Dr. Bloomberg named among nine extraordinary women leaders in the region
YWCA Greater Cleveland recently announced its 2024 Women of Achievement Award honorees. This award is presented annually to a select group of Northeast Ohio women who have achieved extraordinary accomplishments through career success, community service, and dedication to YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.
This year, nine women will receive the award at YWCA’s Woman of Achievement Award Ceremony, which will be held on May 30, 2024 at Severance Hall. This group of honorees represent organizations across Northeast Ohio that are investing in the betterment and progress of women and girls in our community.
The 2024 Women of Achievement Honorees are:
- India L. Birdsong Terry General Manager & Chief Executive Officer, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
- Laura J. Bloomberg, Ph.D., President, Cleveland State University
- Jenice Contreras Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development (NEOHCED)
- Vickie Johnson Chief Community Officer, Cleveland Clinic
- Lillian Kuri President and CEO, Cleveland Foundation
- Jeneen Marziani State President, Bank of America Ohio; President Bank of America Cleveland
- A'Shira Nelson, CPA Tax Manager, Director, Wellspring Financial Advisors
- Airica Steed, Ed.D., MBA, RN President and CEO, MetroHealth System
- Bonita G. Teeuwen Chief Operating Officer, City of Cleveland
“The nine women who were chosen from a record-breaking number of nominations are remarkable and it will be an honor to celebrate them,” said Helen Forbes Fields, YWCA Greater Cleveland President and CEO. “The 2024 class has demonstrated unwavering commitment, leadership, and dedication to advancing women's rights and empowerment in our community.”
The Women of Achievement Academy boasts over 250 past honorees, all of whom are esteemed leaders, movers and shakers making an impact in Northeast Ohio.
MEET THE 2024 YWCA WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT HONOREES
India L. Birdsong Terry joined the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager on September 16, 2019. She brings nearly 15 years’ experience working in positions of increasing responsibility in the public transit industry, most recently in Nashville, where she served as Chief Operating Officer, and in Chicago. At RTA, Birdsong Terry oversees more than 2,300 employees at one of the largest transit system in Ohio, which provides more than 35 million annual rides to customers using the bus, rail, paratransit, trolley and bus rapid transit system across the county’s 457 square miles. Responsible for managing the Authority’s $292 million operating budget, Birdsong Terry is committed to transparent leadership, management accountability and sound financial oversight.
Laura J. Bloomberg, Ph.D. was appointed the eighth president of Cleveland State University (CSU) in the spring of 2022. She had previously served at CSU as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs since the fall of 2021. She has guided strategic initiatives that support CSU’s ability to create an academic community in which everyone can thrive and enrich the surrounding region. Before Cleveland State, Bloomberg served eight years as dean and prior associate dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. In that capacity, Bloomberg led the global expansion of the school, established a national pathway program for students underrepresented in public policymaking, launched an internationally focused Human Rights degree, and developed the Mandela Washington Fellowship program to support young leaders from countries across Africa.
Jenice Contreras is an established leader in small business and community development, healthcare and nonprofit management. Currently, she serves as the Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development (the Center). Under the Center, Jenice is responsible for the NEO Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and community development. Jenice is a driving force around the neighborhood redevelopment efforts in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood known as La Villa Hispana. La Villa Hispana is a cultural and economic placemaking initiative in the most densely populated Hispanic enclave in the state of Ohio. Under Jenice’s leadership, the Center has ventured into the first real estate development of La Villa Hispana known as CentroVilla25 where she represents the organization as Project Owner and a Co-developer.
Vickie Johnson is Cleveland Clinic’s first Chief Community Officer. She leads Cleveland Clinic’s efforts to nurture healthy communities, improve our neighbors’ lives and meet their evolving needs. Vickie guides strategic community planning nationally and internationally while cultivating collaborations with local institutions, government agencies, elected officials and healthcare professionals to bring about meaningful change. Vickie has decades of leadership experience in Cleveland’s nonprofit, government and business sectors. She most recently served as Cleveland Clinic’s Senior Director, Government and Community Relations, where she led the initiative to attract a Meijer grocery store and bring affordable housing to the Fairfax neighborhood; facilitated a $52.5 million gift to support lead safety; and designed Cleveland Clinic’s Louis Stokes Summer Internship Program to foster future healthcare workers.
Lillian Kuri became President & CEO of the Cleveland Foundation on August 1, 2023. She is the first woman to hold the full-time president and CEO position at the nation’s oldest community foundation. Lillian’s entire career has demonstrated her passion to improve the quality of life of all people in Greater Cleveland. Prior to becoming President & CEO, Lillian had served as the foundation’s Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer since 2021, leading the development of the foundation’s strategic plan and the design execution, operations and community planning for the foundation’s new headquarters in MidTown. Lillian has also had appointments from four successive Cleveland mayoral administrations and recently played an important civic role as a member of Mayor Justin Bibb’s Operations Task Force.
Jeneen Marziani is Bank of America’s state president for Ohio and the president of Cleveland, responsible for growing Bank of America’s business and reputation in the Cleveland market and across the state. That includes driving business integration by connecting Bank of America’s capabilities across their eight lines of business to people and companies in Cleveland. It also includes deploying Bank of America’s resources to build strong communities. Jeneen is committed to ensuring that Bank of America is a great place to work by connecting employees to the broader enterprise, championing a culture of diversity and inclusion, and fostering opportunities for employees in Cleveland to develop and grow. In addition to her responsibilities in Cleveland, Jeneen represents Ohio on state-wide initiatives focused on public policy activities and key issues in Ohio.
A'Shira Nelson, CPA, serves as Tax Manager and Director at Wellspring Financial Advisors. In this role she oversees the firm's Tax Department, which includes day-to-day management and oversight of the tax team in addition to tax research and forward-looking planning for the firm's ultra-high-net-worth clients. With over 12 years of industry experience, A'Shira delivers innovative solutions. As a manager, A'Shira meets regularly with Wellspring's leadership team to discuss the firm's strategic goals and initiatives. She is also a member of the firm's DEI Committee, which was established to help build a workforce that encourages flexibility and fairness to enable all employees to reach their full potential. A’Shira also founded Savvy Girl Money, a financial empowerment platform with a mission to educate and inspire women to take control of their finances.
Airica Steed, Ed.D., MBA, RN, President and CEO MetroHealth System, is leading innovative approaches to transform patient care beyond traditional healthcare walls and championing a commitment to eradicating health disparities and advancing the health and wealth of the communities. She is a highly accomplished and award-winning transformational healthcare executive with over 20 years of exceptional leadership skills and has a proven track record of championing health equity, driving results, and leading large-scale transformation of health organizations. Dr. Steed is a fearless champion for Diversity and Inclusion and has advocated for the recruitment of underrepresented physicians and physician leaders to better mirror the population that the community serves. Prior to moving to Cleveland, Dr. Steed served as the System Chief Operating Officer/Executive Vice President at Sinai Health System in Chicago.
Bonita G. Teeuwen, Chief Operating Officer of the City of Cleveland, oversees both enterprise and general fund departments: Port Control, Public Utilities, Public Works, and the Mayor’s Office of Capital Projects. These departments are the largest and most public-facing areas of public service. As the COO, she is leading many projects that will have lasting change on our region: lakefront development, the transition of struggling City assets like Highland Park Golf Course and the West Side Market to more effective nonprofit management, a Parks and Recreation master plan, and strategic investments in City facilities. In all the departments she oversees, she sets an expectation that service be equitable to all residents of Cleveland. Further, she enthusiastically leads and engages in projects that promote racial equity in City neighborhoods and facilities.
Congratulations to all of the 2024 Women of Achievement Award honorees!