Engage! Cleveland welcomes new chair of its board of directors

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Engage! Cleveland, a community engagement nonprofit, recently named Gary Shamis as its new board chair effective July 1. Shamis, CEO of Winding River Consulting, has spent 30 years in the accounting and consulting professions. He succeeds outgoing chair, Neal Restivo, CEO of Oatey Company.

“Gary is one of our founding board members who helped launch our organization. It is both incredibly exciting and rewarding to now have him serving as our board chair. His passion for our work is unmatched,” said Engage! Cleveland President Ashley Basile Oeken.

“It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to lead Engage! Cleveland after having been involved with E!C since before day one,” added Shamis. “What we have accomplished over the past six years has made a tremendous impact on Cleveland’s young professional community and for the many companies that work with us. Our goal as an organization is to continue growing and doing even more to advance Cleveland.”

Prior to starting his current firm, Shamis helped build SS&G into one of the nation's largest accounting and consulting firms before combining it with BDO USA in November 2014. Throughout his tenure in the finance industry, Shamis received numerous awards including being named an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year, a Top Ten Managing Partner Elite by Accounting Today and a Most Admired Peer by INSIDE Public Accounting. In addition to serving his profession within the ranks of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of CPAs, Shamis, a passionate public servant, has led boards and committees for over 20 nonprofits. Most recently, he was named chair of JumpStart, Inc.’s board of directors.

As a well known business leader and innovator, Shamis has written and edited for multiple industry journals as well as co-authored two books, How To Manage Your Accounting Practice: Taking Your Firm from Chaos to Consensus (2009) and Stratagem: Simple, Effective Strategic Planning for Your Business and Your Life (2013). His most recent work, Building Blocks (2019), was an independent undertaking with a chapter featuring his experience launching Engage! Cleveland.

Engage! Cleveland has also named David Toth as a new vice chair. Toth is Vice President of USA Expositions, an experiential marketing and event agency that connects people to brands through face-to-face experiences. USA Expo is responsible for producing Dyngus Day Cleveland and the Cleveland Oktoberfest – both Top 10 Events in the US. Toth will join current Engage! Cleveland vice chair, Lauren Rudman who is the Human Resources Director at Donley’s Inc and a past President of the Cleveland Society of Human Resources Management.


www.engagecleveland.org | 8200 Sweet Valley Drive, Suite 100 | Cleveland, OH 44125

About Engage! Cleveland

Engage! Cleveland is a community engagement organization for young professionals and business/community leaders who are passionate about making Cleveland a lasting home for the next generation. Our goal is to attract, engage and retain young, diverse talent to Greater Cleveland by connecting young professionals to people, jobs, organizations and events. You can find out more at www.engagecleveland.org.

Media Contact:

Cheyenne Meek