OFFICERS

Bob_2012Robert E. Comben, Jr. – President & CEO

Bob has been President & CEO of Vocational Guidance Services since 1997.  He has a wealth of experience in vocational rehabilitation, business development, contract procurement, contract negotiations, budget management, collaborations, and staff and Board relationships. In the decade prior to joining VGS, Bob held a number of top management positions in the private sector. He joined VGS in 1983 as Senior Manager of Industrial Services. He held a series of increasingly responsible positions, including Director of Rehabilitation Services & Operations Division and Vice President before being named President and CEO. Since he took the helm at VGS, net assets and gross revenue have increased by more than $20 million. Bob holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and an MBA from West Virginia University. He is a member of numerous rehabilitation and employment groups including The Cuyahoga Work and Training Alliance (past President); the National Rehabilitation Administrators Association; the Board for the Center for Employment Training – Cleveland (past President); the Board of the Alliance of Ohio Work Centers (Treasurer); the Board of Dress for Success Cleveland; and the Board of the Ohio Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. Bob is a past recipient of the National Council of Work Centers’ Management Excellence Award, as well as the Pillar Award for Non-Profit Executive of the Year.

Goodman, Betty_sept2014Betty J. Goodman – CFO & Treasurer

Betty joined VGS in 1979, was promoted to Controller in 1998 and was named CFO & Treasurer in 2010. Her many responsibilities include directing the organization’s financial, budgetary, and accounting practices as well as its relationships with lending institutions and the financial community. Betty supervises and administers all aspects of Finance Department operations including technology development, overseeing federal compliance of contracts and grants, personnel development, and maintaining internal controls through financial policies and procedures according to GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures). Betty is a graduate of the University of Memphis. She is active with numerous community affiliations including Chairperson, American Red Cross Blood Drive for Minority Health, 2010; Member, Ohio Association of Non Profit Organizations (2001-Present); Seminar Instructor, Ohio AICPA Not for Profit Conference, 2006 & 2008; Audit Committee Chair, Cleveland Sub-district of Baptist Women, 2010-2012; and President, Shiloh Baptist Church Missionary Ministry, 2010-2012. She continues to work as a community volunteer in VGS’ Cleveland East neighborhood, in and around East 55th Street. In 2014, Betty was named CFO of the Year in the Non-Profit category by Crain’s Cleveland Business.

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James C. Hudak – Senior Vice President Operations

Jim Hudak has many years of experience in the areas of custodial services, security, building operations, contract procurement, contract negotiations, budget management, and staff development. Jim joined VGS in 1992 as Superintendent of External Custodial Services. In 1997, he became Director of Environmental, Grounds Maintenance and Security Services. In 1998, Jim became the Division Director of Custodial & Facilities Services where he headed the agency’s building maintenance & security services. In 2000, Jim was promoted to Vice President of Operations and in 2014 to Senior Vice President of Operations. In this position he oversees the Custodial Department; Power Sewing Division; Contract Shops Cleveland East, Cleveland West and Elyria; Operations Cleveland East, Cleveland West, and Columbus; Corporate Sales; Property Management of all VGS facilities; Shipping and Receiving; the agency’s Safety Program; and Building Security.

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Michael T. Latkovich – Senior Vice President Rehabilitation Services

Michael (Mick) Latkovich is a seasoned professional with over 30 years of diverse administrative experience in the non-profit community. Mick assumed progressively increased responsibilities with VGS beginning as Development Officer (1990-1996) where he managed organizational fundraising and new program development. In 1997 he became Division Director and in 1998 was promoted to the position of Vice President of Organization and Resource Development. In 2006, Mick was named Vice President of Rehabilitation Services, and in 2014 to Senior Vice President. In this, his current role, he is responsible for all of the agency’s vocational preparation and placement services, new program development, and agency-wide strategic planning. Mick has provided leadership in spearheading large scale workforce collaborative efforts at VGS, including the Cuyahoga Work & Training Alliance, a six-agency collaboration to assist county residents’ transition from welfare to work, and the Department of Labor, five-year, $28 million Youth Opportunity (YO! Cleveland) grant. Mick has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Applied Communication Theory & Methodology from Cleveland State University. He is a member of the Leadership Cleveland class of 2014 and an active Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board member.

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Susan M. Barragate – Vice President, Human Resources & Lorain County Rehabilitation Services

Susie joined Vocational Guidance Services in 1996 as the Human Resources Coordinator and in 1999 became the agency’s Human Resources Director. In 2012, Susie was asked to take responsibility for the vocational rehabilitation services at VGS’ Elyria facility in addition to her supervision of VGS’ HR and Intake Departments. In 2014 Susie became  Vice President of Human Resources and Lorain County Rehabilitation Services. In addition to processing payroll for four distinct corporations and over 1,000 employees, under Susie’s leadership VGS’ Human Resources Department is responsible for guiding and directing agency personnel policies and practices. The Intake department manages all the open and closed case files for program participants and processes referral for services to participants. The Lorain County Rehabilitation Services includes a program with the Lorain County Department of Jobs and Family Services, as well as Placement Services, Clerical Training, and Work Adjustment. Susie graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Personnel and Industrial relations. In 2013 Susie was awarded the Innovation Award for Strategic Alignment by ERC and CSHRM’s HR Awards, and was named as an Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year by Crain’s Cleveland Business in 2014. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Bridge Builders Class of 2013.

lamb1Laura M. Lamb – Vice President, Vocational Preparation

Laura joined VGS as Vocational Evaluator & Benefits Analysis in 1998. She was promoted to Manager of Work Evaluation in 2001, adding Training Services to her responsibilities in 2003. Laura became the Division Director of Vocational Preparation Services in 2006, and Vice President of Vocational Preparation in 2014. In this role, Laura oversees Work Evaluation, GED instruction, Work Adjustment, Occupational Skills Training, Job Coaching, and Developmental Services. She also provides oversight to the VRP3 Pathways Project for VGS as well as the rehabilitation programs at VGS’ Cleveland West, Columbus, and Painesville facilities. Laura’s participation is integral to VGS’ CARF Accreditation Preparation Task Force and the agency’s overall Outcome Measurements. Laura chairs the agency’s Health & Safety Task Force and is the Acting School Director for VGS’ accreditation for the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools. She graduated from Heidelberg College with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology & English. Laura is a member of the National Rehabilitation Association, an active Board Member of the Ohio Rehabilitation Association, and also serves on the board of the local chapter of the NorthEast Ohio Rehabilitation Association. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Bridge Builders Class of 2015.

ross1Adam R. Ross – Vice President, Development

Adam joined VGS in 2010 as Development Director and became Vice President of Development in 2014. In his leadership role in Development, Adam’s work includes increasing donor support at all levels; providing oversight to the marketing and public relations department; and providing oversight to the Sunbeam Board, as well as to the agency’s Columbus and Elyria business advisory councils. Adam has worked in the not-for-profit sector throughout his professional career.  Upon graduating from St. Bonaventure University he spent a year in the Young Alumni Volunteer Program at St. Ignatius High School where he worked with the Arrupe Neighborhood Partnership Program and was then hired as Assistant Director of the Program. Next, Adam took on a Development position at Providence House, where his achievements included managing the organization’s Annual Fund and its foundation relationships, resulting in tremendous growth to the organization’s philanthropic support and a promotion to Development Director. He moved on to the position of Manager of Leadership Giving at The Cleveland Orchestra where his responsibility was to increase the support provided by the orchestra’s highest level of donors. After two successful campaigns Adam became the first Major Gift Officer at The Cleveland Orchestra. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Bridge Builders Class of 2014.

DIVISION DIRECTORS

Renee Bell, Executive Administrative Assistant to the CEO and President
Renee joined Vocational Guidance Services in 1998 as an Administrative Assistant for the Development and & Public Relations Departments. In 2001 she was promoted to the position of Executive Administrative Assistant to the President and Chief Executive Officer. Renee also provides administrative and clerical support to the Board of Directors. Renee is a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), and served as Board Secretary for the IAAP Downtown Cleveland Chapter in 2013 and 2014.

Emily Erbs – Information Services Director
Emily has been with VGS for over 20 years. Since 2008 she has been serving as a leader in the Information Systems Department. Emily’s dynamic team of system generalists manages a network of more than 350 systems, including nearly 20 virtual and physical servers. The Information Services Department provides in-house support and maintenance to all VGS offices and remote users. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cleveland State University. She serves as President of the Board of Directors of Berea Animal Rescue.

Daniel A. Nelson – Director of Services
Dan has worked in the contract cleaning industry since 1989. Working for several cleaning contractors in the Cleveland area, Dan adopted a wealth of knowledge in the industrial and commercial custodial services field. He has been a valued manager for Vocational Guidance Services since 1995. Dan has direct oversight of all the custodial operations and security services for VGS. This is inclusive of our Cleveland-area facilities as well as our Columbus facility. During his tenure VGS has experienced significant growth in custodial contracts. Growth in Federal and State procurement contracts alone represents employment opportunities for more than 225 individuals. Dan is a member of the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Bridge Builders Class of 2016.

Kimberley Spates – Controller
Kimberley has over 13 years of non-profit accounting experience.  She joined VGS’ Finance Department in July of 2012 as the Senior Accountant and was promoted to Controller in 2015. Kimberley earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Master of Business Administration from Cleveland State University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Ohio. Her many responsibilities include overseeing the Finance Department’s operations, staff development, monitoring internal controls, and financial reporting.  Kimberley has been a mentor for Cleveland State University’s (CSU) Monte Ahuja College of Business Mentorship Program (2014-2015); CSU Career Connection Panelist for students majoring in accounting (2014-2015); Program Committee Chair (2013-2014) and VP of Finance (2015-2016) for the National Black MBA Association, Cleveland NEO Chapter; Audit Committee Member for the Alzheimer’s Association, Cleveland Area Chapter (2014-2016); and Guest Presenter for Dress for Success Cleveland (2013-2015). She is a 2015 graduate of the YWCA Greater Cleveland’s Women’s Leadership Institute Quest Program.