Music Instruction Music Instruction

Award-winning music lessons, ensembles, and group classes for aspiring musicians of all ages and skill levels — children, teens, and adults.

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Early Childhood Early Childhood

Morning & Full-Day Preschool programs with a full, child-centered curriculum of creative specials like music, science, drama, social and emotional learning, and more!

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Music Therapy Music Therapy

Established in 1966, our pioneering Center for Music Therapy (CMT) uses guided music experiences to help individuals meet life's challenges.

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Bop Stop Bop Stop

BOP STOP at The Music Settlement is Cleveland's premier listening room: an intimate, acoustically pristine performance venue with sweeping views of Lake Erie.

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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

They lead with integrity, competence, insight, dedication, and effectiveness. Learn more about our Board of Directors, whose passion for our mission fuels their service to TMS.

Christopher P. Brandt, MD

Chair, MetroHealth Medical Center

Dr. Brandt is a native of Cleveland Heights and attended Case Western Reserve University for both his undergraduate and MD degrees. He completed a general surgery residency at the UH/VA/Metro program from 1984 to 1989. He joined the faculty at MetroHealth in 1989 and has served there continuously si... Expand

Dr. Brandt is a native of Cleveland Heights and attended Case Western Reserve University for both his undergraduate and MD degrees. He completed a general surgery residency at the UH/VA/Metro program from 1984 to 1989. He joined the faculty at MetroHealth in 1989 and has served there continuously since that time. His primary clinical interests are in minimally invasive, gastrointestinal and burn surgery and he is currently Associate Director of the MetroHealth Comprehensive Burn Care Center.

Dr. Brandt is active in a number of regional and national surgical organizations and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association for Surgical Education. He has received teaching awards from the CWRU Department of Surgery, CWRU School of Medicine, and the Association for Surgical Education. He also serves as a board member of the MetroHealth Foundation and the River Valley Ringers, a community handbell choir.

He and his wife Beth Sersig reside in Cleveland Heights. Their children, Anna, Eric and Andrew, have all previously participated in programs at The Music Settlement.

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Lynn Eckendorf

First Vice Chair, Halfaker and Associates, LLC

Ms. Eckendorf is a senior healthcare professional experienced in helping clients leverage technology through clinical, workflow, implementation support (current and post-), program and project management, strategy, and selection activities. She currently works with Halfaker and Associates, an SAIC ... Expand

Ms. Eckendorf is a senior healthcare professional experienced in helping clients leverage technology through clinical, workflow, implementation support (current and post-), program and project management, strategy, and selection activities.

She currently works with Halfaker and Associates, an SAIC company, an award-winning high growth business that creates innovative and customer-centric technology solutions in the areas of Digital Services, Data Analytics, Cyber Security and Cloud Solutions to improve the health, security and well-being of all Americans.

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Daryl Deckard

Second Vice Chair, Retired

Attending college on a basketball scholarship, Daryl graduated in 1988 from the University of Tulsa with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Communications. He completed the Leadership Deep Dive Program at Case Western University in 2012. Daryl currently serves on the Advisory Boards of The Firs... Expand

Attending college on a basketball scholarship, Daryl graduated in 1988 from the University of Tulsa with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Communications. He completed the Leadership Deep Dive Program at Case Western University in 2012.

Daryl currently serves on the Advisory Boards of The First Tee of Cleveland and the Honduran Children’s Rescue Fund, the Athletic Visiting Committee at Cleveland State University, the AERB Athletic Board at Notre Dame College and is a committee member of the Bill Conway Charity Golf Classic. He is a past member of the Advisory Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Additionally, he and his wife, Jenniffer, established and support the Geauga Youth Activities Fund and have opened their home and provided resources to children in need within the Geauga County Foster Care system. Together, they have received recognition by Geauga County as Foster Parents of the Year, and by the Cleveland Foundation as recipients of its Philanthropic Service Award. In 2014, the Deckard Family was privileged to join forces with Frank and Barbara Sullivan to establish the Sullivan-Deckard Opportunity Scholars Program. This unique and groundbreaking program provides high school seniors aging out of foster care with full scholarships, and with year-round housing and support, providing the opportunity for them to attend Cleveland State University.

Personally, Daryl enjoys golfing, exercising, boating and attending basketball games of any kind.

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Jason Padley

Treasurer, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC

Jason Padley is a risk assurance partner based in Cleveland, serving clients within greater-Cleveland and across the region. He has over 17 years of experience assisting companies across a range of industries to improve their internal controls, efficiently achieve compliance requirements, and identi... Expand

Jason Padley is a risk assurance partner based in Cleveland, serving clients within greater-Cleveland and across the region. He has over 17 years of experience assisting companies across a range of industries to improve their internal controls, efficiently achieve compliance requirements, and identify and implement system & process improvements.

His team and clients describe him as a person they can trust, and who is passionate about coaching and developing those around him. He has a unique global perspective, sharpened through 5 years of living in Asia and Europe, working in and travelling to over 25 countries. Mr. Padley brings his passion and his multi-national, multi-cultural perspective to both his professional and his personal pursuits.

He graduated from the University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business class of 2000 with a BBA, majoring in both Finance and Computer Information Systems. His is also a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).

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Stephen J. Miller

Secretary, AMRI Global

Stephen J. Miller is a subject matter expert in areas that include complex commercial litigation, class actions, employment matters, antitrust, and products liability, among other areas of law. Experience also includes drafting dispositive and discovery motions, taking and defending depositions as f... Expand

Stephen J. Miller is a subject matter expert in areas that include complex commercial litigation, class actions, employment matters, antitrust, and products liability, among other areas of law. Experience also includes drafting dispositive and discovery motions, taking and defending depositions as first chair, representing clients in settlement negotiations and ADR, supervising and training junior associates and staff, participating in jury trials, and directing complex electronic discovery.

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Howard Berusch, DDS

Board Member, Retired Dentist

Dr. Howard J. Berusch, DDS, is a native of Cleveland and attended Ohio State University for his undergraduate and DDS degrees, graduating cum laude. From 1959-1961, he completed his general dentistry program with the U.S. Air Force in St. Louis, Missouri. When he returned to Cleveland in 1962, he ... Expand

Dr. Howard J. Berusch, DDS, is a native of Cleveland and attended Ohio State University for his undergraduate and DDS degrees, graduating cum laude. From 1959-1961, he completed his general dentistry program with the U.S. Air Force in St. Louis, Missouri. When he returned to Cleveland in 1962, he established his private family dentistry practice in Willoughby. In 2001, he sold his practice and continued part-time until retiring in 2009. Dr. Berusch continued to keep busy, working for Medicaid in Concord, Ohio. Currently, he is a volunteer for SCORE, a prestigious non-profit organization that is committed to fostering and educating the small business community throughout America.

Dr. Berusch and his wife, Carol, reside in Beachwood. They have two adult children and five grandchildren. He enjoys traveling and playing the piano (having studied for seven years with Linda Allen at The Music Settlement). He also enjoyed playing softball for over thirty years.

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Craig Brown

Board Member, Labor & Employment Relations Consultant, Retired Lawyer

Craig M. Brown is a labor and employment attorney exclusively representing employers in all matters affecting the employer-employee relationship. His practice regularly includes providing advice and counsel on the application of increasingly complex labor and employment laws in both the private and ... Expand

Craig M. Brown is a labor and employment attorney exclusively representing employers in all matters affecting the employer-employee relationship. His practice regularly includes providing advice and counsel on the application of increasingly complex labor and employment laws in both the private and public sector, guidance in resolving problems arising under collective bargaining agreements, and the development and application of effective workplace rules and regulations to enhance efficiency and productivity. Craig also represents clients in contract administration, arbitration and general employment matters. He regularly advises clients regarding issues arising under the National Labor Relations Act and Ohio Collective Bargaining Law, frequently appearing before the National Labor Relations Board and the Ohio State Employment Relations Board. He also advises employers seeking to maintain union-free workplaces and provides counsel during union organizing initiatives.

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Michael L. Cantor

Board Member, Allegro Realty Advisors, Ltd.

With over 20 years of experience solving commercial real estate issues, Michael L. Cantor serves corporate, public sector and real estate industry clients with global, national and regional real estate portfolios with services including strategic real estate planning, tenant representation, corporat... Expand

With over 20 years of experience solving commercial real estate issues, Michael L. Cantor serves corporate, public sector and real estate industry clients with global, national and regional real estate portfolios with services including strategic real estate planning, tenant representation, corporate real estate services, and development consulting. Mr. Cantor also serves as the firm’s Managing Director.

Prior to joining Allegro, Mr. Cantor served as a Senior Manager in the Real Estate Solutions practice of Deloitte & Touche, providing management consulting services to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), corporate services to Fortune 1000 companies, and development consulting services (including economic and real estate development) to public sector entities. Previously, Mr. Cantor served as Vice President of Cleveland Real Estate Partners, which was acquired by Deloitte in 1999. Earlier in his career, Mr. Cantor worked with a corporate outsourcing firm, specializing in the utilities practice, and prior to that, an exclusive tenant representation firm.

Mr. Cantor serves as a board member of several organizations, including the Ohio/Kentucky Chapter of CoreNet Global, the Ohio & Erie Canalway Association, and the Cleveland Regional Office of American Jewish Committee. He is a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2012 (Class President), Leadership Cleveland Year 2 Fellows Program 2013, the Government Affairs Council of Greater Cleveland Partnership, the John Carroll University Entrepreneurs Association and served as a committee member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Real Estate Law Institute. In 2013, Mr. Cantor was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year nominee. In 2012, Mr. Cantor was honored with the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) 2011 Industrial Transaction of the Year Award for the Northern Ohio Chapter and also received NAIOP’s 2012 Office Transaction of the Year and the 2010 Renovation Project of the Year Award in the prior year. In 2008, he was named in Crain’s Cleveland Business "Forty under 40" and was honored by Deloitte, receiving its National Leadership in Real Estate Award. Mr. Cantor is a frequent speaker for real estate, legal and general business professional organizations. He has been frequently published and interviewed in international, regional and local industry journals and business publications.

Mr. Cantor earned his J.D. from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, with concentrations in real estate and environmental law, and is a member of the Ohio Bar. He obtained his B.S. in Business and B.A. in English from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He is also a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Ohio.

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Robert D. Conrad

Board Member, WCLV Radio

Robert Conrad is the co-founder and president of WCLV-FM, Cleveland’s 24-hour-a-day classical music station. Conrad is a graduate of Northwestern University and the recipient of honorary doctorates from CIM, Baldwin Wallace University and Oberlin College. He has hosted the broadcasts of The C... Expand

Robert Conrad is the co-founder and president of WCLV-FM, Cleveland’s 24-hour-a-day classical music station. Conrad is a graduate of Northwestern University and the recipient of honorary doctorates from CIM, Baldwin Wallace University and Oberlin College.

He has hosted the broadcasts of The Cleveland Orchestra since 1965, which means he has likely been the commentator for an orchestra broadcast series longer than anyone else in the history of American radio. Conrad has appeared as narrator with The Cleveland Orchestra, Blossom Concert Band, Akron Symphony, Ashland Symphony and CIM Orchestra, among others.

Previously, Conrad was program manager for WDTM, Detroit; operations manager for WFMT, Chicago; and program director of WEAW AM/FM, Evanston, Illinois. In 1982, Conrad was named Classical Program Director of the Year by Billboard magazine.

He was named to the City Club Hall of Fame in 2000, received the Award of Achievement from the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters in 2001 and has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the March of Dimes AIR Awards in 2001 and the Association of Music Personnel in Public Radio in 2009. Most recently, he was the recipient of Early Settlers’ 2019 Herrick Memorial Award for Civic Achievement.

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Gerard Daher

Board Member, Speedeon Data

For nearly 20 years, Gerard Daher has provided innovative direct marketing solutions to the financial services, retail, and telecommunications industries. His expertise in strategic development, marketing, business operations, and data technologies has enabled Gerard to generate successful results f... Expand

For nearly 20 years, Gerard Daher has provided innovative direct marketing solutions to the financial services, retail, and telecommunications industries. His expertise in strategic development, marketing, business operations, and data technologies has enabled Gerard to generate successful results for leading domestic and international organizations. He’s known by colleagues as having the business acumen for identifying and optimizing revenue-generating strategies that coincide with a company’s value proposition.

Gerard currently serves as the CEO of Speedeon Data, a leading-edge direct marketing and data services company, which he co-founded in 2008, in order to close the gap in the expeditious delivery of customer data.

Gerard acquired his Master of Business Administration from the Weatherhead School of Management-Case Western Reserve University. He is active in numerous professional groups and associations and serves on several of their advisory boards.

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Ella Lee Davis

Board Member, Retired

Ella W. Lee Davis is an experienced Choral Director, who utilizes a results-based and team-oriented approach. As a master educator, Ms. Davis has been able to affect positive changes in diverse settings with the use of effective communication skills. She has achieved success as a collaborator and... Expand

Ella W. Lee Davis is an experienced Choral Director, who utilizes a results-based and team-oriented approach. As a master educator, Ms. Davis has been able to affect positive changes in diverse settings with the use of effective communication skills. She has achieved success as a collaborator and problem solver in the educational arena at both classroom and administration levels and is a proficient Project Manager and Administrator who is a passionate and dedicated Advocate for the Arts.

Ms. Davis received her Bachelor of Music Degree, Voice performance from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, Ohio; spending her Junior year in Salzburg, Austria. Additional studies include:

  • German Art Song and Opera Studies, Hochschule für Musik, Munich, Germany. German grant awarded by the Institute for International Education.
  • Doctoral Program, Curriculum and Instruction: Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
  • Certification for Orff-Schulwerk; Level II: Memphis State University; and, Level I: Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, respectively.
  • Certification, Music K-12, Permanent: Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Master of Music Degree, Voice Performance: Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Professional affiliations include American Guild of Organists (current member), Choristers Guild (current member), and American Orff-Schulwerk Association (past member).

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Daniel Filippi

Board Member, Sandalwood Healthcare Technologies

Mr. Filippi represents an organization of physicians, information technology professionals, attorneys, accountants and clinical care specialists devoted to assisting employers, health systems and insurance companies use population health technologies to provide better care and achieve better health ... Expand

Mr. Filippi represents an organization of physicians, information technology professionals, attorneys, accountants and clinical care specialists devoted to assisting employers, health systems and insurance companies use population health technologies to provide better care and achieve better health for their employees and members- efficiently and at a lower cost.

He attended John Carroll University and was active in Alpha Kappa Psi. In addition to serving on the board of The Music Settlement, his volunteer experiences include serving on the boards of Magnificat High School and Community West Foundation.

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John H. Gibbon

Board Member, Retired Attorney

For 28 years, John served as the Law Director for the City of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, which has historically been on the cutting edge of many municipal legal issues, and he also served as Law Director for the City of Aurora, Ohio for six years. He has represented numerous public entities—incl... Expand

For 28 years, John served as the Law Director for the City of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, which has historically been on the cutting edge of many municipal legal issues, and he also served as Law Director for the City of Aurora, Ohio for six years. He has represented numerous public entities—including municipalities, counties, housing authorities, nonprofit corporations, regional councils of government and insurance defense pools—throughout Ohio and has served as special counsel to those entities on nearly all aspects of public law.

In addition, John offers public clients over fifteen years’ experience with cable television and telecommunications law. John has written numerous articles regarding cable television and telecommunications issues for municipal publications such as "The Urban Lawyer" and "Local Government Law Weekly," both published by the American Bar Association, as well as "Ohio Cities and Villages" magazine. A chapter on telecommunications, authored by John and other members of the Walter | Haverfield Telecommunications Practice Group appears in the book, "Privatizing Governmental Functions," published by Law Journal Press. He has also spoken on these issues to many municipal groups, including the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Administrators (NATOA), the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) and its predecessor, the National Institute of Municipal Law Officers (NIMLO), the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association (OMAA), the Ohio Municipal League (OML), the Mayors' Association of Ohio, and Kent State University's Elected Officials Program.

John has represented numerous public entities—including municipalities, counties, housing authorities, nonprofit corporations, regional councils of government and insurance defense pools—throughout Ohio and has served as special counsel to those entities on nearly all aspects of public law.

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Tamar Gray

Board Member, Cleveland Heights University City Schools

Tamar Gray has been an elementary music instructor in Cleveland Heights-University City Schools for over 29 years, where she instructs students grades K-5 in general and vocal curriculum. She graduated from the University of Evansville in Indiana with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and obta... Expand

Tamar Gray has been an elementary music instructor in Cleveland Heights-University City Schools for over 29 years, where she instructs students grades K-5 in general and vocal curriculum. She graduated from the University of Evansville in Indiana with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and obtained a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from John Carroll University. She believes in the power of music and has a passion for teaching, performing and advocating for all to have quality access to music education.

Ms. Gray is: Co-Founder and Camp Principal for Reaching Heights Instrumental Camp; 2nd Vice President of Local 795 Teachers Union; on the Executive Committee of the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT); a vocalist with Etiquette Band and Funk-A-Deli (Formally Yiddishe Cup); and Pastor of Grace Communion Cleveland.

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Thomas Holmes

Board Member, Retired

Mr. Holmes is a graduate of Ohio State University, and has authored numerous publications and received many honors. He was a lieutenant in the US navy and has both his M.A. and PhD in Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, MA, where his has also taught. In addition, he w... Expand

Mr. Holmes is a graduate of Ohio State University, and has authored numerous publications and received many honors. He was a lieutenant in the US navy and has both his M.A. and PhD in Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, MA, where his has also taught. In addition, he was a research fellow and lecturer at Harvard University.

He was the President and owner of MACTek Corporation. A company that designs, manufactures, and sells local area network products for factory automation and process control.

He, his wife Mary, and their family has often been involved in activities and lessons at CMSS. They reside in Gates Mills.

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Maura L. Hughes

Board Member, Calfee, Halter & Griswold, LLP

Ms. Hughes is a partner and Co-Chair in the litigation group of law firm Calfee Halter & Griswold LLP, where her focus is on complex commercial litigation, antitrust and trade regulation and counseling, and municipal civil rights defense. She handles all aspects of litigation, including pretria... Expand

Ms. Hughes is a partner and Co-Chair in the litigation group of law firm Calfee Halter & Griswold LLP, where her focus is on complex commercial litigation, antitrust and trade regulation and counseling, and municipal civil rights defense. She handles all aspects of litigation, including pretrial discovery, depositions, trial in both Ohio and federal courts, and appellate briefing and argument in the Ohio and federal Courts of Appeals.

Ms. Hughes’ work in the area of antitrust and trade regulation has included both litigation and client counseling on the Sherman Act and Robinson-Patman Act, as well as state dealer protection statutes. She regularly advises clients with respect to the antitrust risks associated with minimum resale or advertised pricing programs. She advises clients regarding the antitrust implications of potential mergers or acquisitions, including with respect to pre-merger notification filings pursuant to the Hart Scott Rodino Act, and has successfully defended preliminary Department of Justice investigations of acquisitions. She has extensive experience in assisting clients in developing and implementing antitrust compliance programs, including training of executives and employees. Her experience includes serving as second-chair trial counsel in a three-month antitrust trial involving an alleged Sherman Act conspiracy.

Ms. Hughes serves as a director and former Board Chair of The Music Settlement. She also serves as a Trustee of The Art Therapy Studio. She served as Former Chair of the Antitrust Section Council of the Ohio State Bar Association.

Ms. Hughes served as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aldrich of the Northern District of Ohio before joining Calfee in 1994. In 1999, she was awarded a Pegasus Scholarship by the American Inns of Court and spent three months at the Inns of Court in London, England. In 2002, she was named as a fellow of the Ohio State Bar Foundation. Ms. Hughes became a partner at Calfee in 2003. She graduated from Brown University (A.B. 1990, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), and Harvard Law School (J.D. 1993, cum laude).

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Anurag Khanna

Board Member, Enjoy Better Coffee

Anurag Khanna is a business builder and organization curator; proven to be equally effective in a variety of business models, complex operational eco-systems, diverse organizational cultures, and managing crises situations. He is a curious learner, and strategic influencer and cultural architect of ... Expand

Anurag Khanna is a business builder and organization curator; proven to be equally effective in a variety of business models, complex operational eco-systems, diverse organizational cultures, and managing crises situations. He is a curious learner, and strategic influencer and cultural architect of some of the most defining journeys at emerging startups, SMB enterprises, world-class organizations, and iconic brands. His fingerprints can be found across companies such as Procter & Gamble, Amway, Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health, and Enjoy Better Coffee.

Mr. Khanna has deep & broad experiences in several markets (North America, Europe, Asia); channels (HCP, B2B, B2C); segments (Beverages, DME, Ostomy, Wound Care, OTC, Nutrition, Beauty, Oil & Gas); Functions (M&A, GM, Marketing, Supply Chain, Manufacturing); and as an Investor, Board Member, and Entrepreneur. He is a seasoned expert and has a +25 year track record of accelerating innovation and speed-to-market, optimizing operating costs and organization structures, creating highly energized and effective teams, and delivering sustainable result.

Mr. Khanna is currently the CEO of Enjoy Better Coffee, a gourmet and specialty beverage company. He also carries added responsibility as the Managing Partner of Gurmehar Ventures, a growth capital investment firm, and Panacea Global Partners, a management consultancy. Companies, Operators/Executives, Strategic Investors, and Upstarts often seek his advice across a spectrum of strategic, operational, organizational, and governance needs and challenges.

Outside of work, Mr. Khanna is a passionate supporter of early childhood nutrition and education causes in India and is actively engaged in driving economic empowerment efforts in Northeast Ohio. He mentors several innovators and researchers at local universities and enables development of regional startup ecosystem via Angel and Venture funds - Jumpstart Inc., North Coast Angel Fund, and Akron Bio-Innovation Fund.

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Greg Lopez

Board Member, Marcum Wealth

Whitney Mercer

Board Member, GE Corporate

Ems. Mercer is an experienced corporate communications and investor relations professional with a demonstrated history of working in the industrial sector. She is skilled in financial and investor communications, change management, leadership and executive communications, employee and culture commun... Expand

Ems. Mercer is an experienced corporate communications and investor relations professional with a demonstrated history of working in the industrial sector. She is skilled in financial and investor communications, change management, leadership and executive communications, employee and culture communications, and shooting and editing video.

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Steven P. Muir

Board Member, NEO Investment Counsel, LLC

Mr. Muir is the Managing Principal & Chief Investment Officer at NEO Investment Counsel, LLC, with considerable experience in finance, portfolio management, and equity research. He received his undergraduate degree in business administration from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Case W... Expand

Mr. Muir is the Managing Principal & Chief Investment Officer at NEO Investment Counsel, LLC, with considerable experience in finance, portfolio management, and equity research.

He received his undergraduate degree in business administration from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Case Western Reserve’s Weatherhead School of Management. He has been active on the boards of Cleveland Society of Security Analysts and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He has also participated in a local Boy Scout troop as a committee chairman.

He is currently studying voice at The Settlement, and he and his wife, Annette, live in Solon.

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René Polin

Board Member, Balance Innovation & Design

René Polin has more than 20 years’ experience in product design and development. He is the president and founder of Balance Product Development, Inc. – a full-service design consulting firm in Cleveland, OH. He founded Balance with no external investment, and has grown the consu... Expand

René Polin has more than 20 years’ experience in product design and development. He is the president and founder of Balance Product Development, Inc. – a full-service design consulting firm in Cleveland, OH. He founded Balance with no external investment, and has grown the consulting company to $1.4 million in annual revenue. Balance serves clients all around the U.S., and continues to hire local university graduates to retain talent and help keep the region strong and competitive.

He is responsible for hundreds of successful products from baby toys to medical devices. If you’ve withdrawn money from your local ATM, bathed your infant in a baby bathtub, hitched up your boat trailer, or crushed ice in your kitchen blender, there’s a good chance you’ve used something René and his team have worked on. His widely-varied experience includes hundreds of different clients--Diebold, Fisher-Price, Sherwin-Williams, Lowe’s, Cleveland Clinic Innovations, Moen, and Discover Financial Services to name a few.

His collaborations with these clients have resulted in successful lines of product sold in some of the largest retail chains in the U.S. This includes the first-ever line of U.S. Hispanic market baby toys that were sold through Wal-Mart and Kohl’s, the worlds-first keychain credit card with no straight edges for Discover Financial Services, and a line of pet products for a start-up company which led to its successful sale to a larger market competitor.

His busy schedule does not stop him from dedicating his time to multiple boards and non-profits. He is currently a Director at The Cleveland Institute of Art and Chagrin Arts. He contributes to and supports First Robotics clubs at St. Ignatius High School and Hathaway Brown School, Special Olympics, and Esperanza scholarships for Hispanic youth in Cleveland.

René holds a BFA in Industrial Design from the Cleveland Institute of Art.

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Dennis F. Schwartz

Board Member, Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

Mr. Schwartz is a First Vice President of The WealthCare Group of Raymond James & Associates, Inc., and leads a wealth management team that specializes in providing comprehensive wealth management services for individuals and corporate clients. He attended The City College of The City Universit... Expand

Mr. Schwartz is a First Vice President of The WealthCare Group of Raymond James & Associates, Inc., and leads a wealth management team that specializes in providing comprehensive wealth management services for individuals and corporate clients.

He attended The City College of The City University of New York and earned an executive certificate in financial planning from John Carroll University. In addition, he holds the Wealth Management Specialist designation and is a member of the Financial Planning Association.

An active member of the business and civic community, he is a board member of The Jewish National Fund and an advisor to The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. He has lectured on behalf of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, The Academy of Medicine of Cleveland, the Council of Smaller Enterprises, and numerous other organizations.

Mr. Schwartz had classical music training in piano, saxophone, clarinet and music therapy at New York City’s Third Street Music School Settlement, and also holds degrees in music from The City College of The City University of New York, where he co-founded the CCNY Jazz Orchestra. He was an instructor in jazz ensemble playing and music appreciation and orchestrated, arranged and conducted for various New York musical theater groups, jazz bands and vocal artists. Dennis continues to be active in community musical theater and plays saxophone in several jazz and pop groups, including “Replay,” a band that performs rock and roll and popular hits in the Cleveland area.

Mr. Schwartz resides in Highland Heights with his wife, Marcy, and enjoys music, golf and reading in his spare time.

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Obie Shelton

Board Member, Cleveland Municipal Clerk of Courts

Obie Shelton is known in Greater Cleveland as Journalist, Musician, Communicator and Minister. He reported news in Radio and Television for more than 30 years, covering Cleveland City Hall during the administrations of Kucinich, Voinovich, White, Campbell and Jackson. He is now the Public Informa... Expand

Obie Shelton is known in Greater Cleveland as Journalist, Musician, Communicator and Minister. He reported news in Radio and Television for more than 30 years, covering Cleveland City Hall during the administrations of Kucinich, Voinovich, White, Campbell and Jackson.

He is now the Public Information Officer for Cleveland Clerk of Courts Earle B. Turner. He shares his gospel violin music regularly in the community, and is a keynote speaker at many events.

He also produces videos for non-profit organizations, churches and start-up businesses. He is a deacon at New Community Bible Fellowship in Cleveland Heights.

He is married to Barbara Danforth, and has two adult children.

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Elisabeth R. Stahl

Board Member, IBM Systems and Technology Group

Elisabeth Stahl is Distinguished Engineer in the IBM Systems Worldwide Client Centers and has been working in IT Infrastructure for over 30 years. Her current focus is on Blockchain, Hybrid Cloud, Security and Cognitive technologies. She is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology Leadership Team, ... Expand

Elisabeth Stahl is Distinguished Engineer in the IBM Systems Worldwide Client Centers and has been working in IT Infrastructure for over 30 years. Her current focus is on Blockchain, Hybrid Cloud, Security and Cognitive technologies. She is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology Leadership Team, IEEE Senior Member, and is on the Board of Directors of Computer Measurement Group and The Music Settlement. Elisabeth holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from New York University.

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John W. Waldeck

Board Member, Walter | Haverfield LLP

Mr. Waldeck has over 40 years of experience in handling real estate and real estate- related transactions for owner/developers, corporations, lending institutions, health care providers, non-profit institutions and individuals. He has served as counsel in various capacities for an extensive cross-se... Expand

Mr. Waldeck has over 40 years of experience in handling real estate and real estate- related transactions for owner/developers, corporations, lending institutions, health care providers, non-profit institutions and individuals. He has served as counsel in various capacities for an extensive cross-section of client projects including office and medical buildings and campuses, warehouses, condominiums and planned unit developments, marinas, hospital buildings, apartment buildings and warehouse/office-to-apartment conversions, affordable low-income housing, residential subdivisions, industrial parks, live performance theaters, hotels and motor inns, and shopping centers. He has acted as counsel to local and national lenders in negotiating and documenting construction and permanent loans, and has negotiated leases of all types (shopping center, office industrial) for both landlords and tenants, including ground leases, build-to-suit and complex construction/work letter situations.

His construction and development related experience includes lump-sum, guaranteed maximum price, design build and construction management agreements, zoning and land use planning, and mechanics’ lien matters. The formation of business entities dealing with real estate, such as limited liability companies, joint ventures and limited partnerships, is one of his specialties, including requisite documentation and planning for Historic Tax Credit and New Markets Tax Credit transactions. He has handled acquisitions, like-kind exchanges, sales and options for a wide variety of real estate including vacant land, conservation easements and flyways, properties affected by littoral and riparian rights, air rights and improved properties of all sorts.

He is a frequent lecturer and writer on real estate topics for the Ohio State and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations and other legal education organizations. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Law, he is a 1992 Leadership Cleveland graduate, and has served on the boards of numerous community organizations.

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Kittie Warshawsky

Board Member, College Now Greater Cleveland

As a critical member of Executive team, Ms. Warshawsky played an impactful role guiding efforts in more than doubling organization’s budget from over $5 million annually to over $12 million annually by significantly growing every sector of support, from individual donors and fundraising events... Expand

As a critical member of Executive team, Ms. Warshawsky played an impactful role guiding efforts in more than doubling organization’s budget from over $5 million annually to over $12 million annually by significantly growing every sector of support, from individual donors and fundraising events to corporate giving and foundation grants to successfully competing for numerous government funding opportunities.

She lead a team of four direct reports working closely with CEO, CFO and CIO to ensure highest standards of financial stewardship, transparency and excellent governance resulting in organization’s earning coveted four-star rating from Charity Navigator for last three years.

Her portfolio of responsibilities has increasingly expanded beyond pure fundraising to include primary responsibility for staffing five College Now board committees: advocacy, development, executive, governance and strategic initiatives oversight. She has worked closely and successfully with colleagues to lead funding efforts for new, online mentoring program, which now pairs 1,100 scholarship recipients with 1,100 volunteers, and also to deepen programmatic offerings and create new funding streams for adult learner services.

Ms. Warshawsky attended Brown University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Mana Cum laude in May 1990, and received her JD in May 1995 from Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.

Along with The Music Settlement, she has served on the board’s of The Temple-Tifereth Israel, Cleveland Foundation’s Distribution Committee, The City Club of Cleveland Foundation, and Cleveland Social Venture Partners.

Her personal interests include traveling, yoga, gardening, and French.

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Dawn Wayt

Board Member, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Dawn Wayt is the executive team leader responsible for driving growth at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame via marketing strategy, monetization, and optimization of paid, owned, and earned media while working to enhance the global digital fan experience. Wayt leads initiatives to engage, convert, and... Expand

Dawn Wayt is the executive team leader responsible for driving growth at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame via marketing strategy, monetization, and optimization of paid, owned, and earned media while working to enhance the global digital fan experience. Wayt leads initiatives to engage, convert, and retain Rock Hall fans and partners, harnessing the power of rock & roll to connect people of all backgrounds and beliefs. She empowers a strong team responsible for Rock Hall branding, content, digital marketing, email, social media, communications, strategic partnerships, group sales, facility rentals, and events.

Previously Wayt held leadership positions with American Express, Artful Home, Arborwear, and American Greetings, where she built the content marketing and social media center of excellence and led the team that helped create and market the #WorldsToughestJob video that went viral, receiving 28.1 million views and 2.1 million shares and generating $4 million in national earned media while driving brand awareness and sales. A Member at CHIEF, Wayt has been recognized for collaboration, thought leadership, and marketing effectiveness, has been interviewed for the All the Social Ladies podcast, has spoken at a variety of conferences from ad:tech to eTail to Voice of the Brand, and has served as a judge for the North American Effie Awards, the Association of National Advertiser REGGIE Awards, and the Ohio Interactive Awards.

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Deborah A. Wilcox

Board Member, Baker & Hostetler LLP

An experienced trademark lawyer, Deborah Wilcox is the Cleveland office coordinator for the firm’s Intellectual Property, Technology and Media Practice. She has been rated as preeminent in her field with the highest ethical standard by Martindale-Hubbell, an authoritative resource on the legal... Expand

An experienced trademark lawyer, Deborah Wilcox is the Cleveland office coordinator for the firm’s Intellectual Property, Technology and Media Practice. She has been rated as preeminent in her field with the highest ethical standard by Martindale-Hubbell, an authoritative resource on the legal profession. She manages complex copyright, trademark and e-commerce litigation, from contractual software disputes to cybersquatting to the ex parte seizures of infringing character and sports merchandise. She is also experienced in copyright, trademark and Internet domain name selection, registration and licensing, both in the U.S. and internationally. As Internet and mobile technologies continue to develop, she regularly counsels clients regarding search engine optimization, online auction sites, blogs and social media sites, as well as direct marketing to consumers such as via emails and text messaging. She also frequently addresses matters under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Ms. Wilcox has traveled extensively in Southeast Asia and has appeared in a Korean television broadcast concerning international protection of intellectual property rights of United States companies. Based on years of experience in the area, she speaks regularly on protecting rights in the People’s Republic of China and other countries known for both manufacturing legitimate products and for counterfeiting.

She counsels clients on intellectual property and advertising matters in merchandising and entertainment areas such as toys and virtual worlds, clothing and shoes, cartoons, sports, music, television and radio, restaurants, household goods and appliances and power tools. She manages intellectual property rights and disputes for authors and artists, educational institutions and clients in diverse industrial and e-commerce areas from aerospace to zinc. She also manages IP issues for insurance and business services clients.

Ms. Wilcox is ranked in the 2013 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and has been named a 2013 “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property magazine.

She teaches annual Continuing Legal Education courses on registration and enforcement of intellectual property rights and she is on the Advisory Board of The Licensing Journal and has written “IP Online” columns for Wisconsin Technology News. Her speeches, presentations and publications cover a variety of IP topics.

She has served as an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University Law School, teaching Trademarks, and has served on the Advisory Board for the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law. She is a member of, and has chaired, various copyright and trademark committees for the American, Ohio and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations, the Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association (President, 2012-13), the International Trademark Association and the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (currently serving on the Legislative Committee and Internet Task Force), and is a member of the Advisory Group for the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio.

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