Task Force Members

Hudson DEI Task Force Members

Hudson DEI Taskforce Members, the initial group that worked to help develop the 501c3, are listed below.

Laurie Allen, a twenty-year resident of Hudson, teaches mathematics at Western Reserve Academy where she also serves as a Dorm Head, Junior Leadership Hudson Advisor, Faculty DEI Committee member, Student DEI Committee member, Honor Council member. She is the mother of two children and was born and raised in northeast Ohio.

Jennifer Batton is a member of the HCSD Cultural Proficiency Committee, the LWVH, and the Hudson DEI Taskforce.  She spent 24 years in the field of conflict transformation assisting local and global communities to build their capacity to prevent, address, and manage conflict.  Her work in education includes serving in state government as the Director of Education Programs for the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management (serving all Ohio’s schools and teacher training colleges), as the director of the Global Issues Resource Center, Cuyahoga Community College, and as a professor for the University of Akron and CSU.  She worked in 23 countries on behalf of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, the Organization of American States, for the Department of State, and as a Senior Consultant for UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning.  Recently she developed a training on Bridging Divides: What to do when people disagree, for the state of Minnesota’s Office of Collaborative Dispute Resolution to support the League of Minnesota Cities and Association of Minnesota Counties.  She served as a trainer, Senior Fellow and VP of the Sustained Dialogue Institute (SDI) in DC focused on moving from dialogue to collaborative action on challenges, which at their root, are based in identity such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic status.  In 2017 she led the state-wide “Civic Engagement Facilitator Training: Moving from Dialogue to Collaborative Action” with the LWVH, Essential Partners, Welcoming America and SDI.

Laura Gasbarro, a 35-year Hudson resident, is Co-executive Director of Hudson Community First – a local nonprofit promoting positive youth development. Since 2005, Gasbarro has been an advocate for Hudson’s youth and has developed numerous leadership and character building programs. Through Community First, Gasbarro helped launch Drug Safe Hudson, the Keep Hudson Safe Initiative, Safe Routes Hudson and numerous other youth-driven initiatives. She was instrumental in Hudson being named one of the America Promise Alliance’s100 Best Communities for Young People, three years in a row. Over 1000 Hudson High School grads have been a part of the Community First youth board, that she helped develop, and have gone on to become significant leaders in college and beyond. She served as a PTO president, VIP, Pancake Breakfast Chair for 10 years and a member of Western Reserve Academy’s Pioneer Women serving as the Antique Show Co-Chair for two years. She is currently a board member of the Hudson City Schools Foundation and a past board member of the Music from the Western Reserve. She retired from the Parkinson’s Foundation as a Development Manager in May 2020. Gasbarro has two grown sons, Greg and Nick, both of whom are married, a granddaughter, Layla and a grandson due in September. Her passion has always been to make the community a great place to raise a family and to provide opportunities to youth to help encourage their growth and development. Gasbarro resides in Westbridge Crossing with her husband, Gary.

Dexter James, Financial Advisor, Ameriprise Financial

Laura Jones, Co-Executive Director of Hudson Community First, is the mother of two high school daughters.  She has lived in Hudson since 2002.  She also works at Baldwin Wallace in the Education Department as a University Supervisor.  She is involved in the Hudson community, volunteering in multiple organizations.  She is the coordinator of the Hudson VIP program, the chair of the Hudson City Schools Finance Committee which advises the HCSD treasurer, a member of the HCSD Cultural Proficiency Advisory Committee, Hudson City Schools Foundation, Hudson Public School Endowment Fund, Hudson PTO and the First Congregational Church of Hudson, where she serves as the Outreach Board Chair.

Amy Jordan joined the Hudson Community Foundation (HCF) in 2012 and has held the position of President since January 2019. The Board of Directors elected her President to oversee and facilitate development and growth initiatives for the foundation set by the Board of Directors. Prior to being elected, she was Director, Donor Services with responsibilities to service current and prospective donors, non-profit organizations, facilitating operations and leadership to staff. Prior to HCF, she had more than 25 years of extensive and diverse experience in marketing, sales, and operations for company sizes from start-up to global with significant hands-on experience in the development, implementation, and distribution of product. Jordan is a Hudson resident for 21 years, married with two children and has a BS in Marketing from Kent State University.

Carol O’Connell is the current President of the League of Women Voters of Hudson (LWVH). She is committed to the belief that every vote matters and strongly endorses the League’s main focus of advocating for voting rights and the encouragement of all citizens to actively participate in our government.  These principles ensure the health of this nation’s greatest asset: democracy. Most recently, the League has adopted a strong stance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Through the League, she actively participated in a DEI series examining how League members can promote DEI issues and antiracism both personally and systemically.  She is committed in doing her part to advance this most challenging and deeply rooted problem. O’Connell is a ten-year resident of Hudson.  She is married and has one son who attends Hudson High School.  She has been a licensed clinical psychologist for over 20 years working with adolescents and adults in a variety of inpatient and out settings.  She currently provides psychotherapy for adults in Beachwood with a specialty in depression, anxiety and trauma.

Cynthia Peeples is on the Board of Directors, LWV Ohio and LWV Hudson; the Chair of REAL TALK, and Co-Chair ACT-SO, Akron NAACP.

Kate Schlademan, Hudson City Council Ward 1 and owner of The Learned Owl Book Shop.


Hudson DEI Alliance
Hudson, Ohio

The Hudson DEI Alliance works in collaboration with our educational, business, and faith communities through a fund at the Hudson Community Foundation.

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