We asked EA’s Director of Employee Experience (and long time Project Manager/Guide) to answer a few questions to showcase her personality and interests, as well as how she helps newcomers quickly connect and get to know our region’s offerings.
Q. How would you relay Executive Arrangements’ role to a younger child whose family is considering a move?
A. I would begin by saying that we are here to help you and your family find what would make you happy living in Cleveland. Why don’t you tell me about your school; what do you like about it? Do you go to school all day? Do you ride the school bus? Tell me about your favorite subject. What museums do you like to visit? Is there a place where you currently live that you will miss? After carefully listening and reflecting on what was said, I would share what I think they may enjoy in Cleveland. Some favorites for me are our Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rainforest, also a favorite of my granddaughter’s. She would go every day if she could! The Hershey Children’s Garden at Cleveland Botanical Garden is another. It’s a wonderful place to play outside and learn about plants. You might also enjoy Lake Erie Nature & Science Center and Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
Q. If you were to encourage a new to Cleveland friend to join an organization t0 help them socialize and get to know the city better, where would you recommend?
A. There are so many ways to become involved in our community once you’ve moved, it all depends on one’s interests. You could become a member, volunteer, or join a committee at one of our many museums. I’m involved in Holden Forests and Garden, which operates Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden. I have served on volunteer committees at both and enjoy the various programs they offer. I am a member of the Cleveland Museum of Art Women’s Council, another great way to meet locals with similar interests. CMA has volunteer docents who lead tours on most days. I volunteered at CMA’s information desk, helping to answer questions from visitors as they arrived. Both are great ways to learn about the museum. Another organization to connect you to Clevelanders from every walk of life is the The City Club of Cleveland. I suggest attending a few of their events to see what I mean. And, if you have children, schools are always looking for active volunteers.
Q. What events should be on every newcomers Cleveland bucket list?
A. Every year I look forward to Orchid Mania at Cleveland Botanical Garden held in late February/early March. What a great way to rid yourself of the winter doldrums seeing beautifully arranged orchids of all kinds. A real treat! And, if you are a movie buff, be sure to get tickets for the Cleveland International Film Festival, which is in its 47th year, and happens in late March/early April. Cleveland is so lucky to have the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra. My personal favorite is attending The Cleveland Orchestra Holiday concerts in early December or attending a summer concert on the lawn at Blossom Music Center, its summer home. And don’t miss a baseball game with the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field.
Q. Describe a favorite vacation, who you were with, and why you have such vivid and fond memories of the trip?
A. In 2006 we took an eight day Windstar sailing cruise with a group of friends from Athens to Istanbul. The beauty of sailing on Windstar is the size, just 135 guests, with 95 crew members and expert guides at each port who provide an extraordinary experience. In Athens our guide drove us throughout the city with stops at the Acropolis, Parthenon, and Museum of Delphi. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant owned by our guide’s friend and visited a monastery with beautiful gardens where the monks practice monastic silence. Realizing that our knowledge of Greek history was not as strong as once it had been (I am not sure mine was ever very strong!) we purchased and read a book about the rich history including information on the gods and goddesses celebrated.
Setting sail from Athens we marveled at the Greek temples and Turkish mosques punctuating the coastlines of these ancient rival nations. We quickly learned that the Greeks have a strong belief that they are the original ancient civilization, a fact that the Turks strongly dispute. A highlight was beautiful Santorini where we enjoyed a wonderful lunch and shopping.
Once in Turkey we shopped for fresh fruit and vegetables in an open air market with a local chef and returned to his restaurant where he prepared a delicious Turkish meal. Truly my favorite visit was of the Ephesus ruins. It is impossible to describe how I felt walking through this ancient city founded in the 10th century BC. Ramadan was being observed and is celebrated much more openly in Turkey than in the United States. Our guide in Turkey helped us understand the history of Turkey versus what we learned in Greece.
Each night over dinner we had lengthy discussions about our new found knowledge. The beauty of the trip was sailing from port to port and returning to a beautiful evening at sea. I would highly recommend it to everyone!