Meet Our Staff

Michael J. Readinger

President & Chief Executive Officer

Michael J. Readinger was called to the role of President & CEO in November of 2014. He previously served as CHHSM’s vice president from February 2005 to November 2014, after working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Cleveland, where he was an associate vice president/financial advisor for 12 years.

Prior to his work in financial services, Mike was involved in a number of entrepreneurial endeavors in the restaurant and club industry, specializing in management accounting systems. Continue reading »

Council for Health and Human Services, UCC

Rev. George R. Graham

Vice President

George R. Graham joined the CHHSM staff as vice president in November 2018.

George came to CHHSM from the Seidman Cancer Center of University Hospitals in Cleveland, where he served as development officer from 2014-2018. From 2007 to 2014, he was the director of development and external relations for Adoption Network Cleveland.

George also has worked for the national setting of the United Church of Christ, as editorial director for professional and academic resources, The Pilgrim Press, from 2000 to 2002; and as associate for leadership gifts from 2002 to 2007. Prior to working for the United Church of Christ, he served as editor of Alive Now magazine, published by the Upper Room.

Ordained into Christian ministry in the United Church of Christ in 2003, George earned his M.Div. degree from Vanderbilt University in 1990 and holds a B.A. degree from Hiram College with majors in religion and German (1986).

Council for Health and Human Services, UCC

Rev. Elyse Berry, DMin

Associate for Advocacy and Leadership Development

Rev. Elyse Berry, DMin joined the CHHSM team in September 2019 as the Associate for Advocacy & Leadership Development. Elyse brings to this position nearly a decade of experience working in healthcare and a passion for social justice and spiritual development. Most recently she was a postdoctoral fellow in bioethics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, which involved work in academics, a hospital rotation as an ethicist, and training as part of the Cleveland Fellowship of Advanced Bioethics, one of the most established clinical ethics training programs in the country. Prior to this fellowship, Elyse was a board certified hospital chaplain for over seven years, mostly at the Cleveland Clinic, and holds certifications in a variety of holistic care modalities. She was also a youth minister in rural Alaska during a year of service in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps before entering seminary.

She holds a Doctor of Ministry in Spirituality from the Fordham University Graduate School of Religion, a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Ignatian Spirituality Institute at John Carroll University, a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from John Carroll University.

Elyse is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and serves as an elder in her congregation. She is married to Rev. Mark Berry, the administrative staff chaplain at the Cleveland Clinic.


Paula Barker

Executive Assistant for Events and Administration

Paula Barker joined the CHHSM staff in 2017 and comes to us with a great deal of experience in community organizing.

Council for Health and Human Services, UCC

Essence Ellis

CHHSM Fellow

Essence Ellis is a recent graduate of Yale Divinity School where she received her Master of Divinity. During her time at seminary, Essence participated in various extracurricular activities and worked with CHHSM as the Rev. Jerry Paul Scholar. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia, Essence works at the intersection of theology, public health, and women’s rights. She is excited to be serving on the CHHSM staff, working remotely from Chicago, IL.

Essese Ellis
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