Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation is required to consist of the County Treasurer, the County Executive or their designee, a member of the County Council, two representatives of the City of Cleveland, and the remaining members selected by the County Executive, County Treasurer, and the County Council representative. Current board membership consists of:
Anthony Brancatelli (Chair), Council Member, City of Cleveland
Pernel Jones, Jr (Vice Chair), Council Member, Cuyahoga County
Edward FitzGerald, County Executive, Cuyahoga County
William Sheehan, Interim Treasurer, Cuyahoga County
Thomas J. Fitzpatrick IV, Esq., Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Kevin M. Kennedy, Mayor, North Olmsted
Bobbi Reichtell, Executive Director, Campus District
Brad Sellers, Mayor, Warrensville Heights
Chris Warren, Chief of Regional Development, City of Cleveland
Land Bank Staff
Executive LeadershipGus Frangos, President and General Counsel (bio)
William Whitney, Chief Operating Officer (bio)
Robert Rink, Vice President - Legal Affairs (bio)
Public Records Manager
Jacqui Knettel, Executive Assistant
Douglas Sawyer, Special Projects and Policy Counsel
Lilah Zautner, Manager of Special Projects and Land Reuse
Programs and Property ManagementDennis L. Roberts, Director of Programs and Property Management (bio)
Ian Ahern, Housing Manager
Bernard Moore, Housing Specialist
Kristin Holzschuh, Programs Assistant
Acquisitions, Dispositions and DevelopmentCheryl Stephens, Director of Acquisitions, Dispositions and Development (bio)
James Maher, Field Service Supervisor
Kimberly Steigerwald, Acquisitions Manager
Rosemary Woodruff, Property Specialist
Jennifer O'Konski, Acquisitions Assistant
Jane Larson, Dispositions Assistant
Deidre Lightning-Whitted, Demolition Inspector
Steven Billington, Property Specialist
IT and ResearchMichael Schramm, Director of IT and Research (bio)
Anurag Saxena, Compliance and Information Specialist
James McGuire, GIS and Research Technician
FinanceMichael DiMartino, Director of Finance (bio)
Gina Finney Johnson, Assistant Finance Manager
Joseph Barr, Staff Accountant
Administration and ComplianceVatreisha Nyemba, Compliance and Monitoring Manager
Michelle Gomez, Office Assistant
Biographies of Senior Staff
Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel
Gus Frangos was the primary drafter of Ohio’s House Bill 294 and S.B. 353 establishing enhanced-capacity County Land Banks, and expedited administrative tax foreclosure policy. Mr. Frangos graduated with honors from Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1982 whereupon he served as an associate attorney at the law firm of Ulmer & Berne from 1982 to 1986 concentrating in business law and litigation.
From 1986 to 1993, Mr. Frangos served as the 13th Ward Cleveland City Councilman where he sponsored and passed an array of community development legislation.
In 1993, Mr. Frangos was appointed as a Magistrate Judge in the Cleveland Municipal Court where he served with distinction. While at the Court, he established and administered the Small Claims Court’s current Small Claims Mediation Program.
In September 2004, Mr. Frangos was retained by the Cuyahoga County Treasurer to craft legislation to help expedite the tax foreclosure process, specifically on vacant and abandoned properties. These efforts resulted in the passage of H.B. 293, H.B. 294. He was also the primary drafter of the recently passed S.B. 353 which established the first of its kind “Land Reutilization Corporation.” H.B. 293 provides real estate tax assistance to seniors through a link deposit program; H.B. 294 authorized expedited administrative tax foreclosures of abandoned land through the County Boards of Revision; and S.B. 353 enables the establishment of County Land Reutilization Corporations with enhanced capabilities for the reclamation of distressed properties.
Mr. Frangos is the President and General Counsel of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, and his areas of legal concentration include land-related issues, Constitutional, commercial real estate, zoning, administrative and business transactional law.
William Whitney, Chief Operating Officer
William Whitney, has worked in the community development field in Ohio for 35 years. He possesses extensive institutional knowledge and expertise in housing acquisitions, dispositions, federal regulatory practices and business management. Past positions include the State’s Assistant Deputy Director for Community Development, and the Director of a nationally known Community Development Corporation, the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. Before joining the CCLRC he served as the Cleveland Director of Enterprise Community Partners. Mr. Whitney has a Master’s of Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin.
Robert Rink, Vice President - Legal Affairs
Robert Rink is an attorney and the co-author of the Ohio legislation authorizing the creation and operation of county land banks. He is a retired partner with the law firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP, who practiced in the areas of public law and public finance during his 20 year tenure with Calfee Halter. Over that time he served as legal counsel for cities, counties and the State of Ohio in connection with their issuance of general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, economic development bonds and federally guaranteed student loan bonds, as well as special counsel in connection with the levy of special assessments and the enactment of income tax ordinances and investment policy ordinances. He also authored state legislation authorizing county treasurers to negotiate the sale of delinquent real property tax liens. Prior to his admission to the Ohio bar in 1986, he served as the Chief Deputy County Auditor for the Cuyahoga County Auditor and as the Finance Director for the City of Cleveland Heights. He received a B.A. in Classical Languages from the University of Detroit in 1970, his J.D. from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1985 and the Appreciative Inquiry Certificate in Positive Business and Society Change from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in 2005.
Dennis Roberts, Director of Programs and Property Management
Dennis Roberts is an attorney with transactional, governmental and programmatic legal experience. In his previous position, Mr. Roberts was responsible for directing Cuyahoga County’s Federal Workforce Investment Program and successfully facilitated the unprecedented merger of the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County’s Workforce Investment Boards. Prior to his work in the workforce area, Mr. Roberts served as a litigator at Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP. Mr. Roberts also worked in the Criminal Division of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office for three and one half years as well as worked in the private practice of law. Mr. Roberts received his Juris Doctorate from Cleveland Marshall College of Law, cum laude, in 1998 and is a graduate of William Paterson College.
Cheryl Stephens, Director of Acquisitions, Dispositions and Development
Cheryl Stephens is the Director of Acquisition, Disposition and Development. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree and later a Master’s degree in Public Administration from The University of Dayton, Cheryl began her career in public administration and fell in love with development. She has held manager and director positions with the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development, the City of Cleveland Heights Department of Planning and Development, the Cuyahoga County Department of Development, the National Development Council, and Leadership Cleveland as well as service as a member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision. She is often called on by members of the Ohio business community to provide research and strategic development services. Cheryl has been a key player in ushering more than $100,000,000 of investment to growing businesses and real estate developments in Ohio.
Cheryl has served on volunteer committees, boards, and commissions over the years and in 2009 Cheryl was elected to the City of Cleveland Heights’ City Council. She currently serves as one of seven members of Cleveland Heights City Council and is Chair of the Finance Committee.
Michael Schramm, Director of IT and Research
Michael Schramm, is the Director of Information Technology and Research at the Cuyahoga Land Bank as well as a Research Associate at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. At the County Lank Bank, Michael is currently developing information tools to help the corporation use data to make strategic acquisition decisions as well as track property status from acquisition to demolition to disposition. Recognized as a national expert in property data systems, Michael is also extensively involved in the development and maintenance the neighborhood information system, NEO CANDO (Northeast Ohio Community and Neighborhood Data for Organizing). Michael's expertise on foreclosure, subprime mortgages, and other real property data has been extensively utilized by the Neighborhood Stabilization Team sponsored by Neighborhood Progress, Inc, the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention Program as well as the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. He is also active in the local foreclosure and vacant property dialogue through VAPAC (Vacant and Abandoned Property Action Council) and has presented at numerous national meeting and conferences on these topics. Michael has B.S. degrees in Geography and Meteorology from Penn State University and a M.A. in Geography from Syracuse University.
Michael DiMartino, Director of Finance
Michael DiMartino, Director of Finance and Treasurer of the Corporation has been with CCLRC since August, 2010. Mr. DiMartino has attained his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations, as well as his Masters in Business Administration degree from Cleveland State University. His undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from St. John’s University in New York City. Mr. DiMartino had been in the for profit accounting/finance business arena for over 30 years, serving in such functions as Corporate Controller, Division Controller, IT Manager and Tax Manager. He has worked for such companies in the past as Ernst & Ernst (Ernst & Young), Demag Cranes Corporation, and Cleveland Range Company. Mr. DiMartino has had a small accounting, tax, and financial planning practice for over 30 years. He and his wife live in Solon, Ohio.