Alumni Spotlight: Drew Stelzer

Drew Stelzer

(CBB 2021, OBC 2019, CLC Leadership Council Chair)
Commercial Property Casualty Insurance/Employee Benefits Specialist at the Schauer Group, Inc.

    • Tell us a little bit about your civic engagement.
      I am grateful to be a part of an organization that encourages employees to be engaged and entrenched in the community. An organization that sees it as a way to establish relationships and show that the organization is interested in employing people from the community but also giving back through philanthropic work. I serve as a Board Member and Secretary of Greater Cleveland Film Commission and am on the Advisory Council for the Employment Collaborative Cuyahoga County.
    • How did you get involved with CLC?
      I was ending my term as President of the Cleveland 20/30 Club and it was the perfect time to determine a community engagement opportunity for myself. I was looking for a great program to get involved in and learn about what is going on in Cleveland and how to best get involved. I feel like it is my responsibility to give back as I can. I heard about people going through CBB and the other programs, but Nick Aylward, CLC Director of College and Young Professional Programs at the time, persuaded me to sign up for OnBoard. His explanation of the program aligned with my thoughts on keeping Cleveland a place of growth for generations to come. We talked for a long time and I was so compelled that I signed up and paid for the program on my own.
    • How was the program experience?
      OnBoard Cleveland was awesome! It was a fun class. I feel we were a very, very special class. I still keep in touch with everyone. A few of us still connect on a regular basis. I didn’t know what to expect so I was a sponge. The experience taught me how to get involved specifically how to get involved in the things that interest me. I discovered that I must move the needle myself for what I am passionate about.OnBoard Cleveland is a great stepping-stone for getting young professionals involved in Cleveland. People don’t talk about it as much, but Cleveland is a great place for young people. I actually didn’t realize that I was one of the oldest in the class.The program is a great and undervalued resource. More companies should get engaged by sending their employees to participate. I had a diverse class with different professions, entrepreneurs, and people participating in the Accelerate Program (start-up).
    • What was unique about your program experience?
      As a Class we decided to do a “Class Book.” We documented who we were at the beginning of our program year then reassessed our progress at the end of the year. This was a cool activity and allowed us to reflectively see our growth.
    • Why did you get involved in a CLC program?
      I got involved with the Leadership Center with a purpose to help attract people to the city and retain them. This is so important. To be a sustainable city you need to find ways to attract and retain people. More people are working remote so you must find creative solutions to retain people here because people can work wherever they want. Manufacturing will be here. Health care too, but you can’t rely on one or two industries to attract people. We have to be able to persuade them to move here and stay here. I’m trying to get involved in the many ways we can help the city progress, create partnerships, work with employers and community members with an objective to create creative solutions to retain the population in CLE, and set metrics to track. All of this is with a goal to be a sustainable city 50 years from now.
    • What would you change/do differently?
      Relationship building, reach out to more CLC alums to connect and share ideas. Professionals in these CLC programs need to take responsibility of developing each other the future of Cleveland and who we are going to be in leadership roles will positively impact Cleveland moving forward. Change is good. You cannot remain stagnant. Must evolve over the years and be creative. But something different for the program is trying to find was to better engage people on the Board.Looking for ways to better engage people would love to do more things in person. We all have to be more creative finding ways to connect. The uncertainty of the times is making that more difficult but CLC is doing a great job of engaging people now through these times on how to be creative in the ways we stay connected.This pandemic as bad as it is and I hate it being cooped up inside but hopefully it will help people move forward. This will force people to change and adapt to the ways of the future. “move along and progress further.” If we don’t change or adapt to the ways of the future of what things will look like then we wont evolve.
    • Words for wisdom for potential CLC program participants
      Go for it! Don’t worry about failing. Fail greatly. Because at least you can say that you failed something big enough that it mattered. However, the people in the CLC programs can help to support you in doing great things.
    • How did it influence you?
      It challenged me to step up. It does not matter what age you are, you have to get involved.  Some of the people I was exposed to I still keep in contact with. One of the guys I love is Danny Williams, Executive Director of Eliza Bryant Village. We talk every few months. We go golfing in the summer. He has been a great influence and helped me to get involved civically.  He gives insight on what is happening in the city now, what happened in the past and how that influences where we are today. He is a great resource.

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