This Is Us

DNA RISING was founded by three proud representations of East Cleveland, Ohio. We are mothers, sisters, friends, volunteers, women of faith, employers, philanthropists, business owners and overall fabulous human beings. As die-hard native Clevelanders, our passion for the community into which we were born and raised has inspired us to ‘Do Something!’ by actively participating in the rebirth of the greater Cleveland area. We plan to become an integral part of the 'rising' of those community members who are ready and willing to move onward and upward in any and every way possible. 

  • Founder, President: Danielle Acosta, M.Ed Shaker Heights, Ohio

    Formerly a daycare owner and educator of special needs children, Danielle has over 20 years of experience teaching, training, renovating, designing, as well as experience in real estate management and investment. Danielle is a dedicated wife and mother of two beautiful daughters who strives to be an example for them that they can achieve whatever they set their minds and hearts upon. She is an adventurous go-getter who has traveled the world, serving and giving every step of the way. Danielle’s huge heart and strong work ethic has opened her eyes to the vast needs in her hometown. The proud Cleveland native will stop at nothing to serve through DNA RISING and to shine a light on our incredible city. 

    Education: Shaw High School; The Ohio State University (B.S); John Carroll University (M.Ed); 

    Memberships: Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc.; Cleveland Realtist Association, Hope Worldwide, Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, B.B.L.O.T.T

  • Vice President: Tracie Cleveland, MBA Columbus, Ohio

    Tracie is a leader in the information technology sector spanning multiple industries such as telecommunications, automotive, insurance and financial services. She has leveraged her diverse set of skills and talent to lead powerfully and effectively within Fortune 100 companies such as Nationwide Insurance, JP Morgan Chase and is currently a Senior Vice President at KeyBank. This fierce single mother has excelled throughout her illustrious career while forging a path for her beloved son and the next generation. Tracie’s sharp mind, caring soul and focused leadership will motivate the team as she guides DNA RISING toward the next level of service. 

    Education: Shaw High School, The Ohio State University (B.S), Baker College (MBA)

    Memberships: National Society of Black Engineers; Women in Technology International; United Way Key Club; National Black MBA

  • Founder, Secretary: LaToya Smith, MBA Macedonia, Ohio

    Over the past two decades of her career in the financial services industry, LaToya has persevered against all odds, risen within the ranks of Fifth Third Bank and is currently the Vice President for Talent Acquisition. In this position, LaToya has the pleasure of attracting, acquiring, and advancing top diverse talent into the bank while also leading a team of talent acquisition consultants for Bancorp. LaToya shares her wealth of knowledge as an Adjunct Professor for Cuyahoga Community College and serves with multiple community-service organizations. This energized wife and mother of two children is an example of love, light, and power. LaToya’s diplomatic nature and compassionate soul will motivate others as she supports DNA RISING, elevating it to the community-driven powerhouse it is meant to be.

    Education: Shaw High School, Cleveland State University (B.A), University of Phoenix (MBA)

    Memberships: Delta Sigma Theta and Eta Phi Beta Sororities; United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland; Bessie’s Angels


Building The foundation of home