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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 - Join us!

Click here for the list of the more than 100 Northeast Ohio employers that belong to the Commission on Economic Inclusion. To learn more about Commission membership, please email us  or call 216.592.2213.

What's new at the Commission? Stories from our newsletter

Message from the Co-chairs
Building board diversity: How to accelerate slow progress

In this month’s newsletter, we are highlighting statistics pulled from the Commission’s Employers Survey on Diversity regarding board diversity of Commission members. These companies and organizations, 95 in total, represent a small slice of Northeast Ohio. However they are indicative of our region and of our nation.

As you can see from the comparison between Commission members and Fortune 100 companies, the pie charts are similar in their disproportionate number of minorities holding board seats.

Red: Black or African American; Green: Asian; Purple: Hispanic or Latino.

The truth is, the pie chart hasn’t changed much in the last 10 years nationally or regionally. There has been incremental movement but not sustained increases.

It’s not an uplifting message to share, particularly for business leaders who understand that increased gender and racial diversity correlates to better business performance. According to the McKinsey & Co. February 2015 report, Diversity Matters: “More diverse companies are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, leading to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns.” These increasing returns for businesses translate to increased returns for our region.

Northeast Ohio is in the midst of a renaissance, one that will be significantly heightened if everyone has an opportunity to be involved. Greater economic inclusion makes the region more competitive and will keep us on this upward trajectory.

This is why it is important to bring the topic of board diversity to the forefront – and why we are pleased that recently it is getting national and regional publicity.

At the national level, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) – the expert on exemplary board leadership and boardroom practices – held its annual Global Summit last month. The difference this year is that the annual summit kicked off with NACD’s first-ever Diversity Symposium with sessions covering topics like Overcoming Unconscious Bias, Obstacles to Board Diversity, and The Impact and Legacy of the Rooney Rule.

Rekindling the conversation

Here at home, Crain’s Cleveland Business rekindled the conversation about board diversity with an article highlighting the lack of diversity on the boards of publicly traded Northeast Ohio companies. In a follow-up editorial, Publisher John Campanelli makes a good point that, “successful business leaders know that diversity is good for business. The recognition is there. The execution isn't.”

He then asks: “So how can we change that?”

A good place to start is with commitment from top leadership. If you are not already a member, we encourage you to consider participation in the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP).

Commission resources can facilitate change

The Commission assists Northeast Ohio employers with increasing diversity on their Board of Directors, as well as among senior management, in their workforce and with their supplier spend. Our programs are free to GCP members; our only request is that you commit to making a change within your organization.

We invite you to participate in our programs and events coming up in the next two months, which are featured in the events calendar in the right column of this newsletter.

We hope you will join us. It’s important for your business and for our region.

For more information about how the Commission can help your company leverage diversity and inclusion to advance your business goals, please contact Gina Cheverine at or 216.592.2261.

Commission Co-chairs

Eddie Taylor               Daniel Walsh
President                   CEO
Taylor Oswald            Citymark Capital

Commission co-chair named as Diversity Center honoree

Congratulations to Commission on Economic Inclusion Co-chair Daniel Walsh who will be honored at the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio’s 61st annual Humanitarian of the Year Award dinner on Thursday, Nov. 19 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.

He is one of three business persons to be recognized for “an extensive record of involvement in civic, charitable, volunteer, and professional organizations” and contributions “to the improvement of human relations among diverse groups in Northeast Ohio.”

Board of Advisors holds quarterly meeting:
Maltz Museum in Beachwood provides venue

The Commission on Economic Inclusion’s Board of Advisors held its quarterly meeting at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage on October 29.

Prior to the business meeting, the museum’s executive director, Ellen Rudolph, addressed the group to provide background about the museum and its current exhibit, “Violins of Hope.”

A guided tour of the exhibit was provided after the meeting.

Devoted to diversity and tolerance, the Maltz Museum opened in 2005 with the mission of building “bridges of tolerance and understanding by sharing Jewish heritage through the lens of the American experience.”

Click for more information about the museum.

Student essay contest speaks out against hate

The Maltz Museum is inviting Northeast Ohio students in grades 6-12 who are committed to ending intolerance and indifference in their communities to enter the $100,000 “Stop the Hate®: Youth Speak Out” essay contest.

For details, visit and follow @stopthehateUS on Twitter.

Five Commission members win higher education diversity award

Congratulations to these Commission on Economic Inclusion members who won a 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity:
The HEED Award, open to all colleges and universities throughout the U.S., measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

Click to see the complete list of 90 winners nationwide.

More news from the Commission

Click to read or download the latest issue of our newsletter.

Read about our accomplishments

Click here to read or download the 2014 Commission Annual Report that includes: