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Leadership Team

Meet our Staff and Board Members!

Our team members are selected from business and collaborative partners. They graciously choose to invest their time and talents, which are evident through leading organizations that embody integrity, compassion, transparency, and a determination to invest in the lives within their reach. They are the fuel, the engine, and every vital piece of what guides our mentoring mission.

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Matthew Marcum



Matthew has been married to his wife and friend Ashley for 20 years. Their marriage and family of 6 children is their main mission, and extends into the community. Matthew spent 15 years as a registered nurse in hospice care prior to transitioning to develop and direct the mentoring program. From a background of relational isolation and struggle himself, Matthew's heart is made full as he introduces mentors that champion impact in the lives of the students and families they serve. Relationships are everything... ​

Faith Brightwell

Program Manager

I am very Blessed and Excited to join Mentoring Partners as the Program Manager. I believe in my heart that this is a Divine Connection. I have over 20+ years of experience in education and serving youth and young adults in secondary and post-secondary educational environments and communities.  I received my Master's degree from Indiana Wesleyan University in Student Development, Counseling and Administration and I am a Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt which gives me the mindset to focus on the solution and continuous quality improvement in any organization. I have a wealth of knowledge and experience around mental health, youth advocacy, urban outreach, program development and delivery.


One of my greatest joys about serving as Program Manager for Mentoring Partners will be to Recruit, Coach and Support Mentors, Mentees and their families from moving beyond transaction into relationship.


Roger Nienaber

Board Chairperson


Roger has been a technology executive in Cincinnati for the last 20 years. Outside of work, he spends time with his family, coaching youth sports, and playing golf. Mentoring has played a major role in his life and he is passionate about connecting people to learn, grow and do life together.    


“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”

Proverbs 27:17

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Neil Thompson

Board Member: HR/Compensation

Neil has a unique heart for "helping those that cannot help themselves." He currently lives that out as the founder and owner of Vibrant Assisted Living, which provides adult services to the developmentally disabled. Their daily mission is to provide the vibrant and meaningful life each of their clients deserve. Neil's heart extends to the needs of students and families that are served at Mentoring Partners of Cincinnati, which is why he brings his talents to our board of advisers. He has two sons, Darian and Dylan Thompson, in which he is well pleased. He holds a Bachelor degree in business from University of Cincinnati and his MBA from Xavier University. 

Eric Zins

Board Member: Treasurer


Eric grew up in Cincinnati and later graduated from the University of Cincinnati. He now holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is a financial analyst at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel, where he works closely with a variety of clients including local non-profit organizations. He actively serves as a Cincinnati Youth Collaborative one-on-one mentor and strongly believes in the power of mentorship and the role it can play in someone's life. In his free time, you'll likely find Eric on the golf course, rooting on the Bengals or walking his Golden Retriever (Griffey)!  

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Paul Gillman

Board Member: Vice Chair

 Paul has a great passion for the outdoors and has visited and hiked national parks all over the United States. He loves his wife and family foremost, but has a great deal of passion for serving those in need. He has served as a board member for a national academic institution, is a fractional CFO for quality businesses, and brings a lot of integrity to all he does. Mentoring Partners is grateful for his persistent passion, expertise, and commitment to our organization's ongoing pursuit of impact and excellence.

Brandy Pendleton

Board Member: Business Operations

Brandy is a Licensed Social Worker approaching 20 years of service to the community. She is the Trauma Informed Care Training Manager at Back2Back Cincinnati where she trains and coaches partner organization staff through implementing Trauma Informed practices in their setting. She is an Affiliate Trainer for Trauma Free World, a TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) Practitioner, and is currently pursuing a Trauma Responsive Care Certification through the Tri-State Trauma Network. Brandy also currently provides contracted training and consultancy for public and private foster care networks. Brandy works diligently to educate safe adults toward meeting the needs of children in their lives in a trauma-responsive way. She is passionate about leveraging her privilege and experiences to create spaces where everyone can experience safety and belonging. She has 4 children with her husband, Nick. Their free time is spent on the sidelines of various sporting activities cheering for their children, exploring the outdoors through hiking and biking, and connecting in the community.

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