Kristen Baird Adams is a Senior Vice President and Managing Director of PNC Financial Services Group, where she helps lead the development and implementation of strategies for community relations, marketing and public relations, philanthropy, charitable sponsorships and employee engagement in Greater Cleveland. That includes local leadership of PNC Grow Up Great, a $350 million, multi-year initiative that helps better prepare underserved preschool children for success in school and life. Baird Adams also provides ongoing strategic counsel to PNC executive leadership on how best to integrate and deploy corporate resources through PNC’s regional leadership model across 19 states and the District of Columbia.
Karen founded her consulting practice, Karen Allport Consulting, Inc., in 2015 and since then has been serving clients such as Lorain County Community College, Great Lakes Biomimicry and the Ohio Federal Research Network. Previously, Karen was Vice President Strategic Outreach for NorTech, a technology-based economic development organization serving Northeast Ohio, where she was responsible for advancing NorTech’s position with relevant constituents and securing financial contributions to support the organization’s mission. Prior to joining NorTech, Karen was Chief Operating Officer for internationally-recognized Cleveland Botanical Garden, where she built earned income through new revenue streams. She also served as Vice President, Corporate Communications for Dix & Eaton Incorporated and Director of Marketing Services at Leaseway Transportation, a Fortune 500 company, where she engineered the communications and public relations for a successful Chapter 11 entrance and exit. Karen is also a member of the Board of Directors of Great Lakes Biomimicry. She serves as a special advisor to the Board of Directors for LEEDCo and is a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2013.
Mr. Chaiten is a partner at Jones Day where he works on a broad range of litigation and prelitigation matters. In trial court litigation and domestic and international arbitration proceedings, he has handled disputes involving consumer class actions, financial products, accounting and attest services, pharmaceutical and biologic products, clinical trials, commercial contracts, and wide range of other issues. Mr. Chaiten is also an appellate litigator, having recently successfully defended a financial-services company and accounting firm in a $900 million investor lawsuit, an international iron-ore supplier in a dispute over reclamation services, and multiple financial institutions in litigation over their securitization activities. He also successfully argued an appeal on behalf of an Ohio man wrongfully convicted of murder, leading to the man's release after more than a decade in prison. Mr. Chaiten previously clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, which is responsible for advising the president, the attorney general, and other executive branch officials on complex issues of constitutional, statutory, and international law. He is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and University of Rochester.
Joanne Clark simultaneously served as Vice President, Corporate Affairs for the Sisters of Charity and as President of the St. Vincent Charity Development Foundation. Prior to that Joanne was a Senior Vice President at National City Corporation, and worked at Dix & Eaton, and with the County Government. Joanne is a director of The City Club and the Cleveland Leadership Center. She also has served on the board of directors of Cleveland Zoological Society; Ohio Grantmakers Forum; Opera Cleveland; Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland; and Shoes and Clothes for Kids; as well as the Cleveland Clinic’s Women’s Health Center Leadership Board. Joanne was appointed to the Ohio Women’s Policy and Research Committee by then Governor George Voinovich. And she has served on advisory boards and committees of the American Red Cross; Arthritis Association; Cleveland Play House; The Cleveland Orchestra; Harvest for Hunger; President’s Council Foundation; Harvest for Hunger; Recovery Resources; and United Way Services of Greater Cleveland. Joanne and her husband Richard reside in Rocky River, Ohio.
Kevin R. Condon is Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel, Electrical Sector for Eaton Corporation, a global diversified power management company. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of the Electrical Sector’s worldwide legal and contract management services. Condon joined Eaton in 2004 following Eaton’s acquisition of Powerware Corporation, where he served as Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. He has more than 25 years of legal experience having held positions of increasing responsibility first in private practice in Connecticut and then at Olin Corporation and Invensys plc. Condon received his BA from Providence College and his JD from Wake Forest University School of Law. He is admitted to practice in Connecticut and is a registered corporate attorney in Ohio. He served as a member of the board of trustees of Gordon Square Arts District from 2011 -2015 and is a member of the 2011-2012 class of Leadership Hudson.
Morton G. Epstein is the Former Director Emeritus at Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation and a long-time City Club member.
Rob Falls is President and CEO of Falls Communications, a full service communications firm which includes public relations, public affairs, media relations, marketing support, product introduction, issue and crisis management, web and graphic design, online communications, social media and special events.
Judi is President of Gordon Square Arts District (GSAD), a public/private partnership demonstrating how the arts can be a catalyst for economic transformation and community revitalization through preservation and renovation of historical buildings and complementary new construction. A collaboration of Cleveland Public Theatre, the Capitol Theatre, and the Near West Theatre in a $30 million capital campaign, GSAD has built a vibrant environment that has attracted 75 new businesses, spurred the hottest housing market in Cleveland, created jobs, and earned national recognition for Cleveland as a rebounding urban city. Judi graduated from Notre Dame College and Beachwood High School, and resides in Chagrin Falls.
Jerry Gootee is a CPA and Partner with EY. Jerry’s experience includes over 25 years serving clients across both EY’s audit and advisory platforms, having started his career in the firm’s Louisville office and spending his first 12 years in its Audit Practice. He was admitted to the partnership in 2002 and relocated to the Cleveland office in 2003. He has served in a number of leadership roles at the EY Global, EY Americas and US firm levels across various functions, including Markets, Business Development, Innovation, and Strategy. Active in the community, in addition to the City Club he serves on several Northeast Ohio boards and committees including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Akron Chamber of Commerce, St. Joseph Academy, and is a member of Leadership Cleveland Class of 2015.
Paul is secretary and general counsel of KeyCorp and oversees the corporation’s legal, risk review and government relations functions. Prior to joining KeyCorp in 2003, Paul served as partner-in-charge of the Cleveland office of Thompson Hine LLP where he managed significant client relationships and oversaw the office’s community and charitable support programs and administrative operations. Paul joined Thompson Hine in 1983 and practiced in the firm’s Corporate and Securities practice group before leaving the firm in 1988 to join Revco D.S., Inc. (now CVS), where he was elected as an executive officer in 1993. He rejoined Thompson Hine in 1997. Paul received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago and his jurisprudence degree from Stanford Law School.
Sharon Sobol Jordan is the Chief of Staff for Cuyahoga County, a position she began January 2015. Prior to that, she was President and CEO of the nonprofit Centers for Families and Children, a Cleveland-based human services organization. Before she became CEO of the Centers for Families and Children, she worked as the organization's chief operating officer and general counsel under then-CEO Lee Fisher, who later became Ohio's lieutenant governor. She also serves on the boards for MetroHealth System, Cleveland Transformation Alliance, and the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation.
Bob currently serves as the Ohio Managing Partner of BDO, USA. Prior to this he was the managing director and CEO of SS&G, Inc. He had been a director and shareholder since 1990 and has more than 30 years of experience as a trusted advisor to his clients. During his tenure at SS&G, the firm experienced dramatic growth through its traditional accounting and tax services and non-traditional services. SS&G has been transformed into a multidisciplinary firm, adding businesses to include SS&G Wealth Management LLC, SS&G Healthcare Services LLC, and Paytime Payroll Processing. Through the integration of these services, SS&G has become one of the largest accounting firms in the country. Bob serves on the firm’s executive committee, which leads the firms’ strategy and growth. He is also a member the firm’s finance and personnel committees. Bob is active in a number of local business and charitable organizations and serves on a number of boards. He is a graduate of Leadership Akron Class of 1995 and Leadership Cleveland Class of 2009. He was also the recipient of the 2014 Frank L. Simonetti Distinguished Business Alumni Award, presented by the University of Akron College of Business Administration.
Shana F. Marbury, Esq. is general counsel and vice president, strategic initiatives & research for the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), where she oversees legal affairs and leads the organizational strategic priorities for education, talent, and workforce development. She focuses on partnering on collaborative community projects, such as drafting and implementation of “Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools” and engaging in the work of the Cleveland Transformation Alliance, which assesses the quality of public schools in Cleveland. Shana also guides GCP efforts in developing college and career readiness in high school and college students. Prior to her employment at the GCP, Shana worked as a consultant in the areas of diversity and inclusion. Before consulting, Shana worked as a labor, employment, and school law attorney. Shana currently serves on the CMSD Nominating Panel, the Friends of Max S Hayes High School Advisory Board, the Fenn Educational Fund Advisory Committee, and is a former member of the City Club of Cleveland Forum Foundation Board. Shana received her JD from Tulane and her BA at Tufts University in sociology and political science.
John is a partner in Calfee's M&A and Corporate practice groups. He specializes in consummating mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and divestitures for a wide range of companies and industries. His experience with private equity funds, startup entities and commercial financings enables him to assist clients with the legal aspects of capital raising initiatives in both up and down rounds. He counsels startup companies with respect to entity selection and formation, buy-sell agreements and management agreements. John works closely with Calfee’s estate planning attorneys to maximize the benefits for future generations in ownership successions and exit events. His practice also includes negotiation of borrower-side commercial financings and loan transactions. John serves as corporate secretary for several privately-held companies, including Eatem Foods and Meister Media Worldwide. He currently chairs the Governance Committee and serves on the Executive Committee of The City Club of Cleveland. John is also Treasurer of the Wharton Club of Northeast Ohio, on whose board he has served for several years. He began his tenure with Calfee in 1998 and became a partner in 2008.
Hugh is Partner-in-Charge for the Cleveland Office of Porter Wright. He has extensive experience representing corporate clients and financial institutions in complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts. He has successfully represented several Fortune 500 companies in major litigation, trying cases to successful jury verdicts. Hugh has been consistently listed in The Best Lawyers in America and is recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer. He is recognized by Chambers USA as one of Ohio's leading attorneys in Commercial Litigation and is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. In 2006, Hugh became President of the Cleveland Bar Association and his 3 Rs initiative in partnership with the Cleveland metropolitan School District has won number awards and become a national model.
Kristen Morris joined Cleveland Clinic in 2013 as the Chief Government and Community Relations Officer. Her areas of responsibility include cultivating and maintaining relationships at the federal, state and local government levels to monitor development and influence legislative outcomes that affect the mission of the Cleveland Clinic; fostering continual development and partnership with the government agencies to conduct critical research and share best practices; ensuring good relations, communications and involvement with the city of Cleveland and its civic organizations; developing and leading community relations strategies and initiatives that support public health goals in the neighborhood; and creating and engaging civic education programs to promote education in the sciences and health disciplines. Kristen's background includes ten years representing the biotech and medical device industries, eight years as the Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the American Hospital Association and several years representing physician associations including a stint at the American Medical Association. She also lobbied on behalf AdvaMed, the medical device industry’s primary trade association.
Augie Napoli joined United Way of Greater Cleveland as President and Chief Executive Officer in June, 2016. Prior to joining United Way, Mr. Napoli served from 2010-2016 as Deputy Director and Chief Advancement Officer of the Cleveland Museum of Art where he oversaw the campaign in support of the historic renovation and new construction of its University Circle facility and lead the Division of Institutional Advancement. Mr. Napoli has forty years of nonprofit executive experience in the northeast Ohio region. He led institutional advancement activities at several institutions including Baldwin Wallace University, Cleveland State University, Catholic Diocesan Foundation, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Summa Foundation, and Catholic Charities Corp. In addition, he created the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation and served as its first President and CEO. Mr. Napoli is a graduate of Franciscan University. He is currently affiliated with numerous professional and community organizations. He is a past President of AMDA (Art Museum Development Association) 2014-2015, and is currently affiliated with numerous professional and community organizations including the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs; the City Club of Cleveland, DigitalC, as well as The Temple-Tifereth Israel.
Kaye Ridolfi is the Senior Vice President of Advancement for the Cleveland Foundation. She has direct responsibility for the Foundation’s fundraising activities. An experienced development professional, she has spent more than two decades in the field, including a period as director of a $1 billion capital campaign at Case Western Reserve University. Kaye honed her development skills primarily in the academic sector. Prior to joining the foundation in November 2011, she spent five years at Case Western Reserve as associate vice president of institutional development. Earlier, she served as assistant vice president for major gifts at Ohio State University. She started at that institution in 2000 as director of a campaign to renovate the main library. Kaye holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Ohio Wesleyan and a master’s degree in public policy and management from Ohio State.
Hewitt is the Managing Partner of BakerHostetler's Cleveland office—its oldest and largest office. He is also a member of the firm’s Policy Committee and formerly served as the firm-wide Legal Services Partner and Chair of the Tax, Personal Planning and Employee Benefits Group. Hewitt's primary area of practice is federal income taxation of individuals, partnerships, and “regular” and “S” corporations, as well as the related areas of business planning and structuring of the business relationships, acquisitions and dispositions and financing arrangements for these entities.
Fareed Siddiq, an experienced Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley since 1980, has built and expanded his business through dedicated service as a Financial Advisor to his clients. He helps provide counsel in the areas of financial planning, risk management, investment management, estate and tax planning strategies, and retirement planning. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Accredited Investment Fiduciary, Accredited Retirement Fiduciary, and has earned the title of Senior Investment Management Consultant and Portfolio Management Director through his extensive work in the area of professional money management. He is also part of Morgan Stanley‘s President’s Council for thirty one years. Fareed is an active member of the Greater Cleveland community. In addition to The City Club, he sits on the Board of Trustees of several local organizations including: The Diversity Center, Ideastream, American Red Cross, Cleveland Council on World Affairs as a Board Member, The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland (Lifetime Trustee).
Debra is the Vice President of News Development for Advance Local, which oversees local newspapers and websites across the country. She was formerly the Editor of The Plain Dealer, a position she began in October 2010. She joined The Plain Dealer as managing editor in 2007 following four years as vice president and editor of the Akron Beacon Journal. Prior to that, she was the Beacon Journal's managing editor. Debra previously worked at The Detroit Free Press, The Virginian-Pilot, The Hartford Courant and the Syracuse Herald-Journal in a variety of reporting and editing roles. A native of Hartford, Connecticut, Debra received her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications and the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a graduate of the Northwestern University Media Management Center’s Advanced Executive Program in its Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Robyn is the Thompson Hine Cleveland office Partner-in-Charge, as well as former chair of the firmwide Diversity & Inclusion Initiative. She is a partner in the firm's Real Estate, Construction and Corporate Transactions & Securities practice groups. She focuses her practice on commercial real estate acquisitions and sales, development, financing, leasing and corporate transactions. Robyn regularly represents and advises real estate investment trusts (REITs), real estate investment funds, public and private real estate development companies, commercial lenders, retailers and other corporations. The coordination of complex transactions, including ground-up development deals and multi-site, multi-state acquisitions and divestitures, are her forte. Robyn holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and juris doctorate from Yale University.
Charles is a successful serial entrepreneur, angel investor, startup advisor, and the co-founder and CEO of the startup accelerator Flashstarts and StartMart Cleveland. Flashstarts launches 12+ new startups every year, providing a complete suite of services from formation, funding, and fund raising. In May 2016, Charles launched StartMart, a 35,000 sq. ft. startup/co-working community in the Terminal Tower. He has a passion (and history) for building great startups. In 1992 he started Books.com, the first online bookstore, and in 1998 he founded Flashline to address the new opportunity in software components and web services. In 2000 Charles won the Infoworld E-Business Innovator Award for his contributions to Internet Retail. He won the Ohio Venture Association (OVA) Venture of the Year award in 2007 and served on the OVA board until 2010. He has mentored and/or been a judge at numerous business plan and startup competitions including Startup Weekend Cleveland in 2014 and the 11 regional University iDeaLabs competition. He is a frequent speaker at investment, startup, and entrepreneurship conferences as well as regularly sharing his experiences with classes of students at nearly every university in the region. Charles is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University Law School.
Molly is Principal of STANDOUT Consulting. She's a certified executive and career coach committed to helping individuals identify and reach their career goals through personalized and strategic guidance. She specializes in executive and career coaching, career transitions, job search strategy, workforce re-entry, and personal branding. Molly's strengths also include non-profit board engagement, leadership training and extensive fundraising expertise. As Principal of STANDOUT Consulting, she enjoys working with individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, including attorneys, IT professionals, creative arts professionals, entrepreneurs, journalists, and non-profit executives and board members. Molly holds a Master’s in Education from DePaul University and a B.A. from Loyola University. She is a graduate of the Weatherhead School of Management Executive Coaching Program at Case Western Reserve University.
David E. Weiss is Executive Vice President, Secretary, and General Counsel at DDR Corp., a real estate investment trust. Prior to joining DDR in 1999, Mr. Weiss was a partner with McDonald, Hopkins, Burke & Haber Co. LPA. Mr. Weiss is active in many professional, civic, and charitable organizations including Family Connections, the Shaker Heights Planning Commission, and The Center for Families and Children, where he currently serves as Board Vice Chairperson. He previously served as a council member for the City of Shaker Heights and is an alumnus of Leadership Cleveland. Mr. Weiss is a graduate of The University of Michigan and The Ohio State University College of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, and the International Council of Shopping Centers, where he is a member of the Legal Advisory Council. He also is a Fellow in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.
Sheila Wright is Vice President of the Good Community Foundation and Senior Adviser to Albert Ratner. She advises corporate leaders on strategies relating to reducing poverty, economic development, growing population and identifying community pathways into the urban core. She frequently convenes state legislators, local governments and corporate stakeholders to design policies that integrate economic development needs with jobs and family service goals to meet current workforce demands. She has also served as a Loaned Executive to organizations and local government assisting with board development, strategic planning, capacity building, project development, network enterprising, public relations, balancing budgets, marketing and design. Prior to joining Albert Ratner’s team, Ms. Wright served as the Executive Director of the Cleveland NAACP where she worked to increase collaboration across the community, advance the civil rights agenda of the organization and raise the organization’s profile across the community. Sheila currently serves on the boards of Global Cleveland, 11th Congressional District Caucus, Council for Healthier Buckeye Advisory Council, Center for Population Dynamics (CSU, Levin), Greater Cleveland Foodbank, Gordon Square Arts District, and Karamu Theater.