Each year our firm hosts an intimate gathering to help connect new to NE Ohio executive women to each other and to their local peers. Lovingly called EA Introduces, last week, this group gathered in my backyard in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. Some of our clients have such large operations that often the first time two employees at the same firm meet is at a social function like this. It was fun to witness two women with the same bank shake hands for the first time!
They shared stories about where they came from including: Charlotte, NC; Wellesley, MA; Plymouth, MN; Bentonville, AR; Ardsley, NY; Flemington, NJ and more. Weirdly, so many in the group had a Boston connection from living there, attending school there, or vacationing there. They asked about book clubs, hiking groups, good local websites to find info that only the locals know about (suggestions included FreshWaterCleveland.com the OnlyInCleveland FB page). One trailing spouse asked about job opportunities, and two talked about where to go salsa dancing in Cleveland.
Ideas abounded from the “welcoming crew” as well. Sharon Harvey, CEO of the Animal Protective League encouraged all to destress after their relocation with a new rescue animal! She also shared fun news about a new cat café called affoGATO coming to Tremont (in the space formerly known as Lilly’s Chocolates). The APL will be providing the cats, all available for adoption or merely for petting.
Tami Brown, General Manager of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, shared ideas for volunteer projects that could easily include the whole family, like the Saturday morning clean up of Edgewater Beach scheduled for July 14th and sponsored by Terrestrial Brewing (food and beer afterwards for lunch – a brilliant way to get volunteers!)
Dale Hilton, head of long distance learning for the Cleveland Museum of Art, talked about all the wonderful programming at CMA this summer; Debbie Berry, VP Planning & Real Estate for University Circle, Inc., shared info on Wade Oval Wednesdays – great live concerts that happen rain or shine and draw thousands to the green space in the museum district every Wednesday all summer. A Warehouse District dweller talked about movie nights at Worthington Yards which bought up the summertime classic movie series being held at Playhouse Square this summer. All fun things for newcomers to explore.
We could feel friendships beginning to blossom as they talked about kids, where they had settled (Orange Village, University Heights, Lakewood, Westlake, Cleveland Heights, Bentleyville, Shaker Heights). Having girlfriends where you live is so important to feeling part of the community, and EA is glad to help make that happen.
If your organization’s talent attraction and retention efforts could use some fresh ideas, like EA’s “settling in” services and networking opportunities during a newcomer’s first year in town, call us: 216.231.9311.