Staff Members

Deanna, NECIC

Deanna West-Torrence, Founder and Chief Executive Officer

A longtime resident, Deanna West-Torrence found herself returning to the North End neighborhood throughout her life. Each time she returned, she found the same friendly people with lifelong relationships, but the appearance of the neighborhood had changed drastically. The schools were closed, the neighborhood businesses had decreased and the once well-kept houses were deteriorating. At the same time, she found her own family experiencing much of what so many others were facing. Following a divorce, she became a single mother, raising four young children on the North End.

Through the years, Deanna worked in many ways to better the community, from working with CHAP (Community Health Access Project), representing the 5th Ward on Mansfield City Council, serving on the Mansfield City School Board, and leading the Neighborhood Youth Corps, as well as serving on other boards, task forces, and advisory committees.

In 2007, Deanna and other residents and community leaders applied their collective experience and founded the North End Community Improvement Collaborative (NECIC). NECIC's mission is to improve the quality of life and economic landscape of the North End Community.

Deanna attended Rebecca Grubaugh, Creveling and Discovery Schools, Johnny Appleseed Middle School and graduated from Malabar High School. She then attended the University of Cincinnati and the Southern New Hampshire University’s School of Community Economic Development. Deanna is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership’s African American Leadership Program in 2005, and the Harvard Kennedy School for Executive Education in 2011. She has managed local non-profits for many years.5

Deanna is the proud mother of four Adult children, and 5 Grand children. 

Phone:  419-522-1611, ext 115

Tony Chinni, Research and Development Manager 

Tony is a 2007 graduate of The Ohio State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in European History. Tony joined the team as an intern during the summer of 2007 at which time he aided the executive director in establishing the nascent organization, and compiled an economic base assessment of Mansfield's North End.

From 2008-2011, Tony worked with NECIC staff and consultants to compile The North End Community Economic Development Plan. This document, guided by the input from more that three hundred North End residents and stakeholders, articulates NECIC's vision for the redevelopment of the North End. The plan was update in 2017, with Tony once again at the helm.

Phone:  419-522-1611, ext 103

Tionna Perdue, Operations Manager

Tionna joined the team as a NECIC Staffing Specialist in 2017 after ten years with Third Street Family Health Services. 

A North End native, Tionna loves the mission to improve the quality of life and the economic landscape of the North End. Her passion in helping fellow residents by giving them the tools they need to be successful shows everyday in her work as the Operations Manager. 

Phone:  419-522-1611, ext 102

Melissa Drozda, Development Officer

Melissa is the Development Officer at NECIC. She has garnered over 15 years of professional not-for-profit work experience in the areas of fund development, marketing & communications, community & board relations, administration, and management. She has a strong commitment to community building and expertise in grant writing, special event execution, corporate sponsorship, and annual and capital campaigns.

She joined the team at NECIC because she loves their mission, believes in asset-based community development, and wanted to be involved in projects that will have a transformative impact on our community and its residents. Through collaborative efforts, her goal in this position is to help foster growth, inclusivity, and a brighter future for all by helping NECIC achieve their vision statement.  

Phone:  419-522-1611, ext 104







 Matthew Ayers, Fiscal & Administrative Coordinator

Matthew was apart of NECIC's North End Talented Ten (NETT) internship program in 2010, and served as a volunteer long after. Matthew is a Mansfield native and a graduate of Mansfield Senior High and The Ohio State University. 

Matthew joined the team as a NECIC Staffing Specialist in 2017 and moved to Support Services Coordinator in 2018. As the current Fiscal Administrative Coordinator, he oversees the fiscal work for the organization. He's also a great supporter of all the staff events and is willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need for NECIC. 

Phone:  419-522-1611, ext 121

Mario Davison, Minority Business Assistance Center Director

Mario graduated with his bachelor's in Sports Administration from Kent State University and earned his Master's in Human Social Service Leadership from Mt. Vernon Nazarene University.

As a North End native, Mario joined the NECIC as a Community Organizer in 2021 to work in the community he loves and grew up in. 


Phone: 419-522-1611, ext 105

Jacqueline WilliamsStaffing Specialist 

Jacqueline joined the team in August 2022 after 14 years with Startek.

Being a lifelong native of the North End, she loves the mission statement of NECIC and being a part of the change that is happening in the community. 

Jacqueline's goal is to be able to help whoever comes to through the door with what they need to be successful. 

Daniel NeefFarmer

Daniel joined the team October 2022. With his passion for plants at a young age, he became an organic gardener. Daniel has 22 years of experience and is the creator of the greenhouse business, Green Patch Garden.

Daniel's goal as the NECIC Farmer is to continue to grow healthy produce and make positive change in the community that he loves.


Aurelio Diaz, Community Organizer

A North End native, Aurelio has dedicated 20 years in the social services field specializing in case management, education, and community outreach. He currently serves as Mansfield City Councilman for the fifth ward.

As a Community Organizer for NECIC, Aurelio is excited to strengthen the mission by being an advocate and champion for North End residents. 


Lucas Gerber, Marketing Coordinator

 Lucas joined NECIC in July 2023, bringing with him a passion for not-for-profit work that he cultivated during his time as a Marketing Intern at Kingwood Center Gardens. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Franklin University in 2020.

As NECIC's Marketing Coordinator, Lucas is dedicated to sharing the compelling story of Mansfield's North End. His goal is to elevate NECIC's ideals and causes, capturing the attention of residents, non-residents, and stakeholders alike. Lucas is driven by a commitment to making a positive impact on the local Mansfield community through his work with NECIC



Suzy Beeson, Special Projects Officer




Rhea Oswalt, Community Organizing Intern

Rhea is currently immersed in her studies at The Ohio State University, diligently working towards her bachelor's degree in social work. Through her coursework, she delves into the intricacies of social welfare policies, human behavior, and intervention strategies, arming herself with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle the multifaceted challenges prevalent in both her local community and its surroundings. Her decision to apply for an internship with NECIC stems from her aspiration to pursue a career in the non-profit sector, driven by a profound belief that every young person deserves to flourish in an environment that fosters safety and growth.

With a genuine passion for improving the well-being of others, Rhea sees her involvement with NECIC as an opportunity to make meaningful contributions towards creating safer and more supportive communities for youth. This internship aligns perfectly with her long-term goals, allowing her to gain invaluable experience while actively participating in initiatives that resonate with her core values and aspirations. Rhea's dedication to social work, coupled with her commitment to fostering positive change, positions her as a promising advocate for community development and youth empowerment.


North End Community Improvement Collaborative
134 N. Main St., Mansfield, Ohio 44902

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