Our History

Founded in 2012, Engage! Cleveland got its start as a collaboration between the business community and young professionals who noticed a need for an initiative that would raise Cleveland’s profile as a top destination for YPs to begin and advance their careers.


What began as an idea in 2010 has since grown into a movement that has captured the attention of Young Professionals all over Cleveland. Take a look at the events and people who have helped shape Engage! Cleveland into what it is today.


September 2012

Engage! Cleveland hires its founding Executive Director, Ashley Basile Oeken.

February 2014

Engage! Cleveland’s founding Board of Directors signs its Articles of Incorporation and Code of Regulations to register as a legal not-for-profit entity in the State of Ohio.

October 6-11, 2014

Engage! Cleveland hosts its first Cleveland Young Professionals Week – a week full of events geared at exposing Cleveland YPs to all that Cleveland has to offer.

August 1, 2015

Engage! Cleveland begins to operate as its own entity hiring its first “official” staff and contractors and moving into its own space.

August 27, 2015

Engage! Cleveland hits 10,000 followers on Twitter, showcasing the reach the organization has and the importance of its work.

November 23, 2015

Engage! Cleveland receives its 501c3 designation

January 2016

Engage! Cleveland launches a new membership model and creates the Leadership Council.

March 2016

Engage! Cleveland wins the Cleveland Business Connects Magazine’s Connectors Choice Award for Business Networking Organization of the Year (Young Professionals).

March 2017

Engage! Cleveland wins the Cleveland Business Connects Magazine’s Connectors Choice Award for Business Networking Organization of the Year (Young Professionals) for the second year in a row.

September 2017

Engage! Cleveland’s Board of Directors set forth a new strategic plan with 5 signature events to be implemented in 2018.

September 2018

Engage! Cleveland releases its inaugural State of the Young Professional Community Report.