Q: Could you share a bit of an introduction, how you came to find yourself in Cleveland and working with Executive Arrangements (EA)?
A: I grew up in Canton about 45 minutes south of the Cleveland area. I lived in Ithaca, NY as I earned my undergraduate degree at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and spent three years in Bloomington, IN at Indiana University’s School of Law. My career has focused on hospitality marketing and public relations. Other places I’ve lived include working summers in NYC and the UK and living in Chicago and Austin during my adulthood with my children and husband, Gordon.
EA worked with our family after Gordon accepted a job with Destination Cleveland. We were offered a day to explore the Greater Cleveland area, and since Gordon was already in his new role, I invited my dad to join me. Even though I grew up near Cleveland, I was not familiar with the neighborhoods, schools, and activities for children in the area. It was also extremely helpful to learn about the downtown, restaurants, shopping, and where to go for groceries and fun amenities as a resident.
After our move I spent time settling my family into our new home and city and within a few years I was asked to join EA as a Project Manager and Guide! What a juxtaposition after being on the other side of things. From my own numerous moves, I feel particularly qualified and understand what people are going through when deciding about a move for a job especially for those with children.
Q: What have you found that has surprised you in Cleveland?
A: Gordon and I are constantly pleasantly surprised as to how easy it is to get from one place to another in Cleveland! We were scarred by Chicago parking and traffic and the ease of zipping around Cleveland whether through neighborhoods, on freeways, or via side streets to access downtown activities is a breeze. There are multiple routes to take, the ride is pleasant, and drivers are generally friendly.
We’re East Siders and really love the charming feel of downtown Chagrin Falls as it’s an idyllic small town setting. The phenomenal restaurants have made it even more desirable recently such as JoJo’s, M Italian, and 17 River Grille. Nearby in Moreland Hills, ML Tavern is an upscale family favorite restaurant as it consistently delivers excellent service and cuisine. Our 11-year-old daughter even regularly requests to dine there.
Q: Could you share some of your favorite areas to highlight during an orientation day with a candidate?
A: I love sharing the Pinecrest mixed-use district with job candidates as it is always an exciting place to visit for shopping, dining, or strolling around to see what’s new and it is close to where I live. Plus, Whole Foods is there, so depending on our candidate, it may be worth a mention. Also, Eton on Chagrin Blvd houses the Apple store, Barnes & Noble, the North Face store, lululemon, among many other fantastic retailers and restaurants with convenient parking.
Downtown Cleveland and University Circle are absolute must shows on the orientation days! The University Circle neighborhood houses our world-class Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History all situated on Wade Oval with Case Western Reserve University nearby. When highlighting Downtown, a personal favorite is seeing our candidates’ reactions to the “World’s Largest Outdoor Chandelier” that is stunningly adorned above the street at Playhouse Square. We share that we have the largest base of theatre season ticket holders in the nation (I’m one myself!), and the second largest number of theatres outside of Broadway in Manhattan, which most are surprised by!
Q: You and Gordon are the dynamic duo of the City of Cleveland promoters in both your professional roles and from a newcomer’s perspective with your enjoyment of everything it has to offer. When closer to home what activities does your family enjoy and where do you spend your time?
A: Our 11-year-old daughter is the one who has really taken the spotlight most recently with her theatrical endeavors. After exploring many activities around town, she fell head-over-heels in love and now considers Stagecrafters Youth Theatre her “home.” Two large-scale community productions are held at Orange High School each year and Stagecrafters Summer Camp draws over 1,000 students from all over the Greater Cleveland area. I volunteer with the Parent Production Committee for Stagecrafters Youth Theatre, which allows me to enjoy the excitement and anticipation of the shows with my both my children, as my younger son also enjoys being on stage too.
I’ve enjoyed volunteering with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at the Orange Elementary & Middle School PTA. Have served as Co-Communications Chair on PTA’s Executive Board, the Kindergarten Liaison, and am currently the 6th Grade Representative. As a resident of Orange Village, I am the Representative to the Orange Recreation Commission Board and the Vice-Chair, which is overseen by the Orange School District. This mayoral appointment has been very fulfilling as I’ve learned about the vast programming that the department offers such as athletics, adaptive classes, aquatics, theatre, early childhood preschool, teens, adults, senior adults, after-school activities, all under the Orange Recreation umbrella. It’s been a great way to meet people and often suggest to the spouses of candidates I work with to look for volunteer opportunities in their community.
Q: Can you share about a particular candidate/new hire that you’ve worked with that is memorable and why?
A: One of my candidates for an area hospital system was relocating from out of the country with two small children from a tropical location. She had many changes ahead of her but handled it seamlessly while working full time no less. On her EA Orientation Day, her flight was late, her first appointment was delayed, and she and her husband did not have a break or meal post-flight. Despite these challenges, this delightful woman was looking at the positives of a cold-weather climate versus a tropical one and was excited that Cleveland would provide more opportunities to her family. She was realistic about the hurdles facing them but took things in stride as they went about obtaining VISAs, finding a home, and has begun acclimating to a happy life for her family in Cleveland.
Q: With a young family what are some of your go-tos?
- Orange Community Education and Recreation summer day camps for kids.
- A dip in the Orange Rec pool or a visit to Edgewater Beach to on a beautiful summer day.
- Visit to Mitchell’s Ice Cream or Honey Hut on a hot day.
- Walks around the Cleveland Metroparks.
- Journey to a pumpkin patch or fall fest spot like Eddy’s Fruit Farm or Patterson’s. We just checked out a place in Wooster called Ramseyer Farm.
- Road trip back to my hometown to the Hall of Fame Village in Canton to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame, experience the rides, explore the restaurants like Don Shula’s Steakhouse, which was excellent. In Canton, we also love Taggart’s Ice Cream and Bender’s Tavern, which was established in 1902. The McKinley Museum and Monument in honor of President McKinley are also must-see sites and are child friendly. The Canton Palace Theatre is a gorgeous venue that draws well-known bands to perform and offers movie screenings and the like. It is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023.
- An afternoon in Hudson’s downtown as it’s charming and active. The greenspace in the middle of the town is the perfect spot for our children to run around before a meal at 3 Palms for pizza. Then, we’ll have “dessert” at Ming’s Bubble Tea. The Heinen’s Grocery Store in Hudson is also a nice stop too.
- Getting in the Christmas spirit at Castle Noel, “America’s Largest Year Round Indoor Christmas Entertainment Attraction” in Medina.
We know that our team members own experiences speaks volumes to your candidates and new hires. Lisa has moved around and navigated a relocation with a young family. She relates to the laundry list of questions, concerns and settling young children into a new home. Most of our team members have made numerous moves themselves, at different stages of life, and would like to help your new hires and candidates in sharing what they’ve learned. Call Executive Arrangements, Inc. at 216.231.9311 for a consult.