Holly J. Harris Bane

Holly Harris Bane - President


Phone: 216.302.3244

Holly Harris Bane has over 25 years of experience in senior leadership positions in higher education and government.  Harris Bane began at NOCHE as Vice President on February 1, 2016, bringing to NOCHE expertise in strategic initiatives, government relations, fundraising, new market development, and successful collaborations between institutions of higher learning, business and government.

Prior to coming to NOCHE, Harris Bane served as Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Engagement at the University of Akron.  During her tenure at UA, Harris Bane was responsible for promoting and aligning UA’s strategic strengths and priorities with business, government, and other institutions of higher learning. Harris Bane launched and implemented three satellite campuses, directed online and distance learning, led campus wide and division level strategic planning, and was responsible for new market development for UA’s colleges which included new degree and certificate development based upon industry needs. She also developed and implemented engagement strategies and tools resulting in UA’s award of the Carnegie Engagement Classification in 2010, and raised over $22 million dollars in support of UA’s strategic initiatives. Most recently at UA, Harris Bane was responsible for growing UA’s undergraduate international applications from 257 per year to over 1,900; tripling new undergraduate international enrollment; and expanding services to UA’s international population of 1,600 students.

Prior to coming to the University of Akron, Harris Bane served as the first Executive Director for Governor Taft’s chief educational initiative, OhioReads, which Harris Bane successfully launched in 1999, distributing $60 million in grants to Ohio’s school districts and community organizations while engaging over 25,000 community members, especially within the business community, to serve as reading tutors to Ohio’s primary school children. 

Harris Bane has also served as Assistant Director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, launching the successful Bliss Internship program which has placed students in positions at the local, state, and national levels of government, campaigns and political parties. She has directed International Offices and Programs at Ohio Wesleyan University and Otterbein College.  Harris Bane has taught political science courses, history courses, communication courses, and English as a Second Language courses at the University of Akron, Otterbein College, Ohio Wesleyan University, and the University of Toledo.

Harris Bane serves on numerous Boards and Commissions including serving as chair of the Ohio International Consortium; founding member of the Ohio Globalization Task Force – Ohio G.R.E.A.T.; Board member of Red Cross of Summit, Medina, and Portage Counties; United Way Women’s Leadership Council; former Chair of Leadership Ohio; and, former City Council representative for the City of Hudson.

Brenda Davis Smith

Brenda Davis Smith - Associate Vice President

Associate Vice President, Programs

Phone: 216.302.3242

Brenda Davis Smith is the Associate Vice President for Programs at NOCHE. In this role, Davis Smith is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of NEO Talent Exchange, NOCHE’s signature regional internship program.  NEO Talent Exchange connects students, college and university career counselors, employers and internship opportunities through a free website that has over 22,000 registered students and 2,700 registered employers.  Davis Smith promotes NEO Talent Exchange through campus-based outreach throughout Northeast Ohio and communications to employers and students.  She is also an organizer and presenter of the “Maximize Your ROI: Return on Intern” employer workshop series designed to educate Northeast Ohio business and nonprofit professionals about how to establish and improve internship programs.

When she arrived at NOCHE in 2005, Davis Smith assumed responsibility for the College Caravan program for underrepresented students, and increased its value to Northeast Ohio colleges and universities, secondary schools and nonprofit organizations.  Coinciding with the launch of the Northeast Ohio Talent Dividend, Davis Smith further redefined the program in order to serve not only underrepresented students but also their parents and families.

Prior to joining NOCHE, Davis Smith managed John Carroll University’s Career Services data systems and was a key player in the design and implementation of  Her experience integrating data from multiple institutions of higher education led her to NOCHE, which assumed responsibility for and rebranded it as NEO Talent Exchange.  Davis Smith’s background includes extensive experience in data management, programming languages, web design, content management systems and e-marketing technologies.

Kim McCarty

Kimberly McCarty - Associate Vice President for Business Development and Operations

Associate Vice President for Business Development & Operations

Phone: 216.302.3240

Kim McCarty is the Associate Vice President for Business Development & Operations at NOCHE and her responsibilities include assisting in the development and advancement of the organization’s strategic plan by working with community stakeholders to ensure consistent, high quality program management.  She will also create, implement, and evaluate recruitment strategies designed to expand the number of clients participating in programs. 

Prior to joining NOCHE, McCarty was an Employer Relations Specialist with Cuyahoga Community College where she worked to develop strategic relationships with employers, faculty, administrators and community partners to identify and secure co-op and internship opportunities for students.   She has been an adjunct instructor in the Hospitality Management Program at the college since 2012 and also served as the Interim Program Manager from April 2013 to January 2014.  

She has over 20 years of business development and account management experience working with a variety of clients that range from major corporations to small businesses in corporate, academic and non-profit settings.  McCarty has the proven ability to evaluate, refocus and execute programs and processes that result in success and client satisfaction. 

McCarty received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Kent State University.


NOCHE: Connecting business and higher education