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Foundation Welcomes New Trustees to Board

The Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence is pleased to announce the appointment of five new trustees to its Board of Directors. “As The Foundation continues to grow and strengthen its mission, we are excited to welcome new leadership and fresh perspectives to our team,” stated Foundation Executive Director Theresa Wright. “Each of these individuals brings with them a diverse set of skills and interests, as well as a commitment to our schools, students and the Highland community. We are eager to work in tandem with them to move The Foundation forward.”

Dave DeSimoneDave DeSimone – Dave is currently the Chief Security Officer (CSO) at Binary Defense, an information security company based out of Stow. He is responsible for the IT Operations, Security and Service Delivery for the organization and its clients. Dave has worked within the Information Security industry for 20 years and has held numerous leadership roles within large organizations. Dave currently serves on The Highland Foundation Scholarships and Grants committees and assists the IT Committee. Since 2016, he and his wife Kim have lived in Granger Township with their two sons Josh (7th grade) and Nick (6th grade), both students at Highland Middle School.

Deanna DolanDeanna Dolan – Deanna and her husband Pat are the current owners of The Portaro Group, which provides a single point of contact for the development of integrated solutions ranging from simple to complex telecommunications services. Deanna joined The Foundation’s PR Committee in 2021 and focuses on content for its social media accounts. The Dolans, who reside in Hinckley Township, have two children, Alexis, a junior at Highland High School, and Patrick, a sophomore at John Carroll University.

Tonia FisherTonia Fisher – Tonia is the President of Free Enterprises, Inc. She earned a B.A. from the University of Dayton and an MBA from Ashland University. She and her husband Brian live in Sharon Township and have two sons. She enjoys golfing, cooking and spending time outdoors with her family and friends.


Amanda PfahlAmanda Pfahl – Amanda is the owner of Amanda Pfahl State Farm Insurance and Financial Services in Hinckley. She has enjoyed working with the Highland community since opening her business in 2006. Amanda currently serves as the chair of The Foundation’s Public Relations Committee.  In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, gardening, spending time with family and friends and watching college football. Amanda and her husband Jeremy live in Granger Township with their children, Graham (4th grade) and Samantha (3rd grade) who attend Granger Elementary School.

Rachel ShepardRachel Shepard – Rachel is the Founder and CEO of LonaRock, where the company’s mission is to empower executives and business owners by focusing on the financials of the business. Rachel specializes in offering solutions related to financing and identifying capital needs. She is the author of the weekly macroeconomic newsletter called “The LonaRock Report” and previously spent 17 years in the banking industry. Additionally, Rachel currently serves on the board of the nonprofit Angels in Blue Jeans. She holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Akron and an Executive MBA from Kent State University. She and her husband Charles reside in Sharon Township with their two children who attend Sharon Elementary School.

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