Board of Directors



The YMCA Camp Ernst board of directors is a
dedicated group of volunteers who work hard behind the scenes to promote camp in the community. Email Executive Director Eli Cochran if you're interested in serving in this capacity.






The YMCA Camp Ernst Junior Board is made up of a few dozen enthusiastic high school students who love camp and want to give back to the community! You can find them planning fundraisers for camper scholarships, on social media (Twitter @campernstjrb and SnapChat @campernstjb), and constantly thinking of new ways to make their summer home even better. Applications for 2019-20 are due April 12 to [email protected] 



Liz Younger  

Liz is the current Chairperson of the Camp Ernst Branch Advisory Board. She also represents Camp Ernst on the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Association Board of Directors. She is an attorney at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP as a member of their Public Finance Practice Group where she serves as bond counsel assisting counties, cities, and government related entities in the tax-exempt financing process. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and a Bachelor of Art degree from Elon University in Public Administration and Political Science. In addition to her service to the YMCA, she is also engaged with other organizations in the community as a Board Member of the Fort Thomas Education Foundation and a Board Overseer at Redwood Rehabilitation Center in Fort Mitchell.

Liz had her first summer camp experience at Camp Ernst in 1994 as a camper and worked through the ranks in the late 90’s and early 2000’s as a CREW member, counselor, color leader, unit leader, and interim office manager. She reflects on camp as being the single most influential experience that helped her to grow in confidence and leadership. She is now a camp parent and enjoys watching her son experience the magic of Camp Ernst every summer.

In an effort to ensure that the Camp Ernst branch board is plugged in to the Y-Camp network, she had enjoyed engaging with camp professionals at industry conferences such as the 2017 YMCA Camp Marketing & Financial Development Symposium at Frost Valley YMCA and the 2018 YMCA Global Camp Conference at the YMCA of the Rockies.

She likes to spend as much time as possible outdoors and traveling with her husband, Bradley, and their two children.

Jon Beasey

Jon holds a BS, Applied Engineering, Eastern Kentucky and an MBA from Xavier.  With 30+ years of diversified manufacturing experience, acquired a non-destructive testing distributorship in 2016.

He married into the camp family and fell in love with camp after coming to a family reunion with his then girlfriend (now wife).  Now their sons, 4th generation campers, enjoy summer camp and many other camping activities throughout the year.  Jon is famous for saying he’ll make any excuse to come to camp and wishes he could enjoy the camper experience!  He’s excited to help fundraise for camper scholarships and to find new untapped funding opportunities.

                                     Ken Blewett

                                     Steve Easley

Ann Fitzgibbons

Ann Fitzgibbons enjoys giving back to Camp Ernst, and has been volunteering in various roles since the mid 1990s. Her love for Camp Ernst began with her camper days in the 1970s. She is also treasurer and board member for Women of Alabaster Ministry, and past board member for Vineyard Christian Church of Northern Kentucky. Early retirement from a 30+ year career as an actuary, most recently as  Vice President and Actuary for the Ameritas Life Insurance Company, has allowed Ann to pursue her passion of serving. Ann lives in Burlington, KY with her husband Tom and dog Dottie.

Melanie Horel

Melanie Horel  has been working for the past 14 years as an Occupational therapist in the Greater Cincinnati area for geriatric population.   She graduated college at Eastern Kentucky University.

Melanie's love of camp Ernst started at age 7.  She attended camp every summer as a camper until she was a member of the first Crew session at the age of 15.  Following that she was a junior counselor and life guard.  Next she graduated to a senior counselor and a eventually a Unit leader for the teens.   Every summer was full of joy and love for camp and the campers. Now She is so excited to give back and be part of the board for such an amazing organization such as camp Ernst.

Melanie has a 18 year old daughter who also serves on the camp Ernst junior board and she is looking forward to future Summers at camp as well. She also has a son Jonathen that enjoys a week at camp every summer.

Dennis Kramer-Wine

Dennis’s enthusiasm for camp has a strong tie to the 10 years he spent as a camp director at an east coast camp. This roll helped him connect with his humanity and the humanity of underprivileged and diverse kids being empowered by camp. He is very passionate about the ability of camp to change kids’ lives. He also worked as a camp inspector for camp accreditation through the American Camping Association. He hopes to use his professional camp experiences, both positive and negative, to have a positive impact on Camp Ernst.  As a human he hasn’t come across anything more powerful than sitting with and helping a homesick 10 year old, having an impact and empowering that child to take positive risk in their lives, providing a relationship that kids won’t forget. When not helping out at Camp Ernst you can find Dennis at Rhinegeist Brewery where he works as Director of Culture or spending time with his amazing wife and camper daughter.

Katie Mace

Professionally, I’m most proud that I spent 12 years working for the same company, steadily progressing and gaining additional certifications. I worked at Fidelity Investments from 2001-2013. I started as a service representative and decided to leave in 2013 to dedicate myself to raising my family full-time.


I hope that as a member of the Camp Ernst Board of Directors I can raise awareness of the wonderful camp resource we have right in our backyard. I would like to act as an ambassador of the camp’s core values: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. Additionally, I hope to ensure the camp’s continued fiscal sustainability and adherence to the camp’s mission to build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all so many more generations are able to enjoy all that Camp Ernst has to offer. 


I believe in camp because I have seen for myself how camp provides enrichment for children and builds their confidence. They learn how to accomplish tasks and activities on their own and also through teamwork. Before I had my own family and career, I spent a summer as a counselor at another YMCA camp,  in Connecticut. I witnessed the bonds the campers developed with each other and with nature. My husband and I take our two children to family camp twice a year, and it has become a treasured tradition – one we hope they continue when they have their own children. I’ve seen my children gain self-worth and resiliency through the activities they do at camp. It’s amazing to see them accomplish a little bit more with each camp we attend.


Eric Marsland

Eric left his profession to become a stay at home dad for his three boys 12 years ago.  As a result, he has three beautiful, polite young men at his house.  As a new board member he is excited to use his experience with grant writing to help camp realize its next level of development. He has a personal interest in making camp better camp with two boys who attend. He went to camp for seven years as a camper, and says it changed his life completely.  “Some of my best friends to this day come from my experience at camp.”                     

Mark Moser

Mark has an eclectic background with a BA in psychology and an MBA with a concentration in information systems. He has a unique talent for integrating those two fields which he has been doing for over 13 years as IT Manager at Pilot Chemical Company. He responsible for the development and maintenance of Pilot’s global infrastructure, providing both ubiquitous technology tools and new tools that move the organization forward. He recognizes that IT is about the people, not the tools. Mark has over 25 years of experience in IT with 18 years managing manufacturing environments. He specializes in Infrastructure, Networking, Security, Enterprise Resource Planning, Acquisition Execution and Cost Accounting. Mark has a B.A. from the University of Dayton, an MBA from Xavier University, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati. As an Advisory Board Member he really wants camp to continue to grow and increase its impact on the community, making our “good” even better! He believes the camp experience is transformative as he seen in his own life as a family camper and his kids’ lives as they’ve come to Camp Ernst. He sees it enabling kids to build confidence and lifelong passions. For instance one of his daughters wants to be a farrier due to her experience at camp. He prides himself on maintaining a good work-life balance and helping his children to grow to be helpful members to the community and make a positive impact on society. And just for fun he likes to video all three of his kid’s basketball games while announcing them. The kids help make up parody sponsors and the videos are all published on YouTube.

Erica Palmer                                    

Erica currently works as cosmetic chemist at KAO. With a passion for running, she did over 45 events in 2018. In 2019 she looks forward to a race in Paris. As a child at her summer camp she discovered camp was a place to escape and find out who she was. She learned what she is capable of. She has passed that same experience to her daughter by sending her to Camp Ernst. She sees it as a place that has shaped her daughter and provide values. She is beyond proud of her daughter’s accomplishment of Honor Camper. She hopes to help provide this same experience of summertime adventure to other kids in the community by serving on the Camp Ernst Advisory Board.

 Rob Speicher

Rob has served on the Camp Ernst volunteer board since 2017.  His professional role is Vice President of Operations for iHeartMedia Engineering.  He oversees technical projects across a nationwide network of radio stations and the iHeartRadio app.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Radio/Television from the University of Central Florida.  Rob and his wife Gelene will celebrate 20 years of marriage in October 2019.  They reside in Hebron with their daughter Alison and four cats.  They are long-time members of RC Durr YMCA in Burlington.  Alison has been attending & working at Camp Ernst for 9 years and will return this summer as a Junior Counselor.  Rob enjoys camping, attending concerts, and playing guitar badly.  

Brennan Sweeney

Brennan was born and raised in Northern Kentucky and is a successful entrepreneur, investor, and business consultant.  He has deep experience and expertise in business strategy, processes, and systems and helps other entrepreneurs create more value in their ventures by creating operational efficiencies, enhancing their strategies, and creating successful plans to scale and grow their businesses. He likes to challenge the status quo by starting multiple new ventures that have allowed him time with his family and to peruse interests. Brennan lives in Northern Kentucky with his wife and two kids.  His son is now 14 and has attended summer camp at Camp Ernst every year since he was six years old.  His daughter is eight and has attended camp the last two summers! Brennan wants to use his own life experiences to be a camp advocate and help fulfil the mission of camp. He’s seen firsthand the effects from the positive influence of camp on his son’s personal growth, independence, and maturity.