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Groundwork Ohio Welcomes 3 New Team Members

Groundwork Ohio Welcomes 3 Team Members

Groundwork Ohio Celebrates Growing Team as Organization Ramps Up Advocacy Efforts to Support Pre-Natal and Early Childhood Programs

COLUMBUS, OH -- Today, Groundwork Ohio -- the state’s leading advocacy organization focused on issues impacting the prenatal period to age five – announced the addition of three new members of the Groundwork team. Groundwork’s newest team members include: Melissa Bacon, Director of Policy & Advocacy; Chelsea Kiene, Director of Communications & Stakeholder Engagement; and Ali Yogmour, Operations Manager.

“We are ecstatic to welcome Melissa, Chelsea, and Ali to our team,” said Shannon Jones, Executive Director of Groundwork Ohio. “Their expertise and commitment to advancing policies that support pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and their families will be instrumental to Groundwork’s ongoing efforts to ensure all Ohio children and families have the opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential.”

Prior to joining Groundwork, Melissa Bacon was the Director of Government Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement in the Office of Policy at the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI), an organization that promotes access to opportunities for people with disabilities. Melissa has served in multiple leadership roles for the Kasich Administration including Chief Policy Advisor at the Ohio Department of Health, Health and Human Services Policy Assistant to the Governor's Policy Director, and Director of Government Affairs for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Melissa also worked as Director of Policy for the Ohio Children's Hospital Association and in various policy roles for the Ohio Senate Republican Caucus.

Chelsea Kiene previously served as the Communications Director at For Our Future Ohio Action Fund, an organization dedicated to issue advocacy and empowering community-based organizations to drive positive change in their communities. She also worked as the Senior Media Coordinator for the Center for American Progress (CAP), a policy research and advocacy institute. At CAP, Chelsea led the press and communications strategy for the organization’s Women’s Initiative, helping to promote state and federal policies to support women, children, and families. Prior to joining CAP, Chelsea interned at The Huffington Post’s Washington, D.C. bureau. Chelsea holds a B.A. in Strategic Communication and Political Science from Miami University of Ohio.

Ali Yogmour previously served as Executive Coordinator for the Ohio Department of Veterans Services and led numerous operations for the Department during the COVID-19 crisis. Prior to this role, Ali served as a research associate at the Ohio Retirement Study Council, where she provided legislative analysis on bills pertaining to the five state retirement systems. She also worked as an aide in both bodies of the state legislature, where she was instrumental in elevating the urgent need to focus on infant mortality reduction efforts and identifying the social determinants of health. She has experience working through several state budget processes and has organized and staffed numerous legislative committees. Ali holds a B.A. in Psychology and Criminology from Capital University and a paralegal certificate from Capital University Law School.


Groundwork Ohio is a committed, nonpartisan public-policy research and advocacy organization formed in 2004 that champions high-quality early learning and healthy development strategies from the prenatal period to age five, that lay a strong foundation for Ohio kids, families and communities. Learn more about Groundwork Ohio at and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


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