Meet Our Officers: SueAnn Naso, Secretary
By Kathie Zipp
SueAnn Naso has served on the Engage! Cleveland Board since 2013, currently as secretary and co-chair of the Employer Services Committee. Naso is also a human resources professional with more than 20 years of experience in staffing and recruiting. As president and CEO at Staffing Solutions Enterprises, she specializes in consulting with companies to determine staffing strategies for both permanent and contract staff.
Naso is also an enthusiastic Clevelander, sharing some light on what makes the city great after living away for some time. Get to know her better by reading her responses to our questions below!
How does Cleveland compare to other cities where you’ve lived?
Shortly after I graduated college at Bowling Green State University, I got married and moved to Southern California. We lived there for three and a half years until we decided we missed Cleveland and needed to move home.
I think sometimes people who are born and raised here don’t appreciate how great Cleveland is. If you think we have traffic, you’ve not seen REAL traffic. I lived four miles from where I worked and it could take me 35 to 40 minutes. I also love the fact that we have the seasons here. There is so much to do during each season of the year. Best of all is our welcoming midwest culture. We are such a passionate, caring and philanthropic city. I love that!
What’s your go-to local spot to take your friends or out-of-towners?
In the summer months, I love taking people to Merwin’s Warf. It’s great to sit out on the patio and watch the rowing crews go up and down the river or the big barges coming through. During fall we love Mapleside Farms. There is so much to see and do there from apple picking to a pumpkin patch, corn maze and more.
What are some of your favorite things to do/areas to visit in Cleveland?
One of my top choices is our Metroparks system. I have two grand-daughters and I absolutely love taking them to the zoo. We also did the Chinese Lantern Festival for the first time this past summer and it was amazing. I also love hiking in the parks. We found a favorite this summer I hadn’t been to before, Worden Ledges in the Hinckley Reservation. There are stone carvings from the 1800s.
I also really enjoy the Broadway series at Playhouse Square. My daughter and I have season tickets and it’s great mother/daughter time for us. We also have a tradition of visiting the Botanical Gardens during the holiday season between Christmas and New Year’s. Their Glow exhibit with all the Christmas trees and gingerbread houses is awesome.
What are you most excited about as an officer of Engage! Cleveland?
I really believe in our mission. If Cleveland is going to thrive and grow into the future, we need to do a better job of attracting, retaining and engaging with our young people. I have been a part of EC for years now and I have met some of the most amazing young people who are accomplishing great things. I am excited to help shape the future of our region by engaging with these individuals and helping them fall in love with Cleveland as much as I have over the years. They are our future and deserve our help to become the best that they can be.
What would be your message/advice to young professionals in the Cleveland community looking to grow personally and professionally?
Cleveland is a tremendous place to be to make connections. In larger cities like Chicago or Los Angeles, you are swallowed up by the sheer numbers of young people and it’s very hard to be recognized or to stand out and make a true difference. In Cleveland there are so many opportunities to make connections with local leaders who are open to sharing their stories with you (EC’s Lunch with Leaders is an excellent example). Take advantage of these opportunities every chance you have. At work, ask to take on more and to get involved in the community. Lastly, develop and nurture relationships at all levels and surround yourself with people who will be your advocates, your mentors and your sponsors throughout your career.