The Rotary Club of Cleveland dedicated 2016 to “networking with enthusiasm” while mixing in its usual helping of service to the community. The organization and its 130 members met more than 85 times, anchored by 45 weekly meetings that featured guest speakers such as Patrick Conway, Joseph Marinucci, Michael Parks, Lou Vitantonio, Fred Szabo, June Ryan, Joseph Miceli Jr., David Gilbert, and Chris Ronayne. To increase attendance and improve diversity (namely reaching younger members who had had trouble attending lunch meetings) the club moved several meetings, now called Rotary After Hours, to 5:30 p.m. Another program, Rotary Works, continued to meet monthly, with club members telling stories of how the organization had helped their businesses. The Rotary Club provided several opportunities for service-specific networking, including its monthly volunteer night at the Cleveland Food Bank and Project YESS, a youth sail training program. It also sponsored a regularly scheduled blood donor day at the Red Cross. The club’s signature project, the Red Line Greenway, continued to progress, with a goal of creating a public greenway between the W. 25th street rapid site and downtown while expanding Northeast Ohio’s public park trail system. Partners include RTA, LAND Studio, Cleveland Metroparks, Urban Land Institute, St. Ignatius High School, and Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency. Social outings occurred at the Cleveland Auto Show, Cleveland Indians games, a holiday sing-along at Music Box Supper Club, a bike ride in the Cuyahoga Valley, bowling, a picnic at Walton Hills Lake, and a clam bake. Finally, the organization held one of its most unique and successful fundraisers — the Rotary Foundation’s Centennial Celebration Concert, featuring the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall, and Celebration Dinner at the InterContinental Hotel. “The connections I have made through the club have been invaluable for the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and Global Center for Health Innovation,” David Johnson, the director of public relations and communication for the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and Global Center for Health Innovation, says.
Runners-up: City Club of Cleveland; Heights-Hillcrest Regional Chamber of Commerce; International Live Events Association; Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce.
2016 — Rotary Club of Cleveland
2015 — Heights-Hillcrest Regional Chamber of Commerce
2014 — YP Pantry, Greater Cleveland Food Bank
2013 — International Special Events Society Cleveland
2012 — Rotary Club of Cleveland
2011 — Council of Smaller Enterprises
2010 — Sales and Marketing Executives Cleveland
2009 — Sales and Marketing Executives Cleveland
2008 — International Special Events Society Cleveland
2007 — Sales and Marketing Executives Cleveland
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