Thought Leadership

We continue to challenge ourselves, organizationally and personally, to be leaders among leaders. Our knowledge and expertise have been sought locally, nationally, and internationally, and several CLC team members were recognized for their leadership and contributions to the community across the year.

The relentless pursuit of impact

In 2014, the CLC Board adopted a strategic plan with a 10-year goal that included being “nationally recognized as the premier community resource for leadership development offerings in the context of civic engagement.” This past year, the opportunities we were afforded to speak and share our expertise, the leadership roles we’ve taken, and the awards received are evidence of the great strides we have made toward that goal over the past seven years.

Sharing our expertise

Our President & CEO, Marianne Crosley, was part of a virtual panel at Poland’s School for Leaders Foundation national conference discussing how to build urban resilience through a strong community of leaders.

Marianne served as a mentor for Mentoring Monday, where local businesswomen network and receive advice from “women who have made it.”

She presented to a John Carroll University Boler School of Business leadership class to empower them to step up and get involved in their community, and shared the key ingredients for strong civic leaders.

Marianne wrote an article for Crain’s Cleveland Business in March 2021 reflecting on the first 12 months of the pandemic and honoring those who helped Cleveland and Clevelanders weather the tumultuous times.

She also was a presenter at Advance Ohio’s Top Workplaces 2021 Awards Ceremony.

Rachel Ciomcia presented on CLC’s evaluation work as part of the Association of Leadership Program’s (ALP) certification program.

She also hosted a session on CLC’s evaluation work and ripple effect mapping for ALP’s Pacesetters group.

Marianne and Rachel facilitated a workshop for the Cleveland Public Library as a follow-up to the library’s Writers and Readers session on civic engagement. The workshop highlighted ways for participants to engage in meaningful change.

Nick Aylward, Director of College & Young Professional Programs, presented on behalf of CLC at the Community Beyond CWRU event which helps CWRU students learn about connecting with and engaging in the city.


Marianne was honored as a 2021 Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio. The award celebrates and recognizes, “women in northeast Ohio who go above and beyond to make our communities better places to live, work, and raise a family.” She was also recognized by Cleveland Magazine as one of Cleveland’s Power 500: “Leaders, Doers, Visionaries & Idea Generators Who Help Shape the City.”

Jody Bonhard, Director of Cleveland Bridge Builders, was recognized as part of the Cleveland Jewish News‘ 2021 Class of 12 under 36. The award honors, “Jewish young adults influencing the future of Northeast Ohio through professional and personal achievements” and that those selected, “are uniquely involved in their communities and climbed the proverbial ladder in their chosen fields.”

Stepping forward

Rachel organized led a host of virtual gatherings of the Ohio Statewide leadership programs meetings to share challenges around the pandemic and brainstorm solutions and ideas.

Michael Bennett, Vice President of External Affairs, serves on the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Cleveland chapter’s Diversity Committee and is chair of the Association of Leadership Program’s Development Affinity Group.

We look forward to expanding and deepening our reputation as the go-to resource for building, strengthening, and engaging community leaders across the region and nation.

– Our Mission –

To build a continuum of civic leaders committed to our community’s excellence by serving as a catalyst for civic engagement.