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What's New in CLE

GCP president and CEO Joe Roman recently sat down with WTAM's host Bill Wills. Roman called on Clevelanders to be cheerleaders for the city, promoting and doubling down on the many positives happening around Cleveland.

They discussed the GCP’s investment in the Glenville Circle North Project, an initiative demonstrating that the east side market is ripe for growth and advancement. They continued their ongoing discussion about the city’s work to position itself on the cutting-edge of Blockchain, and the need to build more downtown housing over the next five years, among other topics.

Listen to the interview.

Hundreds Attend 2nd Annual BusinessTECH Conference

Hundreds of technology industry leaders from across Northeast Ohio attended BusinessTECH18, a full-day event hosted by OHTec, MCPc and RITE, at Cleveland Public Auditorium.

• RELATED: Check out the Plain Dealer’s BusinessTECH18 preview by clicking here.

The second annual BusinessTECH conference began with a plenary session overview and update of where Cleveland’s efforts to become a leader in Blockchain technology stand. The session was led by Bernie Moreno of the Bernie Moreno Cos., David Gilbert of Destination Cleveland, and Marty McGann of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

• RELATED: What to know about Cleveland’s Blockchain evolution.

Following the Blockchain update, attendees split up to attend the first breakout sessions of the day. In total, 33 workshops were held throughout the day on such topics as cybersecurity best practices; how to find, develop and diversify IT staffs; and IT best practices for small- and middle-market businesses. We’ll be following up with additional details from these sessions in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on this space for more information.

The attendees met back up for the second plenary session of the day after the breakouts, a lunchtime address delivered by John P. Carlin, former assistant attorney general for national security and chief of staff to then FBI Director Robert Mueller, discussed how cyberterrorists are altering their strategies to inflict damage on companies and countries. Again, we’ll have more details on this development next month.

After splitting for the final round of breakout sessions, attendees regathered in Public Auditorium’s main hall for the final plenary sessions of the day: a presentation by “white hat” hacker Michael Calce and the presentation of the Innovation and Leadership in Technology Awards.

Calce took the crowd inside the mind of a hacker, explaining his origin story and what motivated him, as a 15-year-old high schooler, to bring down the websites of behemoths such as Amazon, CNN, eBay and others. He also discussed his current work as a so-called white hat hacker, working on behalf of companies to help them identify security flaws in their systems and design stronger defenses against cyber terrorists.

The attendees ended the day in style with a cocktail reception and the awarding of the Innovation and Leadership in Technology Awards. Receiving awards at this year’s ceremony were:

• Legacy Award: Dorothy Baunach, CEO, DigitalC
• Talent Development Award: Bill Blausey, SVP and CIO, Eaton
• Innovator Award: Steve McHale and Charlie Lougheed, co-founders, Explorys and The Unify Project
• Next Generation Award – Women in Tech: Jodi Tims, PhD., chair, Computer Science Department at Baldwin Wallace University.
• Community Contribution Award: Ray Voelker, retired CIO of Progressive Insurance and founding chair of DigitalC
• Entrepreneurship Award: Jim Cossler, former CEO and now Entrepreneur in Residence, Youngstown Business Incubator.

BusinessTECH is just one of the many events that the Greater Cleveland Partnership is involved in each year to help provide Northeast Ohio Businesses with the resources they need to succeed. Click here to view a listing of more upcoming events that could benefit you and your company.

GCP Encourages State Support for Federal and Defense Assets

GCP recently participated in the Ohio Defense Forum hosted by Congressman Mike Turner and the Dayton Development Coalition in Columbus, Ohio. The forum, now in its third year, is an opportunity to bring together defense leaders and experts across the state to discuss the current needs, opportunities and trends in national security that impact Ohio’s defense and federal installations.

GCP’s Vice President of Government Advocacy, Alesha Washington, participated in two panel discussions along with other chamber of commerce executives, installation leaders, and elected officials to provide updates on key federal and defense assets in each region. Washington touted the growing importance of NASA Glenn Research Center and highlighted recent efforts to protect DFAS Cleveland from potential job losses in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act. When asked about what Ohio should be doing to support its federal and defense installations, all panelists responded similarly on the need for a dedicated executive and/or office in the next Governor’s Administration that would be responsible for this.

“Ohio needs a comprehensive, balanced approach to addressing the needs and seizing the opportunities for our federal and defense assets statewide,” said Washington. “We have supported a variety of taskforces and studies that have come to this same conclusion. It’s now time to move forward to make this a reality.”

Congress Passes the Water Resources Development Act

Congress recently passed the Water Resources Development Act, which funds major water infrastructure projects across the country. The legislation is now headed to the President for his signature. 

Among the key provisions in WRDA, the legislation speeds up the process for the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a dredged material management plan to ensure that any sediment dredged from the Cuyahoga River is disposed of safely. GCP has supported the Port of Cleveland’ advocacy efforts against open lake dumping of dredged materials in order to accommodate more sustainable measures to protect the quality of the lake. The WRDA bill also provides increased funding to support modernizing the Soo Locks – a critical shipping channel in the Great Lakes region to the rest of the world. GCP, through its leadership of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, has long advocated for federal support of the Soo Locks, including building a new lock to ensure there are no impediments to the shipping channel.  


“Protecting the quality of Lake Erie and the rest of the Great Lakes continues to be a top priority for the Greater Cleveland Partnership,” says Marty McGann, GCP’s Senior Vice President of Advocacy. “We are grateful for the Ohio delegation’s continued leadership on this issue and look forward to working with them on future efforts to strengthen our Great Lakes.”

Nominate Your Emerging Leaders for GCP LEAD

We are still accepting nominations of emerging leaders from Greater Cleveland Partnership member companies for the 2019 GCP LEAD Cohort 4. You may nominate one or two individuals.

GCP LEAD (Link. Engage. Advocate. Develop.) was created because the GCP recognizes the importance of cultivating our region’s future business and community leaders through becoming engaged in the GCP's work.  

Nominees must have at least five years of professional experience and an interest in getting involved in the GCP's priority areas of education and workforce, advocacy, diversity and inclusion, business development, physical development, and small and middle market initiatives. 

To submit your nomination(s), please contact Angela Finding at afinding@gcpartnership.com

NAFTA, Tariffs and What It Means for Your Business

In a fast moving and complex trade policy environment, it is difficult for companies to know how to react and plan for the future. The Great Lakes Metro ChambersCoalition is hosting a webinar with Stacy Ettinger, a partner with K&L Gates, to hear the latest on trade issues and the options companies have to address challenges with tariffs, including the process for requesting exemptions for specific materials and products. 

Stacy has over 20 years of experience working in Congress and the executive branch on a variety of issues, including international trade, intellectual property, and regulatory issues, as well as food and product standards, motor vehicle safety, and consumer financial services.
 
The webinar will take place October 31, 2018 from 11:00am-12:00pm. You can add this information to your calendar. When it's time, join the meeting.
 
The Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition is a national collective of chambers of commerce across the Great Lakes region that jointly advocate on core policy issues, including water quality, immigration reform, trade, and transportation and infrastructure. Since 2008, the coalition has become a leading and effective voice on federal policy impacting the Great Lakes region. GCP is a founding member of this group. 

Volunteer to Help CMSD Students at The Resume Checkpoint Workshop

GCP members are invited to continue the resume education process with Cleveland Metropolitan School District Academies of Cleveland 11th graders at a follow-up Resume Checkpoint event on November 13th from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. 

The Resume Checkpoint is a continuation of a workshop held in August and is part of a series to help 11 grade students develop and improve their resumes so the resumes are “employer-ready” as they begin seeking jobs and internships.  The goal is for volunteers to review what the students have been working on from August to November and provide feedback to the student to help them further improve their resumes.

The Resume Checkpoint will be held at East Professional Development Center. For questions or to sign up, contact Angela Finding at afinding@gcpartnership.com or 216-592-2385.

Opportunity Zones Update

The United States Department of Treasury released guidance and a related revenue ruling for the Opportunity Zones program late last week. Public comment on the proposed guidance will be accepted for 60 days from the date it is placed in the Federal Registrar. Opportunity Zones were included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The goal of the program is to allow investors to defer capital gains from the sale or exchange of property by investing the proceeds in an Opportunity Fund. The fund would invest these assets in a qualifying census tract that has, among other criteria, a poverty rate of at least twenty percent. The proposed guidance clarifies, among many things, the amount of capital gains that qualify for a deferral as well as issues surrounding tangible business property located in an Opportunity Zone. 

This spring, GCP played a leading role with civic and government leaders to development and submit a recommended list of Opportunity Zones for Greater Cleveland. GCP intends to work with key partners, including Cleveland Development Advisors, to submit comment on the proposed guidance.