Board of Directors
An expanded group of TPS graduates and community leaders has been working with the existing board to restructure and re-energize the Foundation - sharpening its focus and setting the stage for even greater impact.
Robert Clark has a deep history within the Toledo community, especially through TPS. A retired assistant superintendent of Toledo Public Schools, he graduated from Waite High School in 1965 and has been recognized as a Waite Distinguished Alumnus. Holding both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Toledo, Bob remains a consultant with TPS, the Urban Leadership Development Program and Bowling Green State University. He is the treasurer of the Committee for Schools and a past president of both the East Toledo Family Center and the University of Toledo Downtown Coaches Association. Bob is a recipient of the J.C. Penney Volunteer of the Year Award and the Coalition for Quality Education Golden Pencil Award.
Dr. Romules Durant (ex-officio member) is the CEO/Superintendent of Toledo Public Schools. He is a TPS Proud graduate of Waite High School, Class of 1994. Dr. Durant has received three degrees from the University of Toledo: a Bachelor of Education degree in 1998, a Master’s of Education degree in 2002 and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision in 2007. Employed by TPS since 1999, Dr. Durant had been a teacher, administrator and assistant superintendent before being named to the top position in December, 2013.
Joel Epstein is the managing director of Waverly Partners, LLC. He has more than 25 years of executive search, entrepreneurial and financial services industries experience. Before joining Waverly Partners, Mr. Epstein was regional vice president and managing director for StratfordGroup, a national retained executive search firm. He started his business career at Trustcorp, Inc., a regional bank holding company, where he served as executive vice president of the holding company and president and CEO of the multi-billion dollar lead bank. Prior to entering the executive search industry, Mr. Epstein led an angel investing group, founding and managing several entrepreneurial ventures based on technology transfer out of universities and healthcare systems in such diverse industries as software development and publishing, photochemical research and development, medical imaging and medical testing. Mr. Epstein earned his bachelor of science degree from the University of Toledo.
Merrill Grant (ex-officio member) is a retired superintendent of Toledo Public Schools and is the founder of the TPS Foundation.
Dennis Hopson is a retired professional basketball player and a TPS Proud graduate of Bowsher High School. During his time as a student athlete at Bowsher, he was a two time All-State and two time All-City player, as well as the City League Player of the Year as a senior. Mr. Hopson received a full basketball scholarship to The Ohio State University, where he finishED his career as OSU’s all-time leading scorer with 2,096 points. Mr. Hobson received a bachelor’s degree in Education/Sports Leisure from OSU and went on to play with the New Jersey Nets, the Chicago Bulls (where he was part of the world championship team in the 1990-1991 season) and the Sacramento Kings before spending seven years playing professionally overseas. Mr. Hopson was an NBA scout, held a variety of assistant coaching positions (including with Bowling Green State University) and now enjoys his time training kids and working in the community of Toledo as an outreach coordinator for CTF.
Harold Robert ‘Bob’ Howell is the president and CEO of the SSOE Group headquartered in downtown Toledo. Mr. Howell graduated from Start High School in 1973 and, after attending the University of Toledo, started his career with SSOE in 1980. He was named an associate in 1990 and a principal in 1999. Since 2004, Mr. Howell has been instrumental in the merger, acquisition, and integration of a number of firms and has been instrumental in the formation of a joint venture, paving the ground for serving clients in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. In October, 2009, Mr. Howell was named to the position of chief operating officer, accountable for SSOE’s global operations. In December, 2014, Mr. Howell was elected by the SSOE board of directors President and CEO of SSOE Group.
Robert LaClair is the Affiliate President of Fifth Third Bank and is a TPS Proud graduate of the former Libbey High School. As president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank (Northwestern Ohio), which has $2.4 billion in assets, Mr. LaClair is responsible for the growth and strategic direction of four lines of business. He joined Fifth Third Bank in 1999 as vice president of mortgage lending. He was promoted to senior vice president in 2001 and was named senior vice president of consumer lending in 2002. Mr. LaClair served as senior vice president of retail banking from 2003 until being named president and CEO in April, 2005. Mr. LaClair began his banking career at First National Bank of Toledo in 1982 and moved to Mid American National Bank in 1990. Mr. LaClair attended the University of Toledo and Heidelberg College in Tiffin.
Mark Luetke has a background of business and community leadership that spans 40 years. He currently consults on communications matters as an Issue Management Strategist at Thread Marketing Group. Previously, he was President of the FLS Group and spent much of his career as founder and CEO of FLS Marketing, one of Ohio’s leading public relations and marketing firms. Mr. Luetke is in his fourth term as an elected member of Sylvania City Council and was previously a member and president of the Sylvania Board of Education. He is a graduate of the University of Toledo and is a TPS Proud graduate of Start High School, where he was a teacher for five years.
Gaye Martin, MBA, is the system manager for ProMedica Mission Services, where she oversees hospital community health needs assessments and faith-based and mission services, including community health and education initiatives. Ms. Martin serves on multiple community committees and collaboratives on behalf of ProMedica. She joined ProMedica as administrative director for ambulatory and wellness services in January, 2006, where she provided administrative oversight to ProMedica programs related to community health, employee health, wound care, diabetes education, cardiac rehab and occupational medicine. Prior to joining ProMedica, Ms. Martin worked for the University of Toledo Medical Center (formerly MCO), where she held a variety of positions. Ms. Martin holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Toledo and an associate’s degree from Owens Technical College.
Yvonne McNulty is the managing partner of the Toledo office of Plante & Moran, LLC, a certified public accounting and business advistory firm, and is an audit partner specializing in not-for-profit and health care organizations. Her 28 years of public accounting experience include a focus on general purpose audits, federally mandated single audits, benchmarking, projections, start-up operations, strategy, and business combinations. Recently, she has assisted clients with acquisition analyses and accounting for business combinations.Ms. McNulty earned her Bachelor of Accountancy degree from Walsh College and an associate’s degree in accounting and business data processing from Macomb Community College in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. She is a TPS Proud graduate of Calvin M. Woodward High School.
Matthew Mishler has been in the telecommunications and computer industry for 30 years, serving as national account manager with Buckeye Telesystem since November, 1997. His primary focus has been consulting with governmental and educational accounts, including K-12 and institutions of higher learning. Mr. Mishler has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo in administrative services and an associate’s degree from Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received a master’s in business administration from Bowling Green State University in 2004.
Adam Motycka, Esq., graduated from Convoy Crestview High School in 2006 and then attended the University of Toledo, where he majored in marketing and minored in business law. Mr. Motycka was involved in a number of campus organizations, including the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity, a group that recognizes the top 13 leaders on campus. Upon graduation, Mr. Motycka attended the University of Toledo's College of Law, graduating in 2013. After passing the Ohio bar exam, he worked as a federal bankruptcy law clerk for four years, clerking first for the Honorable Mary Ann Whipple and then the Honorable John P. Gustafson. He recently joined Diller & Rice, a local firm that specializes in bankruptcy, debt and tax settlement, and real estate transactions. Adam is involved with the Toledo Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association and, in 2017, he graduated from the Ohio State Bar Association's Lawyer Leadership Academy.
Christine Varwig is the president of the Toledo Publics Schools Board of Education and is a TPS Proud graduate of Bowsher High School, Class of 1986. Mrs. Varwig attended Eastern Michigan University. She has been a member of the board of education since 2014 and has served on a number of committees. Prior to joining the TPS board, Mrs. Varwig was a dedicated volunteer for the district for many years, serving as the president and on the advisory board of the Parent Congress and as president of the Beverly Elementary PTO, the Byrnedale Middle School PTO and the Bowsher High School Boosters, as well as a committee member of the Bowsher Music Boosters. Mrs. Varwig is the manager of the Classics Gift Shop for the Friends of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and formerly worked in several capacities with the Toledo Zoo.