Heart to Heart Leadership remains committed to cultivating purpose-driven and values-based leaders and teams. Our unique Look Within Lead Beyond approach supports all of you as you care for your workplaces and the wider community.

We look forward to seeing you on May 6, 2024, from 7:30 am-9:00 am (Breakfast served at 7:00 am) at the John S. Knight Center.

Because of supporters and friends like you, the 31st Annual Breakfast promises to be an inspiring morning as we focus on the good work we all do to make this community the wonderful place that we know it is and can be.

Speaker Bios

Alicia Robinson, Founder, Limitless Ambition

Alicia, the visionary force behind Limitless Ambition, is a trailblazer in women’s leadership development, dedicating her career to crafting impactful initiatives that resonate across K-12 and Higher Education spaces. As the founder and driving force of Limitless Ambition, Alicia has empowered over 6,000 young women through transformative teen enrichment programs.

Limitless Ambition stands as a beacon of empowerment under Alicia’s leadership, making an indelible mark on communities. The organization’s commitment to empowering women is evident through teen enrichment programs, donating care packages to girls in foster care, and hosting inspirational women’s empowerment events within the community. 

Alicia’s passion for fostering positive change extends beyond Limitless Ambition and is further exemplified by her role as the Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships at Summit Education Initiative (SEI). In this capacity, she orchestrates collaborative efforts for systems change in education across the cradle-to-career continuum. As a backbone organization, SEI works to make education attainable for individuals at every stage of life, and Alicia’s leadership plays a pivotal role in driving impactful policies, programs, or processes. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising from Kent State University.

Recognized for her outstanding contributions, Alicia has received numerous accolades, including the 2020 Kent State University College of Education Recent Alumni Award, the 2020 Athena Young Professional Award, the 2019 Akron Women’s Network Emerging Leader Award, the 2019 Crain’s Cleveland Notable Women in Entrepreneurship Award, and the 2017 Greater Akron Chamber 30 for the Future Award. In 2023, she was honored with the prestigious Delta Sigma Theta Emerging Leader Award. Moreover, Limitless Ambition, under Alicia’s leadership, earned the 2021 National Association of Social Workers Agency of the Year Award.

Alicia’s journey, with Limitless Ambition at its core, stands as a testament to her unwavering dedication to empowering women and effecting lasting positive change within communities. Through her transformative work and visionary leadership, Alicia continues to shape a brighter, more inclusive future for generations to come.

Mark U. Greer, Executive Director, Bicentennial

An Akron native, Mark Greer is an economic and community development professional and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Akron Bicentennial. Greer recently served as the City of Akron’s Great Streets Administrator and Small Business Manager, where during his tenure over $4 million in grants were awarded to entrepreneurs, community development corporations, merchants associations, and neighborhood organizations. He is the Founder and Principal of Ulysses McNeal Consulting, a full-service consultant firm specializing in economic and community development, business growth strategies, neighborhood planning, urban renewal & spatial justice, organizational culture, and grant writing for nonprofits.

As a public speaker, Mark enjoys engaging audiences through personal experiences and historical accounts of courage, ingenuity, adversity, redemption, and triumph. Recent engagements include the Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors Home For All Podcast, Ohio CDC Association Annual Conference, Mayor’s Citizen’s Institute, Leadership Ohio, Leadership Akron, Roetzel & Andress Annual Associates Retreat, Greater Summit County Minority Business Association, Love Akron Connect, All-Akron Student Engineering Program, PechaKucha Akron, Torchbearer’s Capstone Event, and the Akron Black Male Summit. He has presented on a wide array of topics, including community development, urban renewal, economic development, placemaking, leadership, diversity, inclusion & belonging, education reform, the abolitionist movement, arts education, and community and governmental relations. Interviews and features include Crain’s Cleveland, Spectrum 1 News Ohio, Fox8 News Cleveland, Akron Beacon Journal, The Reporter, Socially Good TV, and The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. His co-authored article, “How Akron, Ohio is expanding economic opportunity by investing in Neighborhood Business Districts,” was published by the Brookings Institution. His recent documentary, Beyond the Innerbelt, chronicles the history of urban renewal and the Akron Innerbelt, which razed several predominantly Black neighborhoods and displaced over a thousand families during the 1970s and 80s.

A 2022 Graduate Fellow of Leadership Ohio, Greer serves on the Board of the Summit County Continuum of Care, Tuesday Musical Association, Akron Bicentennial Commission, Spark Akron, Downtown Vision + Redevelopment Plan Steering Committee, West Akron Neighborhood Plan Steering Committee, the Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance Visioning & Planning Committee, and the Advisory Board of the West Hill Neighborhood Organization. A member of Torchbearer’s Class of 2020, he served on the Leadership & Development Committee and the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. Greer was named a 2022 Ohio Black Women’s Caucus Significant African American Males awardee, a 2022 recipient of the We Are The Ones We Serve award, a 2021 recipient of the Greater Akron Chamber’s “30 for the Future” award, and received a special Congressional Recognition from Representative Shontel Brown. He previously served as Program Coordinator at Leadership Akron, where his programs included Diversity on Board, Edge Young Professionals, the Green Community Learning Initiative, and Junior Leadership Akron. Prior to joining Leadership Akron, he taught on the faculties of Malone University, The University of Mount Union, Kent State University, the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, PA, and was Advertising Manager for The Piano Magazine: Clavier Companion, and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.

Greer graduated from Bowling Green State University with a B.M., magna cum laude, in Music Performance, and Kent State University with a M.M. in Piano. Praised as a “visionary musician… with virtuosic technique and masterful playing, which was perceptive, brilliant and elegant, showing a musical intelligence beyond his years,” he is an accomplished pianist and composer, making his Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall, his orchestral debut with the Heiligenstadt Chamber Orchestra under Theodore Albrecht, and has been featured live on Vermont Public Radio. Honors include first prize in the state finals of the OMTA Collegiate Buckeye Competition, prizewinner of the Tuesday Musical Competition, honors in the OMTA Graves Young Artist Competition, the National Olga Klein Nelson Award, and winner of the Bowling Green State University Piano Concerto Competition, where he was the recipient of the College of Music’s Steve Vun Cannon Memorial Award. An avid writer, historian, and documentarian, Mark maintains a private piano studio in Greater Akron, and serves as Assistant Pastor at The Family Church, a non-denominational ministry in Akron’s University Park Neighborhood.

R.J. Nemer, Dean, College of Business, The University of Akron

An attorney by education, entrepreneur by trade, and now a business college dean, R.J. Nemer excels through creating, collaborating, guiding, and ultimately reinventing.

A double alumnus of The University of Akron, with a bachelor’s degree in business and a J.D. from the School of Law, Mr. Nemer is well connected to business and legal communities throughout the United States.

In Northeast Ohio, R.J. solely founded a professional golf agency and headquartered it in an obscure suburb of the rustbelt town of Akron, Ohio. Although golf is an industry which historically excludes those who lack golf pedigree, elite collegiate golf experience, and membership to the “right” country clubs, R.J. made his unexpected and unconventional strategy work. Despite being the quintessential outsider to such an exclusionary mindset, R.J. grew his agency, established national and international offices, and eventually became the leader of the world’s largest independently held sports agency of its kind. After 17 years and multiple unsolicited offers, R.J. sold his business to the Hollywood mainstay, William Morris Endeavor (WME), a firm that had recently acquired the worldwide sports agency, IMG. It was the first time in IMG’s 50+ year existence that it had purchased a golf representation agency.

Despite IMG’s international notoriety, it, like many firms in many sectors, faced waning business. In response, R.J. was targeted as the person who could turn IMG around and resurrect the brand. Within two years, he did just that. R.J. quickly rose to become the company’s EVP and Global Managing Director for the IMG Golf brand, directing employees and offices worldwide. He re-established IMG’s dominance and restored the division’s representation, reputation, and profitability.

After 20+ years in sports, R.J. Nemer was ready to pivot and became CMO for a large capital management firm. While this work proved rewarding in many aspects, he missed the energy he felt as a coach and mentor to younger executives. He missed the ability to consult for companies like he did for many years in sports.

To R.J.’s intrigue, the University of Akron College of Business, R.J.’s alma mater, announced a national search to fill its vacant Dean role. In contemplating all that his educational foundation provided for him, Mr. Nemer applied, realizing again that he would be pursuing a highly sought-after position in an industry where he had not worked—academia. In January 2022, R.J. Nemer was selected from a large field of qualified candidates and named Dean of the University of Akron’s College of Business. Dean Nemer now leads the College with the same philosophy he employed in earlier phases of his career—guiding others while preserving his ever-present desire to keep learning, gaining respect in unfamiliar settings, and championing positivity within exclusive circles.

For R.J. Nemer, professional and personal reinvention is not a new concept. Throughout his career, R. J. has successfully navigated a myriad of highly competitive, often cut-throat situations and issues that span the globe. He has advised and consulted for household brand names and assimilated seamlessly in diverse environments and cultures. In always staying true and authentic to himself, he has an innate ability to coach and mentor coworkers to truly understand the importance of cultivating relationships that result in win-win outcomes.