MEET THE TEAM

Jacob Lawton, Executive Director

Jacob resides in Columbiana, Ohio with his wife Carrie and two kids Paige and Preston.  He graduated from Beaver Local High School and continued his education at Robert Morris University graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  He is also an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.  Jacob has 10 years of experience with the Developmentally Disabled.  He was employed by the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities for 7 years. While employed for CCBDD he was the Habilitation Manager at EDI South and started the Beaver Creek Candle Company.  On June 1, 2015 he was promoted to the Executive Director of Employment Development (E.D.I). He also is the Executive Director of One Step Forward, a non-profit housing board that rents houses to the Developmentally Disabled in Columbiana County.  He enjoys working at EDI because of the great group of people he works with each day.  The job allows him to make a difference in somebody’s life every day.  In his spare time, Jacob enjoys cooking on his grill, traveling and spending time with his family.

jlawton@employment-development.com

Brittany Hayes, Operations Manager

Brittany and her husband, JD, live in Toronto, surrounded by woods and wildlife. They recently added a two new family members, two golden doodle puppies Phil "The Thrill" Kessel, and Kris "Tanger" Letang. She graduated from Beaver Local High School and finished her Bachelor Degree of Science in Accounting from Grove City College. She is an alumnae of Sigma Delta Phi Sorority. Brittany has five years of experience as an accountant in the Ohio Valley. She joined the EDI team in September of 2015 as the Operations Manger to help open EDI South and continue the tradition of quality service for our individuals. Brittany enjoys working at EDI for the warm welcome you receive everyday you walk into work. In her spare time, she likes doing DIY construction, traveling, playing sports, sewing, and other assorted crafts. 

bhayes@employment-development.com

Ashley Feezle, Program Director

Ashley lives in East Palestine with her dog, two cats, and her husband, Dylan. She graduated from Medina High School. She began at Mount Union but ended up taking a break and working. Ashley began working as a waitress, and then also obtained a job as a substitute at the Columbiana County Board of DD when she was nineteen. While keeping up with both jobs, Ashley decided to go back to school online at Southern New Hampshire University. She continued working for the county board for several years and eventually made the transition to work for Employment Development when it took over EDI South in 2016. While working as a front line professional at EDI, she was promoted to production supervisor at EDI South  within two months of being opened, and finished her degree. She will have six years experience in the DD Field October 2018. She says that she loves working at EDI because allows her to do work that she is truly passionate about and it is an easy-going environment where everyone cares for one another. In her spare time, she enjoys being active by doing things like running, playing soccer, or kayaking. She also enjoys knitting, sewing, and making crafts.   

acrosser@employment-development.com

Bobbi Bailey RN, Director of Nursing

Bobbi resides in Calcutta with her Fiancé Jeff. Between her and her Fiancé have three sons and four grandchildren. Bobbi graduated from Oak Glen High School and when on to college at West Virginia University where she was an active member of the cheerleading team. Bobbi completed her degree as a Registered Nurse. Bobbi has over 30 years experience in the nursing field including medical/surgical, psychiatric, labor and delivery. Although Bobbi is new to this field of nursing, she knew immediately that it was one she would enjoy. Bobbi stated “I guess you could say it was love at first sight and love at first hug. It’s not often you can work where the entire staff is truly passionate about their job. And I feel that the clients have become my extended family members. I remember when Jacob hired me I only wanted a few hours a week. Before I realized, I was totally engrossed and committed to provide our clients with health care that reached beyond the clinic walls  and that would provide a  more preventative and holistic medical approach for each individual. This goal is being realized with the cooperation of all who touch their lives.” In her free time, Bobbi enjoys golfing, boating, yoga, visiting family, vacationing in preferably warm climates, hiking, and enjoying nature.

bbailey@employment-development.com

Tim Palmer, Transportation Manager

Tim lives on a 106 acre farm in Rogers, Ohio with his wife Mary Palmer. He have 3 children that are all grown now. Tim graduated from David Anderson High School in Lisbon, Ohio.  After graduating from David Anders High School, he graduated from the School of Computer Technology in Pittsburgh. Tim previously drove school buses for 5 different schools over 3 years. Before driving school buses, Tim ran his own construction company. In his free time, Tim enjoys fishing, camping and back packing. He was a little nervous when I took the position of Transportation Manager, but the staff has been great and the clients make it fun to come to work.

tpalmer@employment-development.com

Marti Leake, Habilitation Coordinator

Marti resides with her husband, Bruce in Lisbon Ohio, she was born in Cleveland, Ohio but has been a long time resident of Columbiana County.   Marti has 4 children Stacie, Jamie, Johnny and Katie and has been blessed with 8 grandchildren of which she adores.  Marti graduated in 1985 from Beaver Local high school and the Columbiana County Career Center, specializing in accounting and word processing.  She has held several management positions in restaurant field over the years.  In 1997 she took the leap of faith to begin a new chapter in her life by beginning her career with the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities.  It didn’t take long for her to realize she had found her passion.  In 2013 she became a certified provider of waiver services with the State of Ohio, and began to enrich the lives of individuals not only throughout their day but experiencing our individuals on a whole new spectrum.  In her 22 years of experience Marti has held the positions of substitute and Workshop Specialist II. In 2017 she accepted a position with EDI as frontline professional and was promoted to Program Assistant 5 months later.  She began her new position as Habilitation Coordinator in January of 2019 and is looking forward to continuing with EDI.  She is very passionate about the work she does and loves her job at EDI because she loves to watch the clients achieve their goals and build their self confidence.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, baking and cheering her husband on at Harescramble and Motocross races.  Marti will forever treasure the relationships and friendships she has built over the years with the individuals and families.

mleake@employment-development.com

Don Ridgley, Training & Work Opportunities Manager

Don has lived in the Calcutta area for 50 years. He is married to his loving wife, and has 3 wonderful children, 3 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. Don’s one child, Scott, is developmental disabled and attended EDI South for several years. Don graduated from Beaver Local Schools and attended Kent State University (East Liverpool Branch) and majored in criminal justice. Don worked for First Energy (Bruce Mansfield Plant) for 34 years, with 32 years as a supervisor. In his spare time, Don enjoys time with his wife and family, doing carpentry work, fishing, and yard work. Don likes working at EDI for the enjoyment of working with our client and the satisfaction of helping them learn skills for the possibility of employment in our community.   

dridgley@employment-development.com

Phil Carter, Production Manager

Phil is a long time resident of Columbiana County. He was born and raised in Wellsville, where he currently resides. He has a son, Joshua that lives in Wellsville. Phil graduated from Wellsville High School in 1980. Phil went on to attended West Liberty University, where he graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. He has been in the field since 1988, where he started at a local residential ICF-MR facility. He eventually move his way up into management, working for the local ICF for 8 years before coming to work at Columbiana County Board of Development Disabilities as the Production Manager. Phil has been a part of EDI Central for 22 years. He enjoys coming to work at EDI everyday knowing that the clients expect him to be there and are worried when he is absent. Currently, Phil during his free time is an active tennis player, and all other types of sports. He loves to referee for the County Board Basketball game every year that is held in March.

pcarter@employment-development.com

Susan Hertel, Job Training & Opportunities Manager Beaver Creek Candles

Susan lives in Columbiana, with her dog, Brutus. She has two sons, a daughter, and two daughter-in-laws. Susan graduated from Leetonia High School. She then continued her education at the University of Akron, where she earned her Associate in Applied Business. Susan has been with the County Board since 2011, and eventually was promoted to the Business Manager for Beaver Creek Candle Company. She enjoys working with our individuals and seeing their excitement in creating high quality candles that we sell in our store, website, and for local fundraisers. Their friendly smiles and excellent work ethic make her job very rewarding. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, exercising, playing golf, and attending concerts. Susan also dedicates her free time to the local Kiwanis.

shertel@bccandle.com

Tina Cochran, Activities Coordinator

Tina lives in Lisbon with her husband and two children. She is originally from Washington D.C. and grew up in Long Island New York. Tina graduated from CCCTC and is a Nationally Certified Activity Director. She is new to EDI, but has 6 years experience caring for elderly individuals with dementia and long term illnesses. She says that at EDI she loves being able to brighten someone’s day, and likes to show people skills that they have and may not know yet. In her spare time, she runs a community clothing closet for the needs at the church she attends.

tcochran@employment-development.com

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Employment Development, Inc.  SOUTH


Tel: 330-385-2970
Fax: 330-385-2872

Email: contact@employment-development.com
Address: 15529 Sprucevale Road 

             East Liverpool OH 43920

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Employment Development, Inc.  CENTRAL


Tel: 330-424-7711
Fax:

Email: contact@employment-development.com
Address: 8330 County Home Road

             Lisbon, OH 44432