HBS Club of NEO 2021 Leadership Award: John Zitzner

Each year HBS NEO awards the HBS Club of Northeast Ohio Leadership Award. Please plan to join us as we present the 2021 HBS Club of NEO Leadership Award to John Zitzner, President, Friends of Breakthrough Schools.

Award Criteria: A organization leader who is or has been a CEO or chairman of a public, private, or nonprofit organization. Success as a leader in NE Ohio measured by the impact that the leader’s activities will have on the future of NE Ohio. Leadership in fulfilling the responsibilities of a successful organization to its employees, to the community and to society as measured by how these activities will impact the future of northeast Ohio.

Jack Schron, the recipient of the 2020 Leadership Award will also be honored.

Cleveland Indians Game


Texas Rangers vs. Cleveland Indians

The value of HBS Club of NEO Membership continues to increase—benefits abound!

Now we are taking you to an INDIANS game with all the fun of baseball (especially WINNING BASEBALL and
.500 ball is winning baseball) plus networking and a visit from the Marketing Team to answer questions about the transition.


An Evening with Sweet Designs Chocolatier: Ines Rehner

Celebrate Life with Chocolate! Join HBS NEO for an evening with Founder and Master Chocolatier from Sweet Designs!

RSVP early and chocolates will be delivered to your residence that you can enjoy while you meet Ines and watch the demonstration.

Ines Rehner – My Story (so far)

Chocolate has been my favorite food for as long as I can remember. Growing up in former Yugoslavia, now Croatia, chocolate was a luxury. My sweet tooth came from my father, who always had candy hidden in his car. I would search and search until I found all of the chocolate.

In 1987, I visited New York City and immediately knew I wanted to live in this country. The opportunities seemed endless. I returned home to finish college but all I kept thinking about was how to return to a place where I could actually have my own chocolate store. By age 24 I had saved enough to fly to America. I started working at a candy store in New York that resold chocolates and candies, but I always knew that the chocolates could taste better. I began experimenting at home and just kept working until I developed my unique blend. I wanted to make great chocolate.

In December 1995, Sweet Designs Chocolatier opened in a small corner store in Lakewood and I continued to perfect my recipes for chocolate. We now offer over 80 different chocolates, from truffles and hand-dipped fruit to nut clusters and caramels. My chocolates are out of this world…literally! They have actually been enjoyed in space by NASA astronauts on the Space Shuttle.

After 10 years of making chocolate, I needed a larger location so I designed my own European Chocolaterie at a new location in Lakewood. Few things give you the pure enjoyment of great chocolate. The wonderful aroma, the smooth rich texture, and the incomparable taste all combine to make great chocolate one of life’s truly satisfying experiences. I hope that you enjoy eating my chocolates as much as I enjoy making them!

Panel Discussion: NEO Economic Development

Four organizations all supporting economic development in Cleveland and NEO. Join us to meet the dynamic leaders and learn: 

  • the mission of each
  • how they serve similar and/or different sectors
  • where they intersect
  • how they collaborate and communicate
  • short term/long term goals and/or current projects
  • top item on each organizations “wish list”

Panelists include: 

  • Ethan Karp, President & CEO — MAGNET
  • William Koehler, CEO — Team NEO
  • Ray Leach, CEO — JumpStart Inc.
  • Baiju Shah, President & CEO — Greater Cleveland Partnership
  • Moderated by Tom Waltermire

100th Anniversary Celebration & Champagne Brunch at EDWINS

Join HBS NEO for our 100th Anniversary Celebration & Champagne Brunch at Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute. 

As the EDWINS empire has evolved and grown, Brandon Chrostowski has found it necessary to develop managers for the various new initiatives as well as to offer opportunities for selected individuals, with an interest in leadership, to develop and expand their horizons beyond their wildest dreams through a management training program.

Through the HBS Club of NEO Fund we have been able to assist with the course work required to develop this next generation of hospitality managers in Cleveland by providing financial assistance for the management training program.

Brandon will bring us up-to-date on the EDWINS empire, his consulting outside of NEO and will introduce us to a few of the graduates from the management training program and we will hear what this program has meant to them.

COVID DETAILS – all state requirements will be adhered to – masks will be required other than while eating and we will furnish a Waiver for your signature following receipt of your RSVP.

In an effort to keep everyone safe, we encourage all attendees to be fully vaccinated in advance of attending.

Please plan to join us as we take a first step beyond COVID.

The Great Lakes Hyperloop

Join us for a conversation about the Great Lakes Hyperloop with:

  • Bob Dirgo, Head of the Great Lakes Hyperloop Consortium
  • Chuck Michael, Regulatory Advisor & U.S. Feasibility Studies Lead, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies
  • Shelby Phillips, Head of Executive Staff & U.S. Public Affairs, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

What is Hyperloop?

Hyperloop is a developing transportation system that brings airplane speeds to the ground safely, efficiently and sustainably. Passenger and cargo capsules levitate above a track inside a tube using electromagnetic technology and a linear electric motor for propulsion.

By creating a low-pressure environment inside the tube using vacuum technology, surface fiction is considerably reduced, allowing for
not only faster speeds, but a safer, cleaner and quieter form of energy-efficient transport. Hyperloop will move passengers and goods between Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh in minutes rather than hours.

Join us to learn more about this technology and the impact on the Great Lakes Region as it is planned.