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What was it like to see the convention up close?

By Joe Roman
President and CEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership
Vice President, 2016 Cleveland Host Committee

Opening Night: North Coast Harbor has NEVER looked so good, nor the lakefront more promising….over 12,000 guests, donors, delegates and media attended in perfect weather.

Personally, I remember when, over 20 years ago, Cleveland Tomorrow, our predecessor, and North Coast Harbor, where Dave Gilbert worked at the time, were working just to make sure people knew we had a harbor and park again.

It was tough even to program occasional events down there that could attract anyone.

Then came the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Great Lakes Science Center, a new stadium for the Cleveland Browns, and—just before the RNC—a new restaurant. With more to come.

I just wished that Senator Voinovich, the namesake of the park, could have seen it in all its full glory.

The most amazing constant crowd pleaser during the RNC was when a group of police or safety personnel would walk or ride by (on bike or horseback) and people on the streets, or in the restaurants would break out in applause honoring the men and women who were as diverse geographically as the delegates themselves.

I was on the floor of the convention itself many times during the four days and nights, and being that close was pretty incredible. Celebrities everywhere and media at every corner and aisle pathway.

The stage was enormous as was the video screen, and I keep wondering where we could put that screen now somewhere in Cleveland to take full advantage of it.

In case you missed it: Convention media coverage
praises Cleveland

Hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention brought an estimated 15,000 credentialed media to our city.

In addition to the convention and related activities, there were also stories about Cleveland, its comeback and its ability to successfully manage the gargantuan event and challenging logistics while providing visitors with a very warm welcome.

Here are a few of the positive stories —or at least those that end on a positive note—about Cleveland, suggesting that the message is getting through that city has moved well beyond its past.

Buffalo News:
Cops in Cleveland keep their cool as they do a tough job

Chicago Tribune:
Cleveland, a city on the rebound

Hartford Courant: 
As 'Forgotten City' basks in spotlight, its revived downtown shows the way for Hartford

Inside Edition (video):
From doom to boom: Home to RNC, Cleveland is surging after years of urban decay

Wall Street Journal (video):
The Cleveland business leaders behind the GOP convention
Image above:
Cleveland 2016 Host Committee Co-chairs left to right: Chris Kelly, partner-in-charge, Jones Day; Alexander Cutler, retired chairman and CEO, Eaton; and Greater Cleveland Partnership Board Chair Beth Mooney, chairman and CEO, KeyCorp.

Washington Post

A volunteer’s experience: Helping visitors, taking photos, appearing on the “TODAY” show

By Paul Marnecheck
Membership Development Manager
Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE

Learn about Paul's experience from his journal:

Monday, July 18: This was my first full day as the guest INTHECLE Tweeter. The day began very positive. No traffic problems coming into work. The town looked and felt amazing.

Checked in as WAYFINDER @ Noon in Tower City and was assigned E. 4th and Prospect , which turned out to be where the main entrance to the Convention Center was!

Got to see people from across US all decked out in the political garb (hats, pins, buttons) including the OH delegation wearing buttons honoring former long time ORP Chair Bob Bennett. Everyone was friendly and positive.

Great atmosphere.

Through Twitter, I was able to have Destination CLE answer questions in real time. Had the great opportunity to escort a lovely Southern Belle from my station to Key Tower for a meeting with Baker Hostetler.

We walked down East Fourth to Euclid, and, since she had time, we toured the new Public Square including the new fountain. Was able to explain how everyone put politics and territory aside to come together to make Public Square and the RNC happen including Key Bank, which made a significant donation to the project. On my way back to my station, I ended up escorting anther couple to their hotel.

In the evening, I was able to attend a dinner at TAZA on West 6th hosted by the Cleveland Lebanese-American Community for the Lebanese-American Members of Congress. It was a great opportunity for the local members of the community, some immigrants themselves, to make sure their countrymen knew the Cleveland Community.

I also managed to make it onto the "TODAY" show doing a Trump impression for SNL’s Colin Jost.

Tuesday, July 19: I did not have a volunteer shift today. However, I did walk around over lunch. I ended up helping delegates navigate our roads and find UBER stops. I ended up walking a family to Public Square restaurant and then a reporter from FUSION to a meeting with a local law firm. I also spent some time in the @INTHECLE Twitter account answering questions posted on Twitter.

Thursday: July 21
: This was my last volunteer shift. The mood was still very positive. There was a buzz in the area.

I was able to assist delegates in checking things off their CLE Bucket list. Making sure they say all they could before leaving Cleveland. I was also able to have conversations with some of the out of town reporters. I was interviewed by Boston NPR as well as Chip Franklin and Terrell Starr.

I estimate I took 100 photos for people. The most popular place was East 4th, but a few wanted photos on Public Square.

Above photo:
Paul Marnecheck (right) with Jonathan Harris, a branch manager for Portage County District Library, who created a buzz with his “Make America Read Again” campaign that included passing out books to protesters and convention attendees.
Volunteer experience

GCP hosts “The Best of the Great Lakes” reception

With thousands of people from all over the world descending upon Cleveland last week for the Republican National Convention, the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) was uniquely positioned to lead in more than a few different capacities.

One of those activities was to host “The Best of the Great Lakes” reception, an informal social gathering that included GCP members, staff, and dignitaries from around the Great Lakes region.

“The City of Cleveland served as the epicenter of the political universe last week,” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “The Best of the Great Lakes” reception we were proud to host provided just one more opportunity to showcase the place we call home and connect elected officials and our chamber partners with business owners from Northeast Ohio.”

The GCP is a member of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, which is comprised of metropolitan chambers from the 12 U.S. Great Lakes states and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The coalition collectively focuses on advocating a public policy agenda to:
  • Preserve and enhance the quality of our Great Lakes
  • Adopt immigration policies that encourage high-skill immigrants to locate in our region
  • Encourage development of natural gas, nuclear energy and clean coal technology that are essential to manufacturing
  • Improve border crossing on the U.S. and Canadian borders
  • Address transportation infrastructure issues.

A free benefit for GCP members

The Commission on Economic Inclusion’s Best Practices Repository provides a central location for resources and research on workplace diversity and inclusion. All sections of the repository can be accessed by any employee of a Greater Cleveland Partnership member organization.

You’ll find valuable information regardless of where your organization is on its diversity and inclusion journey—whether it is in the early stages, considered Best in Class, or somewhere in between.

Click here to access this month’s featured article, “Why Diversity Programs Fail” from the Harvard Business Review, and much more in the Commission's Best Practices Repository.

The Commission on Economic Inclusion is a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Where to connect with other tech execs

OHTec is pleased to present the 17th annual CIO Symposium on Thursday, September 8 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites in Independence.

The agenda has been shaped to provide diverse and valuable content for CIOs and senior IT executives. Topics include:
  • Thought Leadership and Innovation
  • Talent Attraction
  • Digital Transformation
The event will include award-winning CIOs speaking at the opening session, engaging breakout sessions, thought-provoking Tech Talks and conclude with an Executive Reception.

It’s a conference that’s sure to spur great ideas for attendees as well as provide incredible opportunities to connect with peer IT executives.

Implement skills-based hiring in your company

In partnership with TALENTNEO, the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) is now connecting companies and job seekers in Northeast Ohio using WorkKeys®, a workplace skills assessment.

Individuals often enter the workforce without the skills employers need. WorkKeys is a first step toward closing skills gaps and improving workforce quality.

WorkKeys assessments are based on situations in the everyday working world and measure “hard” and “soft” skills. The GCP is also a testing center for job seekers.

TalentNEO uses WorkKeys as a validated reference for both the candidate’s current skill levels and the ability to effectively learn on the job. It’s an additional tool that can be used to predict a candidate’s ability to successfully do the job, especially since this is not always immediately apparent through education levels and resumes.

TalentNEO uses objective and validated measures of workplace skills for jobs across all levels from entry to executive.

Applications being accepted for CMSD Board position

Applications are being accepted for an appointment to a seat on the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) Board of Education. This appointment is for an unexpired term ending June 30, 2019.

To be considered, applicants must be residents of the district.
Applications also can be found at branches of the Cleveland Public Library and City of Cleveland Recreation Centers.

Mail your completed application to:

Nominating Panel
601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 227
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Attention: Monyka Price

Applications also can be dropped off at City Hall, 601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 227. They must be received by close of business on Friday, August 12, 2016.

Restoration project launches at Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve

The Nature Conservancy
and the Port of Cleveland recently launched a joint effort to restore native plants at the 88-acre Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve.

A crew from The Nature Conservancy began work this month with hand tools and herbicide to eradicate patches of aggressive, non-native plants that crowd out native vegetation and are less hospitable to wildlife.

“This project will help restore the native vegetation most preferred by the nesting and migratory birds that visitors love to see, not to mention the many mammals, reptiles, and butterflies that find sanctuary in the preserve,” said Linda Sternheimer, director of urban planning and engagement for the Port of Cleveland, which opened the site to the public in 2012 and has since drawn tens of thousands of visitors.

The Nature Preserve originally was created as a confined disposal facility (CDF) to hold sediment dredged from the Cuyahoga riverbed to keep the shipping channel open. When sediment placement ended in 1999, the soil settled and an amazing array of flora and fauna gradually claimed the site. Today, you can find multiple habitats and animals as diverse as coyotes, minks, foxes, and deer on site. Audubon Ohio has designated it an Important Bird Area.

The preserve is one of several lake shore properties, from Cleveland to Ashtabula, where The Conservancy will be working to restore natural beach and dune habitats using a $650,000 grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

“This is the first unified effort among coastal landowners in Northeast Ohio to improve the vegetation and habitats along the shoreline,” said Karen Adair, the Conservancy’s Central Lake Erie Basin project manager.

The operation and maintenance of the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve is another key part of the Port of Cleveland’s strategic commitment to being green and sustainable and doing its part to connect Clevelanders to the water.

The site is free and open to the public during daylight hours. To plan your visit, click here.