MEET HANNAH FRITZMAN BELSITO (MUPD '11)
I knew I wanted to pivot my career path to be even more strategically focused on connecting people to place - I also wanted to gain institutional knowledge and historical context to better understand how to make impact. Levin gave me that grounding.
- Master of Urban Planning and Development, Cleveland State University
- B.A., Communications, John Carroll University
Where are you currently residing?
Where are you from?
- Position Title: Vice President of Destination Development & Community Affairs
- Place of Employment: Destination Cleveland
- Job Duties: Destination Cleveland is Cleveland's Convention & Visitors Bureau, focused on increasing the number of business and leisure travelers coming to Cleveland. Hannah leads the organization's destination development efforts by working with community partners to enhance the visitor experience and strengthen the destination. These efforts ensure community-wide destination development investments increase and travel-related strategies are connected and aligned. She seeks to continually advance Cleveland as a visitor destination through organizational community engagement strategies.
Board, Cleveland Restoration Society (2013-present); Community Advisory Board, ideastream (2012-present); Council Appointee, Lakewood City Planning Commission (2011-present); Committee Member, LakewoodAlive (2009- 2012); Member, The National Trust for Historic Preservation (2008-present); Member, Cleveland Restoration Society (2008-present); Board, Frontline Services (formerly Mental Health Services) (2007-2013); Mentor, The Rotsky Foundation for Mentors (2005-2013); Interim Board, Engage! Cleveland (2011-2012); Committee Member, Cuyahoga County Equity Committee (2010-2011); Co-Founder, Cleveland ConneXion (2006)
Why did you decide to attend Levin?
I've always been interested in the connections between people and place. I wanted to learn about how communities have been developed, influenced, impacted, improved, and preserved over time and how I can be part of their future.
How did your experience at Levin influence your career path?
I knew I wanted to pivot my career path to be even more strategically focused on connecting people to place - but I wanted to the institutional knowledge and historical context to better understand how to make impact. Levin gave me that grounding.
What's your favorite Levin memory?
It was incredible to learn alongside students and professors that cared as passionately about people and place as me. My favorite memory is of the individuals in my class that I'm seeing make tremendous change in the community I love today. It's an honor to know that I learned alongside them.
What piece of advice do you have for current Levin graduate students?
Ask questions. Challenge status quo. Learn. Engage. Consider how urban planning, design and development impacts the connections between people.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned at Levin?
Many of the social and economic challenges cities face today are the result of urban planning decisions made in the past. We have to work together to ensure we are improve these impacts into the future.
What inspires you about Northeast Ohio? Why?
It's cliché, but the people. We are hard-working, passionate people. We love our city and one another.
In your opinion, what’s Northeast Ohio’s best kept secret?
What’s one thing someone would be surprised to learn about you?
That I drove in a Presidential Motorcade.
What issues are you passionate about/what inspires you?I'm incredibly passionate about historic buildings and the stories they have to tell. I think every person and every place has a rich history to share with the world. And, I'm inspired by these stories. The connect us all. And, they connect us to places.
Who’s your hero and why?
I believe the heroes we are looking for are within ourselves.