Jun 17

Greater Cleveland Partnership CEO Joe Roman Announces 2021 Retirement following Storied Economic Development Career

For Immediate Release

CLEVELAND (June 17, 2020) – The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) announced at its Board of Directors meeting today that President and CEO Joe Roman will retire effective April 30, 2021 after a 36-year career in economic development.   

“Joe has had an immeasurable impact on this region and the businesses and people who call Northeast Ohio home,” said Scott Chaikin, Executive Chairman of Dix & Eaton, and Chair of the Greater Cleveland Partnership Board of Directors.  “From public education to neighborhood development, game-changing real estate projects and infrastructure improvements, helping to start and grow businesses and more, Joe has shown incredible passion, commitment and leadership as he has dedicated his life to improving the economic vitality of our region.”

Roman has served as President and CEO of GCP since its inception in March 2004.  The Greater Cleveland Partnership was created by the merger of Cleveland Tomorrow, the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, the Greater Cleveland Roundtable, and their primary affiliates— the Northeast Ohio Technology Coalition (NorTech), COSE, and the Commission on Economic Inclusion.  The organization is now the largest metropolitan chamber of commerce in the country with more than 12,000 members.  Roman advocated for the merger to create a diverse and unified business voice that represented companies of all sizes in the region.

“I have been fortunate to have had a career working with the most committed leaders in Cleveland over the past 36 years – in business, government and philanthropy,” said Roman.  “As a lifelong Clevelander, I always wanted to be in a position where I could help our city and I am grateful that I found a career that was perfect for me and allowed me to be challenged and excited by the work every day.” 

Roman previously served as executive director of Cleveland Tomorrow, an organization that was committed to pursuing projects and initiatives that were fundamental to the long-term economic vitality of the region. During his tenure, Cleveland Tomorrow was recognized by Harvard Business School as one of the most innovative and successful regional business organizations in the country.

Under his leadership, Cleveland Tomorrow and GCP galvanized top CEO leadership and served as catalysts for game changing public private partnerships in the region like never before.  Projects included: maintaining three professional sports franchises in three new competitive facilities that changed the downtown landscape; creating a lasting real estate fund that has invested nearly $500 million of corporate capital into downtown and resurging neighborhoods such as Gordon Square as well as accelerating the development of Opportunity Corridor; acting as  a major advocate for the new Cleveland Plan to rebuild the Cleveland school system; prioritizing the development of North Coast Harbor and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Great Lakes Science Center; and early on – launching one of the first corporate efforts to measure best practices in diversity and inclusion in the business community. 

During Roman’s career he worked with over 400 Fortune 1000 CEO’s and also served during the tenures of the three longest serving Mayors in Cleveland’s history.   He was appointed three times by three different Governors to serve on the State Board of Education.   And, he was one of three principal staff professionals that helped recruit and oversee the successful 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Roman also helped to found critical economic development organizations in the region such as JumpStart, BioEnterprise, North Coast Harbor, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Inc. and Ohio Excels.

“GCP stands to play an even larger role moving forward in the Greater Cleveland region, which is the largest in the state,” Roman commented.  “I am proud to be leaving GCP in a very solvent finncial position with new active leadership emerging every single day and I look forward to a new role somewhere in town to keep making our home even stronger and more vibrant.”     

The GCP Board of Directors has formed a Search Committee, co-chaired by former Chair Beth Mooney and current Chair Scott Chaikin, that will conduct a nationwide search for a successor with the help of an executive search firm to be selected shortly.  Roman will work closely with the Committee and his successor to ensure a smooth transition and has agreed to remain engaged as a consultant following his departure in April 2021. 

“I thank Joe for not only his amazing contributions to the business community in Northeast Ohio, but also for building an organization with a strong track record of accomplishments, a talented and experienced staff, strong financials, and an impressive Board and membership base,” said Chaikin.  “That will ensure that we can attract a high-quality leader and continue to have great impact going forward.”


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