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Cleveland and Northeast Ohio Speakers Bureau


International, Cultural & Ethnic Speakers

Dean of the University of Akron's College of Business Administration

Raj AggarwalDr Aggarwal is Dean of the University of Akron's College of Business Administration and the Frank C. Sullivan Professor of International Business and Finance.

He has lived and worked in Japan, Singapore, India, Australia, Ireland, and Sweden, and is widely traveled in Europe and Asia.

Raj has been the Keynote speaker for groups such as the Irish Economic Association, Association of Japanese Business Studies, Pacific Asia Management Institute, Association of Individual Investors, National Association of Accountants and others.

Presentation topics include:

  • Finance and accounting
  • International Business
  • Strategic analysis in the financial, retail, and industrial sectors.
  • China
  • India
  • Globalization
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Macedonian Patriotic Organization President

Andrea Andrioff Alusheff


Andrea Andrioff Alusheff is currently serving as president of The Macedonian Patriotic Organization, as well as the local Cleveland chapter, MPO "Vardar."

The Macedonian Patriotic Organization of the United States and Canada ("MPO") is the oldest organization of Americans and Canadians of Macedonian descent in North America. Macedonian-American and Macedonian-Canadian immigrants, including several who fought against the Ottoman Empire during the Ilinden Uprising of 1903, established the MPO in 1922 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as the Macedonian Political Organization of the United States and Canada.

Presentation topics include:

  • Macedonian Culture
  • Macedonia for the Macedonians

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Executive Editor of Profile News Ohio (Largest Arabic/English Newspaper in Ohio)

Pierre Bejjani


Pierre Bejjani is Managing Director/Executive Editor of Profile News Ohio (Largest Arabic/English Newspaper in Ohio) and Senior Partner for Diversity Advertising Agency.

Currently, he serves as President of The Northern Ohio Lebanese American Association (NOLAA ) and is a founding member since its inception in 2005.

The Macedonian Patriotic Organization of the United States and Canada ("MPO") is the oldest organization of Americans and Canadians of Macedonian descent in North America. Macedonian-American and Macedonian-Canadian immigrants, including several who fought against the Ottoman Empire during the Ilinden Uprising of 1903, established the MPO in 1922 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as the Macedonian Political Organization of the United States and Canada.

Presentation topics include:

  • The importance of Diversity and the Coexistence of different cultures in our society
  • Lebanese, Arab and Middle Eastern Culture
  • Worldwide Intercultural Network of Cleveland

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Honorary General Consul of the Republic of Lithuania

Ingrida Bublys


As President of IB International, Inc. - International Trade Development since 1988, Ingrida Bublys has arranged a sister facility relationship between the Cleveland Exposition Center (IX Center) and the Lithuanian Trade Center LITEXPO in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Presentation topics include:

  • International Business
  • Doing business with and in the Baltic States
  • Lithuanians in Cleveland

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Associate with Hahn Loeser

John Cunniff


John Cunniff is an Associate with Hahn Loeser and focuses his practice in Intellectual Property and Technology; and Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Law.




Presentation topics include:

  • Intellectual Property for Small Businesses
  • Patenting Inventions in the US and Abroad -- Economically

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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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Founder of Noah's Landing

Anita Kazarian Anita Kazarian traveled to Armenia on September 1991 to help celebrate the vote for Armenia to peacefully secede from the former Soviet Union. Since then she conceived and created Noah's Landing, where the artisans of Armenia can find a global marketplace for their products. She is the Armenian Ambassador to ClevelandPeople.Com

Anita served as the Cultural Champion for Armenia for the 2004 International Children's Games held in Cleveland. She raised the funds, organized Armenian community support, worked with Armenian officials to identify coaches and teams and succeeded in bringing Team Armenia to Cleveland and winning medals.

Anita, a first generation American, was born and raised in New York City where many Armenians from the diaspora settled. Gatherings of Armenians usually meant hearing more than Armenian and English. It included French, Russian, Greek, Arabic, Turkish and Spanish. She attributes her love of travel to exotic places from her early years in NYC.

Presentation topics include:

  • Armenians in Cleveland
  • Armenian - US Business
  • Armenian History - The Genocide and more
  • Armenian Culture, Food and Music

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President of China Resource Network

Kim KirkendallKim is both the Facilitator for the China Resource Network and President of Office Outsource, Inc. China Resource Network is a peer-to-peer networking group for Experienced executives whose companies have been actively involved in China for at least three years.

As a consultant Kim provides training and expertise to companies that are improving operations in China. Experience began in China with moving to Beijing in 1986 to attend college, then running factories in Shanghai from 1988 through 1990 before being promoted to General Manager of a U.S. subsidiary in Hong Kong. Upon returning to the U.S. Kim took over as Technical Services Manager responsible for all Asian Manufacturing for a company on the west coast.

Kim has been described as direct, practical, and analytical in her approach to operations and process improvement. She has spoken for various conferences and organizations such as; CAMP, WTC, OSU's Distinguished Lecture Series, YWCA Leadership Bootcamp, etc. She also presents corporate In House training programs nationwide.

Presentation topics include:

  • Operate Successfully in China
  • International Negotiation Techniques
  • Leadership & Management Strategy

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Program Manager in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for Cleveland Clinic

Anila Niklos - Albania Ambassador to ClevelandPeople.ComAnila Coniku Nicklos was born and raised in Albania. She appeared on National Television at an early age. Throughout her early life until the early twenties she enjoyed an artistic career and completed a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Albanian Language and Literature.

Later on, she moved to America and in 2003, she received a Masters in Adult Learning and Development from Cleveland State University. Ms. Coniku Nicklos serves as a Program Manager in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for Cleveland Clinic.

In the newfound country, Ms. Coniku Nicklos helped many in her community with their transitions, challenges and assisted them in navigating the American system. Ms. Coniku Nicklos has worked closely with the City of Cleveland, the City of Lakewood and has served as an advocate for the Albanian community.

Presentation topics include:

  • International newcomer's adjustment period, culture shock and transition in America.

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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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Kahl Chair in Entrepreneurship at John Carroll University

Jack Soper

Jack Soper is the John J. Kahl, Sr., Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Economics in the Boler School of Business at John Carroll University, in Cleveland, Ohio

He has published two books and more than 50 refereed articles in professional journals. He is the developer of a series of national tests in economics and has won six national awards including the prestigious Leavey Foundation award for Private Enterprise Education

Presentation topics include:

  • Entrepreneurship and Prospects for Regional Economic Growth
  • Current Economic Conditions & Problems
  • Monetary Policy
  • The Euro vs. the Dollar
  • The Banking Industry
  • Regional Economic Problems & Policies.

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Partner at Hahn Loeser + Parks

Mark Watkins

Mark is a partner at Hahn Loeser + Parks and focuses his practice in the areas of Patent, Trademark, Copyright, Trade Secrets, and Intellectual Property Litigation. He also has a degree in Pharmacy.

Among his expertise, Mark has experience in the formulation of company strategies for the procurement and protection of intellectual property rights. He develops company policies concerning protection of trade secrets, internal and external invention disclosure policies, inventor recognition programs, non-competition, confidentiality, and non-solicitation policies and agreements for employees and third parties.

Presentation topics include:

  • Patent, Trademark and Copyright Basics
  • How To Legally Look Over Your Competitor's Fence
  • Intellectual Property as a Corporate Asset
  • So? What Good is a Patent?
  • Protecting My Idea in a Global Economy
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