Civic engagement with Cleveland is second nature to Sunny Nixon, a two time alumnus of Cleveland State University. Growing up in Dover, Ohio, 90 minutes south of Cleveland, she first fell in love with the "The Forest City” when her dad brought her family to Cleveland to attend the annual convention for the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association. Nixon recalls being mesmerized by the impressive malls and lakefront that define Cleveland’s downtown.
Decades later, as Board Chair of Cleveland Concert Company, Nixon, who earned her bachelor's in communications and J.D. from CSU, played an integral role in reimagining the Cleveland Mall park space. She served as organizer of the InCuya Festival, a two-day music festival in August 2018 that featured 20-plus international, national and local acts, including the Avett Brothers, Booker T. Jones, Awolnation, New Order and SZA. Nixon was pleased with the inaugural festival and looks forward to how the festival can expand in future years.
The InCuya Festival is just one of several ways Nixon has invested herself in the city and community she loves. Her post-law school career started as an Associate General Counsel for Explorys, Inc., a healthcare intelligence cloud company. She later joined healthcare software company CoverMyMeds LLC as Senior Corporate Counsel. In those roles, she provided legal and business counsel in a management capacity, while helping to expand the community focused missions of both firms. Each company was acquired by Fortune 50 companies during Nixon’s employment.
“I have been fortunate enough to have been able to use my law degree for purpose-driven work, both in the private and nonprofit sectors,” said Nixon. “Being able to use my law degree for an organization I believe in really is a gift.”
Nixon is currently involved with the Unify Project, a new nonprofit startup she joined in early 2018 that leverages the power of advanced technology to optimize an inclusive economy. Nixon is the organization’s Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Counsel, where she oversees business operations and advises on strategy.
Nixon’s time away from the Unify Project and organizing the InCuya Festival is mainly dedicated to several other civic engagements. She serves on the Advisory Board for The Grocery OHC, on the Board of Trustees for the Cleveland Leadership Center and on multiple committees for the Cleveland Food Bank.
Despite all this, Nixon has managed to stay involved with the University that she credits for giving her the quality education that has allowed her to the opportunity to attain her goals. She sits on the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Association’s Board of Trustees and co-chairs the law school’s mentoring program which pairs every new student with an alumni mentor.
“I am energized about the possibilities for supporting CSU’s recent graduates and current students,” said Nixon. “Our faculty provided me with a strong foundation for my future, and it is my turn to give back.”