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State of the Young Professional Community presented by the Illuminating Company, a FirstEnergy Company

  • The Cleveland Foundation 1422 Euclid Ave #1300 Cleveland, OH 44115 USA (map)

Friday, September 14, 2018      



CONTACT:  Katelyn Gainer, Marketing & Events Manager

 (216) 264-5644

Engage! Cleveland brings together our employer members and the community to report on our  organization and the Cleveland young professional community. We’ll also spend the day focusing on best practices regarding young professional employees. Is your company curious how to better market to millennials or are you eager to find more ways to engage your young professionals? This event is for you! Join other like-minded employers to network and learn the best practices from the experts here at Engage! to take back and get to work.


State of the Young Professional Community: Transitioning from Millennials to Gen Z

Date: Friday, September 14

Location: The Cleveland Foundation

Presenting Sponsor: Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company FirstEnergy


8:00 am: Networking & Registration

8:30 am: Opening Remarks, John Skory, President, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company FirstEnergy

8:35 am Update on Engage! Cleveland, Ashley Basile Oeken, President, Engage! Cleveland

8:50 am: Report on Young Professional Survey Data

  • ERC
    • Lisa Codispoti, Director, Consulting

9:10 am: Program 1: Companies share what has worked for them to engage Millennials and how they are preparing for Gen Z (an executive leader with a young professional staff person)

  • Benesch
    • Laura Dutt, Chief Talent Officer
    • Barry Guttman, Associate, Real Estate & Environmental Practice Group
  • Nestlé USA Supply Chain
    • Vanessa Bongiorno, Vice President of Human Resources
    • Nikki Precord, Procurement Business Partner
  • The Sherwin-Williams Company
    • Maureen “Mo” Drabik, Talent Acquisition Manager
    • Harsha Bhavani, Finance Accountant
  • Moderator: Andrew Passen, Former Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Forest City Enterprises

10:00 am: Program 2: Young Professionals sharing their perspectives on Corporate America

  • Nick White, Owner, Tremont Athletic Club
    • Left corporate America to start new company
  • Ann Weinzimmer, Vice President & General Counsel at More Than Gourmet & Owner, Tremont Scoops
    • Working full-time while maintaining a side business
  • Andrea Weiser, JCLE Program Director, Cleveland Hillel Foundation
    • Knows Millennial space well
  • Kimberly Bartholomew, Surveillance Analyst I, KeyBank
    • Knows Generation Z space well
  • Moderator: Robin Doerschuk, Director of Learning & Development, TALENTLAUNCH and President, Cleveland Society of HR Managers (CSHRM)

10:50 am: Closing Remarks, Ashley Basile Oeken, President, Engage! Cleveland



Andrew Passen, Former Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Forest City Enterprises

As Principal of Passen and Associates, LLC, Andy advises
senior executives on key leadership, strategic and
organizational issues.
Formerly EVP of Human Resources for Forest City
Enterprises (now, Forest City Realty Trust), Andy had
responsibility for developing and implementing the
Company’s human capital strategy focused on attracting,
developing and retaining the high caliber of associates and
professional talent that have been a hallmark of Forest City
throughout its history. In this capacity, his responsibilities also
included the compensation, benefits and HRIS functions, as
well as the Company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Passen joined Forest City in April 2006, but had been
associated with the Company as a consultant since 2001.
Prior to becoming a member of Forest City’s executive team,
he was a founder and partner in the firm of O’Brien, Passen
and Associates, a consultancy of organizational psychologists
providing executive development, selection and change
management services to companies in the U.S. and Europe.
Passen earned his Ph.D. from Kent State University and a
Master of Arts in Psychology from Cleveland State University.
He earned his undergraduate degree at Miami (Ohio)
University in Oxford, Ohio.



Ann Weinzimmer, Vice President & General Counsel at More Than Gourmet & Owner, Tremont Scoops

Ann has been practicing law since 2003 and is currently Vice President & General Counsel for Akron-based More Than Gourmet, a specialty food manufacturer. In this role, Ann has responsibility for the company’s legal affairs, as well as compliance, regulatory and human resources matters. Previously, Ann was Counsel for Eaton Corporation, supporting several divisions in the Electrical Sector in the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Prior to Eaton, Ann was in private practice at Jones Day in the Private Equity practice group.

Ann is very active in community organizations, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank (currently serving as Board Vice-Chair, External Affairs Committee Co-Chair, as well as a member of the Executive Committee and Governance Committee) and Rainey Institute (currently serving on the Development Committee). Ann has also served on the board of The Centers for Families & Children, West Side Ecumenical Ministry, Hands On Northeast Ohio and ICAN Schools.

Ann is also a small business owner in her spare time, having purchased Tremont Scoops in December 2012, an ice cream shop in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.

Ann attended John Carroll University (B.A., Political Science, 1999) and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (J.D., summa cum laude,2003). Ann is a life-long Northeast Ohioan, and currently lives in Lakewood with her children Jackson (6) and Piper (4), and dog Franklin (10).



Laura Dutt, Chief Talent Officer

Laura Dutt serves as Benesch’s Chief Talent Officer. She brings more than 10 years of legal industry experience to her post.
Laura has firm-wide responsibility for recruiting and placing top talent in all of our office locations. She focuses her efforts on lateral
recruiting and on the firm’s Summer Associate and On Campus Interviewing programs. Laura works alongside Benesch’s firm leadership
to carry-out strategic initiatives for attracting top talent and for growing the Benesch team. She is a member of the firm’s Hiring
Additionally, Laura works with the firm’s Practice Group Chairs to develop training programs that support the continued growth and
success of our attorneys and paralegals across all of our office locations. She directs all programs related to onboarding and integration,
mentoring, practice group specific training, and plays an active role in performance management programs. Laura also works closely with
the firm’s Associate Development Committee and Women’s Initiative Committee.
Laura received her B.A. from John Carroll University and her Master’s Degree from Cleveland State University. She also holds a PHR


Maureen “Mo” Drabik, Talent Acquisition Manager

Maureen “Mo” Drabik is a Talent Acquisition Manager at Sherwin Williams. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Miami University and has spent the last 5 years in various recruiting roles. She oversees a team of 7 recruiters responsible for hiring talent at all levels of the organization while also managing the Cleveland HQ student level programming. Mo has a passion for the Talent Acquisition space and for connecting people to careers they love.



Harsha Bhavani, Finance Accountant

Harsha Bhavani completed her Masters in Accountancy from Cleveland State University and under grad from India in Accounting. She has been with Sherwin Williams for 4 1/2 years where she started as a Co-op with the Real Estate Accounting team and has been promoted through several different roles. She is currently is a Finance Accountant within the Latin America Division. Outside of work she is involved in several groups such as the Sherwin Williams CSU Alumni and Friends Corporate Chapter steering committee and participates in the Sherwin Williams’ Future Leaders committee.



Kimberly Bartholomew, Surveillance Analyst I, KeyBank

Kimberly Bartholomew is a Real Estate Capital Analyst at KeyBank, where she rotates to locations throughout the country, working in various Real Estate Capital lines of business. Previously, she worked as a Financial Analyst in Loan Servicing and Asset Management at KeyBank in Overland Park, Kansas. In this role, she initiated a project alongside Technology and Operations to automate aspects of loan analysis in an effort to increase efficiency and reduce error. As a result of her contribution to this project, she was awarded the Loan Servicing and Asset Management High Performance Award. Kimberly spent the prior two summers in Cleveland, interning in Quantitative Risk Management and Real Estate Capital at KeyBank. Kimberly recently graduated from Miami University with degrees in statistics and economics.



Vanessa Bongiorno, Vice President, Human Resources,  Nestlé

Vanessa Bongiorno is Vice President of Human Resources (HR) for the Nestlé USA Supply Chain team. She serves as a strategic business partner for the Supply Chain and Procurement leadership teams and oversees all strategic people initiatives and lifecycle activities to include workforce and succession planning, employee relations, compensation, change management, organization solutions, and training and leader development for more than 2,500 employees.

In her position, Vanessa’s true passion lies in partnering with her business leaders to drive innovative, effective, and pragmatic solutions to help deliver business results. She also is inspired by watching the talent in the organization thrive as they achieve personal and professional development goals.

Vanessa joined Nestlé in 2006 as an HR Manager supporting Supply Chain for the Distribution Centers, Customer Service Centers and Transportation fleet in Allentown, Pennsylvania, DeKalb, Illinois, and Solon, Ohio. In 2008 she took on the responsibilities for Corporate Supply Chain and oversight of the HR Field Logistics projects. Vanessa led the “Pay for Performance” incentive system in Logistics and redesigned and implemented the Supply Chain College recruitment and training program to further strengthen end-to-end Supply Chain competency and leadership across the Supply Chain network. In 2010, she transitioned as HR Manager supporting Corporate Communications and the Beverage Division where she managed the launch of the Talent and Performance Management System and provided support for Division workforce planning and talent reviews. In this role she also managed the Marketing intern and college training programs. In 2011, Vanessa was promoted to HR Director supporting the Ambient Supply Chain Organization. In 2013, Vanessa was responsible for managing the integration of four different Supply Chain Organizations under one leader, and assumed HR leadership of the HR teams under the newly formed One Supply Chain organization. In 2015, Vanessa was promoted to Vice President, Human Resources leading the people initiatives for the newly integrated Supply Chain Organization.  Beginning in 2016, she led the people strategy of the Supply Chain transformation and move from the Nestlé Headquarters in CA to the new Nestlé Headquarters in Arlington, VA and Ensure Supply Hub in Solon, OH.

Prior to Nestlé, Vanessa was an HR Manager for Aramark and Ascent Media Group.

Vanessa holds a master’s degree in HR from Golden Gate University and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Spanish from Indiana University.



Nikki Precord, Procurement Business Partner, Nestlé

Nikki Precord is a Procurement Business Partner at Nestlé USA in Solon, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University in 2013 with a degree in Supply Chain and Operations Management and joined Nestlé’s Supply Chain Development Program, a rotational program with various roles and locations throughout the US. Nikki began her career in Deployment based in Glendale, California, then joined Customer Facing Supply Chain based in Rogers, Arkansas, and finally moved into Procurement in Cleveland, Ohio. She currently lives in Sagamore Hills with her husband Rob. Her hobbies include running, hiking, camping, paddle boarding, snowboarding, and outdoor concerts.



Nick White, Owner, Tremont Athletic Club

Nick White founded Tremont Athletic Club in 2014 after 9 years as an attorney for Baker & Hostetler. Since then, TAC has become Cleveland’s premier fitness center by eliminating negative industry standards – unnecessary fees, deceptive pricing, inescapable contracts, etc. – and by focusing entirely on culture, community, and customer service. TAC is now in the process of opening a second location in the Centric Development in University Circle.




Barry Guttman, Associate, Real Estate & Environmental Practice Group

Barry Guttman grew up in Cleveland and attended Fuchs Mizrachi School before earning a B.A. in Economics and Psychology from New York University in 2009 and a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2013. After graduating from law school, Barry moved back to Cleveland to join the law firm of Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, where he is currently an associate whose practice focuses on representing clients in a broad range of commercial real estate and business advisory matters.

Since moving home, Barry has also been involved in the lay leadership of several non-profits and currently serves as a Trustee of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and is the immediate past Chair of its Young Leadership Division. Other past involvement includes serving as Chair of Fuchs Mizrachi School’s Alumni Association and Anti-Defamation League Glass Leadership Class (2015), among other activities. Barry is a member of several trade organizations, including the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and Urban Land Institute (ULI), and he is a founding member of the Cleveland Real Estate Network (CREN). He is also currently participating in ULI’s Partnership Forum.

Outside of work and community, Barry enjoys Cleveland sports, theatre, Beethoven, cooking, playing basketball and spending time with his wife, Samantha



Andrea Weiser, JCLE Program Director, Cleveland Hillel Foundation

Andrea Weiser is the JCLE Program Director at The Cleveland Hillel Foundation where she plans events for graduate students and young professionals. She plans an array of social, networking, civic engagement, and professional mentoring programs. Andrea connects the graduate students and young professionals to the Jewish community, Cleveland community, and other local organizations as well.

Andrea has spent nearly a decade working in event planning and non-profit management. Andrea is involved in the Engage! Cleveland’s Leadership Council and has previously been the Event Chair of Relay for Life in her local community. Andrea holds a BA in Recreation Management and minor in Business Administration from Ohio University.



Robin Doerschuk, Founder, Women’s Leadership Conference of Northeast Ohio

Robin Doerschuk started with Alliance Solutions Group, a full-service staffing and recruitment agency, immediately following college graduation in 2004. She’s now a part-owner and the Director of Learning and Development for TalentLaunch the Corporate Parent Organization.

When Robin joined Alliance, there were 6 employees and the company delivered <$2 million in revenue. She was a sensation immediately upon hire, and has earned several promotions since. Since 2005, Robin has been the leading sales person in the company, an impressive level of performance in a company that’s a nine-time Weatherhead 100 award winner and that’s growing at twice the rate (30+% a year) of the staffing/recruitment industry.

As Robin continues advancing within the company, she strives to give back to the community by influencing change within several organizations.

Most recently, Robin recognized a need for continuing education for women in business, so she created and founded the Women’s Leadership Conference of Northeast Ohio. 2015 was the inaugural year and hosted 350+ attendee’s.  The event was a huge success hosting 12 powerful female speakers. WLCNEO hosted its 3rd conference in September of 2017 which sold out for the first time with 500 attendee’s.



Ashley Basile Oeken, President, Engage! Cleveland

Ashley Basile Oeken is an experienced organizational leader with over ten years of experience in the government and nonprofit fields. Her expertise is focused on the next generation and young professionals.

In her role at Engage! Cleveland, Ashley oversees all aspects of the organization while driving strategic initiatives to increase the impact Engage! Cleveland can have on the community and young professionals. She consults with employers and nonprofits to attract, engage and retain the best and brightest talent to the Greater Cleveland area.

Ashley is very involved in the civic community in Cleveland serving on a variety of committees and Boards. Most notably, Ashley serves on Board of Trustees at the Saint Luke’s Foundation where she serves on the Strong Neighborhood committee and as Chair of the Governance Committee. Additionally, she is on the Executive Advisory Board for Pixel Leadership Group.



Lisa Codispoti, Director, Consulting

Lisa Codispoti is ERC’s Director, Consulting. At ERC, Lisa is responsible for our
Consulting services which include the full cycle of the Employee Experience.
With over 25 years of Human Resources and business leadership experience,
Lisa has gained valuable knowledge and expertise in everything from Talent
Management, to HR transformation, to organizational development, change
management, and leadership effectiveness.

Prior to joining ERC, Lisa has held a variety of HR and business operations
roles including prominent positions at Sage Software, Outsourcing Solutions,
KeyCorp, and GE. Lisa received her Bachelor’s Degree from Walsh University
and her MBA from Case Western Reserve University. She has completed
Ph.D. coursework in Human and Organizational Development from the
Fielding Institute.

Lisa is actively involved with her two teenage sons’ schools and soccer
teams. In addition, Lisa is an adjunct professor at Walsh University and Kent
State University’s business schools. Lisa currently serves as a board member
for Meals on Wheels of both Stark and Wayne counties as well as the Stark
County Catholic School Board.