Mark Tripodi

  • CEO & Founder

Mark Tripodi, CEO & Founder

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.

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

JoAnn Borer, LSW

  • Program & Outreach Coordinator

JoAnn Borer, LSW    Program & Outreach Coordinator

I was originally introduced to Cornerstone of Hope in 2014, where I completed my internship at the Cleveland office while completing by Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Akron. Internship turned into employment, where I oversaw the camps for the Cleveland office. After completing my Master’s degree, working out of state, and more, I returned back to Cornerstone of Hope in the Columbus office in 2019. I’m thankful for the opportunity to play a role in Cornerstone’s mission and support those who are grieving.

How I Move Forward in Hope: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Fun Fact: I’ve ran several half marathons, as well as a full marathon.

Heather Nicol

  • Clinical Director

Heather Nicol, Clinical Director

I am the Clinical Director for Central Ohio, and joined Cornerstone of Hope in October, 2021. Upon deciding to return to a Clinical Director position, I knew I wanted to work for an agency with Christian values and integrity. I have referred numerous clients in the past 10 years to Cornerstone of Hope in Columbus and have only heard positive reports. My husband and I have been married for the past 24 years. I am a mom to two wonderful children who are in college.

How I Move Forward in Hope: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit in me.”– Psalm 51:10

Fun Fact: I am a fitness enthusiast outside of work, arriving at the gym before 6 a.m. most mornings.

Kristen McColough, LISW-S

  • Clinical Coordinator

Kristen McColough, LISW-S       Clinical Coordinator

I was excited to join the Cornerstone team in Jan 2021 after moving from Memphis, TN during 2020.  I’ve spent the last 11 years working as a hospice social worker and then a grief counselor at the Baptist Centers for Good Grief.  Prior to that, I worked in mental health with adults and children since completing my MSW in 2005.

How I Move Forward in Hope: “To mourn your loss is required if you are to befriend the love you have been granted. To honor your grief is not self-destructive or harmful, it is life-sustaining and life-giving, and it ultimately leads you back to love again. In this way, love is both the cause and the antidote.” ~ Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph. D.

Fun Fact: I grew up in Toledo but haven’t lived in Ohio since 2005.  It’s good be back closer to home.

Don Piunno

  • Development Coordinator

Don Piunno         Development Coordinator

I came out of retirement in the hopes of helping to make a positive impact in the lives of people that are suffering. By raising awareness of our mission and providing much needed funding to Cornerstone of Hope in Columbus, we can help to ease the grief that people are experiencing. Working here provides me with an opportunity to generate an awareness of the impact our wonderful and caring staff can have on families and individuals, be they children, teens, adults, and senior citizens.

How I Move Forward in Hope:

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”  George Washington

Fun Fact: I enjoy playing softball in a 75 year and older softball league. I attempt to play golf without embarrassing myself, and enjoy fly fishing. And any day that I can spend with my grandchildren; Sam, Carmella, Amelia, and Dominic is always a delightful day, and as good as it gets!

Bruce Benzing, Mdiv LMin

  • Support Group Facilitator

Bruce Benzing, Mdiv LMin        Support Group Facilitator

I started off my professional career working in the Federal Government for almost 12 years.  I then attended Seminary and graduated in 2005 with my Master of Divinity.  I spent about 5 years working as a Hospital Chaplain at 3 local Hospital’s before being hired as a Hospice Chaplain.  I worked for over 14 years as a Hospice Chaplain, with the last 7 years as the company’s Bereavement Coordinator.  I have been working as a facilitator with Cornerstone of Hope for 3 years.  I am currently working as a Bereavement Counselor with a local Hospice company.

How I Move Forward in Hope: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” ~ Psalm 23 (I carry this scripture in my back pocket daily because no matter what happens (good and bad, beautiful and ugly) God is caring for me, guiding me and providing for me.)

Fun Fact: I enjoy walking (almost 3-5 miles a day) and I also enjoy participating in 5Ks and Four Mile events.

Sarah Brehm, MSW, LISW

  • Support Group Facilitator

Sarah Brehm, MSW, LISW        Support Group Facilitator

I work full time as a social worker at Nationwide Children’s hospital. During my internship with NCH hospice, I found Cornerstone of Hope. I found a passion in grief work and helping others through their journey.

How I Move Forward in Hope: “Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” 

Fun Fact: I was published in a Buzzfeed article about my love for Target.

Katy Denner, M.ed

  • School Group Facilitator

Katy Denner, M.ed        School Group Facilitator

I graduated from The Ohio State University in Education.  I began my teaching career in Southwestern City Schools and continued it in Hilliard City Schools.  I received my Master’s Degree from the University of Dayton in School Counseling. For 18 years I was the school counselor in two Hilliard Elementary Schools.  After retiring, I began facilitating school grief groups in 2018 for Cornerstone of Hope.  I love working with students!

How I Move Forward in Hope: “Hope is a feeling of optimism.  It’s a way of thinking that pushes us to action.” 

Fun Fact: My husband and I enjoy bike riding on the rails to trails around Ohio.  Yellow Springs is one of our favorites!

Elizabeth Kraska, LISW-S

  • Support Group Facilitator

Elizabeth Kraska, LISW-S        Support Group Facilitator

By day I am a medical pediatric social worker with a focus on children and families in primary care from a trauma-informed perspective. I came to Cornerstone of Hope in 2015 initially providing clinical supervision and then my involvement spread to many roles at Cornerstone. I run grief support groups, provide individual bereavement counseling, provide crisis grief counseling, co-facilitate trainings and am a camp counselor for Camp Memory. For me, this is deep soul work, meeting people on their grief journey and abiding with them and partnering as we walk together with hope and healing.

The opportunity to work also at Cornerstone of Hope has been a gift in so many ways and I feel honored every day to be a part of this organization

How I Move Forward in Hope: “Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” 

Fun Fact: I am Ohio born and Columbus is my home (Go Bucks) but my heart longs for the mountains and deserts of the southwest and is one of my favorite places to visit.

Molly O’Driscoll, LPC, GC-C

  • Bereavement Clinician

Molly O’Driscoll, LPC, GC-C
Bereavement Clinician

Hello!  I have been connected to Cornerstone of Hope as a community partner since 2012, and I officially joined the team in the fall of 2017, where my role has grown over the last few years.  As a Bereavement Clinician, I am proud to serve others through individual and family grief counseling as well as by facilitating our trauma support groups, offering hope and encouragement to those who have lost a loved one to suicide or accidental overdose.  You may also find me participating in various programming throughout the year, and overseeing Grief Matters, our monthly education series designed to engage, explore, and express grief in creative ways.  Through my role here at COH and prior work in both funeral home and hospice settings, I have been humbled to walk with others along their grief journeys toward healing.  I am inspired by the resilience of my clients every day, and I believe them to be my greatest teachers.

How I Move Forward in Hope: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fun Fact: I have visited 5 continents and walked the Camino de Santiago, also known as “The Way of St. James,” which is a 500-mile pilgrimage across Spain to the Cathedral where the Apostle James is buried.

Emma Poduska, LPC

  • Bereavement Clinician

Emma Poduska, LPC      Clinician

Hello! I’m one of the Bereavement Clinicians here at Cornerstone of Hope. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hiram College in 2016 and I graduated from Ashland Theological Seminary with my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in December 2019. I began my counseling career in 2019 when I spent the year working as a counseling intern at the Cleveland Cornerstone of Hope location. I’ve been with the Columbus Cornerstone office since December of 2020 and am grateful to be able to help provide a healing environment and walk alongside those who are grieving.

How I Move Forward in Hope: “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” ~ Victor Hugo

Fun Fact: I lived in France for a year!

Stacy Sieberth, M.ed

  • School Group Facilitator

Stacy Sieberth, M.ed        School Group Facilitator

Hi, I am a school group facilitator at Cornerstone of Hope. I provide 7-8 week grief groups to schools ranging from grades kindergarten to high school. I have started with Cornerstone in 2020. I have a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Indiana University and a Masters in School Counseling from University of Dayton. I have 3 children who keep me very busy outside of work!

How I Move Forward in Hope: “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” 

Fun Fact: My family & I love to travel and see new places.