About Our Leadership
Baiju R. Shah - President and Chief Executive Officer
Baiju R. Shah is the President & CEO of Greater Cleveland Partnership, the region’s leading economic development organization and with over 12,000 members, the largest metropolitan chamber of commerce in the nation. Guided by a board of corporate and entrepreneurial CEOs, the organization focuses on accelerating growth and prosperity through strategic initiatives, business services, real estate, and advocacy.
Prior to GCP, Shah served as the Senior Fellow for Innovation at The Cleveland Foundation, the world’s first community foundation with assets of $2.8 billion. His work centered on catalyzing economic growth initiatives including leading the Cleveland Innovation Project. Shah remains a member of the Impact Investing Board Committee which directs a $150 million portfolio allocation of the foundation.
Previously, Shah was the CEO of BioMotiv and co-leader of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, a national drug development initiative. During his tenure, the company established strategic partnerships with Takeda, Biogen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. Prior to that, he was CEO and co-founder of BioEnterprise, an accelerator and industry growth initiative formed with Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, and University Hospitals of Cleveland. In those roles, Shah developed strategic alliances with pharmaceutical companies, health institutions, universities, and foundations, and raised significant funds for health ventures.
Shah serves on numerous civic boards including as a Trustee of Destination Cleveland, Global Cleveland, TeamNEO, Ohio Excels, and Ohio Business Roundtable. Previously, Shah served as a Director of Invacare and Athersys, and an Advisory Board member of Citizens Financial Group. He began his business career as a consultant with McKinsey & Company.
Shah has been named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and recognized as one of Cleveland’s most influential leaders. He received a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from Yale University.
Debbie Berry - Senior Vice President, Major Projects and Real Estate Development
Patrice Blakemore - Senior Vice President, Equity and Inclusion
Patrice Blakemore is the Senior Vice President of Equity and Inclusion of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP). Patrice leads three principal equity and inclusion strategies. These priorities include (1) scaling minority business enterprises (2) supporting efforts that promote minority development, advancement, and retention in middle to high-wage positions, and (3) advocating and advancing digital equity.
Before joining GCP, Patrice served as the Executive Director for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). The 3-month curriculum provides entrepreneurs with practical business education, access to capital resources, and business support services. Patrice increased overall diversity in the program on average by 15 percent. She joined Tri-C in 2013 as a business advisor, where she has assisted more than 500 business owners during her tenure. Approximately 800 owners have graduated from the program since her departure in 2022.
Patrice received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in 3 ½ years and her law degree in 2 ½ years from the University of Dayton School of Law. After graduating from law school, Patrice worked for the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office before moving to Cleveland, Ohio.
In 2009, Patrice pivoted, using her experience as an attorney to create a consulting practice where she managed diversity programs for organizations. She provided minority companies with the knowledge and sustainable practices necessary to grow and expand their businesses. Additionally, she provided executive coaching, customized training, and support for employees to excel.
Patrice believes in order to stay globally competitive, companies must embrace racial equity and inclusivity. She maintains that a region’s ability to thrive depends on its ability to harness innovation by leveraging experiences of diverse people
Gina Cheverine - Managing Vice President, Strategic Development and Partnerships
Gina’s career focus spans leadership development, nonprofit capacity building, and advocating for gender and racial equity. She aims to strengthen and initiate positive change in her community through coalition-building and economic development. Fundamentally, her life’s work is connecting individuals, organizations, and communities to the resources they need to reach their full potential.
A former social worker, she currently serves as the Managing Vice President of Partnerships and Development at the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), the largest metropolitan chamber of commerce in the country. She works to secure federal and philanthropic funding for regional initiatives by developing community-wide systems to collaborate on large-scale projects and proposals.
Previously, she was Managing Vice President of Equity & Inclusion at GCP where she led a team that implemented equitable economic development strategies to close racial disparities in jobs, income, and wealth. These efforts included consulting with businesses to create more inclusive organizational cultures and convening community stakeholders to stimulate growth for businesses owned by people of color.
Prior to joining GCP, Gina was Vice President, Business Development for YWCA Greater Cleveland. In this role she oversaw fund development, events, marketing, and communications. She also acted as Chief Program Officer at the YWCA, directing the strategy and performance for a portfolio of programs including women’s leadership development, racial inclusion, and early childhood education.
Early in her career, Gina led a capacity-building firm for nonprofit organizations, improving employee engagement, facilitating executive director transitions, and creating sustainable program strategies for her clients.
Gina holds a master’s degree in Organizational Development from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management and a master’s degree in Social Work from Temple University. She is licensed by the State of Ohio as an Independent Social Worker and served as adjunct faculty at Case Western Reserve University Mandel Center for Nonprofit Management. In 2019, she was named to the Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Benchmarks expert panel and she is a Leadership Cleveland alumna, Class of 2011.
Active in the community, she serves on the boards of Karamu House and the National Center for Nonprofit Enterprise. Past board service includes United Black Fund, FutureHeights and the National Alliance for Mental Illness. A Cleveland native, she is an enthusiastic champion for the Northeast Ohio region, which often includes exploring the vibrant restaurant scene, hiking, and finding uniquely-Cleveland adventures.
Freddy Collier - Senior Vice President, Strategy and New Initiatives
Freddy Collier Jr. is the Sr. Vice President of Strategy and New Initiatives for the Greater Cleveland Partnership. In this capacity, he works with the President & CEO and Executive Team to Support the Development, organizational alignment, and performance tracking for the organization’s priorities and strategies.
He works internally and externally to drive GCP’s ALL IN Plan. The Plan is designed to provide strategic direction for GCP as an organization and foster regional coordination between the many agencies that continue to play a role in our region’s competitiveness.
The ALL-IN Plan focuses on 14 data informed strategies that aid GCP and its partners in measuring our regions standing amongst peer communities. In addition, Freddy is working across the organization to enhance operational performance.
Freddy Collier Jr. is an innovative thought leader and strategic thinker with expertise and experience in urban planning, organizational development, public policy development, and strategic planning. He is passionate about addressing the social, economic, and environmental conditions that impact the health outcomes of communities. He has conceived, initiated, developed, or acted in a leadership capacity for many District, Neighborhood, Citywide, and Regional Planning efforts.
Freddy holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies with a concentration in Urban Planning, a master’s degree in Public Administration, and he has received numerous awards and honors along with several certifications. He is certified to teach Roots of Success which is a curriculum designed to help community members and formerly incarcerated individuals understand sustainability and resilience. He also received a certification from The National Leadership Academy for Advancing Public Health NLPH.
Paul Federico - Managing Vice President, Revenue
Paul Federico is the Managing Vice President of Revenue. He is responsible for creating partnerships and nurturing relationships with regional stakeholders including member and prospective member companies, economic development organizations, regional partners, non-profits etc., helping the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) become the largest metropolitan Chamber of Commerce in the nation.
Paul’s career has been dedicated to the betterment of the Greater Cleveland business community since joining GCP’s predecessor The Greater Cleveland Growth Association in 1989. In the first half of his career, he helped small companies grow at COSE, the nationally recognized and celebrated small business advocate of the GCP, raising revenue primarily for membership and programming. He moved from COSE to GCP in 2004, continuing to raise revenue for important organizational objectives and to create engagement opportunities for middle market and large corporations.
Paul was named one of Crain’s 40 under 40, is a proud graduate of Leadership Cleveland in 2005, was honored as a Distinguished Marketing and Sales Executive of the year in 2006, presented with the first ever GCP Catalyst award and was honored with a lifetime achievement Diamond Award from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) for revenue generation.
Paul is a proud John Carroll University graduate with a BSBA in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He attended Cleveland Benedictine High School on a football/track scholarship including a State Football Championship in 1981.
Paul is currently on the board of directors at MidTown Cleveland and the JCU Cleveland Alumni Chapter. He is Chairman of Leadership Cleveland’s Nominating Committee for large corporations. As a member of the national Rainmakers association since 2004, he works together and shares ideas with many of the other largest metropolitan chambers of commerce in the country.
He lives in Shaker Heights with his wife, Lisa, their greatest joy are their two grandchildren, Lukas and Saige.
Caroline Guscott - Managing Vice President, Strategic Communications
Megan Kim - Senior Vice President, Membership Development and Marketing, Executive Director, Council of Smaller Enterprises
Megan Kim serves as Senior Vice President, Membership Development and Marketing, for the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and as the Executive Director of The Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE).
Megan joined GCP in 2005 and, over the years, has held various roles within the organization in product development, events management, educational programming, marketing and communications.
In her SVP role, she manages overall operations and strategic planning in the areas of membership development and retention, marketing and communications, advertising and sponsorship, member benefits, and events and program management. In this capacity, Megan works to ensure the organization brings benefit and value to the GCP’s diverse membership ranging from entrepreneurs and small businesses to middle-market companies and the largest corporations in Northeast Ohio. Megan also leads the organization’s small business program COSE working to help small businesses across Northeast Ohio access the resources and support they need to grow and thrive.
Prior to joining the GCP, Megan worked in the development department at University Hospitals where she coordinated sponsor and donor relations for the Children’s Miracle Network. In this capacity, she worked with corporate sponsors assisting each company in attaining their sponsorship and donation goals through event support and education. Additionally, she helped plan hospital and network related events including the annual golf outing and the three-day Rainbow Radiothon.
Megan graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism with a focus in public relations and specializations in sociology and marketing. She is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Cleveland, a 2011 graduate of Cleveland Bridge Builders and the SOAR Women’s Leadership Program and was recognized as a Crain’s 20 in Their 20s recipient and Crain’s 40 Under 40 recipient.
Yvette Ittu - Executive Vice President, Finance and Operations, President, Cleveland Development Advisors
Yvette M. Ittu is the executive vice president of finance and operations of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. In addition, she is president of Cleveland Development Advisors Inc. (CDA), an affiliate of GCP that is responsible for the management of real estate investment funds initiated, and in part capitalized, by certain GCP members.
CDA-managed capital serves as a source of private-sector funding for catalytic real estate development projects that have significant impact on Northeast Ohio’s growth and development. Under Yvette’s leadership, CDA has successfully raised three private real estate funds and secured multiple tax credit equity allocations.
These funds support neighborhood development, job creation and retention, as well as business attraction and expansion, through strategic investments in projects throughout the City of Cleveland and targeted areas of Northeast Ohio.
Yvette also served as chairperson of the Cleveland International Fund (CiF), a private equity firm that operates as an EB-5 regional center authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2015-2020. One of CiF’s goals is to be a driving force for economic development throughout Northeast Ohio.
Prior to joining CDA, Yvette was an associate with the law firm of Calfee, Halter and Griswold LLP practicing in the areas of public law and public finance. She served as bond counsel on multiple financings for the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the City of Cleveland, and several other Ohio local governments.
In addition, Yvette served as finance director for the City of Lakewood and held several financial management positions for the City of Cleveland including the chief financial officer post for Cleveland Public Power, the city-owned power company.
Yvette obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. In addition, she is a certified public accountant and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cleveland State University.
Yvette is the current past President of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition. She currently serves on several community and nonprofit boards including Downtown Cleveland Alliance, DCIC, Village Capital Corporation and Digital C. She is a native of Cleveland and lives in Rocky River with her husband.
John Luteran – Managing Vice President, Finance Operations and Air Service, COSE Health and Wellness Trust Administration
John Luteran is managing vice president of finance operations and air service for the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP). John oversees the finance and accounting functions for GCP and its subsidiaries, treasury, risk management, technology, and facilities. He provides staff support for GCP’s initiative to ensure competitive air service at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. John is also plan administrator for GCP’s multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA), the COSE Health and Wellness Trust. He also serves as the treasurer for Group Services, Inc.
John has been with the GCP and the predecessor Greater Cleveland Growth Association since 1996. Prior to that, he served as finance director for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and was instrumental in the organization gaining national recognition for its budgeting. John also served in financial management roles for Cuyahoga County and the City of Columbus, and in the internal audit department of the City of Cleveland.
John earned his Master of Public Administration degree with a Finance Specialization from the Fisher School of Business at The Ohio State University. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University where he earned his bachelor’s degree.
He is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland and a long-time board member and past president of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI). John also served as an area director for the national FEI and as a member of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission.
John was born in Cleveland and resides with his wife and family in Seven Hills.
Marty McGann - General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Advocacy and Strategy
Marty McGann is the general counsel and executive vice president of advocacy and strategy for the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP). In this role, he is responsible for developing and advancing GCP’s Public Policy Agenda at the federal, state and local levels of government. In addition, Marty led the execution of GCP’s three-year strategic plan (2018-2021) – particularly in the areas of worker mobility, innovation and tax/competitiveness.
Marty joined GCP as vice president of state and local government advocacy in 2011. In that capacity, he served as the point person on many GCP priorities including the Cleveland education reform legislative effort to ensure implementation of the Cleveland Plan impacting the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Marty also successfully advocated for the extension of the Cuyahoga County sin tax, secured key investments through the state capital bill, and the legislation that enabled the funding of Opportunity Corridor. Since 2014, Marty has led GCP’s advocacy efforts on behalf of businesses of all sizes. In addition, Marty served as director and continues to oversee management of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition – an alliance of chambers of commerce advocating federal policy priorities for the Great Lakes region.
Prior to joining GCP, Marty was a director of government relations for Cleveland Clinic. During his seven years at the Clinic, he advocated on key healthcare policy issues and secured tens of millions of dollars in federal and state funding for research and capital priorities. He previously served in a leadership position at Cuyahoga County and was a campaign consultant on several federal, state and local campaigns.
Marty obtained a Juris Doctorate Degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and is licensed to practice law in Ohio and Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University.
His civic engagements include the Urban League of Greater Cleveland (Board Member), Fund for our Economic Future (Funders Committee & Mobility Advisory Committee) and Downtown Cleveland Alliance (Advocacy Committee Member).
Michael Schoop - Senior Vice President, Talent
Michael Schoop is the Senior Vice President, Talent.He catalyzes and coordinates regional initiatives and partnerships to advance the Abundant Talent strategies in the All In Plan to increase in-demand credentials, expand work-based learning, and grow high school career exposure.
Before joining GCP, Michael served as founder and managing director of an educational consulting practice focused on leadership development and strategic planning for college administrators.
Previously, Michael served as president of the Metropolitan Campus of Cuyahoga Community College where he led the development of numerous new programs and educational partnerships with Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. He also oversaw the renovation of the Metropolitan campus, spearheading the design and construction of the Metropolitan Campus Center.
Michael began his career as a college instructor teaching courses in writing and professional communication. He has taught undergraduate courses in the SAGES program at Case Western Reserve as well as graduate courses in community college history, finance, and leadership. Michael received his baccalaureate degree from the University of Chicago and both his Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland.
A transplant from Chicago, Michael is highly engaged with the greater Cleveland community and has served on the boards of many non-profit organizations including Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, the Campus District, Inc, the Black Professional Association Charitable Foundation, Burton, Bell Carr, Inc., and Summer on the Cuyahoga.