Category Archives: past events

4/4/19 – Bob DiBiasio, Sr. VP-Public Affairs, The Cleveland Indians

Bob DiBiasio is in his 40th season with the Cleveland Indians and his 41st in Major League Baseball in 2019. He started w/the Tribe in 1979 as Assistant PR Director, was named PR Director in 1980; and Vice President of PR in 1988.  The Lakewood, OH native was promoted to his current position in 2011. His lone season away from the Tribe was 1987 when he served as PR Chief for the Atlanta Braves.

DiBiasio serves as President of Cleveland Indians Charities. He is an honorary member of the Executive Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland—serves  on the Athletic Advisory Board of Notre Dame College (OH); is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation, the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation and the Baseball Heritage Museum at League Park.

DiBiasio is the host of the popular “Indians Alumni Roundtable Show” on STO, as well as “Tribe Tales” – a where-are-they-now segment that airs pre-game every Sunday on the Indians Radio Network. He was the 1999 recipient of the prestigious Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence in Major League Baseball.  He was inducted into the Lakewood High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in 1999.  In 1986, DiBiasio was named the Public Relations Director to Sports Illustrated’s Dream Team.

DiBiasio graduated from Lakewood High School in 1973. He earned degrees in journalism and education from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1977.  While at Ohio Wesleyan, Bob was sports editor of the school paper “The Transcript”, the student Sports Information Director, and did color on OWU football and basketball broadcasts.  DiBiasio also played one year of basketball and two years of baseball at OWU.  In 1978 he earned his Masters Degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and started a stint as Assistant Sports Editor of the Fremont (OH) News Messenger before joining the Indians.

Bob and his wife, Penny, reside in Solon, OH; they have two adult children-daughter, Julie (Matt), and son, Patrick (Liz).

Michael D. Johnson, PH.D., President, John Carroll University – Thursday, February 28, 2019

Inspired Leadership

Michael D. Johnson became the 25th President of John Carroll University on June 1, 2018.  Dr. Johnson also joined the Boler College of Business as a professor in the Department of Management, Marketing and Supply Chain.

A social scientist by training, Dr. Johnson most recently served as the Provost of Babson College where he was also Professor of Marketing. Appointed in 2016, he was the senior academic officer of the College and led all academic affairs, including oversight of the Undergraduate School, the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, and the Babson Executive and Enterprise Education division.

Prior to becoming Provost at Babson, Dr. Johnson served as Dean, E.M. Statler Professor and Professor of Marketing at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration (SHA) for 10 years. As Dean at Cornell he focused on investing in faculty, expanding students’ learning and career opportunities, increasing diversity, building an effective fundraising organization, and growing the school’s global platform.

Johnson was previously at the University of Michigan for 24 years, where he was the D. Maynard Phelps Collegiate Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Marketing at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. As a professor at the University of Michigan, he published more than 100 academic articles and multiple books, and taught undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs. He served as a consultant for a diverse range of companies and public agencies, including Promus Hotels, Northwest Airlines, the National Association of Convenience Stores, Dell Corporation, Schering Pharmaceutical, and Volvo.

Born in Bottineau, North Dakota, Johnson grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. He is married to Jill Kobus Johnson, and they have three sons: Alexander, Andrew, and Thomas.

Brooke Taylor, Speaker, Writer, Radio Personality – DATE HAS BEEN CHANGED from Thursday, January 31, to Thursday, February 7


Brooke Taylor – Speaker, Writer, Radio Personality

As the host of the popular podcast “Good Things Radio,” Brooke Taylor shares her heart and vision of hope in Jesus Christ with audiences everywhere. Brooke’s twenty-year media career includes serving as co-host of the “Family Friendly Morning Show” on 95.5 The Fish out of Cleveland, Ohio, where Brooke interviewed notable religious and political figures such as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Rev. Franklin Graham, Dr. James Dobson, Beth Moore and many more. Brooke is the founder Saint Gabriel Media and the creator of the annual Arise retreat, bringing women together from across the country to find joy in their shared journey of faith. Brooke has also appeared on the EWTN Program “At Home with Jim and Joy” and “Living Right witih Dr. Ray.” Her travels include leading pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Italy and visiting Guatemala and Haiti with Food for the Poor. As a nationally recognized speaker, Brooke loves sharing her heart with audiences on topics close to her heart such as faith, adoption, parenting special needs children, community, joy, and the power of one voice. She is also the author of the books: Choose Joy and Choose Hope: A 52-Week Devotional Journey. Brooke and her husband, Jim, are busy raising their five children: four sons and a daughter they adopted from Poland. For more information visit

Coach Chuck Kyle and Coach Mike McLaughlin of St. Ignatius – Thursday, January 3, 2019


Join us on Thursday, January 3, 2019 as we welcome Coach Chuck Kyle and Coach Mike McLaughlin from St. Ignatius High School.







Chuck Kyle
Saint Ignatius High School ’69
John Carroll University ’73
English teacher, Head Football Coach, and Head Track & Field Coach at
Saint Ignatius High School

Chuck Kyle is a legendary educator and coach at Saint Ignatius High School. Kyle has taught English at Saint Ignatius for over 40 years, sharing his love of language and literature, particularly Shakespeare, with countless young men. Kyle became the school’s head football coach in 1983, and has since built a winning program based on doing things the right way. The results speak for themselves during Kyle’s tenure. Kyle has guided the Wildcats to 11 state championships and 4 national championships. In his 36 seasons, Kyle has accrued a record of 353-90-1, recording more wins than every previous Saint Ignatius football coach combined. Kyle has also served as head coach of the track & field team for 46 years, earning two state titles. But more importantly, Kyle has helped to form countless “Men for Others” who have succeeded in all walks of life, from law to politics to professional sports to the medical field. In addition to his duties at Saint Ignatius, Kyle serves as youth football advisor for the Cleveland Browns. Kyle has been inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Hall of Fame, Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame. Kyle also received the Rossing Award for Excellence in teaching in 1987. A native Clevelander, Kyle and his wife, Pat, have been married for 43 years and have four children.

Mike McLaughlin
Saint Ignatius High School ’85
Quincy College ’89
Chair of Theology Department, Director of Sophomore Service, and Head Soccer Coach at
Saint Ignatius High School

Mike McLaughlin is a renowned educator and coach at Saint Ignatius High School. McLaughlin has been a member of the theology department at Saint Ignatius for 27 years, teaching students about service and finding God in all things. McLaughlin assumed the role of head soccer coach in 1995 and has since built a remarkable program in Ohio City. In 24 seasons, McLaughlin has guided the Wildcats to 8 state championships and 4 state championships, along with an overall record of 406-52-51. McLaughlin’s philosophy is based upon teaching young men how to be great students and men first. The results are clear. Besides the titles, McLaughlin’s teams have earned Academic All-American status for 20 straight seasons, including in 2018, when his squad recorded a 3.48 team GPA. Individually, McLaughlin has won 32 Coach of the Year awards from the NHSCA, NSCAA, OSSCA, GCSSCA, USA TODAY, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Even more importantly, McLaughlin has thrived as an educator. McLaughlin serves as the chair of the theology department, leading the men and women who teach 1,500 students daily. McLaughlin is also the director of the sophomore service program. Mike and his wife, Motria, have been married 18 years and have three children.

Thursday, January 3, 2019


The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Ave, 2nd Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114


11:30 a.m. – Register & lunch buffet open
Program begins at noon.



$250/table of 10
$25/individual ticket


Cancellation Policy: If you reserve and are unable to attend, please call the office (216-589-9852) to cancel by noon the Monday prior to the luncheon to avoid being charged for the event. No refund will be given if reservations are canceled after 12:00 p.m. the Monday prior to the luncheon.

Most Reverend Nelson J. Perez, Bishop, Diocese of Cleveland – November 29th, 2018

Nelson J. Perez was born in Miami, Florida, on June 16, 1961 to David and Emma Perez and is the brother of the late Dr. David Perez and Louis Martin Perez. He was raised in West New York, NJ. Bishop Perez earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Montclair State University in 1983. He taught at Colegio la Piedad, a Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico, prior to entering Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he earned Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology degrees in 1988 and 1989, respectively.

Bishop Perez’s first assignment after ordination to the priesthood was as parochial vicar of Saint Ambrose Parish, Philadelphia (1989-1993). He also served as assistant director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics (1990-1993), founding director of the Catholic Institute for Evangelization (1993-2002), Pastor of Saint William Parish, Philadelphia (2002-2009), and Pastor of Saint Agnes Parish, West Chester, PA (2009-2012).

His work in education included teaching courses in psychology and religious studies at LaSalle University, Philadelphia (1994-2008). Bishop Perez also taught Developmental Psychology at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (Fall, 2011), in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  In 1998, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor. In 2009, he was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Reverend Monsignor Nelson J. Perez Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York on June 8, 2012.  He was ordained a bishop on July 25, 2012 in Saint Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, NY by Bishop William F. Murphy.

A kind, joyous, and hard-working person, Bishop Perez enriches those ministries and people entrusted to his care.   Rooted in Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel”, Bishop Perez’s pastoral vision can be summarized as: “Church on Mission: Proactive, Involved, Supportive, Fruitful, and Joyful”

Thursday, November 29, 2018


Please note the change of location for this event

The Westin Cleveland Downtown
777 St. Clair Ave., NE
Cleveland, OH 44114
Valet service available at the Westin on St. Clair or self park at Marriott underground garage)


11:15 a.m. Register & Visit
12:00 p.m. Lunch & Speaker



Corporate/Benefactor Sponsorship
$500 table of 10 includes program recognition and a portion for charitable deduction
Please contact the First Friday Club Administrator by email – or phone 216-589-9852 for a corporate/benefactor table.


Fr. Tom Gaunt, S.J., Executive Director, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), November 1, 2018

“American Catholic Trends:  1958-2018”

Father Thomas Gaunt, S.J. currently serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, a position he has held since January 2011. He is a co-author of Catholic Parishes in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press 2017), the forthcoming Pathways to Religious Life (Oxford University Press 2018), Catholic Bishops in the United States: Church Leadership in the Third Millennium (Oxford University Press 2018), and Word, Liturgy, Charity: The Diaconate in the U.S. Catholic Church, 1968-2018 (Lexington Books 2018).

Prior to coming to CARA, Father Gaunt has served in Jesuit governance as the Socius/Executive Secretary of the Jesuit Conference-USA for nine years and the Formation and Studies Director of the Maryland and New York Jesuit Provinces for seven years. After ordination, he spent ten years as a pastor and as Director of Planning and Research in the Diocese of Charlotte.

Father Gaunt entered the Society of Jesus in 1971, after which he earned a BA in Philosophy from St. Louis University in Missouri. In 1981, the year of Father Gaunt’s ordination, he received an STB from the Bellarmine School of Theology in Chicago and a Masters of Divinity from Loyola University in Chicago. Father Gaunt later went on to complete a Masters in Public Administration and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning, both from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Father Gaunt has been actively involved with the L’Arche Communities in Washington, DC for the past 17 years.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Ave, 2nd Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114



7:30 a.m. – Register & Breakfast buffet open
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Program



Maureen Dee, MSSA, MBA, LISW-S, LICDC-CS, Catholic Charities Corporation – Thursday, October 4

“The Epidemic:  Opioids”

Please join us for our October luncheon as we welcome a panel who will discuss the opioid epidemic affecting our community. Our panel will feature Maureen Dee, Executive Director of Treatment, Prevention and Recovery Programs at Catholic Charities Corporation.

Ms. Dee was born and raised in Uruguay, South America and has worked extensively as a bilingual social worker. She has a Master’s in Social Service Administration (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University, and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Cleveland State University.

Ms. Dee has worked in the field of chemical dependency since 1978, first as a bilingual chemical dependency counselor, then as a supervisor and program developer. Since 1997, she had the responsibility over the entire alcohol and drug service system of Catholic Charities Services Corporation in Cuyahoga County (greater Cleveland area), and subsequently as of January, 2010, is Executive Director over all behavioral health.  These services operate out of nine service sites and employ 160 staff.  They include residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient for substance use disorders, mental health, foster care and adoption, and employment readiness. Panel features Maureen E. Dee, Executive Director of Treatment, Prevention & Recovery Services, Catholic Charities.

Ms. Dee will be joined by an FBI Agent from the Drug Task Force who will discuss efforts to combat the distribution of drugs in our community. We will also hear from a graduate of the Catholic Charities’ treatment program who will share his brave journey of recovery and hope.

Thursday, October 4, 2018


The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Ave, 2nd Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114


11:15 a.m. – Register & lunch buffet open
Program begins at noon.


Cancellation Policy: If you reserve and are unable to attend, please call the office (216-589-9852) to cancel by noon the Monday prior to the luncheon to avoid being charged for the event. No refund will be given if reservations are canceled after 12:00 p.m. the Monday prior to the luncheon.

Leo Hyland, President, Cleveland Central Catholic High School – Thursday, September 6, 2018

“The POWER of Catholic Education”

As a native Clevelander and life-long resident, I am privileged to be leading Cleveland Central Catholic High School. I am in my ninth year as president at Central Catholic on Broadway Avenue in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood – and loving it!  CCC recently successfully completed its Beacon of Hope Campaign by raising nearly $6 million in support of five campaign priorities.  Our school also recently concluded a new strategic plan, a comprehensive marketing plan and campus master plan.

Born fourth of a dozen children, I learned early the value of Catholic education and how it shapes our lives and impacts our communities. My immediate family (2 parents and 12 children) have an accumulated 188 years of Catholic formal education.  In addition, my wife and two sons have a combined 44 years – that’s 232 years total.  Needless to say, we believe in the power of Catholic education!

I grew up in South Euclid and graduated from St. Gregory the Great (1973) and Cathedral Latin School (1977). The strong faith formation of my family was reinforced through the academic rigor and engaging co-curricular activities that prepared me to become a life-long learner. Both the Sisters of Notre Dame and the Marianists had a profound impact on my youthful spiritual development.

I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication from Ohio University, and earned a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Organizations from Case Western Reserve University.  I have been working in private education for over 20 years and am now in my 16th year of Catholic education.   My career in non-profit leadership and management has evolved with experience at the following institutions:  Hiram College, YMCA of Greater Cleveland, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Notre Dame – Cathedral Latin School, and presently as president of Cleveland Central Catholic High School.

I am a proud and active graduate of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2013, and followed that with a year of service as an LC2 Fellow. Our LC2 group was charged with studying Cleveland’s Lakefront Development challenges and initiatives.  Through this enlightening process, our group made findings and recommendations that ultimately helped foster the “water taxi” service that now operates on the Cuyahoga River.  We also weighed in on the proposed pedestrian bridge that would connect Mall A to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Plaza area.  It was a thrill to study and debate choices about how we live, work and play in relation to Lake Erie (and by extension the local river systems).

Through these many experiences, I hope to bring strong leadership and insight into the revitalization of Cleveland’s Slavic Village Neighborhood. Working together with committed neighborhood partners like Third Federal, The Boys and Girls Club, University Settlement, MetroHealth, Slavic Village Development, local churches and our city leaders, I feel strongly that there are great days ahead for our community.

My wife (Beth) is a social worker at the Cleveland Clinic and we live in University Heights. We have been “Heights” residents since our marriage in 1985.  We are members of Gesu parish since 1996 and have two adult sons who graduated from Gesu and NDCL.  We enjoy traveling together.



 Reservation Policy – All attendees must register in advance. If you reserve and are unable to attend, please call the office (216-589-9852) to cancel by noon 09/3/18 to avoid a charge for the event.

AJ Hyland, Jerry Schroer & George Wasmer – Thursday, August 2, 2018

Three Businesses – One Faith

AJ Hyland, Jerry Schroer, and George Wasmer are all respected business people inside and outside their boardrooms with decades of success they attribute to ethical business leadership and the employment of countless individuals rooted in Catholic values. Together they will share their Catholic faith journeys and how it has impacted their lives, the community, their families, and family businesses.

Moderated by Mary Ann Corrigan-Davis, President, Saint Joseph Academy.


Tickets:  $25.00/per person
$250/table of 10


 Reservation Policy – All attendees must register in advance. If you reserve and are unable to attend, please call the office (216-589-9852) to cancel by noon 07/30/18 to avoid a charge for the event.

Frs. Michael, David & Thomas Woost – Thursday, June 28

“Kitchen Table Faith:  Family, Vocation, and Pope Francis’ Holiness Challenge”

Frs. Michael, David, and Thomas Woost are three of seven brothers, born to Carl and Norine Woost. Fr. Mike, ordained in 1984, has served as the parochial vicar of Immaculate Conception Parish in Madison, as the Co-Director of the Diocesan Vocation Office, and since January of 2000, as a faculty member of Saint Mary Seminary where he teaches courses on sacramental and liturgical theology.  Fr. Dave, ordained in 1991, has served as the parochial vicar of Saint John Neumann Parish in Strongsville and Saint Peter Parish in Lorain, as the chaplain of Lake Catholic High School, as the presbyteral moderator of Saint Philip Neri Parish in Cleveland, and, since August of 2004, as the pastor of Divine Word Parish in Kirtland.  Fr. Tom, ordained in 1997, has served as the parochial vicar of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Cuyahoga Falls, Saint Anthony of Padua Parish in Parma, and Saint Leo the Great Parish in Cleveland, and, since January of 2008, as the pastor of Saint Brendan Parish in North Olmsted.

On Thursday, June 28, they will speak to the First Friday Club of Cleveland on their experience of growing up in a Catholic household, their faith development within the Woost family, and their baptismal and priestly vocations. Based on the Holy Father’s recent apostolic exhortation, “Rejoice and Be Glad: On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World,” their talk is entitled, “Kitchen Table Faith: Family, Vocation, and Pope Francis’ Holiness Challenge.”


Tickets:  $25.00/per person
$250/table of 10


 Reservation Policy – All attendees must register in advance. If you reserve and are unable to attend, please call the office (216-589-9852) to cancel by noon 06/25/18 to avoid a charge for the event.