Alesha Washington Named ACCE 40 Under 40

The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) is an organization dedicated to recognizing and supporting the most talented professionals in the chamber industry. Its latest 40 Under 40 List names Alesha Washington, Vice President of Advocacy at GCP, as one of the industry’s best emerging leaders.

The list, which includes CEOs and staff professionals from a wide variety of roles and chamber sizes, recognizes up-and-coming leaders that are shaping the chamber industry with their creativity, dedication, and commitment to innovative problem-solving.

Referring to her role as Director of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, GCP CEO Joe Roman said, “In her short time, Alesha has reinvigorated the coalition, stabilized the finances and elevated the influence of the organization in Congress.” You can view ACCE’s full 40 Under 40 List here.


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  • Next up: Apply for the 2020 Safety Innovation Awards

    Apply for the 2020 Safety Innovation Awards

    Has your company addressed a workplace safety or health risk in an innovative way? You could win a cash award for submitting your unique process or practice to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) 2020 Safety Innovation Awards.

    BWC established the Safety Innovation Awards to encourage and recognize innovative and creative solutions that reduce the risk of workplace injuries and illnesses. Showcasing the most successful innovations inspires other Ohio employers to develop innovative solutions of their own.

    BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene subject matter experts will select finalists at the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo on March 12, 2020. Cash awards range from $1,500 - $10,000.

    Apply here by September 30, 2019 and click here to learn more.


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  • Next up: Bill to Prohibit Bag Bans Clears House Committee

    Bill to Prohibit Bag Bans Clears House Committee


    On Wednesday, the Ohio House State & Local Government Committee approved Ohio House Bill 242 (HB 242), a bill to prohibit taxes, fees, or bans on auxiliary containers like plastic grocery bags.

    When Cuyahoga County introduced and later passed an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags countywide, GCP supported an amendment to delay the implementation of the ban pending further examination.  GCP recognizes plastic bags are harmful to the environment but bans like these have the potential to drive up use of paper bags, which are economically and environmentally costlier to produce. In the case of the Cuyahoga County ban, GCP was also concerned about the potential impact on retailers that make up our membership.  For example, Heinen’s, a Cleveland-based, family-owned grocery store, could see costs for bags increase by $2 million per year because of the switch to paper.

    The GCP submitted written testimony supporting HB 242 earlier in June, urging lawmakers to further study how to reduce the use of plastic bags while preserving the economic vitality of Ohio’s small businesses and retailers.  You can read more about GCP’s advocacy work regarding this issue here.


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  • Next up: GCP Board Member, Cheryl Perez, and Joe Roman Call on Ohio to Fix Unemployment System

    GCP Board Member, Cheryl Perez, and Joe Roman Call on Ohio to Fix Unemployment System

    GCP Board Member and Founder and President of BIG-HR Cheryl Perez co-authored an opinion piece with GCP CEO and President Joe Roman about the need for reform of Ohio’s unemployment system. The pair remind readers that while Ohio’s economy has been relatively strong as of late, it is important to remember the lessons of the last economic recession.

    That recession—in which the state’s unemployment rate rose to 11%--illustrated just how ill-prepared Ohio was to cover the costs of the unemployment system. When the federal government stepped in to provide a loan to Ohio to continue covering unemployment benefits, employers were left with paying for the bulk of the balance from that debt.

    Perez and Roman call out the need for long-term solutions that lead the unemployment fund toward solvency, writing, “Now is a good time to learn from our past and fix Ohio’s unemployment system.”

    You can read the full opinion article here. To learn more about GCP’s commitment to reforming our state’s unemployment system, view our Public Policy Agenda.


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  • Next up: Congressman Dave Joyce Joins GCP Members for a Morning Conversation

    Congressman Dave Joyce Joins GCP Members for a Morning Conversation

    Last Friday, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) joined GCP members for a Morning Conversation—a series generously supported by PNC Bank. As a lifelong Ohioan, Congressman Joyce represents the 14th District of Ohio, which includes eastern Cuyahoga County and all of Ashtabula, Lake, and Geauga Counties. Prior to being elected to Congress, he served as the Geauga County Prosecutor and assisted in numerous counties throughout Ohio as a special prosecutor.

    Now, as a Congressman in his fourth term in office, he serves on the House Committee on Appropriations and as Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment. Congressman Joyce has long been an advocate for bipartisan efforts to preserve and protect and Great Lakes, and most recently introduced the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019 in the House. In his conversation with GCP members, the Congressman covered everything from the Great Lakes to trade to workforce development.

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  • Next up: Economic Development Finance Professional Certification Program Comes to Cleveland

    Economic Development Finance Professional Certification Program Comes to Cleveland

    The National Development Council’s (NDC) Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) Certification Program™ is underway in Cleveland through a generous sponsorship from Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA). 


    GCP and CDA provided 25 scholarships to local economic development professionals and negotiated enrollment in the EDFP program at a reduced rate for 10 additional students.

    Organizations across Northeast Ohio are represented in the first Cleveland cohort, including the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development, Famicos Foundation, Asian Services In Action Inc., MidTown Cleveland, Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority, Cuyahoga County Department of Development, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Metro West Community Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. and the cities of Beachwood, Brook Park, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Falls and Rocky River.

    The class of 46 wrapped up their first week of instruction, ED101 – Economic Development Finance, on Friday, September 20.

    “As community stakeholders work collectively to forge a path forward in Cleveland’s neighborhoods that supports prosperity and opportunity for all, we determined it was vital to offer our Community Development Corporations and other practitioners this valuable educational programming provided by The National Development Council,” said Cleveland Development Advisors president and GCP executive vice president Yvette M. Ittu.

    Designed to build development finance capacity, EDFP Certification is geared toward professionals who want to grow their knowledge and learn the skills needed to make successful deals and translate them into results for their communities. The robust coursework includes four, five-day sessions covering topics ranging from business credit analysis and real estate finance to appraisals, deal structuring and syndication.

    Since NDC’s establishment as a national nonprofit in 1969, they have trained more than 75,000 practitioners in what the organization calls “the art and science of economic and housing development finance.” Course instructors include community and economic development officials, bankers, developers, entrepreneurs and government agency leaders, all of whom bring real-world experience and acumen to the classes they teach.

    In-person EDFP courses are also currently available in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Philadelphia and an online program is offered as well.

    Learn more about GCP’s work in economic development and find out more information about NDC’s Economic Development Finance Professional Certification Program™.


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