Category Archives: past events

CANCELLED – 4/2/20 Reverend James R. Conroy, S.J.

Due to concerns regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19) The First Friday Club of Cleveland has cancelled this event.

Please joins us on Thursday April 2 as we welcome Reverend James R. Conroy, S.J., Founder of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps as our special guest. 

Fr. Conroy’s topic is “Ignatius as Entrepreneur”. The 16th century founder of the Society of Jesus learned to listen and focus upon where the greatest unmet need of the people of God, figure a point of engagement, gather resources necessary to the task and take a massive leap of faith.  All for the greater glory of God.  His insight, intelligence and courage made him imaginative and flexible.  The same spirit of mission remains alive and well in the mission of the Society of Jesus.  Nor is it limited to Jesuits but shared with colleagues across the world.

Location:
The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Avenue, 2nd Floor 
Cleveland, OH 44114

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

REGISTRATION:
Tickets:

$250/table of 10
$25/individual ticket

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED

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.

3/5/20 Patrick Gareau, President & Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities

“One Mission, Many Hearts… “

With his expansive career of over 25 years with Catholic Charities, and the past nine as President and CEO, Patrick Gareau will provide us with an in-depth evolution of the mission and history of the organization. Pat will share insightful stories about the 100+ year ministry – starting from humble roots with two small communities of Sisters taking care of the poor, to what is now a three corporation system of serving over 400,000 individuals each year throughout Northeast Ohio. Pat will discuss how faith has called many here locally to help those most in need and an overview of the outreach and impact of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland.

About our Speaker:

Patrick Gareau is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Cleveland. Catholic Charities delivers a full spectrum of health and human services to the people within the eight counties of the Diocese of Cleveland.  The Catholic Charities system has a $105 million budget, over 1800 employees, and serves over 400,000 people annually. 

Prior to his appointment in 2011, Mr. Gareau served as President and Chief Executive Officer at St. Augustine Health Ministries from 1994 to 2011, where was responsible for the management of multiple subsidiaries, working with boards, health care providers and a network of long-term care organizations.  Patrick began his career with the U.S. Army in which he served for seven years, attaining the rank of Captain.  His assignments included hospital and clinic administration and medical logistics management.

A native Clevelander, Patrick received his B.S. from John Carroll University in 1979 and his M.A. degree in Business Management from Central Michigan University in 1985.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Catholic Community Connection, Diocesan Facilities Services Corporation, United Way of Greater Cleveland, and The Village of St. Edward.

Location:
The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Avenue, 2nd Floor 
Cleveland, OH 44114

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

REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS CLOSED.

2/6/20- Brandon E. Chrostowski, Founder, President & CEO of EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute

“A More Powerful Yes”

How does a wayward teen from Detroit evolve enough to turn a near-certain jail sentence into a world-renowned culinary institute and 5-star French Restaurant?  Passion, Perseverance and Purpose!

Brandon Edwin Chrostowski is on a mission to change the face of re-entry in the United States. In 2007, he founded EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, a free 6-month culinary arts program in Cleveland, Ohio that caters to men and women recently released from prison. In 2013, EDWINS Restaurant, featuring classic French cuisine and 50 formerly incarcerated students, opened to rave reviews and has been changing lives ever since.

Hailed as a national model for re-entry, the institute, under Brandon’s zealous guidance and advocacy has gone on to graduate over 250 students, placing them in jobs all over Northeast Ohio while Brandon himself has been electrifying audiences nationwide with his story of redemption, his philosophy of second chances and his mission to give voice to the voiceless. In the process, Brandon Chrostowski has earned dozens of awards, including CNN Heroes, Crain’s 40 under 40 and The Richard C. Cornuelle Award from the Manhattan Institute for Social Entrepreneurship and became the subject of the Academy Award nominated documentary film, “Knife Skills”.  He’s been chronicled by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Steve Harvey Show, TD Jakes, CNN, NBC, ABC, NPR, Food Network and more.

His lectures have inspired, awakened, motivated and thrilled university and corporate audiences alike, while garnering more than a few emotionally rousing standing ovations. Presently, Brandon Chrostowski continues to work tirelessly towards the mission of providing everyone, regardless of their past, a fair and equal future.  In addition to student housing and the life skills campus that have become safe havens for program enrollees and alumni, Brandon has opened EDWINS Butcher Shop and Training Center, with a bakery coming in the near future.  Brandon has invested his money, heart, time and soul into erasing the stigma attached to returning citizens.  His reward?  Watching his students become future leaders in the hospitality industry.

Location:
The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Avenue, 2nd Floor 
Cleveland, OH 44114

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

REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED

1/9/2020 – Most Reverend Nelson J. Perez, Bishop, Diocese of Cleveland

Thursday,  January 9, 2020

61st Annual Bishop’s Address with the Most Reverend Nelson J. Perez

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”

Location:

Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower
1360 West Mall Drive
Cleveland, OH 44114

Time:

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

REGISTRATION:

Tickets:
$250/table of 10
$25/individual ticket

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

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.

12/5/19 – Elvis Grbac, Athletic Director and Football Coach at Villa Angela – St. Joseph, Former NFL Quaterback and Motivational Speaker

Thursday,  December 5, 2019

Faith. Family. Future.

Elvis Grbac grew up in Willoughby Hills and graduated from St. Joseph High School before taking his talent to Ann Arbor where he went on to play quarterback for the University of Michigan under Coach Bo Schembechler and then his successor Gary Moeller. Following a record setting college career at Michigan, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1993 and went on to play 9 seasons in the NFL. Throughout the span of his football career, Grbac received many accolades and recognition including an AFC West title, Pro Bowl appearance, and Super Bowl XXIX Championship.

Elvis now lives in Chagrin Falls, where he and his wife Lori have three children. He’s also currently working towards his Masters in Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and serves on the Parish Council at Church of the Holy Angels in Chagrin Falls teaching Youth Catechesis.

With all of these great achievements also came sacrifice and failure. Grbac now speaks openly about his American dream, the challenges he’s faced along the way and how he overcame them through faith, hard work and perseverance.

Location:
The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Avenue, 2nd Floor 
Cleveland, OH 44114

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

REGISTRATION:
Tickets:

$250/table of 10
$25/individual ticket

REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED.

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.

10/31/19 – Dr. Barbara Wall, Ph.D., Villanova University

Thursday,  October 31, 2019

Pope Francis: a Voice for Mercy, Justice, and Love

Barbara E. Wall, PhD, is an associate professor of philosophy, and the founder and vice president of the Office for Mission and Ministry at Villanova University. In her current role, she has helped to strengthen and renew Villanova’s commitment to its Augustinian, Catholic intellectual tradition and educational mission. A member of the Villanova community for 50 years, Dr. Wall has made significant and lasting contributions. She served as associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; founded the Women’s Studies Program, the Ethics Program and the Journal for Peace and Justice Studies; and co-founded the Center for Peace and Justice Education. She is also a recipient of the Lindback Award for Outstanding Teaching.

In addition, Dr. Wall is a well-known and respected authority on Catholic social teaching. She is the founder and editor of the Journal of Catholic Social Thought; co-editor, with Massimo Faggioli, of Pope Francis: A Voice for Mercy, Justice, Love, and Care for the Earth (Orbis Books, forthcoming); author of Love and Death in the Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel; and co-editor, with Kevin Hart, of Experiencing God: A Postmodern Response.  Dr. Wall’s research is focused on Marxism, political theory and Catholic social teaching. She has been published in many academic publications, earned more than a dozen grants and presented at more than fifty conferences.

Location:

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

Time:

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

REGISTRATION:

Tickets:

$250/table of 10
$25/individual ticket

ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSE. TO INQUIRE ABOUT TICKET AVAILABILITY PLEASE CONTACT OUR ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER AT 216-589-9852.

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.

 

10/3/19 – Lannie Davis-Frecker, M.Ed, Julie Billiart Schools

Thursday,  October 3, 2019

God is Good…All the Time, at Julie Billiart Schools

Lannie Davis-Frecker is no stranger to the field of special education. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a Pre-K Special Needs Endorsement from the University of Dayton, Lannie began her teaching career as an intervention specialist in 2nd grade, then Kindergarten at Julie Billiart Schools (JBS) Lyndhurst campus. As a 10-year tenured faculty member at JBS, Lannie has also served as Assistant Principal and Director of Special Education as well as vice president. Before joining JBS, Lannie shared her knowledge and expertise with the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina where she designed and implemented a special education program and, simultaneously, served as the program’s case manager and intervention specialist. 

Today, as President and CEO of JBS, Lannie is the driving force behind the expansion and growth of the Julie Billiart Schools Network. With campuses currently in Lyndhurst and Akron and plans for a third campus in 2021, Lannie’s vision to serve over 700 students with unique academic and social learning needs throughout Northeast Ohio is soon becoming a reality.

Lannie earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from John Carroll University. She was a long time member of the School Choice Ohio Board of Directors, serves as an advisor to the Academic Support Center at Notre Dame College, and is a member of numerous grant committees. As an associate of the Sisters of Notre Dame, Lannie lives out the charism and mission of the schools’ founders and patroness, St. Julie Billiart.

Location:

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

Time:

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

REGISTRATION:

Registration for this event is now closed. Please contact the club administrator to inquire about ticket availability – 216-589-9852 or admin@firstfridaycleveland.org

8/29/19 – Sr. Cecilia Liberatore, SND

Thursday,  August 29, 2019

Human Trafficking: Human Tragedy, Human Hope

As part of the Renee Jones Empowerment Center, Sister has ministered for the past eight years with women and girls who have been trafficked for the commercial sex trade. As a personal support advocate who attends the special docket human trafficking court for adult women and the Safe Harbor Court for minors, Sister visits women who are incarcerated and maintains connections with them when they are in drug treatment facilities. Sister also cooperates with the Regional Human Trafficking Task Force by developing a continuing relationship with rescued victims as they move through the process of healing and recovery from trauma to a greater fullness of life and empowerment. Sister engages with women in a variety of therapeutic activities including support groups, art therapy, writing, and therapeutic movement and dance. She is part of street outreach in areas where women have an opportunity to make an initial contact and benefit from a variety of immediate services.    

Sr. Cecilia holds degrees from Notre Dame College, Kent State University and the University of Dayton and was a secondary school teacher and administrator, religious formation director and then Provincial Superior of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio.

 

8/1/19 – Bryan Norton, SJ, Newly ordained Jesuit

Thursday,  August 1, 2019

From Pupil to Priest: a Wildcat’s Jesuit Journey

Born and raised in Cleveland, Fr. Bryan Y. Norton, S.J., is the youngest of three children and the proud uncle of five nieces and nephews. His family and home parish (St. Basil the Great) instilled in him a strong sense of solidarity, faith, and service. Bryan met the Society of Jesus at St. Ignatius High School, where the vibrant tradition of Jesuit education left a profound mark. Eager to pursue a liberal arts education, he studied philosophy at Williams College in Massachusetts. There, through the bonds of friendship in an active Newman Center, Bryan had a deep experience of Christ and the Church. During an influential junior-year abroad at Oxford University, he reconnected with the Jesuits and began a journey of discernment that led him to the novitiate in 2008. As a novice, he worked extensively with adolescents at Loyola High School in Detroit. After professing first vows, he spent four years of studies in Saint Louis, including a Master’s degree in Classics (Latin and Greek) at Washington University. As a Jesuit regent, Bryan taught classical languages and literature at Xavier University in Cincinnati. Since the summer of 2016, he has lived in France, studying theology at Centre Sèvres, the Jesuit faculty of Paris. During these years abroad, Bryan has collaborated closely with the Brothers of Saint John of God in their care for the sick. As a deacon, he has served regularly at St. Ignatius Church in Paris and at St. Peter’s Church in Saint Denis. This summer, after ordination, he will spend a pastoral month at his home parish in Brecksville. In the fall, Bryan will return to Paris to complete his Licentiate in Sacred Theology.

6/27/19 – Ella Thomas, Executive Director, Thea Bowman Center

Thursday,  June 27, 2019

Thea Bowman Center:  Where Love Shows

Ella Thomas has served since 2010 as the Executive Director of Thea Bowman Center, located in the Mt. Pleasant Community, bordering Shaker Heights.  The Center was named for Sr. Thea Bowan, FSPA, Ph.D., a granddaughter of slaves, who believed working with others is an expression of love.  Today, partnering with multiple community organizations, Thea Bowman Center provides health and wellness services, community education, and youth programs that serve 8,000 participants annually.

Ms. Thomas holds a Master of Social Science Administration degree from Case Western Reserve University and is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland’s Class of 1999.  she has over 40 years of professional experience in administration, project management, organizational development and budget management.  Here career span includes mental health, social welfare/human services, health care, community engagement and education.  She was recognized by Governors Celeste, Voinovich, Taft and the Ohio Department of Mental Health for her leadership in community mental health.  She recently served on the Woodruff Foundation Board.  She has served as a faculty field instructor for MSASS and Cleveland State School of Social Work, and is a member of the Visiting Committee for Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Science.

Please Join us on Thursday, June 27 when Ms. Thomas shares Thea Bowman Center’s mission to promote the health and well-being of the people in the Mt. Pleasant Community.