Our Executive Board
At Starfish Assignment, we are fortunate to have a team of passionate and dedicated professionals who generously volunteer their time. Our board is comprised of individuals who bring a diverse range of skills and experiences to the table. Despite their full-time commitments in the community, each board member is deeply committed to the mission of Starfish and works tirelessly to ensure that we are making a positive impact in the lives of those we serve.
Nicole Banks served in the United States Marine Corps as a Military Police Officer in Okinawa, Japan, and at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. She was the first female MP to be stationed at Camp Courtney in Okinawa. After her discharge, Nicole returned home to Pennsylvania and attended Lycoming College, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration (Marketing). She was recognized for her high academic performance and outstanding leadership ability with the Hollenback Award.
Nicole moved to Columbus in 2001 to continue her education at Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, where she received a University Fellowship and earned a Master of Business Administration in Marketing. As an elected member of MBA Council, she served as the MBA Council lead for the Fisher Branding Project and the MBA Diversity Initiative. Nicole was honored with a Pace Setter Award for her academic achievement and leadership ability. Today, Nicole is a Supervisory Contracting Officer at Defense Logistics Agency where she oversees a team of dedicated contract management professionals in support of the United States military.
While at OSU, Nicole fell in love with Columbus and decided to make it her home. The idea for Starfish developed in 2018 after she and her son, Rohan, discovered that a Vietnam veteran, Jim, was sleeping in his car in the parking lot of a grocery store less than a mile from their house. He had been there for six years. They decided to do what they could to help him, with friends, neighbors, and strangers coming together to change Jim's life in just a few weeks.
With Jim settled in a new home, the supporters who helped him asked what project they could take on next. Realizing that partnering with police officers would be an ideal way for others to assist people in need, Nicole established Starfish Assignment. She is very grateful for this opportunity to make a difference.
When she's not working or leading Starfish, Nicole enjoys playing Words With Friends and watching the Ohio State Buckeyes defeat Michigan. In 2020, Nicole and Starfish received a Meritorious Public Service Award from the Columbus Division of Police for their contributions to the community. In 2022, the Franklin County Chiefs Association presented her with a Special Recognition for her support of law enforcement and public safety, saying that her leadership "has helped make Franklin County a safer place."
Executive Vice President
Mario Dovell is a dedicated servant leader whose mission is to help Columbus thrive as a safe and welcoming community. Mario was one of the youngest center managers ever hired by Columbus Recreation and Parks and served in that capacity for five years at locations that are still dear to his heart, including Linden, Adams, and Milo-Grogan Community Centers.
He is passionate about the role community centers play in neighborhoods as places of refuge and recreation. In his current position as Administrative Coordinator, Mario continues to innovate and explore new ways to engage residents and build deep connections with community members, truly uplifting the community.
Mario's servant's heart is his "why"--his unwavering commitment to enhancing lives through recreation and inspiring youth in a positive way. He firmly believes that building better communities begins with engaging and uplifting residents, and he continues to dedicate his efforts to this mission. He is a crucial member of the Starfish board, constantly helping us to build bridges and to reach communities and residents in need.
Mario attended Whetsone High School in Columbus and received a Bachelor's Degree in Recreation Management from Ohio University, where he played football for four years.
Yee Chang Hang is a retired Army officer with 27 years culminating in the rank of Colonel. As a military officer, he has served in numerous assignments in the U.S. and overseas with deployments to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Iraq. He recently served as the Director of Land Supplier Operations for the Defense Logistics Agency – Land and Maritime in Columbus, Ohio.
He has numerous awards and decorations including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and Defense Meritorious Service Medal. In 2015, he was selected as one of the Top 100 candidates for the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award.
He has a Bachelor’s of Science from the United States Military Academy and a Masters in Acquisition Administration from Central Michigan University. He is currently working on his PhD in Organizational Management and Leadership.
He is an avid runner having completed five ultra-marathons. He is also an avid bicyclist having completed a cross country bicycle ride across the United States in 27 days.
Yee C. Hang
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Lieutenant Chris Lieb is a proud Central Ohio native who has been serving his community as a member of the Columbus Division of Police since 2006. Over the years, he has patrolled various areas of the city, including the East Side, South Side, Linden, and North Side. Through his work as a police officer, Chris has become known for his dedication to keeping his community safe.
In addition to his work with the Division, Chris is a devoted family man. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Kelley, for many years, and together they have three sons.
In 2021, Chris joined forces with Starfish for our Second Annual Bikes & Badges event, and he has been an integral part of our team ever since. With his ability to make difficult tasks seem easy, Chris has proven to be an invaluable asset to us, and we are grateful to have him as a part of the Starfish family.
Executive Vice President
Born and raised in Central Ohio, Deputy Chief Tim Myers has been with the Columbus Division of Police since 2008. Since then, he's either lived or worked in every part of Columbus and has enjoyed many different roles within the Division of Police. As a Patrol Commander, Tim saw firsthand the incredible impacts that the Starfish Assignment has had on communities and was eager to get involved.
Tim has a Bachelor's degree in Criminology from The Ohio State University (magna cum laude, 2008), a Juris Doctor from Capital University (summa cum laude, 2016) and is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. Tim is also a Judge Advocate (attorney) in the U.S. Army Reserve where he has served in many capacities across the country and around the world.
Thomas Spyker is a practicing attorney in Columbus, Ohio focusing on governmental liability, employment law, and general litigation. Thomas graduated from Capital University Law School, cum laude, receiving the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Leadership and Academic.
Prior to practicing law, Thomas served as a police officer for ten years both on active duty in the United States Navy and as a civilian federal officer for the Department of Defense where he was named the 2014 Police Officer of the Year.
Thomas was born and raised in the Columbus neighborhood of Linden and is a proud product of Columbus Public Schools. He now is thrilled to be able to give a little back to a city, and neighborhood, he has always loved. Thomas recently participated in a program teaching constitutional law to high school juniors at Ft. Hayes High School, and he continues to seek out new opportunities to get involved.
In his leisure time Thomas travels, bicycles, and continues to work on perfecting his long-promised mixtape.
Deputy Chief Nick Tabernik has been a member of the Dublin Police Department since 2005, serving the citizens of Dublin in various roles. In his current role as the Support Services Bureau Commander, he leads and manages the Detective Bureau, Community Impact Unit, and Community Education Unit. Additionally, he is responsible for the coordination of safety for City special events, including the Independence Day Concert and Fireworks and the Dublin Irish Festival.
Nick earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Studies from the University of Dayton and his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. In addition, he completed Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command, as well as the Supervisor Training and Education Program offered by the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. Nick is also a proud graduate of the 282nd FBI National Academy Class.
Nick was born and raised in northeast Ohio and is a diehard Cleveland sports fan. His hobbies include spending time with his wife, Sara, and son, Austin, and coaching youth in his community. Nick truly enjoys serving his community through developing relationships and helping others. His relationship with Nicole and the Starfish Assignment began several years ago with a mutual interest in helping the Dublin Police Department and bringing the blessings provided by the organization to the citizens of Dublin. This partnership has developed into multiple community events, Books and Badges opportunities at Dublin City Schools, and positive police interactions with the citizens they serve.