As told by Janna Woo…It’s March, 2014 and I am a month away from my wedding in North Carolina, with the final touches falling into place when my husband Josh casually mentions to me that he has been offered a job opportunity in Cleveland. I brush it off and say, we can talk about it after the wedding; I can’t put anything else on my plate right now. March 30th, we are married, and I’m thinking my life is amazing; I have a great husband, a fantastic job, and live in a great city. Fast forward to after our honeymoon, and I said, okay, so tell me about this opportunity. Spice Kitchen & Bar was looking for a Director of Culinary Operations. I learned about all the advancements and achievements the business had made over the last few years and the path it was on to continue to grow. It all sounded like a great idea, but Cleveland???? Really? I had visited years before (and no offense to anyone that lives there), but Parma was all I knew of Cleveland at the time. I had no idea what the city of Cleveland really had to offer to my husband and I or our potentially new life there. That’s where Executive Arrangements came into play. We literally had less than 48 hours to visit Cleveland and make our decision. Our tour of Cleveland with EA was exactly what I needed. They showed us different areas of town, hot spots, and things that were of interest to us. I was impressed at how prepared they were and the steps they took to become prepared. Before our visit, knowing that our time was so limited here, they spoke with us on the phone to gather information on employment needs, housing needs, hobbies of interest, and just general information about us and what we were used to in our lives and potentially those things we may want to add. Part of our tour was connecting us with local people in Cleveland that may be of interest or support to us. I had the pleasure to meet Hannah Belsito with Positively Cleveland (at the time) and now Destination Cleveland. That was the first of my meetings with local Clevelanders that really helped “sell” the city for me. EVERYONE was so nice! Hannah was informative about what was going on in the city and continued to stay in touch with me after we returned home sending me emails about potential job openings. It didn’t benefit her one way or another if I got a job, but she was still willing to be supportive of our move to the city. After our whirlwind trip to visit, before we had even made it home, I looked at my husband over tears and said, “It looks like we are moving to Cleveland.” I was experiencing both happy and sad tears, happy for the opportunities and growth this move would provide to us and sad to leave a career and a life that I had grown to love.
We didn’t approach our move in a typical fashion, and moved up separately, Josh in June and myself not until September. EA was available for emails or calls with questions from all sorts of things, from connecting me to people that had the opportunity to assist me with my career move, to recommendations for housing, and so much more as we prepared to move our life 700 miles. When I first got to town, EA’s Margy Judd was quick to set up a meet and greet for us to catch up and check in to see how I was doing with the move and has since followed up with numerous opportunities to meet other newcomers to the Cleveland area and share our stories.
The job market in Cleveland proved to be more ample than expected and offered a lot of options within my field of work. I was fortunate enough to obtain a temporary position with the Alumni Association at Case Western Reserve University and quickly followed with a full time employment opportunity as Meetings and Special Events Manager with The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland. I have greatly enjoyed this new direction of my career with event planning at The Ritz-Carlton.
My favorite spots in Cleveland:
Ohio City’s Hingetown neighborhood (especially Cleveland Tea Revival and Jukebox)
Spice Acres Farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cleveland Horseshoe Casino
Vision Yoga in Ohio City
Hands down, I can say that our move to Cleveland was A) the right decision B) great for our family and C) a very easy transition with huge kudos to the great folks at Executive Arrangements.
To learn more about how Executive Arrangements can help your organization recruit and relocate top talent into NE Ohio by carefully matching your recruit (and their plus 1) to the people and resources in NE Ohio, call us: 216.231.9311.