A very special and dedicated individual, David Gilbert, was the featured speaker at the beginning of our event at The Q.
Tammy introduced our friend David Gilbert as the President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission as well as the CEO of Destination Cleveland (formerly known as Positively Cleveland). In these roles he has demonstrated significant success by attracting 140 sporting events to the region, including the NCAA Women's Final Four Basketball Tournament. Under Mr. Gilbert's leadership, these organizations have generated 395 million dollars in local economic activity and created demand for business and leisure tourism. Mr. Gilbert has been successful in lifting up Cleveland and spreading its love beyond city limits.
We enjoyed hearing Mr. Gilbert's thoughts about Cleveland's past, present and future. Highlights of the speech included these explanations and reflections around:
- Cleveland's growing economic momentum
- Reshaping the image of our community
- Exciting events in Cleveland such as the Senior Games, Gay Games 9, Republican National Convention, the return of Lebron James
- Growth in the city's population
- Extraordinary renovation of Cleveland Museum of Art
- New construction including the Museum of Contemporary Art, nine new hotels, the Convention Center and The Global Center for Health Innovation
- Revival in Ohio City, Tremont, Hingetown, University Circle and Little Italy
As he explained, the world is watching Cleveland now, talking about all the great things happening here instead of the negative things we have endured in the past.
Mr. Gilbert predicts that the excitement will build from here, and that we are at the tipping point of a thriving future for Cleveland because of people and organizations like Believe in CLE. It's our belief, our faith and confidence in Cleveland that is critical in moving it forward. The dramatic improvements in infrastructure are great, but the self-perception is most important.
Cleveland's defeatist attitude has changed - that was the Cleveland of old, and it's different now, explained Mr. Gilbert. This change in community has occurred from the inside out - people believing in Cleveland is what's going to make this place great for decades to come.