

Dave Wheeler

Nathan Zegura

Emeritus Directors

Jay DeFinis

Judith Matsko

Casey Rasata

Founding Board Members

Ed Butler

Bobby DiGeronimo

Lisa Kurtz Luciano

Until we meet again

Donnie DiGeronimo

Denise Dufala

Dino Lucarelli

Frank Rini

Patrick Rollins

Jeff Spetrino

Our Services

Cornerstone of Hope is dedicated to providing support, education, and hope for the grieving. Guided by Christian values of compassion and service, we welcome and serve all seeking support.

COH_ProfessionalCounseling

Professional Counseling

Upcoming Events

Cornerstone of Hope has a wide variety of special events that serve grieving families in our communities. Listed below are the current events that support our Cleveland location. These events are open to all, and we welcome you to attend. 

GIVE YOUR TIME

Volunteer at Cornerstone of Hope and join us in helping turn pain into purpose.

CORNERSTONE OF HOPE NEWSLETTER

View the latest edition of Hope's Messenger here!