Denise Leipold, Executive Director
Denise is a former occupational therapist with a background in business administration. She brings to this position a long history of involvement with the pro-life cause, and previous experience in management, marketing, education, legislation and more with both non-profit and business organizations. She is a past vice president of the Life Education Fund board, as well as a past member of the advisory board, and has testified before the Ohio House and Senate on many occasions regarding legislation affecting life issues. She is also the author of the Right to Life of Northeast Ohio Program Manual, which is used to bring a consistency to the efforts of pro-life organizations throughout northeast Ohio and beyond. She works in collaboration with pro-life adult and youth groups and churches throughout the area through programming, education, advocacy, legislation and more to improve the culture of life.
Denise has been involved in church and community service activities most of her life. She is a volunteer and past board member of the Regina Health Center Foundation Board, a past member of the environmental group CORE (Committee Opposed to Ruining the Environment) testifying many times at the Ohio Statehouse for environmental legislation, was the communications director for the Vibrant Parish Life Cuyahoga Falls cluster, has volunteered with Project Homeless Connect in Akron, and is a Eucharistic Minister at her church.
Right to Life of Northeast Ohio Board of Directors
Kenneth Leipold, President
Ken brings to his position a long history of leadership and experience with charity, fraternity, unity and patriotism through the Knights of Columbus. Ken started and was the first Grand Knight of the council at his church, and a few years later started the first parish based assembly of the 4th degree order of the Knights of Columbus. Both the council and assembly were extremely active in family and charitable activities under his leadership. He was later asked by the state leadership to take on the role of district deputy, where he was successful in starting several more Knights of Columbus councils, re-invigorating several inactive councils, and earned many state and national awards for his involvement with this group.
Ken has a long history of involvement in church and community activities as well as a successful business career. He retired from Leipold Tire, a family business that he helped grow from a small 3 employee tire store in the 1970’s to a thriving, service oriented local business expanded into two locations.
Amy Zimmerman, Vice President
Amy has been involved in the pro-life cause for over 25 years. In college, she served as a counselor in a pregnancy center. Since then she has been involved in many pro-life activities at church and in her community. She is currently the leader of the Respect Life group at St. Hilary Parish in Akron. They regularly collect donations for pregnancy centers, in addition to conducting pro-life rosaries and regular vigils at the Akron abortion facility. On the anniversary of the legalization of abortion every January, the group holds a prayer vigil and sponsors an educational speaker at their church.
Amy is the owner of Comfort Keepers in Cuyahoga Falls and Medina. The mission of Comfort Keepers is to help the elderly live full, independent and dignified lives within the comfort of their own homes. They are dedicated to providing in-home care that enriches clients' lives and helps them maintain the highest possible level of independent living. She is married to Michael and they are parents of twins.
Dr. Raymond Adamek, Secretary
Raymond J. Adamek, Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Kent State University where he taught courses in the family, statistics, research methods, and other subjects for some 39 years. Dr. Adamek has published some 51 articles in academic journals and other outlets. These include 22 publications on life-issue topics in publications such as The Human Life Review, and the National Right to Life News. Fourteen of Dr. Adamek’s publications deal with public opinion on abortion. In December of 1981, he testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution concerning public opinion on abortion.
Dr. Adamek has also given over 50 presentations at a number of academic forums, including the Society for Applied Sociology, the North Central Sociological Association, the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems and the National Council on Family Relations. The topics ranged from marital interaction, teen sexual subculture, abortion polling, violence and radicalization, and job satisfaction.
Dr. Adamek has been active in the pro-life movement since 1972. He has served as the President of Right to Life of Portage County, and of Greater Akron Right to Life. He has also served on the Board of the Ohio Right to Life Society.
Joseph Pollack, Treasurer
Joe Pollack and his wife, Pam, have been involved in pro life work for more than 20 years. As leaders of the pro life group at their parish, Ss. Cosmas & Damian in Twinsburg, Joe and Pam have been engaged with many RTLNEO activities throughout the years including the Media/Signature Campaign, Flowers for Life, Crosses for Life, 40 Days for Life, Life Chain, Golf for Life, staffing at the Summit County Fair and many others. Joe has been a member of the RTLNEO board since 2009 and presently serves as Treasurer and chairman of the Government Affairs/Legislative outreach. Joe retired as a partner at Jones Day in December 2008 following a 23-year career focused primarily on intellectual property litigation.
Kayla has an extensive background with pro-life advocacy as the former Director of External Affairs for Ohio Right to Life where she helped to formulate pro-life initiatives through legislative and grass root efforts. She helped to monitor legislation dealing with abortion, adoption, infant mortality, human trafficking, Medicaid and end-of-life issues. She worked extensively with the Ohio General Assembly in support of pro-life policies, and was active in coalition building. Prior to her position at Ohio Right to Life, she was a campaign manager for the Ohio Hose Republican Organizational Committee, and has served as a legislative aide in the Ohio Hose of Representatives for the 36th Ohio House District. She currently resides in Green, and works as a Drug Court Manager and Grant Administrator in the city of Barberton.
Mary has been involved in the pro-life movement her whole life. She is former president of Pickaway County Right to Life, and is currently serving as President of Life Education Fund, the 501c3 affiliate with Right to Life of Northeast Ohio. She is an active member of St Francis de Sales Parish in Portage Lakes, where she is committed to spreading the pro-life message through their respect life group. She serves on Parish Council and is a member of the Social Action Commission. For more than 20 years, Mary has been the coordinator for hundreds of area students to attend the annual March for Life in Washington DC
Mary has a background in event planning, has served on many committees and has been involved in many non-profit fundraising efforts in our community and beyond. She is currently an account manager at Prism Health System.
Bill Obendorf has promoted the pro-life cause for many years. He is an active member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination where he has served as former secretary of the governing board, a deacon, chairman of the deacons, and an elder. He continues to be actively involved in home Bible study groups, and has also conducted Bible studies and counseling sessions at the Summit County Jail. He is a former board member of Akron Pregnancy Services.
Bill is retired from a long career in sales, earning many prestigious sales and customer service awards and recognitions from his employers.
David Umbaugh is a partner with the law firm of Day Ketterer Ltd. in Hudson Ohio specializing in estate planning. In 1980, he was a co-counsel to defend the city of Akron's anti-abortion ordinance all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
David is a former board member of the Hudson Chamber of Commerce, the Hudson Library Board and the Hudson Community Foundation. He recently formed the Hudson Sanctity of Life, which is a group of several churches in the Hudson area dedicated to the education of young people about the value of life. He is married to Sue, and has five children and nine grandchildren.
Al Van Kirk
Al Van Kirk is a successful business entrepreneur with extensive experience in the start up of new companies, He began his business career as a sales representative and quickly moved up the corporate ladder with national companies until he started his own company in 1981. He capitalized King's Medical with a small amount at that time and grew it into a multi-million dollar operation that employed over 1100 people. He recently sold the business and moved on in search of new executive challenges. Al specialized in running his businesses based on Biblical principles. He has proven leadership skills with a history of success of developing business and driving desired results; inspiring a common vision with a "roll-up-your-sleeves" style.
Ted has over 35 years experience in the health insurance industry and is currently an account executive with HealthSmart Benefit Solutions. He is a charter member of the Knights of Columbus Council 14255 in Akron where he functioned as the financial secretary, trustee, chancellor and program chairman for the Culture of Life Committee. He is active member of his church where he heads the lecter ministry, is an adult server, a former member of the parish council, and assists with Right to Life activities along with his wife, Patricia. He is also a volunteer at the American Red Cross for blood and platelet donations.
Linda Warren educates area pro-life youth to confidently talk with peers about pro-life issues from conception to natural death. She is the coordinator 40 Days for Life Campaigns in Stark County and prays peacefully at abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood. Linda has raised three children with her husband and currently enjoys spending time with her many grandchildren. Linda also serves as Vice President on the board of Life Education Fund, the 501c3 affiliate with Right to Life of Northeast Ohio.