From the Desk of the Executive Director

Ashley Basile Oeken1Hi E!C Friends, It has been an exciting year for Engage! Cleveland and I thought it would be helpful to provide an update on our work. 2014 started off with a bang and a sense of accomplishment when E!C became a legal not-for-profit entity in the State of Ohio on February 14, 2014…all of that legal jargon means that we now formally exist as an organization. I could not be more proud of our Board of Directors, Committee members and volunteers for helping us make E!C such a success.

E!C has been hosting many terrific events and programs this year including our first ever Spring MIX on May 28th at the Cleveland Botanical Garden that brought nearly 400 young professionals (YPs) together for a night of networking. Networking Night with the Cleveland Indians saw over 150 YPs gather to hear from Indians Executives about the "Business of Baseball", network with each other and see a Tribe game. E!C also hosted our annual YP workshop that focused on leadership development and had over 60 attendees. The World Beer Festival celebrated its second year in Cleveland with the help of over 75 EC volunteers. E!C joined partners Thrive and SCENE for International Lunch Beat Day - Cleveland Style with a noontime silent disco. And while we have had tons of fun in 2014, we have much more planned to connect Cleveland's YPs to the community. This evening, hundreds of YPs will gather together at E!C's 5th Annual Summer MIX taking place on Edgewater Beach. I am excited to bring everyone together at one of our community's greatest assets. Later in July, YPs will have the opportunity to learn what it means to get involved with a nonprofit and potentially get placed to serve when "YP Road to Nonprofit Leadership" is presented. On August 6, we kick off Engage@TheCityClub, a quarterly after work speaker series where YPs will hear from some terrific speakers. Cleveland Whiskey is what we will discover in September when we take a behind the scenes tour of the distillery and then participate in a blind taste test. October brings E!C's inaugural YP Week, October 6–11 – a weeklong series of events and programs geared at better connecting YPs to the community. YPs will participate in fun workouts, hear from great speakers and have the opportunity to attend cool events. On December 15, we will close out the year at Severance Hall with our 5th Annual Holiday Mix – a terrific opportunity for YPs to mix and mingle while celebrating their 2014 accomplishments. All of our events are open to everyone to attend, so please join us!

Maybe you heard that Cleveland has been selected to host the Republican National Convention in 2016 – a big win for our amazing city! I had the privilege to speak to the RNC about Cleveland's young professional community and our desire to host the Convention. I plan to keep E!C close to the Convention to ensure that YPs are "in the know" about what is happening.

E!C is growing – this summer we welcomed Brittany Costa as our program assistant and Gwen Brassell as our program intern. These two ladies are a pleasure to work with and are so passionate about E!C's mission. E!C is also getting a face lift – our new logo and brand will be rolling out soon and then comes our brand new website in fall of 2014. Our team is excited to bring you even more information and events/programs through a state of the art website…now all we have to do is build it.

All in all, E!C is always looking forward. I want to hear from you – how can E!C better connect you to all that Cleveland has to offer. I want you to *LOVE* Cleveland, to spend time getting involved in the community and to tell your friends about how cool Cleveland is.

Until next time, Ashley

Blog, YP Rising StarEngage