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A PROGRAM OF THE

Coaching

Essential to our program

Inspired Coaching

An essential part of being a successful leader involves the ability to be vulnerable with others about where you are headed and how you might get there. Through successful implementation at NLDP, the Mandel Foundation has learned the importance of and value in coaching. As a result, coaching during the program and post-graduation are included in the CDCLP.

CDCLP Coaches

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Erica
Merritt

LEAD COACH | Equius Group

Erica Merritt

Equius Group

Equius Group Founder Erica Merritt is a skilled coach, gifted facilitator and leadership and organizational development expert. A Gestalt-trained coach, Erica has extensive experience leading, designing and teaching organizational development, leadership program design and diversity management in environments ranging from community rooms to classrooms to board rooms.

Erica’s clients include many of Northeast Ohio’s largest and most respected corporations, agencies and institutions. As a trusted consultant and coach, she builds capacity in leaders to grow personally, develop professionally, transform organizations and engage communities.

By skillfully creating space to explore challenging and new dialogue, Erica allows for heightened self-awareness and experimentation with new behaviors that lead to powerful breakthroughs. Erica is a valued partner in her client’s growth and success who is equipped with an inclusion mindset and powerful set of expertise.

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Jessica
Allen

Consultant

Jessica Allen

CONSULTANT

Jessica's experience as both an executive director and development director inform her ability to help clients build campaigns and strategies mindful of their resources, leadership, and staff abilities. Since 2014, she has worked as a fundraising consultant both independently and with JarosStrategy, helping to secure more than $60 million in funding for Northeast Ohio institutions.
Jessica served as campaign consultant for the Children's Museum of Cleveland, securing more than $10 million in funding to open its new facility in 2017.
Jessica served as executive director of Fairmount Center for the Arts, leading it through an emergency campaign and rebuilding its infrastructure. She also served as director of development at The City Club and foundation relations officer at Case Western Reserve University. She is an accomplished grant writer with more than $12 million in secured grants to her credit.

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Christopher
Alvarado

Slavic Village Development

Christopher Alvarado

Slavic Village Development

Christopher is the Executive Director of Slavic Village Development, the community development corporation that serves 22,000 residents living in the neighborhoods of Broadway Slavic Village, a five square mile area southeast of Downtown Cleveland. Slavic Village Development is a forward-thinking, service-driven organization which works with and for its residents, businesses, and institutions to promote civic engagement, community empowerment, and neighborhood investment.

Previously, Christopher was a Strong Cities, Strong Communities Fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. embedded at the City of Cleveland’s Department of Community Development where he designed and implemented projects to turn vacant land held by the City Land bank from liabilities to assets owned and improved by Cleveland’s citizens, businesses, and organizations.

In Christopher’s past capacity with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, he focused on methodologies for sustainability, determining the economic, environmental, and social impacts of development, and coordinating environmental planning with economic development.

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August
Fluker

Consultant

August Fluker

CONSULTANT

August is principal and project manager at City Architecture and is responsible for client contact, project management and the administration and production of projects. His experience and involvement ranging from large institutional projects to intimate storefront projects affords him the technical knowledge and creative ability to communicate the importance of collaboratively implementing all aspects of architecture. August brings to City Architecture his command of building systems, procedures and methods, organizational and management skills.

Prior to joining City Architecture, August was responsible for the coordination and production of construction documents for the Quicken Loans Arena. His background includes extensive experience in neighborhood revitalization while working in the Hough neighborhood for over two years.

August also serves as a youth leader and role model such as involvement as a Believe in Ohio STEM Mentor and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cleveland. August is also active in many of Cleveland’s neighborhoods in civic and community participation, such as previous involvement with the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, Maximum Accessible Housing of Ohio, and the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity Board of Trustees.

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Yvette
Ittu

Greater Cleveland Partnership

Yvette Ittu

GREATER CLEVELAND PARTNERSHIP

Yvette Ittu is the Executive Vice President of Finance and Operations of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country and the leading business organization in the region driving catalytic projects and leading initiatives that impact and advance the business community and the region.

In addition, she is President of Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), an affiliate of GCP that is responsible for the management of real estate investment funds initiated, and in part capitalized, by certain GCP members. CDA-managed capital serves as a source of private-sector funding for catalytic real estate development projects that have significant impact on Northeast Ohio’s growth and development. Under Yvette’s leadership, CDA has successfully raised five private equity funds and secured more than $250 million in tax credit equity allocations. These funds have supported over $3 billion in economic and community development and business attraction and expansion, resulting in significant job creation and retention, through strategic investments in projects throughout the City of Cleveland and targeted areas of Cuyahoga County and the region.

Yvette is also a board member of Digital C, a non-profit focused on making Greater Cleveland’s digital future equitable. One of its major initiatives is to provide reliable affordable high-speed broadband to the “unconnected.” In addition, she was the chairperson of the Cleveland International Fund (CiF), a private equity firm that operates as an EB-5 regional center authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. One of CiF’s goals is to be a driving force for economic development throughout Northeast Ohio.

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Natalie
Leek

Providence House

Natalie Leek

Providence House

Natalie Leek has over 30 years of experience in non-profit and corporate environments focused in program development, data and outcomes measures, advocacy, marketing, fundraising, and education.

Since 2001, Ms. Leek has been the CEO and President for Providence House, Inc., a non-profit crisis nursery for infants and children focused on keeping kids safe and families together. During her tenure at Ohio’s first licensed crisis nursery, Natalie has quadrupled the organization’s service capacity and revenues, engaged broad audiences in support of her agency, and has positioned Providence House as a nationally recognized leader in child abuse prevention, family preservation, and foster care diversion. In 2019, she and her Board launched “Giving Hope for the PHuture” – a $13 Million capital campaign to expand the organization to Cleveland’s near east side.

Natalie is deeply committed to collaboration and community engagement in both the nonprofit and public sector. She has served on a number of nonprofit Boards and consults with a range of interested parties across the U.S. who strive to adopt the unique program model she has developed at Providence House.

Natalie Leek is an influential voice for our community’s most vulnerable citizens and issues, and a collaborative convener in city, state, and national arenas among nonprofit, government, business and civic constituents who seek positive action and systemic change.

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Stephanie
McHenry

The Democracy Collective

Stephanie McHenry

Slavic Village Development

Stephanie McHenry is an executive with significant experience in community development finance, enterprise development and higher education finance & operations.  She is currently the Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer at The Democracy Collaborative (TDC), headquartered in Washington, D.C.  This think tank works to help catalyze a moral and political transformation of the US political economy into a next system that is inclusive, just, and ecologically sustainable—in contrast to today’s amoral economy of financial extraction. In her role, Ms. McHenry oversees finance, human resources, culture (including racial equity & inclusion), and organizational development.  She is a member of the TDC Executive Team.

Prior to her role at TDC, Ms. McHenry was Vice President for Policy, Advocacy and Strategic Initiatives for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) and from March 2011 until January 2019, she was the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Business Affairs & Finance at Cleveland State University (CSU).  Prior to joining CSU, Ms. McHenry served as the President of Urban Partnership Bank, Cleveland Region, where she managed local assets of $75 million.

Ms. McHenry has been an active board director with organizations related to economic development, finance, and education.  In Cleveland, she is a board director at Midtown Cleveland (a local community development corporation) and Digital C.

Throughout the CDCLP experience, participants will benefit from their relationship with a coach who has deep expertise and experience in the CDC sector. The CDCLP will provide consistent and ongoing post-graduate coaching to ensure that the learning from the program continues and has an impact on individual, organizational, and neighborhood needs and aspirations.