The past year was unlike any other. Isolation, uncertainty, and fear reigned. Yet, through perseverance, flexibility, and innovation, we found novel ways to continue delivering on our mission. We connected people when it was needed most, provided content that was relevant and useful, and continued to offer impactful session days for our programs.

The relentless pursuit of excellence

Like every organization on the planet, every inch of our organization was affected by the pandemic. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and we embraced that concept throughout the year.

We continued delivering every one of our programs (more than a dozen!) and our two signature events without missing a single session ā€“ alternating between fully virtual, hybrid, and fully in-person in response to the waxing and waning pandemic.

That alone was a heavy lift by our small but mighty, fully remote team of 14, but we didn’t stop there. We continued to push our boundaries, innovating, and creating new offerings and opportunities to advance our organization and our community.

We reimagined the second session of Look Up Summer into Reach Out To Cleveland ā€“ a community immersion and service learning experience for high school students. Through Reach Out, students learn how local organizations are tackling the issues they care about and gain hands-on volunteer experience while earning community service hours.

We crafted and hosted three customized sessions for Cleveland Heights High School on entrepreneurship and mental health.

We expanded the OnBoard Cleveland program through the addition of a pre-program meet and greet, as well as an extra program session on personal branding.

We advanced the Growing Cleveland’s population initiative by hosting virtual Coffee in CLE networking sessions with young professionals. We also worked with Haley Mills and her Cleveland Bucket List project to launch her Cleveland Connectors Podcast that shares the story of people and organizations doing interesting and impactful things in Cleveland and highlighting the amazing assets our region offers young professionals.

We continued our cutting-edge evaluation work through a ripple effect mapping project with Leadership Cleveland alumni from across the years to learn about the long-term benefits and impact of their LC experience. We took advantage of an exclusive invitation-only opportunity to become a part of Kansas Leadership Center’s Global database pilot which will allow us to compare CLC to other leadership programs globally and to find potential research and evaluation opportunities with other organizations.

In the following pages, you can read about the additional ways we adapted and pivoted in response to the pandemic, learn how we enhanced our work to foster diversity, equity and inclusion, and how we are challenging ourselves to be a leader among leaders.

As we focus on FY2022 and beyond, we remain grateful for the support that allows us to continue to push the envelope and to take our city, and its leaders, to the next level. Thank you!

– Our Mission –

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