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Creating a world where no grieving person journeys alone.

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5905 Brecksville Road
Independence, Ohio 44131


Contact Us
(216) 524–4673


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and is 100% tax deductible.


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Since Cornerstone of Hope was founded 2003, we have created a comprehensive bereavement support center with themed rooms to hold support groups, individual counseling, and educational and training courses.

Our spaces are uniquely designed to facilitate creative therapies, and we have dedicated spaces for different age groups. Our ultimate goal was to create a comfortable, home-like environment that welcomed all individuals and families entering our doors.

Who We Are

Meet the dynamic team of professionals who serve at our main campus in Independence, Ohio.

Our Clinicians


Cati Brasdovich, CT

Clinical Intern
“Healing is not always light, but rain grows flowers too.”
I joined Cornerstone in May of 2024 as a Clinical Intern. Prior to starting my Master’s program, I began my career with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and work with children year-round. During my free time, I enjoy reading, visiting new places and spending time with friends and family.

Bethany Collings, LPC, CCTP

“Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid. Having courage and showing courage mean we face our fears. We are able to say, 'I have fallen, but I will get up.'”
– Maya Angelou
I have been with Cornerstone since 2022 and am passionate about helping you find resiliency and hope after loss and trauma.  I know how vital it is to have someone who can sit with your pain without judgment, and I strive to create a safe, warm, collaborative space for you to heal. I earned my Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Cleveland State and have advanced training in trauma therapies, including EMDR. In my free time I enjoy traveling, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, and hiking with my dog.

Kristin Collins-Breyfogle, CT

Clinical Intern
“Being human is not about being any particular way; it is about being as life creates you – with your own particular strengths and weaknesses, gifts and challenges, quirks and oddities.” – Kristin Neff
I joined Cornerstone of Hope as a Clinical Intern in May 2024.  Counseling is a second career for me.  My first career as a teacher of young adults and adolescents inspired me to pursue a career in Mental Health and wellness.  Currently, I am pursuing a Master’s degree at Kent State University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  My passions include art, particularly oil pastels, reading anything science fiction and fantasy, and spending time with my family.  I live in Westlake with my husband, two children, and two dogs.

Sara Fouts, LPC

“We need to know that we will be loved through our hopelessness, through the pain, and through the thorns. Accepted for where we’re at. If anything will get us back to hope, that will.”

I joined Cornerstone of Hope in 2023 to receive clinical training as a counselor specializing in grief and trauma. My former work experience includes end of life care, community mental health, as well as experience working within multiple cultures. I will complete my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling within the next year. In my spare time I enjoy yoga and climbing volcanoes.

Danielle Henderson, LPCC-S

Camp Officer and Internship Coordinator
“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”
– Pedro Arrupe, S.J.
I joined the Cornerstone of Hope team in 2022. In addition to providing counseling services, I also oversee our grief summer camp programs and internship program. I am a Licensed Professional Clinician Counselor and a graduate of Boston College where I earned Master’s degrees in Mental Health Counseling and Theology & Ministry.  Some of my favorite things include finding new places to eat, hike, and explore in the Cleveland area.

Janet Jones, LPCC-S

I’m so pleased to be returning to Cornerstone of Hope as a Clinician and Group Facilitator. I’ve worked in many mental health settings including a psychatric hospital, community outreach to those with both mental health issues and epilepsy as well as private practice. I’ve been licensed for over 30 years and have a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with Supervision designation (LPCC-S). I’ve found my career to be very fulfilling. I enjoy spending time with my grandson and I enjoy refurbishing vintage dollhouses to their original condition.

Kaylen Jones, LPC, ATR-P

CLINICIAN and Art Therapist
“For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
– Psalm 30:5

I joined Cornerstone of Hope in 2023. Previously I have worked in school-based, foster and senior care, private practice, and medical hospital settings. I hold a BS in Pre-Art Therapy from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Art Therapy from Ursuline College. Through my career I have seen the healing power of art therapy for all ages. When I’m not working I enjoy participating in art making in various media from ceramics, embroidery, painting, and collage.

Ty Morgan, LISW-S

Spiritual care & Education Coordinator
I serve as an educator, counselor, and spiritual director. Employed by Cornerstone of Hope and Youngstown State University; I have been afforded many opportunities to utilize my spiritual gifts. I first joined Cornerstone of Hope in 2009 and have been with YSU since 2016. I have experience leading educational sessions, facilitating support groups, and counseling individuals on their healing journey. I have accepted a calling to specialize in healing the wounds of trauma, nurture spirituality, and provide education on holistic health. As a professional counselor, I have developed a passion and unique skill set to provide hope and healing to the broken. As an educator, I have found joy in fostering enlightenment and understanding about life’s journey. I received my B.S. in Human Development and Family Science from Bowling Green University and completed my graduate work in Social Work at Cleveland University. Post graduate work I completed a certification program in Formational Counseling at Ashland Seminary. I am also a devoted husband and proud parent of 3 children.

Sarah Olenik, LISW-S

I joined the Cornerstone of Hope team in 2023. Previously, I owned and operated a Mental Health and Addiction treatment facility. I sold the business in 2022 and took some time off to try out early retirement. I quickly realized I wanted to continue to work with those who are suffering and joined Cornerstone of Hope as they helped me through my own grief journey when my late husband passed away. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Bowling Green State University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Cleveland State University. I have a passion for assisting those who are suffering. I have two grown children, an adorable granddaughter, and enjoy spending time outside with my husband and our two dogs.

Amy Quinlan

Support Group and School Group Coordinator
“All shall be well … for there is a force of love moving through the universe that holds us fast and will never let us go.”
- Julian of Norwich

I joined Cornerstone of Hope in October 2022 after working over 20 years as a Bereavement Coordinator for a Hospice. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Bowling Green State University. In my spare time I enjoy being with my family, walking, and vacationing in Bermuda. I am passionate about photography. I live in Olmsted Township with my husband, three children and Boxer, Juniper Petunia.

Suzanne Urgo, LPC

"Jesus said 'In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.'"
– John 16:33
I was an intern at Cornerstone of Hope in 2013 and returned to COH in March of 2023. After I interned at Cornerstone, I worked in various schools providing therapeutic services to students. I received my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Kent State. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my loved ones, going to concerts, taking walks in the Metroparks, seeing stand-up comedy shows and reading.

Our interns are an integral part of our staff at Cornerstone, attending staff trainings, providing feedback in meetings, and most importantly, supporting Client care through individual sessions and facilitators for school and support groups. Learn more about our interns here.

Our Leadership


Mark Tripodi

CEO & Founder
"Jesus told her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?'"
- John 11:25–26
My wife, Christi, and I are the founders of Cornerstone of Hope. We experienced the sudden death of our three year old son, Bobby, in May of 2000. Our lives have been forever changed since that very day. Soon after, we felt God’s call to offer support to families who have experienced the death of a loved one, and founded Cornerstone of Hope in 2003. I am passionate about introducing Cornerstone of Hope to families in need, to volunteers who want to make an impact and to companies and individuals who feel called to generously support this crucial mission.

Julia Ellifritt, LISW-S

Education Director
“Pure religion that God the Father accepts as pure is this: to love orphans and widows, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
- James 1:27

I joined Cornerstone of Hope 18 years ago, after working in hospice for 20 years. I was the first clinician hired and worked to develop many clinical areas for Cornerstone (counseling, groups, interns, volunteers). I currently hold the position of Education Director, and provide training on grief and trauma at COH and in the community.  I have a master’s degree in social work from CWRU, where I also teach Grief and Loss courses.

Steve Frohwerk

Marketing Director
I joined Cornerstone of Hope in March 2024, bringing with me 15+ years of nonprofit marketing and communications experience. I am a proud graduate of Ohio University, where after completing my undergraduate degree, I obtained a Master of Business Administration and Master of Sports Administration. My wife and I have two boys and we’re usually found at a baseball diamond, football field, or hockey rink cheering them on…but when we’re not we love to enjoy the outdoors, walk and play with our pupper, listen to tunes, or fire up the grill.

Maryann Mackey

Director of Strategic Initiatives and Executive Assistant
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
– Psalm 27:14
I joined Cornerstone of Hope as an Executive Assistant in 2019. Previously, I worked for AT&T in a variety of roles, most recently as Director, Regulatory Affairs, managing numerous public policy and business initiatives and ensuring corporate compliance with state statutes and regulatory agency mandates. My husband and I have two adult children, both of whom live in New York.

Hannah Mascio, LPCC-S, NCC

“And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security.”
– Job 11:18
Hello, I'm Hannah Mascio, LPCC-S, NCC, serving as the Clinical Director at Cornerstone of Hope. I hold a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from John Carroll University. My mission is to provide compassionate support to individuals navigating the intricate path of grief. With my extensive background, I am committed to fostering a safe and nurturing environment within our counseling center. I believe in offering empathetic care to those seeking solace and healing during challenging times. My dedication to mental health and well-being makes me proud to be a part of this team, contributing to the journey of healing for our clients.

Rob Sikora

Development DIRECTOR
I joined the Cornerstone of Hope team in February 2024. My fundraising career has guided me through many wonderful nonprofit organizations throughout Northeast Ohio including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. I hold a Master’s Degree in Arts Management and a Bachelor’s in Music Education. I am passionate about the mission and the vision for our organization. I look forward to helping lead and making an impact within our community along with the dedicated COH team. I currently reside in Valley View with my two sons, Jackson and Harrison.

Amber Wiesner

Chief Operating Officer
“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
- Isaiah 41:10
In May 2023, I joined Cornerstone of Hope as HR Director and Project Manager after working as an Executive Director and running a consulting business focused on healthcare and non-profits. My primary goal is to support healthcare workers in delivering exceptional care. My career is driven by a passion to make a meaningful impact, providing peace, hope, love, and guidance to others. Outside of work, I'm a mother of two, actively coaching their sports and being their biggest cheerleader in all their pursuits.

Our Staff


Pete Bliss

Community Outreach Coordinator
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
- Psalm 34:18

I joined the Cornerstone team in 2020. As Community Outreach Coordinator, my role is to educate the Cleveland community about COH services, network with relevant community service providers, and represent COH at meetings, events and activities. I have served in the crisis intervention field for 30 years and am a survivor of multiple suicide losses. Companioning those who have experienced traumatic loss and training responders is my passion.

Kristen Cook

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.”
– Psalm 143:8

I joined Cornerstone of Hope as the Clinical Receptionist in 2019 and recently transitioned into my current role as Client Services Coordinator. Throughout my career, I have worked for a variety of small and large organizations as administrative support, and I hold an Associate of Applied Business Human Resources Management degree. My interests include reading, baking, and spending time with my family.

Anna Dean, Ph.D.

Spiritual Resource Officer
“Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.”
-James 4:10
I joined the Cornerstone of Hope team as the Spiritual Resource Officer in April 2024. After earning my B.A. from The Ohio State University, I studied politics, literature, philosophy, and theology through the Institute of Philosophic Studies, the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program at the University of Dallas. I look forward to using what I’ve learned—and all that I will learn—to help Cornerstone give hope to the grieving. Outside of work, I love baking, reading, and spending time with loved ones, especially my nieces and nephews.

Molly Dugan

Graphic Designer
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”
– Matthew 6:34

I joined the Cornerstone of Hope team as the Graphic Designer in 2021. In high school, I had the opportunity to intern with Cornerstone in the Marketing Department, where I fell in love with design. After attending Kent State University and attaining my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication Design, I am back! In my free time, I enjoy doing anything artsy – sewing, DIY projects, painting, etc.

Debbie Galland

Senior Development Officer
“Faith does not make things easy, it makes them possible.”
– Luke 1:37
I joined Cornerstone of Hope in 2015 after working for Fortune 500 companies for over 25 years. As Senior Development Officer, I play a crucial role in generating financial support through major fundraisers and major donors. Relationship-building, specifically with major donors, is critical to the organization, as is donor stewardship. My husband and I have two sons, a daughter-in-law and two Goldendoodle “granddogs” who we love to spend time with, especially in the great outdoors.

Michael Galland

Facilities Coordinator
My journey to Cornerstone of Hope began after serving in the military, obtaining my MBA and working 35 years in Investment Banking. I spent the last five years figuring out what to do when I got old(er). My wife Debbie introduced me to the organization as volunteer, which then turned into to a part-time position in 2022. I enjoy spending my free time traveling with Debbie to visit our two sons and two grand Goldendoodles.

Judi Horvath

“If we could spread love as quickly as we spread hate and negativity, what an amazing world we would live in.”

I joined the Cornerstone team in 2016. My role includes all things financial. I graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College with a degree in management and the arts, enabling me to use my love of music as a school music teacher for 15 years. My family owns a business for which I also provide payroll and bookkeeping services. I am very involved in the Cleveland Hungarian community, am married with two grown children, and love to travel.

Jennifer Knechtel

Event & Program Coordinator
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
– Philippians 4:13

I joined the Cornerstone of Hope team in March 2021.  I hold a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State in Advertising/PR and have been blessed with the opportunity to spend my career within the nonprofit field focused on special events and development. My husband and I have two children and two chocolate labs. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, volunteering within our church’s children’s ministry, being outdoors, and cheering on my kids at their activities.

Elizabeth Lynch

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
– Isaiah 40:31

I joined Cornerstone of Hope as the Clinical Receptionist in 2023. I developed a compassion for grieving people after dealing with multiple losses in my own life. It has been an honor to support Cornerstone of Hope’s mission of supporting our clients as they navigate their grief. In my spare time I am studying Communications online through The Ohio State University. You can always find me outdoors and spending time with my dogs.

Janice Lynch

Evening Receptionist
"Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
- Joshua 1:9

I joined the Cornerstone of Hope team in October 2023. I graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in Management and Labor Relations.  I retired in 2018 after a 33-year career in transportation and logistics.  I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful mission – creating a world where no one grieves alone.  I enjoy spending time with my daughters and extended family and taking my dog for car rides.  Since retiring I enjoy exploring (and photographing) interesting sites throughout Northeast Ohio.  I also enjoy attending performances at Playhouse Square. 


Sue Mackovjak

Volunteer Coordinator
"Never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.”
– St. Pope John Paul II

I started a new career as Cornerstone’s Volunteer Coordinator in June, 2022 after teaching math and Religion for many years. I have a Business degree from Kent State University and a high school math teaching certificate from Cleveland State University. Together with my high-school sweetheart turned husband, we have four amazing daughters and three son-in-laws, love to travel with family, and take long hikes. My faith and family are my everything. 

Juliana Sala

Grant Coordinator & Client Rights Officer
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. It may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
– Maya Angelou
I joined Cornerstone of Hope in September 2022 as Grant Coordinator. Previously, I worked at a non-profit in Kent as a Child Violence Prevention Specialist. In 2021, I received my Master's Degree in Public Health at Kent State University, building upon my Bachelor's Degree in the same field. Spending quality time with my husband and mini schnauzer Murphy brings me joy, as well as playing a game of volleyball or going on hikes at our nearby parks.

Angela Polter

"'For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
– Jeremiah 29:11

I have been employed at Cornerstone of Hope since 2019, when our family relocated here from Northwest Ohio. I have a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University. My husband and I live in Independence with our three children and three dogs. On the weekends, you can find me exploring the outdoors, camping, on the sidelines of my kid’s sporting events, or coaching youth cheerleading.

Lori Spacagna

Payroll Administrator
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” 
– Philippians 2:13
I became part of the Cornerstone of Hope family in January of 2024 as the Payroll Administrator. I have had previous employment in accounting, payroll, customer service and general administration, but my favorite job of all was being a stay-at-home mom for my 3 (now adult) children. I enjoy long walks, swimming, volleyball, reading, journaling, cooking and baking.

Alyson Watt, CCLS

Camp & Client Care Coordinator
“The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
- Psalm 145:8
I joined Cornerstone of Hope as the Camp and Client Coordinator in January 2024. Prior to that, I worked as a Certified Child Life Specialist at a pediatric hospital system. There, I had the opportunity to teach coping skills and offer a wide range of support to children, adolescents, and family members during their time at the hospital. In my spare time, I love spending time with my husband and our dogs, as well as making art and doing creative projects.

Board of Directors

Cornerstone’s Board of Directors meets every other month and advises of all aspects and finances of the organization. In addition to reviewing and approving the upcoming year’s operating budget and participating in the development of our Strategic Plan, all board members are financial contributors to Cornerstone’s mission.

Board of Trustees

Tom Futey


Jamie Vilchek

Vice Chairperson

Maria Dean


Kent Manson


Christi Tripodi

Founder / Ex-Officio Board Member

Mark Tripodi

Founder / Ex-Officio Board Member

Michelle Burdette

Sheryl Caine

Patrick DiBiasio

Kathy Futey

Cynthia Haire

Dan Hartnett

Kyle Kiffer

Laura Manuel

Wayne Ostrosky

Kodi Pride

Loree Vick

Dave Wheeler

Nathan Zegura

Emeritus Directors

Jay DeFinis

Judith Matsko

Casey Rasata

Founding Board Members

Ed Butler

Bobby DiGeronimo

Lisa Kurtz Luciano

Until we meet again

Donnie DiGeronimo

Denise Dufala

Dino Lucarelli

Frank Rini

Patrick Rollins

Jeff Spetrino

Never grieve alone.


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Cornerstone of Hope is a 501(c)3.
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