Robert Stanek – President
Robert grew up in Litchfield, Ohio, a small rural town south of Cleveland. After high school, he went on to study chemistry at Baldwin-Wallace University where he earned a B.A in Physics and a B.S. in Chemistry. He spent 6 years in a Chemistry Ph.D. program where he found his passion was not in science, but rather helping people more directly. While in the Ph.D. program he met his fiancé Katie Demski, the namesake for Katie & Friends, and they adopted their Huskies Colby and Sterling, and bought a house in Cleveland Heights. The inspiration to begin a charity focused on helping other charities, came from a lifetime of being reprimanded for speaking up about issues of safety and equality. It’s his dream to help make equality a reality and not just a vision.
Kathryn Demski – Secretary
Katie grew up in the small town of Leavittsburg, OH, came to Cleveland to attend university, and ended up staying. She received her B.S. in Chemistry and Psychology from Cleveland State University,and is currently working towards an MBA in Healthcare Management. Katie works for the Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Center as the program coordinator for Cancer Genomics, and has a passion for improving patient care. Katie has been working with various community volunteer organizations since high school, and has most recently been inspired by her patients to begin cooking meals at Cleveland Hope Lodge. She currently lives with her fiancé, Robert Stanek, and their two beautiful Huskies, Colby and Sterling in Cleveland Heights.
Matthew Hughes – Treasurer
Matt grew up in multiple cities throughout the US spending most of his time in the Midwest and Florida. After high school, he went on to study Finance at the University of Iowa, and then moved to Wisconsin, starting his retail career with Sam’s Club. Matt transferred to the Cedar Rapids Iowa Sam’s Club where he met his Wife Holly. Holly and Matt now have two children, Kaiden 6, and Hattie 3, along with two dogs, Dash a pit dalmatian mix, and Bailey a yorkie. While working at Sam’s club Matt attended American Public University where he studied Marketing. and obtained his MBA in 2017. He and his family now live on the Space Coast of Florida, where he manages a BJ’s Wholesale Club. Matt has always been excited about helping the community, and the ability to help launch Katie & Friends is very exciting and humbling for him.
Amberle Browne – Undersecretary
Amberle grew up in Lancaster, PA, attended Pennsylvania State University for a BS in Chemistry, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She resides in the Champaign-Urbana area of Illinois where she teaches chemistry at a community college and lives with her fiancé and two cats, Heisenberg and Schrodinger. Growing up, Amberle’s grandmother and aunt emphasized the importance of civic engagement by involving Amberle in the AMVETS’ Auxiliary where she helped veterans, underprivileged children, and animals. The Girl Scouts, local groups, and Amnesty International encouraged her interest and activism in environmental, social, and humanitarian causes. In college and grad school, Amberle’s formal volunteering took the shape of donating and helping to prepare for local and club events, and her activism involved one-on-one interactions to educate and expand the worldview of others. Now, she hopes to take a more active role in making the world a better place, by being a leading Board Member of Katie & Friends.
Charles Kolodziej – Vice President
Charles spent time volunteering in the Cleveland Clinic’s emergency room, helping patients with non-clinical needs. He has also volunteered in Rebuilding Together, a group that repairs homes in local communities for those who cannot afford to fix them on their own. Charles met Rob at university and was happy to join Rob and Katie with their initial Hope Lodge dinners, and now be an integral part of seeing Katie & Friends dreams realized.