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Creating a world where no grieving person journeys alone.

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Please visit us at our new location:
253 N. State Street, Suite 200,  Westerville, Ohio 43081.

In 2011, Cornerstone of Hope opened an office in Columbus to serve Central Ohio. Cornerstone of Hope Columbus offers individual counseling, support groups, summer camps, and memorial events.

Our spaces are uniquely designed to facilitate creative therapies, and we have dedicated spaces for different age groups. Our ultimate goal was to create a comfortable, home-like environment that welcomed all individuals and families entering our doors. 

Who We Are

Meet the dynamic team of professionals who serve our office in Columbus, Ohio.

Our Clinicians


Melissa Ayotte, MA, ATR-BC

Art Therapist & Support Group Facilitator
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all. He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”
- Psalm 34:18-19

I joined Cornerstone of Hope as a Group Facilitator in 2023. I am a registered and board-certified art therapist. I have experience working in a variety of settings, supporting children and adults in healing & growing through art expression. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ohio University and a Master’s degree in Art Therapy from Saint Mary of the Woods College. I live with my husband and two goofy labs, Jake and Molly.

Abigail Bales, LISW

Support Group Facilitator
I joined Cornerstone of Hope as a grief Group Co-Facilitator in August 2023. Prior to working for Cornerstone, I worked as a school based therapist in Columbus, Worthington, and Cardington. Currently, when I am not co-facilitating grief groups, I am working at an elementary school in Delaware Co as their school social worker. I enjoy being outdoors, going on road trips, and exploring new places.

Alexandra Barron

Clinical social work intern
I joined the Cornerstone of Hope Columbus team in 2023 as a social work intern. Currently, I am a student at Case Western Reserve University, working to obtain my masters in social work. In 2019, I received my Bachelor of Arts in sociology from The Ohio State University. I live in Columbus with my cat, Cremini. When I am not working on school or seeing clients, you can find me doing yoga or vintage shopping!

Michelle Buckley, MSW, LSW

School Group Facilitator
"The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
– Philippians 4:5-7

I joined Cornerstone of Hope as a School Group Facilitator in 2022. Previously, I worked in the foster care system and as a Hospice Social Worker. I completed my Master’s Degree in Social Work from The Ohio State University in 2005. Family is very important to me. I love spending time with my spouse and two sons, as well as my huge extended family.  I also enjoy sports, especially futbol (soccer), board games and reading.

Annie Dalby, LISW-S

“Lord, help me to live this day quietly, easily; To lean on Thy great strength trustfully, restfully.”
- St. Francis of Assisi

I joined Cornerstone of Hope in 2021. I’ve practiced social work for over thirty years and have served as a spiritual director since 2009. I have a master’s degree in clinical social work from OSU and a Certificate of Completion from Wellstreams Ecumenical Training Program of Spiritual Formation and Development. My family and I live in Columbus with our dog and two cats. God’s spirit comes alive for me in nature and I try to be outdoors whenever possible!

Emma Garee, LSW

Clinical Social Work Intern
I joined the Cornerstone of Hope team in Fall of 2023. I have previous work experience in case management, group intervention, and collaborative teamwork. I graduated from Wright State University in Spring of 2023 and received my LSW shortly after. I am currently finishing my graduate studies at The Ohio State University. I am very passionate about helping individuals cope with major life stressors and walking beside them in their healing journeys.

Keshawn Harper

Support Group Facilitator
I joined Cornerstone of Hope in 2022 as a support group facilitator. Additionally, I work as a High School Social Worker where I work with adolescents to manage grief, anxiety, stress, depression, and other crises. I received my Master’s degree in Social Work from The Ohio State University where I am now an Adjunct Lecturer. When I’m not working, I enjoy working out and improv comedy.

Emily Hunter

Clinical Social Work Intern
"Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light."
- Brené Brown

I joined Cornerstone of Hope as a clinical intern in early 2023. In 2021, I received my Bachelor of Arts in psychology and minor in Spanish from OSU, where I’m currently completing my master’s in social work. I have been working as a mental health advocate in Columbus for a few years, both as a case manager and a support group facilitator. On my days off, I love going to concerts and watching movies!

Elizabeth Kraska, LISW-S

Support Group Facilitator
“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.”
- Earl Grollman

My journey with Cornerstone of Hope started in 2015 as a student intern supervisor. Since then, I have been privileged to provide a variety of clinical services here. I received my Master of Social Work from OSU, and have several years of experience in grief and trauma as well as over 20 years in my current job as a pediatric social worker. Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, hiking, volunteering, and cuddling my pets. 

Molly O’Driscoll, LPC, GC-C

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I joined Cornerstone of Hope in 2018, and I currently serve as a clinician, traumatic loss support group facilitator, and oversee Grief Matters, our monthly workshop series. I hold a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Human Development (Clinical Mental Health) and a Grief Counseling Certification. I am also trained in EMDR Therapy. Through my roles here and prior work in funeral home and hospice settings, I’m humbled to walk with others along their grief journeys.

Our interns are an intracule part of our staff at Cornerstone, attending staff trainings, providing feedback in meetings, and most importantly, supporting Client care through individual sessions and facilitators for school and support groups. Learn more about our interns here.

Our Leadership


Mark Tripodi

"Jesus told her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?'"
- John 11:25–26

My wife, Christi, and I are the founders of Cornerstone of Hope. We experienced the sudden death of our three year old son, Bobby, in May of 2000. Our lives have been forever changed since that very day. Soon after, we felt God’s call to offer support to families who have experienced the death of a loved one. Cornerstone of Hope was founded in 2003. I am passionate about introducing Cornerstone of Hope to families in need, to volunteers who want to make an impact and to companies and individuals who feel called to generously support this crucial mission.

Pete Bliss

Project Manager, Mid-Ohio Traumatic Loss Response Team
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
- Psalm 34:18

I joined the Cornerstone team in 2020. As Community Outreach Coordinator, my role is to educate the Cleveland community about COH services, network with relevant community service providers, and represent COH at meetings, events and activities. I have served in the crisis intervention field for 30 years and am a survivor of multiple suicide losses. Companioning those who have experienced traumatic loss and training responders is my passion.

Matt Grant

Donor Relations Officer
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
- Matthew 11:28

In September 2023 I became the Donor Relations Officer for Cornerstone of Hope. Having spent most of my life in camp ministry, recently as an Executive Director, I have had extensive experience in fundraising and development. I have three boys and we are a close-knit family that enjoys the outdoors, the zoo and movie nights. I am excited to be here and for the impact we will make in the surrounding Columbus area and beyond.

Julie Iuliano, LISW-S

Clinical Supervisor
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
- Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

I joined Cornerstone of Hope part time in January 2023, with a Masters of Social Work from Boston College. Shortly after joining I became full-time as Clinical Supervisor, supporting our amazing clinical work. I have a background in crisis work, supporting survivors of trauma, and those who have lost loved ones. I have worked in different school, community and private settings throughout Columbus. In my free time I love to read!

Amber Wiesner

“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
- Isaiah 41:10

In May 2023, I joined Cornerstone of Hope as HR Director and Project Manager after working as an Executive Director and running a consulting business focused on healthcare and non-profits. My primary goal is to support healthcare workers in delivering exceptional care. My career is driven by a passion to make a meaningful impact, providing peace, hope, love, and guidance to others. Outside of work, I'm a mother of two, actively coaching their sports and being their biggest cheerleader in all their pursuits.

Our Staff


Jenna Bechtel

Assistant Coordinator, Mid-Ohio Traumatic Loss Response Team
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
– Psalm 73:26

In 2023 I joined Cornerstone of Hope as the Assistant Coordinator for Mid-Ohio Traumatic Loss Response Team. Before switching my passion towards Psychology, I worked as an Emergency Medical Technician and Vet Technician. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Neuropsychology and a minor in Biblical Studies. My interests include traveling, playing volleyball, and fishing. Ohio has been my home for most of my life, and because of that one of my favorite activities is going to Cedar Point.

Kristen Cook

Client Services Coordinator
“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.”
– Psalm 143:8

I joined Cornerstone of Hope as the Clinical Receptionist in 2019 and recently transitioned into my current role as Client Services Coordinator. Throughout my career, I have worked for a variety of small and large organizations as administrative support, and I hold an Associate of Applied Business Human Resources Management degree. My interests include reading, baking, and spending time with my family.

Molly Dugan

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”
– Matthew 6:34

I joined the Cornerstone of Hope team as the graphic designer in 2021. In high school, I had the opportunity to intern with Cornerstone in the Marketing Department, where I fell in love with design. I got to work on designs for numerous projects, including the Gala, summer camps, Taste of Hope, and with clinicians on support group materials. After attending Kent State University and attaining my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication Design, I am back!

Angela Polter

Operations Assistant
"For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
– Jeremiah 29:11

I have been employed at Cornerstone of Hope since 2019, when our family relocated here from Northwest Ohio. I have a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University. My husband and I live in Independence with our three children and three dogs. On the weekends, you can find me exploring the outdoors, camping, on the sidelines of my kid’s sporting events, or coaching youth cheerleading.

Kim Turner, LISW-S

Coordinator, Mid-Ohio Traumatic Loss Response Team
"He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord demands of you; but to do justice, to love loving-kindness, and to walk discreetly with your God.”
– Micah 6:8 

I joined Cornerstone of Hope in February 2022. As the Mid-Ohio Traumatic Loss Response Team Coordinator, I coordinate postvention efforts in Delaware, Morrow, Marion, and Crawford counties, including partnering with regional stakeholders, training volunteers, and supporting those who have lost someone to a traumatic loss. With over 15 years of experience in trauma recovery, I am passionate about reducing barriers for those impacted by traumatic loss. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the Ukulele.

Board of Directors

Mike Abramo

Plante Morgan

Becky Bandelaria

Huntington National Bank

Jerry Bennett

Kurtz Bros., Inc.

Erik Brown

New York Life Insurance Company

Allan Dinsmore

Messer Construction Co.

Barbara Fohl


Gary McNutt

First Merchants Bank

Stacy McVan

Edward Jones

Matt Meyer

TransCounty Title Agency

Leanne Ebert Murphy

Comprehensive Pharmacy Services

Shannan Ritchie

Vera Whole Health

Scott Shively

Michelle Slawinski

Nationwide Children’s Hospital


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Cornerstone of Hope is a 501(c)3.
All donations are tax-deductible.