Inductees – Europe

    Ambassador Edward F. Crawford

    Ambassador Edward F. Crawford

    Ambassador Edward F. Crawford is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Park-Ohio Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ Symbol PKOH) (1992 to 2019).   This Cleveland, Ohio based industrial enterprise has annual revenues of approximately $2 billion and employs 8,000 associates worldwide.  Park-Ohio specializes in integrated logistics systems and manufactured products. 

    A serial entrepreneur, Mr. Crawford was co-founder of Cleveland Steel Container in 1962, Founder of The Crawford Group in 1972 and Chairman of Crawford United since 2010.

    Crawford’s grandparents both emigrated from Cork. His grandmother, Catherine McCarthy, was from New Market, Boherbue. His grandfather Healy was a Corkman.  In his honor, the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland changed their bylaws in 2014 so for the first time ever, a person without Mayo roots was honored as Person of the Year.

    Tom Scanlon, Senator Rob Portman,
    honoree Edward F. Crawford and Gerry Quinn

    In 1948 his electrician father bundled his wife and three sons up and off they headed to sunny California. A couple days later, as they were traveling on Route 20 in Ohio, the engine in their truck blew up. Within a day his mother located an apartment for the family in Cleveland Heights and California became a faded dream. And, fortunately for the Cleveland community, the family took root in Ohio.

    Mr. Crawford is committed to a balanced life of commercial activity, civic responsibility and political action.  For example, as he drove on Martin Luther King Boulevard a few years ago, Crawford was shocked to see the deterioration of the Irish Cultural Garden.  “Growing up in Cleveland Heights in the 50s and 60s, the gardens were still in pretty good order. They reflected the diversity of Cleveland and I thought it was very special.”

    A couple weeks after first witnessing the deterioration he saw some volunteers working in the Irish Garden as he again drove by. He got out of his car and spoke with them. “After that I got on the phone and called some friends and that’s when I formed the Irish Garden Club.  This resulted in a massive restoration project of Cleveland’s four acre Irish Cultural Garden. Under his leadership, the garden has become the jewel of Irish Cleveland.

    One particular jewel is the massive fountain in the garden. While in Dublin on business he saw a beautiful fountain in the garden of St. Patrick’s Church. Fascinated by, it he approached the Fred Lennon foundation about funding an effort to get a duplicate fountain built for Cleveland’s Irish Garden.

    “I grew up with the Lennon family and they have never sought any public recognition in any way.” Crawford was able to convince their Fred Lennon Foundation to invest in the Irish Garden. The result is the spectacular fountain. 

    Fred Lennon and Ed Crawford in front of the new fountain in 2010

    In 2012, Edward Crawford hosted the Taoiseach of Ireland, Enda Kenny along with Ambassador Michael Collins, Consul General of Ireland Aidan Cronin and others to the Irish Cultural Garden in Cleveland.

    Edward Crawford, Taoiseach of Ireland Enda Kenny
    and Irish Consul General Aidan Cronin
    in the Irish Cultural Garden

    His board memberships, awards and other activities are too numerous to list.  A few are listed below.  But a highlight is when President Donald J. Trump appointed Ed Crawford as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland in 2016.

    Ambassador Crawford continues to lead and support various projects in the Irish and broader communities. 

    Edward F. Crawford was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame Class of 2024 by Irish Ambassador to the United States Geraldine Byrne Nason.

    Partial Listing of Edward F. Crawford Activities and Awards


    • United States Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland appointed by President Donald J. Trump in 2016
    • Guarantor of Kent State University Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship 2021
    • Founder of Aspire Entrepreneurial Workshop Series (Turning rejection into positive energy)
    • Member, Board of Directors, Hillcrest Hospital (Cleveland Clinic)
    • Honorable Discharge-Army National Guard-Specialist Aviation Company 107th
    • Armored Cavalry (1963)
    • College:  John Carroll University
    • Host of President George  W. Bush at Fox Spring Farms (2004 and 2006)
    • Presidential appointment (George W. Bush) to USO World Board of
    • Governors (2007)
    • Host of President Donald J. Trump at Fox Spring Farms (2016)
    • Chairman, Board of Directors, Crawford United
    • Member, Board of Directors, Park-Ohio Holdings Corp.
    • U.S. Small Business Administration Man of the Year (1969)
    • Ohio Chairman, RNC-Trump Victory (2016)
    • Founder, Irish Garden Club, The Cleveland Cultural Gardens (2007)
    • Member, Finance Committee, Cuyahoga County Republican Party
    • Member, AAU 65+ Basketball Team
    • Participant, Boston Marathon (1970)
    • Golden Gloves Amateur Boxing (1956 and 1957)
    • Member, Bluecoats, Inc.
    • Member, The 50 Club of Cleveland
    • Member, Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Board of Advisors
    • Guest Lecturer, Weatherhead School of Management (Case Western Reserve)


    • Ronald McDonald House Pillar of the House Award (2017)
    • James A. Garfield Hall of Fame 2014 Inductee
    • Mayo Society Person of the Year Award (2014)
    • Our Lady of the Wayside Starlight  Guardian Humanitarian Award (2013)
    • John Carroll University Entrepreneurial Award (2012)
    • Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame Entrepreneurial Award (2007)
    • Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Advocacy Award (2007)
    • SBN Master Innovator Award (2001)
    • Ernst & Young Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur of the Year Award (1995)
    • Weatherhead Entrepreneurial Award


    • Former Member, Materion Corporation Board of Directors
    • Former Member, Lake County of Ohio Port Authority
    • Former Member, University Health Systems Board of Directors
    • Former Member, Capital Resource Advisors Board of Directors
    • Former Member, Continental Global Group Board of Directors
    • Former Member, Leadership Cleveland Alumni Association (Class of 1985)
    • Former Member, Advisory Board, John Carroll University School of Business
    • Former Member, Western Reserve Historical Society Board of Advisors
    • Former Member, Resilience Capital Partners Board of Advisors
    • Former Member, Cleveland Tomorrow
    • Former Chairman, American Cancer Society Cattle Baron’s Ball
    • Former Member, Heather Hill Hospital Board of Directors
    • Former Member, Leaseway Transportation Board of Directors
    • Inductee, Cleveland Heights Alumni Hall of Fame
    • Guest Professor, Shanghai University of Finance & Economics (Shanghai, China)
    • Guest Speaker, Tsinghua University (Beijing, China)
    • Former Chairman, Cleveland Olympic Torch Relay Committee
    • Former Chairman, Private Industry Council of Cuyahoga County
    • Former Member, Finance Committee, Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
    • Former Member, Cleveland State University Board of Trustees
    • Former Member, Corporate Council, Cleveland Museum of Art


    • Angel investor, Lola’s Restaurant, Michael Symon, First Iron Chef in America

    The April 23, 2024 induction event at Windows on the River was a sell out with 500 people in attendance.

    Ambassador Crawford was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame by Ireland's Ambassador to the US Geraldine Byrne Nason. Prior to coming to Washington, Ambassador Nason spent five years as Ireland's Ambassador to the United Nations, most recently during Ireland's term serving on the Security Council as an elected member

    Here is the video of entire Cleveland International Hall of Fame ceremony. You can jump to about 49:59 to watch Ambassador Crawford being inducted by Ambassador Nason and then his acceptance remarks.

    Enjoy these images of Ambassador Crawford from the Cleveland International Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

    Ambassadors Nason and Crawford

    Ambassador Crawford being introduced

    Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason being introduced

    Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason
    inducting Ambassador Edward Crawford

    Ambassador Byrne Nason gives award to Ambassador Crawford

    Ambassador Edward Crawford acceptance speech

    Sold out room watching
    Ambassador Edward Crawford's acceptance speech

    Mary and Ambassador Edward Crawford

    Honorary Consul Mark Owens
    and Ambassadors Nason and Crawford

    Mary and Edward Crawford
    with Sheila Murphy Crawford

    Gerry Quinn and John and Mary Lewis

    Kent State friends of Ambassador Crawford

    More friends of Ambassador Crawford

    Jerry Quinn and other friends of Ambassador Crawford

    Congratulations Ambassador Crawford!


    Dona Brady

    Dona Brady

    Dona Brady was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and is of Albanian descent. She was a founder and first president of the Albanian American Association of Cleveland. Dona was instrumental in establishing a Sister City program with Fier, Albania and Cleveland, Ohio. She hosted events in Cleveland for the Mayor of Fier as well as artists and others from Albania,

    Dona worked with several organizations to resettle ethnic Albanian Kosovar refugees who were sent to Cleveland following the war in Kosovo in 1999. Dona was recognized by the American Nationalities Movement for her work with the Albanian community in Greater Cleveland.

    Dona Brady spearheaded the creation of the Albanian Cultural Garden and worked with the community to erect a statue of Mother Teresa. In 2012 Albanian President Bujar Nishani and Albanian Ambassador to the United States Gilbert Galanxhi attended the ribbon cutting ceremony.

    Dona Brady after introducing the Honorable Bujar Nishani, President of Albania
    Dona Brady after introducing
    the Honorable Bujar Nishani, President of Albania

    Dona and the Albanian Cultural Garden hosted a canonization ceremony for Blessed Mother Teresa on Sunday September 4, 2016. "Many people don't know Mother Teresa was Albanian," she commented.

Dona Brady at Mother Teresa statue unveiling
    Dona Brady at Mother Teresa statue unveiling

    Dona earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in urban studies from Cleveland State University Levin College of Urban Affairs. She also graduated from CSU’s Leadership Academy.  Dona was inducted into the Golden Key National Honor Society and was the recipient of the 2005 Outstanding Elected Official’s Award from CSU’s Leadership Academy.

    Dona Brady recently retired from the Cleveland City Council after 20 years of distinguished public service. She currently serves as the Chairwoman of the Albanian American Association of Cleveland and is the Albanian Ambassador to ClevelandPeople.Com, celebrating Cleveland’s cultural diversity.

    Dona Brady leading the Albanian Cultural Garden group at One World Day
    Dona Brady leading the Albanian Cultural Garden group at One World Day

    Dona and her husband Dan live in the Edgewater neighborhood of Cleveland. They have visited Albania five times since 2007.

    The April 23, 2024 induction event at Windows on the River was a sell out with 500 people in attendance.

    Dona was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame by her former colleague Cleveland Councilman Michael Polensek. Ward 8 Councilman Michael D. Polensek, the "dean" of city council, has served the neighborhoods of northeast Cleveland since 1978, making him the longest-serving Council member in the city's history. He was inducted himself into the Hall of Fame last year.

    Here is the video of entire Cleveland International Hall of Fame ceremony. You can jump to about 40:12 to watch Dona Brady being inducted by Mike Polensek and her acceptance remarks.

    Enjoy these images of Dona Brady from the Cleveland International Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

    Albanian community honoring Dona Brady

    Albanian community table with Dona Brady

    Councilman Mike Polensek inducting Dona Brady

    Councilman Mike Polensek gives Dona Brady her award

    Dona Brady gives her acceptance speech

    Judge Sydney Strickland Saffold, Mike Polensek,
    Dona Brady and Judge Jeff Johnson

    Dona Brady with Hall of Fame co-founder Debbie Hanson

    Congratulations Dona!


    Erika Puussaar

    Erika Puussaar

    Erika Kikut Puussaar was born in a small village named Vandra in central Estonia. Artur and Elmire Kikut, along with their children Silva, Aksi, and Erika (Villi born later) escaped their homeland to avoid Soviet occupation. After many tumultuous events while escaping, they were finally united with an Estonian Displaced Person’s camp in Germany. The next procedure was the desire to immigrate to the USA.

    To immigrate, their family of six had to obtain a guarantee of support from an American sponsor. Due to their large family, we had to wait in line for seven years to get that sponsor. Erika says, “When our ship arrived in New York and I saw the Statue of Liberty, I realized a dream come true! We first settled in Detroit, Michigan and then Ann Arbor. After many years of being a vagabond, we finally were homeowners!”

    The Kikut children attended the Ann Arbor public schools. Erika  graduated from Pioneer High School and then from Northern Michigan University. In between those years, she was married to Aavo Puussaar (another Estonian). They were married for 54 years when he passed away.  They had one son, Martin, who is now deceased.

    Erika earned a master’s degree from Cleveland State University. She had the great joy of being an elementary teacher in Wickliffe, OH for thirty years and was honored as “Teacher of the Year” in 1988. She is an active member of Faith Lutheran Church in Mentor, Ohio and school board member at Our Shepherd Lutheran School in Painesville. Erika says, “As has been proven in my case, education is one steppingstone to opportunity.  Being of service to others is my highest priority. After all, I was coached by many mentors to navigate through unfamiliar waters. I was raised by a strong family, as well as boiled potatoes and herring!”

    Among her many activities and accomplishments, Erika has served as President of the Estonian Cultural Garden and has helped maintain the garden for over 50 years. She helps celebrate Estonian Victory Day and Jaanipaeva every June in the Garden.

    Erika Puussaar speaking in the Estonian Cultural Garden

    Erika is Past Vice President/Board member of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens and Vice President of the Baltic American Committee Greater Cleveland Area.  She helped organize an annual Ecumenical Prayer Service in remembrance of the deportations to Siberia of the Baltic peoples.

    Erika was   honored with the Freedom Award from the American Nationalities Movement which was formed for the purpose of uniting all the nationalities in the United States in the goal to educate, advocate and represent their interests of all the diverse ethnic groups to the public and mostly to the political leaders of the United States.

    Judge Ralph Perk Jr., Irene Morrow and Erika Puussaar

    Erika continues to support the local Estonian communities’ activities as well as keeping informed of conditions in her homeland. She says, “I take great pleasure in watching my two grandchildren, Sam Puussaar and Elmire (Emmi) Puussaar thrive. As always, working in my precious flower garden brings me both happiness and peace!”

    The April 23, 2024 induction event at Windows on the River was a sell out with 500 people in attendance. Erika Puussaar was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame by Estonia´s Ambassador to the United States Mr. Kristjan Prikk. Before assuming his current duties, Ambassador Prikk served for nearly three years as the Permanent Secretary of the Estonian Ministry of Defense. Ambassador Prikk performed his required military service in the Estonian Defense Forces, where he remains a reserve officer, and has been decorated with the Order of the White Star by the President of the Republic of Estonia, the Cross of Merit of the Ministry of Defense of Estonia, as well as other decorations.

    Here is the video of entire Cleveland International Hall of Fame ceremony. You can jump to about 1:17:44 to watch Erika Puussaar being inducted by Ambassador Prikk.

    Enjoy these images of Erika Puussaar from the Cleveland International Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

    Estonian Ambassador Kristjan Prikk being introduced

    Estonian Ambassador Kristjan Prikk

    Erika Puussaar receives award
    from Estonian Ambassador Kristjan Prikk

    Erika Puussaar giving acceptance speech

    MC Russ Mitchell lends a hand to Erika Puussaar

    Erika Puussaar with Estonian Ambassador and friends

    Erika Puussaar table

    Ukrainian leaders Marta Kelleher and Dr. George Jaskiw
    with Estonian Ambassador Kristjan Prikk

    Erika Puussaar with
    Egyptian Garden delegate Samy Tanious

    Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin
    with Estonian Ambassador Kristkan Prikk

    Slovenian Consul General Alenka Jerak,
    Estonian Ambassador Kristjan Prikk and
    Honorary Consul of Lithuania Ingrida Bublys

    Erika Puussaar with 2023 inductee Pierre Bejjani

    Ukrainian leader Marta Kelleher with
    Estonian Ambassador Kristjan Prikk

    Ukrainian leaders Dr. George Jaskiw and Marta Kelleher
    Dan Hanson, Ambassador Kristjan Prikk, Russ Mitchell
    and Honorary Lithuanian Consul Ingrida Bublys

    Erika Puussaar and Oanh Loi-Powell

    Congratulations Erika!


    Pat Dowd

    Pat Dowd

    Pat Dowd is the daughter of the late Tom and Millie Dowd and the oldest in her family of five siblings: Judy Wade, Kathy Dowd, Ginny Gaskill, Maureen Dowd, and Joe Dowd.  She attended St. Agnes and St. Aloysius grade schools in Cleveland, Ursuline Academy of the Sacred Heart, St. John College of Cleveland, and John Carroll University.  Pat’s Irish heritage, inherited from both her mother and her father, traces back to County Mayo, Ireland.

    Patricia Dowd is well known throughout the Irish American community for promoting the culture and her ongoing support for, and participation in, numerous functions and activities. She studied elementary education while at St. John College and eventually taught at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Wickliffe. She next moved on to a career in business at Snider Blake and later expanded her skills and career as a personnel and purchasing manager for 27 years. Pat's love of her Irish heritage took her into a new career as she became the founder and owner of Irish Moments, an Irish ceramic and porcelain gift-ware business. Many have received her gifts or seen her creations at craft fairs, Irish festivals, specialty shops and the East Side and West Side Irish American Clubs.

    Pat is a charter member of the Irish American Club East Side.  She has served as an officer for many years and served on numerous committees. She is also a member of the West Side Irish American Club. She was president of the Padraic Pearse Center which is the cultural arm of the Irish American Club East Side.  The center’s purpose is to promote Irish heritage and culture through such activities as its library, Irish dance and Gaelic language lessons, various lectures, theatrical productions and educational programs.

    Pat was also a member of the Famine Memorial Committee. The Irish Famine Memorial monument, and surrounding area on the East bank of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland’s Flats, is a memorial to the Great Hunger, the famine of the 1840’s. 

    Her work promoting Irish culture has been recognized by many. She was honored as the 2002 St. Patrick's Day Parade co-chair and the East Side Club's "Member of the Year".

    She was honored by the Irish American Archives Society who summarized: "Whatever needs to be done, Pat is there to lend a hand and loves to be involved. She is proud of her Irish heritage and does whatever she can to promote it and keep it alive."

    Pat was inducted by Gerry Quinn.

    Watch the video (below) of Gerry Quinn inducting Pat Dowd and then Pat's acceptance speech.

    Patricia Dowd

    Patricia Dowd

    Pat Dowd and Gerry Quinn


    Georgine Welo

    Georgine Welo

    As a young woman being raised in a Serbian Orthodox home, Georgine Welo  (maiden name Coso), would be spotted on Friday nights at Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral’s Cultural classes, attending Sunday School, reading the Epistle and working at all the Church banquets at Saint Sava Cathedral in Parma Ohio.

    Georgine and other girls would be serving the banquets and afterwards washing dishes and assisting in any manner her mother and other women at Serb Hall saw fit. As she grew older she followed the footsteps of many others in teaching Sunday School. She was an Assistant Teacher while in High School. In 1976, she would go each day after school to assist the Serbian Lodges in hosting the National Serbian Basketball Tournament in Cleveland Ohio.

    It was very important to her parents, Sam and Dorothy Coso, that she attend a college close to her home. They decided that Akron University would be a good fit as the church had a van that would pick her up at her Dorm Room to attend choir practice and church services. While attending the University of Akron, Georgine was very active with the Serbian choir and church.  She enjoyed traveling with the choir to different Serbian Communities throughout the United States and Canada, along with being active in the Serbian dances and events at Saint Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church in Akron. It was during this time she became active in the Serbian Singing Society.

    While in college she loved being active with her Serbian Lodge and played in several Serbian Basketball Tournaments and worked many of the Labor Day Njegosh Days in which Baseball and Golf Tournaments were held. In 1977 she won the title of Miss Njegosh and spent the next years working any and all events.

    In 1978, Georgine returned home to Cleveland and became engaged to her husband of now 43 years Carter Welo. Besides becoming engaged she jumped right back into being active in her Serbian community. She immediately restarted the S.S.S. Njegosh Choir and enlisted her friend Michele Julylia to be the full time Director and recruited many of her family, Kumovi, friends and even her new fiancé to join! At the same time the Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese regained ownership of “Shadeland” a Serbian Camp in Pennsylvania. Word travelled fast throughout the Serbian parishes that the camp was very run down and that there was very little chance the camp would open for at least a year. Georgine’s husband was in the process of buying the True Value Hardware store where he worked. He had several friends who were in the trades and the two of them organized a team of people to work each weekend to repair, paint and bring back to life the old camp ground! It took not only elbow grease but a lot of coordination to raise the funds! That summer “Shadeland” opened and today has become one of the biggest Serbian Summer Camps in the United States.

    In the summer of 1979, Georgine married Carter and that fall became President of SSS Njegosh Choir and continued her involvement in the Serbian Singing Society, Lodge, and Church.  In the early 1980’s, her Uncle Steve Coso was President of Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral and her Kumovi Marlene Voinov approached her Uncle and others including Georgine about the idea of hosting a “Serbian Festival” at the Cathedral.  Georgine did not hesitate and jumped in with both feet. Both her and her husband Carter chaired the Children’s Games, Adult Games and Cevap Station. The two of them loved working with Svetozar Nikolic making the Cevaps and manning the booth. Over the years as her responsibilities have grown and she no longer chairs a committee but can be found working in the barbecue lamb and pig stand.

    Because of Georgine’s involvement with the Serbian Singing Society, she learned about the opportunity of Serbian parishes hosting the national Singing Festival each Memorial Day weekend and approached the Cathedral Board following a presentation to her fellow SSS Njegosh choir members. The Board gave Georgine and the choir the thumbs up to submit a bid and they won the 1983 bid! Even though Georgine had just had her daughter Nicole in December of 1982, she in no way was giving up the Chairmanship! Saint Sava Cathedral and the SSS Njegosh Choir hosted a very successful Festival weekend in which then Cleveland Mayor George Voinvovich presented the Serbian Singing Society President, Paul Belich and the organization, a resolution declaring Saturday May 28,1983, Serbian Singing Society Day in the city of Cleveland, Ohio.

    A hub for Cleveland Festivals of the past was Mall C in the heart of Cleveland’s downtown. It was flanked by the city’s major civic and governmental building and hosted the yearly Cleveland Nationality Festival. Each year Cleveland’s Cultural organizations hosted booths and sold both food and wares to raise money for their treasuries. Georgine chaired the Serbian booth for many years and worked alongside several groups to prepare the food, schedule booth workers and organize Serbian Entertainment for the main stage. The festival faded away until the Cleveland Cultural Gardens began, “One World Day” which has grown into a Northeast Ohio favorite in which each nationality opens and hosts their gardens for the day along with participating in the Annual Kick off Parade.  In 2019, the Serbian Cultural Gardens led by Chair Alex Machaskee, hosted the naturalization program on the mainstage and Georgine was honored to serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies.

    Under the urging of her Uncle Jon Malakar, Georgine joined the St. Sava Cathedral Board and by now  was the mother of 3 children. She was the Assistant Treasurer for several years and lead the committees to bring air conditioning to the church, paint the parish home and she became the editor of the Sunday Bulletin and Quarterly “St. Sava Herold” which was mailed to the Cathedrals membership and neighboring parishes. Each week Georgine would work with the priest and local organizations and Sunday School to prepare the Sunday Bulletin. She took great pride in having it translated each week in both Serbian and English. She worked hard to fill each quarterly Herold with an even blend of religion and culture, often writing pieces on Serbian traditions and Religious Holidays. To this day, many people come across old copies and enjoy her articles of the past.

    Anyone who knows Georgine knows that her passion has always been for the Serbian youth and people. Her mother Dorothy Coso encouraged her to follow her as a Sunday School teacher. When asked by Proto Vasko Sokolovic to become the Principal of the Sunday School, she did not hesitate. Georgine enlisted teachers, new and seasoned, to help her grow the school and assist the principal of the Serbian Cultural School to enlarge their dance classes and add a tamburitza teacher. Soon she organized an Annual Kumovi Day, Youth Group, Saint Nicholas Day and Sunday Luncheon to raise dollars for new Alter Boy robes. Her love for the children carried on for years.

    As everyone knows, Serbs love basketball! Each year the Serbian National Federation holds an Annual Basketball Tournament for the United State and Canadian Lodges. The cost to attend such a function and the renting of gyms for the players was becoming quite expensive for many families. Georgine and her husband Carter formed a committee to begin raising funds to allow all Serbian children and their families to attend the tournaments. The parents and coaches were embraced by the community and an annual raffle and other fundraisers were formed to provide resources for all. Little do many know, but Georgine played on Cleveland Baba’s Basketball team well into her 40’s!

    Over the years, Georgine, who is so proud of her Serbian heritage, has worked to share it with others by writing and securing an Ohio Arts Grant to bring a Serbian Tamburitzan Orchestra from Novi Sad, Serbia to Ohio. She secured Notre Dame College for a free concert.  The Main Library branch of the Cuyahoga County Library in Parma, with Georgine’s help, was the venue for a Serbian dance troupe from Switzerland.   However, the real excitement came when she teamed with Alex Machaskee, at Cleveland’s Severance Hall, for a performance by the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra.  All events were open to the public and truly showcased the culture of Ohio’s Serbian people.

    Georgine also helped Alex Machaskee raise funds for Hilander Serbian Monastery at Mt. Athos which was destroyed by a fire.  The concert by the famous Legende Orchestra of Belgrade was a sellout at Severance Hall and helped significantly with rebuilding the monastery.

    In 2019, Georgine was asked to speak at the Annual Eastern European Congress of Ohio’s Annual Eastern European Month Dinner Celebration which occurs each April. She spoke about her Serbian Eastern heritage and how it impacted her life and how grateful she is to have been raised by two loving parents and the Serbian community.  That year the Congress honored Elizabeth Ann Diles, Carpatho-Rusyn. Georgine was very honored as Elizabeth was the Vice President of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society and she had just returned from a civilian mission with the Ohio National Guard through a program with the State Department.

    In 2018 and 2019, Georgine assisted in two civilian missions to Serbia in which she organized book and art supply drives.  She brought hundreds of books to the city of Kraljevo’s Public Library and met with school children to speak about the Serbian heritage and traditions that continue in America. They really enjoyed playing basketball with her in the Elementary School Gym which was rebuilt after an earthquake by the Ohio National Guard and were surprised how well she could “Kolo” dance!  From Kralijevo she traveled by bus to Subotica Serbia to visit the Svetozar Markovic School. There she brought the students art supplies to allow them to paint, sketch and draw art work of their Serbian heritage.

    Georgine has received many awards including a 1995 Award from the American Professional Serbian Business Association in Pittsburgh.  She has also hosted many groups from Serbia including professors, students and government officials.

    In November 2003, Georgine Welo became the first woman elected Mayor of the City of South Euclid, a position she still holds.

    Professional positions include:

    Civilian Ambassador with the Ohio National Guard in conjunction with Sister Cities International
    Vice-Chair of NOPEC
    Chair of NOPEC Finance
    Current Member, International Cleveland Communities Advisory Committee, Cleveland Museum of Art
    Current Executive Member, Heights Regional Chambers of Commerce
    Current Member, Ohio First Suburbs Consortium
    Current Member, Euclid Creek Watershed Council
    Current Member, The Mayor’s Association of Ohio
    Current Member, Northeast Ohio Mayor and Managers Association
    Current Member, Council of Government, Community Partnership on Aging (formerly Tri-City Consortium on Aging)
    Advisory Board Member of the Center for Population Dynamics Maxine Goodman Levin College of
    Urban Affairs;
    Honorary Board Member, Hillcrest Meals on Wheels
    Past Board Member, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA)
    Past Chair of the GCRTA Operational Planning & Infrastructure Committee
    Past Chair of the GCRTA Strategic Governing Team
    Past Chair of the GCRTA Ad Hoc By-Laws Committee
    Past Chair of the GCRTA Nominating Committee
    Past Chair of the GCRTA Procurement for the GM Search
    Past Member of the GCRTA Audit, Safety Compliance & Real Estate Committee
    Past Member of the GCRTA External & Stakeholder Relations & Advocacy Committee
    Past Chair of NOPEC Gas & Electric Committee
    Past Chair of the NOPEC Demand Side Market Entry Advisory Services Committee
    Past Board Member, Auditor of State’s Northeast Ohio Regional Advisory Board
    Past Member, Regional Prosperity Initiative
    Past Executive Member of Northeast Ohio Mayors and Managers Association
    Past President of Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association
    Past Chair of the Government and Community Relations Advisory Council, Notre Dame College
    Past Vice-president, Suburban Council of Governments, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
    Past Executive Member, First Suburbs Consortium
    Past Member, Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG)
    Past Board of Trustee, Ohio Municipal League
    Past Board of Trustee, University Suburban Medical Center, South Euclid
    Past Grant Member, NOPEC Powering Our Community
    Past Vice-Chair of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation Board
    Past Vice-Chair of the Cuyahoga County Mayors and Managers
    Past Chairperson of the NOPEC Demand Side
    Past Chairperson, First Suburbs Consortium
    Past Chairperson, Euclid Creek Watershed Council
    Past Board Chairperson, Sourcing Office
    Past Board Member, Strategic Planning, Cuyahoga County Public Library
    Past Board of Trustee, Notre Dame College, South Euclid Ohio
    Past Board Member, Regina High School
    Past Secretary, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Suburban Council of Governments
    Past Member, SELREC Council of Governments
    Past Member, Cuyahoga County Planning Commission
    Past Member Cuyahoga County JABG Review Committee (Juvenile Accountability Block Grant funding)
    Past Member, District One Public Works Integrating Committee
    Past Member, Northeast Ohio Mayor’s Think Tank, Kent State University
    Administrative Bailiff, Judge Ann T. Mannen, Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, 1998-2003
    Member, Zoning and Planning Committee, City of South Euclid 1998-2003
    Council President Pro-Tem, City of South Euclid 1996-1998
    Council Person, City of South Euclid, Ohio 1992-1998
    Chairperson, Charter Review Commission, City of South Euclid, 1994, 2005

    Civic Activities include:

    Notre Dame College’s Centennial Steering Committee
    Global Cleveland Mentor
    Mistress of Ceremony for One World Day
    Board Member, Daily Dose of Reading (Dr. S. Senders and Associates)
    Host Committee Cleveland Rape Crisis Center 2010
    Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Sing Out Choir 2018
    Host Committee Cleveland Film Commission 2010 Red Carpet Event
    Co-Hostess 2009 S.H.O.W.E.R. Event, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
    Host Committee – Cleveland Public Theatre Pandemonium 2008
    Host Committee – Regina Gala 2008
    Member, 2008 United Way Eastern Regional Market Committee Member
    Member of the League of Women Voters
    Member of the Stonewall Democrats Chairperson, South Euclid Home Days
    Member of Cleveland Cultural Gardens
    Member, South Euclid Garden Club
    Member, South Euclid Lyndhurst PTA
    Member, Charles F. Brush Athletic Booster
    Member, Regina High School Campaign Steering Committee
    Member, South Euclid Democratic Club.
    Member, Cuyahoga County Democratic Club, Precinct Committee person for
    The Cuyahoga County Democratic Club,
    Past Member, Serbian Arts Council
    Past Board Member, Loyola Society, St. Ignatius High School
    Past Member, South Euclid Ad-Hoc Committee on Recreation
    Past Vice President, South Euclid, Co-op Pre-School
    Past Assistant Treasurer, St. Sava Cathedral, Parma Ohio
    Past Sunday School Superintendent, St. Sava Cathedral, Parma Ohio
    Past President S.S.S. Njegosh Choir President

    Recognitions include:

    Recipient 2015 Silver and Gold First Responders for Greater Cleveland
    Nominee 2015 “Public Sector Leader” Award; Greater Ohio Policy Center
    Recipient 2014 “Northeast Ohio Visionary Leader” Award; Building One Ohio
    Recipient 2011 Outstanding Leadership Award; Euclid Creek Watershed Partnership
    Recipient 2010 Crain’s Emerald Award
    Recipient First Suburbs Consortium Hero Award, November 15, 2007
    from University Heights, Ohio.
    Recipient 2005 and 2006 Most Influential Person of the Year, Sun Newspapers
    Recipient: Award for Civic Service, 100th Anniversary, and December 5, 1996
    The Citizens League of Greater Cleveland
    Recipient: Award for Public Service, November 1995
    American Serbian Businessman’s Association

    Mayor Welo's immediate family consists of:

    Husband – Carter A. Welo Sr. (Owner South Euclid True Value Hardware)
    Daughter – Nicole M. Welo (husband Mark Mailler)
    Sons – Carter A. Welo, Jr. (wife Jackie, son – Carter A. III, daughter – Lillian Avery); and
    Miles P. Welo (wife Erin, daughter – Caroline Nicole, son – Miles Philip Jr.)

    Mayor Georgine Welo was inducted by Alex Machaskee

    Watch the video (below) of Alex Machaskee inducting Mayor Welo and then Georgine's acceptance speech.

    Mayor Georgine Welo

    Alex Machaskee and Mayor Georgine Welo

    Mayor Georgine Welo and Alex Machaskee

    Mayor Georgine Welo


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