#CLESuccess: Highlights From Our Annual Meeting

Dancers from Cuyahoga Community College's Creative Arts Dance Academy perform "Migration."

Thank you to everyone who joined us on May 7 for the Cleveland Foundation 2019 Annual Meeting presented by KeyBank! It was our largest annual meeting yet, with more than 1,600 people in attendance. 

Pictured above are talented dancers from the Cuyahoga Community College Creative Arts Dance Academy’s Advanced Ensemble, who closed the meeting with a stunning original performance titled “Migration.” Learn more about our support for mastery arts education, including the Creative Arts Academy, here

But before we get to the close, we’d like to share some highlights from this year’s annual meeting: 

A $2 Million Grant to Karamu House 

Cast members from the Karamu House production of Elton John and Tim Rice's "Aida" perform "The Gods Love Nubia" at the annual meeting.

Cast members from the Karamu House production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida” perform “The Gods Love Nubia” at the annual meeting.

Our annual meeting program kicked off with a very special announcement: a $2 million grant to Karamu House, the oldest African-American producing theater in the country. The announcement was followed by a live performance of “The Gods Love Nubia” from Karamu’s upcoming production of Elton John & Tim Rice’s “Aida.”

Our grant will support the third phase of Karamu’s current renovation campaign, as well as theater, arts education and community programming. Learn more here and check out this story from The Plain Dealer about the grant

Noteworthy Leadership 

We were thrilled to have our new board chair Sally Gries welcome attendees and recognize Tim Burke, KeyBank President of Northeast Ohio, as part of our longstanding partnership with KeyBank, which returned for the sixth consecutive year as presenting sponsor of our annual meeting.

Sally also announced the foundation will be honoring Margot Copeland, retiring Chair and CEO of the KeyBank Foundation, with our 2019 Cleveland Foundation Women of Note Legacy award for her inspiring career and service to Greater Cleveland. We hope you can join the Cleveland Foundation and Crain’s Cleveland Business this July where we will honor Margot and another tremendous class of Women of Note awardees.

A $150 Million Commitment for Social Impact Investing 

Rosanne Potter and Lillian Kuri stand at podium during the annual meeting.

Rosanne Potter and Lillian Kuri announce the Cleveland Foundation’s $150 million commitment to social impact investing.

Rosanne Potter, our senior vice president & chief financial officer, and Lillian Kuri, vice president, strategic grantmaking, arts & urban design initiatives, announced our commitment of $150 million in capital for social impact investing by the end of 2022!

For more than 40 years, the Cleveland Foundation has been at the forefront of social impact investing, and this expanded commitment makes us one of the largest social impact investors in the country among community foundations. We look forward to exploring even more opportunities to align social good with financial return to bring about change! Learn more in this Crain’s Cleveland Business story about the announcement and visit www.ClevelandFoundation.org/Impact

A Recognition of our Organizational Fund Partners & A Historic Year for Fundraising 

Kaye Ridolfi, our senior vice president of advancement, thanked our generous donors who gave more than $132 million to the Cleveland Foundation last year, making it the second-largest fundraising year in our history! 

Kaye also shared our appreciation for the more than 225 Organizational Fund partners that have worked with us to meet their missions through sound financial investments. We are grateful for their essential work in building an environment for success across Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties. Learn more about our Organizational Fund partners here

A Celebration of Community Impact

Paul Clark receives the Homer C. Wadsworth Award

Paul Clark receives the 2019 Homer C. Wadsworth Award.

The Homer C. Wadsworth Award is presented to a local leader who has demonstrated creativity, innovation, risk-taking and good humor in a civic, volunteer, nonprofit or public sector role. This year, we were thrilled to recognize Paul Clark, retired regional president of PNC Bank, with the 2019 Homer C. Wadsworth Award! India Pierce Lee, our senior vice president, program, presented the award to Paul onstage at the annual meeting. Read more about Paul’s remarkable legacy of community leadership here

Reflections on the State of our Community 

Ronn Richard delivers the State of the Community address.

Ronn Richard delivers the State of the Community address.

Our President & CEO Ronn Richard delivered his annual State of the Community address, this year focusing on how to create an environment for success. As we mark the 50th anniversary of the last Cuyahoga River fire and the national environmental movement it sparked, Ronn reflected on our community’s history of progress on environmental issues. Learn more about the Cleveland Foundation’s commitment to a healthy environment here

The 2019 Robert D. Gries Keynote Lecture Delivered by Bill Nye “The Science Guy” with Shanelle Smith  

Bill Nye "The Science Guy" with Shanelle Smith delivers the Robert D. Gries Keynote Lecture.

Bill Nye “The Science Guy” with Shanelle Smith delivers the Robert D. Gries Keynote Lecture.

Each year, the Robert D. Gries Keynote Lecture brings thought leaders from around the world to speak at our annual meeting. This year’s lecture featured engineer, comedian, author, inventor and 18-time Emmy Award winning television personality Bill Nye “The Science Guy” in conversation with Shanelle Smith, Ohio State Director of The Trust for Public Land. 

Bill and Shanelle spoke about topics ranging from climate change, to space exploration and agricultural innovation, and they discussed how we can all come together to work toward a brighter future. Thanks to Bob and Sally Gries for their continued generosity in support of this annual keynote lecture!

Visions for Community Success

At the meeting we put the spotlight on our program directors and program officers who are focused year-round on working with nonprofit partners to create an environment for success in our community. Watch the video here, and meet our entire grantmaking team here

We also invite local nonprofits to join us at one of six Cleveland Foundation Engage Sessions, taking place in May, June and July at various locations in the community. Engage Session attendees will have a chance to connect directly with members of our program and grantmaking team about ongoing and emerging needs in Greater Cleveland, and share feedback on how the foundation can best support the vital work of nonprofit organizations across our region. Engage Session details and registration are available here

A Major Milestone for our Summer Internship Program

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program! Since 1999, the program has provided hundreds of talented and diverse undergraduate students and recent college grads an opportunity to work within Cleveland-area nonprofit and public sector organizations. This 11-week paid internship offers students meaningful, career-related work experience while expanding the capacity of local nonprofits to complete important, short-term projects. Hear former interns talk about their experiences in this video. Stay tuned as we welcome the 2019 cohort of summer interns in the coming weeks! 

Composite of images from Common Ground with logo

An Opportunity to Continue the Conversation 

Continue the conversation around the past, present and future of the environments we share by joining us on June 30 for our third annual Common Ground day of community conversation! Registration is now open for those who wish to host a Common Ground conversation in their home, office or community location as well as those looking to attend a conversation. Get the details here. And you don’t have to wait until June 30! Join us at a Common Ground lead-up event, including several FredWalksCLE events this month that highlight the natural spaces that nourish and sustain our region:

Explore all Common Ground events here

Now, We Want to Hear from You!

Did you attend our annual meeting this week? If so, we want to hear from you! Your feedback will help us as we plan future programming. Please take a minute to complete this short survey

Join us at Future Events

Be the first to know when tickets for our annual meeting and other community events become available. Sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletter here