foundation board members

Foundation Board of Directors Introduced

CINCINNATI – The FC Cincinnati Foundation has introduced its inaugural Board of Directors. The board will lead the direction and objectives of the FC Cincinnati Foundation.

The FC Cincinnati Foundation’s Board of Directors’ responsibilities include approving strategic plans and major commitments, assuring the continuity of the Foundation, monitoring compliance with the Foundation’s code of responsibilities, and assisting in fundraising, community relations and other staff matters to help strengthen the Foundation.

The group represents a diverse range of volunteers, including demographically, with charitable and community involvement and professional backgrounds. The inaugural board is also 100 percent financially invested, meaning every member of the board has made a personal financial donation to the FC Cincinnati Foundation to help support the organization’s efforts in the community.

While the inaugural board will serve varying term lengths, future board members will each serve three-year terms. Two board positions – Foundation President and Foundation Treasurer – are chartered positions that must be filled by FC Cincinnati club officials. On the inaugural board, FCC President and General Manager Jeff Berding will serve as the Foundation President for a three-year term, while FC Cincinnati’s Chief Operating Officer Dennis Carroll will serve as the Foundation’s Treasurer for the next three years. 

The FC Cincinnati Foundation is committed to improving Cincinnati’s quality of life by leveraging its soccer resources and expertise. The Foundation will use soccer to promote youth development to underserved communities, while also providing safer recreation areas for children. In addition to providing soccer programming, the Foundation will serve Greater Cincinnati with support for community-based academic and character-building initiatives. Directly, the Foundation and its programming focuses on youth sports, education, health, social and community service programs.



The FC Cincinnati Foundation was launched in December to support transformational change for Cincinnati-area children and impact positive differences in children in underserved communities. The FC Cincinnati Foundation will offer programming to support character development, and both physical and mental well-being while also focusing on community service. Using soccer as a catalyst to reinforce character values to children who may otherwise not have the support, the FC Cincinnati Foundation’s programming will initially focus its efforts in Cincinnati’s West End neighborhood before gradually spreading further into the Greater Cincinnati community. Fans can follow along with the FC Cincinnati Foundation’s community work through its social media channels: @FCC_Foundation on Twitter, /FCCincyFoundation on Facebook and @FCCFoundation on Instagram.



Jeff Berding, Foundation President

Jeff Berding is the President and General Manager of FC Cincinnati, and helped found the club as a USL franchise in 2015. With three seasons of record-setting success on and off the field in the USL, Berding led the club’s expansion efforts that successfully led the club’s ascension to Major League Soccer for the 2019 season. Prior to founding FCC, Berding spent more than 19 years as an executive with the Cincinnati Bengals where he led the Sales and Public Affairs efforts for the NFL team. Berding also previously served for three years as volunteer president of Kings Hammer Soccer Club. Berding was first elected to the Cincinnati City Council in November 2005, and was then twice re-elected in 2007 and 2009, where he chaired the Rules & Government Operations Committee and was vice-chair of the Finance Committee. Berding is a fifth-generation Cincinnatian, born and raised in Westwood where he attended St. Xavier High School. He graduated cum laude from Miami University, and earned his MBA from Xavier University with honors.

Keith Blake

Keith Blake has taken an active role in the West End community as a member of the West End Community Council since 2001. He currently serves as its President. Blake has also served on the board for Invest in Neighborhoods (IIN) and CPD Citizens on Patrol Program (West End Unit). Keith is an IT professional with BT Americas Inc., with past roles at CBTS and Procter & Gamble. He focuses his work on development, administration and support of solutions (applications, data networks, voice over IP).

Laura N. Brunner

Laura Brunner is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Port, a public, mission-focused development finance agency dedicated to building prosperity by repositioning real estate and creating value from unproductive land assets in a way that expands local ownership of economic opportunity. Brunner draws from a background in commercial real estate and public accounting, and spent 15 years in the public accounting industry, notably as a partner at Barnes, Dennig & Co. She is the recipient of dozens of awards, including CLIMB Award (Cincinnati Lifts Inclusion and Minority Business); Working in Neighborhoods Hall of Fame; Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year and Merlin G. Pope, Jr. Diversity Leadership. She is board president of The Mercantile Library and serves as a board member of ArtsWave and Queen City Club.

Dennis Carroll, Treasurer

Dennis Carroll is the Chief Operating Officer of FC Cincinnati where he oversees all internal operations for the club, including finance, administration, IT, operations and construction. He joined FCC after a 10-year stint with the Philadelphia Union where he ended his stay as the club’s Senior Vice President of Finance. Carroll began his professional career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) before he joined the Philadelphia Eagles’ finance staff as Financial Analyst, where he oversaw the financial planning for non-football events at Lincoln Financial Field, managed merchandising’s financial operations and was part of the team’s advance travel staff. Carroll is a Certified Public Accountant.

Karl Kadon

Karl Kadon, a native Cincinnatian, has been active in the Cincinnati soccer community since high school through SAY and CRC soccer, both as a referee and as a coach. Kadon is active in the community through volunteerism with his church and children’s school, and for De Paul Cristo Rey’s annual fundraiser. He is also a past member of the Dan Beard Council Board of Directors and an Assistant Scoutmaster and Merit Badge Counselor for BSA at the troop level.

Martha Lindner

Martha Lindner is a committed philanthropist who has a strong focus on education; and a strong passion for helping impoverished children throughout the world. Lindner and her husband Carl, led efforts to found Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, a private, non-denominational Christian school offering grades kindergarten through 12th grade. Martha is an avid volunteer in the community, particularly with Back2Back Ministries, where she serves as a board member. This international Christian non-profit organization is dedicated to being a voice for orphans. In addition, Lindner has served as a board member of Stepping Stones and the Children’s Theatre. Lindner was also on the founding team of Horizon Community Church. She is a Cincinnati native and earned a Bachelor of Finance degree from the University of Cincinnati. Martha has been married to Carl H. Lindner III for 44 years and they are the proud parents of four and grandparents of five with sixth on the way. Her husband is Co-CEO of American Financial Group and the Managing Owner and CEO of FC Cincinnati.

Tabitha Lindner

Tabitha Lindner is originally from Rabbit Hash, Ky. and now lives in Cincinnati. Tabitha graduated with a B.A. in communication arts from Xavier University and has spent her career in staff recruitment and marketing with organizations including Landor Associates. At Landor, she managed the regional and global brand identity and packaging development for P&G Old Spice and global Oral Care (Crest, Oral-B, etc.) through concept ideation, design development and implementation. Lindner is active in the community with organizations including the Junior League, Boys and Girls Club of Wilmington, Del., Ronald McDonald House, Shelterhouse, Stepping Stones and Dress for Success.

Sandra Mackey

Sandra Mackey is the Chief Marketing Officer of Bon Secours Mercy Health, one of the nation’s largest Catholic health systems with 57,000 associates, 43 hospitals and more than 1,000 points of care spanning seven states. Before joining Mercy Health in 2017, Mackey served as senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Arthritis Foundation, where she was responsible for national strategic marketing initiatives. She recently served on the board of directors for Saint Joseph's Mercy Care Foundation in Atlanta and is a current board member for Conduit Health Partners. Mackey is a member of the national Women Business Leaders (WBL) organization.

Mark Mallory

Mark Mallory serves as the Director of Community Development for FC Cincinnati. He was Cincinnati’s first directly elected black mayor, having served two terms from 2005 to 2013. Before serving as Cincinnati’s 68th mayor, Mallory was elected as an Ohio state senator from 1999 to 2005. He also served as a state representative from 1995 to 1999, following his father William L. Mallory, Sr., who also served in the Ohio House for 28 years. Mark is President of Mark Mallory & Associates Consulting. He earned his B.A. in management from the University of Cincinnati. 

Mary Miller

Mary Miller is the CEO of JANCOA Janitorial Services. An award-winning, 46-year-old, family-owned and operated commercial cleaning company. JANCOA created The Dream Manager program, popularized by the New York Times Best Selling book under the same title by Matthew Kelly. Printed in 15 languages, it encourages people around the world to achieve their dreams. Thousands of companies utilize the Dream Manager program to create a culture of caring. As an internationally recognized public speaker, she is known for her positive outlook and desire to help others realize their uniqueness and personal power. Miller is also the author of “Changing Direction: Ten Choices That Impact Your Dreams.” In addition to running a business with almost 600 full-time employees, Mary is an associate coach with Strategic Coach, working with entrepreneurs at quarterly workshops in Chicago. She received the 2017 EY Ohio Valley Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement award, recognizing how her efforts have improved so many lives. In 2017, the College of Mount Saint Joseph recognized Miller’s contributions to society with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

David Pepper

David Pepper is serving his second term as the Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Pepper began his public service career in 2001 when he was elected to Cincinnati City Council, and was later elected to the Hamilton County Commission Board of County Commissioners in 2006. He and his wife Alana are the parents of two sons, Jack and Charlie. Pepper is also the author of “The People’s House,” an Ohio-based political thriller, and its sequel, “The Wingman.” Putnam will publish his third book in 2020. Pepper has served on numerous non-profit boards over the years, including Talbert House, YMCA of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Scholarship Foundation, and he currently serves on the national board of the New Leaders Council. 

Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco

Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco was appointed Hamilton County Coroner in February 2012 and was later elected to the position in November 2012 and 2016. She is the first female coroner and Asian-Indian elected to a political post in Hamilton County. Dr. Sammarco is a board-certified neuroradiologist with previous faculty positions at UCLA Medical School and The Cleveland Clinic.  Dr. Sammarco serves on the board of Boys Hope Girls Hope Cincinnati and on the advisory committee for the Indian American Chamber of Commerce. She has also served on the board for the Council on Child Abuse (COCA), Rights and Safety Subcommittee of the Mayor's Immigration Task Force (co-chair). Dr. Sammarco is married to local orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jim Sammarco and mother to Josi and James, and their pet parrots, Cannoli, Mango and Spooky Ghost.

Nicholas L. Simon

Nicholas L. Simon is a partner at KMK Law where he advises companies, financial institutions and investors in corporate, finance and commercial transactions. Simon has represented numerous clients in the sports industry, including leagues, teams, owners and college conferences in a range of matters, including mergers and acquisitions, stadium and team debt financing, equity financings, media, apparel, naming rights, sponsorship and other commercial matters. Simon is a member of Class 14 (2019) of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's C-Change Program, as well as the Cincinnati Bar Association and American Bar Association.  Simon and his wife, Jenni, and son Teddy (4) are also involved in Cincinnati Children’s Champions Program.   Prior to joining KMK Law, Simon was an associate at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C.

John Stanton

John Stanton is Director of External Affairs for Kenton County in the Administration of Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann.  In his position, he works with federal, state and local government in the delivery of services to the over 160,000 residents of the county.  Prior to this, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director for Congressman Brad Wenstrup.  Mr. Stanton is a graduate of Centre College and Vanderbilt Law School, and practiced law with Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, LLP.  He resides in Edgewood, Kentucky, and also serves on the boards for the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program and the Centre College Alumni Association.  In addition to FC Cincinnati, his free time is often spent attending sporting events at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Kentucky, volunteering at Centre College, and exploring the distilling heritage of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Steve Wanamaker

Steve Wanamaker is the Founder and CEO of Lead Tribune Media Group, and resides in West Chester, Ohio, with his wife Kim and three children. The Wanamaker’s also founded Inspire Magazine, which they then sold to Gannett, a leading Fortune 500 company, in 2004 when they were both 34 years old. Steve is also a graduate of the Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati, where he was a member of the Army ROTC program. Upon graduation, he received his commission as an officer in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of captain. Steve is also the recipient of the 2019 West Chester - Liberty Chamber Alliance Businessperson of the Year Award, which is the organization’s most prestigious award given to recognize leadership and community impact.

Bonnie K. White

Bonnie White founded Bonnie K. White & Associates Inc., a full-service advertising agency in 1982. She was recognized with the 2009 Silver Medal Award - the American Advertising Federation’s highest honor – from the Cincinnati Ad Club for her contributions to the advertising industry and the community. White’s past roles include sales for WCPO-TV where she was the first woman in broadcast sales in Cincinnati. Other past roles include Director of Children's Programming and Producer of the Uncle Al Show. White served 10 years on the board of the Cincinnati chapter of the American Marketing Association, and held two terms as president. She was also a founding board member of ACT (Accountability and Credibility Together), serving two, two-year terms as board chair. White was a four-year member of the Cincinnati Red Cross Communications Committee and was a member of the Chatfield College board for five years.