Board of Trustees Chair, members elected

New marketing statement unveiled at annual meeting

Ira Kaplan, Executive Chair of Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, LLP, was elected Chair of the Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC) Board of Trustees at the organization’s annual Board meeting on June 28, 2018.

Kaplan, an alumnus of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2003, had been Board Co-Chair for the past year with Larry Oscar, a Partner at Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP. Oscar, an alumnus of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2009, was elected chair in 2015 and now becomes an Emeritus Trustee.

The Board also was introduced to new language that helps convey CLC’s impact. To capture the depth and breadth of CLC’s work, the CLC Marketing Committee and staff crafted an elevator pitch: “We inspire and connect people to transform Cleveland. We develop leaders of all ages through learning and community engagement opportunities.”

“As CLC has grown beyond our original programs, and as all our programs and alumni have more impact in the community, it became more challenging to explain what we do in a sound bite,” said Marianne Crosley, CLC President and CEO. “This statement will help our stakeholders open up conversations about CLC with members of the community and invite others to participate in our work.”

The Board elected the following as new members:

  • John P. Beer (LC 2018), Managing Director Wealth Management, PNC
  • Cathy Belk (LC 2010), President, JumpStart Inc.
  • Jacklyn A. Chisholm (LC 2008), President and Chief Executive Officer, Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland
  • Robin J. Davenport (LC 2013, LC2 2014), Vice President Corporate Finance, Parker Hannifin Corporation
  • Ginger F. Mlakar (LC 2014, LC2 2015), Senior Counsel and Director, Donor Relations, Cleveland Foundation
  • Kristen Morris (LC 2015), Chief Government and Community Relations Officer, Cleveland Clinic
  • Lisa Rose (LC 2009), President, Dix & Eaton
  • Jason Therrien (LC 2017), Founder and President, thunder::tech

The Board thanked outgoing members for their service. They are:

  • Joe DiRocco (LC2015) Regional President Northeast Ohio, Fifth Third Bank
  • Leslie Dunford (CBB 2002, LC 2008), VP Administration & Strategic Projects, Cleveland Foundation
  • Guy Fabe (LC 2009), Vice President Controller, Parker Hannifin Corporation
  • Bruce Hennes (LC 2008), CEO, Hennes Communications
  • Carlos Jackson (LC 2017), Executive Director Government Relations, Cleveland Clinic
  • Hillary Lyon (CBB 2015), Business Development Manager, CTL Engineering, Inc.
  • Valarie McCall (LC 2007), Chief of Government and International Affairs, City of Cleveland
  • Stephanie McHenry (LC 2003), CFO, SVP Business Affairs & Finance, Cleveland State University
  • Larry Oscar (LC 2009), Partner, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP.
  • Andrew Passen, Executive VP Human Resources (retired), Forest City Realty Trust
  • Gary Shamis, Partner, Winding River Consulting

Kaplan is Benesch’s Executive Chairman and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He was Managing Partner from 2008-2014. He focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions as well as public and private debt and equity financings. Kaplan is an active leader in the community through his work with CLC and top leadership positions he has held with Engage! Cleveland, United Way of Greater Cleveland, Menorah Park Center for Senior Living and Bellefaire JCB. He is an officer of the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, and has served on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and Business Volunteers Unlimited.

Media contact
Michael E. Bennett, Vice President of External Affairs
Work: (216) 591-2426, Cell: (216) 408-3874,