Speaker Bios – February 2020

Maria Campanelli
Executive Director
The Children’s Museum of Cleveland

Maria Campanelli joined The Children’s Museum of Cleveland (CMC) team in June 2003 as a consultant working with a group of engaged parents to create a portfolio of travelling exhibits.  In June 2012, Maria was hired as the CMC’s Executive Director.  Maria is passionate about early childhood education as she and her husband Mike have personally witnessed the direct benefit of early intervention with their two daughters who were born prematurely.    Channeling that passion along with committed staff and board, Maria led a successful $11 million capital campaign to transform the Stager Beckwith mansion into the new home of The Children’s Museum of Cleveland.  The NEW Children’s Museum of Cleveland opened on November 6, 2017 to continue its mission to support the learning and development of all young children in Northeast Ohio.

In its first year, the Museum welcomed almost 200,000 visitors, doubling the attendance of the prior facility.  The CMC has 6,000 members or 5 times the 1,200 membership base of its previous location.  The google rating of the CMC improved from 2.5 out of 5 to 4.7 including reviews from the new location.

Prior to the Museum, Maria worked at Progressive Insurance for 13 years and held various positions in finance, marketing and operations.  Maria earned a BSBA from John Carroll University and a MBA from CASE. Maria sits on the board for MidTown Cleveland Inc. and is a part of Leadership Cleveland class of 2020.

Susan Jaros
Jaros Strategy

For over 30 years, Susan has provided exceptional fundraising counsel and guidance to diverse nonprofit organizations. She has designed and executed major comprehensive and capital fundraising campaigns, provided strategic leadership and managed day-to-day development and external affairs functions for educational and cultural institutions.

​Susan served as the Deputy Director for Development for the Cleveland Museum of Art.  In that role, she was responsible for planning and implementing a strategic campaign to fund the museum’s transformational expansion and renovation, the first significant capital campaign undertaken in the museum’s history and the largest ever launched by a cultural institution in Ohio.  During her tenure, the museum raised $217 million.

Prior the Cleveland Museum of Art, Susan was Associate Vice President of Development and Alumni Affairs at Case Western Reserve University.  She was instrumental in planning and executing the university’s $350 million campaign, completed in 1994 with an attainment of $417 million.

A Cleveland native, Susan earned a BA from Denison University and a JD from Case Western Reserve School of Law.  She practiced law and taught at CWRU Law School.  Susan’s civic and professional affiliations include Order of the Coif, former trustee of Cleveland Public Art (now LAND studio) and the Court of Nisi Prius.  She was in the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2003 and received the Northern Ohio Live Rainmaker Award in Community Service in 2007.