NOVA is a grassroots organization that believes in expanding voter participation so that all voices are heard in our democracy. Our 501(c)3, non-partisan status allows us access to social service agencies, schools, food pantries and correctional facilities to register voters, conduct voter research, and advocate for voting equity.
NOVA has registered thousands of under-represented voters in food pantries, social service agencies, supermarkets, libraries, correctional facilities, schools, and a local university.
NOVA uses its own research to maximize voter accessibility for all qualified individuals. As a result, NOVA research and advocacy have improved local and state election laws.
NOVA has testified locally, state-wide, and nationally, resulting in improved voting accessibility. In addition, NOVA collaborates with organizations such as the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, League of Women Voters, State Voices, Greater Cleveland Congregations, and Cleveland Votes to further improve voting access for under-represented populations.
2019 NOVA BOARD MEMBERS
Lisa Gaynier, President
Retired Director of the Cleveland State University Master’s program in Diversity Management. A long time leadership and organizational effectiveness consultant, Gaynier works for civic and economic engagement.
Andrew Kohn, Esq., Vice-President
Recently retired from Hyatt Legal Plans as General Counsel and Vice-President of Operations, he has developed plans to embed voter registration during hiring and at the point of service in a variety of non-profit urban organizations in Cleveland and beyond.
Meredith Hellmer, Secretary
An experienced social worker in the Cuyahoga County criminal justice system, she has coordinated voter registration in the County jail since 2006. Accepted as an expert panelist for the National Association of Social Workers, she has contributed to their policy statement on the importance of voting for those who have been incarcerated.
Nora Kancelbaum, Treasurer
Nora provides assistance in data and election research and regularly volunteers in hunger centers, county assistance agencies, probation offices, and other organizations. She represents NOVA at community organizations and formerly edited a journal at Cleveland State University’s College of Urban Affairs.
Susan Alcorn, Board Member
With a background in corporate consumer, government, and media relations, she has organized voting initiatives in under-represented communities, testified on voting issues, initiated partnerships to register voters with key urban organizations, and trained volunteers.
Jessica Schreiber, Board Member
Jessica has extensive experience as an attorney/mediator. She served on the school board of the Port Angeles School District and on numerous nonprofit boards (Port Angeles Education Foundation, Pro Bono Lawyers of Clallam County, Olympic Peninsula B’nai Shalom Havurah). In Cleveland, she has served five years as a volunteer tax preparer for AARP’s Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program at University Heights Library, two terms on the Board of Directors of the Home Repair Resource Center in Cleveland Heights and one term on the Board of Directors of Future Heights.
Dylan L. Sellers, Board Member
Dylan was born and raised in Cleveland, OH, and is the oldest of five children. He attended Kent State University and co-founded the New Abolitionists Association, under the umbrella of Children’s Defense Fund. His upbringing inspired Dylan to continue grassroots/community organizing. He was an inaugural member of the Cleveland Policing Commission, where he served for three years, and continues to do extensive work with the Cleveland NAACP. Dylan is also very passionate about the education and empowerment of marginalized children and families in Greater Cleveland. Dylan has served as a Project Director of the Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. He is now the Ohio Coordinator for Campus Vote Project, where he works with students and administrators at colleges and universities to institutionalize voting and civic engagement. He is also happily married to Sharmayne Freeman-Sellers, a dance entrepreneur and counselor.
Khalilah Worley, Board Member
Senior Organizer at Greater Cleveland Congregations. Formerly an organizer with Industrial Areas Foundation and a founding organizer of Greater Cleveland Congregations, she has directed voting campaigns, education reform and criminal justice efforts in Chicago, Baltimore and Cleveland.
Fouad Yared, Board Member
A recent graduate of Cleveland State University’s Urban Studies Master’s Program, he is a Senior Data Analyst at the New York City’s Administration for Children Services. He previously worked as an advocate for renters at the ClevelandTenants Organization, as a literacy and GED teacher at the Cuyahoga County Jail, and as a volunteer and Administrative Assistant for NOVA.
2019 EX OFFICIO BOARD MEMBERS
An analyst and programmer for the CWRU Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, she will join NOVA’s board in June, 2018 and provide data management and statistical analysis to support NOVA’s voter registration, vote-by-mail and research priorities. At the Center on Urban Poverty, she has participated in studies of welfare recipients, pre-school children and other underserved populations.
Fred J. Livingstone, Legal Director, Esq.
A retired attorney from the law firm of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, he specialized in property tax and subsidized housing law. Having devoted time to election law, gerrymandering, and voting issues, he has championed changes to voting rights laws for the under-represented population.
Norman Robbins, MD, PhD
An Emeritus Professor of Neurosciences at CWRU, he has directed applied research projects on election administration and policy since 2004. He has testified on election reform to Ohio House and Senate Committees, and to the U.S. House Administration Committee. Having served from 2007-2010 on the Ohio Secretary of State’s Voting Rights Institute Advisory Council, he participated on their NVRA Leadership Team to improve voter registration by public assistance agencies.