Born in Brooklyn, New York, and a grad of UCLA, Michael has always had a passion for music, though his business success has revolved around fashion. In 1986 he co-founded the Rags for Riches organization, in Los Angeles, CA, dedicated to raising funds for children's charities. As its president, he has helped to provide nearly $8 million for children in need. In business, Michael has become a reputable force in the fashion industry. Most recently, he and his wife, Paige Adams-Geller, have built a phenomenal brand in the premium denim world, Paige Premium Denim.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Dr. Larry Napoleon, Jr. is an assistant professor in the College of Human Development and Education at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND. Larry spent five years teaching special education students while coaching and working with community organizations in New Orleans, including the United Way, UNICEF and Boy Scouts of America. While pursuing his doctoral studies in Curriculum & Instruction and Workforce Education at Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Napoleon served as a teaching assistant in classes designed to help prepare future teachers. He is a member of the American Education Research Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the American Society for Training and Development - and a life-long lover of music.
Marilyn Doerr, PhD, is an independent scholar working with high schools interested in alternative approaches to the teaching of science, and as an astronomy curriculum writer for a series of science-based summer camps for middle school children. A teacher of various middle and high school science classes for more than three decades, Dr. Doerr has published numerous scholarly articles and books, including Currere and the Environmental Autobiography and a revised and updated version of David Owen's 1985 book, None of the Above. In addition to writing curriculum for one of the Cristo Rey schools, and a greencurriculum for Ruffing Montessori School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, she remains engaged examining the links between brain development and music.
Raymond Michael Mancini was born in Youngstown Ohio. Mancini inherited his distinctive nickname "Boom Boom", from his father, veteran boxer Lenny "Boom Boom" Mancini. Ray turned pro boxer at age 18, after a distinguished amateur career. In 1982 Mancini won the WBA Lightweight Championship.
In 1985 Mancini officially retired from boxing and launched his acting career. His life story was televised on CBS's Heart of a Champion: The Ray Mancini Story. Ray's film credits include Body and Soul; The Search for One-Eyed Jimmy, Aces-Iron Eagle III, The Girl Gets Moe, Nameless, Wishful Thinking, Back Street Dreams, The Mouse, Bullet, Turn of Faith and Redbelt, written and directed by David Mamet.
Warren Zevon wrote the song "Boom Boom Mancini" as a tribute to Ray's career.
Currently, Mancini heads Boom Boom Productions, and Champion Pictures, recently co-producing the documentary "Youngstown: Still Standing", a film about the survival of his hometown. Mancini is also in the wine business, recently releasing his first Cabernet, the fittingly named "Southpaw". Ray lives in Los Angeles with his daughter and 2 sons.
Ronald G. Galip is in the private practice of law in Youngstown, OH specializing in the representation of developers and tenants in the shopping center industry. A graduate of the Ohio State University Law School, he has lectured at various national and international real estate conferences including meetings, institutes and conventions of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Currently an emeritus member of the ICSC Law Conference Committee, he was Dean of the Law Program of the University of Shopping Centers and has authored articles and forums on shopping center legal matters. He has served as Chairman of United States Law Conferences and regional law seminars, and currently serves on the Board of the Southwoods Surgery Hospital, Boardman, OH and the Antonine Sisters, a Catholic Order of Nuns in North Jackson, OH. Attorney Galip has been recognized for special service support to the American Lebanese League, acted as special counsel to the National Shrine of our Lady of Lebanon, served on the board of the Easter Seal Society and chaired fund raising dinners for St. Jude's Research Center, Memphis, TN. He is an honorary life member of the Mahoning County Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association.
A long time resident of Nashville, Colleen O'Connell currently works with a firm that helps non-profits acquire funding. Over the years she has applied her liberal arts degree in multiple fields. As an educator, she enjoyed trying to convince seventh graders of the finer points of grammar. Her subsequent years in film & video production for The Nashville Network found her immersed in the works of all the country music performers who appeared there. While working at the Nashville Business Journal, a weekly publication, she learned the true meaning of "deadline" and during her tenure at the Tennessee Bar Association she administered membership benefits for over 10,000 Tennessee attorneys.
J. Georgia Backus, Director of The Paula and Anthony Rich Center for the Study and Treatment of Autism she was responsible for the total operation of The Center, including the coordination of the Summer of Growth Program, Early Intervention Program, classroom instruction to adults and children, outreach programming and community awareness. Prior to her recent retirement, she served on Ohio’s Autism Taskforce.
Co-founder and vice president of Clearpoint Agency in San Diego, CA, Beth is an expert at developing targeted messaging and communications strategies that generate brand awareness and media coverage for the agency’s clients. In 2012, she was awarded the Otto Bos Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Relations Society of America, San Diego and Imperial Counties. Beth was born and grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, although she has called Southern California home for the past three decades. Having had personal experience with family members who suffered from developmental and behavioral disabilities, Beth has a strong belief in the power of music education to heal and to help people achieve their potential. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, photography, reading and spending time with her husband Mark, three children, and eight grandchildren.
Since his first #1 in 1983, Hall of Fame Songwriter Bob DiPiero has been responsible for an uninterrupted string of country music hits. One of Nashville’s most prolific and consistent songwriters, Bob possesses a humble drive to keep learning and stay relevant. He has had over 1,000 songs recorded by other artists, countless hit singles, and an astounding 15 #1 hits. His songs have been featured in TV shows, commercials and movies. In 2011 his song “Coming Home” from the Country Strong movie soundtrack was nominated for both an Oscar and Golden Globe Award for “Best Original Song in a Motion Picture.” Among his other countless awards are 50 BMI Million-Air honors, multiple Songwriter of the Year awards and 2 consecutive Triple Play awards for 3 #1 songs within a 12 month period. Bob is the originator of the CMA Songwriters Series and has served as its Host for 10 years, bringing Nashville’s finest songwriters and artists throughout the United States and overseas to Belfast, Dublin, London and Paris. In 2007, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and Nashville’s Walk of Fame where his star is located between Jimi Hendrix and Barbara Mandrell. Bob quotes, “The location of my star pretty much says it all!” In 2014 Bob was invited by The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to perform at the prestigious, “Poets and Prophets Series” as a “Salute to Bob DiPiero.” Most recently the CMA presented Bob with their CMA Chairman’s Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the music industry and songwriting community.
Joe Pecchia, a lifelong resident of Youngstown, OH, is a Director of Strategic Account and Technology Development for Millwood, Inc. located in Vienna, OH. A graduate of Youngstown State University, Joe’s passion to support and protect the rights and freedoms of those with developmental disabilities has led him to serve and volunteer his time and talents for 22 years as a Board Member of MASCO, Inc., the non-profit adult workshops in Mahoning County, OH. He is currently Vice President and Board Member for the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) and a longstanding supporter for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Sports World Ministries. Joe has three children and eight grandchildren and resides with his wife of 42 years, Linda, in Boardman, OH.
A native of Mt. Kisco, NY, Richard Hahn grew up in Youngstown, OH where he attended Ursuline High School and graduated from Youngstown State University with a Bachelor of Music Degree. An accomplished trumpet player, arranger, and former public school music instructor, Richard is currently President of the Keynote Media Group in Youngstown, OH. Keynote provides clients an extensive range of services including branding, print, website creation, audio and video production, as well as strategic planning and consulting services. As a long time resident in the greater Youngstown area, he remains active in the community holding positions on a number of nonprofit boards and committees, including the Youngstown YMCA, Junior League of Youngstown, Rotary Club, Valley Legacy Awards and WYSU-FM. Richard resides in Boardman, OH with his wife, Carolyn.
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