Meet the Learning Teams
SeMia is a strategic business consultant and thought leader. With a passion for cross sector knowledge exchange and facilitating real conversations, she engages leaders in innovative thinking. Over the past 20 years, she has provided consulting services in the private, manufacturing, and nonprofit sectors. A veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard, SeMia honorably served our country for six years. SeMia is currently engaged in the nonprofit sector as the Local Director of Emerald Cities Cleveland. In this role, she actively participates in moving forward an agenda aimed at achieving a successful transition to a sustainable, resilient, prosperous and equitable economy driven by safe, renewable energy. Prior to Emerald Cities, SeMia was actively engaged in the social justice community as Director of Institutional Advancement at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland. She holds a master's degree in Organizational Systems Design from the Baldwin Wallace University (formerly Baldwin Wallace College), and a bachelor's degree, with a dual major in Business Administration and Interior Design, from Ursuline College. She is also a graduate of Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland (Class 9) and the Northern Ohio Executive Leadership Institute. In 2016, SeMia was selected as a candidate for a national leadership program designed to further develop leaders across sectors and geographies.
Bianca Butts is on a mission to energize and empower citizens to revitalize their own urban communities. For much of her professional career, she has been focused on helping people become proactive in preserving their spaces with or without the assistance of institutions. Currently, Bianca is responsible for employing a variety of methods to improve climate resiliency and sustainability in four Cleveland communities, which include Central Kinsman, Detroit Shoreway, Glenville, and Slavic Village. In this role, Bianca is working with community development staff, a team of Neighborhood Climate Ambassadors, and various other partners around the city to improve neighborhood emergency preparedness, knowledge about energy consumption, vacant land reuse, and other collaborative initiatives that can lead to Cleveland communities becoming more sustainable and vibrant.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is a regional entity providing sanitary and stormwater management services to Cleveland and 61 suburban communities in Northeast Ohio. As CEO, Kyle oversees the operation of one of the largest clean-water agencies in Ohio, a district that treats 90 billion gallons of water every year thanks to the work of more than 750 employees. She works closely with seven trustees and nine directors to ensure efficient management of hundreds of miles of sewer and stream networks, a multi-billion-dollar 25-year Project Clean Lake program, and a regional wet-weather strategy for the health of Lake Erie and more than one million residents. Kyle graduated summa cum laude from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She earned a master’s degrees with honors in both Public Affairs and Environmental Science at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Samoa. Before joining the District, she was Director of the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc.
Kim Foreman is the Executive Director for Environmental Health Watch. She brings nearly 20 years of experience working on environmental justice issues in Cleveland. Kim joined Environmental Health Watch in 1999 as a part-time health educator, and has served in the role of Executive Director since 2015. As the Executive Director for Environemental Health Watch, Kim has focused on environmental justice issues and adverse outcomes of environmental exposures, both indoors and outdoors, that disproportionately impact poor and minority communities. During her eighteen years with EHW, she has developed, implemented, and managed various local, direct service, grassroots projects, worked on national projects, spoken at local and national conventions, and has helped EHW obtain national attention for its work through outlets such as the New York Times and Al Jazeera English. Kim Foreman holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in chemistry from Case Western Reserve University. She is also a licensed lead risk assessor and Roots of Success instructor.
Matt Gray serves as Chief of Sustainability for the City of Cleveland. Working on all things urban sustainability, Matt leads the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative to create a thriving green city on a blue lake. He is responsible for advising the City on policies related to sustainability and leading implementation of the Cleveland Climate Action Plan. This position follows completion of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in Mauritius, where Matt researched climate change impacts and governance. Prior to receiving this grant, he served four years with the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program. Matt worked largely on green building and climate change, serving as Chair of the Interagency Sustainability Working Group to make green building standard practice throughout the federal government.
Ms. Haqq joined the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in 2005 as Director of Communications and Community Relations. She currently serves as Director of Administration and External Affairs and is responsible for the organization’s internal and external communications, public outreach and education, media relations, customer service, and government affairs functions. Ms. Haqq has held several leadership positions in her career, including Executive Director of both INROADS/Northeast Ohio, Inc. and the Nordson Corporation Foundation. A native of Cleveland Ohio, she holds a bachelor's degree from Tufts University and a masters degree from Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Science. She has served on numerous philanthropic boards including: Ohio Boys Town, Inc., Karamu House, Inc., Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, and Business Volunteers Unlimited. Ms. Haqq currently represents the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District on the Commission for Economic Inclusion’s leadership committee
Max Herzog is an Impact Innovation Professional dedicated to engaging diverse stakeholders in the development of tools and strategies that drive community development and resilience at the regional level. Max is currently working on next-generation water technology and intelligent water systems with the Cleveland Water Alliance (CWA). CWA is an innovation engine based in Northeast Ohio that generates and monetizes solutions to the greatest challenges facing Lake Erie and its watersheds. In his three years with CWA, Max has spearheaded and contributed to a number of regional innovation initiatives that activated over fifty entrepreneurial water solutions and one hundred stakeholder organizations from Windsor to Buffalo. As Program Manager, he coordinates the bi-national ecosystem of partners that drive the Water Alliance's cluster of programs and technologies.
Ms. Huber is a social entrepreneur and the Executive Director and Founder of Drink Local. Drink Tap., Inc. She has a 17 year history of civic engagement, project management, working with youth, mentoring, leadership, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, and academic accomplishments proven by an extensive list of awards and honors. In 2017, she was voted ‘Best Activist‘ by Cleveland Scene Magazine, selected to present at bigBANG! in 2013, named one of Cleveland’s Most Interesting People of 2012 by Cleveland Magazine, inducted into the 2012 Mentor High School (Ohio) Alumni Hall of Fame, awarded the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Urban College at Cleveland State University, featured a water action figure by Circle of Blue and was chosen as one of Cleveland Scene’s People July 2016. Huber is the Executive Producer of the 2014 documentary, “Making Waves“, and advocates for safe water through speaking engagements domestically and designing and building safe water projects globally in east Africa. Her mission is to protect our water and save lives.
Stephen supports initiatives to advance environmental sustainability and enhance quality of life for residents across Greater Cleveland. Prior to joining the foundation in 2014, Stephen worked for the Cuyahoga Land Bank, researching and compiling property data for vacant property reuse opportunities as part of the President’s Special Projects team. Additionally, he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, focusing on neighborhood stabilization and urban agriculture projects. Stephen holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science, International Studies, and Spanish from Baldwin Wallace University and a master's in Public Administration from Cleveland State University, where his capstone research focused on comprehensive community development efforts.
John Mitterholzer is the Foundation’s Senior Program Officer for the Environment. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2008, he was a program officer at the Cleveland Foundation. He also has served as executive director of Great American Downtown, the downtown revitalization program in Nashua, N.H., and Historic Nashville, a nonprofit historic preservation organization and as a field representative for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baldwin Wallace University and a Master of Arts in history from the University of Memphis.
Jeanne provides direction and oversight of CHN’s Community Resources, serving over 20,000 low-income families each year in Cuyahoga County. These programs include Family Success, housing and foreclosure prevention counseling, home ownership education, tax preparation, and all utility assistance programs. Jeanne has been with CHN for 20 years and has over 25 years of experience working with low-income populations in housing and financial education and counseling. She also represents CHN in the Cuyahoga County EITC Coalition; Housing Partnership Network’s Housing Counseling program; and Cuyahoga County's Foreclosure Prevention Program.
Jenita McGowan Warner is the Sustainability Manager for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District where she is responsible for programs related to the District’s vision to be fully sustainable by enhancing social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and materials management. Previously she served Mayor Frank Jackson as Chief of Sustainability, advising on policies related to sustainability and the oversight of the Office of Sustainability; leading the coordination of Sustainable Cleveland 2019 to develop new strategies that allow Cleveland to use sustainability as an innovation engine for economic growth, and reducing the City’s ecological footprint with solutions that also save the City money.
Marlane Weslian has been the Neighborhood Development Officer with Slavic Village Development (SVD) since 1998 and carries out neighborhood planning, public art projects, and real estate projects in the Slavic Village/Broadway community located on the Southside of Cleveland, Ohio. Her responsibilities include developing new trails, greenspace, and brownfield redevelopment. She is a Certified Main Street Manager and Economic Development Finance Professional.
As Chief of Public Affairs for the Department of Public Utilities, Dr. Jason A. Wood is responsible for communications, legislation, community outreach, and government affairs. He also advises the Director on internal and external policy and process matters. He has spearheaded key departmental initiatives that have produced measurable results, including developing customer contact strategies for Cleveland Water’s meter upgrade program and monthly billing transition, as well as the development of a customer web portal. Prior to this appointment, Wood worked on Cleveland Water’s Customer Service Turnaround Project as Deputy Project Manager, taking the lead on communication issues. Previously, Jason worked in two city administrations, including serving as Special Assistant to Mayor Frank G. Jackson for Policy and Research. In addition to his government service, Dr. Wood ran his own consulting company and spent several years as a graduate adjunct instructor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Wood holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD) with a focus on American Politics and Quantitative Research Methods from the University of Cincinnati. Additionally, he holds a Master of Applied Politics from the University of Akron and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from Kent State University.