Meet WordPlay’s Newest Board Members

Ayanna Love, Esq., Trustee

WordPlay Cincy is pleased to introduce the newest members of their Board of Trustees: Ayanna Love, Esq., Joe Moorman, and Phillip Ridley II. The addition of these three members fuels WordPlay’s growth trajectory in providing innovative, creative literacy programs for Cincinnati children and teens, both in school and at WordPlay’s Northside writing center.

A dedicated advocate for children’s rights, Love has worked as a Magistrate in the Hamilton County Juvenile Court system and is now Senior Staff Attorney for ProKids. Her professional passion and legal experience provide an extraordinary level of expertise to guide the organization’s growing complexities, as well as informing approaches to family-centered literacy and successful interventions for at-risk youth.

Joe Moorman, Trustee

Moorman discovered his passion for education as a 7th and 8th grade English teacher and head basketball coach in Philadelphia. He has worked in several roles for Teach For America, including as Senior Managing Director for Teach For America’s Arkansas region, Chief of Staff for Regional Operations and Founding Executive Director for Teach For America – Delaware. Now, as Director of Strategic Projects for the Mayerson Academy, Moorman provides consulting and leadership on topics such as organizational development and culture, professional learning, program development, and diversity, equity and inclusion. He worked with Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) on the implementation of “I am CPS,” a district-wide organizational culture transformation initiative and brings critical insight to similarly innovative initiatives and continuous quality improvement as Chair of WordPlay’s Program Committee.

Phillip Ridley II, Treasurer

Ridley brings a passion for community and equity in access to arts and education to WordPlay, along with his talents as an Assistant Vice President, Business Banking Officer with U.S. Bank. In addition to his career in finance working with businesses from startup to sustainability, he also serves on the Young Professionals board for Arts Wave. He will serve as the organization’s Board Treasurer .Along with current board members, co-founder Elissa Yancey, Michelle Watts, Michael Link, Nick Pietoso, Eve Bolton and Doris Marks Callis, the three new Trustees will play integral roles in strategic planning as this school year --WordPlay’s fifth-- comes to a close.

Dr. Tom Monaco, former Board Chair, dear friend and mentor, passed away very suddenly

Dr. Tom Monaco

in March. As an advisor from WordPlay’s very founding, Tom’s expertise from 45 years in education and 10 years in non-profit leadership development have been instrumental in WordPlay’s evolution. In the words of Executive Director Libby Hunter, “Tom’s mission was to help each individual he coached to lead a balanced, fulfilled life of purpose with self-knowledge and care at the center; a refreshing counter-argument to the glorification of Busy.” Tom’s wisdom, along with the collective expertise of this exceptional leadership team, will continue to shape WordPlay’s Five Elements of Transformation that permeate each of its programs: Personal Development, Innovative Learning Strategies, Community-Building, Creative Expression, and Future Orientation.

Reba Hennessey is Director of Development & Communications for WordPlay Cincy, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located at 4041 Hamilton Ave. in Northside. For more information about WordPlay’s programs, events, enrolling a child in grades K-12, providing support or becoming a volunteer please call (513) 541-0930, visit or email

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