Rev. Dr. Stephen Rowan Joins Cleveland Foundation Board of Directors

Replaces Rev. Dr. Otis Moss; Frank Sullivan appointed vice chair

Release Date: 03.26.2009

The board of directors of the Cleveland Foundation today announced that Rev. Dr. Stephen Rowan, senior pastor at Cleveland’s Bethany Baptist Church, will join the board effective April 1, 2009. He replaces Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr., who is retiring from the board after 10 years of service. The board also announced that Frank Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of RPM International, has been appointed as vice chair.

Rowan has been senior pastor of Bethany Baptist Church since 1999. Previously, he served in a variety of roles at the Cleveland Foundation, including assistant director of development, program officer for faith-based and “digital divide” programs, and director of the foundation’s economic development grantmaking. Prior to that, he had been a partner at the law firm of Ulmer & Berne, a deputy administrator for Cuyahoga County, and assistant director of the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging. Rowan earned his doctor of ministry degree from Ashland Theological Seminary and his juris doctorate from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

“Rev. Rowan brings a remarkable wealth of experience to our board, including time spent working at the foundation itself,” said Ronald B. Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. “His knowledge of the community and innate sense of social justice are invaluable qualities and will undoubtedly serve the foundation well.”

Moss, pastor emeritus at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, joined the foundation’s board in 1998 and spent the last three years as its vice chair. The Georgia native is widely considered to be one of the most influential religious and civic leaders in the United States, and has been at Olivet since 1975. He worked closely with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s and is currently a board member and trustee for the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change.

“To have had someone of Otis Moss’ caliber on our board of directors has been an honor and a privilege,” Richard said. “His presence and contributions have greatly enriched the Cleveland Foundation and the Northeast Ohio community, and we thank him for his years of dedicated service.”

Sullivan has been a member of the Cleveland Foundation board of directors since 2004. He held various commercial lending and corporate finance positions at Harris Bank and First Union National Bank before joining RPM as a regional sales manager. He serves on the board of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and the Timken Co.

“Frank Sullivan is a visionary,” said Richard. “His passion for serving the community, particularly in the area of education, is an inspiration to us all. I look forward to working with him in his new role as vice chair of the board.”


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s third-largest today, with assets of $1.6 billion and 2008 grants nearing $85 million. The foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. Currently, the foundation proactively directs two-thirds of its flexible grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs: economic transformation (including advanced energy and globalization), public school improvement, early childhood and youth development, neighborhoods and housing, and arts advancement.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, please visit