Q. How many cities and/or countries did you live in before you arrived in the Cleveland/Akron market last year?
A. Florida was my home away from home for the last 23 years. Needless to say, it was quite a different experience from living in NE Ohio. I could never get used to the heat and humidity of Southeast Florida. In my early 20s, I spent a year and a half in Athens, Greece. Very exciting time, experiencing a different culture and lifestyle. I left Greece with lots of fond memories and a new understanding of life balance and wellbeing. My homeland is Bulgaria, a small, beautiful country on the Black Sea coast, with high mountains, wide open plains, freshwater lakes, rivers full of fish, and rich, black fertile soil. If you have a chance to visit one day, do not hesitate to spend a few days in Bulgaria. It will surprise you!!
Q. Most newcomers find their favorite places pretty quickly….do you have any that you’d like to share?
A. I quickly fell in love with the hiking trails in this area. From the 18 Cleveland Metroparks Reservations , comprising the Cleveland Emerald Necklace to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and other nearby green spaces, there is always some new trail to hike or a fellow hiker to meet. Join a hiking club and experience the trails all season long. For music lovers, Cleveland has a rich cultural scene, be it classical, jazz, rock, or other genres. Some of my favorite venues are the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Blossom Music Center, home of the Cleveland Orchestra in the summer or Severance Hall in the colder months. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and House of Blues are a must. And if you like jazz, check out the Bop Stop. Catch a show or a play at Playhouse Square or visit the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Q. Describe living in Cleveland to a friend who has never been here before. Be honest and share positives and negatives.
A. Cleveland is a vibrant, diverse city, a good mix of urban and suburban life. If it is museums, exhibits or other cultural events you seek, Cleveland offers that. If it is sports, the town is the home of three professional sports teams. The modern life and culture of The Flats and University Circle, combined with the traditional and unique vibe of Little Italy and the history of Old Stone Church. The city and the people celebrate all four seasons. Every town in the area has its own summer concert series, falls are busy with apple picking and harvest festivals. Holidays are just around the corner; the town is beaming with lights.
I wish Cleveland had more robust public transportation; more lines are needed to service the whole town. It surprised me that the east side of town is so different from the west, and I am not just talking about the weather. The secret is to enjoy them both and remain neutral, even when the locals try to trick you to pick sides.
Q. What was the job/company that brought you here?
A. Sequoia Financial Group, headquartered in Akron, OH. Our company serves clients across the wealth continuum, enriching lives and impacting generations by helping individuals and families advance their chosen future. As a Wealth Strategist, I work with our Wealth Advisors to develop a customized strategic plan. We help our client families chart a course forward to fulfill their objectives and create the future and legacy they have imagined.
Q. How did Executive Arrangements play in role in your education and acclimation to this region?
A. I knew nothing about Cleveland and NE Ohio, and I cannot thank the team at EA enough for the invaluable advice and guidance. In the last 6 months, I have relied heavily on the curated binder of information that my EA guide assembled especially for me (Note: EA’s cloud based Insider’s Guide[book] to Cleveland that each candidate receives access to). It is still the first and last place I look for answers on anything related to Cleveland or my move from Florida. EA helped me connect with other newcomers to the area and we formed a group, that meets every month. We swap information, stories, and ideas and help each other settle and build a life in this amazing city.