People are always retiring, resigning, getting fired, laid off, losing elections or being appointed to positions. But there are periods in history where upheavals seem particularly prominent, significantly affecting our lives. This is one of them. And this is when we especially need great leaders.
Effective leaders make up about 10% to 20% of all people in leadership positions, according to Distinguished University Professor Richard Boyatzis, Ph.D., Department of Organizational Behavior, Psychology and Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). During times of great change, those individuals use “more emotional and social intelligence repeatedly and daily than in stable times,” Boyatzis states.
Also, in changing times, leaders may emerge from “more varied backgrounds and sources than we perceive in stable times,” he says, “because we become more open, if not more desperate, so we consider more variety.”
Take a look at some of the recent and soon-to-be leadership changes in Northeast Ohio. Time will tell whether the new leaders will fall into that effective range:
Cleveland’s new mayor is nonprofit executive Justin Bibb, following former Mayor Frank Jackson’s 16-year, four-term tenure.
Medical Mutual President and CEO Rick Chiricosta will retire at the end of 2022.
United Way of Greater Cleveland will see a new president/CEO after Augie Napoli retires in 2022.
Greater Cleveland Partnership is now headed by President and CEO Baiju Shah, following the 2021 retirement of founding leader Joe Roman.
University Hospitals’ new CEO is Cliff Megerian, succeeding Thomas F. Zenty III.
The George Gund Foundation said goodbye to newly retired President David Abbott at the end of 2021. Abbott is now a Distinguished Jurist in Residence at CWRU’s Law School, advising deans.
Cuyahoga Community College President Alex Johnson is retiring, effective June 30, 2022. A new president is expected to be announced this spring. Todd Kitchen was named president of the school’s eastern campus and Lisa Williams the president of the western campus.
Playhouse Square is preparing for an exit stage left after President and CEO Gina Vernaci steps down in February 2023. She has worked at the nonprofit arts organization and been a real estate player for almost 40 years.
Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS, a group that boasts 6,500 members in Cuyahoga, Portage and Summit counties, will have a new CEO when Mike Valerino takes office April 1, 2022.
Akron Children’s Hospital’s new CEO, Chris Gessner, started his position in October 2020.
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park named Lisa Petit as superintendent, a position that also oversees operations at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor and the First Ladies National Site in Canton. Petit is the first woman to head this national park.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton named former news publisher Jim Porter as its president in fall 2020.
Westfield Bank will name a new CEO because the current leader, Jon Pak, will retire March 1, 2023.