See What We Do

Commission on Economic Inclusion

The Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, is focused on creating positive, measurable outcomes leading to:

  • Increases in board, senior management, workforce and supplier diversity among the more than 100 Northeast Ohio employers who are members of the Commission;

  • Increases in the total revenue, value, size, and number of employees for minority-owned businesses in our region and throughout the State of Ohio. Read more about the Commission’s member benefits and minority business resources.

Our members

Click here for the list of Northeast Ohio employers that belong to the Commission.

What's new at the Commission

Some of the presentations from the 2014 Diversity Professionals Conference are available for download:

  • Keynote speaker Julie Hansen, director, corporate diversity & inclusion, AbbVie, a global, research-based bio-pharmaceutical company named to the 2014 DiversityInc Top 50.

Learn more about our work in the July 2014 issue of The Commission Connection, our monthly publication featuring Northeast Ohio diversity and inclusion news and events. Here are a few highlights:

Message from the Co-chairs: Are you making the most
of your Commission membership?

You have signed the commitment form and you’ve participated in the annual Employers Survey on Diversity™. How else can you maximize the value of your Commission membership?

As a Commission member, you are well-positioned to show meaningful progress in this crucial aspect of business success:

  • Whether your organization has a few hundred employees in the region or thousands;
  • Regardless of your industry (healthcare, finance, nonprofit, manufacturing, higher education, professional services, etc.);
  • Wherever your organization is now in relationship to your diversity and inclusion goals—from just beginning the work to being recognized for your best practices.

Take the next step

  • Involve the right decision makers within your organization, participate in our programs, serve on an Advisory Board committee.
  • Follow the data (annual survey analysis, your organization’s scorecard, comparative local and national statistics).
  • Use Commission resources such as best practices, LinkedIn recruitment group, connections to minority businesses, national and regional data, conferences and programs. Our August 6th conference is a great place to start.
  • Engage with like-minded employers on common goals. Help your organization and the region by building a stronger, more diverse economy.

What our members are saying:

“For me, the number one value of belonging to, and working with, the Commission is the opportunity to meet, interact with, and learn from so many high-performing business leaders. Their vision for diversity and inclusion (D&I) and their successes in implementing that vision have shaped my own strategies.”

Gareth Vaughan
President, The Albert Higley Company
Commission Advisory Board member

We encourage you to watch our video, “Economic Inclusion: Capitalize on the Opportunity,” to hear from our members about how economic inclusion strategies and initiatives can benefit an individual company or organization and the region.

How to get involved

Let us know how you want to be involved! See our upcoming events listed in this issue’s calendar including our August 6th conference at Corporate College East featuring national and local experts and resources.

See the next story for more information about the Commission’s value proposition and the resources we provide to help your organization meet its diversity and inclusion goals.


Commission Co-chairs

Eddie Taylor                       Daniel Walsh
President                           President, Greater Cleveland Region
Taylor Oswald                     Huntington National Bank

The Commission’s value proposition: Programs, data
and connections aid our member

Membership in the Commission on Economic Inclusion provides you with access to resources and connections to help your organization set and attain your diversity and inclusion goals. We do this by offering:

Programming for decision makers (C-suite executives, chief procurement officers, senior human resource directors, diversity professionals) on how to maximize the impact of diversity and inclusion in areas such as:
  • Staff recruitment, engagement and retention
  • Talent management
  • Effective supplier diversity initiatives and access to diverse suppliers
  • Community engagement
Relevant data (regional and national) regarding diversity and inclusion in the workplace; annual confidential scorecard for your organization

Access to a regional and national network of minority-owned businesses through the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center Cleveland, which the Commission operates.

The opportunity to make your organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion public and to receive recognition for your results.

Click to read more about our value proposition. For more information, contact Scott Harrington at 216.592.2213 or email him at

If you know of a company or organization interested in joining the Commission, please contact Deborah Bridwell at 216.592.2345 or

MBDA Cleveland client to be honored
at 2014 National MED Week

Hightowers Petroleum Company (HPC), a Minority Business Development Agency Business Center Cleveland client, will receive the 2014 National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week’s Minority Retail Energy Firm of the Year award.

This award is presented to a minority-owned firm in the energy industry that has achieved notable success in providing quality products and services that resulted in improvement of the environment, proficiency, and customer satisfaction. MBDA will honor the winners during a special ceremony at the annual MED Week Conference on August 1 in Washington, D.C.

HPC, led by Founder, President and CEO Stephen L. Hightower, is a full-service Licensed Motor Fuel Dealer and a PUCO contract carrier based in Middletown, Ohio. It operates nationally to deliver gasoline, diesel fuel and alternative fuels.

Please click this link for more information on the 2014 MED Week Award winners and ceremony.

We’re on LinkedIn! Commission launches group page

As another benefit to our members, the Commission on Economic Inclusion has launched its official LinkedIn group page to present job opportunities from members looking to hire diverse candidates. Job postings will be available to view on our page for two weeks.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Commission works to create jobs and opportunities for minority individuals and businesses in Northeast Ohio. Our focus is to provide these resources to our community. We have no influence on hiring decisions by any employer.

Click this link to visit the page. To request membership, click “Join” and your request will be reviewed by the group manager

Other stories in this month's issue:

  • 2014 Diversity Professionals Conference: "Maximizing your Impact for the Future"
  • Membership drive update: We welcome six new members
  • More MBDA Cleveland stories: MBEs connect with lenders at Access to Capital event; client profile: H2L1 Engineering Inc.
  • Chief Procurement Officers meeting: Four MBEs to present capabilities
  • Commission presents $1,000 Esperanza scholarship: Recipient to major in math at Cleveland State
  • "The Art of Changing Minds:” Addressing challenges within your organization
  • Volunteer opportunities for Gay Games 9: How you can get involved

Click here to view or download our newsletter.