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CDF-Ohio > About CDF-Ohio > Staff & Consultants

Children's Defense Fund - Ohio
Staff & Consultants


Renuka Mayadev
Executive Director

Chris Glaros
National Field Organizing Coordinator and General Counsel

Linda Bess
Grants Manager
Juvenile Justice Advocate

Kevin Boyd

Rachel Channing

Fran Frazier
Women’s Advocacy Action Network
Coordinator and Organizer

Jill Frost
Communications Consultant

Susan Ignelzi, Ph.D.
Women’s Advocacy Action Network
Policy Coordinator

Laura Young
Senior Organizer

Administrative Assistant

Coordinator, Cleveland

Senior Manager, Cleveland

Renuka Mayadev, Executive Director

Renuka is a seasoned professional, with a strong mix of policy experience, understanding of the importance of smart collaboration, and passion for making a difference in the lives of Ohio’s children.

Renuka is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she majored in Economics with a concentration in Spanish. She analyzed financial transactions for Coopers & Lybrand and worked at the U.S. Department of Justice before earning her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

After working at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, Renuka returned to her native Columbus, Ohio five years ago to assume leadership roles in the public arena. She served as Deputy Director for Constituent Affairs and Policy at the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. And for the past three years, Renuka worked with former Governor Ted Strickland as his Chief Policy Advisor for juvenile justice, public safety, rehabilitation and corrections, and workers’ compensation.


Chris Glaros, National Field Organizing Coordinator and General Counsel

Chris Glaros is the National Field Organizing Coordinator and General Counsel for the Children’s Defense Fund. He works to develop and coordinate grassroots support to advance CDF’s mission and priorities across the country. He also manages all legal issues for CDF and provides counsel to its leadership and staff.

Chris came to CDF after serving in senior positions within Ohio state government. He was appointed First Assistant Attorney General by Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, and helped manage all aspects of the 1,600-person office, including the legal work of more than 400 attorneys in wide-ranging civil and criminal matters. He served as General Counsel in the Ohio Treasury, which managed nearly $20 billion of public funds and safeguarded nearly $200 billion in custodial funds. Prior to government service, he practiced law at Jones Day and clerked for the Honorable Algenon L. Marbley in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. While in law school, he clerked for then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder at the United States Department of Justice.

In addition to his legal career, Chris has long been active in public service. He has held leadership positions in various statewide political and organizing campaigns in Ohio, where he helped grow large grassroots networks. He also worked for George Stephanopoulos as research assistant for his book All Too Human and his teaching assistant at Columbia University.

Chris graduated from Columbia University and Stanford Law School, and he works in Columbus, Ohio.


Linda Bess, Grants Manager & Juvenile Justice Advocate

Linda joined the CDF-Ohio in March 2005. Linda retired from the public service with the State of Ohio after approximately 30 years of administrative and program experience. Linda was the Deputy Director, Child Welfare, at the Ohio Job and Family Services and Deputy Director, Parole, Courts and C ommunity Services with the Department of Youth Services.

While with Youth Services, she also held positions as a Training Administrator, an Institution Superintendent (at minimum and maximum security institutions), a Business Administrator and a Personnel Officer. Linda also took on special assignments at the Training Institute of Central Ohio (TICO), the Circleville Youth Center and the Cuyahoga Hills Youth Center. Linda serves as a Juvenile Justice Advocate and Office / Grants Manager for CDF-Ohio.


Kevin Boyd, Researcher

Kevin Boyd joined the staff with Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio in April 2010. He is a currently a graduate student at The Ohio State University, pursuing a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning. He is a native of South Carolina. His experiences growing up in a sparsely populated region of the state brought him face-to-face with the plight and disparities of disadvantaged children. Parts of his life reflect the burden of such inequality and hardships. He has dedicated himself to becoming an example to others. His first professional experiences came as an Administration Assistant with the Georgetown County Department of Planning and as an Intern for the Spartanburg, South Carolina Department of City Planning. His work at CDF-Ohio includes data management and analysis for the KIDS COUNT initiative, which includes the yearly data book and other publications. He works to excel as he brings to the forefront the plight of children’s issues. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Sociology from University of South Carolina.


Rachel Channing, Writer

Rachel Channing has a Master’s degree in Social Work from the Ohio State University and is also a registered nurse. She draws from these professional and personal experiences to work in a holistic manner to protect the mental, physical and social health of vulnerable populations. She has worked in both direct clinical settings and administrative settings. She worked in rural Tennessee at a primary care clinic, as a home care nurse for hospice patients and in a dental clinic run out of a homeless shelter. Rachel has also worked for the Public Children’s Services Association of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Health. Most recently, she was the Grant Coordinator for the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant. Rachel is working with CDF Ohio to develop an issue brief that reflects areas where Ohio is making positive strides with policies and programs as well as assisting with the Ohio’s KIDS COUNT data book.


Fran Frazier, Women’s Advocacy Action Network Coordinator and Organizer

Fran has been a volunteer with the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio since 2005 and became a consultant for the Women’s Advocacy Action Network in 2009. Fran has been a consultant and facilitator for much of her career. She served in various capacities for the Ohio Department of Human Services from 1987-1998: these included Administrator for Cultural Initiatives and Bureau Chief for Workforce Initiatives, and Director of Office of Minority Family Preservation and Prevention Services. She previously served as a classroom teacher in the Columbus Public Schools and Special Needs Coordinator at the National Assault Prevention Center. She is a national facilitator for the Everyday Democracy and as a consultant to the Columbus Public Schools where she works with specific schools on school climate issues. She holds a Bachelors of Science cum laude in Special Education from Norfolk State University and Masters of Arts Degree in Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Disorders from the Ohio State University. She is pursuing a Doctorate in Leadership and Change at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.


Jill Frost, Communications Consultant

Jill Frost, a Columbus based communications specialist, began as a volunteer with the Central Ohio Women’s Advocacy Action Network (WAAN) in March 2010, before becoming a CDF-Ohio consultant.  She began her career as a reporter working in several Ohio media markets.  Jill then put her talents and passion for advocacy to work recruiting foster parents for abused and neglected children. As a child welfare advocate, she has managed a county foster care recruitment program, served as a consultant and a contractor to county and state family and children services agencies in a number of states and localities.  She also serves as a marketing and communications volunteer for several community organizations. Jill earned her BA in Communications from Ohio Dominican University.


Susan Ignelzi, Ph.D., Women’s Advocacy Action Network Policy Coordinator

Dr. Ignelzi has been a volunteer with Children's Defense Fund-Ohio since May, 2005 and became a consultant for the Women’s Advocacy Action Network in 2009. Dr. Ignelzi is a seasoned public and private sector administrator with 34 years of organization-building achievements in education, health and social services. She has a Doctor of Philosophy from Ohio State University, Faculty of Human Service Education, a Master of Arts in Education and Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Dr. Ignelzi has worked in many administrative positions, being responsible for policy and program development. Dr. Ignelzi has several publications relating to children’s issues (e.g. Building Family-Centered, Community-Based Systems of Care: International Congress on Serving Children with Special Health Care Needs in the Community).


Laura Young, Senior Organizer

Laura Young joined Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio in April 2010. Laura is a United Methodist minister and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Laura attended law school at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, and she is a graduate of The University of Michigan.

Laura ministered on the “front lines” with people in poverty in one of the poorest and most violent areas of Columbus. The United Methodist church to which she was appointed is a “mission site” that serves food, clothing, and health care to 2500 people each month. Laura served youth and families by preaching, teaching, and building partnerships to support a variety of ministries. She developed and led youth programs such as tutoring, a gospel choir, and learning, serving, and social opportunities for inner-city children.

Laura focuses on expanding Freedom Schools® throughout Ohio and developing partnerships with faith and community organizations to empower people to help fulfill CDF’s objectives. Laura’s interest in CDF began when partnering with CDF-Ohio to promote and conduct Children’s Sabbaths® and Freedom Schools® within her denomination.