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Accelerate 2017 presenters

The following twenty-five individuals will share their civic visions at Accelerate 2017: Citizens Make Change, presented by Citizens Bank and the Cleveland Leadership Center at the Global Center for Health Innovation, on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.

Check out the great ideas below, and be sure to get your tickets so you can hear the pitches in person! 

Category quick links
Community Change
Economic & Workforce Development
Educating for Tomorrow
Quality of Life
Transformative Arts and Culture

 Please note: You must be logged into each of the corresponding social media sites for the links to work properly.

Community Change
Presented in partnership with Oswald Companies and Westfield Insurance Foundation

    

Judges

Margaret Bernstein
Director of Advocacy and Community Initiatives, WKYC-TV

David Gilbert
President & CEO, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission

Bob Klonk
CEO, Oswald Companies

Ed Largent
President & CEO, Westfield Insurance

George Rodrigue
Editor & General Manager, The Plain Dealer

Colleen Carter

Judge Free Moms
Colleen Carter
TW: @JudgeFreeMoms
IG: @JudgeFreeMoms

A platform for mothers from all walks of life to share experiences, learn from others and grow to become even better ... without the fear of being judged for decisions they make.

Jeremy Lanham

Ironborne Brew Works
Jeremy Langham
FB: @jeremy.langham
TW: @jerbeardo
IG: @jerbeardo
LinkedIn

A benevolent brewpub serving up social justice and economic opportunity with each pint of beer by supporting organizations that dismantle barriers to opportunity in Cleveland.

Ron Nelson

From Food Desert to Oasis
Ronald Nelson
LinkedIn

Development of a commercial community kitchen to support compact, mobile food buggies with lower startup costs and less personnel needed than food trucks.

Kathy Sanford

All Hands on Deck: Making Technology Connect
Kathy R. Sanford
TW: @kathy26821

Building relationships between millennials and senior citizens by having youth share their tech knowledge and skills about smart phones, tablets and computers to enhance 21st-century communication for our seniors.

Sherrie Zagorc

Taking Pride in the Environment
Sherrie L. Zagorc
FB: @sherrie.zagorc
LinkedIn

A community landscaping project that provides teen job training and employment while maintaining streetscapes and lawns for seniors and disabled residents.


 

Economic & Workforce Development
Presented in partnership with Oatey

    

Judges

Marsha Mockabee
President & CEO, Urban League of Greater Cleveland

Jill Rizika
Executive Director, Towards Employment

Neal Restivo
CEO, Oatey

Brad Whitehead
President, The Fund for Our Economic Future

Stephanie Buda

Build on Solid Rock
Stephanie Buda
LinkedIn

Renewing inner city families by restoring homes for working families in neighborhoods where commercial and public buildings are being upgraded but homes are not.

Danielle Drake

Cleveland's Global Bazaar
Danielle Drake
FB: @danielle.drake.94
IG: @sunshinedani
LinkedIn

A global market where refugees, immigrants and all the ethnic groups that call Cleveland home can sell food, jewelry, crafts and other handmade wares in one location.

Shayla Ivezzy

Career Closet: More Than a Wardrobe
Shayla Ivezzy
FB: @shayla.ivezzy
IG: @Shayla_Spelmanite

A wardrobe on wheels and mobile career center that will provide students in under-served areas with professional attire and services to prepare them for successful futures and prompt economic empowerment.

Heather Lenz

Leslie Bednar

Strategy with Strangers
Heather Lenz
Leslie Bednar

FB: @heather.lenz.5
LinkedIn

Enabling people from different organizations or industries who are working on a similar problem to collaborate, exchange ideas and lay out a strategic approach with expert guidance.

Rachel Wilkins Patel

Maker Duet
Rachel Wilkins Patel
FB: @makerduet
TW: @makerduet

A platform technology that allows for technical specialists to learn together and build technology in real-time small group environments.


 

Educating for Tomorrow
Presented in partnership with Nordson

    

Judges

Kirsten Ellenbogen
President & CEO, Great Lakes Science Center

Eric Gordon
CEO, Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Tom Kruczek
President, Notre Dame College

Cecilia Render
Executive Director, Nordson

Michael Schoop
President, Metropolitan Campus, Cuyahoga Community College

John Homenko

Become a Software Programmer
John Homenko
TW: @ae258
LinkedIn

Teaching eager learners of any age how to set up and program a Microsoft server database and Windows Form Application to make them marketable to work in the IT field.

Shannise Jackson-Ndiaye

Digital Literacy to Remember the Past
Shannise Jackson-Ndiaye
FB: @jshannise
TW: @jshannise
LinkedIn

Developing creative, critical thinking and problem-solving skills through storytelling that explores Cleveland’s history through literature, arts, digital media, and first-person accounts.

Constantine Madias

Sydney Stone

Leaders for the Educational Advancement of Disabled Students
Constantine Madias
Sydney Stone

FB: @constantine.madias
      @sydney.stone11
TW: @sydneystone11
IG: @costa_ madi
      @iamsydneystone
LinkedIn (Constantine)
LinkedIn (Sydney)

A mentorship program for students with disabilities, which would establish a sense of independence and enable and encourage them to pursue postsecondary education.

Josiah Smith

Music and Color
Josiah Smith
FB: @josiah.smith.5621

An app that helps anyone explore musical interests without the cost of instructors by making it easy and fun to learn at your own pace.

Jowan Smith

Getting our Babies to College 101
Jowan Smith
FB: @I-Dream-Communications-155758807773643
IG: @Mz_MJ_
LinkedIn

Helping parents through the stress of getting their students to college by exploring timelines, budgeting and other information beginning in the eighth grade.


 

Quality of Life

    

Judges

Robyn Minter Smyers
Partner-in-Charge, Cleveland, Thompson Hine LLP

Sharon Sobol Jordan
Chief of Staff, Office of the Cuyahoga County Executive

Kristin Warzocha
President & CEO, Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Brian Zimmerman
CEO, Cleveland Metroparks

Elizabeth Benninger
Sara Continenza

Community Garden Initiative
Elizabeth Benninger
Sara Continenza

LinkedIn

A gardening pilot program in under-resourced neighborhoods in Cuyahoga County using an educational toolkit focused on gardening skills, healthy eating and social and emotional learning.

Jaclyn Boyle

Kaitlin Patterson

Pillbox Project: Making the Most of Medication
Jaclyn Boyle
Kaitlin Patterson
FB: @jax.kruse
      @Kaitlin.Patterson.54
TW: @ImmaAPharmD
      @kip_13
IG: @jax20808
      @kaitlin3213
LinkedIn (Jaclyn)

Helping people understand the purpose and importance of taking medications so they can see improved outcomes related to chronic health conditions.

Ebony Hood

Urban Watershed Regatta
Ebony Hood
FB: @enhood
TW: @SeweRaTales
LinkedIn

Training and coaching youth to participate in a regatta as a way to expose them to a new form of urban sport that is connected to the environment they live in.

Dr. Penny Smith

Eliminating Underreporting of Violence
Dr. Penny Smith
TW: @key2knowonline
IG: @alegriatek
LinkedIn

Using technology to restore joy to victims of violence by allowing them to report sexual or physical assault from the privacy of their own device or in cooperation with appropriate staff.

Ava Thomas

Memory Mat
Ava Alexandra Thomas
FB: @ava.thomas.58726
TW: @SterlingGACharm

A personalized do-it-yourself placemat with pictures and phrases that act as memory cues for individuals with Alzheimer's or dementia that also serves as a conversation starter for visitors and caregivers.


 

Transformative Arts and Culture

    

Judges

Raymond Bobgan
Executive Artistic Director, Cleveland Public Theatre

Evalyn Gates
Executive Director & CEO, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Jill Snyder
Executive Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

Sean Watterson
President & Co-Owner, Happy Dog & Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern

Rachel Elam

Rock the Land
Rachel Elam
FB: @relam24
TW: @iamrachelam
LinkedIn

A self-sustaining rock school as an after-school program giving inner-city youth a creative outlet to better deal with the ups and downs they will encounter in their lives.

Daniel Gray-Kontar

Imagination for our Imagined Nation
Daniel Gray-Kontar
FB: @danielgraykontarisreplife
TW: replife35
IG: @replife 
LinkedIn

A writing residency in Waterloo that offers youth and adult poets and writers a comfortable and rich environment in which to immerse themselves in significant projects for page and stage.

Jim Ridge

Ignite: A Celebration of the Burning River
Jim Ridge
FB: @ShareTheRiver
TW: @sharetheriver
IG: @sharetheriver
LinkedIn

Arts and music that activate unused spaces along the Cuyahoga River so people can experience, appreciate and enjoy how far it has come since the 1969 fire.

Linda Thomas

Girls and Grandmas Drumming for Change
Linda Thomas Jones
FB: @awofasi.irunsewe
LinkedIn

Bringing together girls estranged from their family or in foster care with senior citizens with limited interaction with youth to create opportunities for self-exploration.

Jennifer White

Positive Adaptive Art Classrooms
Jennifer White
FB: @whitejennifermarie
IG: @Kodachromenights
LinkedIn

An open, affirming and fun creative environment that facilitates art and performance exploration for individuals with cognitive or physical disabilities.