Renaissance Hotel Lobby
24 Public Square
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
This elegant Cleveland hotel, built in 1918, reflects the city's unique sense of style and rich cultural history. And, near-endless entertainment options are just outside the front door including the must-visit Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Great Lakes Science Center
601 Erieside Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Press Conference Registration
Great Lakes Science Center
Governors’ and Premiers’ Press Conference
Remarks by each participating Governor and Premier followed by a question and answer session. Ceremonial tree planting.
Attendance: Governors, Premiers, other heads of State and Provincial delegations and press.
Meet in Renaissance Hotel Lobby
Buses depart for Welcome Reception
Buses depart from the Renaissance Hotel. Participants may also enjoy the short twenty-minute walk from the Renaissance Hotel to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Welcoming remarks by Governor DeWine
Introduction by Greg Harris, President & CEO, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Attendance: All Participants
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Attendance: All Participants
Meet at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Main Entrance
Buses depart for Renaissance Hotel
Buses depart from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Participants may also enjoy the short twenty-minute walk from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to the Renaissance Hotel.
Locations TBD by hosts
Post-dinner receptions to be hosted by sponsors or others as appropriate
Grand Ballroom Foyer
Attendance: All Participants
Mr. Jason Schlender, Executive Administrator, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission and Member, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe
Welcoming Remarks by Governor DeWine
Introduction by Ms. Lillian Kuri, President & CEO, The Cleveland Foundation
This session will focus on the Governors’ and Premiers’ ambitious goal to plant 250 million trees in the region by 2033.
Moderator: Ms. Carmen Hardin, Applied Forestry Bureau Director, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Panelists: Dr. Patrick Doran, Divisional Director of Strategy, Measures and Science, The Nature Conservancy;
Ms. Samira Malone, Director, Cleveland Trees Coalition;
Mr. Bryan Van Stippen, Program Director, National Indian Carbon Coalition and Member, Oneida Nation of Wisconsin
Remarks by Governor Whitmer
Introduction by Mr. Ridgway White, President and Chief Executive Officer, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
This session will focus on strategies to decarbonize regional shipping while simultaneously seeking to increase maritime trade.
Moderator: Mr. Paul LaMarre III, Port Director, Port of Monroe; President, American Great Lakes Ports Association
Panelists: Ms. Deborah DeLuca, Executive Director, Duluth Seaway Port Authority;
Mr. Terence Bowles, President and CEO, St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation;
Mr. David Martin, Owner, The CSL Group Inc.
Remarks by Governor Holcomb
Lunch—Celebration of GSGP’s 40th anniversary
Video remarks by former Governor Blanchard and former Governor Celeste
Protecting and Restoring the Great Lakes:
Remarks by Her Excellency Kirsten Hillman, Ambassador of Canada to the United States
Attendance: All Participants
Director Brian Baldridge, Ohio Department of Agriculture;
Director Mary Mertz, Ohio Department of Natural Resources;
Director Anne M. Vogel, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
100% Great Lakes Fish
This session will focus on GSGP’s ambitious work to more fully use all parts of each commercially caught fish from the Great Lakes and create more value.
Moderator: Mr. Marc Gaden, Deputy Executive Secretary, Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Panelists: Dr. Alexandra Leeper, Head of Research and Innovation and Managing Director of International Affairs, Iceland Ocean Cluster;
Mr. Erik Olsen, Lead Great Lakes Fisheries Biologist, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians;
Mr. Sal Peralta, President and Chief Executive Officer, A & A Marine Foods
Remarks by Ontario Minister of Transportation Prabmeet Sarkaria
Cruising the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence
This session will focus on the record-breaking 2023 cruise season and strategies for future growth.
Moderator: Ms. Anna Tanski, Tourism Director, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers
Panelists: Ms. Jackie Q. Carter, Director, Port Milwaukee;
Ms. Cindy Larsen, President, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce;
Mr. Aaron Lawton, Head of Expedition Operations, Viking Cruises
Closing Remarks by Governor Evers
Meet in Renaissance Hotel Lobby
Buses depart for Music Box Supper Club
Music Box Supper Club
1148 Main Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Reception and Dinner
Remarks by Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb
Attendance: All Participants except for Governors, Premiers and Heads of Delegation
Meet at Music Box Supper Club
Buses depart for Renaissance Hotel
Buses depart from the Music Box Supper Club. Participants may also enjoy the water taxi to the East Bank of the Cuyahoga River and the short walk to the Renaissance Hotel
Locations TBD by hosts
Post-dinner receptions to be hosted by sponsors or others as appropriate.
Remarks by Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne
Fireside Chat with Cleveland Cavaliers stars Mark Price and Austin Carr and play-by-play announcer John Michael
Attendance: All Participants
Tower City Center
Access to the Terminal Tower Observation Deck will be available for free to all Summit attendees on the morning of October 15.
The Terminal Tower, completed in 1929 by the Van Sweringen brothers and standing 52 stories tall, is Cleveland’s most admired landmark with its unique Beaux-Arts architecture and popular light shows. When ready to go to the Observation Deck, notify security at the front desk in The Terminal Tower lobby facing Public Square that you are ready to be taken.
The complete collection of Speaker Biographies can be downloaded.
President and CEO, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Greg Harris is in his tenth year as President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. The Museum is 27 years old, has welcomed over 13 million visitors, and has had an economic impact of over $2.2 billion to the region. As CEO, he has guided the organization through an era of unprecedented transformation with a focus on innovation to drive growth. Under his leadership the Museum has significantly increased attendance, revenue, fan engagement and community impact in fulfillment of their mission to “engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock and roll.” He is currently leading a $150 million expansion of the museum with a focus on experiential activities and authentic experiences. Before joining the RRHOF, Greg spent 14 great years as a senior executive at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York where he advanced from curating the Hall of Fame’s broadcast media collection to ultimately serving as Vice President of Development. He launched and grew multiple new divisions, including establishing government affairs and development offices, led their earliest online collaborations, worked directly with inductees and created a strong national network of donors, sponsors and influencers. Greg’s passion for music stoked the shift from baseball to rock and roll. In the 1980s, he and a partner founded, owned and operated the legendary Philadelphia Record Exchange, a retail store that specializes in selling rare, used and independent records. The store mirrored and amplified his love of soul, blues, country, folk, punk and other forms of rock and roll. He also served as a road manager for a nationally touring group and played mediocre guitar in garage bands. A native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Greg holds a B.A. degree in history from Temple University, an M.A. from the Cooperstown Graduate Program for History and Museum Studies.
Executive Administrator, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission and Member, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe
Jason Schlender (Manidoo Noodin) is executive administrator of Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), an intertribal natural resources management agency in the Ojibwe Ceded Territory of the upper Great Lakes region. A Lac Courte Oreilles Band citizen, Schlender previously served as tribal administrator for the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, vice chairman of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board and chairman of GLIFWC’s Voigt Intertribal Task Force. Created in 1984, GLIFWC is comprised of 11 Ojibwe bands in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The tribes reserved off-reservation harvest rights to wildlife, fish, and wild plants on property transferred to the United States through treaties negotiated in 1836, 1837, 1842, and 1854. Collectively, the lands and waters included in the treaties are known as the Ceded Territory. An all-seasons treaty rights practitioner, Schlender is familiar with hunting, fishing, and gathering areas across the Ceded Territory. In addition, he is passionate about the preservation of the Ojibwe language, culture, ceremonies, a proud owner of the Green Bay Packers, an enthusiastic golfer, and family man. At University of Minnesota-Duluth, Schlender earned a master’s degree in Tribal Administration and Governance. He is currently pursuing a First Nations Education doctorate degree through University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
President & CEO, The Cleveland Foundation
Lillian Kuri became President & CEO of the Cleveland Foundation on August 1, 2023. The Cleveland Foundation is the nation’s oldest community foundation with nearly $3 billion in assets and more than $130 million in annual grantmaking by the foundation and its donors. Prior to becoming President & CEO, Lillian had served as the foundation’s Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer since 2021, leading the development of the foundation’s strategic plan and the design execution, operations and community planning for the foundation’s new headquarters in MidTown. Lillian joined the Cleveland Foundation in 2005 as a consultant for strategic initiatives and officially joined the staff in 2007 as a Program Director. In 2016, she was promoted to Vice President, Strategic Grantmaking, Arts & Urban Design. Lillian has more than 20 years of experience as a nonprofit executive. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Cleveland Public Art and held positions as the manager for the City of Cleveland’s Citywide Plan as well as project coordinator for the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. As the Executive Director of Cleveland Public Art from 2000-2004, she was responsible for the implementation of over $4 million in projects over her 4-year tenure. Lillian holds a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University, as well as a Bachelor of Architecture from Kent State University. She is a licensed architect in the state of Ohio and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional. She currently serves as Chair of the Cleveland Planning Commission.
Applied Forestry Bureau Director, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Carmen Hardin is Bureau Director for Applied Forestry at WI DNR’s Division of Forestry. She oversees the state’s programs in Urban Forestry, Forest Health, Reforestation, Forest Products, and Forest Economics and Ecology. She has worked for the Department for over 20 years, and has been in her current role for the last 8 years. Previously Carmen was the DNR’s Forest Hydrologist, working on forestry and water quality issues. Carmen attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, obtaining two BS degrees – Soil Science and Biological Conservation, as well as a MS in Environmental Planning. Her other work experience includes managing a 100+ acre native plant nursery, providing consulting services for prairie, woodland and wetland restorations, and reviewing local and state-level shoreland development rules and regulations. Carmen lives and works in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. She enjoys spending the fall out in the woods with her two dogs, looking for woodcock and grouse, while spring and summer are spent tempting native fish with a fly rod in as many streams, lakes, and rivers as possible.
Divisional Director of Strategy, Measures and Science, The Nature Conservancy
Dr. Patrick Doran joined The Nature Conservancy in 2005 and currently serves as the Director of Strategy, Measures and Science for TNC’s five-state Midwest Division. In this role, Patrick leads a team that demonstrates excellence in the areas of a) Strategic Planning, b) Measures, Evaluation and Learning, and c) Evidence-Based Science and promotes a consistent approach to implementing the tenets of The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation by Design approach. Throughout his career at TNC, Patrick has designed and implemented conservation strategies in Michigan, throughout the Great Lakes region, North American and globally, including the African Great Lakes. He takes a cross-disciplinary approach and has worked in fields that address protected areas establishment and management, sustainable forestry, sustainable agriculture, coastal management, invasive species, fisheries and aquatic connectivity restoration, urban conservation, climate change adaptation, and underlying measures of success, monitoring and information management. Additionally, he focuses on communicating about the wonders of the natural world. Patrick earned his Ph.D. in ecology from Dartmouth College, where he studied forest bird populations at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Patrick also holds degrees from Indiana University (M.S./M.A.) and Villanova University (B.A.). He has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers on a wide variety of conservation topics. In his life outside of the Conservancy, Patrick enjoys every possible minute engaged in some sort of outdoor or sporting activity with his wife Heather, and their two children Griffin and Carly. Patrick and Heather are currently engaged in an adventure to visit every county in Michigan for hiking, birding, and enjoying local foods and drinks.
Director, Cleveland Trees Coalition
Samira Malone is the Executive Director of The Cleveland Tree Coalition, a collaborative of public, private, and community stakeholders partnered with the City of Cleveland to create a healthy, vibrant, sustainable, and equitable urban forest. Samira works to raise awareness of the critical need for a robust tree canopy in Cleveland and to generate financial support for the work of the Coalition. Her urban planner and environmental leader practice is rooted in racial and environmental restorative justice and holistic community development. Samira has her Master's degree in urban planning and development and her Bachelor's in urban and regional planning from Cleveland State University. She is also a proud graduate of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. In addition to her role as Executive Director, she serves as the elected chairwoman for the City of Cleveland Urban Forestry Commission (UFC). The purpose of UFC is to advise the Mayor and City Council on policies and regulations that will increase our neighborhoods' tree canopy and vibrancy. Under this scope, the UFC provides advice and strategic planning on how the City can implement best practices to maintain and grow Cleveland's tree canopy. In addition, the UFC's work involves providing recommendations on policy and plans, monitoring the implementation of City plans, soliciting grants or funding contributions, and much more. Samira takes pride in being a lifelong Cleveland resident and is active in numerous community organizations. She loves traveling, spending time in the Cleveland Metro Parks, exercising, and visiting with family and friends when she has free time.
Bryan Van Stippen
Program Director, National Indian Carbon Coalition Member, Oneida Nation of Wisconsin
Bryan Van Stippen is Program Director for National Indian Carbon Coalition, an initiative of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) that provides education, training and technical assistance to American Indian tribes, Alaska Native Villages & Corporations, Native Hawaiian organizations and First Nations in Canada on the development of carbon credit and renewable energy projects on tribal land. A member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Van Stippen previously served for seven years as Tribal Attorney for the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Justice in Wisconsin where he was responsible for land acquisition and other land-related issues. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and a Masters in Computer Information Systems from Tarleton State University in Texas. Van Stippen is a graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Law (J.D.); the University of Tulsa College of Law (LL.M. in American Indian and Indigenous Law); and the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (S.J.D in Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy). He lives with his wife and two children in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Bryan is a representative on the Voluntary Carbon Market Initiative Expert Advisory Group, a Legacy Member of the Ecosystem Service Marketplace Consortium, and a representative on the Bipartisan Policy Center Farm and Forest Carbon Solutions Task Force.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Ridgway H. White became president of the Mott Foundation in 2015, as the Flint water crisis was still unfolding. White led the Foundation’s swift approval of a $4 million grant to help the city reconnect to the Detroit water system and begin the process of bringing clean water back to the community. He subsequently led the charge on Mott’s commitment in 2016 to provide up to $100 million over five years to help the city recover and rise from the crisis — a commitment that was fulfilled in just over four years and subsequently exceeded. White is a vocal champion of the Foundation’s support for a “one-water” approach to managing the nation’s drinking water, storm water and wastewater systems. He is an ardent believer in the power of community foundations to be local leaders of positive change, both in the U.S. and around the world. He also has been the driving force behind the development of Mizzen by Mott, an app that aims to deliver outstanding content to afterschool providers nationwide at no cost to them. As part of White’s earlier program work for the Foundation, he also served as a loaned executive for the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, a nonprofit organization focused on revitalizing Flint. Over the course of a decade, he oversaw the development of over 1 million square feet of mixed-use space, paving the way for numerous new businesses and restaurants to open. Notable projects included the creation of the Flint Health and Wellness District, a four-block area that is now home to the Flint Farmers’ Market and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. The Urban Land Institute Michigan and University of Michigan recognized the project with their Development/Redevelopment of the Year Award in 2014. In a spirit of social entrepreneurship, White took it upon himself to build two schools that share a campus in the city of Flint. The project resulted in a new state-of-the-art home for the Michigan School for the Deaf, which is operated by the state of Michigan, and Powers Catholic High School.
Paul LaMarre III
Port Director, Port of Monroe; President, American Great Lakes Ports Association
Capt. Paul C. LaMarre III, is a third generation Great Lakes mariner whose lifelong freshwater legacy and industry advocacy has led to his recognition as a prominent leader across the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Seaway navigation system. Capt. LaMarre has served as the Port Director of the Port of Monroe, MI since 2012 and is directly responsible for the Port’s revival from being a dormant harbor to what is now a regarded as national example of seaport revival and redevelopment. A graduate of the California Maritime Academy, Capt. LaMarre holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation with minors in logistics and naval science and maintains an unlimited USCG Deck Officers License as a Master of Towing Vessels. In 2013, Capt. LaMarre was appointed to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Freight Advisory Committee by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood where he served as the sole representative of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System and State of Michigan. In 2016, Capt. LaMarre was appointed to the USDOT’s Port Performance Freight statistics working group by Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx where he once again is the sole representative of the Great Lakes port community. He was also appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder as Chairman of the State’s first Port Authority Advisory Committee which he still chairs for Governor Gretchen Whitmer. He also sits as a maritime advisor to the State of Michigan Commission for Logistics & Supply Chain Collaboration. In 2018, he was appointed to the USDOT’s Marine Transportation System National Advisory Committee (MTSNAC) by Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and in 2021 was appointed to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee (GLPAC) by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Capt. LaMarre is also the President of the American Great Lakes Ports Association, Vice President of the International Shipmasters Toledo Lodge #9, Vice Chairman of the National Museum of the Great Lakes and a Board Member of the Great Lakes Towing Co., Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, Marine Historical Society of Detroit, Great Lakes Seaway Shipping Online Inc. (Boatnerd.com), and the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. As a Great Lakes historian, Capt. LaMarre has received the Association of Great Lakes Maritime History’s Annual Award for Historic Preservation and was also named the Marine Historical Society of Detroit’s “Historian of the Year” in 2018 for his preservation of the S.S. Col James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship. The vessel is the centerpiece of the National Museum of the Great Lakes which he also conceptualized and developed with the Great Lakes Historical Society. He has also served as pilot in the United States Navy, having logged the majority of his flight hours in the F/A-18 Hornet.
Executive Director, Duluth Seaway Port Authority
Deb DeLuca has been the executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority since 2018, and proudly embraces its mission of bringing business to the port, economic development to the region, and advocating for maritime transportation, freight and industry. The Port Authority operates in the Port of Duluth-Superior, the largest port in the Great Lakes by tonnage, and amongst the top 20 in the nation. She is the first woman to lead the organization in its history. DeLuca has been involved in maritime, freight, and Great Lakes policy initiatives at the local, state and federal level in various roles including president of the Minnesota Ports Association, treasurer of the American Great Lakes Ports Association, chair of the Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee, and executive committee member of APEX, a regional economic and business development organization. She serves on the boards of the American Association of Port Authorities, Iron Mining Association of Minnesota, Green Marine and the Chamber of Marine Commerce and as an alternate Minnesota commissioner to the Great Lakes Commission. She also serves on the advisory committees for Minnesota Sea Grant, Wisconsin Sea Grant, and the University of Wisconsin-Superior Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain Management Program. Deb formerly served as Government and Environmental Affairs Director for the Port Authority and as a principal of DeLuca Strategies for 14 years prior to joining the Port Authority. A Wisconsin native, she holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University Wisconsin-Madison. She and her husband live, and raised their two children, in Duluth.
President and CEO, St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation
Terence F. Bowles was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation on November 1, 2010. He is the third person to hold this position since the Management Corporation was established in 1998 to oversee the operations of the Canadian portion of the Seaway system. From 2001 to 2010, Mr. Bowles was President and C.E.O. of the Iron Ore Company (IOC) of Canada, whose major shareholder is the international mining group Rio Tinto. IOC is the largest manufacturer of iron ore pellets in Canada, with facilities in Labrador City and Sept-Iles, and has a customer base covering North America, Europe and Asia. Following his graduation as a Chemical Engineer from Laval University in Quebec City, Mr. Bowles joined Quebec Iron and Titanium (QIT). During his lengthy career at QIT, he assumed a series of progressively more senior assignments which culminated with his appointment as President. Along with his Engineering Degree, he obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Montreal’s McGill University, completed an Advanced Executive Program at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Chicago, a Strategic Leadership Program at the London Business School, and McGill’s Institute of Corporate Directors Program, where he received the ICD.D designation.
Owner, the CSL Group, Inc.
David P. A. Martin is the President of Bromart Holdings and an owner of The CSL Group Inc. and Horizon Capital Holdings, where he also serves as co-President and Chief Executive Officer. He is a former Chair of the Board of Directors of the World Wildlife Fund (Canada) and is co-founder and General Partner of Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship Fund (CAPE Fund). Mr. Martin graduated from McGill University with a Joint Honours degree in Political Science and History in 1997 and completed an MBA at Cambridge University in 2000. Beyond his professional endeavours, he values his family life as husband to Laurence Duguay and proud father to Ethan, Liam, and Finn.
Member of Congress
Congresswoman Shontel M. Brown is a relentless public servant who is committed to delivering results for the people of Ohio’s Eleventh Congressional District. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2021 and was sworn in on November 4, 2021. She brings a collaborative, dynamic, and problem-solving approach to Congress, where she works to attract jobs that pay fair wages to Northeast Ohio, improve access to affordable, high-quality health care, ensure equity and justice for all Americans, and improve the quality of life of all people living in her district. In the 118th Congress, Congresswoman Brown is a member of the House Agriculture Committee, where she proudly serves as a Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities, Risk Management, and Credit. Additionally, Congresswoman Brown serves on the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Nutrition, Foreign Agriculture, and Horticulture. She also serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, where she was appointed to the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs. Additionally, she was selected to serve on the Select Committee on the Strategic Relationship Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. She is an active member of several Congressional caucuses, coalitions, and Task Forces. Some memberships include the Congressional Black Caucus, the New Democrat Coalition, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Democratic Women's Caucus, Pro-Choice Caucus, Congressional Heartland Caucus, Great Lakes Task Force, and Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce. A complete list of the Congresswoman's Caucuses, Coalitions, and Task Force membership can be found here. Across her career in public service, Congresswoman Brown has promised to always put the people first. She continues to keep this promise by speaking out and fighting for solutions on issues of importance to the people of Northeast Ohio. She consistently works to strengthen our public education system, improve the health of children and families, ensure that no American goes hungry, improve protections for Ohio workers, and address the poverty crisis that has plagued her district and others like it for far too long. A proud, lifelong Clevelander, Congresswoman Brown has served the people of Northeast Ohio for more than a decade. She first entered public service in 2012, when she was elected as a Warrensville Heights city council member. In 2014, she was elected to represent the 9th district on the Cuyahoga County Council, one of the most diverse in the County, with constituents in the City of Cleveland, as well as inner- and outer-ring suburbs. As a County Council Member, she earned a reputation as a proven and unifying leader, drawing job-creating projects to the district, improving access to affordable health care, and supporting public education. Before her election to public office, Congresswoman Brown worked in the private sector as a marketing professional. She also founded a small business, based in Northeast Ohio, that provides technology solutions to regional clients. Congresswoman Brown currently resides in Warrensville Heights, Ohio.
Ambassador Kirsten Hillman
Ambassador of Canada to the United States
Kirsten Hillman has served as Canada’s Ambassador to the United States of America in Washington D.C. since 2020. The first woman to be appointed to this position, Ambassador Hillman has stewarded the bilateral relationship through two administrations and the COVID-19 pandemic, managing a wide range of bilateral and global files, advocating for Canada’s interests, and advancing shared priorities. Through her twenty-five-year career with the Government of Canada, Ambassador Hillman has held various senior diplomatic, policy, and legal positions at home and abroad. She has played critical roles in negotiating important trade agreements for Canada, including the modernization of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and served as Canada’s Chief Negotiator for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Prior to this, Ambassador Hillman practised law at the Department of Justice in Ottawa and at a private law firm in Montréal. Ambassador Hillman grew up in Calgary and Winnipeg and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba and Bachelors of Civil Law and of Common Law from McGill University. She also holds a Doctor of Laws – honoris causa – from the Royal Military College of Canada. She was recognized in the Maclean’s magazine 2022 Power List – 50 Canadians who are forging paths, leading the debate and shaping how we think and live – and named one of Washington’s most powerful women by the Washingtonian in 2021. She is married and is the mother of two sons.
Director, Ohio Department of Agriculture
Brian Baldridge was appointed the 40th Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture by Governor Mike DeWine in February 2023. In this position, Director Baldridge provides leadership for the agriculture industry and oversees numerous regulatory, food safety, and consumer protection programs for the great State of Ohio. Food and agriculture is the No. 1 industry in Ohio, adding more than $124 billion to the economy each year. He served two terms in Ohio House of Representatives, where he represented the 90th House District, encompassing all of Adams and Scioto counties, as well as the eastern part of Brown County. During his tenure, Director Baldridge served on the House Agriculture Committee and advocated for programs supporting the agricultural industry. Director Baldridge has strong Ohio and agricultural roots. He is the seventh generation raised on the family farm that is still operational today. Throughout the years, he participated in, and has been a vocal advocate for, the 4-H community and FFA. Additionally, he was elected to serve on the Adams Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors, where he helped to direct and plan conservation efforts within the county. Early in life, Director Baldridge had a calling to be a first responder. During high school, he started serving his community as both a firefighter and paramedic volunteering for the Wayne Township Fire Department, and later became a career member for the Anderson Township Fire Department. In 2020, he retired from Anderson Township after 25 years of service and is still a volunteer of the Wayne Township Fire Department in Adams County. As a life-long Southern Ohio native, Director Baldridge is no stranger to serving the public. He has served as both Adams County Commissioner and Wayne Township Trustee, prior to his service at the Ohio Statehouse. He attended Southern State Community College and Shawnee State University. Director Baldridge currently resides in Winchester, Ohio with his wife of 31 years, Lori. They are members of the Bethlehem Church of Christ. Together they have two grown children, one grandchild and two more on the way.
Director, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Mary Mertz is the Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, serving since 2019 after being appointed by Governor Mike DeWine. In this role, Mertz is responsible for leading one of the state’s largest and most diverse agencies which manages more than 800,000 acres of public land in the state’s parks, preserves, and forests, conserves fish and wildlife species, regulates the oil, gas and mining industries, and manages water and coastal resources. Mertz’s previous positions include First Assistant Attorney General under Mike DeWine, advisor to Ohio Governor George Voinovich, and legislative director for Congressman Bob McEwen. A native of Riverside, Mertz holds degrees from American University and George Washington University and earned her J.D. at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. In her free time, she enjoys sailing, hiking, and exploring Ohio’s great outdoors.
Anne M. Vogel
Director, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Anne M. Vogel was appointed to be the Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in January of 2023. Prior to her appointment, Vogel served as the Policy Director for the Office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Vogel brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the helm of the Ohio EPA. While serving as the Governor’s Policy Director, Vogel was charged with implementing the vision for the major initiatives of the DeWine-Husted administration. Vogel worked on the initial creation and launch of H2Ohio, the Governor’s water quality initiative that brings together the Ohio EPA, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources to improve Ohio’s water quality through the creation of wetlands, the reduction in phosphorus runoff, improving access to clean drinking water, and quality sewer systems. She was also Governor DeWine’s Infrastructure Coordinator, overseeing the work of multiple state agencies receiving funds under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Prior to joining the DeWine-Husted administration, Vogel was Managing Director of Federal Affairs for American Electric Power Company, practiced law at Porter Wright and clerked for Judge Sargus. Vogel received a J.D. from Capital University Law School with summa cum laude distinction. In addition, she holds an M.B.A. from The Ohio State University.
Deputy Executive Secretary, Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Marc Gaden is originally from Oakland Township, Michigan and has spent most of his professional career working to protect and improve the Great Lakes. He grew up in a family of avid boaters (mostly on Lake St. Clair), fishers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Dr. Gaden joined the Great Lakes Fishery Commission secretariat in 1995; the commission is a US/Canadian agency established by treaty to improve and perpetuate the Great Lakes fishery. He served as the commission’s communications director and legislative liaison from 1995 to 2022, when he became deputy executive secretary. Throughout his tenure in those positions, Dr. Gaden has worked extensively on issues involving regional coordination of fisheries policies, communications and outreach, invasive species, federal appropriations, Great Lakes protection and stewardship, multi-jurisdictional governance, infrastructure, and ecosystem restoration. Prior to joining the Great Lakes Fishery Commission secretariat, Dr. Gaden worked as a legislative assistant for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Great Lakes Task Force, researching, proposing, and advocating for legislation of benefit to the Great Lakes region. Dr. Gaden also worked as a legislative assistant and caseworker for U.S. Congressman Dennis M. Hertel (D-MI), specializing in Great Lakes, environment, transportation, immigration, and Social Security issues. Dr. Gaden is an adjunct assistant professor at the School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, and an adjunct associate professor at the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University. His research and teaching interests relate to the human dimensions of natural resource management. Currently, he teaches the course “Global Water” at the University of Michigan, Program in the Environment. He is also the faculty advisor for the University of Michigan Fishing Team. Dr. Gaden received a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment (now School for Environment and Sustainability) in 2007, a Master of Arts degree in United States foreign policy from The American University in 1993, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science from the University of Michigan in 1991.
Head of Research and Innovation and Managing Director of International Affairs, Iceland Ocean Cluster
Dr. Alexandra Leeper is passionate about the sustainable use of ocean resources. Her role is that of a scientist intrapreneur in the blue and circular economies, from which she draws on diverse experiences from working all over the world in universities, consultancies, and at sea. Alexandra has a background in marine resources and completed an industrial doctorate in aquaculture and circular economy in 2021 in collaboration with Matís, Food and Biotech Iceland and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She took on the role of Head of Research and Innovation at the Iceland Ocean Cluster in 2022 and stepped into the role of Managing Director of International Affairs in 2023. Her work focuses on sustainable value creation and positive impact. She is committed to promote the visibility and connection of women in the startup sector and is herself a co-founder of Hringvarmi, an agri-tech startup that utilises waste heat for controlled environment food production.
Lead Great Lakes Fisheries Biologist, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
Erik Olsen has been the Lead Great Lakes Fisheries Biologist with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians in Peshawbestown, Michigan since 1991. His work has focused primarily on management of the Tribal commercial fishery in northern Lake Michigan. He represents the Tribe on numerous committees, including the 2000 Consent Decree-Technical Fisheries Committee where he coordinates with other Tribal, State and Federal biologists to oversee fishery management of the 1836 Treaty Ceded waters of Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior. In addition, he is a member of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s-Lake Michigan and Lake Huron Technical Committees he collaborates with other Tribal/First Nations, States, Ontario and Federal Biologists to provide technical information on the status of the fishery stocks including management alternatives and evaluation of fishery management decisions across the two basin. In addition, he is responsible for overseeing operation and maintenance of the Tribe's two commercial marinas and coordinating local double-crested cormorant and sea lamprey management activities for the Tribe. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Lake Superior State College prior to completing his Master’s Degree in Fisheries Biology at East Carolina University. He and his wife Jody have been married 36-years, have four married sons and six grandchildren.
President & Chief Executive Officer, A&A Marine & Drydock
Sal Peralta is the President and CEO of A & A Marine Foods located in Tilbury/Blenheim, Ontario. A & A is a harvester and processor of the highest quality fish from the Great Lakes. They sell fresh and frozen Yellow Perch, Walleye, Bass, Whitefish and White Perch, etc, in North America. His group owns three of their own fishing vessels and quota. The Jerry P (named after his father), the Pelee Clipper and Edith Marie II. Sal is also the Vice-Chair of the Processor Group of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries’ Association, an organization representing the interests of commercial fish harvesters and processors on the Canadian Great Lakes and has been involved for approximately 10 years. Sal is part of a family that has been involved in the commercial fishing industry in Ontario for almost 50 years. Sal’s involvement in the business began in 2011 when his father bought A & A Marine and Drydock (now A & A Marine Foods) and he and his brother Jeff, became partners in the new business venture. Him and his brother credit everything they know to their Father who gave them the knowledge and experience that has guided them to what they have helped develop today. They bought a business that had one boat and 2 commercial fishing licences. Today A & A has 6 boats and numerous commercial fishing licences, buying fish from most of the Great Lakes. In 2018, Sal and his brother Jeff took over majority ownership of A & A where Sal serves as the President and CEO and, Jeff serves as the company’s Vice President and COO. They credit their partners, suppliers, employees and customers for their continued support in growing A&A into the company it is today. Focusing on the company’s commitment to high quality products and serving the needs of its’ customers, A & A is in the process of making a major move to a brand new state-of-the-art facility located in Tilbury, Ontario. Sal has a degree in Business Administration specializing in Finance from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Prior to this, Sal played hockey in the OHL for 4 years playing for both the Windsor Spitfires and the Toronto St. Michael Majors. While completing his business degree at Western, Sal played hockey for the Western Mustangs where as Captain, the team won the OUA Championship 2 twice. In recognition of his accomplishments at Western, Sal was inducted to the Western Mustangs Wall of Fame in 2022. Sal also played hockey professionally in the East Coast Hockey League for the Toledo Walleye, Kalamazoo Wings and Ontario Reign as well as experience in Europe. Today, Sal enjoys coaching his son Jerry’s team in AAA Hockey in Essex, Ontario for the Sun County Panthers. Sal has been married 13 years to Tamara and has 2 daughters (Harper/Blayke) and 1 son (Jerry). Sal is continuously looking for new opportunities and projects that benefit his company and industry. He looks forward to assisting in the development of the 100% Fish Project. This is a great way to optimize our industry and reduce all waste from our freshwater fish.
Ontario Minister of Transportation; MPP, Brampton South
Prabmeet Sarkaria has the honour of representing his community as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Brampton South and serving the people of Ontario as the Minister of Transportation. Previously, he served as the Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and most recently, he served as the President of the Treasury Board where he oversaw the fiscal expenditures of the province. Prab is also a father to two beautiful daughters with his wonderful wife Sarpreet. Before answering the call to public service, Prabmeet worked as a corporate and commercial Associate at Miller Thomson LLP. He earned his law degree from the University of Windsor as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, where he majored in Finance. Prior to his legal career, he worked at TD Securities. Passionate about community, Prabmeet is an active volunteer. He served on the City of Brampton’s Property Standards Committee as well as the Board of Directors for Hockey for Humanity and KarmaGrow. He is an avid sports fan who enjoys playing and watching hockey, basketball, baseball, and football. If you ever have the opportunity to visit his office, it will be impossible to forget who won the 2019 NBA Championship. Prab entered public service in order to be a strong advocate for hardworking families in Brampton South and all across the province he loves—and is committed to giving voice to the concerns of the everyday people he is humbled to serve.
Tourism Director, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers
Anna Tanski is the owner of an independent tourism consulting firm that specializes in the evaluation of destination marketing initiatives, strategic planning and organizational structure. Prior to starting her business in 2021, Anna worked for Visit Duluth, the official marketing organization of Duluth, Minnesota, where she spent eight years leading the city’s sales efforts before being named President/CEO in 2014. During her tenure as president, she oversaw marketing initiatives that drove tourism revenues and visitation to record-breaking levels. Her prior experience includes 14 years with the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Anna now serves as the tourism director for two regional tourism marketing partnerships coordinated by the Conference of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers--Cruise the Great Lakes and Great Lakes USA. In addition to 32 years of progressive leadership in the tourism industry, Anna graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a degree in Mass Communications. She has served on the Destinations International Advocacy Committee and was appointed by two separate Minnesota Governors to serve on the Governor’s Tourism Council.
Jackie Q. Carter
Director, Port of Milwaukee
A lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Jackie Q. Carter has worked in the local non-profit and public sectors for more than 20 years. In February 2023, Jackie was appointed by Mayor Cavalier Johnson to serve as Director for Port Milwaukee, a department of the City of Milwaukee. As Port Director, Jackie provides oversight for 20 staff across four functional divisions; Finance & Administration, Port Operations, Engineering and Trade Development. Together, Jackie and her team provide support to more than 20 commercial and recreational tenants in the areas of operational support, facility maintenance and repair, business development and marketing. Prior to being appointed to serve as Port Director, Jackie served in various roles in City government, including five years as the Finance & Administration Officer for Port Milwaukee, where she was responsible for all Port business operations and played an integral in helping to shape the department’s strategic planning efforts while serving in an advisory capacity to the Board of Harbor Commissioners. Jackie’s rich experience, education and commitment to service contribute to the foundation that she now stands on as Port Director. Jackie earned a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Public Administration from Concordia University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts from Alverno College, with a double major in Business & Management and Professional Communication and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Accounting from Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). Beyond the professional space, Jackie is a wife, mother, and minister who plays an integral role in reshaping the spiritual and socio-economic legacy of her family and community.
President, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce
Cindy Larsen is President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. She oversees an advocacy and community development organization with over 1,250 members. The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber has won numerous state and national awards for overall programing and communications. Cindy has served on a number of regional and national boards and councils. She has been involved a reinventing a waterfront community, marketing to the cruise ship industry and promoting the great art and great outdoors of the Muskegon Lakeshore. She is a strong advocate of Michigan’s Blue Economy. Cindy graduated from Central Michigan University, majoring in media communications. She spent a number of years marketing the State of Michigan in the Michigan Economic Development Office before moving to the Lakeshore Chamber.
Head of Expeditions, Viking Cruises
Aaron Lawton joined Viking in early 2020 and is Head of Expedition Operations, working specifically with the two expedition vessels, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris. With 25 years’ experience in the expedition cruise industry, Aaron has managed operations involving vessels in Antarctica, Svalbard, Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Central America, South America, the UK and Ireland, Iceland, Eastern Canada and the Great Lakes. Aaron is based just north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Over the last two and a half decades in the industry, he has also been expedition leader or kayak guide on more than 150 expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as many regions in between. Prior to his involvement in expedition cruising, Aaron managed a canoe and kayak outfitting and guiding operation in the beautiful town of Killarney, on Georgian Bay, Lake Huron. Aaron is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and a recipient of the society’s Erebus Medal. This medal was struck in celebration of the discovery of the HMS Erebus by the Parks Canada Underwater Archaeology Team in 2014 and presented to senior members of the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition (the name given to the search expedition). Aaron was Expedition Leader for one of the four vessels involved in the search.
Mayor, City of Cleveland
Justin M. Bibb is the 58th Mayor of Cleveland working to improve public safety, invest in neighborhoods and modernize City Hall. On January 3, 2022, Mayor Bibb took the oath of office as the city’s first millennial mayor. Mayor Bibb was born and raised on Cleveland’s southeast side in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. Over the past 15 years, Mayor Bibb has worked in government, business and the nonprofit sector as an executive and nonprofit leader. He started his career in public service working for President Obama when he was in the U.S. Senate and later at Cuyahoga County as a Special Assistant advising on education and economic development policies. He led the Global Cities Practice at global research firm Gallup, served as Vice President at KeyBank and most recently as Chief Strategy Officer at Urbanova, a startup focused on improving cities. Mayor Bibb is a proud American University alumnus with an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies. He completed the General Course Programme with an emphasis in Social Policy and Economics from the London School of Economics and is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor of Law (JD). Since taking office, Mayor Bibb has successfully brought Cleveland back into the national conversation. For the first time in decades, Cleveland has a leadership role in the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Ohio Mayor’s Alliance, prioritizing state and national advocacy to bring grants and partnerships home. He is an active member of the USCM Advisory Board, Vice Chair for Climate & Resilience on the Environment Committee, Co-Chair of U.S. Climate Mayors and member of the Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns coalition. Mayor Bibb’s vision for Cleveland is to become a national model for city management, police reform, and neighborhood revitalization.
Cuyahoga County Executive
Chris Ronayne is a forty-year resident of Cuyahoga County, currently residing in Cleveland's Edgewater neighborhood. Chris’ father, an Army veteran, and his mother, a small business owner, taught him the values of hard work, perseverance and integrity. Chris dedicated his campaign to his mom, who passed away after a long battle with cancer last year. Chris and his wife Natalie have been married for nineteen years. She currently serves as the Chief Development Officer for the Cleveland Metroparks. Chris spends most of his free time on the ice as a youth hockey coach for his two children, Audrey and Joe. Chris began his career in public service with the County Planning Commission where he developed community reinvestment plans and in Cuyahoga County government where he launched the Division of Employer Resources. Here, Chris saw the best of county government, where the private, nonprofit and public sectors worked together to achieve results. In 2001, Chris was campaign manager for Jane Campbell, the first woman elected mayor in Cleveland’s history. At the City of Cleveland, he became Planning Director, where he led initiatives like the Cleveland Lakefront Plan and the Euclid Corridor. As chief architect of the Cleveland Lakefront Plan, he and his team engaged with 5,000 residents in the visioning process, secured tens of millions of dollars in state and federal funds, and laid the groundwork for projects that have received hundreds of millions in investment. Chris then served as Chief of Staff and Chief Development Officer in Cleveland where he oversaw over 5,000 employees and managed a budget of $1.5 billion. For 16 years, Chris served as the President of University Circle Inc. (UCI), a non-profit community service corporation. Chris achieved measurable results, transforming Ohio’s education, medical, and cultural district into a thriving complete community. He delivered more than 2,500 new and renovated neighborhood homes to the area, developed after-school and summer programs that engaged more than 10,000 students each year, helped bring a grocery store to a food desert and connected small businesses to Cleveland’s arts, education and healthcare institutions. He stepped down from his role at UCI in 2021 to launch his campaign for County Executive. Chris is past Chair of the Canalway Partners Board of Directors, and the Port of Cleveland Board of Directors. In these roles, Chris was a leader on innovative projects like the Cleveland-Europe Express container service and the newly completed Towpath Trail.
Ambassador/TV Color Analyst
“Mr. Cavalier” Austin Carr begins his 26th season as a TV color analyst for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Bally Sports Ohio, as well as becoming an ambassador for the organization. Carr will join play-by-play broadcaster John Michael to provide insight and analysis during 40 Cavs games this season. When not in the analyst chair for the game, you’ll be able to catch him on the Cavaliers Live Pre and Postgame show alongside Cayleigh Griffin. After a standout career with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1971-80, Carr rejoined the team in the front office in June 1991 as the Director of Community and Business Development. He was responsible for generating new business from Northeast Ohio corporations with a particular focus on smaller companies and minority organizations. Beginning in 1997, Carr became the full-time color analyst for the team’s telecasts on WUAB and the Cavaliers Television Network. Carr played the first nine of 10 seasons in the NBA with Cleveland before stints with Washington and Dallas. He ranks second among the Cavaliers’ all-time leaders in field goals made (4,272) and field goals attempted (9,480). Carr is fourth on the Cavaliers’ all-time list in scoring (10,265), sixth in games played (635) and sixth in minutes played (19,003). The 2021-22 NBA season marked the 50th anniversary since Carr put on a Wine & Gold uniform. He was the first player chosen in the 1971 NBA Draft following a brilliant college career at Notre Dame, where he averaged a school-record 34.6 points per game and was a two-time All-American. The 1971 National Player of the Year currently holds the record for most points in an NCAA tournament game (61), NCAA tournament points per game average (41.3) and was elected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2007. After being inducted into the Irish’s Ring of Honor, the lower concourse of the Notre Dame’s Purcell Pavilion was renamed the Austin Carr Concourse in 2011. Carr was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1972 and later represented Cleveland in the 1974 NBA All-Star Game. He was further honored when his number (34) was retired by the Cavaliers on January 3, 1981. In addition, Carr was selected to the Cavaliers’ All-Time Starting Five as voted on by 32 members of the media in Northeast Ohio and the Cavaliers’ All-Time Team as selected by the fans. The All-Time Starting Five and All-Time Team were selected in conjunction with the Cavaliers 30th Anniversary season of 1999-2000. Always active in community affairs, Carr won the Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award after the 1979-80 season, an award which recognizes an NBA player or coach who makes substantial contributions to his community. He continues his charitable activities with the Alzheimer’s Association of Cleveland, the March of Dimes and the Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence. He is a board member of Y.O.U. (Youth Opportunity Unlimited) and hosts a golf tournament to assist fundraising efforts for the organization, in addition to making numerous speaking engagements to youth groups. Carr is also a regular contributor to Cavs HQ, making numerous public appearances where he talks with Cavs fans all over the community. Carr just celebrated 40 years of service as a member of the Cavaliers and has added the title of ambassador to his storied life and career. A single-digit handicap golfer, Carr is the proud parent of Jason and Ashley, and grandfather to Austin, Aubre and Alexavier.
Television Play-By-Play Broadcaster
John Michael enters his fifth year as the Cavaliers’ Television Play-By-Play broadcaster on Bally Sports Ohio after spending the previous eight seasons as the team’s Audio Play-By-Play Broadcaster. In his four years on television with the Cavaliers, Michael has been honored with three straight Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Lower Great Lakes Chapter, sweeping the prestigious category of Top Play-By-Play Broadcaster / Analyst during that stretch. Along with his three individual Emmy Awards, John has also earned two team Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Live Sporting Event category during this tremendous three-year run. In summer 2019, Michael was inducted into Western Pennsylvania’s Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. John’s fellow inductees include the NBA’s Pete Maravich and Brad Davis, the NFL’s Joe Namath, Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, Ty Law, and Darrelle Revis, as well as Cleveland Guardians’ skipper Terry Francona and his late father, Tito. In 2015, Michael represented the Cavaliers' organization by moderating the esteemed Cuyahoga Community College Presidential Luncheon alongside Magic Johnson. In addition, John has made numerous SportsCenter appearances and has been featured on various national television networks to discuss the Cavs and the NBA. Michael has nearly two decades of professional sports play-by-play experience. He previously worked with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets on Bally Sports Ohio as the television game host, in-game reporter, and contributor to the pregame and postgame shows. Prior to joining the Jackets, John was the inaugural play-by-play "Voice of the Lake Erie Monsters" here in Cleveland. Earlier in his career, Michael gained valuable play-by-play experience with the MSA Sports Network in Pennsylvania, hosting sports talk shows and calling a variety of sports, including baseball, football, hockey, basketball, and soccer. Prior to heading to Cleveland, Michael spent two seasons as the radio voice of the AHL's Springfield Falcons and two seasons with the ECHL's Johnstown Chiefs. Following his final campaign with the Chiefs, the Aliquippa, Pennsylvania native was named the 2005 ECHL Broadcaster of the Year. The honor highlighted a springboard season for Michael during which he had been chosen to broadcast the 2005 ECHL All-Star Game for NHL Radio. Michael has also served as a radio broadcaster for baseball's Hagerstown Suns, a then-minor league affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Additionally, he has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Broadcasting at Springfield College in Massachusetts, where the game of basketball was invented, and in the city that the Basketball Hall of Fame calls home. Prior to embarking on his broadcasting career, Michael earned a law degree, an MBA degree, and a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame, all with cum laude honors, in an eight-year span. Following graduation from law school, he joined the distinguished Pittsburgh law firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart (now K&L Gates). There, he practiced law full time as a trial attorney specializing in construction law for over four years before launching his broadcasting career.
Coach, Player Development, Shooting Specialist, Game Planning Scouting
Mark Price was most recently the head coach of the Charlotte 49ers. As a player, he played for 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), from 1986 to 1998. Spending the majority of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his last three years consisted of one season each with the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, and Orlando Magic. Not long after retirement, Price's number, 25, was retired by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is a member of the Georgia, Ohio, and Oklahoma Sports Halls of Fame. Mark Price's biography can be found at https://www.gsgp.org/media/tgllwyh4/mark-price-final-profile.pdf.
Governor of Wisconsin; Chair, Conference of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers
On November 6, 2018, the people of Wisconsin voted Tony Evers (Ē-vers) the 46th governor of Wisconsin. Prior to his election, he served as the Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction winning statewide elections in 2009, 2013, and 2017. With over three decades of public education experience, Governor Evers has dedicated his life to fighting for Wisconsin’s kids and serving the people of Wisconsin. As a life-long educator, the governor believes in bringing people together to solve the problems facing our state and putting the people of Wisconsin first. He began his career in 1976 and has served Wisconsin students, parents, and citizens all over Wisconsin in Tomah, Oakfield, Verona, and Oshkosh. Born and raised in Plymouth, Wisconsin, Governor Evers graduated from Plymouth High School and earned his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy, an educator. They are parents of three adult children, all public school graduates, and have nine grandchildren.
Governor of Ohio; Vice Chair, Conference of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers
Mike DeWine’s story is a true Ohio story. Raised in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Mike DeWine and Fran (Struewing) met in the first grade and married while students at Miami University. They’ve been blessed with eight children and 27 grandchildren. Family is at the core of everything Mike DeWine does, and that’s why he has devoted his life to fighting for Ohio’s families. He knows when families are strong, Ohio communities are stronger, and our future is bright. Mike DeWine loves Ohio and cares passionately about our state’s future. He will fight for an Ohio that works for everyone – every person and every family in every corner of our state. From world class cities to some of the best small towns in America, Mike DeWine knows that to build our state into an economic powerhouse, we must have strong schools, a great quality of life, and compassion for those who need our help. Mike DeWine’s family started a seed company in Yellow Springs. Working alongside his parents and grandparents, Mike learned early the value of hard work, strong leadership, and fiscal responsibility. Growing up, he loaded seed bags onto trucks and boxcars, shoveled wheat out of trucks during harvest, worked in wheat fields to help ensure the purity of the seed, and basically did whatever it took to get the job done for their customers. Inseparable to the end, his parents were married for 65 years and died within four days of each other. The values he learned from them still live within him today. On November 6, 2018, Mike DeWine was elected to serve as the 70th Governor of the State of Ohio. The Governor has had a long and distinguished career in public service, focusing on protecting Ohio children and families. He was previously the 50th Attorney General of Ohio and has previously been elected to serve as Greene County Prosecutor, Ohio State Senator, U.S. Congressman, Ohio Lt. Governor, U.S. Senator.
Premier of Ontario
Doug Ford is the Premier of Ontario. He was also elected as the MPP for Etobicoke-North in 2018. Previously, Doug Ford served as Toronto city councillor from 2010-2014, and was vice-chair of the Budget Committee, where he delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. While on city council, Ford served on the board of Build Toronto, and was a director of the Canadian National Exhibition. He also served on the Civic Appointments Committee and the Government Management Committee at Council. A dedicated community leader, successful businessman with Deco Labels and passionate advocate for the people, Doug’s commitment to public service runs in the family. Three generations of Fords have served the people of Ontario in elected office. Doug is a life-long resident of the community of Etobicoke, and lives there with his wife Karla and four daughters. His commitment to public service includes over 20 years of dedicated work with the Toronto West Rotary Club and serving as a proud member of the Royal Canadian Legion.
Governor of New York
Kathy Hochul is the 57th and first female Governor of New York State. She began her career in public service on her local Town Board, before serving as Erie County Clerk and as a Member of Congress for New York’s 26th Congressional District. As Lieutenant Governor, she chaired the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils, and served as co-chair of the State’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, Women’s Suffrage Commission, and Child Care Availability Task Force. Since being sworn into office in 2021, Governor Hochul has led by establishing a bold vision for New York’s future. Governor Hochul has spearheaded comprehensive policies and initiatives to help New Yorkers and their families, while building an economy that is stronger and more inclusive than before. Governor Hochul is making historic investments in the people, places, and things to make that happen – from healthcare workers, small businesses, and working families to infrastructure, education, and workforce development. And in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s reckless decisions to strip away abortion rights and strike down commonsense gun regulations, Governor Hochul led the charge in Albany to protect reproductive health care and strengthen gun safety laws, ensuring New York continues to stand as a beacon of hope and freedom for the rest of the nation. Governor Hochul was born and raised in Western New York. She and her husband, Bill Hochul, are the proud parents of two children and one granddaughter.
Governor of Indiana
Eric J. Holcomb, 51st Governor of the State of Indiana, is a lifelong Hoosier who was born in Vincennes, Indiana, graduated from Pike High School in Indianapolis and Hanover College in southeastern Indiana. He went on to serve six years in the U.S. Navy, first at Naval Station Great Lakes and later in Florida and Portugal. Holcomb is currently serving in his second term as governor having been elected in 2016 and 2020 when he received the most votes for governor in Indiana History. Prior to his election as governor, Holcomb served as Indiana’s 51st Lieutenant Governor. During Holcomb’s terms, Indiana employees and employers have enjoyed consecutive record-breaking years of job commitments. In 2022, companies committed a record-breaking $22.2 billion in capital investment. In 2023, Forbes recognized Indiana as the best state in the U.S. to start a business. Actively seeking to build global relationships and attract investments in Indiana’s economic growth, Holcomb has made 18 international trips as governor, visiting more than 20 nations. With Holcomb at the helm Indiana touts a sterling AAA credit rating. Maintaining Indiana’s “Crossroads of America” infrastructure and strengthening Indiana’s connections between our communities is a top priority for Holcomb. He implemented a long-term, fully-funded 20-year, $60 billion Next Level Roads program. Holcomb has strengthened communities and improved quality of life with the Next Level Trails program, the largest-ever state investment in Indiana's trail systems a $180 million investment, and $35 million for land conservation efforts. In 2019 and again in 2022, CNBC ranked Indiana number one in the nation for infrastructure. In 2023, Holcomb led the effort to transform public health funding in Indiana yielding a %1,500 increase in state dollars to local health departments. This followed the recommendations from the Governor’s Public Health Commission that Holcomb created in 2021. Politico recognized Holcomb’s leadership on public health saying, “Indiana may offer a conservative model for improving fragile and beleaguered public health systems and countering the growing opposition to them that’s dominating the discourse.” Holcomb and his wife, Janet, live with their Miniature Schnauzer, Henry, and cat, Topper, in the Governor’s Residence in Indianapolis.
Premier of Québec
François Legault was born in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on May 26, 1957. He is married and has two children. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Public Accountancy) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA in Finance) from HEC Montréal. He is a Fellow of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec. François Legault began his career as an auditor and team leader at Ernst & Young from 1978 to 1984, before being appointed director of finance and administration at Nationair Canada in 1984. In 1985, he became marketing director for Québecair. A year later, he cofounded Air Transat and served as its CEO until 1997. Mr. Legault went into politics from 1998 to 2009, where he held several important offices in the Government of Québec, including Minister of Education and Minister of Health and Social Services. On November 14, 2011, François Legault founded a new party, Coalition Avenir Québec, which he also leads. Mr. Legault was elected MNA for the L’Assomption riding in the 2012 and 2014 general elections. In October 2018, he was re-elected and became Premier of Québec when his party obtained the majority of votes.
Governor of Illinois
Governor JB Pritzker was sworn in as the 43rd Governor of Illinois on Jan. 14, 2019. Since taking office, he has accomplished one of the most ambitious and consequential policy agendas in state history. The governor won bipartisan passage for Rebuild Illinois, the largest investment in state history to upgrade roads, bridges, rail, broadband, and schools. He overcame years of fiscal mismanagement in Illinois by proposing and passing a balanced budget every year, eliminating the state’s multi-billion dollar bill backlog, reducing the state’s pension liability, and achieving six credit upgrades from rating agencies. He took bold action to put state government back on the side of working families by creating jobs, raising the minimum wage to a living wage, protecting reproductive rights, making university and community college education more affordable, and advancing equal pay for women. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Pritzker saved lives and livelihoods by prioritizing the health and safety of Illinois residents while supporting families and businesses through the COVID-induced recession. To protect hardworking families from additional hardship, one of the defining features of the governor’s response to the COVID financial crisis was launching the nation’s largest pandemic relief grant program for small businesses and the nation’s largest housing assistance program. In 2021, Governor Pritzker proposed and signed a comprehensive clean energy bill, making Illinois a national leader on climate action and the first state in the Midwest to pass a law phasing out fossil fuels. Before becoming governor, Pritzker founded 1871, the non-profit small business incubator in Chicago. Since its creation, Chicago has been named one of the top ten technology startup hubs in the world, and 1871 was named the best incubator in the world. As governor, he continues to expand support for new business creation throughout the state and cut taxes for hundreds of thousands of small businesses while incentivizing job creation. Since 2019, annual new business startups in Illinois have grown by nearly 70%. Illinois now has the largest growth in small business creation among the largest states in the nation, beating states like California, Texas, Florida and New York. Governor Pritzker and his wife, MK, have been married for more than 25 years, and they are the proud parents of daughter, Teddi, and son, Don.
Governor of Minnesota
Tim Walz is Minnesota’s 41st Governor. His career has been defined by public service, from serving our country in the military to serving our students as a high-school teacher and football coach to serving our state in Congress. Born in a small town in rural Nebraska, Tim’s parents instilled in him the values that guide his commitment to common good and selfless service. Soon after his high school graduation, Tim enlisted in the Army National Guard. He attended Chadron State College and graduated with a social science degree in 1989. Harvard University offered Tim an opportunity to gain a new perspective on global education by teaching in the People’s Republic of China from 1989 to 1990, where he joined one of the first government-approved groups of American teachers to work in Chinese high schools. Upon his return from China, Tim served full time in the Army National Guard, and accepted a teaching and coaching position. More importantly, he met his future wife, Gwen Whipple, who was teaching at the same school. Tim and Gwen Walz moved to Mankato in 1996, where they began working at Mankato West High School. In addition to teaching social studies, Tim helped coach the Mankato West football team that won the school’s first state championship. After 24 years in the Army National Guard, Command Sergeant Major Walz retired from the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion in 2005. Tim won his first election to the United States House of Representatives in 2006, and was re-elected for another five terms serving Minnesota’s First Congressional District. In addition to his work on the Farm Bill, the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System, Minnesota Highway 14, and the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, Minnesota, Tim introduced the STOCK Act, a bill that sought to limit congressional insider trading. On March 22, 2012, the STOCK Act passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. After years of living in Mankato, Tim and Gwen moved to St. Paul with their two children, Hope and Gus, and their rescue pets, Scout and Afton. Learn more about the work Tim has done as Minnesota’s Governor.
Governor of Michigan
Governor Gretchen Whitmer is a lifelong Michigander who is focused on getting things done that will make a real difference in people’s lives and build a Michigan where everyone can envision a bright future for themselves. As governor, she has signed over 1,000 bipartisan bills and four balanced, bipartisan budgets to deliver on the kitchen-table issues, grow the economy, and create good-paying jobs in every region of the state. Since the governor took office, she has announced 35,000 new auto jobs and used bipartisan economic development tools to bring home more than $16 billion in transformational investments, creating 16,000+ jobs and putting Michigan in the lead on innovating the future of cars, chips, batteries, and more. She has fixed nearly 20,000 lane miles of roads and over 1,400 bridges, and funded programs putting almost 200,000 Michiganders on tuition-free paths to higher education and skills training. The governor has made the largest education investments in state history four years in a row, delivering the highest state per-student funding ever, increasing on-campus mental health resources, and helping hire more qualified teachers, literacy coaches, counselors, and staff. Additionally, the governor has expanded low or no-cost child care to 150,000 more kids. Governor Whitmer has also protected clean water for every community, investing $4 billion to upgrade drinking water and replace lead service lines, supporting 57,000 jobs. She made the single largest ever investment in state and local parks across Michigan. Since the governor took office, Michigan has won over $16 billion in investments and become home to “the next Silicon Valley” for mobility innovation, the #1 emerging startup ecosystem and the fastest growing clean energy job sector in the country. Governor Whitmer achieved this progress alongside three dynamic elected statewide leaders: Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Governor Whitmer and her husband Dr. Marc Mallory live in Lansing with Kevin and Doug, the First Dogs of Michigan. She has two daughters, Sherry and Sydney, and three stepsons, Alex, Mason, and Winston. Governor Whitmer earned a bachelor’s degree and law degree from Michigan State University.
Governor of Pennsylvania
Josh grew up in Pennsylvania, watching his parents serve their community — his father was a pediatrician, and his mother was an educator. Their example inspired Josh to enter into public service, and from a young age, Josh recognized that standing up for others was how he wanted to spend his career. After marrying his high-school sweetheart Lori and welcoming their first child, Josh returned to his hometown and successfully ran for State Representative. As Representative, Josh helped write and pass some of the toughest ethics laws in state history. His work earned him a reputation as a rare public servant willing to take on the status quo — “a blast of oxygen in the smoke-choked back rooms of quid-pro-quo Harrisburg.” Then, as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania’s third-largest, Josh led a fiscal and ethical turnaround. Before he took office, Montgomery County had a $10 million budget deficit and an underfunded pension for county employees. Josh put the county back on solid financial footing, took early steps to combat the heroin epidemic, helped the first LGBTQ+ couples in Pennsylvania marry, and fired Wall Street money managers to save taxpayers and retirees millions. In 2016, Josh successfully ran to be Pennsylvania’s Attorney General. As Attorney General, he has restored integrity to an office badly in need of reform and taken on big fights for the people. He has proven to Pennsylvanians he can bring people together to solve tough problems and is unafraid to enforce the law without fear or favor. In January 2021, Josh was sworn in for his second term as Attorney General. He arrested more than 8,000 drug dealers while investigating and suing pharmaceutical companies and the CEOs who knowingly perpetuated the opioid crisis to line their own pockets. He stood up for everyday consumers, seniors who’ve been scammed, and students preyed upon by private lenders by obtaining over $328 million in relief to Pennsylvanians who have been ripped off. He led on criminal justice reform, bringing activists and law enforcement together to launch a new statewide police misconduct database, taking on employers who steal from Pennsylvania workers. In November 2022, Josh made history as the highest vote-getter in Pennsylvania gubernatorial history. Alongside his running mate Austin Davis, Josh is working with every Pennsylvanian to move our Commonwealth forward. Josh and Lori are the proud parents of Sophia, Jonah, Max, and Reuben.