Staff & Executive Committee

Staff

   
Executive Director

Stephanie has been in the marketing industry for almost 20 years.  Her role has varied… Innkeeper for the Grapevine bed and breakfast at Chalet Debonne Vineyards, Marketing Manager for Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Marketing Director for the Cuyahoga County Public Library System and Community Relations Director for Emeritus Senior Living.  She is an active volunteer for Camp Sue Osborn, the Malone Scholarship Program, and is a puppy foster for a local rescue group. Stephanie and her husband PJ have two boys: Patrick and Joey, and two black labs: Darla and Raxie. On her list of favorites: hunting for Lake Erie beach glass, the puttanesca at Piero’s Pasta House, and the September smell of grapes in the Grand River Valley
   


Business Office Manager

Brandi has been in the Customer Service field for over 25 years, with dedication on retaining long-standing business relationships.  Simultaneously, she has earned 10 years of Business Office experience managing her family business.  A life-long Ashtabula County resident, Brandi and her husband have enjoyed raising their daughter and two sons here and have a passion for the community.  With a focus on local business promotion, she is the go-to person for membership, financial information, and supporting business development.  

  


Marketing Manager 

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Sara has been an Ashtabula county resident for several years now, and cannot imagine calling anywhere else home.  Sara serves on countless community committees and strives to further the progress of the area.  If you are looking for events and activities, Sara is your girl.  Her infectious enthusiasm and love for all-things-local provides the perfect backdrop for her to be the Social Media Guru of Ashtabula County.   Some of Sara’s favorite local activities include walking her dogs on the Greenway Trail, canoeing down the Grand River or Conneaut Creek, fishing for walleye and perch in Lake Erie, and relaxing with friends at one of the county’s many wineries. Sara is not only knowledgeable about the area’s viticulture, but has become an avid enthusiast and brings her love and knowledge of local wines wherever she goes. She lives in Jefferson with her husband, Steve, daughters: Sofia and Selena, and her three dogs: Loki, Tinkerbell and Drax.   

   


Public Relations Manager 

Melissa has been involved in Ashtabula County tourism since 2011. She lives in Madison with her husband, Cliff and 2 daughters. Melissa has been enjoying summer days in GOTL since she was a kid and now spends days with her family there. Some of Melissa's favorites around Ashtabula County include: beach days at Geneva State Park Beach, picnics at Harpersfield Covered Bridge, dinner at Rennick Meat Market, running the Geneva State Park trail along Lake Erie, & sipping a glass of wine at any of the area wineries. Plan on seeing her throughout the county interacting with our ACCVB members and finding more favorites!

   


Executive Committee

   

tonykosicek

Tony Kosicek

President
Kosicek Vineyards Winery
AT LARGE

Along with his wife Mauri, daughter Emma, and son Anthony, Tony has lived in Ashtabula County his entire life. He earned a BBA during his 3 1/2 years at Tiffin University. The Kosicek family has deep roots in Ashtabula County; his grandparents moved to Harpersfield in the 1920's and began growing grapes. Some of those vines still exist on the family farm which is now the site of Kosicek Vineyards. His father built and owned Sonny Lanes Bowling Alley in 1962. Tony also sits on the Board for the Convention Facilities Authority, for the City of Ashtabula. He has the experience and knowledge of the tourism industry in Ashtabula County to be able to work with the CVB to promote our county and its resources, to benefit everyone.




   

eddy eckart

Eddy Eckart

Vice President
Red e Vodka
AT LARGE

Eddy and his wife, Misty moved to Harpersfield in 2014 because they saw what amounted to a near perfect quality of life opportunity - proximity to family, outdoor activities, excellent wineries, local produce, quaint towns with engaged community members, and the chance to create their own entrepreneurial activity using local products. Since moving here, he has engaged on both business and community levels, partnering with Red Eagle Distillery to create Red E Vodka, made from locally-grown concord grapes. Their family has also invested in a vineyard, planted grapes in 2016, and looking forward to additional investment in the near future. From a community perspective, he initiated the Grand River Valley Regional Branding Initiative, an effort to identify and build a regional brand for the area's wine region and surrounding communities and activities.  

   


   

BrandyConaway

Brandy Conaway


Secretary 
Hampton Inn
REPRESENTING BRANDED LODGING

Brandy became a resident of Ashtabula County in 1997 and has been the General Manager of The Hampton Inn Ashtabula since 2004, where her responsibilities include sales, marketing, and operations. She has served in the hospitality background all of her life from her parents owning a restaurant in Grantsburg, WI to transitioning into the hotel industry while attending college. She currently resides in Jefferson with her husband John, two daughters Olivia and Lorenza, and their dog Hywel. Brandy has been a member of the executive committee for the ACCVB since 2004.

   


   

AndreaBushweiler

Andrea Bushweiler

Treasurer
The Lakehouse Inn & Winery
AT LARGE


Andrea was born and raised in Geneva. Upon graduating from college in 2000 she moved home, and along with her family, purchased The Lakehouse Inn & Winery in Geneva-on-the-Lake. Andrea is the general manager of the business and oversees the day to day operations. She has served on the ACCVB executive committee for over 10 years. Andrea is a past president of the ACCVB executive committee and currently serves as treasurer. She also serves on the board of directors for the Geneva-on-the-Lake Visitors Bureau.

   


   

BillCreed

Bill Creed

Gazette Newspapers
AT LARGE


Bill has worked for Gazette Newspapers/Great Lakes Printing since 1984 and currently serves as the president/publisher of the newspaper and printing divisions. He has lived in the Andover area since 1982 with both children having graduated from the Pymatuning Valley School district. Having lived and worked in the county for over 30 years he is familiar with Andover and the Pymatuning Lake region, Ashtabula County, and the unique challenges business owners and community leaders face every day. Bill has been an ACCVB board member for the last 10 years and a current board member of the Jefferson Chamber, Andover Chamber, Ashtabula County Chambers and belongs to every chamber in Ashtabula County and eastern Lake County. He holds strong beliefs in the importance of privately owned and operated business, strong local chambers of commerce, and the importance of tourism to our county and local economy.

   


   

Thomas Michel

Thomas Michel


REPRESENTING LIFT BRIDGE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
AT LARGE

Thomas retired to North Kingsville several years ago after a career in tourism and is currently a member of LBCA. After his education at John Carroll and Case Western Reserve Universities, he worked for Cleveland radio stations as a sales manager. Thomas was a marketing manager for Ohio Motorist AAA before becoming the Regional Sales Manager for National AAA where he was responsible for the TourBooks in MI, IN, and KY. He and his wife also started a business which published magazines and tourism related publications. He has served on many boards such as: Michigan Travel and Tourism, Pennsylvania Tourism Council, Geauga Co. Tourism, and was a founding member of Chardon Tomorrow which became a Main Street Community through Heritage Ohio. Thomas believes that strong economic development creates an attractive destination and a desirable place to live, work, and play.

   


   

PennyArmeni

Penny Armeni

Conneaut Arts Center, Retired
AT LARGE


As previous Executive Director of the Conneaut Arts Center her focus was on promoting the arts and cultural identity of the area. It is her passion to instill in all ages the intrinsic value the arts play in our quality of life. Past President and current member of the Conneaut Rotary Club, she understands the importance of involvement with other organizations, with an emphasis on the needs of our youth and mentoring leadership skills for tomorrow. Volunteering as treasurer of the Conneaut Salvation Army Unit allows insight into the needs and problems of our local communities. As an independent consultant for Lia Sophia jewelry, it allows her to meet people throughout the Tri-State area. She is also an Ashtabula County Leadership graduate and a past dance instructor. She was involved in the revitalization of the Three Cousins Memorial Park, as well as many other projects and events.

   


   

EricFrantz

Eric Frantz

The Lodge & Conference Center at Geneva-on-the-Lake
REPRESENTING THE LODGE & CONFERENCE CENTER

Eric and his wife, Diane, moved to Ashtabula County in 2002 where they found a terrific place to live and raise their kids with the quality of life they appreciate—beautiful natural surroundings, great communities, and friendly people. Much of his career time in the county has been devoted to The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, where he is the current General Manager. Eric has also enjoyed time spent on other boards, including the GOTL CVB, and as an adjunct Hospitality Management professor for Kent State University. He has served on the ACCVB Board for four years. Eric believes it is an exciting time for tourism in Ashtabula County and is proud to play a role in growing it.

   


  

JimHockaday

Jim Hockaday


Conneaut City Manager 
AT LARGE


As City Manager for Conneaut, Jim firmly believes Conneaut will play a special role in tourism for the County in the coming years. Presently, they are working on two hotel site locations which are very promising. Additionally, their Port Authority is seeking a $2M marine expansion. As they look forward to the future, it is important to mention the nearly half a dozen new small lodgers that have started business in the past year alone. Conneaut is an emerging tourism market with a great deal to offer. He looks forward to seeing where that growth takes the County as a whole and continuing his work with the ACCVB Board.

   


   

Bill Holden bio pic

Bill Holden


Buccia Vineyard & Bed and Breakfast 
SMALL LODGER 

Bill has lived in Ashtabula County most of his life; grew up in Pierpont and graduated from Edgewood. He has gained a great deal of prospective of what this County has to offer, and that is why he and his wife, Melissa, returned home to grow their businesses and develop more opportunities. They recently purchased Buccia Vineyard and B&B in Conneaut. His professional career was spent in manufacturing operations, human resource management, and IT consulting. Bill has served on various boards, including Big Brother/Sisters, Unitarian Universalist Youth, and Nashville Jazz Workshop, serving the last three years as president. His past experiences, along with passion for continued growth, development, and success for our region provide value to the ACCVB Board. 
   


   

Alyssa

Alyssa Sekerak-Ollis

Ferrante Winery & Ristorante
AT LARGE

Alyssa Sekerak- Ollis has been the Director of Marketing at Ferrante Winery & Ristorante since 2007. She graduated from Cleveland State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration & Marketing in 2009. Alyssa's experiences in the wine industry allow her to bring a fresh perspective to the executive committee and have the opportunity to be a part of an expanding tourism region. Alyssa's experience at Ferrante Winery has a positive impact on the knowledge she brings to the committee.  
   


   

scott runyan

Scott Runyan

Vineyard Woods
SMALL LODGER

Scott is the owner of Vineyard Woods, premier lodging in the Grand River Valley. Growing up in Ashtabula County, he has returned to develop Vineyard Woods and continue to look for opportunities to help grow tourism. Scott has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance from Baldwin Wallace University. He was one of the original partners and served in an institutional sales capacity at Cleveland Research Company (2006-2015), during which time the firm became one of the top independent research resources for the country's top Mutual Funds and Hedge Funds. Scott also has non-profit experience and was co-director of the Michael L. Runyan Foundation for 5 years. In that time the foundation raised and donated $95,000 in support of men and women who have served in the military both past and present.  

   


   

Woody

Don "Woody" Woodward

Old Firehouse Winery
AT LARGE

Woody is a charter and founding member of the Ashtabula County CVB, and was instrumental in implementing the county bed tax and hiring the first full time County CVB director in the mid 1980's. In addition to Old Firehouse Winery, Woody also is a co-owner of Adventure Zone Family Fun Center and Pera's Summer Resort. He currently serves on the Geneva-on-the-Lake Village Council and also was reappointed by Governor Kasich to the Ohio Amusement Ride Safety Advisory Board.

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