The Team

Mike Shafarenko*

Director, Civic Commons ideastream 

Mike was part of the small group inside the Fund for Our Economic Future that conceived of the idea that became the Civic Commons. Prior to the Commons, Mike was the Manager of Finance and Operations for the Fund for Our Economic Future where he oversaw grantmaking and organizational operations and led the development and implementation of EfficientGovNow, a $1 million grant-awarding contest aimed at accelerating government collaboration and efficiency and raising the public's awareness of and engagement with the issue. In 2010, Mike was named Crains' Cleveland Business Forty under 40 and was a StartingBloc Fellow. He serves on the board of the Burning River Foundation and is a partner in Cleveland Social Venture Partners. He lives close to Lake Erie on the westside of Cleveland and plays violin and bass in the bandbinary yellow.

Major Contributors 

Dan Moulthrop joined the Civic Commons on day one, providing strategic guidance and curatorial leadership as the Commons' founding Curator of Conversation. He led the strategic design of the site, created/hosted/produced the Civic Commons podcast, and brought on some of the Commons' initial client projects like Flats Forward and the Northeast Ohio Consortium on Middle East Studies. Dan is currently the CEO of the City Club.

Robin Winzer* was brought on as our technology development manager through a contractual relationship with Level 7. She has done an incredible job managing financial and human resources in order to make ongoing advancements to the Civic Commons site.  

Winston Tsang* has been crafting software professionally for over a decade at Fortune 500 companies such as Electronic Data Systems and Borders Group. He has worked on a wide variety of large systems, including billing & accounts receivable, warehouse management, and e-commerce. Before founding Radberry, Winston led teams in the development of several e-commerce systems, as well as taking responsibility for major Fortune 500 web sites. Winston is an active member of the SouthEast Michigan Ruby community as an organizer and speaker. Winston is a co-organizer of the 2nd Annual Great Lakes Ruby Bash.

Jill Miller Zimon started at the Commons managing the EfficientGovNetwork project. After terrific management and stewardship of the project, we asked Jill to join us as our first Director of Partnerships. Since 2010, she has been a City Council Member in Pepper Pike, Ohio and has continuously chaired its Communications Committee. As a result of using technology in an open, interactive way to inform and engage voters, she received the Campaign Innovator Award for Candidates (2011). She also has won multiple recognitions for her Writes Like She Talks blog. For over ten years, her work has been featured by local, regional and national outlets such as the Washington PostNewsweek.comCampaigns & Elections, the Plain Dealer, CNN, CSPAN, the BBC, Ohio News Network, WCPN and Feagler & Friends. 

Jason Russell was the Commons' very first Project Director. Indeed, there was very little that Jason couldn't and didn't do - customizing and designing landing pages for clients, conducting community meetings, managing analytics/metrics, developing interactive maps, etc. Jason continues to provide support to the Commons while taking on his new role in urban planning at the City of Lakewood, Ohio. 

Daryl Rowland was the Commons' Manager of Marketing, Communications and Outreach. He led the creation and distribution of our weekly newsletter, developed collateral materials, produced an introductory video and drove our efforts to let the world know about the Commons and its efforts.

Becca Braun helped Civic Commons bring a bit more order to our creative chaos by providing short-term paid consulting for operations and business planning in 2010. She hopes the users of Civic Commons will create a new, 2.0 type of conversational engagement. That they will bring their ideas to a platform where they can have meaningful conversations, conversations that create change, like the town hall meeting of yesteryear.

Lisa Canter* is a native of Madison, WI, who moved to Cleveland just last year and loves it! She's stepped in to project manage the website application into existence. Always interested in media and the web, she's enjoying the challenge of launching Civic Commons and hopes it becomes an effective tool and media destination, that helps people communicate in meaningful ways that affect constructive change in our communities. Lisa is currently providing quality assurance testing support.

Christopher Celeste is a champion of good ideas and innovation, an entrepreneur who, since he left advertising years ago, has launched and helped to launch a diverse group of companies and organizations. He served as our Volunteer Launch Director in 2010.

Noelle Celeste joined the Civic Commons on day one, providing strategic guidance and operational leadership as the Commons' founding Director of Engagement. She was instrumental in developing the concept for and relationships with the Commons' "Partners in Principle" and served as a co-host on the Civic Commons radio show and podcast. When she has a moment away from her gig as Publisher of Edible Cleveland, she provides strategic insight and engagement assistance to the Commons.

Parama "Perry" Danoesubroto* grew up in Jakarta, Boston and Chicago and makes his home now in Toronto, Ontario. He is working on the code that supports the commons and describes himself as "passionate about building social media related technologies." He says he hopes the Commons can become "the de-facto standard in which people can interact with their government easily, just like people interacting with others on Facebook."

Jerry D'Antonio of Virtual Hold was our Director of Software Development from January through August, 2011. Jerry has been helping to build the web since the mid-90's. He experienced both the boom and the bust of the Internet bubble first hand. It was the bust that brought Jerry back to the region of his early youth and he now happily resides in Akron. During his time as a software developer Jerry has worked at small startups and big established companies. Jerry is a proud veteran of the US Navy where he was stationed on the amphibious ship USS Duluth LPD-6. 

Luke Frazier is the principal at NOW productions, a multi media production company. He worked with the Commons and WJCU to produce a weekly program and podcast. He makes his home in Cleveland Heights.

Taryn Higgins Gress was with the Commons from June 2011 - July 2012 as the Operations and Communications Coordinator. She also helped coordinate our initial efforts with community champions and assisted on a number of key projects. 

Lia Lockert was a Project Director with the Civic Commons. She recently returned to her hometown of Peninsula after a number of years producing documentaries, wrangling feature film crews, observing international elections, organizing political campaigns, and making mischief on a global scale, as well as picking up a graduate degree at Johns Hopkins. "We're fortunate to live in one of the most resource-rich areas of the country," Lia says, "and I'm excited to partner with people who believe in further strengthening NEO through positive thinking, innovative action and the sharing of ideas."

Kurt Pettit designed our logo. He is one of the first volunteers to join the Civic Commons. He grew up in Bridgeport, and has bounced around Greater Cleveland, now making his home in Mayfield Heights. He says he hopes the Commons "can help Northeast Ohio become a viable community and prosper."

Josh Walsh was the guy responsible for helping us design how the site feels and works. Josh makes his home in North Ridgeville and he says he hopes the Commons will help bring better leadership to our corner of the state. "The beliefs and opinions of its residents are valuable to improving the economy in our region," Josh says, "This project will give the community a voice."

Marc Canter is CEO of Digital City Mechanics (DCM) and is a more than 25-year veteran of the software business. Marc was the original founder of a company called MacroMind which became Macromedia [MACR]. In that regard, you could say Marc was instrumental in giving birth to the multimedia industry. Marc has recently moved from California to the Northeast Ohio area to launch DCM and pursue a PhD in "How to Create New Kinds of Jobs." Marc helped us begin to envision the web environment for the Civic Commons and recruited great developers to bring that vision to life.

Other designers, developers, and testers who helped make the Civic Commons possible

  • Owen Bell
  • Brad Dielman
  • Tom Dooner
  • Joe Fiorini
  • Priyanka Jagdale
  • Joseph Sheppa
  • Len Smith
  • Kevin Solorio
  • Max Thom Stahl
  • Jeff Zellman

* denotes those that are currently paid members of the Civic Commons team either at a full-time capacity or as independent contractors.