Chief Executive Officer

Habeebah R. Grimes

Serving our community’s most vulnerable children has been Grimes’ life’s work. She first joined PEP in 1999 as a one-on-one aide. After earning her master’s in clinical psychology and a specialization in school psychology from Cleveland State University, Grimes returned to PEP as a clinical supervisor for one of its Day Treatment Centers. After being promoted to the chief clinical officer role in 2015, Grimes led PEP’s embrace and ultimate certification in evidence-based, trauma-informed practices, working closely with The ChildTrauma Academy. She is a graduate of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Ladder to Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Community Health Leaders program. In 2015, Crain’s Cleveland Business recognized Grimes as a 40 Under 40 honoree. Grimes currently serves as a mentor for multiple organizations and collaborative ventures, including as the chair, Cuyahoga County Citizen's Advisory Coalition; Chair, Northeast Ohio Steering Committee, Mental Health and Addiction Services Advocacy Coalition; member, OhioRISE Advisory Council; board member & chair, nominating committee, The Woodruff Foundation; and board member, Prevent Child Abuse America.

Chief External Relations Officer

Susan Berger

A lifelong advocate for children, Berger joined PEP in 2000 following successful stints in development at Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, United Way and several political campaigns. Berger’s portfolio at PEP includes fund development, board development, communications and government relations. She is a graduate of Kenyon College – an institution where she remains deeply involved, having served as a trustee and as president of the alumni association. She is a member of the 2007 Leadership Cleveland class, an active board member of Canopy Child Advocacy Center, past president of the board of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, a recipient of Crain’s Cleveland Business’ 40 under 40 recognition and recipient of the 2007 Athena Award.

Chief Program Officer

Michelle Breen

Having spent her entire professional career with PEP, Breen has a deep commitment to the agency and, more specifically, the children and families it serves. She joined the organization as a one-on-one aide more than 20 years ago and has held a series of roles of increasingly responsibility, including clinical supervisor and clinical coordinator. Today, as chief clinical officer, Breen oversees the mental health programming for every child PEP serves. She holds as master’s in social science administration from Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s in social work from Cleveland State University. Breen is also certified in the Neuro-Sequential Model of Trauma from the ChildTrauma Academy.

Chief Financial Officer

Marisha Dykes

Dykes brings over 20 years of accounting and business experience to her position as chief financial officer. She has held a range of positions in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors that have prepared her for this role, including controller, director and business advisor. Over the past 10 years she honed her skills, particularly excelling at providing leadership to enhance processes and procedures that help business and departments run smoother and leaner. At PEP Dykes oversees the accounting and fiscal teams, providing leadership in investments, financial reporting, change in processes, budgeting and forecasting. She also provides guidance to PEP's centers and programs around budgeting and financial reporting. Dykes hold a Bachelors of Business Administration from Youngstown State University.

Chief Operating Officer

Diane Gatto

Gatto arrived at PEP in 2019 with more than 20 years of experience in social services, data management and operations. She oversees the agency’s information technology and quality assurance departments as well as its numerous facilities. Before joining PEP, she served in a leadership role at United Way of Greater Cleveland where she led the implementation and expansion of Greater Cleveland’s 2-1-1 service. Gatto holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Cleveland State University and a master’s in social administration from Case Western Reserve University. She has completed post-graduate coursework in library and computer science and holds the Certified Resource Specialist credential from the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS). Gatto is a graduate of the YWCA Women’s Leadership Institute, a 2018 recipient of the YWCA Women of Professional Excellence Award and a 2016 recipient of the AIRS Distinguished Service Award.

General Counsel

Sheila O'Donnell

O’Donnell brings a wide range of legal experience to her position as general counsel including civil litigation; non-profit incorporation and governance; and county and municipal government law. Prior to embarking on a legal career, O’Donnell was a special education teacher and worked for several years as a teacher-counselor at PEP Greenview. In her current role, she provides legal advice and counsel to executive and administrative leaders agency-wide. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and her law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. She is licensed to practice in Ohio and North Carolina.

Chief Human Resources Officer

Jessica Sawyer

Always an advocate for mental health awareness, Sawyer launched her career as a social worker before transitioning into human resources where she discovered a passion for recruiting, retaining and developing talent. Over the last decade, Sawyer has served in a variety of HR leadership roles at both for-profit and non-profit mental health organizations. At PEP, she oversees the HR and staff development functions and provides leadership relating to employee relations, retention, leadership development and succession planning. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in business management from Baldwin Wallace University.