JOIN US November 18th, 2009!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

meet the speakers...

Matt Zone

Councilman Matt Zone grew up in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood on Cleveland's near west side and was elected to office in November of 2001. On council, Matt chairs the Public Utilities Committee and is a member of the Finance, Planning, and Community & Economic Development Committees.

Matt is recognized nationally, regionally and locally as a leader on environmental and arts & cultural issues. Currently, he serves as the Vice-Chair of the National League of Cities- Energy, Environment and Natural Resource committee. Regionally, Matt is the President of the Northeast Ohio City Council Association (NOCCA) and one of the original members of the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force, which is working to create off-shore wind generation in Lake Erie. He also serves on the steering committee of the Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI) which is working to create a "Smart Growth" plan and "Revenue Sharing" for NE Ohio.

Locally, Matt continues to be a tireless advocate for alternative energy and green building, by evidence of the fact that his ward is home to the only EcoVillage in our state and the first in the country. The EcoVillage is complete with a LEED built school, theatre and certified Regional Transit Authority (RTA) rapid station, highly energy efficient homes that heat and cool for less that $500 annually and has a model storm water demonstration project on a 25 acre city recreation facility.

As a devoted supporter of the arts, Matt believes the arts and culture community can serve as an economic engine. He has been the driving force behind the development of the Gordon Square Arts District which is comprised of new housing and businesses, retail development and the construction and renovation of three theaters. Matt also sponsored the City of Cleveland's "Percent for Arts" legislation, which requires all applicable capital improvement projects over $350,000 set aside 1.5% of the total budget to include artists in their design.

Matt is a graduate of Cleveland State University's College of Urban Affairs and a graduate of St. Edward High School. He and his wife of 19 years, Michelle, have a son who is a freshman at Kent State University.

Randell McShepard

Randell McShepard is currently employed as the Vice President of Public Affairs for RPM International Inc., a $3.6 billion specialty coatings/pain company headquartered in Medina, Ohio. He is responsible for coordinating external affairs and community partnerships for the company, and manages corporate philanthropy and corporate purchasing initiatives.

Randell worked for 15 years in the nonprofit community prior to joining RPM for organizations including City Year and the Cleveland Bicentennial Commission, and has an extensive background as a strategic planning consultant. He is a member of the Public Affairs Committee of the National Association of Manufacturers and is active on several boards in Northeast Ohio including Baldwin-Wallace College, the Sisters of Charity Foundation (Chairman-Emeritus), the Fund for Our Economic Future (Vice-Chairman) and Business Volunteers Unlimited. He also is a Co-Founder and Chairman of PolicyBridge, an African-American public policy think tank serving the Northeast Ohio region.

Mr. McShepard was born and raised in Cleveland, and is a proud alumnus of John F. Kennedy High School, Baldwin Wallace College (undergraduate) and Cleveland State University (graduate). Randell and his wife Gail live in Beachwood, Ohio and have three children- Anthony, Avery and Madison.

Lillian A. Kuri

Lillian Kuri currently serves as the Program Director for Architecture, Urban Design and Sustainable Development for the Cleveland Foundation.

She joined the Cleveland Foundation in 2005 as a consultant to develop a comprehensive strategy for one of the foundation's priority initiatives: the revitalization of the Greater University Circle area, an initiative that involves everything from transporation and housing assistance to education, safety, community wealth, and economic inclusion. She has more than 10 years of experience as an economic executive, with expertise in urban redevelopment and innovative environmental services.

Previously, Lillian was the executive director of Cleveland Public Art, where she executed more than $4 million in projects over her four-year tenure. She has held positions as project manager for the Cleveland City Planning Commission and project coordinator for the Harvard Design School at Harvard University, and has worked in the affordable housing office for the City of Boston.

She holds a master of architecture in urban design degree from Harvard University, as well as a degree in architecture from Kent State University. Lillian is a licensed architect in Ohio and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-accredited professional. She serves as a voting member of the Cleveland City Planning Commission and as a board member for Cleveland Development Advisors, an affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership that provides gap financing to catalytic projects. Lillian was a member of the Crain's Cleveland Business "40 Under 40" class of 2002 and was selected as the prestigious Knight Fellow at Western Reserve Academy in 2008.