Our team includes proud alum of the LLC Signature Class Program, the Classes of 2016 and 2017.
Julie Cruz Blair ’17
President & CEO
Julie Cruz Blair has served with Leadership Lorain County for seven years, currently as the President and CEO. Born in the city Lorain, she has embraced her passion for providing individuals the resources and initiatives necessary to meet goals by investing in their community. We are rich with people full of energy, desire, and compassion for others. We need to channel this energy.
As a graduate of Cleveland State University through the Lorain County Community College partnership, she was introduced to opportunities regarding being an active community member. She currently serves on the Board for the Elyria YWCA, as the Vice-Chair, is a member of the Elyria Sunrise Rotary and most recently joined Good Knights board. She is the mother of three ambitious children, who make her proud and drive her nuts all at once. They have each taught her unique lessons in life which includes being the example of your own expectations.
“When one finds their passion, they find the time.” Each day, she witnesses the connection between people and community through outreach. Leadership is genuinely about bringing people together for the better of all – leaving things better than how they were found. Improving things is not always about changing someone or something, sometimes it is about opening your mind to a better understanding of why it is.
Jennifer Gercak ’16
Marketing & Communications Manager, Intern Program Director
Originally a transplant to Lorain County in fifth grade, I never dreamed I would have chosen to stay, and been so in love, with this community and its people. Every new connection I’ve made has reminded me of the rich culture and history of Lorain County, and how blessed I am to be part of an organization dedicated to building up the leaders of our community and helping them grow. Raised in a family that valued hard work, and never giving up, I bounced around, unsure where my future would take me, before landing firmly in the arts field and graduating from Cleveland State University with honors. My passions extend to continuing the arts in the community and I have been a proud participant of Mighty Goliath Productions (MGP), both on stage and off, for over 20 years, currently serving on their Board. MGP is a non-profit community theater group, based in Avon Lake, that has a 59-year history of supporting the performing arts in the AL school district. Leadership Lorain County has given me the chance to experience the best that Lorain County has to offer, and to help ensure that future generations will continue to love this community. Working with the wide spectrum of individuals, seeing the connections, the difference they are making, and the personal and professional growth of our alumni and community is amazing. My favorite part of any day is when I get to hear someone say “I had no idea this was here! I’m definitely going to bring my family back and explore.”
Program & Administrative Assistant
Tatianna Velez is from Lorain, Ohio and is a graduate of Lorain High School. Tatianna is passionate about serving her community; especially those from marginalized backgrounds. In her role as the Program and Administrative Assistant at Leadership Lorain County, she seeks to make some great connections. She is looking forward to growing as a young professional and developing skills which will allow her to pour strength back into her community.
Tatianna is a mother of two beautiful and smart boys. She enjoys spending time with her children and supporting them in all their extracurricular activities such as baseball, soccer, and basketball. She also enjoys cooking and learning how to make new Latin cuisines to stay true to her Latin roots. Because she was born in Puerto Rico, it is important that she stays connected to her heritage. There is no better way to connect than through the conversations had over a great meal.