CLC names new program directors

New full-time events director also named

The Cleveland Leadership Center has named new directors for several of its programs that offer transformative experiences to connect, inspire, and challenge individuals to make a positive community impact.

“Each of our new team members brings unique skills and background to their positions,” said Marianne Crosley, CLC President and CEO. “They will help us ensure program participants have meaningful and impactful experiences and use those experiences to make Cleveland an even better place for everyone.”

The new directors are:

  • Nicole Canitano, Director of College & Young Professional Programs. Nicole, an alum of the Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2021, directs Campus Cleveland programs designed to inspire college students to start their careers in Cleveland; and OnBoard Cleveland, a program that guides early-career professionals to analyze and employ their strengths and passions to positively impact professional and civic spaces.
  • Patrick Emery and Maya Smith, Co-Directors of High School Programs. They design and implement the Look Up To Cleveland school-year and summer programs, the Reach Out To Cleveland summer community service program, the Dare2Lead anti-bullying program, and custom-designed programs that reach high school students across Cuyahoga County. Both also serve as Program Associates to help ensure the success of other CLC offerings.
  • Angela O’Donnell, Director of Cleveland Bridge Builders. Angela, an alum of the Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2014, oversees CLC’s program that prepares mid-career professionals for even greater roles in the community.

In addition, Maeve C. Frey, who had been a part-time team member, was named the new full-time Director of Signature Events and Special Projects, including the annual Accelerate: Citizens Make Change civic pitch competition and Spark: Grit to Great symposium on leadership, change, and innovation.

Brief biographies are below. See more about the new directors and the rest of the CLC team at

Nicole Canitano previously worked as a Program Manager for the Young Entrepreneur Institute at University School and at Destination Cleveland, where she was tasked with enhancing the visitor experience. She also taught fifth grade at Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Miami University and a certificate in Creative Placemaking from Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture.

Patrick Emery began at CLC as a Summer Associate in June 2022, transitioning to the full-time program role in August. He spent the 2021-2022 school year as an afterschool program coordinator with Open Doors Academy. Patrick earned a bachelor’s degree in education and social policy at Northwestern University, where he mentored school students with learning disabilities.

Maeve C. Frey joined CLC part-time in March 2019 as the Manager of Internal Projects and added Director of Signature Events to her title in October 2021 before taking on the new full-time role. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree  from Kent State University, where she led the Jewelry Co-Op, Arts Advisory Council and Student Fundraiser for the new Center for the Visual Arts. She obtained her license from the State of Ohio as a Realtor in 2017 and was recently named to the Board of Talespinner Children’s Theatre.

Angela O’Donnell spent nearly 12 years working at Saint Ignatius High School, most recently as the Director of Marketing & Communications, before coming to CLC. She received a bachelor’s degree in media studies from Mount Union College and spent a  semester studying in Viterbo, Italy where she focused on creative writing at the Universita della Tuscia. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2014.

Maya Smith worked with various youth development organizations, volunteered to support girl empowerment groups, and managed after-school and summer programs at schools on the west side of Cleveland before coming to CLC. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Kent State University and holds a master’s degree in nonprofit administration and leadership from Cleveland State University.

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Media contact
Michael E. Bennett, Vice President of External Affairs
Work: (216) 592-2426, Cell: (216) 408-3874,