Alumni Recognition

Have an award or honor to share? Heard of national, local or regional acclaim a class member has received? Email Rachel Ciomcia, Director of Alumni Programs, at 


Freshwater Cleveland highlights individuals who are changing the conversation on Cleveland ("city ambassadors"), including three CLC alumni: Evelyn Burnett (CEF 2008), Evan Ishida (CBB 2010, and Jamie Pawlak (CLI 2014). Read more HERE


Congratulations to Phil Robinson (CLI 2009, CEF 2010, LC 2013), and Meran Rogers (CLI 2009, CEF 2010) on being named by Crain's as a "Who to Watch in Education". Read more HERE


Esperanza Executive Director Victor Ruiz (LC 2012, LC2 Fellows), talks to Crain's Cleveland Business about how the group has helped double the graduation rate among Hispanic students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.


Congratulations to David Fleshler (LC 2004) on being elected Board president of Global Cleveland


Congrats to Gary Giller (LC 2011) and his company for being recognized as a Crain's Fast 50 and Weatherhead 100 winner. 

Congrats to Bernie Moreno (LC 2007) and his company for being recognized as a Crain's Fast 50 winner. 

Congratulations to Dr. Belinda Miles (LC 2010) who was recently appointed to the position of President of Westchester Community College in New York.  To read more about Dr. Miles and her new position click HERE.

Congratulations to Jane and Jon Outcalt (LC 1989) on being honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Cleveland Chapter with the Philanthropist Leadership Award. 

Congratulations to Rosalini Fini (LC 2015) and Patricia Gaul (LC 2012, CLC PARTNER), who are finalists for Crain's Cleveland Business In-House and General Counsel awards.

Jayne Juvan (CBB 2010) is featured in a new Forbes Media book by Denise Restauri, Forbes contributor and founder and CEO of GirlQuake. The book, “Their Roaring Thirties: Brutally Honest Career Talk from Women Who Beat the Youth Trap,” highlights vibrant and accomplished women, providing an intimate look at obstacles they’ve surmounted to achieve career and personal success in their 30s. Read more at

Glen Haley (LC 2005), President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Cleveland, talks to The Plain Dealer about his views on CLE, neighborhoods, and helping the community. Click HERE.

Congratulations to Diana Centeno-Gomez (LC 2009) on being selected to receive a Silver Snoopy Award, which is a special honor awarded to NASA employees for outstanding achievements related to human flight safety or mission success. The award depicts Snoopy, a character from the Peanuts comic strip created by Charles M. Schultz.

Congratulations to Rick Chiricosta (LC 2006, CLC PARTNER) and Jose C. Feliciano (LC 1981) for receiving The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio's Annual Humanitarian Award. Chiricosta and Feliciano will be presented the awards at the 60th annual award dinner on November 20 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Event info HERE.

Dr. Maria Pujana (LC 2005) was recently profiled in La Prensa.  Read about her impactful work in the community HERE.


Bernie Merino (LC 2007, CLC PARTNER) talked about the immigrant experience at a Latino Business Community Meetup presented by his Collection Auto Group and Vocero Latino News. The event was something of an LC mini-reunion: faces in the crowd included Richard A. Levitz (LC 2000), Alfonso Sanchez (1984), Adrian Baldonado (LC 1996) and Joy Roller (LC 2009) ... and likely many others who were there to support Latino businesses and learn about their increasing impact on CLE.

Congratulations to John J. Betchkal (LC 1981), who is being inducted into the GE Lighting Hall of Fame on Oct. 27. Among the many achievements for the retired GE Manager of Communications and Public Affairs is leading a program to illuminate local and national monuments.

The Center for Community Solutions reached out to CLE leaders to write "Dear County Executive" lettters that "highlight topics that are pervasive and important," and offer recommendations to improve conditions or draw attention to critical issues not yet high enough on the community's radar screen. They didn't have to reach far to find CLC Alumni and current class members; nearly half of the letter-writers are from the ranks of CLC: Akram Boutros (LC 2015), Richard Browdie (LC 2004, CLC PARTNER), Joseph Calabrese (LC 2002, CLC PARTNER), Kenneth Chalker (LC 1991), Colleen Cotter (LC 2011), William Kitson (LC 2013, LC2 Fellow, CLC PARTNER), Susanna H. Krey (LC 2012, LC 2 Fellow), Patricia Nobili (LC 1998, CLC PARTNER), Robert Paponetti (LC 2012, CLC PARTNER), Jill Rizika (CBB 2005, LC 2012, LC2 Fellow), Max Rodas (LC 2008), Darby Schwartz (CLI 2013), Angela Shuckahosee (CBB 2011), Kristin Warzocha (CBB 2002, LC 2010), Shirley Stineman (LC 2003, CLC PARTNER. CLC Board Member), Georgine Welo (LC 2009, CLC PARTNER) and Margaret Wong (LC 1984). Click HERE to see the collection of letters.

Congratulations to Richard Fearon (LC 2005) on receiving the Golden Ledger Award and Raymond Mueller (LC 2014, CLC PARTNER) on being a Finalist in the Crain's Cleveland Business 2014 CFO of The Year Awards. This is the first year the Golden Ledger Award has been presented. It recognizes a CFO's exemplary career and contributions to the financial industry. Meet the other winners HERE. The group will be honored Oct. 23; click HERE for event info.

OneCommunity CEO Lev Gonick (LC 2007, CLC PARTNERS), tells Cleveland Business Connects magazine that a CLE's all-fiber broadband network was a factor in the RNC decision to hold the 2016 convention in Cleveland. Read his story HERE. In the same issue, Ashley Basile Oeken (CBB 2012) talks about the creation and growth of Engage! Cleveland. Read her story HERE.

Congratulations to Tom Nobbe (LC 2014) for being named an award winner in the area Advocacy/Civic Engagement/Leadership for the 6th Annual Heritage Day Awards.  These local leaders in the LGBT community will be recognized in the Rotunda at Cleveland City Hall on Thursday, October 9, 2014, at 5:30 PM. 

JJ DiGeronimo (CBB 2004, CLC PARTNER) shares her insights into women in the tech field. Read  about how "a women in tech triumph is starting to unfold, as women working in the industry are fast becoming inspired to push their skills to success" HERE


Congratulations to Denise San Antonio Zeman (LC 2007, CLC PARTNER) for receiving the 2014 Ohio Philanthropy Award and to Andrea Timan (CBB 2014) for receiving the 2014 Emerging Philanthropist Award from Philanthropy Ohio. Read more HERE

Barb Paynter (LC 2013), partner in Hennes Paynter Communications, talked with Crain's Cleveland Business about how the Ravens bungled handling communications over the Ray Rice incident. The buck doesn't stop with the coach, she said; it needs to be addressed further up the line. Read it HERE.

Congrats to Sharon Sobol Jordan (LC 2003) for receiving the 2014 Innovative Leader of the Year award at the NorTech Innovation Awards!

Congratulations to Daniel P. Walsh, Jr. (LC 2011) for receiving the AJC 2014 Richard H. Adler Community Leadership Award. 

Congratulations to Gina Vernaci (LC 2011), who has been named Executive Producer of PlayhouseSquare. Details HERE.

Congratulations to Beth Mooney (LC 2008, CLC PARTNER) on being ranked at the top of The American Banker's list of The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking. Amy Brady (LC 2014, CLC PARTNER, CLC Trustee) was ranked number six on the magazine's list of The 25 Women to Watch. Margot Copeland (LC 1991, CLC PARTNER), will receive American Banker's Community Impact Award. They and other award recipients will be honored Oct. 9 at New York City. Details HERE.

Congratulations to Tami Bolder (CLI 2014, CBB 2015) on her appointment to the AICPA Business Valuation Committee for a three-year term. The objective of the committee is "to provide technical and educational guidance to CPAs in public practice or in the private sector who provide or seek to provide valuation services and to monitor matters that impact CPAs’ ability to provide valuation services (e.g. competition, legislation, regulation). To promote the relevance of valuation in the accounting profession to increase the awareness of, as well as growth and demand for, CPAs who provide these services."

Dan Moulthrop (LC 2014, CLC PARTNER), CEO of The City Club of Cleveland, posted a column on Huffington Post wondering whether political debates are dying, after four incumbent office holders declined The City Club's invitation to debate their opponents. Read more HERE.

Megan O’Bryan (LC 2010, CLC PARTNER), Executive Director of the Cleveland Transformation Alliance,  announced that the strong and growing collaboration between the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and high-performing charter schools has earned the city recognition by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a "Gates Compact City." The Cleveland Foundation, CMSD and its charter partners have received a planning grant of $100,000 from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. Read more HERE.

Congratulations to Craig Boise (CBB 2002, LC 2014, CLC Board of Trustees, CLC PARTNER) who has been appointed to the Joseph C. Hostetler – Baker Hostetler Chair in Law at The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at CSU. Read more HERE

Congratulations to Rebecca Bar-Shain, CFP, MBA (CBB 2004, CLC PARTNER) a Partner at Cedar Brook Financial Partners LLC (one of the region's largest independent wealth management firms), on receiving the Women's Choice Award as One of Top Financial Advisors in the U.S. Details HERE. 

Congratulations to Tameka L. Taylor (LC 2014, CLC PARTNER) and Jazmin Long (iCLE 2013, CLC PARTNER) on being honored by The Celebration of Heroes Awards Program, to be held Monday, September 15th. Learn more HERE

Francis Afram-Gyening (LC 2012) shares how Care Alliance Health Center will raise the scope and level of available mental health services for the poor and homeless through new grants. Read more HERE

U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge (LC 1995) was recently interviewed on The Colbert Report as part of the show's "Better Know A District" series.  To watch the episode featuring her interview click HERE.  

Constance D. Harper (LC 2004), publisher and editor of the Call & Post, has been named to the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame, which is managed by The Press Club of Cleveland. She will be inducted along with four others on Nov. 7, 2014. Details HERE.

Anne Goodman (LC 2003, CLC PARTNER), who has become President and CEO of the Saint Luke's Foundation after running the Greater Cleveland Foodbank for 15 years, shares her thoughts on philanthropy, community, and her switch from grant recipient to grantmaker. Details HERE. 

Barbara Brown (LC 2009, CLC PARTNER) was among Tower City tenants featured in an article in Fresh Water about how the iconic building has been reborn with sustainability practices in mind. Her comments were especially fitting because her sustainability consulting firm, BrownFlynn, recently moved into renovated Tower City offices once occupied by the Van Sweringen brothers, who built the structure. Read more HERE.

Kirsten Ellenbogen (LC 2014, CLC PARTNER) shares her passion for CLE and the work of the Great Lakes Science Center in an interview with Read more HERE

The August 2014 issue of CBC Magazine (Cleveland Business Connects) has several articles that provide a great snapshot of how CLC Alumni are making a difference in the business and nonprofits worlds - and our community. The magazine features Ann V. Klotz (LC 2006) looking at the impact she has had on Laurel School's students as she celebrates 10 years there; Tracy Pesho (CBB 2013), Margaret Mitchell (LC 2011) and Sadie Winlock (LC 2011) discussing the Women's Leadership Initiative of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland; Montrie Rucker Adams (CBB 2003) talking about the work of the Independent Practitioners Group she Co-Chairs; Karen Schuele (LC 2014, CLC PARTNER) on her work as Dean of John Carroll University's business school; and Heather McGinness (CLI 2010) and Lorraine Schuchart (CEBC 2013, CLC PARTNER) on the importance of accreditation in their field of fundraising. Read the stories HERE.

Jeff Epstein (CEF 2007) has been hired by MidTown Cleveland as the first director of the Health-Tech Corridor. Read more HERE

Congratulations to the CLC Alumni honored as this year's Crain's 40 Under 40: Reka Barabas (CBB 2007), Annemarie Grassi (CBB 2008, Boot Camp 2013), Jayne Juvan (CBB 2010), Jeffrey Malbasa (CBB 2012, CLC PARTNER), Nichelle McCall (CBB 2009), Gina Morris (CBB 2010, Boot Camp 2013), Kevin Murphy (CBB 2010), Ashley Basile Oeken (CLI 2009, CBB 2012, Boot Camp 2013), and Scott Snider (CBB 2013). Read more HERE

Bernie Moreno (LC 2007, CLC PARTNER) and Diana Centeno-Gomez (LC 2009) spoke at the 1st Latino Multicultural Business & Professional Networking event hosted by Vocero Latino newspaper and Moreno shared his immigrant success story, urging the 150 attendees to set high expectations and not let others define them. Centeno-Gomez talked about her experience being the first Clevelander to receive the Nueva Latina Estrella award, in the technology category in 2012, for emerging leaders who embrace diversity, and encouraged others to apply.

Congratulations to CLC alums who received Archer Awards from Crain’s Cleveland Business for their accomplishments as human relationship professionals: Judith McMullen (LC 2013, LC2 FELLOWS, CLC PARTNER), Debbi Perkul (LC 2012, LC2 FELLOWS) and Susie Barragate (CBB 2013). Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award was Daniel S. Serbin, who is in the incoming LC Class of 2015. Click HERE for details.

Jill Rizika (LC 2013), executive director of Towards Employment, spoke with Crain's Cleveland Business about helping individuals find work if they have been involved with the criminal justice system. Read the Q&A HERE.

Four CLC Alumni who were honored this month by Crain's as "Women of Note" share stories about their first jobs, things no one knows about them and more in videos created for the event. Click HERE to see the videos and a photo gallery of the event. Congratulations again to Kristen Baird Adams (LC 2010, CLC Board of Trustees), Teresa Beasley (CBB 2004, LC 2007), Iris Harvey (LC 2010), and Radhika Reddy (LC 2009).

Michael Goldberg (LUTC 1987, LC 2007, CLC PARTNER) posted his first contribution to Huffington Post - "Beyond Silicon Valley: Using a MOOC to Build a Community of support." It explores how the massive open online course he taught, using Cleveland as a model for entrepreneurship, is impacting lives and businesses around the world. (The course is being repeated this fall; registration is now open.) 

The Cleveland Hearing and Speech center will be recognizing both Donald Messinger (LC 1984, & CLC PARTNER) who served as a Board Member for 25 years, and Dr. Bernard Henri (LC 2005) who served as Executive Director for 25 years, for the years of service on July 24th. Congratulations to them both! More information on the event can be found HERE.  

Urban League of Greater Cleveland CEO Marsha A. Mockabee (LC 2013, CLC PARTNER) will be recognized at the National Urban League’s Women of Power Awards Luncheon, Saturday, July 26, 2014, at 12 p.m. in Cincinnati, Ohio. This award honors trailblazing women for their outstanding contributions in the areas of arts, politics, journalism, justice and sports. Information on the luncheon can be found HERE. Tickets can be purchased on the National Urban League’s registration site HERE

Roz Quarto (CLI 2013, LC 2015) is highlighted in an LA Times article about the resurgence of Cleveland. Read More >

Congratulations to CLC Alumni Fran DiDonato (CBB 2008), and Phyllis Harris (Boot Camp 2013), on being selected for Cleveland SCENE Magazine's 2014 Vibrant, Passionate, & Innovative People. Read more > 

Congratulations to Jill Rizika (LC 2013) on being named Champion of Change by the White House. Read More > 

Community Shares recognizes award winners Natalie Leek-Nelson (LC 2010) for the Social Justice Award, Marie Kittredge (LC 2011, LC2 2012) for the Distinguished Activist Award, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland (accepted by Lou Tisler (CBB 2001 & Former Board member)) for the Community Shares Member Organization of the Year award 

Congratulations to Bruce Hearey (LC 1999), who just became President of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association for 2014-15. 

Congratulations to Sunny Nixon (CBB 2014) on receiving CLC's David J. Akers Leadership Award. 
Congratulations to Joseph M. Cicero (LC 2014) and Ndeda N. Letson (LC 2014) on receiving CLC's Oswald Companies President's Award.  

Congratulations to the CLC Alumni who were honored by the YWCA as "2014 Women of Achievement":  Kristen Baird Adams (LC 2010, CLC Board of Trustees), Jennifer Bell (LC 2008), and Denise San Antonio Zeman (LC 2007). Congratulations also to the CLC Alumni recognized with the Women of Professional Excellence Award by the YWCA: Collette Appolito (LC 2008), Mary Forkapa (CLI 2011), Tamar Gontovnik (CEBC 2012), Mary S. Marita (CBB 2014), Judi A. McMullen (LC 2013 and LC2 Fellows), Debbi Perkul (LC 2012 and LC2 Fellows), Karen Potopsky (CLI 2014) and Barbara M. Smith (CBB 2006). 

Congratulations to Tom Adler (LC 1978) who received the Eisenman Award from the Jewish Federation of Cleveland on April 9th. The Eisenman Award is the highest civic honor bestowed by the Jewish community to a Clevelander annually.  

Congratulations to Marty McGann (LC 2013) on his promotion to Senior Vice President of Government Advocacy at the Greater Cleveland Partnership.  Read more HERE.   

Congratulations to Victor Ruiz (LC 2012) who is among five distinguished alumni chosen to receive the highest recognition that can be bestowed upon a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University:  the Alumni Merit Award. Read more HERE.  

Congratulations to the following CLC alumni who are honored this year by Crain's as "Women of Note": Kristen Baird Adams (LC 2010, CLC Board of Trustees), Teresa Beasley (CBB 2004, LC 2007), Iris Harvey (LC 2010), and Radhika Reddy (LC 2009). Read more HERE

Congratulations to Danielle Sydnor (CBB 2014) and  Matthew Milcetich (CLI 2009) for being named "Who to Watch in Finance" by Crain's Cleveland Business magazine. Read more HERE.  

Congratulations to Bruce Akers (LC 1978) who was recently honored by City Year Cleveland with its 2014 Idealist of the Year Award. City Year is a national education -focused, non-profit organization, in which students 17 to 24 years of age take a year off from school and volunteer to go into inner-city schools to work with struggling students through tutoring and mentoring. It’s much like an urban peace corps. Currently, there are 50 City Year corps members serving in six Cleveland public schools. Founded in Boston in 1988, there are now City Year programs in 25 cities. Akers played an instrumental role in bringing City Year to Cleveland as a legacy project of the Cleveland Bicentennial in 1996. He has served on its Advisory Board ever since, and is currently Vice Chair of the Board. Since it was launched in Cleveland, over 1200 corps members have served the Cleveland community. 

Congratulations to Art Falco (LC 1993) for presenting at TEDxCLE 2014 Import Export. His topic Staging Success: The PlayHouseSquare Story. For info on TEDxCLE click HERE. For info on Art Falco, click HERE.   

Congratulations to Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton (LC 1996) who was honored by the American Association of Community Colleges. She received the AACC’s national Leadership Award during the organization’s annual convention in Washington D.C. The award is presented to individuals for outstanding accomplishments and professional contributions to the community college field. Read more HERE 

Congratulations to Carrie Rosenfelt (CBB 2013), Colette Jones (CBB 2011) and Damon Taseff (CLI 2011) on being selected as 2014 Marshall Memorial Fellows by the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Read more HERE.  

Congratulations to Heidi Gartland (LC 2007; CLI 2011; LC2 Fellows 2013) and E. Harry Walker (LC 2004) for being named by Crain's as 2014 Health Care Heroes. Read more HERE.  

Congratulations to Gregory Amend (CLI 2009), Jenny Kelly (Civic Engagement Boot Camp 2013), John Litten (CBB 2014), and Jamie Sullivan (CBB 2014) on being named the Top 25 Under 35 Movers & Shakers award recipients this year by The Cleveland Professional Twenty-Thirty Club.  To see a complete list of award recipients click HERE

Congratulations to CLC Alum Beth Mooney (LC 2008), Chairman and CEO at KeyCorp to a two year term with the Greater Cleveland Partnership as board chair. Read more HERE. 

Congratuations to CLC Alumni who made Crain's Cleveland Business's Power 150 List! See the List HERE. See Crains Cleveland Business HERE.  

Congratulations to Beth Mooney (LC 2008) of KeyCorp, winner of WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) 2014 Visionary Award for Strategic Leadership.  Read more HERE

Congrats to Alexandria Johnson Boone (LC 1988) and Debra Adams Simmons (LC 2009), who are being honored by the   National Coalition of 100 Black Women at the 23rd Annual Women of Vision luncheon for their professional and civic achievement. Read more HERE.  

Congratulations to Chris Thompson (LC 2014) for being published in the Standford Social Innovation Review with his article titled Rereading "Collective Impact": Three Lessons. Read it HERE.

Congratulations to Lynnette Jackson (CBB 2001, LC 2012, CLC Board of Trustrees) for being named to the German Marshall Fund's new Leadership Development Advisory Council. Read more HERE.  

Congrats to Matt Fieldman (CBB 2012) on being named Fundraising Professional of the Year by FundRaising Success Magazine for his work with EDWINS. Read more HERE.  

Melissa Carney (CBB 2013), account supervisor at Fahlgren Mortine, was named as one of the 2013 People-to-Watch in PR by PR News, a leading marketing and communications industry publication. The international honor is awarded to promising young practitioners ages 30 and under working in corporate, nonprofit, institution, government and agency public relations. Melissa was recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on December 10, 2013. A full release is on Fahlgren Mortine's website 

Congratulations to all CLC Alumni who were named to the Inside Business Magazine's 2014 Power 100 list. See full list of CLC Alumni honored HERE.  

Congratulations to Tameka Taylor (LC 2014) on being awarded the 2014 CMHA Community Partner Award.  

Stephen Elis (LC 1985) receivies Centennial Medal Awarded by Case Western Reserve University School of Law. The Centennial Medal Award is the highest award bestowed upon a graduate school of law.   

Congratulations to Aseem Garg (LUTC 2005) and Emily Bacha (LUTC 2005), who are now leading the Cleveland Young Professional Senate (  As of Jan. 1, 2014,  Emily Bacha is serving as the President and Aseem is the Vice President of the organization. 



2013 Alumni Recognitions 

2012 Alumni Recognitions