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


Margaret Bernstein
WKYC Channel 3

Margaret Bernstein is our panel moderator and WKYC Channel 3, Director of Advocacy and Community Initiatives. Margaret is an award-winning journalist and for over 20 years, Margaret wrote for Ohio’s largest daily newspaper. As a Metro columnist she identified ways that readers could take action to improve Cleveland’s quality of life. Margaret has been honored nationally. In 2008, she received the National Association of Black Journalists’ prestigious Community Service Award, and she was part of a team that was honored by Columbia University for its coverage of a targeted neighbor in Cleveland in a series titled “Can We Save Our Neighborhoods?”


Yvette M. Ittu
Cleveland Development Advisors

Yvette Ittu, 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. Since 1989 projects CDA has been involved in have generated $2.9 billion in total development.

Ms. Ginger Mlakar
The Cleveland Foundation

Ginger Mlakar is Senior Counsel and Director, Donor Relations for The Cleveland Foundation. Ms. Mlakar oversees the 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. 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.

Lorraine Vega
KeyBank Foundation

Lorraine Vega is Senior Vice President and Senior Program Officer for KeyBank Foundation. Ms. Vega manages an active $27 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.