About RCC and the Regional Economic Competitiveness Strategy

Northeast Ohio’s corporate, chamber of commerce and foundation leadership created the Regional Competitiveness Council in 2013 to set goals and identify actions to strengthen the region’s economy. The council based its conclusions on findings that indicate Northeast Ohio continues to underperform the rest of the country on three key metrics of economic development – job creation, gross regional product and per capita income.

Building on earlier studies of the regional economy, a 15-member steering committee spent several months developing recommendations. More than 100 community members, executives, consultants and others contributed to the comprehensive effort, volunteering their time, offering wide-ranging perspectives and providing specialized expertise.

The regional economic competitiveness strategy was built around a comparative analysis of our region’s job-growth performance and the practices of the most successful regions. The goal is to accelerate the pace of job creation by 50 percent and ultimately outperform the nation.

RCC Committee Members

David Abbott (Co-chair)
George Gund Foundation

Tony Alexander
First Energy

Bill Christopher
Alcoa (retired)

Roy Church
Lorain County Community College

Paul Clark
PNC Bank
Team NEO
Greater Cleveland Partnership

Jim Clay
Westfield Insurance

Dan Colantone
Greater Akron Chamber

Maia Hansen
McKinsey & Company

Deborah Hoover
Burton D. Morgan Foundation
Fund for Our Economic Future

Dan Klimas
Lorain National Bank
Team Lorain

Christine Mayer
GAR Foundation

Randy McShepard
RPM International

Ronn Richard*
Cleveland Foundation

Joe Roman
Greater Cleveland Partnership

Bill Seelbach
The Riverside Company

Ward J. “Tim” Timken, Jr. (Co-chair)

Brad Whitehead
Fund for Our Economic Future

* Through Sept. 23, 2014

Business Development (Transition) Committee

Robert C. Smith (Chair)
Spero-Smith Investment Advisers

Governance Committee

Paul Clark
Deborah Hoover
Timothy Reynolds

Representative Community Engagement during Strategy Development

Economic Development Organizations

Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron
Team NEO


Burton D. Morgan Foundation
Cleveland Foundation
George Gund Foundation
Knight Foundation
The Fund for Our Economic Future

Chambers of Commerce

Ashtabula Growth Partnership
Erie County Economic Development Corporation
Greater Akron Chamber
Greater Cleveland Partnership
Huron County Development Council
Medina County Economic Development Corporation
Portage County Development Board
Stark Development Board
Team Lorain County
Wayne County Economic Development Council
Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber


10+ economic development experts
10+ executive leaders
Innovation and cluster theory experts
Relocation & expansion consultants
Collective Impact expert
Visits to six other regions to determine best practices