Cleveland Leadership Center announces CEO transition plans

(Originally posted December 13, 2023)

(Updated February 6, 2024 with this information: Those interested in applying for the job can see the position summary here >)

Marianne Crosley, who has served as President and CEO of the Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC) for nearly 14 years, told the organization’s Board of Trustees in November 2023 that she plans to transition out of her role as CEO in 2024. The Board will convene a search committee to identify the organization’s next leader.

“We are grateful for Marianne’s exemplary service, tireless hard work, and especially for the passion and vision she brought to civic leadership development and CLC’s mission,” said Bill Caster, CLC Board Chair and President of Gries Financial Partners. “She has led the organization through years of incredible growth and impact on those who participate in its programs, and on the community overall.”

The announcement was made at the CLC Board meeting on November 28, 2023. Caster said the search committee will be co-chaired by CLC Board members Tom Hopkins, retired SVP of Human Resources for The Sherwin-Williams Company, and Shelly M. Peet, retired EVP of Human Resources for Nordson Corporation. Crosley will remain in her role until a successor is identified.

“Serving in my dream job at CLC has been an incomparable journey, but after 14 years I decided it is time for someone else to take the helm and continue steering CLC to even greater impact,” Crosley said. “It is hard to walk away from something you love, but it is the right thing for me to do at this time,” she said, noting that many other long-time CEOs of major civic organizations have stepped down in recent years.

“I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with so many incredibly committed community leaders during my tenure,” Crosley said. “They are truly making a difference across our region. Likewise, I plan to find a role where I can continue making a difference after working with the Board and CLC team to ensure a smooth transition.”

Crosley became President and CEO in March 2010, a few years after the Leadership Center was created through the merger of four previously independent civic leadership programs: Leadership Cleveland for senior-level leaders, Cleveland Bridge Builders for mid-career professionals, (i)Cleveland (now known as Campus Cleveland) for college students, and Look Up To Cleveland for high school students.

Under her leadership, each of those programs expanded and new offerings were created including OnBoard Cleveland for young professionals, Advanced Leadership Institute for three generations of leaders, and Legacy Leaders for those in retirement. In addition, two signature annual programs were launched: Accelerate: Citizens Make Change civic pitch competition, and Spark: Grit to Great leadership conference, and weekly Leader Lunch Breaks were established.

It is anticipated that the search for her successor will commence in the new year.

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