Tom Hartle, his wife Angel and their daughters recently relocated from Albany, NY to the Cleveland area for his new role as General Manager, Specialty Coatings and Ingredients at OMNOVA Solutions in Beachwood.
Here is their story as told by Angel:
“When my husband and I first decided to make the move to Cleveland, we knew that we would be taking a big leap of faith. Tom and I grew up in Pennsylvania and spent much of our adult lives in upstate New York. Even though we had always lived “next door,” we had never spent any time exploring any part of Ohio. It would be safe to say that we knew almost nothing about Cleveland. However, after doing a little bit of research about the Cleveland area, we were really excited to get a closer look.
We have two school aged daughters, and it took us some time to figure out how and when to transition them to our new location. Tom started working for OMNOVA a couple of months before the kids and I were able to join him in Ohio. During his first few months, he had a short term apartment in Cleveland. That allowed him some time to experience and explore the city before we all joined him and then moved to the suburbs. The kids and I had a great time with him while he was living downtown and now have some great memories of the city (as well as a list of things we would like to do in the future!).
It would be wrong to say that we had a bad impression about Cleveland before we lived here – we just didn’t know much about it. Now that we have been here for a short time, we are really excited to see and do so many things that NE Ohio has to offer. Our early experiences have been very positive.
[Prior to the move] We spent two days with staff from Executive Arrangements and were able to see and experience way more than I would have ever thought possible. Before Tom and I traveled to Cleveland to meet with EA, we had a short phone call with their staff and were asked some questions about our family and our interests. During that brief phone call, they gleaned a wealth of information and were able to design a visit that was very much tailored to our family.
One of the biggest concerns we had was to find the right schools for our kids. We were coming from a place with excellent schools and had very high standards. The staff was able to get us to five different school districts in NE Ohio for interviews, which was immensely helpful. Doing research online about a school is entirely different from talking to school staff and walking the hallways. We quickly discovered that the decision would be very difficult – there are so many great schools in this area!
The EA staff also drove us around to many different neighborhoods and described the kinds of amenities that each town could offer. During our very busy two day visit, the EA staff also squeezed in some time to visit and talk with some other parents, from multiple towns, who had some really helpful advice to offer about living here and raising kids. Once again, we were struck by how hard this choice would be because there seemed to be so many wonderful options. Now that we have settled into our new home and the kids have spent some time in their new schools, we feel like we made a great choice; but while making the decisions about location, it was reassuring to know that we had so many good options available for our family.
A major focus of our two day visit was the school/town information gathering process; but in addition to that, the EA staff was able to find time to show us many parts of Cleveland we didn’t know existed. Even though we didn’t have time to stop and visit every place, just seeing and talking about the different options gave us a great sense of what possibilities await us here!
In our short time in the Cleveland area, we have already developed many favorite places, as well as a list of things we hope to do soon:
- The West Side Market where everything is delicious, but you must try the crepes.
- The Great Lakes Science Center is a place we’ve already visited several times. They have a lot of hands on activities as well as an Omnimax Theater. We have been unlucky with the weather lately so this has been a wonderful alternative to outdoor activities.
- Any part of the Metroparks system. When the weather has allowed it, we’ve started exploring and have barely scratched the surface. Now that Spring is here, we look forward to a lot more Metroparks visits.
- Chagrin Falls is a quaint town and has many great restaurants and shops, not to mention the water falls! Many people had recommended this town to us before we moved here, and we didn’t think their high praise was realistic. Turns out that they were all correct!
- Music is a big part of our family’s life. The EA staff was able to get us a tour of Severance Hall, which is spectacular. We haven’t made it to a Cleveland Orchestra concert yet, but it is very high on our list of priorities. In addition to the world class music available to hear in this area, our kids have already found that the school music system is very strong and welcoming of new musicians.
- Sports is another passion for us, and we look forward to seeing some of the professional teams play. In the meantime, our kids were able to get involved in some local rec teams just after we arrived which has been another great way to meet new friends and get some exercise.
To learn more about how Executive Arrangements can help your organization with the relocation of employees to Cleveland or Akron/Canton, please call us at 216.231.9311. EA educates, acclimates and connects newcomers.