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GCP Annual Meeting highlights game-changing economic momentum

$30 million in new funding announced for development projects

Cleveland, Ohio—Cleveland’s game-changing economic momentum was highlighted at the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Annual Meeting today, the first public event—attended by more than 1200 business and community leaders—to be held in the new Cleveland Convention Center. This includes the announcement that Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), GCP’s real estate investment affiliate, has received a commitment of $30 million from local companies to the Advance Cleveland Development Fund for waterfront development and other projects.

“With well over $8 billion invested in projects in Cuyahoga County, this latest commitment has come just when we need it the most to continue the phenomenal development progress of the past few years,” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “We thank our member companies who provided these funds to expand our waterfront and build the housing our talented workforce seeks in the City of Cleveland.” CDA has invested more than $200 million in projects worth nearly $3 billion since 1990.

GCP Board Chair Christopher M. Connor, chairman and CEO of The Sherwin-Williams Company, noted that GCP has not only been a very active participant in many of the initiatives that are driving Cleveland’s 21st century economic renaissance, “we’ve often been a catalyst for its success. We’re focused on bringing the private sector to the table to work with our public-sector partners to continue moving this city forward. There’s a lot of well-deserved excitement about where Cleveland is and where it’s going. It’s time to bury the worn-out rust belt image—and way of thinking.”

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson joined Connor in a discussion about recently announced plans to develop Cleveland’s waterfront and connect it to downtown, where $2.5 billion in funding is being invested. The leaders commented that resources are coming online that will get ground broken and long-awaited development underway.

Building momentum in the inner city

Roman also discussed the importance of completing the Opportunity Corridor because it will link University Circle to the freeway system and provide critical connections for several Cleveland inner-city neighborhoods to enhance and encourage job creation in the city.

“This roadway will be a catalyst to bring major positive change to 300 acres of underdeveloped land in the city,” said Roman. “Bond funding from the Turnpike will help get this project off the drawing board and extend economic development in neighborhoods beyond downtown and University Circle.”

The project’s steering committee is headed by GCP Board members Plain Dealer Publisher Terrance Egger and James Ireland III, chairman, Capital One Partners, LLC.

Organization continues support for United hub

Connor said that the organization’s ongoing work to retain the United hub at Hopkins International Airport ”stands as a model that demonstrates how we can all pull together to support this important asset. We remain confident that we’re going to keep our hub.” He noted that United has announced it will hold its June 2014 stockholder meeting in Cleveland to showcase the city and its level of support for the airline.

Achievements in diversity highlighted

The Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of GCP, presented its annual Best-in-Class awards for diversity achievement at the GCP Annual Meeting:

Board Diversity: University Hospitals, nonprofit/government; Eaton, large corporation; Lifebanc, middle market;
Senior Management Diversity: Cleveland State University, nonprofit/government; KeyCorp, large corporation; Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, middle market;
Workforce Diversity: Case Western Reserve University, nonprofit/government; U.S. Bank, large corporation; YMCA of Greater Cleveland, middle market;
Supplier Diversity: Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, nonprofit/government; Eaton, large corporation; Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, middle market.

The Commission also announced the induction of four of its members to its Hall of Fame after winning best-in-class three times in one category:

University Hospitals: Board Diversity
Case Western Reserve University and U.S. Bank: Workforce Diversity
Eaton and Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland: Supplier Diversity

In addition, the Commission honored Lyle Ganske, partner-in-charge, Midwest region, Jones Day, who stepped down as the organization’s co-chair after serving from 2009 to 2013. Huntington Bank Regional President Daniel Walsh will succeed him, joining Eddie Taylor, president, Taylor Oswald at the Commission’s helm.

Fund for Our Economic Future president honored

Brad Whitehead, president of the Fund for Our Economic Future, received GCP’s 2013 Richard Shatten Professional Leadership Award, recognizing his contributions to initiatives that are improving Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Whitehead was named the Fund’s first president in 2006 and oversees the Fund’s grant making, research and civic engagement efforts.

The award is presented in memory of Shatten’s role in the economic revitalization of Cleveland as an accomplished educator and research mentor at the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management and through his civic leadership with Cleveland Tomorrow and other organizations.

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About the Greater Cleveland Partnership
The Greater Cleveland Partnership mobilizes private-sector leadership, expertise and resources to create attractive business conditions that create jobs, grow investment and improve the economic prosperity of the region. www.gcpartnership.com.