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Jamilla Naji art at 78th St Studios - Photo Bob Perkoski
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Innovation + Job News

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'queen of pork' spreads love of artisan cured meats one sausage at a time

Melissa Khoury loves pork so much that she's earned the title “Queen of Pork.” Growing up watching local butchers cut her steaks, then gaining even more exposure to butcheries while living in Atlanta, Khoury discovered her passion early on.
 
When Khoury moved back to Cleveland in 2009, she worked as a chef in a number of well known restaurants with no intention of staying in town. But then, everything began falling into place and Saucisson was born in 2013.
 
Saucisson sells hand-cured meats and specialty sausages, all sourced from local farmers and butchers. Currently, Khoury works out of the Cleveland Culinary Launch and sells her products at local farmers markets and the Cleveland Flea.
 
From chorizo to smoked Tasso ham, Khoury has found her calling. “I love everything about it,” she says. “It’s like my Zen. It’s me and my animal and it’s relaxing to me.”
 
Khoury’s love of pork was no secret to area chefs, but she was less known to retail consumers. “When I started the company, chefs in the city knew who I was and knew about my pork obsession, but the general consumer didn’t know unless they were patrons of one of the restaurants I worked at,” she says.
 
Khoury is a big supporter of other local businesses like Fresh Fork Market, Thirsty Dog Brewing Company and New Creations Farm in Geauga County. They often work together to share their creations. For example, Khoury buys her meat from New Creations, sells her sausage through Fresh Fork and uses Thirsty Dog lager in some of her sausages.
 
Now that customers have had a chance to get to know Khoury and the products she sells through Saucisson, her next goal is to open a female-owned butcher shop. In doing so, she wants not only to sell her products, but also inform the general public about fresh and cured meats and sustainable butchery.
 
"I educate the general consumer, whether it’s a sausage sandwich or spaghetti sauce,” she explains. “It’s cool to see people get adventurous with my products. But I don’t want to make anything that will scare anyone away. I’m making sausage approachable.”
 
To help achieve those goals, Khoury recently brought on Penny Barend as a business partner.

 
Source: Melissa Khoury
Writer: Karin Connelly

who went where? a look at recently filled positions

Several Cleveland area companies have some new faces on their staffs. Here’s a rundown of who is in new positions.
 
Bryan Stubbs is the Cleveland Water Alliance’s new executive director. The Cleveland Water Alliance is a collaborative group of companies, academic institutions and public agencies working to create a thriving economy around the global needs of water quality and access. Stubbs’ background is in sustainability and non-profit management, most recently as a consultant with The Oberlin Project.
 
“The Cleveland Water Alliance is about elevating the conversation of water in a way that encompasses the opportunity that our water asset affords both our community and our economy,” explains Stubbs. "It’s about our future as the Water Belt.”
 
Stubbs plans to bring his successes with the Oberlin Project to the Cleveland Water Alliance. "At the Oberlin Project I was tasked with implementing a plan to radically lower greenhouse gas emissions while growing the local economy and jobs, the parts of which are not mutually exclusive,” he says. “I plan on bringing that core concept to the Alliance by working collaboratively with our leading corporations, academic institutions and public agencies.

Project and Construction Services (PCS) named Kevin Lawlor president of the employee-owned professional construction services and general contracting company. Lawlor succeeds 13-year PCS president Robert S. Strickland, who recently retired. Lawlor has more than 38 years of design and construction phase experience and has been with PCS for 22 years, the last 11 years as executive vice president.
 
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress Inc., a private nonprofit community development funding intermediary focused on investing in the revitalization of city neighborhoods, is growing. The organization has added four key staff members since January. Alesha Washington joined CNP as senior director of advocacy, policy and research, and Mordecai Cargill was hired as manager of fund development in January. In mid-march Zoë Taft Mueller joined CNP as placemaking fellow and Daniel Brown was hired as economic opportunity fellow. Later this month, Donald A. Pattison will come to CNP as community lending specialist, Village Capital Corporation.
 
Have a new hire you'd like to share? Email Karin with the details and we’ll help spread the good news!
 

170 businesses, 5k attendees expected at this year's entrovation event

Back by popular demand, the second annual Entrovation will be held on Friday, May 2, at the Beachwood Community Center. The event is an opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes to showcase their companies and learn from each other. Organized by Beachwood High School marketing teacher and Junior Achievement advisor Greg Perry, the event is touted as the largest Northeast Ohio business fair that connects businesses and entrepreneurs.

“We will have everything from salsa to solar panels,” says Perry. The event is the culmination of a year-long Beachwood Junior Achievement Company Program taken by 24 students from Beachwood, Mayfield and Brush high schools.
 
The students work on Entrovation all year, planning every detail and learning about entrepreneurship. “The class operates like a company,” explains Perry. “My students' company is an entrepreneurial event planning company.”
 
More than 170 businesses, from small startups to large local players like CWRU, Parker Hannifin and Sherwin Williams, will exhibit. “These companies encourage their employees to think like entrepreneurs, even though they work for very big companies and universities,” says Perry. “And it’s a really great way for young entrepreneurs to establish local contacts.”
 
The Burton D. Morgan Foundation will sponsor the Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in which five companies will be chosen by attendees at Entrovation. The top five entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch their companies on May 28 for a chance to win $3,000, $1,500 and $500 prizes.
 
Entrepreneurial companies will have their goods for sale, Collection Auto Group will have cars on display and six food trucks will be on hand. Perry is expecting about 5,000 people to attend this year’s event, which is free and runs from noon to 6 p.m.
 

Source: Greg Perry
Writer: Karin Connelly

three-company partnership develops ecologically effective way to dispose of shale catalyst

As the processing of shale oil increases, oil refineries are looking for an ecologically effective way to dispose of catalyst. Three local companies -- Metaloy, Redimet and Evergreen Environmental -- have teamed up to create METPro Recovery, working with Skye Metal in Marietta.

“It’s a joint venture relationship to deal with the increased amount of catalyst coming from oil refineries and shale oil mining,” explains Claude Kennard, Metaloy president. “Four refineries in Ohio will be processing these new crudes.”
 
METPro Recovery identifies companies producing catalysts containing heavy metals such as molybdenum, nickel, iron, titanium and cobalt. METPro then delivers these catalysts to Skye Metal’s Marietta facility to produce super alloys and usable raw materials.
 
METPro is able to accept hazardous and non-hazardous “K Waste” materials through a variance granted by the state. The company’s process focuses on sustainability and being environmentally safe. “It goes from the refinery to METPro and the customer without creating additional waste,” explains Kennard. “The gasses that come off in the process go through a scrubber. There’s nothing bad coming out of our plants.”
 
The added benefit to METPro’s process is that there is demand for a product. “The sweet spot of our application is the steel mills will always need the materials we have,” says Kennard. In fact, the recycled materials are cheaper than sourcing naturally occurring materials. The company is reaching out to all of the major industry players.
 
Kennard says the partnership will create jobs within all four of the partnering companies. Metaloy will hire three to five people in the next year, while Redimet plans to hire two people and Evergreen plans to hire four.
 
METPro plans to start with processing 500 tons of catalyst a month and eventually ramp up to its 4,000-ton capacity, with a potential to generate $10 million in sales.

 
Source: Claude Kennard
Writer: Karin Connelly
 

popular startup weekend returns to cleveland after last year's successful showing

More than 100 business-minded entrepreneurs are expected to attend this weekend’s Cleveland Startup Weekend in Tyler Village (3615 Superior Ave.) to present their business ideas, mingle and team up to create business plans.

Startup Weekend, an international event, returned to Cleveland last year for the first time in five years to a warm reception. So organizers Ryan Marimon and Bryan Adams decided to do it again this year.
 
The weekend, which runs from Friday night, April 11, through Sunday, April 13, is about education, mentoring and hands-on skill development. “Startup Weekends are all about learning by doing, whether you’re learning a new skill or a new way of thinking,” says Marimon. “Don’t just listen to theory; build your own strategy and test it as you go.”
 
Participants will gather on Friday to pitch their ideas. Teams are then formed around the best ideas, via vote, and the teams spend the rest of the weekend working on a business model. The weekend culminates with pitch sessions and a winner is selected by a panel of judges.
 
Last year, eight teams pitched on Sunday night. Marimon says he expects as many as 16 teams to pitch at the end of the weekend this year.
 
Marimon says there’s nothing to lose in exploring ideas. “The risk of failure for the weekend is really low, so there is no reason not to get out and try things,” he says. “At the end of the day, we are all about fostering lasting relationships and fostering a community of doers right here in Cleveland.”
 
Registration for the event is $99 and is open up until the weekend’s start. As a special for Fresh Water readers, use the code FRESH to register for only $59.

 
Source: Ryan Marimon
Writer: Karin Connelly

keep it local project all about promoting, growing small businesses in cle

As a small business owner, Carl Baldesare knows the headaches associated with growing a company. With a background as a small business advisor and, more recently, owner of Specialty Renovations construction company, Baldesare grew frustrated with the expense and limited resources available in growing his small company.

Then about nine months ago, Baldesare had an idea for growing all the small businesses in Cleveland: Keep it Local Cleveland Project. “I just started wondering, why don’t people help these small businesses out,” he recalls. “I realized number one is they didn’t know the business existed, or they were afraid to try it.”
 
The Keep it Local Cleveland Project is a membership based group dedicated to promoting and growing small businesses of all kinds in Cleveland. Businesses can run promotions and specials through the website. “I created an all-encompassing Cleveland chamber,” Baldesare boasts. “We connect local people to local businesses. We do this by telling you where to find them, and give you a little incentive to find them.”
 
Member businesses get access to monthly networking events, a mention on social media and radio, and promotion on Keep it Local’s website marketplace. “It’s a pretty slick setup,” says Baldesare. Consumers can access deals and promotions, or simply research local businesses. “When you buy from independent local businesses, more of your money goes to other independent local businesses.”
 
The project already has generated a loyal following, with more than 3,000 followers on Facebook. The organization now has five employees.
 
Keep it Local Cleveland officially kicks off on Sunday with a free concert at the Beachland Ballroom featuring local bands, of course. A ticket is required to get into the concert.

 
Source: Carl Baldesare
Writer: Karin Connelly

new sci-fi animated movie shot in cle set to debut next month

Deacon Burns, front man for the alternative punk-hop group Kounterclockwise, is the star of a new sci-fi animated movie, “Kounterclockwise in Forever-Land.” Burns, who attended Cleveland Heights High School, worked with Los Angeles-based animator Jim Lujan for more than a year to create the film, which takes place in Cleveland.
 
The movie chronicles the adventures of Burns and bandmate Kaya Rogue through the streets of Cleveland in search of a magical glove that was stolen from the Rock Hall. The project has been a lifelong dream for Burns. “It was just incredible,” he says. “I always wanted to do an animated show and it was a blast. I loved every minute of it.”
 
Burns and Lujas have never met; Lujas actually hasn’t even been to Cleveland. But the two put the film together long-distance. “It just goes to show how far technology has come that we can do this,” says Burns.
 
Forever-Land features scenes from the Lake Erie shore, Coventry and Stevenson’s Bar and Grille in Euclid (renamed the Wandering Eye in the movie). Burns, who was left paralyzed after an accident in 2007, describes the movie as positive, inspirational and for all ages. “Kounterclockwise in Forever-Land is the first-ever disabled hip-hop inter-galactic animated hero that saves the day in a wheelchair,” boasts Burns.
 
The Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival will sponsor the movie’s big screen premier on April 24 at the Atlas Theater in Euclid.

 
Sources: Deacon Burns, Jim Lujan
Writer: Karin Connelly

more than 2k participants expected to attend neosa tech week

More than 2,000 participants are expected to celebrate the Cleveland tech industry during 2014 NEOSA Tech Week April 11-18.

“Tech Week is really becoming part of the vernacular in the region,” says NEOSA director Brad Nellis. “If we hit the 2,200 mark, we will have quadrupled the number in attendance from our first year in 2011.”
 
Some Tech Week favorites, like NEOSA’s Best of Tech Awards and the NASA Space Apps Challenge, will be on hand once again this year, while some newcomers, like TechPint, will be rounding out the activities.
 
Global Cleveland’s virtual IT job fair will take place throughout the week. Tom Bennett, Global Cleveland’s director of employer relations and talent attraction, says several hundred job openings will be listed. “This is a great opportunity through Tech Week,” says Bennett. “Not only are there jobs to be had, it’s a great life in Cleveland.”
 
Kent State University will host its annual Career Expo on Friday, April 17, for students who want to learn more about specific tech careers. “It’s a great way for students to talk to people about what they do for a living,” says Nellis. “It’s a chance for students to understand the different jobs they can get in Northeast Ohio.”
 
NASA will again host its Space Apps Challenge April 11-13. The challenge is designed to inspire and challenge software developers with actual NASA projects. Last year, more than 9,000 people from around the world participated. This year by popular demand, teams are allowed to work around the clock if they so choose. “Last year we kicked them out at 10 p.m. and they were pissed off,” recalls Nellis. “It’s really intense, it is very cool, and it’s hard-core geek.”
 
New on the scene this year is TechPint, which will host its fourth meeting on April 16th at the Agora Theater. Kyle Stalzer, CEO of Tackk, and Alex Yakubovich, co-founder of ONOSYS, will speak. And of course, there will be beer. ”We’ve been supporting them and spreading the word,” says Nellis. “It brings a cool, dynamic group together that’s focused on early stage stuff.”
 
“It's a common misconception that everything in the tech world can be branded simply as 'information technology,’ but in reality you have many different categories and groups of people,” says TechPint founder Paul McAvinchey. “So people coming to TechPint may be different from people going to other tech events in Northeast Ohio. Tech Week does a great job in bringing all these disparate groups together once a year to check in and share ideas, so it makes complete sense for TechPint to participate in this great event.”
 
The highlight of the week is NEOSA’s Best of Tech Awards on Thursday, April 17. Categories range from "Most Promising Startup" to "Technology Company of the Year." There are plenty of other activities during Tech Week, including Startup Weekend, networking and pitch events.
 
Go to the Tech Week calendar for more details.

 
Sources: Brad Nellis, Tom Bennett, Paul McAvinchey
Writer: Karin Connelly

csu math corps helps high school students discover their greatness

The students in the Math Corps at CSU program are not just there to sharpen their math skills. For the third summer, a group of middle school and high school students will come to the CSU campus from Cleveland schools for a four-week program that not only teaches math through mentoring, but also provides a nurturing, supportive environment.

The Math Corps at CSU is a spinoff of a program at Wayne State University in Detroit, which has since 1990 offered a combined academic enrichment and mentoring program to Detroit Public Schools students. Since 1995, more than 95 percent of Detroit’s Math Corps students have graduated from high school and 80 percent have gone on to college.
Organizers in Cleveland looked to Detroit when launching a similar program here. Beyond strong mathematical foundations, the Math Corps provides a safe, caring environment in which children are able to recognize and nurture excellence.
 
“It’s really about a way of seeing kids and a way of seeing math,” explains Dionissi Aliprantis, associate director of the Math Corps. “It’s about helping kids realize their greatness. All kids have greatness in them. We use math as a way to bring it out of them.”
 
The seventh and eighth graders learn from high school teaching assistants (TAs), who have been through the program. There also are six college instructors. The participants are divided into teams of 10 middle school students at the same grade level, one college student who serves as team leader, and five TAs. Students emerge loving math, loving themselves and knowing how to respect others.
 
“There’s a lot you can learn from math: hard work, the courage to fail and it’s kind of fun,” says Aliprantis. “We do all that in the context of a caring community. We have high expectations and we tell them we actually care about each other and take care of each other.”
 
While the program is open to all Cleveland area middle and high school students, organizers see the Math Corps as a way to support struggling Cleveland public schools. “It’s about creating this community,” says Math Corps co-founder and instructor Francisca Richter. “You have to have commitment, a sense of responsibility and the drive to want to learn. We hope to reach out to more children.”
 
This year the Math Corps will accept 40 incoming seventh graders to attend the camp from July 14 to Aug. 7, as well as 20 eighth graders and 30 high school teaching assistants. Applications are due by Friday, April 11.

 
Sources: Dionissi Aliprantis and Francisca Richter
Writer: Karin Connelly
 

cleveland-pittsburgh sports rivalry heats up on kickstarter with children's books

Die hard Cleveland sports fan Scott O’Brien and Pittsburgh fan Joe Wos each have put their artistic talents to work in children’s books celebrating their favorite teams. “Why is Daddy Sad on Sunday: Disappointing Moments in Cleveland Sports Coloring Book” and “The Three Little Pittsburghers, as Told in Pittsburghese” both launched Kickstarter campaigns.
 
Both O’Brien and Wos have met their Kitckstarter goals. But in true rival form, Wos challenged O’Brien to a side bet: Whoever raises the most money for his book gets to make the loser wear the winner’s team jersey during 2014 Cleveland-Pittsburgh games.
 
“Anytime someone from Cleveland does something, we feel it can't go unanswered,” Wos, a freelance cartoonist, says of his challenge to O’Brien. “The Three Little Pittsburghers” is based on the “Three Little Pigs” story, but told in Wos’ native language: Pittsburghese.
 
“I was sitting around a campfire and everyone took turns telling a story in their native languages – Russian, Yiddish, Spanish, Sign Language,” recalls Wos. “So I decided to tell my story in Pittsburghese and it was a big hit.”
 
O’Brien grew up in South Euclid but now lives in Los Angeles, where and owns The Green Life, an online green products retail company. He continues to be an avid Cleveland sports fan. “I can’t root for any other team,” he says. “I did the book more for friends and family but put it up on Kickstarter to see if there was any demand.”
 
The demand was there. O’Brien set a goal of $2,000 to cover costs of publishing the book. He raised $23,964 before the campaign closed. People continue to contact him about buying a copy of “Disappointing Moments.”
 
Wos has met his $3,000 goal, but he has only raised $8,554 so far. His campaign ends April 1.
 
While the book rivalry is all in good fun – O’Brien learned that Wos had backed his book before the challenge was issued – the two still can’t resist talking a little smack.
 
“I saw [O’Brien’s] book come across Kickstarter and thought, I have no idea how he’s going to fit it all in one book,” jokes Wos. “It seems like a seven-book series.”
 
O’Brien is a bit more gracious. “It’s hard for Pittsburgh or other cities that haven’t experienced what Cleveland has gone through,” he says. “You definitely know where the line is when you’re from Cleveland.”
 
O’Brien is in a position to take the high road. “Barring any act of God, I think I’ll probably win this one,” says O’Brien cautiously. “I don’t even have a Pittsburgh jersey, so I hope I can deliver a win for Cleveland.”
 
O’Brien plans to make Wos wear Bernie Kosar’s #19 Browns jersey.
 
“Disappointing Moments” is available for purchase through O’Brien’s website and “The Three Little Pittsburghers" can be purchased on Wos’ site when the Kickstarter campaign is over.

 
Sources: Joe Wos, Scott O’Brien
Writer: Karin Connelly

who's hiring in cle: nature center, burning river, jumpstart...

Welcome to the latest edition of Who’s Hiring in Cleveland?

There are plenty of good jobs to be found here in Cleveland. This is the latest installment in a new regular series of posts in which we feature companies that are hiring, what those employers are looking for, and how to apply.

 
Here’s the latest Cleveland hiring news:
 
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is looking for a new facilities director to oversee the operation, safety and maintenance of the Nature Center’s physical assets with a commitment to sustainable practices. More information is available on the center’s web page. To apply, send an email to Brittany Coffin with “facilities director” in the subject line. Include cover letter with salary expectations, resume and three references.
 
National General Insurance needs 35 reps to join the customer service team in its downtown Cleveland call center. Qualified candidates should be prepared to come to work energized, engaged, empowered and determined to execute. Interested applicants can apply here.
 
Work from home for Career Town Network as a sales consultant in the virtual job fair business. A JumpStart client, Career Town will provide the leads and the software, all you need is a computer, Internet access and a phone.
 
JumpStart needs an executive director for its small business Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Serve as the liaison to funding sources, financial institutions, community organizations and the media.
 
The Burning River Foundation is seeking to hire a part-time temporary communications professional to help position and promote the work of the foundation and its annual fundraiser, the Burning River Fest. Interested candidates should email their resume to board member Mike Shafarenko.

Have hiring news you’d like to share? Email Karin at Fresh Water Cleveland and send us this information or career links!


latest report shows that cle is gaining, not losing, jobs

Despite the disheartening news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly jobs reports, the latest news is that Cleveland actually is gaining jobs and moving forward.

The BLS’ monthly jobs report shows that Cleveland lost 2,100 jobs since May 2012, more than any other metropolitan area in the country. However, the latest BLS report, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), released last week, shows that Cleveland in fact gained 7,669 jobs in the third quarter of 2013. While this report takes a little longer to come out than the monthly report, it is much more accurate. Cleveland had an average of 992,570 employed between May and September of 2013.
 
The difference, says Team NEO CEO Tom Waltermire, is that the monthly Current Employment Statistics (CES) report is based on data from only six percent of the country’s business community, while the QCEW is based on data from 98 percent of businesses.
 
“The CES data is very premature and should never have been released,” says Waltermire. “The numbers are so preliminary they’re inaccurate. What it means for Cleveland is we have been subjected to nine months of regular and increasingly inflammatory headlines that report we’re the worst big city region from a jobs perspective. That is not the case.”
 
The latest QCEW report marks the 13th consecutive quarter of year-over-year job growth in Northeast Ohio.
 
Team NEO is now working to reverse the impressions created by the monthly reports. The organization has teamed up with Cleveland State’s Levin College of Urban Affairs and the Cleveland Federal Reserve to better analyze the data. Team NEO also is working with the Greater Cleveland Partnership in lobbying Ohio’s congressional representatives about the way employment data is released.
 
“People should think of the economy in Cleveland as gradually growing,” says Waltermire. “Every month has shown a higher number of jobs than the year before. We’re on a winning streak here.”

 
Source: Tom Waltermire
Writer: Karin Connelly

2nd annual maker faire showcases what crafty clevelanders are up to

The second annual Mini Maker Faire will be held on Saturday, March 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the downtown Cleveland Public Library. This free event not only showcases some of the innovative ideas local makers have explored, it is also a hands-on event where attendees can learn to knit, or even create an LED light. It’s all about the growing maker movement, which includes everyone from tech enthusiasts and crafters to scientists and garage tinkerers.
 
“It’s an interesting movement,” says Mini Make Faire organizer James Krouse. “The maker movement runs the spectrum of people working in robotics and 3D printing to the more traditional people who do knitting. But it’s a thought process of how something is made.”
 
Approximately 100 exhibitors will be at this year’s Faire, including MakerGear, a Beachwood-based manufacturer of 3D printers and Robogaia Industries, which will have its web-controlled robot on hand. Threadwitch Light and Fabric, which specializes in electronic textiles, will teach guests how to light up a simple LED, while the Red Heart Method will teach metal hand-stamping for jewelry and kids’ crafts.
 
Many of the exhibitors will be selling their creations, but sales are not the primary goal of the event.
 
"It’s the world’s greatest show and tell,” says Krouse. “It’s where people say, ‘I’m going to show off what I’m doing.’”
 

Source: James Krouse
Writer: Karin Connelly


who's hiring in cle: ganeden biotech, youth opportunities unlimited, opusone...

Welcome to the latest edition of Who’s Hiring in Cleveland?
 
There are plenty of good jobs to be found here in Cleveland. This is the latest installment in a new regular series of posts in which we feature companies that are hiring, what those employers are looking for, and how to apply.
  
Global Cleveland and NEOSA will host a virtual IT job fair during NEOSA Tech Week, April 11-18. New this year, job seekers and employers will receive a list of potential candidates and companies that match the job requirements. Top IT talent can sign up here. Employers looking for talent can register here.
 
Ganeden Biotech, a leader in probiotic research and product development, needs two business development account managers to identify and service new partners.
 
In addition to hiring youths for its summer employment program, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) has multiple positions open, from administrative team leaders to a database and file captain and a field supervisor. Read about all the open jobs here.
 
OpusOne Staffing is actively recruiting talented IT professionals, ranging from entry level to senior level. Interested candidates should send resumes to Melissa.
 
The Cleveland Foundation needs a program officer to review and research grant proposals and community issues, meet with prospective grantees and prepare evaluations and recommendations for funding. To apply, send resume and salary requirements to the hiring manager.

New Directions, a recovery center for teens and their families, needs an experienced planned giving officer to secure major gifts from donors through estate planning and other gifts. The qualified candidate must be a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
 
Have hiring news you’d like to share? Email Karin at Fresh Water Cleveland and send us this information or career links!

northeast ohio entrepreneur expo focuses on making connections

JumpStart’s 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo is slated to be the largest one yet with 1,000 attendees and 100 exhibitors expected for its seventh year. The event on Monday, April 7 at the Cleveland Museum of Art is slated to be chock-full of resources and events for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

This year’s theme is “Connections Matter,” with a focus on helping entrepreneurs make the connections that will help their business succeed and move forward.
 
New this year is a speed advising session, during which entrepreneurs will be paired with investors, support organizations, service providers and the media to get quick tips on improving their pitches and selling their businesses. “All of last year’s attendees liked the energy and the people who were there, but they wanted more interaction,” says JumpStart’s Samantha Fryberger of the decision to add the speed advising. “This way we have more interaction.”
 
The session is followed by an investor panel discussion, “Attracting Capital Between the Coasts,” which will focus on raising money in Ohio. “Obviously, raising capital in Boston or the Silicon Valley is very different than in the Midwest,” notes Fryberger.
 
Returning this year is the Charter One Foundation Student Business Idea Competition. Six teams will be chosen by a judging panel and public vote, based on their business plans and a video. Three teams will be chosen to receive $400, $600 and $1,500 prizes.
 
The day will be capped off with a networking happy hour. The event runs from noon to 5:30 p.m. and is free to the general public. The cost is $85 for entrepreneurs, who have until Monday to register.
 
 
Source: Samantha Fryberger
Writer: Karin Connelly
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