Holly J. Harris Bane

Holly Harris Bane - President


Office: 216.302.3244
Mobile: 330.676.2862

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 for Programs

Phone: 216.302.3242

Brenda Davis Smith is NOCHE’s Associate Vice President for Programs.  Building on over twenty years’ experience in career services and information technology, she is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of NEO Talent Exchange, NOCHE’s signature regional internship program and online matching platform. Ms. Davis Smith also facilitates connections between colleges/universities and industry through various NOCHE events and special internship programs. She is an originator, organizer and presenter of NOCHE’s total internship management workshop series and online courses that educate business and nonprofit professionals on how to establish new internship programs or improve upon existing programs. Ms. Davis Smith also manages The Expys, NOCHE’s flagship annual awards event recognizing the top internship programs in the region and the people who make them great. Since its inception in 2010, The Expys has recognized and celebrated hundreds of students, higher education professionals, and businesses for their successful contributions to the experiential learning ecosystem in Northeast Ohio.

Prior to joining NOCHE, Ms. Davis Smith managed John Carroll University Career Services internship data systems and was a key player in designing, implementing, and managing Her experience integrating data from multiple institutions of higher education led her to NOCHE, which assumed responsibility for in 2005. was then rebranded and expanded to a region-wide platform and the work of developing and incorporating experiential learning-related programming to inform, convene and connect industry and higher education was begun (e.g. regional research and studies, employer training, roundtable events, panel discussions, special recruiting events, and others). 

A life-long learner, Ms. Davis Smith has earned certifications in programming protocols and languages as well as content management systems, event and meeting planning, and e-marketing technologies.

NOCHE: Connecting business and higher education