Jacqueline Ann Acho, 54, of Shaker Heights, Ohio, died peacefully at home on December 22, 2022, after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. She was born on July 29, 1968, to Barb and Peter Acho of Farmington Hills, MI. Jackie is survived by her loving husband, John LeMay, her two children, Sophie and Grant, her Mother Barbara Acho and brother Michael Acho. She was preceded in death by her father, Peter Acho.
A public memorial service and celebration of life will be held at St. Paul’s Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Hts., OH 44106, on Saturday, Jan 7, 2023 at 1 PM. There will be a reception at the Church immediately following the service.
There will also be an additional reception from 3 to 7 PM at the Cleveland Skating Club, 2500 Kemper Rd., Cleveland, OH to allow for further time together and for those that might not be able to attend the service.
The service will be live streamed. The link to access the service is:
A private family service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, followed by burial at Lake View Cemetery.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in Jackie’s memory to the Jackie Acho Fund for Empathetic Cancer Care at https://bit.ly/JackieAcho.
Jackie grew up in Farmington Hills, Michigan. She enjoyed working at the family grocery store despite once being fired by her father (he did rehire her). Jackie was valedictorian of her high school class and attended University of Michigan where she received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry. Jackie received her master’s degree and Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Deciding she’d be too lonely at the lab bench she pivoted into business, joining the strategy consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. She was with McKinsey for 10 years, ultimately being named Partner. She married John LeMay in 1999 and they were blessed with Sophie and Grant. Jackie decided to leave McKinsey and start her own consulting firm, the Acho Group, in 2005. She made this hard choice so she could spend more time with her kids and was very involved in every aspect of their lives.
She had a rich consulting career, working with Fortune 500, technology, industrial, academic, nonprofit, and economic development clients on a variety of issues, with particular focus on growth and innovation, strategy, and leadership development. Over the course of her career, she served on a variety of boards including Hyperion Materials & Technology, The National Inventors Hall of Fame, The Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Jumpstart, Inc., Entrepreneur’s EDGE, the Technology Commercialization Steering Committee of Case Western Reserve University, the Wright Center for Sensor Systems, and the Advisory Boards of the Northeast Ohio Technology Council. One of her proudest consulting accomplishments was her work with the Cleveland Police where she successfully completed an empathy-centered cultural transformation with the great team at the 4th District.
Jackie loved public speaking and was at her best when the lights shined brightest. She had many speaking engagements including a TEDx talk: A Good Day’s Work Requires Empathy (A Good Day’s Work Requires Empathy.) , speaking at the Chautauqua Institution (https://assembly.chq.org/
Jackie was also a gifted writer, first focusing her efforts on teaching the world about the role of empathy in life and business through her Blog: (https://jackieacho.com/blog/) and ultimately publishing a book, Currency of Empathy: The Secret to Thriving in Business & Life. Upon learning of her cancer diagnosis, she shifted her focus to a very open exploration of her journey on her blog with an inside out view of her experience and observations on the state of cancer care in the United States. Just before passing, she also completed a book on that experience that will soon be published: Cancer Culture: Fixing the Landscape by Infusing Empathy.
In addition to her many professional accomplishments, Jackie had a wide range of interests. She completed the 4-year program of Theological Education by Extension/Education for Ministry through Sewanee University and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights. She also served as Senior Warden (Board Chair) of the Vestry at St. Paul’s. She was a certified yoga teacher, with a special focus on trauma-informed healing to police and other first-responders. Another great passion for Jackie was cooking and she couldn’t resist adding to her cookbook collection – cooking was a love language for Jackie and family and friends were the lucky recipients of her wonderful creations. Jackie also loved to dance and was typically first on the dance floor anywhere there was music playing. She loved Karaoke as it let her live out her ultimate life dream of singing live and fronting a band – her favorite song to perform was Proud Mary (the slow way). Her greatest passion of all, however, were her children, Sophie and Grant, and she was an incredible mother to them in every way
Jackie will be remembered for her many rich relationships, borne out of true empathy and a desire to support others when they were most in need. She was so grateful for all the thoughtful and heartfelt support that she and her family experienced during her cancer journey. She was an incredible wife, sister, daughter, and mother. She leaves a wonderful legacy in her children, her writings and the incredible grace and resilience she exhibited while fighting cancer. She lived life to the fullest, making the most of her 54 years with us. She will be dearly missed by her family and all those she touched through friendship, work, and writing.