Donna Russell, Board Chair

Donna Russell

Board Chair

Donna Russell has served for 14 years in her current job capacity as manager of Member Business Services at the Ohio University Credit Union. Ms. Russell joined the Ohio University Credit Union, a local non-profit financial institution, to establish their expansion to provide business financial services. Her vast involvement with commercial lending institutions in the region has been a tremendous asset to the growth of the fund as well as assisting with deal flow and internal review processes.

Ms. Russell received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Ohio University. She is an Ambassador for the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, serves as the Vice President for the Friends of CASA Board ... Read More

Ric Wasserman, Vice Chair

Ric Wasserman

Vice Chair

Ric Wasserman began his Athens business career with the founding of World’s Best Bagels in 1991. As an independent businessman, he has interests in the food, beverage & entertainment industries as well as real estate management and construction.

As the owner of the 20 year-old Pigskin Bar and Grill, he was a founding member of the Athens Independent Restaurant Association and has worked actively to encourage the proliferation and growth of locally-owned food establishments. Mr. Wasserman was also a founding member of the Boogie on the Bricks festival in uptown Athens. His business portfolio also includes the Bella Vino wine and craft beer store.

Mr. Wasserman holds a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio University’s ... Read More

Kathryn McGushin, Secretary

Kathryn McGushin


Chef Kathryn McGushin, CEC, CHE, grew up in Lancaster, OH though originally from Lexington, KY,. After high school, she attended Bowling Green State University and received a bachelor of science in Interior Design. Chef Katie then moved to Savannah, GA where she attended Savannah College of Art and Design to study Historic Preservation. While attending SCAD, she started working in the hospitality industry, prompting a switch in careers and, eventually, encouraging her to attend Hocking College to receive her Associate of Applied Business in Culinary Arts. After graduating from Hocking, she worked at several local restaurants and catering operations. In 2011, Chef McGushin began teaching at Hocking College, eventually becoming ... Read More

Aaron Thomas, Treasurer

Aaron Thomas


Aaron Thomas, owner of Class “A” Sounds, moved to Athens from East Cleveland, Ohio. As a graduate of Ohio University, Mr. Thomas is one of the first of his family to attend college. After college, he realized that Athens could support a car stereo and home theater business and he launched Class “A” Sounds in 2003.

In addition to running his own business, Mr. Thomas is very involved with the community. He served on the Athens Chamber of Commerce Board for six years and was an initial planner and business participant in the Athens County Business Education Partnership which was established in partnership with Ohio University and the Ohio University Credit ... Read More

Tanya Conrath joined the Innovation Center in November 2016 as the Associate Director.  At the Innovation Center, Ms. Conrath oversees the staff, makes connections for clients, and manages facilities management, fundraising efforts, budget analysis, grant writing and other Innovation Center operations.

In her previous role with TechGROWTH OHIO, part of Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership & Public Affairs, she facilitated regional outreach and educational/training opportunities for entrepreneurs, directed the mentorship service and strengthened partner connectivity within the 20-county region. Her career has focused on supporting regional economic development in Southeast Ohio and creating professional development opportunities for its leaders and businesses.

Ms. Conrath is an attorney, trained mediator, and certified facilitator for ... Read More

Brent M. Hartman is the President & Owner of O’Nail-Hartman Insurance Agency, Inc. and received his Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science from Ohio University. He was a founding board member of the Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery and served on the board for Athens Professionals for Philanthropy. Mr. Hartman lives with his wife, Dr. Sara Hartman and their two daughters Emma and Elizabeth.

Andrea Lewis brings an extensive background in grant writing, event planning, and community building and donor cultivation. Ms. Lewis works as the Events and Marketing Coordinator for APG Media of Ohio at the The Athens Messenger. Ms. Lewis has worked as a tax preparation consultant for the Ohio University Credit Union and most recently as the former Business Development Officer for Citizen Bank Logan.

Ms. Lewis was the Executive Director of The Dairy Barn Arts Center from January 2005 to March 1, 2012. Ms. Lewis has served on the Athens Municipal Art Commission and is a passionate advocate for the arts and education.

Ms. Lewis graduated from Ohio University in 1997 with a Bachelors in ... Read More

Scott Zielinski is currently the Executive Director of the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services, an agency devoted to assisting low-income Athens County residents through a variety of programs and services.

Mr. Zielinski was previously the Director of the Area 14 Workforce Development Board, an organization charged with the responsibility to procure workforce services, develop policies, and oversee Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding for a three-county area (Athens, Meigs and Perry).

Previously he spent 15 years with the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services in multiple roles, including the supervision of the Ohio Means Jobs – Athens County center (The Work Station), Special Projects Coordinator, and Coordinator ... Read More

Catherine Allgood currently serves as a Director of Development for University Advancement at Ohio University. She has worked with the University since 2008. During her time at OU, she served as the Assistant Director of Annual Giving as well as the Director of Development for Student Affairs. Prior to her return to Athens, Ms. Allgood served as the Assistant Director for Annual Giving at Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio.

Ms. Allgood holds two degrees from Ohio University. She received her bachelor’s in Psychology in 2006 and completed her Master’s in Organizational Communication in 2014. She resides in Athens with her husband Gabe Giordano and their dog, Kevin Lynn.

Sarah Milligan is an Athens County transplant from Zanesville, Ohio. Ms. Milligan has been employed by Rocky Brands since 2005 holding a variety of roles in the areas of sales and customer service. Her current role of VP of Customer Experience has her understanding, overseeing, and bettering all customer interactions with Rocky from initial discovery all the way to purchase. In addition to her work at Rocky, she also runs a photography business named @45764PHOTOGRAPHY specializing in senior, and family photography. Ms. Milligan earned an undergraduate degree from Ohio University in History and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Capella University.

Ms. Milligan is engaged in many community efforts with ... Read More