Greater Cleveland Partnership Notes Economic Progress, Outlines Priorities for 2011 at Annual Meeting

Mar 31, 2011, 12:15 ET from Greater Cleveland Partnership

Building Momentum, Accelerating Change

GCP notes economic progress, outlines 2011 priorities at Annual Meeting

CLEVELAND, March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- About 400 people attended the Greater Cleveland Partnership's (GCP) Annual Meeting, held today at Cleveland State University's Student Center, where the business community reported on positive signs for the Greater Cleveland economy and outlined its priorities for 2011.

GCP Board Chair William F. Christopher said that the regional economic development system, which the GCP helped to create as part of the organization's first strategy plan, has grown in both stature and outcomes. He noted that these and other investments in the region are beginning to yield results.

"The nation is, once again, looking at Cleveland as a center of excellence, a leader in innovation and in entrepreneurial start-ups and support," said Christopher. "Other cities want to know how we have built a powerful infrastructure that is supporting the economic transformation taking place across the Cleveland Plus region."

But he also emphasized that there are no quick fixes to address the region's ongoing economic challenges. "Economic transition takes time," he said. "In this age of instant communication, we have to remember that this is a long road, and the work we have undertaken doesn't yield quick results." He said that continued progress will require resources, venture capital and expertise to support the region's base of existing companies and to attract, create and sustain new and high-growth businesses.

GCP President and CEO Joe Roman characterized the role of the organization as that of a "closer." He said that one of the organization's greatest strengths "is our ability to build collaboration, partnerships and convene the right people to mobilize business community support." This emphasis will guide the GCPs work  in 2011 and beyond through its engagement in several priorities that include:

  • Sustaining and building new partnerships with metropolitan areas in neighboring states
  • Enhancing delivery of education in our core community
  • Where possible, helping local governments re-think business strategies and practices to improve service delivery and increase efficiencies
  • Maintaining our air service levels at Hopkins and keeping it as a major hub
  • Supporting efforts to connect new and existing downtown assets and amenities
  • Working with new county government to create a more streamlined and effective economic development system.

Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution: "Next American Economy"

Bruce Katz, vice president, Brookings Institution, and founding director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, outlined a vision of the "Next American Economy," one that is driven by exports, powered by low carbon, fueled by innovation and rich with opportunity. "This economy will be led by major metropolitan areas, which concentrate the nation's economic assets," said Katz. He discussed Cleveland's role and potential in this economy and the importance of connecting the macro vision to the metro reality of the national economy.  

Richard A. Shatten Professional Leadership Award

The GCP also presented the Richard A. Shatten Professional Leadership Award to Ann M. Zoller, executive director of ParkWorks. The award is presented annually in memory of Shatten to recognize individuals who embody his lifelong commitment to improving Cleveland's civic infrastructure. Shatten served as executive director of Cleveland Tomorrow, an organization of Cleveland's most powerful corporate leaders, from 1984 to 1993. He later taught at Case Western Reserve University and was executive director of the Center for Regional Economic Issues.

Election of new Board members

In addition, the GCP elected these executives as new members of its Board of Directors: Anne E. Bomar, senior vice president and general manager, Dominion East Ohio; Erik C.M. Bouts, chief executive officer, Akzo Nobel Paints LLC; Isaac C. Brooks, Jr., managing director, The PARTNERSHIP; Lonnie Coleman, chairman, owner and president, Coleman Spohn Corporation; Allen L. Crowley, Jr., partner, COR Services; James M. Dickey, partner, Accenture; John J. Ferchill, chairman and CEO, The Ferchill Group; and Elyse Logan, vice president, Logan Clutch Corporation. Also, Mark Moran, president and CEO of The MetroHealth System, was appointed to the board as a nonvoting director.

As an association of business members, the Greater Cleveland Partnership mobilizes private-sector leadership, expertise and resources to create jobs and leverage investment to improve the economic vitality of the region.

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Joe Roman

SOURCE Greater Cleveland Partnership