Meet the Ward Family

by | Sep 15, 2015 | Newcomer Profiles

Executive Arrangements was retained by Eaton Corp. to assist with transition of the Ward family to Cleveland for Jim’s job as Vice President Finance Transformation in 2013. Here is their story as told by Jim.

Jim Ward, Eaton Corp.

Jim Ward, Eaton Corp.

My wife Alison, Callum (15), Erin (6) and I moved to Cleveland from Scotland on January 4, 2013. Of course we had the perception that Cleveland would be cold and snowy, and we were not disappointed. We soon learned to value our all-wheel drive vehicles! We enrolled our children in the local public school system and were very impressed by the number of great schools available and how high they were placed in state and national rankings. Due to some great school support, our children quickly adjusted to a more challenging academic environment, the increased level of homework and the sheer scale of extracurricular activities available to them. Our daughter has taken up dancing, cheerleading and swimming classes, and our son has joined the school tennis team. It has been very gratifying to see the level of commitment and dedication from the teachers in the Kenston district, and we have been thrilled with the progress made by our children in their time here. Our son has been recognized with five academic awards for excellence and finds his school environment motivating and challenging. We have been delighted at how welcoming the schools have been and how easy it has been for our children to adjust – the most important aspect for my wife and I being that both our children are very happy here and with their schools.
Having the routine of work and school helped give me and our children a structure to make our transition to the area. My wife also was able to successfully make the transition, meeting other parents through school, joining a book club, taking up yoga at a local venue and making friends with local people and other transplants in the area. We were very fortunate in that we were introduced to the Cleveland area by Peg Furnas of Executive Arrangements who gave us fantastic advice about good areas to live, the quality of schools, where to get healthcare, etc. Peg helped us find a place to live, and we were very pleasantly surprised by the quality and affordability of housing – we were able to afford a much larger property than would have been possible in previous places we have lived. I lived and worked in Amsterdam for a time, and we would not have been able to find an equivalent sized house on our budget. Overall the support from the Executive Arrangements team was first class and to our pleasant surprise continued after we moved to the area as they continued to take an interest in how we were settling in. Peg’s support has been invaluable in understanding the local area and in being introduced to local people as we wanted to feel part of the community.
Outside of work and school we have found that the Cleveland area has a tremendous amount to offer. Our children love: The Cleveland MetroParks ZooRock and Roll Hall of Fame & MuseumGreat Lakes Science CenterCedar Point, the water parks in Sandusky and Wild Water Kingdom 
My wife and I also have visited the theatre and restaurant district downtown and have been very impressed with the diverse and high quality cultural offerings in the city. The Cleveland area even has its own brewery (the Great Lakes Brewery) that make a fine range of beers and ales, try their Dortmunder Gold! As a sports fan, I have been learning some new sports, watching the Cleveland Browns football team and the Cleveland Indians baseball team and I hope to catch a Cavalier’s basketball game soon. Our family has also enjoyed the proximity of Cleveland to other major tourist areas in the region. We have already spent weekends in New York and at Niagara Falls creating some wonderful memories for our family, and we are planning to visit Washington DC, Boston and Chicago in the future, not to mention taking advantage of the direct flights to Florida. Overall, we have been very impressed by the quality of life offered in the Cleveland area and the warmth of the local people. My perception of Clevelanders before I arrived was that they work hard, are family oriented and have a very “common sense” and traditional set of values. This has turned out to be correct, and we have enjoyed the real sense of community and welcome we have found in the area. To date the move to the Cleveland area has been a wonderful experience for our family, and I do not hesitate to recommend it – if you get the chance move here –the schools are excellent, healthcare is very strong, there is a vibrant cultural scene, but best of all the people are great!