MEET OUR STAFF
Ms. Susan Yaksh, Executive Director
Susan has been with the Ronald McDonald House since March, 1996 when she was employed as the Assistant House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator. She has been involved with fundraising, grant writing and has been instrumental in developing our community wide and school Recycling Programs which are vital to our organization. The Recycling Program creates awareness about the Ronald McDonald House and the families who are served, generates funds to offset operational expenses, and provides an avenue to get involved for those interested in recycling for the good of our environment. Susan currently serves as Executive Director and her favorite Aesop quote is: “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”
“I have befriended so many families who, because of their child’s illness or accident, have come to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. What a wonderful feeling it is to bond with them; to make them laugh when they want to cry, or to give them a hug when they are feeling overwhelmed. I have also had the opportunity to meet some very caring and devoted volunteers who give of their time and/or talents to assist the staff as we extend that ‘hand of friendship’ to families in their greatest time of need. I wish our donors could meet the families face-to-face so they could see and hear how grateful they are to those who support the charity. As a mother of three sons and a grandmother to five healthy grandchildren, I appreciate how precious ‘good health’ is and feel honored to work here and to know I am making a difference!" Susan Yaksh
Ms. Beth Mancini, Program Manager
Beth is a life-long resident of Columbus, GA, with two teenaged daughters. In 2007, she found herself in the job market again. Wanting to help others and make a difference in the lives of those going through a difficult time, Beth found herself on the steps of the Ronald McDonald House with a goal to do just that. She was hired as the Program Manager, which includes being the House Manager and the Volunteer Coordinator. Her primary duties include being the "face" of Ronald McDonald House Charities to families and guests, recruiting and scheduling volunteers, and assuring that all aspects of the House run smoothly and efficiently.
"Not a day passes that I don't feel blessed as I walk out the door to go to my own home at the end of the day. To know that a family received something they needed that day, be it a ride to the hospital or a simple hug, warms my heart and soul." Beth Mancini
Melody Moran, Development Director
Melody was born in Louisville Kentucky. She lived the first part of her childhood on the family farm in Indiana. When she was eleven, the family moved to her mother's hometown of Fairhope, AL. She lived in Fairhope and Mobile prior to moving to Columbus in 1987. She has one grown daughter and recently married her wonderful husband Ryan. Melody has always been involved with the House. She began volunteering as soon as the project to build the House got under way. She started out by working as a shift volunteer then moved on to provide meals, serve as weekend manager and assist with fundraising events. In 2006 she came on board part time as the Resident Manager. She lived and served at the House until June of 2011. In April of 2012 she came back on board full time as the Development Director. She and her husband Ryan have a Toy Poodle (Peaches) that often accompanies her to work and a Pacific Parrotlet named Teela who is still learning that hands are not for munching. As Development Director; she is working on both existing fundraisers as well as developing new ones. She is working with the annual Pop Tab program for the elementary schools as well as other recycling projects. If you have any ideas, she wants to hear them!
"I am so blessed to come into work each day knowing that I am truly making a difference. After years of working a job for the sake of a pay check, I am incredibly blessed to be exactly where I am meant to be, doing what I do best! Being a part of a team where everyone cares as much about the House as I do makes working here seem like more of a mission than a job. Interacting with the families and volunteers on a daily basis is so rewarding. We as a community are so fortunate not only to have a Ronald McDonald House here but to have so many within our community that are dedicated to assuring that the House continues to be here to provide a true "home away from home" for families so they can be with their children when they need them the most! Not a day goes by that I am not reminded exactly why we are here and how important this Home is for those in need." - Melody Moran
Ms. Annie Preer, Evening Manager
Annie joined the Ronald McDonald House staff as our Evening Manager in 2007. She is responsible for providing a continuation of services to guests being referred to or families who are currently residing at the Ronald McDonald House. Annie is a long-time resident of the Valley area and is the mother of a talented college-age athlete. She has been a great addition to the Ronald McDonald House staff and guests and volunteers have enjoyed getting to know her.
"I enjoy meeting and talking with the families that come through the Ronald McDonald House. Their appreciation for the Ronald McDonald House is shown by their words, gratitude and actions." Annie Preer
Mr. Ashley Karriker, Resident Manager
We welcome Ashley Karriker who began volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in 2010 as a Weekend House Manager. Since June, 2011, he has been our Resident Manager, in charge of the House during the evenings. He is employed by Columbus Sprinkler Co. and has serviced our sprinkler system for 17 years! We are thankful to have a handyman around the House who can assist us with minor repairs and maintenance needs. He is a true asset to the staff and our families. He has a caring heart and friendly smile which is important to families in crisis.
Ms. Eva Harvin, Housekeeper
"Miss Eva," as she is affectionately known, keeps the Ronald McDonald House in pristine condition. She has been with the Ronald McDonald House since 2005 and we don't know what we would do without her! In addition to her easy-going nature, she has a wonderful sense of humor and warmly interacts with the staff, guests and volunteers. We are extremely lucky to have someone who is so dedicated to her work and everything she does makes our House look great!
"I'm so thankful and grateful for the opportunity to work at such a caring place. The Ronald McDonald House does so much and shows so much love and affection to all. When I leave my home every morning, I don't feel like I'm going to work; I feel like I'm going to visit friends. The Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for every family that comes through those front doors. Whether it is for two days or two months, when you get to know the families, you miss them when they leave. The Ronald McDonald House is truly people working together and loving one another!" Eva Harvin.