x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
April 15, 2011
8:00am - 2:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Cleveland, OH
United States

TEDxCLE 2011 will be held on Friday, April 15th, 2011, we welcome you to join us and experience great positive thinking from some of Cleveland's best & brightest. Visit for more details.

The Capitol Theatre
1390 West 65th Street
Cleveland, OH, 44102
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Ari Maron

Ari Maron is a partner in MRN Ltd. a family owned real estate development, construction and management company based in Cleveland, Ohio. MRN specializes in the development, merchandising, leasing, financing, construction and operation of complex and creative urban developments. Mr. Maron serves as a board member of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Parkworks and the Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation. MRN's City of Cleveland Projects include: East 4th Street, Cleveland, Ohio - MRN's renovation of 15 historic buildings along the 425 ft. long by40 ft. wide East 4th Street in downtown Cleveland has been called "the jewel of Cleveland's entertainment district" by the New York Times.Uptown, Cleveland, Ohio - Having received all necessary design approvals and financing commitments, MRN will break ground in the summer of 2010 on the first phase of its $250MM Uptown project in Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood. At full build out, Uptown will contain more than 200 new housing units and 100,000 new sq. ft. of retail/restaurants. Marketplace, Cleveland, Ohio - This 210,000 sq. ft Marketplace development will establish Cleveland's Market District as a destination for locally grown food purveyors, independent retail and loft office space. Rosetta Center and Holiday Inn Express, Cleveland, Ohio - In addition to developing and operating the 141 room Holiday Inn Express hotel, MRN also recently secured an office lease with Rosetta, the nation's 7 th largest interactive marketing agency. The building serves as a cornerstone to Cleveland's burgeoning "Mad Men" district of young, hip marketing and technology companies. Doubletree Hotel at Tudor Arms, Cleveland, Ohio - This 220,000 sq. ft. adaptive reuse of the historic Tudor Arms hotel building in Cleveland's University circle will open in the first quarter of 2011. With 154 rooms, two grand ballrooms and a historic swimming pool, the Doubletree Hotel will recapture the grandeur of this 1931 building.

Chris Clark

Chris graduated from Miami University's Farmer School of Business in 2008 where he majored in management and entrepreneurship. Much to his professors' surprise 6 months later he started Sunflower Solutions where he developed the world's first manual solar tracking technologies which provide up to 40% more power versus traditional roof-mounted solar and are used to power critical functions such as clean water projects, education, health care and economic development in developing regions of the world. Working with Shaker Launch House Chris was able to grow Sunflower Solutions to provide solar solutions in countries such as Kenya, Togo, Nigeria, Rwanda, India and in the United States as well. Seizing on the global opportunity for the rise in solar technology Chris has also started 2 joint ventures around the world for deploying his new solar technology.

David Franklin

Dr. David Franklin was named the ninth Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art in August, 2010. An internationally renowned expert in the Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods, he was awarded the Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity by the Republic of Italy in 2009. David is a native of Canada and previously served as the Deputy Director and Chief Curator for the National Gallery of Art in Ottawa. After receiving his B.A. from Queen's University, David went to England where he received his M.A. in European Renaissance Art and his Ph.D. from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. From 1991 to 1994, he was the Slade and Shuffrey Fellow in Italian Renaissance Art at Lincoln College, a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at All Souls College from 1994 to 1999. He was also Professor of Italian Renaissance at Oxford from 1994 to 1998, and a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in Los Angeles, California in 1996 as well as at the Hertziana Library, Rome, in 2010. In 1998, he joined the National Gallery as Curator of Prints and Drawings, a position which he held until he became the Deputy Director and Chief Curator in 2001.

John Zitzner

John Zitzner is a successful entrepreneur whose recent work has focused on urban education and the impact that entrepreneurial thinking can have in an educational setting. John is the Founder of Entrepreneurship Preparatory School (E Prep)- a grade 6-8 Ohio community school (aka "charter school") located in the City of Cleveland and authorized by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. E Prep opened in August 2006 and has successfully boosted the academic performance of the majority of its students despite the fact that 98% are minorities and 84% are low-income. E Prep is currently rated "Effective" (second highest rating) by the Ohio Department of Education, and was named a School of Promise by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in each of the last three school years. John is also the Founder of Village Preparatory School- a grade K-5 elementary school that opened in August 2009. Both schools are modeled after other high-performing urban charter schools in cities around the country, and are characterized by high expectations and a "no excuses" attitude toward proving that all children can learn and advance to college. More recently, John began a formal collaboration with two other high-performing Cleveland charter schools- Citizens Academy and The Intergenerational School. Together, the schools formed a management organization known as Breakthrough Charter Schools that will allow each school to operate more efficiently and will become a platform upon which each can replicate, to meet a goal of having 20 schools that serve 7000 students, by the year 2020. As President of Friends of E Prep Schools, John oversees the fundraising, marketing and advocacy activities for E Prep and Village Prep. In July 2011 this organization will expand its reach, providing these same services to all of the schools in the Breakthrough Charter Schools network. Prior to creating these schools, John founded E CITY (Entrepreneurship: Connecting, Inspiring, and Teaching Youth)- a nonprofit organization that provided entrepreneurship education to Cleveland high school students utilizing the curriculum of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. John was also the founder and former President and CEO of Bradley Company, a Cleveland-based software firm that began in 1983 and was acquired by Xerox Corporation in 1998. In addition, John started three other firms from 1983-1998 that eventually became part of Bradley Company. Awards given to John include: Finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition in 1991. First place in the "upstart company" category of the annual Weatherhead 100 competition in the early 1990's. Inclusion in the Inc. 500, which recognizes the fastest growing privately held companies in America. John received the Nortech Innovation Award in 2005 for his vision for E Prep. John was also recently recognized by the Call & Post and the CVS Good Samaritan committee, as one of the most influential people in northeast Ohio. John is a graduate of Wittenberg University, an Elder at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, and has studied nonprofit organizational management at the Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School. He has spoken on the topic of entrepreneurship in many settings, including Milan, Italy, as part of a roundtable panel on the subject of 'Youth Entrepreneurship and Local Development in Eastern Europe. He is also a member of the Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy Group, organized by the Aspen Institute. John and his wife, Peg, have two sons, both of whom are successful entrepreneurs.

Jonathon Sawyer

"Jonathon Sawyer has no indoor voice. He speaks as loudly as he lives, and he lives like every day is his last. He's obsessed with ingredients; ingredients he's cooking now, ingredients he can't wait to cook with tomorrow at his Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland."- Restaurant Hospitality Magazine Chef Jonathon Sawyer, a Cleveland native, first learned to cook at the age of 13. After attending the University of Dayton and graduating from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, Sawyer went on to work at The Biltmore Hotel in Miami. One year later, he was working alongside renowned Chef Charlie Palmer in New York at Kitchen 22. Following his work with Charlie Palmer, Sawyer moved back to his hometown of Cleveland to open Michael Symon's Lolita as Chef de Cuisine. This relationship opened many doors for Sawyer, and eventually led him back to New York City to open Parea, another venture of Michael Symon's. As Executive Chef at Parea, Sawyer built upon his culinary repertoire. After receiving a two star review from The New York Times and a five star review from Time Out New York for his work at Parea, Sawyer decided to move back to his hometown to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant. In 2007 Chef Sawyer became the Chef/Partner of Bar Cento, a modern Roman enoteca in Ohio City. His work received many accolades including Restaurant Hospitality & GAYOT's Rising Star Chef and Northern Ohio Live's Best New Restaurant. Sawyer left Bar Cento in 2008 to pursue the opening of his restaurant, The Greenhouse Tavern. Chef Sawyer's commitment to the use of local ingredients, sustainable food, environmentally conscious building materials, and the eco movement has inspired him to open The Greenhouse Tavern located in the East Fourth Entertainment District of downtown Cleveland. Sawyer also collaborated with the Green Restaurant Association to become the first certified green restaurant in the state of Ohio. The Greenhouse Tavern offers French inspired dishes using local and sustainable ingredients all created with the belief that the proximity of farm and soil directly correlate to its quality. The Greenhouse Tavern was recently named one of the top ten best new restaurants in the US by Bon Appetit magazine as well as Best New Restaurant by Cleveland Magazine. Chef Sawyer was also honored this year as one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs. When outside the kitchen, Sawyer enjoys walking his two dogs, spending time with his wife, Amelia, & foraging with his son, Catcher and daughter Louisiana. Chef Sawyer is also heavily involved in the cooking community both locally and nationally. He has appeared on The Food Network's Dinner Impossible and Iron Chef America. His local culinary involvement includes organizations such as Slow Foods, the Countryside Conservancy, The Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association, and the Green Building Coalition. Chef Sawyer is an avid activist for the green movement as well as a major supporter of local agriculture and farmers.

Matt Hlavin

Since joining Thogus in 1997, Matthew Hlavin, has been the driving force in Thogus' growth over the last thirteen years. Hlavin was named President of the Avon Lake, Ohio manufacturer in early 2009 after mastering roles such as sales representative and vice president of sales and marketing. Leading the 60+ employee custom plastic injection molder, Hlavin promotes innovation within Thogus as well as outside the walls by developing critical partnerships with suppliers and customers. Hlavin strategically positioned Thogus as a boutique manufacturer in 1997 when the injection molder took a daring move to fire its automotive clients, creating opportunities to expand production in other markets. Hlavin and his team took this time to identify other prospects, technologies and partnerships with resin manufacturers. Throughout the next twelve years, Hlavin is credited with implementing metal replacement solutions, rapid prototyping services and adding biomedical engineering and design capabilities. Hlavin is no stranger to manufacturing since he is the grandson of one of the founders, Jack Thompson who formed Thogus with Walter Gus. Thogus, comprised of "Thompson + Gus" began in 1950 as Master Mold & Die and changed its name in 1958 when Thogus Products molded its first tube and hose fittings. In 2010, Hlavin took on the two-year role of president for the plastic industry's leading organization, MAPP (Manufacturers Association for Plastic Processors). Additionally, Hlavin established three new divisions for Thogus, 1) Radiation Protection Technologies, incorporated in 2009, creates radiation shielding components, thus replacing harmful lead products, 2) rapid prototype + manufacturing (rp+m), incorporated in 2010, a resource for timely prototypes and production-ready parts without the need for tooling and 3) Hlavin created a specific engineering division with both biomedical and industrial designers to further assist customers.

Paul Hill, Jr.

On January 31, 2011, Paul Hill, Jr. stepped aside after 30 years as the CEO of East End Neighborhood House. East End Neighborhood House is one of the oldest (104 years) neighborhood based non-profit organizations in Cleveland, Ohio and nationally known for its best practices in providing youth and family services. Other employment experiences have been with the Federal Government (U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare) and teaching within various public school systems and institutions of higher education. Other experiences and projects are related to being a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Leadership Fellow (1989-92, Group X). His learning project and field research was studying male socialization in indigenous cultures around the world. Upon completion of the fellowship, the Foundation supported his field of study and research through its African American Boys and Men Initiative (1993-1996). In 1992 he wrote a book, Coming of Age, African America Images, Chicago. The book was based on his field of study and applications. Since 1992 he has published several articles in peer-review journals on rites of passage as a process for human development. Presently, he is working on a revision of his first book, Coming of Age. He recently wrote Rites of Passage: Birth, Initiation, Marriage, Death a Chapter in African Presence in Black America. Paul 's interest as a student and practitioner in rite of passage for youth development and community building began in the late 70's. In 1993 he established the National Rites of Passage Institute. The purpose of the Institute is to create a critical mass and community of adults to develop children and youth and regenerate community through rites of passage. He has always operated from the premise that there is not a youth problem in America, there is an adult problem. Youth do not develop in a vacuum. Since 1993, the Institute has provided training to 1000 plus men and women from 20 cities, the District of Columbia and Toronto, Canada; they have been actively involved in guiding and supporting a minimum of 10,000 children and youth in neighborhood and community based programs. Mr. Hill is a board of trustees member of the Center for Education Innovation and member of the "visiting committee" of the Cleveland State University Department of Social Work. He is also a 2010 recipient of the Cleveland Urban League's Living Legend Award. As of February 1, 2011, he and his wife Marquita have celebrated 42 years of marriage and raised a family of 5 daughters, 2 sons in the city of East Cleveland, Ohio. His children are all graduates of Shaw High School, East Cleveland; and are University Graduates. Mr. Hill also has six grandchildren.

Ted Howard

Ted Howard is the founder and Executive Director of The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland. The Collaborative is recognized as a national leader in the fast growing field of community wealth building strategies and policy development. Its "Anchor Institutions" project focuses on the role universities, hospitals, and other place-based anchors can play in fostering inclusive economic and community development. Among the Collaborative's most recent reports are "Growing a Green Economy for All: From Green Jobs to Green Ownership" and "The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads." These and other reports are available as free downloads at: In July 2010, Mr. Howard was appointed as the Steven Minter Senior Fellow for Social Justice at The Cleveland Foundation. In this position, he has been responsible for developing a comprehensive job creation and wealth building strategy which has resulted in the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative. For his leadership of the Evergreen Initiative, Mr. Howard was designated a CFED Innovation Award recipient in 2010. Utne Reader has named him one of "25 visionaries who are changing your world." Mr. Howard has worked in the not-for-profit/civil society sector throughout his career, including more than 15 years in international development with NGOs and agencies of the UN system. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, most recently The Nation, Yes!, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Shelterforce. He served for nine years as Chairman of the Board of Search for Common Ground, the world's largest conflict resolution NGO. He also serves on the board of LIFT, a national organization dedicated to engaging young Americans in combating poverty in our nation's urban areas.

Valerie Mayen

Valerie Mayen's journey into fashion began when she was born into a Guatemalan household in Corpus Christi, Texas. Turning hand-me-downs into coveted fashions as a child, she would find herself trekking all over the continent to get her undergraduate degree in illustrate and graphic design as a young adult. Nearly a decade ago, she landed in Cleveland, Ohio, taking up study at both The Cleveland Institute of Art and Virginia Marti College of Art and Design. Having ventured into fashion just a few years ago, she immediately took the Midwest by storm with her bold and modern coats, fabulously versatile accessories and brilliantly sewn couture. While the fashion world is in love the clever, geometrics silhouettes and intricate detail of her line of clothing called Yellowcake, possibly even more impressive is her drive to change the world with her clothing. Since its inception, 5% of Yellowcake's profits from all sales have benefited a non-profit organization geared toward relieving hunger, homelessness, and poverty as well as missionaries worldwide are common recipients each month. After being turned down for season seven of Project Runway, Valerie remained committed to the selection process and was chosen as a contestant for season eight. "I did the show not just for the months of exposure it'll get for Yellowcake, but for my family, friends and interns that have believed in me and supported me each step of the way. I also did it for Cleveland! I want people to see the potential and talent this city has. The show gives me a platform to prove it to the whole country, every Thursday night for the next four months!" Valerie is obviously driven to change the face of fashion in Cleveland. Yellowcake isn't all that's on her plate; in the near future she hopes to launch a fashion design and sewing incubator called "Buzz & Growl" that will revolutionize the fashion industry in a town that is desperate for rejuvenation and innovation. Brining compassion, heart, and true creativity to her work makes this up and coming designer onto watch out for!

Hannah Belsito

Hannah Belsito is the Program Director of Cleveland Bridge Builders, a partner in the Cleveland Leadership Center. She also serves as the Cleveland Leadership Center's Director of Recruitment. Hannah is passionate about attracting and retaining young professionals in Northeast Ohio and believes supporting their leadership development and civic education is a critical component to enriching the value of living, working, and playing in this region. Her vision is for Cleveland Bridge Builders, through the Cleveland Leadership Center, to act as a catalyst for change as the culture of leadership in Cleveland becomes more inclusive, collaborative and intergenerational. Prior to joining the Cleveland Leadership Center, Hannah was part of two programs of The Cleveland Foundation; the Civic Innovation Lab and the Cleveland Executive Fellowship. In 2007, the Cleveland Executive Fellowship became a fifth partner in the Cleveland Leadership Center. A 2003 graduate of John Carroll University, Hannah attained a B.A. in Communications. While at John Carroll University, Hannah gained valuable experience through her internships with KeyCorp, Falls Communications, Clear Channel Communications, Playhouse Square Foundation, and the Cleveland International Air Show before working in Investor Relations and Corporate Communications for Associated Estates Realty Corporation (NYSE, NASDAQ: AEC), a real estate investment trust (REIT). Currently, Hannah is working on her Masters in Urban Planning, Design and Development at Cleveland State University's Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs with a specialization in Historic Preservation. Hannah serves on the Boards of Mental Health Services (MHS) and the UNcomnTV Foundation, as well as on the TeamNEO Emerging Leaders Advisory Council. She is co-founder of Cleveland ConneXion, a consortium of active, civic-minded, young professional organizations in Cleveland and is a member of The Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club, The Rotsky Foundation for Mentors, Cleveland Restoration Society, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Cuyahoga County Equity Committee, and LakewoodAlive. Hannah has been recognized as one of Crain's Cleveland Business' Twenty in their 20s; Inside Business' Top 25 Under 35 and One2Watch; and appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer's "Believe in Cleveland" advertising campaign.

Thomas Starinsky

Thomas Starinsky has been with the Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation and Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation since 2002. As Associate Director, he serves as the Main Street Manager for both organizations, where his responsibilities include managing the City's Storefront Renovation Program in the Central Business District, overseeing the Design Review Committees and coordinating special infrastructure and planning projects. His work concentrates on sustaining and enhancing the sense of place in downtown Cleveland - whether its developing dynamic business signage or coordinating the Warehouse District's community driven Public Realm Plan. Mr. Starinsky is also active in community development as a volunteer in Cleveland's Larchmere neighborhood - his home neighborhood. Here he has served as the Board President of the Shaker Square Area Development Corporation; Chair of the Larchmere Boulevard Master Plan Committee and Co-Chair of Buckeye-Larchmere Community Planning Initiative. Mr. Starinsky has a Bachelors of Fine Art from the Cleveland Institute of Art in Sculpture and a Masters of Urban Planning, Design and Development from Cleveland State University. Mr. Starinsky was recognized for his achievements by his inclusion in the 2006 class of Crain's Cleveland Business' Forty Under 40. The Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation (HWD) and Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation (HGN) are non-profit organizations that work through a joint staffing cooperative with the community toward the goal of creating and sustaining a dynamic mixed-use residential neighborhood. The efforts toward this goal run through several initiatives including development and historic preservation technical assistance; business technical assistance; mixed-use master planning; promotions and special events. Since the early 1980s, the Cleveland's Downtown has seen close to a $1 billion in private investment that was leveraged using historic preservation strategies.

Jeff Siegler

Jeff attended Ohio Wesleyan University where he received his bachelor's degree in economics management. While working in historic tax credit real estate development In Richmond, Virginia, Jeff completed his Masters of Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration in urban revitalization. Prior to becoming the director of revitalization at Heritage Ohio, he worked as the director of the Lancaster Special Improvement District. Jeff is a graduate of the National Main Street Center Certification Institute; a frequent presenter on local resource based economic development and has participated on resource team visits around the country and internationally.

Rhonda Sincavage

Rhonda Sincavage is Associate Director for Intergovernmental Affairs at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington DC. In this capacity, she acts as the National Trust's federal agency liaison by coordinating relationships and programmatic involvement with Federal Agencies on relevant public policy issues . Prior to employment at the National Trust, she was Vice President of Preservation Action, the national grassroots lobbying organization for historic preservation. In addition to her work at the National Trust, Ms. Sincavage is currently on the Board of Directors of the National Preservation Institute, serves as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery, and is an active member of the Education and DC Modern Committees of the DC Preservation League. She also previously served on the Board of Trustees of US/ICOMOS, taught the "Issues in Preservation" course for the Historic Preservation Certificate Program at Goucher College for five years, and was a dedicated volunteer for the Design Apprenticeship Program at the National Building Museum. In 2005 Ms. Sincavage was selected to participate in the Courants Cultural Exchange Program sponsored by the French-American Foundation and the French Ministry of Culture. Ms. Sincavage holds a Bachelor of Science in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University and a Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning and Certificate in Historic Preservation from University of Virginia.

Organizing team


Cleveland, OH, United States
  • Hallie Bram