Educating, connecting and growing the evolving elastomer community

The Rubber Division, ACS Team

Our main telephone number is 330-595-5531 and our fax number is 330-595-5536.

Lakisha Miller-Barclay, CAE, EA - Executive Director & CEO
Phone: 330-595-5539

Lakisha has been with Rubber Division, ACS since July 2007. She served as Director of Finance & Administration and was promoted to Executive Director & CEO January 2020. Lakisha is responsible for providing daily operational leadership to the team, as well as serving as a spokesperson, developing partnerships with other organizations and maintaining good communications with the Executive Committee, regional Rubber Groups and the American Chemical Society. Lakisha is the staff liaison to the Steering, Executive, Nominating and Subdivision Advisory Committees. Her background includes Summit County Children Services, the U.S. Air Force, and owning and operating her own tax and accounting service where she specialized in non-profits. She currently sits on the boards of Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Ohio, Fair Housing Contact Services, Friends of Main Library, Greenleaf Family Center and Harmony House, Inc. Lakisha earned her B.S. in Accounting from The University of Akron. A forever learner, she is currently enrolled in Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management Executive MBA program. She achieved Certified Association Executive (CAE) certification in June 2021. The Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential is the highest professional credential in the association industry and the marker of a committed association professional who has demonstrated the wide range of knowledge essential to manage an association in today’s challenging environment.

Melanie Avdeyev - Meetings & Events Manager
Phone: 330-595-5537

Melanie joined Rubber Division, ACS in June 2006. She came to us with five years of experience assisting the Executive Director of a non-profit association, MCACO. Melanie is a dedicated Meetings & Events Manager with over 15 years of experience in non-profit meeting planning. She is a valuable resource and is well diverse in areas of the Division having held the positions of Exposition & Meetings Assistant, Meetings Manager and Exposition & Futures Sites Manager. Melanie is a detail-oriented professional with strengths in event creation, planning and execution. In her current role, she manages all meeting logistics from planning through execution. These include coordination with hotels, convention centers, convention and visitors bureaus and other localities to provide space for meeting function rooms, social events and other activities held at Rubber Division, ACS meetings and other specialty conferences. Melanie also serves as a staff liaison to the Exhibits & Future Sites Committee, 25-Year Club Committee and the Career Fair.

Beth Berkheimer, CMP, CEM - Exposition & Future Sites Director
Phone: 330-595-5538

Beth joined Rubber Division, ACS in July of 2009. Her background includes nearly 30 years of experience managing and planning meetings, events, multi-million dollar worldwide incentive travel programs, trade shows and exhibitions. Beth was promoted to Exposition and Future Sites Director for Rubber Division, ACS in 2018. In this role, she is responsible for developing RFPs, researching, visiting, evaluating and negotiating future meetings, conference and exhibition sites; including hotels, convention centers, convention and visitors bureaus and other localities. Beth negotiates all contracts for facilities, hotels and service providers. She manages all logistics and operations of our expos. She also manages hotel block and housing operations for our events. Beth develops and nurtures relationships to create strong partnerships with cities, facilities, suppliers, service contractors, exhibitors and members, which is essential in her role. She has earned and maintained her accreditations as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) and has earned IATAN accreditation. She also serves as a board member and co-chair of the PCMA POWER Chapter Education Committee, dedicated to serving meetings and event professionals with continuing education and community service. Beth is a staff liaison to the Exhibits & Future Sites Committee.

Chuck Brady - Technical Programs Manager
Phone: 330-595-5543

Chuck joined Rubber Division, ACS as the Science Librarian in April 2011 and took on the role of Technical Programs Manager in 2018. With a Master’s Degree in Library & Information Science from Kent State University, he has over 25 years experience supporting science and business research at the National Geographic Society, Akron-Summit County Public Library and the University of Akron Science Library. In his current role, Chuck coordinates and manages the technical and student programming for Rubber Division semi-annual meetings and specialty conferences. He also works closely with our journal Editor and publishing partner to publish the Rubber Chemistry & Technology Journal. Chuck continues to provide research support to our members through literature searches and technical paper sales. He is staff liaison to the Program Planning, Student Affairs and Best Paper Committees, as well as the RC&T Editorial Board and the Advisory Committee on Testing Procedures.

Anne-marie Bretzin - Executive Assistant & Office Manager
Phone: 330-595-5532

Anne-marie joined Rubber Division, ACS in January 2020 and serves as Executive Assistant & Office Manager. In this role, she is responsible for providing administrative assistance to the Division’s Executive Director and Executive Committee. She also provides general office management of our headquarters. Other responsibilities include assisting with registration for the International Elastomer Conference, technical meetings and any specialty conferences, as well as providing specified administrative assistance to the Membership & Outreach Director. Anne-marie’s professional experience includes nearly 20 years of team support, administrative skills and office management. Anne-marie serves as the staff liaison to the Service Awards Committee and Scholarship Committee.

Gretchen Cermak - Marketing & Communications Director
Phone: 330-595-5540

Gretchen joined Rubber Division, ACS as Marketing Manager in March 2012. In August 2019, she was promoted to Marketing & Communications Director. In this role, she directs and manages the Division’s overall branding, marketing, communications and public relations activities and oversees the development and delivery of a fully integrated marketing strategy for the Division. Gretchen provides leadership and guidance in all aspects of marketing and communications for the organization, and along with the Executive Director, is responsible for overseeing the protection and management of the Division’s image and reputation. This includes all marketing, communications and public relations activities and strategies within the Division and team functional areas; developing and implementing advertising, marketing, public relations and sponsorship campaigns; producing and overseeing promotional materials and communications; as well as directing the communications of the organization and team. Prior to joining Rubber Division, ACS, she spent the prior 11 years as Marketing Manager at Hyatt Regency Chicago, managing the day-to-day marketing and public relations for the 2,019-room hotel and conference destination. Gretchen serves as the staff liaison to the Marketing Committee.

Gabrielle M. Daniel - Accounting Manager
Phone: 330-595-5535

Gabrielle joined Rubber Division, ACS in August 2012. In her role as Accounting Manager, Gabrielle’s responsibilities include the day-to-day financial management and reporting for the Division, as well as overseeing all aspects of registration for our spring and fall meetings. Her previous positions within the Division include, Education Assistant and Student Office Assistant, Executive Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director and Registration Coordinator. She was promoted to Accounting Manager in January 2020. Gabrielle’s variety of experience and management level skills, gained through her years with the Division, as well as co-ownership of a tax and accounting service in the Fairlawn, OH area, provide a strong foundation for her current role. Her extensive experience in customer service and administration, as well as her strong organization and clerical skills are an asset to the Division. Gabrielle is currently working on her associate degree in accounting at Bryan University. She sits on the board of Harmony House, Inc. and is a member of Leadership Akron’s Diversity on Board program. Gabrielle serves as staff liaison to the Young Professionals Committee.

Heather Maimone, MBA - Membership & Outreach Director
Phone: 330-595-5546

Heather joined Rubber Division, ACS in February 2011. In January 2020, due to some strategic restructuring, Heather began in her current position of Membership & Outreach Director. In this role, Heather develops, implements, manages, improves and leads the operations and procedures of Rubber Division membership directly related to individuals, corporate, student chapters and associated scholarships. She directs activities involving recruitment and retention programs, current and future benefits and developing long-term strategies for targeting and increasing overall membership. She also works closely with the local rubber groups and affiliated technical organizations. Heather is also responsible for facilitating and managing all on-site training, online courses and webinars. In addition, she manages the Student Outreach Program that provides rubber education and tours to science classrooms in hopes of expanding our industry and getting the younger generations interested. Prior to joining Rubber Division, ACS, Heather was the Business Manager at Abbott Labs. She graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Business Administration and summa cum laude with an MBA at Kent State University. Heather serves as the staff liaison to the Membership, Strategic Education and Student Affairs Committees.

Rubber Division, ACS European Representatives

David Cawthra - European Representative
Phone: +44 (0)7968-081-261

David joined Rubber Division, ACS as European Representative as part of Rubber Heart Ltd based in Hertford, United Kingdom in March 2020. David has a BA in Marketing and Communications from York St. John University and over 20 years’ experience in marketing, communications, PR, events and sales in the global rubber industry. David’s expertise is in international business, client liaison, brand and social media management, international exhibition management, project and events management in the tyre, automotive, healthcare, pharmaceutical, construction and industrial product sectors. Since April 2020 David has been an active member of the Marketing Committee and Strategic Education Committee for Rubber Division, ACS and since March 2019 has been a committee member on the historic and prestigious Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) Rubber In Engineering Group (RIEG) Committee in London, UK. David has built up a trusted network of connections within the global elastomeric community and as European Representative is committed to increasing awareness in Europe and internationally of the benefits of Rubber Division, ACS membership, the International Elastomer Conference, training, education and student outreach opportunities, as well as championing the North American rubber industry throughout Europe and beyond. 

Gail Reader - European Representative
Phone: +44 (0)7825-232-601

Gail joined Rubber Division, ACS as European Representative as part of Rubber Heart Ltd in March 2020. Gail’s enviable reputation in the global rubber industry proceeds her after working as a technical editor at the Royal Society of Chemistry before moving on to spend 30 years at the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre UK where she was editor of the well-respected journal, Rubber Developments then led the company marketing and promotional programs. She has worked with some of the most eminent rubber scientists and engineers and has a BSc in Chemistry from King’s College, London University. Her background includes strategic planning, technical writing and editing, copywriting, design and event organization and she is dedicated to increasing engagement with young people interested in polymer science and engineering that will inspire and encourage the next generation of rubber industry professionals. With her technical journal background, she is excited to be part of the initiative to promote Rubber Chemistry & Technology and bring this important polymer journal to a wider audience. Gail currently sits on the Rubber Division, ACS Strategic Education Committee and Membership Committee and is passionate about Rubber Division, ACS and what it stands for - enhancing science, technology and business across the evolving elastomeric community.