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Cleveland and Northeast Ohio Speakers Bureau


People & Community Speakers - Cleveland

CEO and Founder of Digital City Mechanics

Marc CanterMarc Canter is a 30+ software industry veteran who has just moved to Cleveland after 21 years in California. Marc was the founder of MacroMind, which became Macromedia - the world's leading multimedia company [MACR] (now merged with Adobe.) Throughout the 80's and 90's Marc was constantly on the road giving speeches on the state of the 'multimedia industry' and web based collaboration, creativity and innovation.

Rather than being known as a theorist, Marc is known as a practitioner. He leads workshops, engages on panels and present keynotes which inspire, challenge and disseminate a vision of the future - where technology can change society for the better! Marc is one of the original bloggers, social media mavens and is the CEO of Broadband Mechanics - which owns a white label social networking platform - PeopleAggregator. This platform has been used by the U.S. Army ROTC program, Bell Canada, NVidia, the Sac Kings and a host of international media brands (Mondadori, theTimesofIndia.)

Marc's new company is called Digital City Mechanics and it's developing a sustainable model for creating jobs.

Marc has spoken at the original TED conferences, Web 2.0 summit, LeWeb, COMDEX, CES, and numerous other trade conferences. Marc has consulted for AOL, EMI, Conde Nast, Cyworld, Intel, Sony, JVC, Fujitsu and numerous other major tech companies.

Presentation topics include:

  • Creating Jobs with on-line technology
  • On-line multimedia content
  • Digital economy ecosystems
  • Open social networking
  • Open standards for on-line multimedia content
  • Goodbye Flash, hello HTML5
  • Centralized vs distributed social networking
  • On-line municipal services
  • Open government
  • New methodologies for teaching on-line job skills

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IT Security Strategist

Debbie Christofferson

Debbie's background includes twenty years of Fortune 500 experience as an IT and enterprise IT security manager with Intel Corporation, across the US, Europe, and Greater Asia.

She works with companies and individuals to leverage and grow security and career strategies through management consultation, speaking and training, and writing services.

Presentation topics include:

  • Women in Technology
  • IT Security Career Strategies
  • Business Contingency Planning
  • Outsourcing
  • Security Auditing
  • Security Awareness
  • IT Certifications

Located in Arizona

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Learn more about Debbie

Listen to Debbie

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Executive Director of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Innovations

Chris Coburn Chris has been Executive Director of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Innovations (CCFI) since its establishment in 2000 and is responsible for all activities and outcomes of the department.

He is a recognized authority on technology commercialization and has consulted and spoken on the subject throughout North America and in 18 countries.

Presentation topics include:

  • Innovation
  • Inventors in large organizations
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Creating start up companies
  • What's new in medical technology
  • Technology Transfer
  • Cleveland - what can it look like 25 years from now
  • How to leverage national trends from a mid-size mature city
  • Using recreation to create the communities that we want

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Chapter Director at Prevent Blindness Ohio

Darcy Downie of Prevent Blindness Ohio

Prevent Blindness Ohio is the statewide consumer advocate for sight conservation. We promote eye health and safety while working to find the cure for blinding eye diseases. Our mission is carried out through public information, research and early detection.

Presentation topics include:

  • Age Related Eye Diseases
  • Eye Health & Safety
  • Vision Problems In Ohio
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Great Lakes Geek and Entreprenerd

Dan Hanson, the Great Lakes GeekDan Hanson, the Great Lakes Geek, is a true Entreprenerd.

Dan has a BS and MS in Mathematics and since building his first PC in grade school has been directly involved in the evolution of the PC from hobbyist gadget to mainstream appliance.

Dan was 3-term president of an international computer organization with 400,000 members and brought in speakers such as Bill Gates, John Warnock, Gordon Eubanks and others.

He is a Microsoft MVP and a widely published columnist including his regular monthly column in Inside Business Magazine.

Presentation topics include:

  • Web 2.0
  • Podcasting
  • Tech Gadget Show & Tell
  • Computer History
  • Cleveland Tech History
  • Technology Predictions
  • Top Ten in Tech
  • Cleveland Cultural Gardens
  • Ethnic Groups in Cleveland - Past, Present Future
  • Where am I - Cleveland Landmark Photo Quiz
  • What's Bill Gates really like? Tales of Tech Titans
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VP ClevelandWomen.Com, ClevelandSeniors.Com & ClevelandPeople.Com

Debbie HansonWith her work on websites such as ClevelandSeniors.com, ClevelandWomen.Com, ClevelandPeople.Com and ClevelandPets.Com, Debbie has interviewed hundreds of interesting people.

Some of the people you will know, like Bob Feller and Wilma Smith. But others won't be familiar but have fascinating life stories.

Debbie has given many presentations on stories about interesting Cleveland and NEOhio people she has profiled. As an active member of the Cleveland Irish community (past-president of the Irish American Club East Side) she is also proficient in telling the tale of the Irish in Cleveland.

Presentation topics include:

  • Interesting Cleveland People - Famous and not
  • The Cleveland Irish Community
  • The Cleveland Polish Community
  • Cleveland Pets and their People
  • Ethnic Holidays and Traditions
  • Identity Theft for Seniors and others
  • You're never too old to get online
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Attorney and Serial Entrepreneur

 Cathy B. Horton
Cathy has spent over 20 years cultivating a global mergers & acquisitions and venture finance legal practice, serving a myriad of clients that range from the Fortune 100 companies to emerging and mid-market enterprises.

In addition to her company investment and formation work, Cathy's consulting practice specializes in forming economic development strategies for municipalities.

Cathy was the recent keynote speaker for FirstData Bank's annual conference in 2008 delivering a speech entitled "A Wounded Healer."

As one person said, who had attended all 22 seminars, "This was the best keynote speaker that you have ever had!"

Presentation topics include:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Women in Business
  • Global mergers & acquisitions
  • Emerging Companies
  • Venture Finance
  • Medical Errors
  • Economic development strategies for municipalities
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Ask Cathy columns

Ask Cathy Podcasts

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President and co-founder of The National Cristina Foundation

Yvette Marrin

Dr. Yvette Marrin is President and co-founder of The National Cristina Foundation (NCF). NCF pioneered the creation of a national distribution channel for donations of previously used computer technology, to charities and public agencies that train or educate people with disabilities, at risk students, or economically disadvantaged persons.

This work was started in 1984 and their donation program has touched hundreds of thousands of people nationwide in all 50 states.

Presentation topics include:

  • Digital Divide
  • Computer Recycling
  • Technology and the Disabled
  • Non-Profits

Located in New York City

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Learn more about Yvette and NCF

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Founder of I-Open (The Institute for Open Economic Networks)

Ed Morrison

Ed is the founder of I-Open (The Institute for Open Economic Networks), which accelerates innovation and economic transformation in local and regional economies.

I-Open's approach is founded on open source development, an effective innovation engine developed in the software industry. Open source development is based on voluntary communities of people contributing to common projects.

Presentation topics include:

  • Community Development
  • Open Source Economic Development
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Bringing Gandhian ideals to the Modern World

Raj Pillai

Raj Pillai is an alumnus of Penn State University and a former research scientist at the National Institutes of Health and the Cleveland Clinic. He changed gears and entered the field of finance, advising clients, teaching and becoming a resource for financial journalists.

For more than 20 years, he has been active in the Asian Indian community of Cleveland. He has served as the editor of the community newspaper, The Lotus, and as president of the Federation of India Community Associations (FICA).

He was instrumental in making the India Cultural Garden a priority for FICA, and is still serving as the chair of the Garden Committee which was set up in 2002 to make the garden a reality. He has also brilliantly portrayed Mahatma Gandhi in presentations.

Presentation topics include:

  • Ethics in Public Service: a Gandhian Ideal
  • India Cultural Garden: an Overnight Success That Took 20 Years
  • Assimilating without Losing Yourself: An Immigrant's Tale
  • India through the Perspective of an Indian American

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Sikh leader promoting Peace and Non-Violence

Paramjit Singh

Paramjit Singh is a Community Leader of the Asian Indian Community since he landed in Cleveland, Ohio in June of 1962. Being a Sikh (residing in Ohio for the longest), he has dedicated his life to serving the needy. After 9/11 he has been asked to speak to many groups about Sikhism because of the Mistaken Identity. He is passionate about making Cleveland the City of Peace and Non-Violence and came up with the idea of creating a Cyber Wall for people to pledge for Non-Violence just as they pledge for Tolerance on the Wall of Tolerance at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery Alabama.

Paramjit Singh completed his Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (I.I.T.) Kharagpur, India, in 1958 and completed his MBA from Case Western Reserve University in 1962. He served as the Chairman of International Student Group of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, which gave him the opportunity to share with students from all over the world about the Sikh faith (the fifth largest religion in the world). Paramjit Singh made history in Cleveland by being the first turbaned Sikh to be a part of Case Western Reserve University graduation ceremony (proudly wearing his turban, rather than the traditional mortarboard) in 1965. John and Diane Grabowski document this in their book, Cleveland: A History in Motion.

Presentation topics include:

  • The Real Cleveland Indians
  • Mistaken Identity - A beard and turban do not make a terrorist
  • Sikhs and Sikhism
  • Peace and Non-Violence projects
  • Making Cleveland the City of Peace and Non-Violence
  • Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

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Mental Health Care Consultant and Professional

Jacqueline Sweeney

Jacqueline Sweeney, MA has her master's degree in Clincal and Counseling Psychology and is currently finishing her PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Akron. She is Therapist, Psychometrist at Psychological Assessment Services, Inc.

Her areas of expertise include domestic violence (both victims and perpetrators) and rape and sexual assualt/abuse. Ms. Sweeney has spoken previously at conferences for the American Psychological Association and the Ohio Psychological Association, 2004.

Presentation topics include:

  • Domestic violence (victims)
  • Domestic violence (pepretators)
  • Rape and sexual assault/abuse
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