In mid-2014, Executive Arrangements was retained by Progressive Insurance to help attract a new Director of Communications, Brian Grace, from Minnesota. Here is their relocation story as told by Brian’s wife Katie.
I knew things were getting serious when Progressive Insurance flew the whole family to Cleveland in 2014 for Brian’s final round of interviews and an in-depth look at the city. Executive Arrangements met us and whisked us around to different neighborhoods and cool Cleveland institutions like the West Side Market and Natural History Museum. All of a sudden the reality of relocation from our home in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul set in. This meant the possibility of leaving our families, our current jobs, our home – basically the entire life we had built together over 14 years of marriage. And, how would our kids (Jack, 9 and Greta, 5) react to moving across the country away from their grandparents, cousins and friends? On the other hand, this also meant the possibility of a completely new adventure, which sounded fun and exciting. We decided to take the plunge and go for it – life is a journey, and we were on board.
Brian commuted back and forth during the first few month of his position as Director of Communications for Progressive, and the kids and I arrived in late July with our suitcases and one bin containing our belongings until the moving van came to our new house (not for many months later).
With a new city to explore, the summer was filled with joy and adventure. The Metroparks became our playground, and our mission was to discover our favorite new places. As fall arrived, we settled the kids in to their new school and searched for the perfect home. As it happened, the neighborhood we chose (Shaker Heights) was the first neighborhood we visited with Executive Arrangements. We have since completely renovated our 1928 Tudor and found lifelong friends in our new neighbors.
After the kids started school, it was time for me to find my own place in Cleveland. Having worked in hotel sales for 14 years in the Twin Cities, Cleveland offered numerous exciting opportunities in the hotel industry, and I turned to Executive Arrangements for their experience, connections and advice. I have Executive Arrangements to thank directly for a connection that Margy made for me, resulting in my current position as Director of Sales for the Hilton Garden Inn Mayfield Village.
Some favorite memories from our first winter in Cleveland include riding the Toboggan chute in Strongsville, winter hiking in the Metroparks and a dinner party at Margy’s house one snowy Friday evening with a group of Executive Arrangements alumni. We are looking forward to hosting this group at our new home soon. Cleveland is such an exciting place to be right now. Both Brian and I feel we can help support the city’s upward momentum and have become huge Cleveland advocates. People often tell us we have seen more and done more than those who have lived here their entire lives. We love being tourists in our own city and will never stop exploring.
Here Is a List of Our Top Picks
- Favorite picnic spot – 9th Street Pier/North Coast Harbor Park
- Favorite family activity – biking on the Towpath
- Most beautiful place – Cleveland Botanical Garden
- Best way to wrap up a summer weekend – live music on Sunday nights at Look About Lodge
- Best family-friendly destinations – Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Great Lakes Science Center, Cedar Point
- Best Breakfast – Tommy’s on Coventry
- Best date-night dinner spots – Fire on Shaker Square, Gigi’s on Fairmount, Greenhouse Tavern on E. 4th Street and Little Italy
- Favorite family date night spot – Freeway Lanes in Solon
- Best dessert destination – Mitchell’s Ice Cream by the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in University Circle
- Best morning coffee/drive-by window shopping – Starbucks in Legacy Village
- Next on our calendars – Parade the Circle and the Duck Tape Festival
Hey Cleveland – We’re “all in” too!