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Next Generation Council


The mantra of “doing more with less” will continue to be an overriding principle when delivering public goods and services.  While the challenges of this “new normal” seem insurmountable, there is a unique opportunity for Cuyahoga County to unleash the citizen sector as a tool to drive change.  Young leaders in particular offer a unique set of talents that can be used to develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing Northeast Ohio.

There is a strong value proposition for effectively engaging the next generation. According to research from CEO’s for Cities, in more than two-thirds of the nation’s 51 largest metro areas, the young adult population in the past decade grew twice as fast within 3 miles of the urban center as in the rest of the metropolitan area — up an average 26% compared with 13% in other parts. Thus, developing vibrant communities will be critical for any major metropolitan area to thrive in the 21st century.  Understanding the unique role that young leaders can play in advancing the public good, the FitzGerald Administration proposes the establishment of the Cuyahoga County Next Generation Council (NGC).  

The NGC will be dedicated to meet the concerns and needs of the regions young adults and young professionals. Composed entirely of members aged 20-34, the vision of the Council is to encourage greater participation in government, to identify or create programmatic or policy opportunities in issues affecting young adults and young professionals in Cuyahoga County, and to inform various elected and appointed officials representing young people about issues specific to them. As a whole, the NGC will work to give young adults and young professionals in Northeast Ohio a major role in working with local government to move the region forward.

Key Goals

  • Improve communication between county government and the young adult community of Cuyahoga County.
  • Build coalitions with young adult organizations and governments to increase the influence and effectiveness of young adults in civic issues.
  • Identify emerging public policy priorities.
  • Develop mechanisms to increase civic participation within county government.  


2 Year  

Number of Members





 Sujata Emani, Award-winning community leader, scientist, and social entrepreneur. She is currently developing an innovative STEM educator-training program, the STEM Collaboratory. Sujata earned her doctorate under the mentorship of Nobel Laureate, Roger Tsien, and holds BS and MS degrees in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University. She is a graduate of the Startup Leadership Program in Chicago and a New Leaders Council Fellow. Sujata serves as the President of Crossroads Toastmasters Club in Strongsville, OH, enjoys participating in local political campaigns, and speaking to audiences on the importance of engaging the public with science to better inform policy.

Michael R. Hudecek, Owner/Designer Forest City Portage: as a sustainability artist and designer, I work hard to bring the paradigms of waste diversion and upcycling to several sizes of bags, packs and totes with classic lines and varied styles. Having started to serve the cycling community, my interest in alternative transportation has led me to the leadership team that launched Bike Cleveland as well as the Board of Directors for the Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op where we "Help People Use Bikes."

Annette M. Iwamoto, Foundation Relations Coordinator for Providence House: Beyond cultivating relationships with foundations and raising funds, I research issues regarding child development, trauma-informed care, and how child maltreatment affects long-term health outcomes. Originally from Arizona, I live in Cleveland Heights and enjoy everything the Cleveland area has to offer.

Alex Lackey, Program Manager at Cleveland Botanical Garden: As youth manager for the Green Corps program, I use urban agriculture as a tool to create positive youth development and healthier, more economically viable neighborhoods. Outside of work I enjoy community organizing and rehabbing houses.

  Heather Lenz, (Vice Chair) Policy Associate at Advocacy and Communication Solutions, LLC, and Independent Strategy Planning Consultant: I work with nonprofits in Cleveland to develop strategies that maximize impact towards creating socially, environmentally and economically healthy communities. Outside of work, I love to travel, cook, and ride my bicycle.

  John Litten, Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul: Manages an eight county network of charities that serves over 200,000 people annually with emergency assistance, food, clothing and other needs. Also an author, board member of Lakewood Hospital, member of Lakewood’s Citizens Advisory Committee, president of Winterhurst Hockey Association, graphic artist and proud husband and father of three.

Susan McIlduff: Senior Internal Auditor at Precision Castparts Corp., a Fortune 500 manufacturing company. I lead a variety of financial, operational and forensic audits. Outside of work, I enjoy exploring downtown Cleveland and cheering for
the Cleveland Indians.

Rose Metzger, Surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic: I am a general surgeon by training but have specialized in endocrine surgery, meaning that I operate almost exclusively on errant thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands. I am enamored of Cleveland and can be found exploring, cycling, photographing, listening, cooking, or trying to figure out how to turn Pilates into a verb.

Stephanie Morales, Human Resources Business Partner for Nationwide Insurance, a Fortune 100 company. Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and Cleveland Hispanic Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADAOP) Board Member. I am a proud CMSD graduate who still lives in the Westpark neighborhood of Cleveland with my husband & three amazing daughters. When I am not driving my girls to & from practice, I love to volunteer, travel, run and check things off my bucket list.

Brad Nosan, Associate with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank: I am a commercial real estate broker with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank where I focus on helping companies find new office space and advocate for their best interests in their current space. In my free time I am an avid cyclist, enjoy going to the Cleveland Museum of Art, and riding my scooter around the city.

Jakiel Y. Sanders, Designer with Robert P. Madison International, Inc. I assist in all phases of the design and development of building projects ranging from K-12 schools to the Cleveland Convention Center and Medical Mart. My interests include art, design, politics, and cooking. I am also a member of the Cleveland Young Professional Senate—currently serving as the Chair of the Government Affairs Commission—and a founding member of the Cleveland chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).

  Scott Snider (Chair), Partner at Snider Premier Growth: I am a passionate Cleveland entrepreneur who started my first business at the age of 17. Our company invests in businesses and real estate opportunities within a 350 mile radius of Cleveland. Our core business, Aspire Management, provides exit planning and value creation services.

Tara Vanta, (Secretary),Vice President and Director of Planning for City Beautiful: I promote smart urban design principles through advocacy, consulting, and educational services. Also on The Lakewood Historical Society’s Board of Trustees, I am passionate about historic preservation, sustainability, pedestrian-oriented development and social issues.

  Seth H. Wamelink, Attorney at Tucker Ellis LLP: I am an Associate in the Trial Department at Tucker Ellis LLP and practice extensively in the areas of construction law, medical malpractice and product liability. As a Northeast Ohio native, I am passionate about the area and our local sports teams.

Shane E. Winnyk, Licensing Manager for Hyland Software. I was a devoted public servant with Cuyahoga County prior to joining one of Northeast Ohio's premier private-sector companies. I am an inspired writer with an endless imagination, excited to help the Council reach the future of our community.