Joseph D. Roman
President and Chief Executive Officer
Greater Cleveland Partnership
Joseph D. Roman (Joe) is president and chief executive officer of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), one of the nation's largest metropolitan chambers of commerce with more than 10,000 members. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors of more than 70 CEOs and business owners who lead small, mid-sized and the largest companies in Northeast Ohio, as well as the region’s major health care and educational organizations.
GCP’s current areas of focus include preserving competitive air service at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport; helping to reform the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and public education in the city; and continuing to support the development of Cleveland’s downtown business district, lakefront and other major projects throughout the region. Other priorities are addressed through GCP’s advocacy platform, one of the most robust efforts by a U.S. metro chamber.
In addition, the organization works through its small business partner, COSE (the Council of Smaller Enterprises), to support small business growth and the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a GCP program that plays as leadership role in advancing inclusion within the northeastern Ohio employer community.
Roman previously served as executive director of Cleveland Tomorrow, an organization that was committed to pursuing projects and initiatives that were fundamental to the long-term economic vitality of the region. During his tenure, Cleveland Tomorrow was recognized by Harvard Business School as one of the most innovative and successful regional business organizations in the country. Roman also helped to found critical economic development organizations in the region such as BioEnterprise, JumpStart and the Cleveland Plus Marketing Alliance.
Earlier in his career, Roman worked on Capitol Hill as both a congressional staff person and as a lobbyist for manufacturing trade associations. He has a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York and a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University.
His board memberships include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, the Cleveland Transformation Alliance, Team NEO, and Cleveland Development Advisors, an affiliate real estate investment fund of GCP. He is also incoming chair of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and teaches economic development courses at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.
Joe was born in Cleveland and has spent most of his career in the city.
President and Executive Director
Council of Smaller Enterprises
Steve Millard is president and executive director of the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE). In his role, Millard has responsibility for leading the small business programs, products and services of COSE.
Prior to joining GCP, Millard spent five years with Andersen Consulting's Strategic Services Practice in both Boston and Cleveland. At Andersen Consulting, he focused on strategic management and supply chain strategy projects for Fortune 500 companies. Millard also served General Electric's Medical Systems Business Group in Boston, where he was responsible for sales and service logistics for the Northeast Region.
Millard holds a degree in finance and a degree in transportation and distribution management from Syracuse University. He graduated summa cum laude and was named both University Scholar and Class Marshall for his graduating class. He is one of few graduates in the history of the university that captured both the top academic and top leadership distinctions granted by the university.
Millard serves on the boards of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, National Association for Membership Development, the National Small Business Association, the Presidents Council Foundation and the Cleveland Partnership for Arts and Culture.
Yvette M. Ittu
Executive Vice President, Finance and Operations
Greater Cleveland Partnership
Yvette M. Ittu is the executive vice president of finance and operations of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. In addition, she is president of Cleveland Development Advisors Inc. (CDA), an affiliate of GCP that is responsible for the management of real estate investment funds initiated, and in part capitalized, by certain GCP members.
CDA-managed capital serves as a source of private-sector funding for catalytic real estate development projects that have significant impact on Northeast Ohio’s growth and development. Under Yvette’s leadership, CDA has successfully raised three private equity funds and secured multiple tax credit equity allocations. These funds support neighborhood development, job creation and retention, as well as business attraction and expansion, through strategic investments in projects throughout the City of Cleveland and targeted areas of Cuyahoga County.
Yvette is also chairperson of the Cleveland International Fund (CiF), a private equity firm that operates as an EB-5 regional center authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. One of CiF’s goals is to be a driving force for economic development throughout Northeast Ohio.
Prior to joining CDA, Yvette was an associate with the law firm of Calfee, Halter and Griswold LLP practicing in the areas of public law and public finance. She served as bond counsel on multiple financings for the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the City of Cleveland, and several other Ohio local governments. In addition, Yvette served as finance director for the City of Lakewood and held several financial management positions for the City of Cleveland including the chief financial officer post for Cleveland Public Power, the city-owned power company. She also was asked to serve on the transition committees for the administration of both Mayor Frank Jackson and Mayor Jane Campbell.
Yvette obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. In addition, she is a certified public accountant and has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Cleveland State University. She currently serves on several community and nonprofit boards including NorTech, Benjamin Rose Institute, Village Capital Corporation, as well as audit and financial advisory committees for several local governments including the City of Cleveland, City of Rocky River and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She is a native of Cleveland and lives in Rocky River with her husband and two children.
Brian E. Hall
Commission on Economic Inclusion
Brian Hall officially joined the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s senior leadership team in January 2014 but has an extensive history with the organization including serving as the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s interim executive director since June 2012.
Brian is also an entrepreneur and has 30 years’ experience leading companies in logistics, distribution, real estate and foodservice. He has been an active member of the civic community serving two terms on the GCP Board, as co-chair of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, and on the boards of the GCP’s three predecessor organizations, the Cleveland Tomorrow, the Greater Cleveland Growth Association and the Greater Cleveland Roundtable.
In addition to growing his businesses to the Black Enterprise Top 100 listing several times, Brian is one of the founders of the Presidents Council LLC and the Presidents Council Foundation. The council has been instrumental in enhancing relationship between major and minority corporate CEOs in Northeast Ohio. The foundation trains both entrepreneurs and students toward greater success and leadership in the African American community and beyond.
Brian graduated with a degree in business management from the University of Cincinnati and earned an Executive MBA from Baldwin-Wallace University.
He is a member of the boards of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, University Hospitals, the University of Cincinnati Foundation, and the Presidents Council Foundation. He also is a member of the World Presidents Organization (WPO) where he chairs the Black Presidents Network, an international group of WPO and Young Presidents' Organization members.
In addition, he founded the Tremont Advisory Group, which mentored 14 boys from elementary through high school, and continues to serve as a mentor to the participants now 27 to 32 years old.
Senior Vice President, Real Estate and Business Development
Greater Cleveland Partnership
Deb Janik joined the Greater Cleveland Partnership as senior vice president, real estate and business development in October 2005. Janik's duties at GCP include management of all GCP development programs and as primary liaison for GCPs regional collaboration efforts.
Janik provides GCP staff support for public-private partnership efforts on catalytic large scale developments throughout Greater Cleveland. She serves as an officer to GCP's Cleveland Development Advisors affiliate, oversees the Build Up Greater Cleveland (BUGC) infrastructure network and manages GCP's business attraction, retention and expansion efforts.
Prior to joining GCP, Janik served as vice president of regional development for the Cleveland Cuyahoga County Port Authority. There she was responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy to advance community and economic development initiatives in accordance with the Ports mission.
Janik previously served as chief of staff and chief development officer for Mayor Jane L. Campbell at the City of Cleveland. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of all City departments and 9,000 employees, she was responsible for the planning and financing of all community and economic development activities of the city. Her work in public service began at the City of Cleveland in 1988. In 1995 she was appointed to then Mayor Michael R. White's executive staff.
Deb has dedicated her entire career to working in Greater Cleveland and currently serves on several community boards and commissions including Land Studio and the NOACA Transportation Advisory Committee.
She has more than 24 years of public, private, and not-for-profit experience. She is a 1987 graduate of Kent State University and holds a bachelor's of business administration degree in finance with a concentration in real-estate. She and her family reside in Rocky River.
Shana F. Marbury, Esq.
General Counsel and Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Research
Greater Cleveland Partnership
Shana F. Marbury, Esq. is general counsel and vice president, strategic initiatives & research for the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP). Shana oversees legal affairs for the GCP and several of its affiliated entities. She also is responsible for organizational strategic priorities such as education, talent, and global economic connections. In addition, Shana is a member of GCP’s Purchasing Council, which focuses on building and utilizing a diverse pool of suppliers for all organizational purchases.
Prior to her employment at the GCP, Shana worked as a consultant in the areas of diversity and inclusion. She assisted in developing diversity training materials focused on interpersonal relationships among people of a variety of backgrounds, worldviews, customs and values in the 21st century workplace. Shana co-facilitated training where participants were introduced to core diversity concepts and developed competency in their application.
Before consulting, Shana worked as a labor, employment and school law attorney in the Cleveland office of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP. She counseled private- and public-sector employers, including public school districts and private schools, on staff, administrative and faculty labor and employment issues, concerns regarding state and federal civil rights laws and educational statutes, investigations, student discipline and other student-related issues.
Shana currently serves on the City Club Forum Foundation Board, the Friends of Max S Hayes Advisory Board, the Fenn Educational Fund Advisory Committee, and the Global Cleveland Board of Directors. She has completed a fellowship on regional and sustainable development through the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) and the Ford Foundation. She also is a member of Kaleidoscope magazine’s “40/40 Club” Class of 2008, honoring distinguished African-American professionals age 40 or younger in the Cleveland area.
Shana received her Juris Doctor from Tulane Law School and completed her undergraduate work at Tufts University, where she double-majored in sociology and political science.
Senior Vice President, Advocacy
Greater Cleveland Partnership
Marty McGann is senior vice president of advocacy for the Greater Cleveland Partnership. In this role, he is responsible for developing and advancing GCP’s Public Policy Agenda at the federal, state and local levels of government.
Marty joined GCP as vice president of state and local government advocacy in 2011. In that capacity, he served as the point person on many GCP priorities including the Cleveland education reform legislative effort, the extension of the Cuyahoga County sin tax, the state capital bill, and advocating for state legislation that enabled the funding of Opportunity Corridor.
Prior to joining GCP, Marty was a director of government relations for Cleveland Clinic. During his seven years at the Clinic, he was an advocate on key healthcare policy issues and secured millions of dollars in federal and state funding for research and capital priorities. He previously served in a leadership position at Cuyahoga County and was a campaign consultant on several federal, state and local campaigns.
Marty obtained a Juris Doctorate Degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and is licensed to practice law in Ohio and Washington, D.C. He completed his undergraduate degree at Ohio Wesleyan University. Marty and his family live in the Edgewater neighborhood of Cleveland.
Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Membership Development
Greater Cleveland Partnership
Robert (Rob) Recker is the senior vice president for marketing, communications and membership development for the Greater Cleveland Partnership, one of the nation’s largest metro chambers of commerce.
Prior to joining GCP, Recker served as the executive vice president of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he led the organization’s strategic initiatives; investor relations; community/public relations; international business initiatives and policy development; finance; and contract negotiations and administration for chamber membership partners, vendors and consultants.
As vice president of marketing for the Fort Lauderdale chamber, he was responsible for the development and implementation of key marketing initiatives to increase new membership acquisitions and membership retention as well member benefit product development and management. This included the creation and implementation of a multi-platform membership affinity plan for health insurance, workers compensation insurance and discount programs with large business retailers. He also developed a member benefit program with the Florida Marlins, Florida Panthers and Car Quest Bowl.
Recker also served as president of the Kissimmee/Osceola County chamber where he developed and implemented the chamber’s largest-ever new membership campaign and led the business community’s public relations and marketing campaign for the US 192 Beautification Project, a multimillion dollar public/private initiative to beautify Osceola County’s major tourist corridor leading into Walt Disney World. In addition, he worked with municipal leaders to keep the Houston Astros in Kissimmee for their spring training.
Recker has served on numerous international boards and committees, most recently serving as vice chairman of the World Chambers Federation. The Paris, France-based organization represents the interests of 12,000 chambers around the world. Recker was the first American in 35 years to serve on the board.
A graduate of Orlando College, Recker has pursued graduate studies in public affairs at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management.