Community input and maximizing the opportunity are two driving principles
Cleveland – August 30, 2007 – Fred Nance, chairman of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and Joe Roman, the organization’s CEO and president, today named chairs for four advisory groups that will assist them in efforts to bring the Medical Mart to Cleveland.
Nance and Roman also announced self-imposed deadlines for the project, which involves the development of the Medical Mart and the construction of a related convention center and trade show facility.
Today’s announcement follows the recent failure of an effort to force a referendum of the quarter percent increase in the county sales tax imposed by the Cuyahoga County Commissioners to finance the project. The ballot issue would have delayed and possibly prevented the Medical Mart – a one-of-a-kind showroom to display and sell state-of-the-art medical equipment and devices – and convention center from being constructed.
But, said Nance, there is a lot more hard work to be done to make this project a reality.
Between now and the end of the year a site selection group, chaired by Nance, will examine a variety of proposed sites to make a recommendation to the County Commissioners for the best location to build the project. In that same timeframe, work will proceed to assemble the basic structure for the management of the project.
“Now that our financing has been secured, it is time to get on with the spadework to make this important project a reality,” said Nance. “And we’re going to do it in a way that assures meaningful community input.”
Roman said that while the advisory groups are vital to helping shape the project, those committees won’t swing into full operation until a site is picked for the Medical Mart. He and Nance announced four advisory groups and their chairs. The members of the advisory groups will be determined in the coming weeks and months.
· Industry Advisory Group, to be chaired by Les Vinney, president and CEO of Steris Corp. This group will include representatives of Cleveland medical, health-care and related industries. They will make recommendations as to type and quality of medical device and equipment manufacturers that should be included in the Medical Mart to attract medical tradeshows and conventions to Cleveland. They will also identify the conference center and tradeshow facility amenities that would help attract a wider audience of conventions to Cleveland.
· Education and Workforce Development Advisory Group, to be chaired by Helen Williams, program director at the Cleveland Foundation. Williams, has long been involved in all areas of education and has held leadership positions with the Cleveland Initiative for Education and the Summit on Education. This group will work with northeast Ohio groups such as educational institutions – public school systems, colleges and universities, etc. – foundations, workforce organizations and others. Their goal will be to identify education and career opportunities for our young residents, as well as to identify ways to facilitate job creation in the health care and medical industries in northeast Ohio. “These industries have created tens of thousands of jobs in northeast Ohio in recent years and the Medical Mart will only further stimulate such positive economic activity,” Nance said. “By orienting our student and facilitating job training in the medical industry, we can take another material step to stem the region’s brain drain and connect our residents to the jobs of tomorrow.”
· Community Development & Inclusion Advisory Group, to be chaired by Andrew Jackson, senior vice president at the Greater Cleveland Partnership and executive director of the Commission on Economic Inclusion. This group is charged with working with local community development groups and minority business development entities to help ensure that the broader community shares in the benefits of this potentially transformational project.
· Site Selection Group, chaired by Nance, will ultimately recommend a location for the Medical Mart and the new convention center/trade show facility to the County Commissioners. Members of the group will include the chairs of the other three advisory groups, as well as some members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership executive committee and the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) executive committee.
The Greater Cleveland Partnership, the primary voice for businesses in Greater Cleveland, seeks to create jobs and improve the economic vitality of the region. Its priorities include technology, innovation and high-growth businesses; connected physical development; education and workforce development; and business attraction, retention and expansion. The GCP emphasizes service to its more than 17,000 members; advocacy on behalf of members and the region; diversity and inclusion; and internationalization of the region and its businesses. http://www.gcpartnership.com