Teresa Gilles, 55
Director of Main Street Amherst
"Amherst is an incredible community that loves working together. We have great relationships with everyone from the city workers to the school district. The board is made up of nine volunteers and they’re the perfect team to help make things happen." Click here to read more about why Amherst is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Carmen Courtad, 16
High School Sophomore
"In Aurora, everyone’s always willing to help people and support each other. With my Hoops for Hope fundraiser, everyone supported me during the pandemic. Even people I haven’t heard from in a while contacted me after and said they would want to help in the future." Click here to read more about why Aurora is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Denise Douglas, 50
Dean Of Social Sciences And Human Services At Lorain County Community College
“Nights at the football stadium have always been my best memories of Avon. It’s just spending time watching kids play on the gridiron on a Friday night."
Mikayla Hyland, 27
"The thing I love most about Avon Lake is its sense of community. There’s so much generosity, caring and love in Avon Lake." Click here to read more about why Avon Lake is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Donna Lucas, 63
Co-President Of The Bainbridge Township Historical Society
“There’s a lot of support for local restaurants. Everyone I’ve spoken to said they’ve been trying to do as much carryout as they could. One of the churches did community meals where they did takeout and people would drive through the parking lot and pick it up once a month for a couple of months. It was to give people a break mentally and to know that there’s someone out there that cares.”
Maia Beatty, 69
Chief Reinvention Officer At Mala Beatty & Associates
“We wanted land and found this house [in Bath Township] that was basically all windows looking at trees. The Colonial Pharmacy reminds me of the pharmacy I worked at in Poughkeepsie, New York when I was a teenager in 1968. And that helps make me feel like Bath is home.” Click here to read more about why Bath Township is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Dave Zastudil, 42
Former Cleveland Browns Punter
“People here really care about each other. They care about the town. It’s one of those old-school, small-town America places.” Click here to read more about why Bay Village is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Vivi Mack, 50
Doula and Small Business Owner
“There are multicultural events at school all the time. They have ‘bring in something that’s important to your heritage’ weeks where kids can show off something from their parents’ home country or even their home country.”
Chase Harris, 18
High School Senior
“My favorite memories in Bedford are making the varsity basketball team as a freshman and hitting my 1,000th point. We’ve had a lot of support through COVID. People couldn’t show up, but they livestreamed our basketball games. Before this, our junior year, we had a lot of support with gyms full and everything.”
Roderick May, 59
Assistant To The Mayor
"The community, the people and services here are great. It’s just this quaint, little town. I wouldn’t move even for a million dollars." Click here to read more about why Bedford Heights is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Angela Brooks, 38
Owner of Mootown Creamery
"Berea has a huge small business population and a lot of us are women owners. When the pandemic hit, we all linked arms, we worked together, we promoted each other, we came up with different things to try and help each other out." Click here to read more about why Berea is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Betsy Coholan, 31
Buyer at Signet Jewelers
“It’s nice that I’m able to be out walking and I always see neighbors. I think I’ve probably gotten a lot closer with my neighbors since the pandemic just because everyone’s around now.”
Mitzi Lai, 75
"After my husband retired, people thought we’d move away to warmer places, like many retirees, but I said, “No, no, no. I love it here too much.” Click here to read more about why Broadview Heights is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Terry Hudak-Johnson, 61
Information and Data Processing Specialist
"Brook Park is a real hometown and friendly kind of place. Everyone cares for each other.” Click here to read more about why Brook Park is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Greg Liebert, 45
“I’m proud to know that we’re constantly building to strengthen our community. We all have differences that are unique and make us special, and that’s what we should highlight more in our city.” Click here to read more about why Brooklyn is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Bob Stec, 59
Pastor at St. Ambrose Catholic Parish
"What brought me here, what keeps me here and what is best about Brunswick is the same thing: there’s a strong sense of family and community. There are just wonderfully, insanely good people that live in this community, and we see the outpouring of family values." Click here to read more about why Brunswick is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Amy Grant, 31
Human Resources Manager
“You really can’t go wrong with any of the food here in town. There are incredible restaurants. A personal favorite of mine is Umami. It’s unique and has a cozy atmosphere.”
Freia Ramsey, 45
Owner of Taproot Yoga
“The Chardon Polka Band plays on the square. You get people of all ages; you see old women dancing and babies. It’s just so fabulous to have that — that sense of community and connection and having fun together and all different types of people of all different ages.”
Anna Weiss, 18
West Geauga High School Graduate
"Chester has taught me that I like being known. I like having the people around me know me and having a presence in the community." Click here to read more about why Chester Township is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Leatrice Clark, 53
"The kids are really diverse. And they’re really inclusive. In some of my classes, they would come and sit in each other’s lap and just talk. It’s just a real family feel." Click here to read more about why Cleveland Heights is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Lilly Chan, 21
“Concord Community Days is kind of like the family reunion of a town. It’s a giant neighborhood party — there’s fireworks, food, music and it’s just a fun time. [It’s] the highlight of the year.”
Debbie Ziccardi, 53
"We moved to our first home in Cuyahoga Falls in 1991 and never left. Our government is also open to local input. They implemented a neighborhood ambassador program where anyone in the community can join and get updates about new programs and initiatives rolling out in our city."
Nathaniel Martin, 70
East Cleveland Council Member At Large
"I’ve learned a lot about East Cleveland living here. One thing for sure is that it’s always the people, their spirit of the city, that makes it great. People don’t have a lot of faith in the city and sometimes only see the negative, but I can tell you the people are full of hope, constantly inspiring me and my work." Click here to read more about why East Cleveland is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Biljana Abel, 40
CEO of the Equus Group
“When we first moved the mayor of Eastlake stopped by my uncle’s house to say hello to us. You would never receive something like that in a big city.” Click here to read more about why Eastlake is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Tennyson Thomas, 26
“Growing up in Elyria taught me a lot about myself. I’ve grown up with Elyria in a way. As I’ve transformed and gotten older, the city’s transformed around me. A new brewery just opened up and we’ve also had some renovations to our downtown. There’s a ton of positive momentum around the city.” Click here to read more about why Elyria is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Emily Hampshire Holody, 41
“I like Euclid for a number of reasons. You get both the suburban and urban feeling. It’s not a far drive from downtown and with all the changes and development happening in the city, it feels as though we are all working to make it a better community and place for all.” Click here to read more about why Euclid is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Reed Ross, 12
6th Grader at Fairview Park Middle School
"I love how everything’s close together in Fairview Park. It’s easy for me to walk and ride my bike places. This year, my parents wanted me to do remote learning because of the pandemic. I liked my classes but missed seeing my friends every day. I really hope I get to go back to in-person school next year." Click here to read more about why Fairview Park is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Nichelle Daniels, 42
School Board President
"As a mom of eight, including five adopted children, I like to say I am raising what our community looks like. Our diverse family resembles our community — Black, white and Native American — and Garfield Heights has been the perfect place to raise our kids." Click here to read more about why Garfield Heights is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Bernice Barris, 100
Retired Registered Nurse
“I like this area because of the Cuyahoga County Airport. I was there when it had just one runway and one coffee shop. My dad used to take me over there in the morning and he would have coffee and I would listen to the pilots talking.”
Heather Liccardi, 75
President of the Hinckley Women’s Club
“We have this motto: small town, big hearts. It’s just storybook forests and little brooks and gorges and ravines. People move out here to get away from the crowds. And the people, if you ever need them, they’re right there.”
Kate Schladerman, 45
Owner of the Learned Owl Book Shop
“Not only do I get to experience Hudson as a resident, but as a business owner. Being able to take over a long-standing business that has such great community support was really fortunate for me.”
Alexa Marinos, 40
Director Of Corporate Communications At Hyland
"I hadn’t realized we were moving into such a close-knit community. A lot of people are second- or third-generation Independence residents, including some of my neighbors. For that to be the case, clearly the city is doing something right." Click here to read more about why Independence is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Andy McGovern, 46
Event Manager at Lake Metroparks Farmpark
“The Strawberry Festival is where the community comes together with the big parade at the school. I’ve been in the parade, I’ve watched the parade, I’ve done both. It’s just the sense of community and the respect and love and overall happiness.”
Alex Sheen, 36
Founder of Because I Said I Would
“[In Lakewood], it’s nice to see people in your area, knowing who you are, knowing the meaning of the organization and see that it makes a difference." Click here to read more about why Lakewood is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Reinaldo Contreras III, 24
Owner of Relic Clothing 3 and RC3 Visual
"Being in Lorain pushes me to go 10 times harder. As a kid I made a lot of friends playing Lorain City Youth Baseball, and now I’m out here changing the city with those same friends and we’re going to support each other for a lifetime." Click here to read more about why Lorain is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Joe Sweeney, 83
Retired Fire Chief
"[Lyndhurst] seemed like a natural fit. The community was young, with a great school system, and we were happy to have our kids able to attend the local schools.” Click here to read more about why Lyndhurst is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Amy Brown, 33
"I’m white and my husband is Black, and we wanted our kids to grow up with kids who looked like them. We found one house [in Macedonia] that we loved, and then we both realized, “This is that random town with the diversity that we both thought was perfect!” Click here to read more about why Macedonia is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
L.A. Phillips, 57
Owner of the Cleaning Angels 2
"I always describe Maple Heights as being right next to everything. Whatever you need, it’s never more than a few minutes away." Click here to read more about why Maple Heights is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Jeremy King, 31
Pastor at Story Church
“You’ve got the old-timers that have lived here for three generations, you have the new families coming into town — it’s vibrant. You could go up and down the streets and everybody’s got a story to tell. That’s what makes it a great, great community."
Nella Kamerman, 45
“One of my favorite memories is when my oldest child was in third grade, I would go to the library and hunt for that Harry Potter book that just came out. I was lreally grateful that this library was right here. My daughter still loves to go to the library. We just hang out — that’s one of the few times I get to just talk to her as she’s browsing through the books.”
Rebecca Strother, 32
Real Estate Agent
“I have always wanted to live in Medina — it’s my final destination. There are all different kinds of people here, and it’s nice because everybody learns about everyone else. Most people are very open to that.”
Toni Grandini, 52
“When I graduated college, I was interviewing everywhere and anywhere and would have been thrilled to get a job as a 22-year-old. I’ve been teaching 31 years. The families that have touched my life, as well as the lives that I’ve touched, I’ll hold them in my heart forever.”
Brandon Towns, 32
Assistant Principal at Collinwood High School
“Any place is only as good as the people there, and the people in Mentor-on-the-Lake are definitely second to none.They’re hungry for truth, for justice, yet still humble enough to listen.” Click here to read more about why Mentor-on-the-Lake is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Lacretta Incorvaia, 47
Co-Owner and Vice President of Reliable Solutions Group
"Middleburg Heights is pretty resilient. Somehow, someway, the city has been able to flourish during COVID. They haven’t missed a step. It’s just really impressive to see." Click here to read more about why Middleburg Heights is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Kris Tesar, 72
"I feel very safe and well cared for and we all know to come to each other’s aid when somebody’s sick or needs something." Click here to read more about why Moreland Hills is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Nasreen Starner, 44
"What I love most about [North Olmsted] is our incredible Metroparks. For four years, I served on the North Olmsted Cultural Activities Commission, where we organized juried art shows and music festivals at the Frostville Museum, a historic area in the Metroparks with 19th-century buildings. Our family attended so many other great events there, like the farmers market in the summer." Click here to read more about why North Olmsted is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Jerry Armstrong, 65
Employment Specialist at Youth Opportunities Unlimited
“We have one of the oldest, longest-running functional drive-in theaters. It has two screens. People come from all around just to go to the drive-in theater. We have a 310-acre natural wildlife preserve most people don’t know about — it’s wetlands. It’s a very unique place. It’s rural, yet it’s urban.”
Holly Michalke, 55
Real Estate Agent
“North Royalton has the highest elevation in Cuyahoga County, and we have a lot of hills. It’s very picturesque in a lot of places. It feels like the country.”
Christopher Callender, 46
Oakwood Village Council Member
“It’s great to be able to hear the residents’ needs and try to help them — to be a voice of my community to the administrators at village hall." Click here to read more about why Oakwood Village is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Emily Sheetz, 24
Graduate Student"Grand Pacific Junction is basically our downtown. I love going in and out of the restored historic shops, getting a scoop of vegan cookies-and-cream at Falls Ice Cream and a cup of tea at Clementine’s." Click here to read more about why Olmsted Falls is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Lori Long, 52
“Many years ago there were lots of townships around the edges of Cuyahoga County and we’re the last one in the county limits. The thing about townships is the governance is a little different. We can do a bonfire in our backyard, so there’s something to township living that feels a little bit more country.”
VaLencia Lescook, 45
Student success coordinator at Lake Erie International High School
“When I first moved here, the mayor took me on a tour of city hall. Orange is one of those small communities where people know each other by name and I totally, totally fell in love with my community.”
Ryan Gilkerson, 45
Client Relations Liaison at CoCreative CLE and On-Air Personality at WOVU 95.9 FM
"Painesville is this great tapestry of cultures where we’re all coming together to form a community. From the kids up to the grandparents, everyone is proud of our city." Click here to read more about why Painesville is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Wayne Tecil, 78
Retired Business Owner
“Painesville Township’s fire and rescue system is really good. They have a couple facilities close to us, one probably less than a mile from us. My wife, many years ago, had a heart attack and she had to have a triple bypass. When I called them, they were there on the spot.”
Tim DeGeeter, 51
“When you drive through and see people of all ages engaged in so many different activities. You can’t help but smile.” Click here to read more about why Parma is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Lesley Kiraly-Hosta, 46
“The city has recently added a bunch of new signage with the tagline: Community grows here. There’s just a sense that everyone is willing to help. There was a fire a couple of years ago at an apartment complex and I just remember at one of the local businesses everybody could drop clothes. After a couple of days, they actually had to tell people to stop because they had too much stuff.”
Enid Rosenberg, 73
Community Volunteer Leader
“I find that our street in particular has families of all ages with young children down to empty nesters like ourselves. I think everybody is friendly, and that helps because it’s a city that has vibrancy to it because young people and young families are moving in. I think that’s a huge positive for any suburb.”
Anita Gantner, 61
"When I was in college, I would visit my friends at Kent and on the drive back to Baldwin Wallace, I would purposely drive along state Route 303 to go through Richfield. Every time I saw a car turn off the highway into the village, I would be jealous because the people in those cars got to live there." Click here to read more about why Richfield Village is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Kim Thomas, 56
Richmond Heights council member
“It’s quiet here in Richmond Heights. I live on a cul-de-sac. We had good neighbors who looked out for each other for 26 years. This is what a community really looks like. When you look in a dictionary, you would see Richmond Heights under community.”
Rocky River (Cleveland's No. 1 Suburb of 2021)
Jennifer Hihn, 44
Owner of River Plant Co.
“It’s been awesome to see everyone in Rocky River support us as a small business. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the word-of-mouth. Rocky River is really growing and it’s awesome to see all these small businesses grow with it.” Click here to read more about why Rocky River is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Sagamore Hills Township
Ed Galewood, 83
Retired Business Owner
“Me and my wife got married in 1958. We have been married for 63 years. We got our first home in Boston Heights and 12 years later we moved here. When we first moved out here, the developments were not here yet. Traffic was light and it’s still not bad — we live away from the main strip. We like the country.”
Damon Wynn, 39
Rapid Transit Mechanic for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
"People will definitely wave to each other in Seven Hills. That was one of the things that took me the longest to get used to. When I get home today, I need to cut my grass, so I’m going to be in the front yard cutting my grass and people are going to drive by and people are going to wave. Where I grew up, people never did that.”
Penny Harris, 70
Co-Owner of Spice for Life
“A basic core of the Shaker community, and why we moved in, is the value on diversity, inclusion and giving back to the community. That ethos is an important part of us, my family and bringing up our kids here.”
Rosa Gee, 66
Sheffield Lake Council Member At Large
"We have a fantastic lakefront. Even if you don’t boat or use Jet Skis, just sitting on the swings and looking out over the water is magnificent. It has beautiful sunsets and beautiful sunrises." Click here to read more about why Sheffield Lake is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Jackie Hicks, 50
“There is an availability to know and learn about other cultures that I think is very important and to be open-minded to everyone who’s out there. I believe that the school systems allow the children to also have that kind of background.”
Donna Pollard, 35
Founder of the Team Couture Youth Center
“South Euclid has a natural vibe that welcomes everyone. I’ve lived here since I was one years old. I’ve seen the community go from predominantly white to a multicultural community to, now, thriving for millennials.”
Von Jones, 25
Owner of Mobile Foamzone & Detailing
“It’s good to know your community and try to meet everyone. You can meet one person, they know 10 or 15 people. They’ll get your business out there and your good name if you do good work. It’ll just travel by itself.” Click here to read more about why Stow is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Brian Wolf, 53
Owner and Operator at Wolf Rock Radio
“Streetsboro is a wonderful melting pot because when you go into some of the different restaurants here, you’ll find people from both sides — politically and regionally. They’ll both be sitting at the bar talking and enjoying each other’s company.”
Amelia El-Mahdy, 21
Medical School Student
“We have a really good orchestra and band program. That was one thing that I always loved because I was in the orchestra since fifth grade. The parents helped with the program because they are proud of what the students do in high school.”
Joanne Schaus, 50
President of Twinsburg City School District Council PTA
"[Twinsburg] is a great place to raise a family. The most rewarding thing for me is seeing the leaders of the schools, board members and staff. This year, with all the challenges they had during the pandemic, they continued to show up and care for the kids — even for the students who were virtual." Click here to read more about why Twinsburg is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Elle Muhlbaum, 31
"Our street feels like a microcosm of University Heights. It’s a diverse area, and it’s also really generationally mixed — a couple of snowbirds, some younger grandparents and some young families, as well as folks that don’t have kids." Click here to read more about why University Heights is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Santonya Jones, 45
"Warrensville Heights has everything I need. While it’s not the biggest suburb, it’s so centrally located that it seems like I know everyone from Warrensville Heights along with all the surrounding suburbs." Click here to read more about why Warrensville Heights is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.
Mary Beth Schneidler, 69
Retired Teacher and Coach
“There are activities for everybody here. We’ve always had fireworks, picnics, sporting events and baseball tournaments at Clague Park. Now, with Crocker Park and the hundred or so new restaurants, there’s never a lack of something to do. And if you want it to be a quiet time in the park, you can go to the many parks that are here.”
Jothany Allison, 57
“I’ve been in Wickliffe since I was 3. I went through kindergarten, elementary — all my school here. Then I left, went to college and moved away from home for 20-something years and came back. It’s home, there’s nowhere else. I couldn’t move to another city.”
Beth Gregerson, 55
"Willoughby has the convenience of restaurants and shops. It’s close to other areas around Cleveland, but it still has that small-town feel. There’s a quaint downtown area and concerts in the park — small town things like that. It has all the conveniences you could want.”
Thomas Lobe, 66
“Willoughby Hills offers you the best of all worlds, not just both worlds. It offers you city conveniences with a rural atmosphere. There are neighborhoods, but there isn’t one on top of the other. It’s neighborhood living, but there are no sidewalks. So you get that rural land, even though you’re in a personal residence.”
Jennifer Boresz Engelking, 40
"Growing up in WIllowick I lived in a neighborhood with a lot of kids. We’d catch lightning bugs and play baseball across the yards, ride around the street." Click here to read more about why Willowick is one of Cleveland's Best Places To Live.