Engage! Cleveland is a resource for Cleveland’s young professionals to connect to the organizations, nonprofits, events, businesses and individuals that will help them become better integrated to the city. Founded in 2012, Engage! Cleveland got its start as a collaboration between the business community and some young professionals who noticed a need for an initiative that would raise Cleveland’s profile as a top destination for YPs to begin and advance their careers.


What began as an idea in 2010 has since grown into a movement that has captured the attention of Young Professionals all over Cleveland. Take a look at the events and people who have helped shape Engage! Cleveland into what it is today.

  • 2010-2011 | Idea for Engage! Cleveland is brainstormed and developed
  • May 10, 2012 | Engage! Cleveland becomes a part of Global Cleveland through a memorandum of understanding
  • September 2012 | Engage! Cleveland hires its founding Executive Director, Ashley Basile Oeken
  • April 2013 | Engage! Cleveland enters into a memorandum of understanding and moves into the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Cleveland’s Chamber of Commerce
  • February 2014 | Engage! Cleveland’s founding Board of Directors signs its Articles of Incorporation and Code of Regulations to register as a legal not-for-profit entity in the State of Ohio.
  • October 6-11, 2014 | Engage! Cleveland hosts its first Cleveland Young Professionals Week – a week full of events geared at exposing Cleveland YPs to all that Cleveland has to offer
  • August 1, 2015 | Engage! Cleveland begins to operate as its own entity hiring its first “official” staff and contractors, and moving into its own space
  • August 27, 2015 | Engage! Cleveland hits 10,000 followers on Twitter, showcasing the reach the organization has and the importance of its work
  • November 23, 2015 | Engage! Cleveland receives its 501c3 designation
  • January 2016 | Engage! Cleveland launches a new membership model and creates the Leadership Council
  • February 2016 | Engage! Cleveland hires second full-time staff person.
  • March 2016 | Engage! Cleveland wins the Cleveland Business Connects Magazine’s Connectors Choice Award for Business Networking Organization of the Year (Young Professionals).
  • August 2016 | Engage! Cleveland introduces the first 38 members of the Leadership Council.
  • March 2017 | Engage! Cleveland wins the Cleveland Business Connects Magazine’s Connectors Choice Award for Business Networking Organization of the Year (Young Professionals) for the second year in a row.


Ashley CBC

Ashley Basile Oeken

Ashley Basile Oeken is an experienced organizational leader with over ten years of experience in the government and nonprofit fields. Her expertise is focused on the next generation and young professionals.

In her role at Engage! Cleveland, Ashley oversees all aspects of the organization while driving strategic initiatives to increase the impact Engage! Cleveland can have on the community and young professionals. She consults with employers and nonprofits to attract, engage and retain the best and brightest talent.

Ashley is very involved in the civic community in Cleveland serving on a variety of committees and Boards. Most notably, Ashley serves on Board of Trustees at the Saint Luke’s Foundation where she serves on the Strong Neighborhood committee and as Chair of the Governance Committee. In addition, Ashley has received many honors and recognition for her work in the Cleveland area.

Ashley holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from Youngstown State University. Additionally, Ashley is a graduate of the LEADdiversity Class of 2015, PRADCO’s Women in Leadership Class of 2013, Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2012, and the Spring 2009 Civic Leadership Institute.


Katelyn Gainer

Marketing, Events & Development Manager

Katelyn  joined the Engage! Cleveland team as the  Marketing, Events & Development Manager in June 2017.  Katelyn has dedicated her career to the nonprofit sector, working for various organizations including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Akron Art Museum, and the Artists Archives. In addition to her nonprofit background, she has worked as a wedding and event planner for a local, eco-friendly event planning company. Katelyn has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Kent State University and is currently finishing a Master’s degree in Art History.

Jonathan Botek

Marketing & Events Intern

Jonny is a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame pursuing a double major in Finance and Economics. He grew up on the east side of Cleveland and currently resides in a small town called Novelty. The middle child of three boys, he is a big Cleveland sports fan and regularly attends games and watch parties. He joins Engage! Cleveland in hopes of helping the city he loves.

Tessa Jarrell

Marketing & Events Intern

Tessa Jarrell is a native Clevelander, born and raised on the East Side. She is currently a rising junior at the University of South Carolina majoring in Accounting and Marketing with a minor in International Studies. At school, Tessa is a member of Chi Omega, the Capstone Scholars Program and more. In her free time, Tessa enjoys watching Food Network and HGTV, exploring the outdoors, trying new restaurants and hanging out with her friends and family. She has an older brother, younger sister and two dogs. This summer with Engage! Cleveland, Tessa is looking forward to seeing the ins and outs of event planning and non-profit organizations.

Jared Mandell

Marketing & Events Intern

Jared Mandell is a sophomore at Emory University on the pre-business track. He lives in Solon, Ohio and enjoys the outdoors, trying new restaurants, and going to the movies. Jared also loves exploring downtown Cleveland. He is excited to be one of Engage! Cleveland’s summer interns and is looking forward to YP Week.

Alexis Clark Headshot Alexis Clark

Marketing & Events Intern

Alexis is a student at Cleveland State University and Tri-C studying psychology. She lives on the West Side of Cleveland in Westlake, Ohio. Alexis enjoys kayaking, hiking, and dog sitting. She loves exploring Cleveland including finding new restaurants, going to weekend events and attending local art shows. She is excited to work at Engage! Cleveland as an intern and especially for Young Professionals Week!

Engage! Cleveland’s Board of Directors consists of local leaders (both seasoned and young professionals) who volunteer their time and talents to help Engage! Cleveland serve the local young professional community.


Chair | Ira Kaplan, Executive Chairman and Partner, Benesch Attorneys at Law

Vice Chair | Lauren Rudman, Director of HR, Donley Inc.

Treasurer | Chad Kunkle, Administrator, Cleveland Clinic

Secretary | SueAnn Naso, President, Staffing Solutions Enterprises

Board of Directors

Emily Adams, Vice President, Employee Benefits Consultant, USI Insurance Services

Alexandria Johnson Boone, President & CEO, GAP Communications Group

Michael Bowen, Attorney, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Mary-Scott Cebul, Consultant

Joe DiFranco, Manager, Cohen & Company, LTD.

Dr. Robert Eckardt, Retired, The Cleveland Foundation

Steve Gleydura, Editor at Cleveland Magazine

Caroline Guscott, Director of Communications, Cleveland Museum of Art

Gary Isakov, Partner, BDO USA LLP.

Scot Lowry, CEO, Fathom

George K. Mateyo, Chief Investment Officer, KeyBank

Amy McGahan, Senior Vice President, Dix & Eaton

Amanda Mockbee, Assistant Vice President of Private Banking, Dollar Bank, FSB

Neal R. Restivo, Chief Executive Officer, Oatey Co.

Gary Shamis, CEO, Winding River Consulting

Harjas Sidhu, Senior Vice President Analytics and Portfolio Management, PNC

Michelle Tomallo, President/Co-Founder, FIT Technologies

David Toth, Vice President, USA Expositions

Ted Tywang,  Director, Legal Affairs, Cleveland Browns

Our Leadership Council consists of 45 talented young professional volunteers who represent our Employer Members and the community. The council serves as advocates for the YP community by assisting in the planning and execution of EC programs and events and by promoting a positive YP experience in Cleveland.

Leadership Council

Leslie Abraham, Fathom

Megan Abraham, The Sherwin-Williams Company

Angela Almasy, Dix & Eaton

Andy Battaglia, Cohen & Company

Brittany Belko, National Tooling and Machining Association

Lina Berzinskas, Staffing Solutions Enterprises

Megan Cisler, Menorah Park

Brittany Costa, Akron Children’s Hospital

Andrew DeFratis, Alzheimer’s Association Greater East Ohio Area Chapter

Hue DeLuca, Asurint

David Dragich, Cleveland Magazine

Brittney Fells, Bee Fells Creative LLC

Emily Garrett, Skylight Financial Group

Kathryn Gaydos, Benesch Law

Alyssa Giannirakis, Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Anna Gibson, Lincoln Electric

Jaelen Hollinger, The Cleveland Foundation

Emily Howerton, INSIGHT2PROFIT

Tim Janasek, Deloitte

Mike Judge,  Cleveland Browns

Nora Kramer, Oatey

Melissa Libertini, The Cleveland Foundation

Angela Martin, Dix & Eaton

Sara Martin, Bober Markey Fedorovich

Melinda McNutt, Team NEO

Sara Miller, Oswald Companies

Brandon Morris, BDO USA, LLP

Daniel Norris, Hyland Software

Marlee Poitinger Gannon, Oatey

Ali Powers, Vocon

Tesa Salopek, Fifth Third Bank

Matthew Smith, Nestle

Jeff Stark, MAI Capital

Simone Swanson, The Gathering Place

Amber Travaglio, Charter Communication/Spectrum Cable

Nick Travaglianti, The NRP Group

Adam Tubbs, FIT Technologies

Lindsey Walsh, Chagrin Arts

Elizabeth Walton, Deloitte

Andrea Weiser, The Cleveland Hillel Foundation

Natalie Winer, Natalie Winer Creative Consulting/Cake Bites & Other Delights

Laurel Wilder, College Now Greater Cleveland

Kathie Zipp, WTWH Media


“Engage! Cleveland inspired and re-energized my enthusiasm around starting my career in our beloved hometown.”
– Mordecai Cargill, Fund Development Manager, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

“You are all doing a tremendous job at Engage! Cleveland. I look at the posts daily on Facebook, and I have found out about so many opportunities in Cleveland that I never even knew existed!”
– Erin Eurenius, J.D., M.B.A., Tax Associate at McGladrey

“Once again, I am coming to you as THE Cleveland YP organization – you really are my best resource!”
– Nicole Rupersburg, Writer & Blogger

“Growing up in Cleveland, I am used to hearing about the often bemoaned “brain drain,” and I am thrilled to hear that the solution is finally being geared to the needs of young graduates like myself. I am impressed by the way Engage! Cleveland incorporates young voices on so many projects in the city.”
– Annamarie Morino, Allegheny College, Class of 2013, Presidential Fellow, President James A, Mullen, Jr.