We are innovative thinkers, collaboration enthusiasts and leadership fanatics, driven by our love of Cleveland and the desire to make it a better place for all.
Marianne Crosley has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Leadership Center since 2010. She leads the civic education, leadership development, and civic engagement organization in its execution of numerous programs to build civic leadership capacity. Previously, she served as the founding Executive Director of Summer on the Cuyahoga, an economic development initiative that attracts young talent to the region. She is passionate about building a pipeline of leaders to forge a successful future for Cleveland.
Crosley graduated from Colgate University and received her J. D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She worked as a prosecutor in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York and rose to be a supervisor in the Homicide Bureau. Crosley is a Trustee Emerita of Colgate University and recipient of the Maroon Citation and the University’s highest award, The Brian Little Award for Distinguished Service. In 2017 Smart Business Cleveland highlighted her in “Who to Watch”; in 2018 she was recognized as a Crain’s Cleveland Business “Woman of Note”; in 2019 as one of the Notable Women in Nonprofits; and in 2021 as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio and both 2021 and 2022, one of the “Cleveland 500” by Cleveland Magazine.
She serves on the Board of Trustees for South Pointe Hospital, United Cerebral Palsy, Cleveland Play House, St. Edward High School, The Non-profit Center Advisory Board, and on the Board of Visitors for Cuyahoga Community College. She and her husband, Tim Clements, have four grown children and live in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Contactmcrosley@cleveleads.org | (216) 592-2298
Michael E. Bennett
As Vice President of External Affairs for CLC, Michael E. Bennett focuses on helping CLC tell its story to advance its mission and raise revenue to support its activities.
He came to CLC in 2014 after serving as principal of Bennett Strategic Communications LLC, which helped companies and nonprofit organizations better fulfill their missions through strategic communication, fundraising and organizational management.
He previously was publisher and editor of the Cleveland Jewish News, which produces a weekly newspaper, custom magazines, digital products and events. He served as executive director of the CJN Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the CJN that supports educational activities.
Prior to the CJN, Bennett worked as director of marketing and communications at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, where he also served as director of its annual fund-raising campaign. He began his professional career in journalism at regional daily newspapers in Indiana before being named a features editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.
He serves on the Board of Directors of InMotion, a wellness community for those affected by Parkinson’s; on the Northwestern University Alumni Admissions Council; and volunteers for the Heights Observer and B’nai Jeshurun Congregation. He is Past Board President of The Press Club of Cleveland.
He is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Cleveland and a CLC Member.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Bennett grew up in Beachwood, and is an empty-nester living with his wife in Cleveland Heights.
Contactmbennett@cleveleads.org | (216) 592-2426
Nicole’s lifelong passion for education, love of people and desire to see Cleveland and its residents thrive led her to Cleveland Leadership Center where she gratefully serves as Director of College and Young Professional Programs.
Nicole comes to Cleveland Leadership Center by way of the Young Entrepreneur Institute at University School where she managed a pitch challenge for NEO students, K-12, and led entrepreneurship clubs and programs at US. Her eight years at Destination Cleveland began as a CLE Concierge in the CLE Visitor Center and led to creating and implementing programs to improve the visitor experience including CLE Travelbackers, the Cleveland Brewery Passport, and the Authentic Cleveland Experiences workshop, which inspired partners to offer visitors immersive and memorable experiences based in Cleveland’s “DNA.” She also taught fifth grade at Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools.
Nicole has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Miami University and a Certificate in Creative Placemaking from Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture.
Nicole currently resides in Solon but feels most at home downtown and in Cleveland’s vibrant neighborhoods.
Contactncanitano@cleveleads.org | 216-592-2226
Rachel is the Executive Vice President. In her role, she provides oversight for all evaluation and community impact work of CLC, development of custom programs and strategic opportunities, and the design and implementation of all CLC programs. She is a certified TetraMap® Facilitator, Strategic Doing™ Certified Workshop Leader, IDI® Qualified Administrator, and has presented nationally on evaluation, impact, and engagement.
Rachel graduated from Ohio University in 2002 with a BA in Psychology and continued her education at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, graduating in 2005 with a Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA). Rachel has worked as a social worker at MetroHealth Medical Center and as a Program Coordinator at Care Alliance Health Center. Through her work at Care Alliance, she designed, implemented, and measured a federally funded evaluation program and collaborated with nine other programs across the country. She has a special interest in social work issues with the HIV/AIDS community and healthcare.
Rachel is a graduate of the Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2010 and is a member of the Cleveland Leadership Center Alumni Association. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the MetroHealth Foundation, a Program Committee member with Courage to Caregivers, and an Outcomes Committee member with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. She has served on the associate board of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, most recently as Chair. She was named a Top 25 under 35 Mover and Shaker in 2013 by the Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club. She and her husband Matt, along with their son Carson, love Cleveland and enjoy all the community has to offer!
Contactrciomcia@cleveleads.org | (216) 592-2280
Patrick has been with the Cleveland Leadership Center since June 2022 beginning as a Summer Associate. In August 2022, he transitioned to the Program Associate role. Patrick assists the coordination, planning, and logistics for Cleveland Bridge Builders, OnBoard Cleveland, Campus Cleveland, Advanced Leadership Institute, and CLC Alumni programs and events. He also supports development and marketing efforts.
Prior to joining CLC, Patrick spent the 2021-2022 school year as an afterschool program coordinator with Open Doors Academy where he planned and executed academic and socio-emotional programming for nearly 40 school aged scholars. Throughout college, Patrick worked on various political campaigns which developed a strong interest in relationship building, education, and civic engagement.
A 2021 graduate of Northwestern University, Patrick earned a Bachelors of Science in Education and Social Policy with a concentration in Learning and Organizational Change and a minor in United States History. While at Northwestern, he spent his free time as a member of the Sailing team and mentoring similarly labeled middle school students with learning disabilities.
A native of Cleveland’s east side suburbs, Patrick recently moved to the vibrant neighborhood of Ohio City. When not working, Patrick enjoys spending time socializing with family and friends, exploring the city, listening to music, and spending the summer months near water.
Maeve C. Frey
Maeve joined the Cleveland Leadership Center in March of 2019 serving as the Manager of Internal Projects and added Director of Signature Events to her title in October 2021. Coordinating CLC’s two major annual events, Maeve advances the organization’s development, engagement, and community impact initiatives while continually striving to improve diversity and sustainability in all aspects of the planning process. As Manager of Internal Projects, she supports the CLC team through various means including development and programmatic outreach, website content, and database management.
Maeve holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jewelry Design and Metalworking from Kent State University, graduating magna cum laude. While attending Kent State, Maeve lead the Jewelry Co-Op as vice president and president, curated a student fundraising exhibition for KSU’s new Center for the Visual Arts, and piloted the inaugural Art Student Advisory Panel. Maeve has over 10 years’ experience in the events realm, working with award winning chefs, including a lived streamed dinner at the James Beard House in NYC. She also obtained her license from the State of Ohio as a Realtor in 2017 helping others to plant roots in the city she loves.
Maeve is Cleveland born and raised, growing up on the east side along Lake Erie’s shore. She travels extensively nationally and internationally, but loves north coast living, and appreciates Cleveland’s extensive art scene. She currently resides in a 130-year-old farmhouse in Highland Heights with her husband, stepdaughter, and four pets where the projects abound and are tackled with love.
Contactmdoley@cleveleads.org | (216) 592-2243
Michelle is responsible for Cleveland Leadership Center’s marketing and communications, including design, messaging, and strategy.
Prior to joining CLC in 2014, Michelle spent 2 1/2 years as part of the Morino Ventures team working on the Leap of Reason initiative and 11 years at Urban Community School, where she was responsible for marketing efforts, special events, database management and myriad other projects.
Michelle holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from Heidelberg University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Tiffin University. Michelle’s civic passions revolve around physical and mental health and cycling/safe streets for all. She is a northeast Ohio native and lives in Fairview Park with her husband and two step-sons.
Contactmkane@cleveleads.org | (216) 592-2277
Dr. Claudia Owens
Dr. Claudia Y. Owens is a strategic communication leader. Before coming to CLC, Dr. Owens was an Associate Faculty member at University of Phoenix and a Graduate Program Coordinator for the Strategic Communication Master Degree and Instructor at Bowling Green State University. She served as chair of the program committee and the Dean’s Diversity Committee. She had previously been the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Washington State Community College and Director of Client Marketing & External Affairs for the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce.
She holds a Doctor of Management degree in public policy and administration from the University of Maryland University College (now the University of Maryland Global Campus), a master’s degree in communication methodology from Cleveland State University, and a bachelor of science degree in speech from Northwestern University. She is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Owens has served on several nonprofit boards. Her civic activities locally included Junior League of Cleveland, Family Transitional and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Growing up on the east side of Cleveland she is a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School and currently lives in Warrensville Heights.
Contactcowens@cleveleads.org | (216) 650-3312
Jolyn B. Parker
Jolyn is the Director of Leadership Cleveland where she is applying her extensive business, academic and nonprofit experience to this role. Most recently serving as VP of External Relations for San Diego Oasis, an award-winning nonprofit organization serving over 5,000 older adults, providing stimulation, education and community engagement to older adults to prevent isolation and loneliness, and to encourage engagement and purpose throughout San Diego County.
From her role as former CMO of a large San Diego nonprofit hospice to teaching the business of retail, marketing and communications at a major public university in Ohio to running a multi-million dollar retail operation, she has decades of involvement in the nonprofit community. She has served as board member and past chair of Barrio Logan College Institute in San Diego and as a board member of Friends of Breakthrough Public Schools in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a former member of Community Advisory Council of SDG&E in San Diego and former board member and past chair of Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP) of San Diego.
Jolyn was recently awarded the Spirit of Carol Sigelman Award for Excellence in Fundraising, given by the North County Philanthropy Council. She holds a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Nonprofit Management from Empire State College at SUNY, Applied Associate Degree in Retail Management from Fashion Institute of Technology at SUNY, and a certificate from The College of Distributive Trades, London, England. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she is married to a business turnaround specialist and has one daughter, an attorney.
Contactjparker@cleveleads.org | (216) 592-2259
Maria Sharp joined the Cleveland Leadership Center in October 2021 as the Program & Development Associate. She assists with coordination, planning and logistics for Cleveland Bridge Builders, Campus Cleveland, On-Board Cleveland, Advanced Leadership Institute, and CLC Alumni programs and events. Maria also provides support for all development efforts, including grant writing and sponsorships.
Prior to joining CLC, Maria spent two years at the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development, managing their marketing, communications, and fund development. She has a huge heart for Cleveland and has worked with Ohio City Incorporated and Tremont West Development Corporation learning about the community development field, with a strong focus on economic development. For over 8 years, Maria has managed and operated her own photography business. While working and spending time in Cleveland she grew passionate about making the city a better place for everyone and started to pivot her career accordingly.
Maria earned her BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in Photographic Illustration. She is a College Now mentor and has previously volunteered with Playhouse Square and Engage! Cleveland. Maria is part of the 100+ Latinos Cleveland Must Know 2021 cohort.
She currently lives in her favorite neighborhood, Ohio City, with her particular and wonderful dog, Dylan.
Contactmsharp@cleveleads.org | (440) 592-2226
Andrew has been with the Cleveland Leadership Center since 2011. He serves as the manager of the Civic Leadership Institute, as well as senior program coordinator for Cleveland Leadership Center flagship programs. He began his career at the Cleveland Leadership Center as programs and operations associate in February 2011, program coordinator in July 2011 and manager of Civic Leadership Institute in October 2015.
Andrew is a 2010 graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he received a bachelors of arts in political science. While at Miami, Andrew was part of the Transatlantic Seminar on the European Union and a member of the Transatlantic Studies Organization.
Andrew, born and raised in the Cleveland area, is a College Now Greater Cleveland mentor, graduate of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s LEADS program and a volunteer with various local organizations.
Andrew currently lives in Lakewood with his wife, Annie.
Contactasinger@cleveleads.org | (216) 456-8005
Kim Woodman joined Cleveland Leadership Center in October 2009 as Executive Assistant, Accounting Specialist. She provides administrative and accounting support to the President & CEO, Director of Operations, staff, Board of Trustees and Executive Committee Members.
Prior to joining Cleveland Leadership Center, Kim worked in the commercial development department at Forest City Enterprises. She provided administrative support to the manager of real estate development.