In a special meeting Monday morning, the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Board of Education unanimously appointed Lori Bendall to fill the vacant seat left by Greg Kanzinger, who resigned earlier last month.
“Lori has a recent Chagrin Falls High School graduate and one current student who is a junior,” said Board President Phil Rankin. “She brings experience in several of the organizations associated with the school district such as Music Lovers, Spark, Speech and Debate and PTO. Lori also brings professional experience in the areas of law and executive recruiting. We are pleased to have Lori join the board during this critical period of our superintendent search.”
Ms. Bendall founded Loren Bendall & Associates, LLC, a recruiting company specializing in attorney placements, the district stated in their Monday press release. The firm hired, trained and managed a team of four recruiters conducting national searches for law firms, nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies, including Fidelity Investments, AOL Time Warner and the Cleveland Clinic. She also was a practicing attorney for eight years, specializing in government contracts and taxation with firms in both Washington, D.C. and Cleveland.
In the district, Ms. Bendall was the co-president of Spark from 2015-2020, and she worked with other board members to create a speaker series on students’ social emotional needs. She also helped organize panels for students and parents, including a drug crisis forum.
Ms. Bendall has been the vice president of communication and membership of the Chagrin Falls Music Lovers; co-administrative-chair of the After-Prom Committee; school building representative for the Intermediate School PTO; and a judge for numerous local, state and national public forum debate tournaments with the Chagrin Falls Speech and Debate Team.
Ms. Bendall’s previous board experience includes serving as vice president of the Singing Angels and board member of Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra. She received an operations management and finance B.A. from Boston University and her J.D. from George Washington Law School.
“Given that I will be joining the board in the middle of a superintendent search, I think that my level of engagement with the district for the past 14 years and my background as an executive and legal recruiter will be particularly helpful,” Ms. Bendall said in the written release. “I have served on multiple committees in the district; volunteered and held leadership positions in support organizations; and served on the superintendent’s Inner Council.
“I have seen the level of support and commitment of parents, but I also have seen the challenges that satisfying those high standards can present,” she added. “I have worked with teams of parents to raise funds, support students and sell lots of hot dogs. Those positions have provided me with first-hand knowledge of just how diverse the needs and expectations of this community are, and the pressure on the board that those expectations create.”
Ms. Bendall lives in Bentleyville with her husband, Osborne Mills, and daughters Maggie, a freshman at the University of Chicago, and Annie, a junior at Chagrin Falls High School.
“I am honored to give back to the district and the community that has done so much for my family,” Ms. Bendall said.
Ms. Bendall was to participate in the first round of interviews Monday night to fill the shoes of Superintendent Robert Hunt, who accepted a new leadership position with the Barrington 220 Community School District in the greater-Chicago area, starting in the next academic year.