Slavic Village Rising!
Three Leaders, One Neighborhood

Slavic Village is getting an infusion of motivated leadership through Jamie Pawlak, Lynn Rodemann, and Joe Linsky. For the first time, three applicants from one neighborhood were accepted as NLDP participants in the same cohort.  These three are committed to Slavic Village and each is bringi ng their own perspective and skills to bear on a particular focus in the neighborhood.

Joe Linsky, Jamie Pawlak, and Lynn Rodemann

Jamie has strong roots in the neighborhood. She has fond memories of growing up in a walkable, vibrant, community oriented neighborhood and she wants to bring more of that back to her neighborhood. As a board member of Slavic Village Development Corporation, she is focused on community engagement and empowering residents. During her childhood in Slavic Village, Jamie felt a great sense of belonging. She hopes to help current residents feel that same sense of belonging. 

Lynn Rodemann is a resident of Slavic Village who has a long history of community service, beginning with volunteering with Food Not Bombs, a homeless outreach program, in various Ohio Cities since she was 13.
Lynn currently works at the Slavic Village Development Corporation (SVDC) as part of the housing team. When she began her work at SVDC she was helping many people deal with housing emergencies. Now she is working hard to help empower residents to be able to address a variety of housing related issues in order to make those emergencies less common.  Lynn is bringing creative and thoughtful solutions to the neighborhood through work with artists, homeowners, and community organizations. Among these solutions is a partnership with the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) in Cleveland Heights. HRRC teaches basic home maintenance and repair, but is too far away for Slavic Village residents to easily access. Lynn has developed a partnership with them to bring an 8-week series of home repair workshops to Slavic Village.

Joe Linsky is a new Slavic Village resident. Coming from a far east suburb, Slavic Village was probably not the most expected landing place for Joe. However, he sees the potential in the neighborhood and has not just moved in, but begun building a life and community for himself and his wife. Also a staff member at SVDC, Joe's primary focus is on the arts and how it can affect people in the neighborhood. According to his colleagues, Joe regularly goes above and beyond his technical responsibilities. He takes the time out to build connections with kids while working the farmers market and can be found helping out in the community every night of the week. 

NLDP has helped many individuals make a difference in their neighborhoods. The leadership training provided through NLDP is a powerful force when just one neighborhood leader is able to learn new skills and tools to help shape their community. Slavic Village will now benefit from having three committed citizens with these tools and the connection to NLDP and its graduates. 

Graduate Spotlight: Hilda Abreu

Hilda Abreu was working 12 hour days as a hair dresser in New York to support herself and her twin daughters when a client, who had been paying attention to her way with people, insisted that Hilda come work at the women's shelter where she was the director. That was when her life changed and she became passionate about helping people. She had some ups and downs, moved to Florida and then to Cleveland, started and then re-started her college degree in psychology, and worked a variety of jobs to make ends meet, but she kept coming back to being of service to others. 
When she landed in Cleveland, Hilda was starting over again. She was working as a house cleaner when her daughters went off to college and she began feeling a little bit of empty-nest syndrome. So, Hilda went looking to contribute to something meaningful. She found a volunteer opening at Murtis-Taylor, and as luck would have it, when they saw her resume they decided to hire her as a case worker. Of her work there, she said "I was in the business of changing lives."
Hilda continues her work changing lives at Metro West Community Development Corporation, where she says her primary job is network weaving. She builds connections between people and brings organizations outside of their offices. She has been the organizer behind such successful events as Fiesta de Te, which raised almost $5,000 for two neighborhood schools. She was also recently hired as a C oordinator with MyCom . At MyCom she gets to work with young people, which is her biggest passion. She also works with young people through the Hispanic UMADAOP. She leads a regular event called "Friday Night Done Right" which is geared towards teaching young people ways to have fun without drugs or alcohol.
In the coming year , Hilda is planning to spend more time on her passion for youth, particularly young women. She is seeking a space to conduct a leadership and personal development program for young women. She wants to provide the type of support for young women that she would have liked to have had growing up and that she has provided for her daughters. It boils down to love and support and making them feel that they can accomplish anything.
Thank you Hilda for your commitment and dedication to your community, to young women, and to Cleveland.

Graduates, RSVP for the Holiday Party 
Please RSVP by Thursday, December 8th

Grill with a Graduate
Kenneth Purdue's Tender Ribs


Garlic Powder
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Additional sauce, if desired


Lightly season with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and honey.

Let marinade overnight. 

Slow cook ribs in the oven for 1.5 hrs on 250 degree heat.

Grill for 15-20 minutes.

Baste with your desired sauce on both sides while on the grill, if desired.

And Voila!!!

Graduates Create Videos
KC Petraitis and Vanetta Jamison Showcase Their Work

Graduates KC Petraitis and Vanetta Jamison worked with professional video producer Obed Shelton to create short videos highlighting their community projects. The Burning River Soccer Video showcases the soccer program that KC Petraitis leads. Burning River Soccer  organizes and conducts competitions between youth soccer teams while providing a safe environment for urban youth to play soccer. They are focused on encouraging active lifestyles, healthy eating, and regular exercise habits in children and engaging in other activities that promote education and inclusiveness, celebrate diversity, and eliminate prejudice and discrimination. The I Am More Than My Zip Code video showcases the youth program lead by Vanetta Jamison that helps young people expand their horizons through enrichment programs that take them out into different neighborhoods and even different cities. 

     Burning River Soccer, KC Petraitis
     More Than My Zip Code, Vanetta Jamison

Graduate Shout Outs
Special Congratulations to...

Martha Loughridge  on her new position as Director of Development and Special Events at Stonebrook Montessori! 

Maria Campanelli on the opening the New Children's Museum of Cleveland space on Euclid Avenue!

Robert Gatewood for opening Full Spectrum: Gamerhaven!

Jeremy Langham for the launch of Ironborne Brew Works!

Hilda Abreu  on her new job as a C o ordinator with MyCom!

Dawn Johnson on her new position as Supervisor of Food Services for East Cleveland Schools!

Gwendolyn Garth on her reappointment to the board of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture today!

NLDP Demographics
A look at some of the data captured in the new Demographic Profile

On an annual basis NLDP collects demographic data which helps with program organization and execution. Below is some of our most up to date information about graduates of NLDP. 

Cohort I-X Demographics

Just for Graduates...
Have You Called Your Coach Recently?

Your coaches are waiting to hear from you! Part of quality personal self- care is obtaining the support that you need.  NLDP coaches can help you balance your commitments, practice your leadership skills, and assist with achieving your goals.  Graduate coaching sessions are provided to graduates at no cost.

I f you are not sure how to connect with your coach, contact Marissa at or 216-776-6170.

Are You A Non-Profit Board Member?

NLDP G raduates are making a tremendous impact on non-profit boards throughout Cleveland. For the last two years, NLDP has been gathering information about graduates serving on non-profit boards. To date, we have learned that at least 22% of NLDP graduates are serving on non-profit boards.  If you are currently on a board and you have not let us know, please send us an e-mail at or call 216-776-6170. 

" A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them."

-M.D. Arnold

NLDP Cohort XI
A Cohort Named Wonder...

A ship repair engineer with a passion for rebuilding his neighborhood...3 Amigos who hail from Slavic Village and plan to use their NLDP training to further improve their community...a deep quiet thinker who was born in Guatemala but calls Cleveland his home now...a minister from the eastside who imagines and is building a church without walls...a dreamer who has earned degrees in Urban Studies and Music and is bringing the arts to children in Hough...A CDC Director whose chosen form of giving back is to rebuild her neighborhood through community development and a spindly, unassuming young man who through his leadership by example, quiet nudging, and the rightness of his mission is helping one of Cleveland's oldest institutions to embrace the community beyond their comfort zone.

These are but a few of Cohort XI's participants who comprise a Cohort named Wonder, all working to be the change they want to see throughout various neighborhoods of Cleveland. We wish them well as they prepare to attend NLDP Session 7.

Community Collaborators
NLDP is proud to work with the following important community organizations...

Kids Book Bank

The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program is a Program of 
the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.