Bina M. Patel
CEO and Founder of Saathi Impact Consulting
Bina has worked for more than 20 years to advance social good and justice. She has extensive experience building and leading collaborative efforts and delights in seeing big ideas take shape in communities. Bina has led strategic initiatives to help communities transform themselves through innovative, inclusive, and sustainable efforts in the areas of asset building, public health, civic engagement, and economic development.
Her projects have included a revitalization of the community-based small business lending market post-2008 recession, an actionable cross-sector civic plan to advance gender equity, mobilizing residents to collaborate on developing solutions to persistent community challenges, and advancing racial equity through addressing structural racism.
She served as Deputy Chief of Staff in City Hall in Chicago, where she was responsible for overseeing a portfolio of programs and policies amounting to over $1 billion in the area of human capital, human services, public health, and community development. Her career spans experience in direct service with community-based organizations, philanthropy, and public policy.
She earned an M.S. in Social Protection Finance (Public Finance & Social Policy) from the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands, where her concentration was on Economic and Community Development. She also earned an M.A. from the University of Denver in International Studies with a concentration on Sustainable Development and Poverty Alleviation.
Bina was selected to participate with the PLACES fellowship (2012) through The Funders’ Network, where she engaged with community members and colleagues from across the country to dive into racial, social, and economic justice issues. She regularly invests in continued learning in equity, strategy, and community empowerment.
Executive Director at Slavic Village Development
Christopher Alvarado is the Executive Director of Slavic Village Development, the community development corporation that serves 22,000 residents living in the neighborhoods of Broadway Slavic Village, a five square mile area southeast of Downtown Cleveland. Previously, Christopher was a Strong Cities, Strong Communities Fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. embedded at the City of Cleveland’s Department of Community Development where he designed and implemented projects to turn vacant land held by the City Land bank from liabilities to assets owned and improved by Cleveland’s citizens, businesses, and organizations. In his past capacity with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, he focused on methodologies for sustainability, determining the economic, environmental, and social impacts of development, and coordinating environmental planning with economic development. He presently serves as Board President of Bike Cleveland and Board Secretary for EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute, and is past Board President for Tremont West Development Corporation. Christopher graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. and holds a Master of Urban Planning, Design, and Development from Cleveland State University.
VP of Government Relations & Strategy at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
Erika L. Anthony, a native New Yorker, is currently the Vice President of Government Relations and Strategy for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. Erika is a co-founder for Cleveland VOTES and Hack Cleveland. She also sits on a number of Boards in the area, including Ideastream’s Community Advisory Board and the Cuyahoga County Public Defender Commission. In 2017, she began serving as an Adjunct Professor for a policy class at Case Western Reserve University. Erika and her husband Brian reside in Cleveland. She enjoys travelling, biking and spending time with family and friends.
Real Estate and Finance Attorney
Chad Arfons is a member at McDonald Hopkins. He focuses his practice on community development and project financing using federal and state historic preservation tax credits, renewable energy tax credits, new markets tax credits, taxable and tax-exempt bond financing and other financing tools. He counsels institutional investors, financial institutions, developers, nonprofits, and colleges and universities. Chad specializes in tax equity investments, representing publicly-traded financial institutions and investment funds in transactions throughout the Midwest. In his energy practice, Chad regularly assists clients in all aspects of the deployment, financing, operation and divestiture of solar energy facilities. His experience includes the representation of national developers, EPCs, lenders and institutional investors in connection with project development, power purchase agreements, acquisitions and divestitures, construction and permanent debt financing, and tax equity investments. Chad earned a J.D. from Tulane University Law School in 1997. He graduated from the University of Akron with a B.A. in 1994.
Christine Baker Mitton Ph.D.
Director, Knowledge and Learning at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
Christine Baker Mitton, Ph.D. is Director, Knowledge and Learning at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. She is responsible for the design and implementation of a knowledge and evaluation system that informs grantmaking and measures outcomes and impact across all the foundation’s portfolios. Prior to joining the foundation, she worked with nonprofit organizations and public school districts as an independent program evaluation and data management consultant. She has over 20 years of program management and non-profit experience at museums and arts organizations in Cleveland and Chicago. Christine holds a B.A. in Art History from Northwestern University and an M.A in Art History and Theory from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned a Ph.D. in Urban Education specializing in Policy Studies from Cleveland State University, where she taught undergraduate courses in Multicultural Education and Social Foundations of Education.
Program Director for Neighborhood Revitalization & Engagement at Saint Luke's Foundation
Nelson Beckford is the Program Director for Neighborhood Revitalization & Engagement at The Cleveland Foundation. He re-joined the foundation after spending four years at Saint Luke’s Foundation, where he served as Senior Program Officer for a Strong Neighborhood. In that role, Nelson oversaw their Strong Neighborhood program, with the goal of making enhancements to the built environment and improving social conditions in the Buckeye-Shaker, Mt Pleasant and Woodland Hills neighborhoods. Before that, Nelson served as Program Officer for the Cleveland Foundation’s Responsive Grantmaking, focusing on community development, environmental sustainability and program management of the Summer Internship program.
Owner, The McKenzie Business and Consulting Groups, LLC
Myron Bennett is a Public Policy Consultant with expertise and experience working in the Public Health, Community Development, Economic Development, Fund Development and Board Governance arenas. Mr. Bennett's areas of expertise include leadership development and coaching, community development , economic development, public health policy development, operations management and organizational development, executive nonprofit management, government relations, advocacy, consumer and stakeholder engagement, comparative effectiveness and community participatory research, fund development including grant development and management, nonprofit governance, community-based improvement planning, health professional education, cultural competency and health literacy education for health professionals. With nearly 30 years of experience in the community development, economic development and healthcare fields, he brings a range of skills to his work, including technical assistance design and execution, collaborative network development, research design and policy analysis. Mr. Bennett holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from St. Francis University, and master's degrees in business and health care administration from Cleveland State University.
VP of Planning and Real Estate Development at University Circle Inc
Debbie Berry is the Vice President of Community Development at University Circle Inc. (UCI), the non-profit development, service, and advocacy organization responsible for transforming Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood into a premier urban district. In this role, she manages physical development projects, coordinates future development opportunities, and oversees needed infrastructure, greenspace and neighborhood improvements. She is leading multi-million dollar investments at key locations throughout the district, including UCI's Bring Back Euclid Avenue Campaign and eight strategic investment projects. She serves as the President of the Cleveland Metroparks Board of Commissioners where she oversees improvements to over 23,000 acres of parks and public spaces. She is also a Board member for the Cleveland Leadership Center and the local chapter of the American Planning Association. Debbie was named one of Crain’s Cleveland Business top “Forty under 40” and is a graduate of the 2008 Leadership Cleveland class. In 2017, she was honored in Smart Business Cleveland as “One to Watch” in Northeast Ohio. Debbie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University and a Master’s Degree in Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Community Safety Organizer at Ohio City Inc. and Tremont West Development
Chad Biggers is the Community Safety Organizer at Ohio City Incorporated and Tremont West Development. In this role, he works to address safety concerns through community-centered approaches. This includes building and strengthening relationships between residents, business and property owners, and police and other safety forces, as well as developing programs and initiatives to improve the safety of the community. Chad holds a Business Administration Degree from University of Wisconsin - Stout, a Master’s of Science in Social Administration and a Master’s of Nonprofit Organizations, both from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.
Partner at CauseImpact LLC
Tom Bishop is a Partner at CauseImpact LLC. He joined the organization in 2014, bringing with him more than thirty years of experience in the nonprofit sector, with twenty of that as chief executive. He has an extensive background in board development, strategic planning, marketing, communications and social enterprise and is a sought-after speaker in the areas of fund and organizational development.
Impact Fellow at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
Kwame Botchway currently works with Village Capital Corporation where he serves as a program lead on VCC’s Contractors on the Rise program as well as other community capital and community development strategies; impact measurement and evaluation among others. He is an urban development specialist with research and work experience focused on inclusive and equitable community and economic development practices in cities. His areas of expertise include affordable and mixed-income housing development, sustainability, community and economic development, and racial equity and inclusion. Kwame has worked with various organizations on program development and management and Racial Equity and Inclusion strategies and practices. He received a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors from the University of Ghana, majoring in Resource Development, and he holds a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was awarded the prestigious Mandel Leadership Fellowship. Kwame has written for the Huffington Post and other media outlets on topics around sustainable development, social justice, environmental sustainability, poverty and politics.
Kelley C. Britt
Senior Transit Planner at Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency
Kelley C. Britt is a Senior Transit Planner in the Strategic and Long-Range Planning Division for the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA). Kelley works with local governments and counties, transit agencies and other partners across the region on transit and rail related projects and has led multiple transit projects to completion. She has over 15 years of experience in planning at the intersection of land use and transportation and has been involved in transit and TOD projects in Baltimore, Detroit, Washington DC and Cleveland. Prior to joining NOACA, Kelley was a Program Manager with the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC), Program Coordinator with Reconnecting America and The Center for Transit Oriented Development in Washington DC as well as planning positions with the cities of Baltimore, MD and Cleveland, OH. She is also currently serving as a member of the City of Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals. Kelley has a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Affairs and a Master's degree in Urban Planning, Design, and Development from Cleveland State University.
Co-Founder and Partner of ThirdSpace Action Lab
Senior Program Officer of the Arts at The George Gund Foundation
Jennifer Coleman is the George Gund Foundation’s senior program officer for arts. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was an architect, and president of her own design firm, Jennifer Coleman Creative LLC, since 2005. Prior to that she practiced architecture with Robert P. Madison International, URS Corporation and Westlake Reed Leskowsky. She also founded CityProwl.com, a company that creates and distributes digital audio walking tours of Cleveland. Among her many civic endeavors, Coleman has served as chair of the Cleveland Landmarks Commission and the Downtown/Flats Design Review Committee. She also has been a member of the board of trustees of many organizations, including the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Cleveland International Film Festival, LAND studio, and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Coleman has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University.
Advocacy & Engagement Coordinator at Cleveland Neighborhoood Progress
Devonta Dickey is the Advocacy and Engagement Coordinator at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and is a proud member of Cleveland VOTES, a nonpartisan initiative within Neighborhood Progress that advances the importance of democracy and equity building through the power of voting and more. He is also a member of the civic technology initiative combating social injustices in Cleveland called #HackCleveland. Since then, Devonta supports the advancement of an Inclusive Digital Economy, Equitable Civic Engagement strategies, and Racial Equity and Inclusion initiatives throughout Cleveland. Devonta Dickey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, Sustainable Design, and Environmental Justice from Denison University and studied environmental studies and policy at the University of Cape Town.
Director of MidTown Cleveland
Jeff Epstein is the Director of MidTown Cleveland, a 501(c)(3) economic and community development organization that serves the area between downtown Cleveland and University Circle. He also serves as director of the Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor, an umbrella effort to attract innovative health-tech and high-tech businesses to the area. In his roles with MidTown and the Health-Tech Corridor, he is responsible for marketing, strengthening and redeveloping the neighborhood, attracting and assisting business growth, and connecting the business and residential community. During his time at MidTown the neighborhood has seen more than $200 million of real estate investment and has become one of the hottest neighborhoods in Northeast Ohio. Prior to joining Coral, he participated in the Cleveland Executive Fellowship, a one-year civic leadership development program. He is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Cleveland. Jeff holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and an undergraduate degree in Public Policy Studies from Duke University. Following law school, he clerked for the Hon. Solomon Oliver Jr. on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Founder of Across the Lines
Jane Finley is the founder of Across the Lines, an open and welcoming studio space in the Campus District to create and connect across the lines that divide community members. Finley has a background in healthcare and psychology and started Across the Lines as a result of her passion for connecting people through art and creativity.
Program Officer at The Cleveland Foundation
Keisha González joined the Cleveland Foundation in June 2018 as the Program Officer for Community Revitalization and Engagement. Prior to joining the Foundation, Keisha served as the Managing Director for Metro West Community Development Organization. In this capacity, she implemented the organization’s strategic plan, management of programs and operations, and cultivated productive relationships in the public, private and civic sector. During her career at Metro West, Keisha also held the positions of Community Organizer (2014) and Director of Economic Development (2016). In these roles, she focused on community-building initiatives designed to improve conditions in the neighborhood through the involvement of residents, businesses and community institutions. Keisha earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Cleveland State University and went on to earn her Master of Arts in Historic Preservation from the University of Delaware. While at the University of Delaware she worked for the Mid-Atlantic Historic Buildings and Landscape Survey at the Centre for Historic Architecture and Design documenting at-risk historic dwellings, infrastructure and landscapes for local and state governments.
Housing & Economic Development Director at Tremont West Development
Khalid Hawthorne is the Housing & Economic Development Director at Tremont West. With over 15 years’ experience in community and economic development, Khalid developed neighborhood revitalization strategy for three distressed areas in the City of Durham, North Carolina. Khalid led an initiative that reduced the number of vacant homes in the city from over 800 to around 250. He also spent five years as an entrepreneur assisting city agencies, small businesses and tech companies with securing funding for development and business projects. Currently, Khalid facilitates all residential and commercial developments in the Tremont area through the community engagement process. He also has worked to expand the affordable housing portfolio of Tremont West.
Director of Planning and Placemaking at MidTown Cleveland
Program Officer at the Saint Luke’s Foundation
Leah Hudnall is a program officer at the Saint Luke’s Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Leah was a fellow at the George Gund Foundation. In her role, she contributed to proposals across program areas that addressed the legal system, community engagement, summer programming for city youth and safe and affordable reproductive health services. Leah began her career as an intern at the KeyBank Foundation and has also held roles at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning. In the community, Leah is deeply committed to the mission of College Now of Greater Cleveland and serves as a mentor, the chair of the alumni association and a member of their Emerging Leaders Association. In addition, Leah also takes pride in advocating for historically black colleges and universities through the work of the Howard University Alumni Club of Cleveland. Leah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and culture from Howard University and a Master of Arts in nonprofit administration from John Carroll University.
Principal at Seventh Hill
David Jurca is Principal at Seventh Hill, a design consultancy focused on improving user experiences in the public realm through appropriate technology and insightful research. David is an urban designer with over 11 years of professional experience guiding real-world projects and academic research. Prior to starting Seventh Hill, David was Associate Director at Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC), where he managed client projects at a range of scales, from city-wide redevelopment plans to public art installations. His work has been recognized with awards from the American Planning Association, American Institute of Architects, and Environmental Design Research Association.
Communications & Events Manager at Bike Cleveland
Jason Kuhn joined the Bike Cleveland team in January 2017. He is a lifelong cyclist – with years of graphic design and marketing experience, as well as a Business Degree from Walsh University. Jason worked within the bicycle industry for over 2 decades. He knows firsthand the issues facing cyclists, the fears of new riders, and positive impact that cycling can have on health, communities, and business development. Fostering this positive impact is what drew him to join the Bike Cleveland team. Spreading the message that bicycles deserve respect and represent the future of Cleveland, encouraging cyclists to ride without fear, and building a movement for all riders are his goals.
Executive Director at Campus District Inc
Mark Lammon is the Executive Director of Campus District Inc. He has over a decade of urban district management experience. Prior to joining Campus District, Mark served as the Vice President of Business Development for Block by Block, the nation’s largest provider of Special Improvement District services. Traveling the entire United States, Mark worked with various cities and neighborhoods to establish Clean & Safe Programs. His worked in cities large cities like San Francisco, Austin, New York, as well as smaller communities like Fargo and Columbia, MO. When the opportunity arose to return to his adopted hometown of Cleveland, he simply could not pass it up. Mark continues to look for ways to bring the best practices from across the United States to the Arts, Eds, and Meds District. Before working at Block by Block, Mark was the Director of Operations for Downtown Cleveland Alliance. In addition to day to day operations, Mark was the liaison between the business community and the City of Cleveland, providing guidance and insight on infrastructure projects and safety issues. In 2012, Mark took on the additional role as President of Flats Forward, a community development organization tasked with rebuilding Cleveland’s waterfront district.
Executive Director at Metro West Community Development Org.
Partner at CauseImpact LLC
Matt Lewis is a Partner at CauseImpact LLC. He joined the organization in 2016, bringing with him more than thirty years of experience in the retail sector, where he worked in stores, planning and allocation, operations and most recently led the International team. He has a broad based background in business development, strategic planning, marketing, communications and strategic alliances.
Kathleen Lis Dean, Ph.D.
Senior Director for Evaluation, Outcomes and Learning at Saint Luke's Foundation
Kathleen Lis Dean, Ph.D. is the Senior Director of Evaluation, Outcomes, and Learning at the Saint Luke’s Foundation. Dr. Dean has over 25 years of experience fostering organizational effectiveness and continuous improvement in philanthropic, non-profit, and higher education through evaluation, outcomes assessment, and capacity building. She earned a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of Maryland College Park, as well as an M.Ed. in College Counseling and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Delaware. Kathleen serves as a team mentor for colleges and universities in the Higher Learning Commission’s Assessment Academy, and has published and presented on the topics of facilitating organizational learning, outcomes assessment, the politics of assessment, co-curricular learning, boundary-spanning, and senior leadership teams.
Senior Loan Officer at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
Arnold Lockett is Village Capital Corporation’s Senior Lending Officer. In this role, Lockett managed all aspects of the lending process, deal negotiations, and loan structuring. Village Capital Corporation works with local business leaders, small business owners, developers and non-profits organizations to provide technical assistance and funding for development projects in our region. Prior to joining Village Capital Corporation in 2017, Lockett was Senior lender for Cuyahoga County’s Economic Development department. He has also held senior level positions at Fannie Mae Corporation, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, US Bank and National City Bank Corporation. Lockett has a Master of Business Administration from Myers University and Bachelor of Science from Dyke College. He is certified as an economic development finance professional by the National Development Council. Lockett also received certification from the Council Development Finance Agencies in Municipal Bond Finance.
Whitnye Long Jones
Community Engagement Organizer at Ohio City Inc.
Whitnye Long Jones is the Community Engagement Organizer at Ohio City Incorporated. In this role, she works to build lasting and health relationships and interactions among the residents, businesses, and visitors of Ohio City. She is a community steward for net positive change with a genuine interest in community engagement. With extensive background experience and education in Fine Arts, Environmental Science, and Hospitality, Whitnye has developed numerous relationships with stakeholders and has led effective community initiatives.
Civic Engagement Strategy Manager at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
Jennifer Lumpkin is the Civic Engagement Strategy Manager for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress under the Policy Advocacy Portfolio, charged with managing equitable civic engagement funding strategies and voter mobilization initiative, Cleveland VOTES. Jennifer is a social entrepreneur who founded Creative Community Builders, LLC in 2016 after performing community organizing work in Cleveland and Washington, DC. In the last four years, Jennifer has worked as an urban agriculture consultant, freelance gardener and civic action facilitator, creating an urban agriculture after school program with a national partner and mobilizing a pop up farmers’ market concept integrating Black female entrepreneurs (scientists, herbalists, artists, and farmers) and creating strategies to connect various groups in redeveloping communities. Jennifer's community development and partnership practice are rooted in supporting the development of sustainable communities through creative relationship building and mindful resource connections.
Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Talent Officer at RPM
Randell McShepard is the Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Talent Officer for RPM International Inc., a $5 billion dollar chemical coatings/paint company headquartered in Medina, Ohio. In this role, he is responsible for managing external and governmental affairs for the company. His duties include leading the corporate philanthropy program, facilitating corporate purchasing initiatives and coordinating executive leadership development activities and succession planning for the company’s top 200 executives. Randell serves on several boards in Northeast Ohio including Baldwin-Wallace University, The George Gund Foundation and Taylor Oswald LLC. He is Co-Founder and Chairman of PolicyBridge, a public policy think tank serving the Northeast Ohio region. He also serves as Chairman of the Manufacturing Advocacy Council of the National Association of Manufacturers. In 2011, Randell was recognized as “Black Professional of the Year” by the Black Professionals Association and in 2017 he received the “Humanitarian Award” from the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio. He is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland. Randell was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University (BA) and Cleveland State University (MS).
Teresa Metcalf Beasley
Cleveland Public Law Attorney
Teresa Metcalf Beasley is the chair of the Public Law Practice Group at McDonald Hopkins LLC in Cleveland. She is experienced in bond transactions and has served as bond, underwriter’s, borrower’s as well as placement agent counsel. Teresa also has experience with joint economic development zones and joint economic development districts. Teresa has represented private institutions and local and county governmental agencies, including municipalities, port authorities, healthcare institutions and library systems on business, financing real estate matters, construction and government relations. She counsels with respect to all real estate acquisitions, divestitures, leasing, financing and development. She has represented individuals, corporations, non-profits and governmental bodies with all aspects of real estate development including land assembly, planning, zoning, environmental and financing, including public-private partnerships. Teresa’s diverse real estate experience allows her to advise on all types of real estate transactions.
Communications Manager at Neighborhood Connections
Lila Mills has been with Neighborhood Connections for 8 years where she has focused on lifting up the stories of residents making positive change in Cleveland and East Cleveland -- first as the editor of the grassroots newspaper Greater University Circle Neighborhood Voice and, since 2015, as the program’s communications manager. Born and raised on the southeast side of Cleveland, Lila spent 10 years as a journalist prior to coming to Neighborhood Connections.
Katie Moss Sieb, AICP
Transportation Planner at Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency
Katie Moss Sieb, AICP is a transportation planner in the Transportation Systems Planning Division for the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency in Cleveland, Ohio where she specializes in bicycle/pedestrian planning and public engagement. Katie has her Bachelor’s in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University and a Master’s in Planning from the University of Michigan.
Program Director at Neighborhood Connections
Tom O'Brien is the Program Director at Neighborhood Connections, a community building and small grants program in Cleveland, Ohio. Since coming to Neighborhood Connections in 2007, Tom has worked to build a network of community members that is designed to create opportunities for mutual support and collective action called Neighbor Up. Prior to leading Neighborhood Connections, Tom worked as a community builder at Slavic Village Development in the Broadway neighborhood of Cleveland, was a staff member with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest in Portland, Oregon.
Director of Programming and Community Engagement at Campus District, Inc.
Rachel Oscar is the Director of Programming and Community Engagement at Campus District. In 2017 she completed her Masters of Urban Planning and Development from Cleveland State's Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2011 with a BA in history and before returning to graduate school she worked for a philanthropy affinity group called Grassroots Grantmakers and Case Western Reserve University. Rachel loves hiking and in the summer of 2015 hiked the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevadas.
Senior Vice President / Director, Community Development Outreach @ Huntington National Bank
Carrie Rosenfelt is Senior Vice President and Director of Community Outreach for Huntington Bank. In this role, Carrie manages the Bank’s community engagement, volunteerism and philanthropy programs to strengthen underserved communities. Carrie also helps to develop and deliver innovative products and services to support affordable housing, small business and neighborhood revitalization. Previously, Carrie served as Executive Director of ECDI’s Northern Ohio market. Carrie has also held positions in development for the non-profit and higher education sectors and as a political speechwriter. Carrie has completed the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio’s LeadDIVERSITY program, the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Bridge Builders program (2013), is a German Marshall Memorial Fellow (2015) and a YWCA Woman of Achievement.
Artist and Owner of La Cosecha Galeria
Will “Topiltzin” Sanchez is an artist and owner of La Cosecha Galeria. He has traveled to France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and Greece, as well as many US cities to exhibit, research, and support the arts. Will is experienced in business administration, business operational standards development, system creation, implementation, continuous improvement with long distinguished career in Quality Management, using Six Sigma methodology. He also covers the arts as a journalist, having current articles in hard copy for a local Hispanic newspaper, Vocero Latino and as a contributor to CAN Journal, an arts collective magazine. He was chosen for the Early to Mid-Career Arts Administrators of Color Charrette held in Cleveland in February 2019 and nominated to apply for the 2019 Joyce Foundation Award. Will was named one of Cleveland Magazine’s Most Interesting People for 2019 and was one of twelve artists selected from Cuyahoga County to participate in the Center for Performance and Civic Practice's Learning Lab, supported by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Will serves on the Board of Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center, the Hispanic Roundtable Community Development, and Metro Hospital VIC, among several other endeavors.
Executive of Small Business Development with the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development
Kevin S. Schmotzer is the Executive of Small Business Development with the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development. Kevin is responsible for creating and implementing programs, financial incentives, and economic development tools to attract entrepreneurship and small business development to the City of Cleveland. He streamlined the process involved with providing capital to small businesses including start-ups in collaboration with other partners including government agencies, non-profits, foundations, developers, and local banks.
Director of Neighborhood Planning & Economic Development at Ohio City Inc.
Ashley Shaw is the Director of Neighborhood Planning & Economic Development with Ohio City Incorporated. In this role, Ashley oversees business development initiatives and supports existing businesses in the neighborhood. She also works on projects like streetscapes, park planning, and public art installations.
Ashley holds a Media Studies degree from Ohio University and a Master’s in Urban Studies and Economic Development from Cleveland State University. Prior to moving to Cleveland, Ashley was a publicist in the video game industry in Los Angeles.
Urban Designer at Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative
Katie Slusher is an urban designer at Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC). She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, where her design and research pursuits focused on interdisciplinary work in complex historical and social contexts. While at UT, she contributed to research on the infrastructure and migrant experience of immigrant detention in Texas. This work was exhibited as part of the Humanities Action Lab’s States of Incarceration project, a collaborative, nationally-touring program of exhibitions and engagement events focusing on the crisis of mass incarceration in the United States. In addition to her work in practice, Katie’s interest in issues related to equity and education brought her to Blue Sky Fund, where she worked facilitating experiential outdoor education programming for elementary and middle school students in East End neighborhoods.
President of Janus Small Associates
Janus Small is President of Janus Small Associates, a consulting firm based in Cleveland, Ohio, focusing on strengthening community development, social service, educational, faith-based, and cultural arts organizations for increased service to the community. Ms. Small has over 15 years of experience in capacity-building consulting in areas that include board development, leadership development, strategic planning, fundraising, organizational development, marketing, and promotion for many national, regional, and local nonprofit and civic organizations. Janus shares her knowledge and abilities not only with her clients, but also with the next generation of administrators by returning to teaching in the graduate nonprofit management program at Case Western Reserve University. She previously taught at John Carroll University for 6 years, at Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations for 10 years, and at Baldwin-Wallace University for 10 years.
Real Estate Development Director at Burten, Bell, Carr Development
Jeffrey Sugalski has been a key member of Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.’s real estate development team for over fifteen years. His key accomplishments since becoming real estate development director in 2014 include co-writing and copy editing the agency’s much lauded community-driven master plan; leading efforts to raise over $11 million for affordable housing development; managing the acquisition of over 100 properties in key development areas; and garnering over $200,000 to support health and safety repairs for low-income homeowners. He holds a Master of Urban Planning, Design, and Development from Cleveland State University with a focus on housing and community development. He is an inaugural board member of Bike Cleveland, which was established in 2011, and for the past four years, has served as president of its board of trustees.
Teacher & Creator of Access Meditation System
Ben Turshen is an internationally recognized teacher of meditation and breathwork, and creator of the Access Meditation system. With nearly two decades of experience in health and wellness, he has worked with Olympic and professional athletes, Michelin star chefs, Grammy-winning musicians, A-list actors, and Fortune 500 executives, as well as children as young as four years old. He has taught at various local and international schools, businesses and organizations, including The Cleveland Clinic and Syracuse University. Ben has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Fast Company and The Huffington Post. Ben was born and raised in New York City. A lifelong athlete, Ben started working as a personal trainer while attending Boston University Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Athletic Training. He returned to New York City to continue his career in fitness, training elite-level athletes and obtaining a M.A. in Exercise Physiology/Human Movement from Columbia University Teachers College. Ben went on to obtain his J.D. at St. John’s School of Law and began practicing corporate law at a prestigious New York law firm.
Executive Director at Burten, Bell, Carr Development
Tim Tramble has been the Executive Director of Burten, Bell Carr Development Corporation (BBC) since 2000. Under Tim’s leadership BBC has grown from a fledgling staff of 2 with minimal services to a highly productive CDC that delivers a multitude of programs and services. BBC is largely responsible for the nationally renowned revitalization of the Central community, which includes the greatest number of developed and sold homes in Cleveland over the past decade. Tim earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Cleveland State University where he also earned his graduate certificate in Non-profit Management. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Central State University and is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council. Among other honors he received the Ohio Community Development Finance Fund’s Meritorious Award for community development in 2005, was a 2008 American Marshall Memorial Fellow, and was voted the CDC Staff Employee of the Year by the Ohio CDC Association in 2008. He is a member of Leadership Cleveland class of 2010 and is a member of the College of Arts and Science Advisory Board for Central State University.
Executive Director at Building Hope in the City