On May 1st, we attended the 2014 Annual Luncheon Meeting for Recovery Resources, a non-profit community based behavioral healthcare organization that helps people triumph over mental illness, alcohol, drug and other addictions. We have consistently supported Recovery Resources over the years due to the excellent work that it does.
The first highlight of the luncheon was the presentation of the Helen K. Jones Woman of Strength Award to Renee Holcomb Hardwick of Key Private Bank who has been a dedicated member of the Recovery Resources Board of Directors since 2006. Ms. Hardwick said that Recovery Resources has been a blessing for her because her family has a history of depression and alcholism that she is just now starting to talk about. Ms. Hardwick says that Recovery Resources helps people to talk about such problems so they might be able to overcome these obstacles and survive.
The second highlight was when Sakeenah and Anika Francis, mother and daughter, stepped up to give the keynote address together. They talked about how Sakeenah was stricken with mental illness and the effect that it had on both her own life and the life of her daughter, Anika. At this time, thankfully, due to proper medication Sakeenah’s condition has stabilized and she is an activist with NAMI Cleveland while Anika is a very successful businessperson. The two women gave a very poignant presentation and left us with the thought that it is not what happens in your life, it’s what you do after it happens.
Later that night, we tabled at the spectacular launch of Global Cleveland’s all-encompassing new portal/website at the Convention Center in Downtown Cleveland. And what an affair it was; there must have been at least 1,000 people there including Mayor Jackson and Governor Kasich.
Among those also tabling were our friends with CAMEO, Tasno, Asian Services in Action, International Community Council, CAIR, and Clevelandpeople.com to name but a few. There was a lot of networking and several performances by international music groups including those from Ireland and Turkey.
The program itself contained some excellent speakers and most of them acknowledged the contributions of Albert B. Ratner to Global Cleveland and this project.
The speakers included Baiju Shah, the Chairman of Global Cleveland who said that the organization’s purpose was to attract and welcome newcomers to Cleveland. By welcoming newcomers the region becomes enriched and thus word gets out about how good life is here so even more people will choose to live here. Mr. Shah said that the goal was to double the number of people migrating to Northeast Ohio by 2020.
John Minor, the President of JobsOhio said that the missions of Global Cleveland parallels that of his organization. It is believed that the opportunities are so abundant that JobsOhio is donating $750,000 to Global Cleveland.
Mayor Jackson stated that he believed that we must position Cleveland for the future and that Global Cleveland is essential for that because it has the potential to connect Cleveland with the world, not just with other areas of the United States.
Governor Kasich agreed with Mayor Jackson and said that Global Cleveland is a “window to the world” and will tell our story “far and wide” of what a great city that Cleveland is.
Finally, Joy Roller, the President of Global Cleveland, concluded the program by talking about the new portal/website while noting that it contains information about 500 organizations and resources and is accessible in 51 languages. A film was also shown demonstrating how the website worked and how it has the power to connect and bring people together by presenting all that Cleveland and Northeast Ohio have to offer in areas like employment, education, entrepreneurship, and community events. Ms. Roller said in June she will be traveling to Washington DC to conduct a program similar to the one tonight and also plans to visit cities like New York and Chicago. Lastly, Ms. Roller ended the program by having everyone say out loud “GlobalCleveland.org”, which we gladly did.