Several of our Cleveland-area Forward Cities innovation council members will be joining us in Detroit this June for the Forward Cities Detroit convening. Read a little bit more about some of our participating panelists right here: 

Radhika Reddy, founding partner of Ariel Ventures, founder of Ariel International Center
Ariel Ventures is an economic development finance firm with $1.5 million in annual sales.

Mansfield Frazier, owner of Vineyards and Biocellar of Château Hough
Château Hough is the country’s first inner-city vineyard, with an experimental biocellar that will serve as an education facility and a goal to employ disadvantaged populations including returning citizens, the developmentally disabled, and the homeless in transition. 

Jim Rokakis, Vice President of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and the Director of Thriving Communities Institute
Jim Rokakis is one of the nation’s leading experts on the foreclosure crisis and neighborhood revitalization. In his 33-year career in public service as a member of Cleveland City Council and then Cuyahoga County Treasurer, Jim was instrumental for many innovations, including the passage of a state law allowing for the creation of county land banks. As Director of Thriving Communities Institute, he has helped to raise over 238 million dollars for blight removal in Ohio’s communities.

Réka Barabás, Director of Bad Girl Ventures Cleveland
Bad Girl Ventures (BGV) Cleveland is a nonprofit accelerator program and loan fund dedicated to help female entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Barabás designs the learning experience for women to successfully launch their venture and handles fundraising, relationship management, and operations. 

Deborah Hoover, President & CEO of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation 
The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is a private foundation with a mission to champion the entrepreneurial spirit in Northeast Ohio. Hoover was instrumental in establishing the Northeast Ohio Collegiate Entrepreneurship Program, a Kauffman CampusesSM Initiative, to spread entrepreneurship across liberal arts campuses; and in bringing the Blackstone LaunchPad Program to Northeast Ohio in partnership with the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.