Bryson is the CEO of The Akron Leadership Foundation. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Union where as a student-athlete he studied Biology and Religious Studies. After initially pursuing a career in Medicine, he was captivated by what God was doing in communities around Akron and found himself in various leadership roles. This led him to pursuing his graduate degree in Public Health at Kent State University where he focused on minority health and wellness through his specialization in Social and Behavioral Sciences. With 15 years of leadership under his belt, Bryson is passionate about seeing men and women, young and old, live into the abundant life that Jesus lived and taught about. He lives this passion out with his wife Abby here in Akron.
Duane is the founder of South Street Ministries and Pastor at the Front Porch Fellowship. He and his wife Lisa moved into the Summit Lake neighborhood of Akron, OH, over 20 years ago as early adopters of the Christian Community Development principle: Relocation. Duane left the security of his job as a firefighter in response to the call of God on his life to do something radical for the city. This has had a profound impact on the city of Akron. His ministry has been a spiritual anchor for so many, especially those who don't feel like they fit in at other places. Duane has a knack for identifying and drawing out unlikely leaders and helping them to live into the call of God on their life. He also has a keen ability to step into challenging spaces, like racial division, and be a peacemaker.
Dr. Elizabeth , LISW-S
Elizabeth teaches Social Work and Global and International Studies at Malone University. She and her husband Charles moved into South Akron after they fell in love with the people and work God called them to there. She is passionate about community development, developing friendships with neighbors, and supporting initiatives that enhance the quality of life for whole people. Prior to teaching at Malone, Elizabeth was involved in community development work in Romania.
Nicole is the Director of The Landing, a weekly community gathering and food pantry through Akron Christian Reformed Church where guests and volunteers alike come with needs and gifts to offer, all landing on equal ground. She is a Compassionate Entrepreneur with Trades of Hope, which partners with women around the world by selling their handmade jewelry and home décor so to empower them out of poverty, human trafficking and other vulnerable situations. Over 20 years ago Nicole went on her first trip to Honduras thinking she was going to help. What she discovered was that her brothers and sisters there had more to offer her than she had to offer them. Over a 10 year period, she continued to travel to places like Central America, the U.S. - Mexican border, inner cities, and to living rooms of undocumented friends seeking to learn and live in solidarity with the marginalized. She has continued this pilgrimage for the last 11 years with her husband Andrew, her children, and her neighbors in Akron. She is a graduate of the KLA School of Urban Leadership and is excited about helping others gain the practical skills and experience that the KLA offers.
Joe Tucker, his wife, and two sons live in South Akron. Joe serves as Executive Director assisting all the staff and volunteers with the direction and vision of South Street Ministries. Joe started with South Street Ministries in 2008 as a volunteer with the Bike Shop and youth programs. Joe is a avid X-men fan, Akron enthusiast, and committed Christ-follower.