JoAnn Breedlove

Chief Operating Officer
Workforce Initiative Association
OhioMeansJobs Stark County


JoAnn has been with the Workforce Initiative Association since 2008. She has worked as a Business Services Account Executive, Business Services Manager, Business Resource Network Expansion Project Director, and since 2014 COO. JoAnn has prior experience in the private sector working with Kimberly-Clark and in the public sector working for the Stark DD Board. JoAnn holds a Master's degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. Her innovations include more coordinated approaches to program integration through the use of technology and electronic means.

Q & A

Who inspires you?

My parents had the foresight, courage, drive, passion, and incredible work ethic to make a better life for their family when they immigrated to the United States in the early 1960s. I have such an appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifices made and the patience they maintained waiting for an opportunity to come to the US. Having no formal education or command of the English language, limited financial resources, no vehicle or driver’s license, a young child in tow, and no connection with any tools that may have been available at that time certainly made acclimating to a new life in a new world challenging to say the least. I truly believe my parents’ path allows me to appreciate and better understand the value of work and a strong work ethic, and the sacrifices we make to improve our family’s lives.

What was your first job?

My exposure to a “first job” at a very young age was helping my older sister with a paper route. At that time, we would deliver newspapers by walking or riding bicycles to homes and businesses along a certain route. We even collected fees, made change, etc. It’s hard to fathom that today. I also had the opportunity to babysit neighborhood children, work in an ice cream shop for four years and help my parents maintain rental properties they owned with painting, lawn mowing, cleanup, and more. What a diverse set of work experiences I had before I turned 18 - I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

What is your favorite hobby?

I so enjoy cooking and baking and find that these activities are hobbies when I am inclined to choose when and how I would like to prepare meals or baked goods. It is a creative outlet, stress reliever, and a way to volunteer my talents to help my church or share my passion with relatives, neighbors, and friends. Food is often a way to share happiness and bring people together.

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