DIRECTORS AND BOARD MEMBERS
CLARENCE MOORE JR.
LEAH FRIEDMAN (CO-FOUNDER)
SUSAN KLUMPNER, AM, LCSW
CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Susan Klumpner is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who served as a school social worker in Dolton/Riverdale, IL. She has a background in serving children and families impacted by trauma and violence.
Susan provides group and individual counseling; consultation to faculty and parents; crisis intervention to students, staff, and parents; and develops and coordinates school and community services. Additionally, she served as a research assistant to Noble Network of Charter Schools to investigate the effectiveness of current support services. Susan received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Grinnell College and her Master’s Degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago in 2011. Susan played for the Women’s Tennis Team for Lawrence University for 3 years and for Grinnell College during her senior year. Presently, she is a PTR Certified 10-and-under tennis instructor and has been coaching youth for the past seven years. As Director, Susan will manage the development plan, build partnerships with community organizations, procure grants and donations, and facilitate tennis camps.
DIRECTOR OF PHILANTHROPY
Matthew Chicola is a nonprofit strategist who works with organizations to develop short-term objectives for long-term impact. Having worked in fund/resource development for nearly a decade, Matthew is experienced in building organizational visibility, capacity, and sustainability. Threading together his own passion for creative expression, Matthew believes we grow as a collective community when we inspire each other to live more authentic, vulnerable, selfless, and balanced lives.
Matthew lead fundraising efforts for several different missions with a special emphasis on building collaborative partnerships, effective communications, and diversified funding models. Also, he has guided other organizations toward achieving their philanthropic goals by serving as a guest speaker for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Forefront, Gonser Gerber, and DonorPerfect. Outside of his professional experience, Matthew is a current member of the Naperville Jaycees, where he acts as the Food Giving Committee Chair, and he volunteers for causes near and dear to his heart, such as social justice, human rights, animal welfare, environmental preservation, educational equity, and artistic integrity.
Matthew has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Grand Valley State University with a minor in Psychology. He has a Master’s degree in English Studies from Elmhurst College. In his role as Director of Philanthropy for The ACE Project, Matthew will utilize his expertise and interest to broaden the organization’s reach and benefit more young leaders along the way.
CHRISTOPHER WASHINGTON M.A. | ADVISORY BOARD
Christopher Washington is an Exercise Physiologist and Clinical Study Coordinator at the Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In this role, Christopher works with seniors to help them maintain health independence after they’ve experienced life-altering medical conditions such as stroke or hip replacement. Christopher conducts research into various disease states through direct practice with patients as well as administrative work creating trial protocols and ensuring data integrity and compliance with regulations and guidelines.
Christopher has served as a volunteer with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Baltimore, Maryland. As a former foster child, Christopher is passionate about advocating for the health and wellbeing of children, particularly through the family reunification and/or adoption processes.
Christopher has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from McDaniel College where he also played collegiate football. He has a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from Adelphi University and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration Degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He is putting his expertise in strategic planning, management, and marketing to use as Advisory Board Member Chair of the ACE Project.
JENNIFER MEADE | REGULATORY BOARD
Jennifer Meade is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, educator and writer with over 16 years of experience working with youth and families. She works at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) as Director of School Social Work and as an adjunct lecturer. In her roles at SSA she is privileged to educate and mentor the next generation of school social workers, which is how she became connected to Susan Klumpner, founder and director of The ACE Project. Jenny is passionate about empowering children, families and communities and thrilled to be a member of the Board of Directors since The ACE Project’s inception.
Leah Friedman | ADVISORY BOARD
Leah Friedman is the National Skills Manager for the USTA. Her responsibilities include creating the National Skills Challenge, on court demonstrations, coin tosses, player escorts and establishing Net Generation activations and events around the country. Leah works very closely with Pro Circuits, Fed Cup and Davis Cup, US Open Series, and the US Open to give young players an opportunity to participate in on court experiences.
Prior to her move to Orlando, Leah was the Junior Development Coordinator for the Chicago District Tennis Association. She was dedicated to working with local programs to educate coaches and parents in junior development while also increasing the number of players on the courts. Her passion is creating programs in underserved communities and believes the sport teaches lessons that go far beyond the courts. For her commitment to the game, Leah has been recognized with honors by the USTA, PTR, and Tennis Industry Magazine.
Leah graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in communications and sociology. She competed four years on the Women’s Tennis Team where she had over 100 combined wins in singles and doubles.
She is the co-founder of The Ace Project, an NJTL in Chicago and Baltimore.
Clarence Moore, Jr. "CJ" | REGULATORY BOARD
Clarence Moore Jr “CJ” is a man of his purpose, a lifestyle entrepreneur whose passion is helping others. Clarence graduated from Grinnell College in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology. His purpose was shaped long before his academic and sports achievements in college.
Returning to Chicago upon graduation, Clarence began his career as a Fitness Professional running his own business focusing on functional fitness with everyday working people and sports specific training with youth and professional athletes.
Entrepreneurship came early for Clarence, spending time working in his father’s businesses- learning management, bookkeeping, and other valuable lessons. Clarence is always looking for ways to help more people transform their lives. He has created or partnered with several entrepreneurial ventures centered on fitness and technology to further his mission in being available to help more people transform their lives.
Making strategic partnerships and creating business opportunities is a skill that will be valuable to The ACE Project and its growth. Clarence is also bringing his people skills and expertise in business to serve as the role of Treasurer for ACE’s board of directors.