Our world continues to evolve at a breakneck pace and effective leadership looks very different today than it did just a few years ago. What skills are now necessary for people and organizations to thrive? To navigate major disruptions? To lead in the era of social media? To build consensus in an increasingly divided community? To collaborate for the common good? To cultivate high-performing teams?

Words like empathy, compassion, active listening, understanding, inclusion, and flexibility are bandied about, but what exactly does it all mean, and how do you incorporate these into your own leadership?

Find out at Spark: Grit to Great – a half-day leadership symposium on the skills needed to lead in today’s (and tomorrow’s) world.

The day will kick off with the dynamic Maggie Nichols, of the internationally-renown innovation firm Eureka! Ranch, speaking about passion, leading teams, inspiring others, and collaboration.

Breakout sessions and a lightning learning round will feature content on preventing burnout, engaging an audience with honesty and facts in the era of social media, active listening and understanding, flexibility and creativity, communication, and consensus building.

CWRU’s Robert Solomon, will close out the day with a keynote on how to foster collaborations with individuals of all backgrounds and lived experiences.

*** Spark 2023 is sold out! ***

If you have questions about the event contact Rachel Ciomcia (216-592-2280). We hope to see you next year for Spark 2024!

Event Details
Thursday, November 9, 2023
7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Cleveland State University Student Center
(2121 Euclid Avenue, 3rd floor, Cleveland, OH 44115)

7:30 a.m. Breakfast + networking
8:00 a.m. Opening keynote
9:15 a.m. Breakout sessions
10:30 a.m. Lightning round
11:30 a.m. Breakout sessions
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Closing keynote

$120 General registration

View the full agenda with session descriptions and links to speaker bios >

Thank you to event sponsor Marcum LLP, lightning round sponsor MAGNET, and workshop sponsors City Architecture and ERIEBANK for making Spark possible! For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Michael Bennett, (216) 592-2426.

Opening Keynote

Passion & the Spirit of Leadership
Maggie Nichols
CEO, Eureka! Ranch

Breakout sessions – round 1

Preventing burnout: Cultivating compassion with courage
Kristi Horner
Founder & Executive Director, Courage to Caregivers

Finding your lane: Leveraging influence & communication
(Sponsored by ERIEBANK)
Danita Harris
News Anchor, WEWS News5

Active listening
Devon Climer, MA, CCC-SLP
Founder, My Communicoach

Lightning learning round

Strategy with vision
(Sponsored by MAGNET)
Emcee: Michael Christoff, AIA, MBA (CBB 2014)
Vocon, PechaKucha Night Cleveland

  • Tom Gill (LC 2021, CEF 2010, CLI 2009)
    President, Urban Community School
  • Kelly Manderfield (LC2 2020, LC 2019)
    Chief Marketing Officer, Cleveland Metroparks
  • Dawn Mayes (CBB 2021)
    Director of Design Entrepreneurship & Inclusion, Kent State University
  • Alan Nevel
    SVP & Chief Equity and Community Impact Officer, The MetroHealth System
  • Joyce Pan Huang
    Director of City Planning, City of Cleveland

Breakout sessions – round 2

Creative flexibility
(Sponsored by City Architecture)
Dr. Nigamanth Sridhar (LC2 2020, LC 2019, CLC Board)
Provost & SVP – Academic Affairs, Cleveland State University

Evidence-based decision making
Rachel Ciomcia (CBB 2010)
Executive VP, Cleveland Leadership Center

Communicating and building consensus through change
Susan Oguche, EVP & Chief Communication Officer, Cleveland Cavaliers, Rock Entertainment Group and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

Closing Keynote

Fostering inclusive collaborations
Robert Solomon (LC 2022)
VP, Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Case Western Reserve University

View the full agenda with session descriptions and links to speaker bios >