What a night! The Induction Dinner ceremony was held on Tuesday April 18, 2023 at Windows on the River. Over 450 people (with a waiting list) attended the 2023 induction ceremony. Both the 60 page collector’s edition book and room SOLD OUT!
After a social hour, bagpiper Bruce Greig led the color guard from CMSD John Marshall JROTC into the room and the crowd stood and joined in with God Bless America.
TV3 News Anchor Carmen Blackwell served as the MC filling in for Russ Mitchell who was sent on a breaking news assignment. She did a terrific job. She welcomed the crowd and told a little about herself and the Cleveland International Hall of Fame.
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Next, Carmen Blackwell introduced the keynote speaker Mr. Albert Ratner who spoke about immigration, population growth and what cities like Cleveland need to do.
Next, Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin gave a welcome and told why this event and the people were so important.
He was followed by Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne who spoke about the importance of our ethnic diversity in his welcoming remarks.
Next, Dan Hanson, founder of ClevelandPeople.com and co-founder of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame. Dan recognized dignitaries and international (Lebanon, Slovenia, etc.) guests and previous inductees of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame and thanked sponsors. He then told of the plans for a physical museum which will honor and tell the stories of the inductees of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame but also tell the immigrant story of Cleveland and will eventually evolve into an ethnic heritage museum.
Then, Cleveland Bishop Edward Malesic told of his ethnic heritage and then gave an invocation before dinner.
After dinner, Bruce Grieg played a few bagpipe songs and the inductions began.
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.
Carmen Blackwell called up the inductee and a special inductor for each person. In order went as follows:
Joyce Mariani inducted by Basil Russo
Patricia Dowd inducted by Gerry Quinn
Sudarshan Sathe inducted by Baiju Shah
Mayor Georgine Welo inducted by Alex Machaskee
Pierre Bejjani inducted by Seven Hills Mayor Anthony Biasiotta
Councilman Mike Polensek inducted by Joe Cimperman
Click on their name (above) for a photo, bio and pictures and videos of their induction.
In closing, Dan Hanson thanked Mistress of Ceremonies Carmen Blackwell who then gave her closing remarks and led a toast to the inductees.
The class picture was taken and nominations were opened for the 2024 Inductions which will be Tuesday April 23, 2024 at Windows on the River. Save the Date.