2024 Induction Ceremony

Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Windows on the River
April 23, 2024

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.

2024 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame

Over 100 worthy candidates were nominated for the 2024 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame. The selection committee was advised by previously inducted members of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame. The April 23, 2024 induction event at Windows on the River was a sell out with 500 people in attendance.

This is a video of the entire evening taken by TV20 professionals Dan Monroe and Raulston Douse. Thanks guys. When possible, we will give the time a part of the ceremony took place so you can jump forward on the video to that point.

WKYC News Anchor Russ Mitchell served as Master of Ceremonies.

Russ Mitchell

After a networking hour, the program began with bagpiper Bruce Greig leading the John Marshall HS JROTC Color Guard into the room. Then Bruce led the crowd in ‘God Bless America’.

Bruce Greig
John Marshall HS JROTC Color Guard
Singing God Bless America

Russ Mitchell welcomed the crowd and introduced Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin. (4:03 on the video)

Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin

Russ then introduced City Community Relations Director Angela Shute-Woodson who represented Mayor Bibb who was out of town. (7:53 on video)

Angela Shute-Woodson

Next Chris Alvarado, Cuyahoga County Director of Regional Collaboration, spoke on behalf of County Executive Chris Ronayne who was under the weather. (9:45 on video)

Chris Alvarado

Russ then called up Cleveland International Hall of Fame co-founder and board chair Dan Hanson (12:43 on video).

Dan Hanson

Dan thanked Russ Mitchell and the earlier speakers and recognized the 4 Ambassadors, Consul General and other dignitaries in the room. He then thanked the Sponsors. See a list of the 2024 Cleveland International Hall of Fame sponsors.

He then told a brief personal story about each of the 6 inductees. He recognized the other CIHF board members in attendance: John Lewis, Mike Miller, Oanh Loi-Powell and Debbie Hanson as well as volunteers Rich Crepage, Rania Abadi, Bridget Marok and Anjan Ghose. He then recognized the 30 previous inductees in the Cleveland International Hall of Fame who were in attendance that night. See the list of previous inductees.

Dan then reminded everyone that this is a Hall of Fame, not an annual award. It is for years of work, maybe a lifetime’s worth. The nature of a Hall of Fame is that it often involves older people. Some people, like Dr. Jordan tonight, were inducted posthumously and sadly several have passed away over the years.

He called up Carl Ewing from the African American Cultural Garden to assist with a Libation Ceremony to honor and remember those inductees and board members who have passed on. As each name was read, the audience answered with the West African word “Ashe” which is kind of like saying Amen – it gives the general affirmation of hopeful wishes. (29:42 on the video)

Dan ended the ceremony by saying “We will never forget them. To everyone else, please stay healthy – we don’t want to add to this list for a long time. “

Dan Hanson and Carl Ewing lead the Libation Ceremony

See a list of the inductees who have passed on.

Russ called up Fr. Eric Orzech who gave an invocation before dinner was served. Father Eric is pastor at both the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus in Slavic Village and St Casimir Church in Glenville. He is also national vice-president of the Polish-American Priest’s Association and was its former president. (33:52 on video)

Father Eric Orzech

After dinner, Bruce Greig performed a song to settle the people down. (36:43 on video)

Bruce Greig

Then MC Russ Mitchell called up the inductors one by one. At the end, Dan Hanson thanked Russ Mitchell and the two led the annual toast to the new class of inductees. (1:42:17)

Dan Hanson and Russ Mitchell toast the 2024 Class
Crowd toasting the 2024 Class

Thanks to the generosity of Ambassador Edward Crawford (who wanted to remain anonymous but we won’t let him!) there were 5 tables of High School students in attendance along with the John Marshall HS JROTC color guards. We were happy to have students from:

  • Benedictine HS
  • Ginn Academy
  • Greek Schools
  • Magnificat HS and
  • St Martin de Porres HS

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

See more pictures on the People Page.

See the Libation Ceremony, Sponsors and more