Speaker Bios – The Re-Emergence of Cleveland and Its Impact on Philanthropy

Moderator:

Margaret Bernstein
WKYC Channel 3

Margaret Bernstein is the Director of Advocacy and Community Initiatives at WKYC Channel 3. A devoted champion of literacy, Margaret earned a 2016 Emmy for her #WeReadHere campaign at WKYC, which encourages parents to read every day with their children. In 2017, she also received the top award for promoting Diversity & Inclusion from TEGNA, WKYC’s parent company.

A Los Angeles native, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California. She worked as a reporter and columnist at The Plain Dealer from 1989 to 2013.

Well known for her passion about mentoring, Margaret was named National Big Sister of the Year in 2000 for her work with two Cleveland girls, Cora and Ernestine, through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

She is also the writer of The Bond, a memoir on fatherlessness by the famed Three Doctors. That experience led her to write her most recent book, a storybook titled “All In A Dad’s Day” that is designed to tighten the bond between fathers and their young children.

Margaret is married to Shaker Heights Chief Prosecutor C. Randolph Keller, and is the mother of two children, Randy and Alexandria.

Panelists:

Yvette M. Ittu
Cleveland Development Advisors

Yvette M. Ittu is the executive vice president of finance and operations of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. In addition, she is president of Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), a private equity real estate investment firm.  Yvette is also chairperson of the Cleveland International Fund, a private equity firm that operates as an EB-5 regional center authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Each of these entities have a goal to be a driving force for economic development throughout Northeast Ohio.

Prior to joining CDA, Yvette was an associate with the law firm of Calfee, Halter and Griswold LLP practicing in the areas of public law and public finance. She served as bond counsel on multiple financings for the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the City of Cleveland, and several other Ohio local governments. In addition, Yvette served as finance director for the City of Lakewood and held several financial management positions for the City of Cleveland including the chief financial officer post for Cleveland Public Power.

Yvette obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. In addition, she is a certified public accountant and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cleveland State University.

Ginger Mlakar
The Cleveland Foundation

As Director of Donor Relations, Ginger Mlakar oversees the Cleveland Foundation’s donor stewardship program.  In this role, she and her team connect donors to their charitable interests.  Additionally, she serves as in house legal counsel on charitable gifting and estate administration issues, and facilitates the acceptance of complex charitable gifts. She came to the Cleveland Foundation in July 2009 after 16 years practicing law in the area of estate and charitable gift planning and administration. Her previous positions include partner in the personal succession and planning practice group at Thompson Hine LLP and of counsel in the estate planning and probate practice group at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP. She is also a certified public accountant.

Ginger has served on the boards of several area organizations, including the Girl Scouts of Lake Erie Council, the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, the Bay Village Education Foundation, the Bay Village Foundation, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, and as treasurer for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation and Bay Soccer Club. She was the President for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation. She has been a member of advisory groups for University Hospitals, the Cleveland Orchestra, and Case Western Reserve University. Additionally, she is an active fellow of the American College of Estate and Trust Counsel, and an Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Council member for the Ohio State Bar Association. Ginger is a frequent speaker on legal and tax issues surrounding charitable giving.

Ginger has been named among the Best Lawyers in America and the Top 50 Female Ohio Super Lawyers List by Law and Politics magazine. She was a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2014. Ginger has received the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Women in Law Making a Difference and President’s Awards, and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Leadership Award. She graduated summa cum laude from The Ohio State University with a bachelor of science degree in business administration and earned her juris doctorate from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Lorraine Vega
KeyBank Foundation

As Senior Vice President and Senior Program Officer for KeyBank Foundation, Lorraine Vega manages an active $15 million grant portfolio, primarily focused on corporate grants related to education, civic and health and human services programs.  Lorraine also oversees an additional $4 million in grantmaking for KeyBank Foundation in Key’s Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions.

As part of her responsibilities, she provides leadership and guidance for employee giving programs, Key’s senior leader board placement and community relations profile in Hispanic communities across the enterprise.

Prior to joining KeyBank, Lorraine was Chief Operating Officer of the United Way of Central Carolinas in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was Director of Community Initiatives & Information and Referral of United Way Services in Cleveland.  She was the founding director of the LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) Educational Service Center in New Haven, Connecticut, and taught adult and middle school students in the New Haven Public School System.  In addition, Lorraine was a W.K. Kellogg/LULAC intern in the LULAC National Education Office in Washington, D.C. and is a graduate of the National Urban/Rural Fellows, Inc. based in New York City.

Lorraine obtained her Masters in Public Administration from Bernard M. Baruch College, City University of New York and her B.S. in Education from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.  Lorraine is Board Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Lutheran Hospital board and serves on the executive committees of the boards of National Urban Fellows and Business Volunteers Unlimited. She is a trustee of the board of Hispanic Roundtable (Cleveland), and Sullivan Scholarship Fund of the Cleveland Foundation.

Lorraine was recognized as a 2016 Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan by the Ohio Commission of Hispanic/ Latino Affairs, the 2015 Woman of the Year by the Woman of Color of Foundation and the 2015 MBE Urban Professional Award by the North Coast Minority Media and Diversity Chamber.

An alumna of Leadership Cleveland, Lorraine has held several leadership roles in community circles.  She is the mother of three young adults, and enjoys encouraging others to contribute and participate in partnerships with civic organizations.