2024 Class Induction Event

What a Night for the 6 inductees, the SOLD OUT crowd of 500 and the City of Cleveland and NEO!

The 2024 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame was inducted on Tuesday April 23, 2024 at Windows on the River. Over 90 worthy candidates were submitted to be considered.  Previous inductees of the CIHF were asked for input and a committee worked hard to whittle that number down to the 6 in the 2024 Class.  And what a Class it is!

2024 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame

Click on a name (below) to see a bio of the inductee as well as photos and video of their induction.



Nominations are now being accepted for the 2025 Class.
See the critera here.

See the Induction Ceremony with MC Russ Mitchell and the speakers

See the Libation Ceremony, Sponsors and more.

See the Photo Page of attendees


Albert Ratner had a 66-year career at Forest City where he grew the company from a lumber supply company to a construction company to a home improvement retailer to a real estate development company. Forest City spearheaded the redevelopment of the Halle Building, which it purchased in 1982, and Tower City, which opened in 1990. It became publicly-traded in 1960, an $8.2 billion corporation that develops, owns and manages residential and commercial properties across the country. Its national portfolio now includes 32 retail centers, 36 office buildings and 115 apartment buildings. 

He has always been interested in, and has become an expert in, population and immigration topics.  He led the creation of Global Cleveland in 2011.  He was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame in 2011 and has given several keynote addresses at their induction ceremony.  Unable to attend the 2024 induction ceremony in person he created this short video with his perspective and advice on population and immigration. 


2023
Cleveland International Hall of Fame
What a Night!

Standing: Sudarshan Sathe and Pierre Bejjani
Seated:  Georgine Welo, Mike Polensek and Pat Dowd
Not pictured: Joyce Mariani

Over 450 people (with a waiting list) attended the 2023 induction ceremony. Both the 60 page collector’s edition book and room SOLD OUT!

Photos and Videos of the Induction Ceremony

Photos of some of the people in attendance

The 2023 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame was selected from 84 worthy nominations.  The list of nominees was sent to previous inductees of the CIHF for their input. The 2023 Class consists of:

Click on their name (above) for a photo, bio and pictures and videos of their induction.

The Induction Dinner ceremony was held on Tuesday April 18, 2023 at Windows on the River.  TV3 News Anchor Carmen Blackwell was the MC and Cleveland Bishop Edward Malesic gave the invocation. There were remarks from Albert Ratner, Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin and Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne.

Albert Ratner
Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin
Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne

Submit your nominations for the 2024 Class now!  To be considered for induction the person must have made a significant and lasting contribution to a particular ethnic group or the broader ethnic communities of Cleveland and NE Ohio. Self-nominations are acceptable. The list of nominees will be sent to previous inductees of the CIHF for their input. The 2024 Class will be announced this Fall.

2022 Cleveland International Hall of Fame

Since 2010, the Cleveland International Hall of Fame (CIHF) has inducted people who have made significant and lasting contributions to our multicultural society. Cleveland is home to people representing about 120 different ethnic groups. The CIHF exists not only to honor those special people but also to inspire a new generation of leaders to follow in their footsteps.

Over 150 worthy candidates were nominated for both the 2020 and 2022 Classes of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame. The selection committee was advised by previously inducted members of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame.

Covid-19 forced the always sold out induction ceremonies to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021. We tried to induct the 2020 class virtually but it was not the same. So once we were able to gather together again, we included the 2020 class in the induction ceremony along with the 2022 class on June 7, 2022. The event at Windows on the River was a sell out and the 2020 class finally got their moment in the spotlight.

2022 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Seated (l-r) Anda Cook, Taras Szmagala
Standing – Victor Ruiz, Carl Robson MD

The 2022 honorees are:

Anda Cook, (Latvian)
Carl Robson, (Ethiopian community)
Victor Ruiz, (Puerto Rican)
Taras Szmagala, (Ukrainian)


In addition, we recognized the 2020 inductees who missed out on their ceremony due to Covid.

2020 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Seated (l-r) Margaret Lynch, May Chen, Valarie McCall
Standing Berj Shakarian, Joe Valencic, Ramesh Shah

May Chen (Chinese)
Margaret Lynch (Irish)
Valarie McCall (African-American)
Ramesh Shah (Indian)
Berj Shakarian (Armenian)
Joe Valencic (Slovenian)

Click on the name of the person above to view their photo, bio and see their induction into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame.

See photos and videos from the Induction Ceremony

MC Dawn Kendrick

See photos of some of the attendees – who do you recognize?

Teevi Champa, Oanh Loi-Powell and Erika Puussaar
in Estonian and Vietnamese grab



Thank you Mayor Bibb

Thank you Council President Blaine Griffin


Celebrating Cleveland’s Diversity

  • Mona Alag and Sudarshan Sathe
    Mona Alag and Sudarshan Sathe
    Mona Alag and Sudarshan Sathe
  • Jim Craciun and Councilman Matt Zone
    Jim Craciun and Councilman Matt Zone
    Jim Craciun and Councilman Matt Zone
  • August Pust and Marianna Miller
    August Pust and Marianna Miller
    August Pust and Marianna Miller
  • Dr. Nizar Zein and Dr. Wael Khoury
    Dr. Nizar Zein and Dr. Wael Khoury
    Dr. Nizar Zein and Dr. Wael Khoury
  • Ki Kim inducting his father Seung (Sam) Kim in 2017
    Ki Kim inducting his father Seung (Sam) Kim in 2017
    Ki Kim inducting his father Seung (Sam) Kim in 2017
  • Basil Russo with daughter and son-in-law
    Basil Russo with daughter and son-in-law
    Basil Russo with daughter and son-in-law
  • 2017 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
    2017 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
    2017 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
  • Dan Coughlin and 2016 inductee Jack Kahl
    Dan Coughlin and 2016 inductee Jack Kahl
    Dan Coughlin and 2016 inductee Jack Kahl
  • 2016 Inductee Khalid Samad and Director Blaine Griffin
    2016 Inductee Khalid Samad and Director Blaine Griffin
    2016 Inductee Khalid Samad and Director Blaine Griffin
  • 2016 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
    2016 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
    2016 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
  • 2015 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
    2015 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
    2015 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
  • 2011 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
    2011 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
    2011 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
  • Induction Dinner 2015 Kona Grant and members of the Scottish community
  • Induction Dinner 2015 Mona Alag and friends
  • Induction Dinner 2015 Jim Foster and Dick Pogue
  • Induction Dinner 2015 Gene Bak being presented flowers

How you can help support
the Cleveland International Hall of Fame



Search Inductees By Region


North America South America Africa Europe Asia Australia