In Tribute 2018

In Tribute 2018

View the event testimonials video and images from this event.

David AbbottOn Tuesday, October 30, 2018 in the Cleveland State University Student Center, approximately 150 people gathered to honor the 2018 In Tribute to the Public Service honoree David Abbott, executive director of the George Gund Foundation in Cleveland.  Mr. Abbott has served in many roles in the Cleveland community over the years, including positions with Cuyahoga County, the Cleveland Bicentennial Commission, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, University Circle Inc., and the Fund for Our Economic Future. The College applauds his service to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

As executive director of The George Gund Foundation, a grantmaking organization focused primarily on Cleveland and committed to making Cleveland, and urban areas generally, more globally competitive, livable, sustainable and just, Mr. Abbott oversees the Foundation’s work in the arts, community and economic development, education, the environment, and human services.  He is a member of the executive committee of The Fund for Our Economic Future, a collaboration of grantmakers, and serves on the board of Team NEO, a partnership of business and philanthropy. Both are working to catalyze economic transformation of Northeast Ohio. 

Prior to joining the Gund Foundation, he served as president of University Circle Incorporated, executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and executive director of the Cleveland Bicentennial Commission. Abbott was also the Cuyahoga County administrator and, early in his career, a reporter for The Plain Dealer.  He holds a B.A. in political science from Denison University, a M.S. in journalism from Columbia University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

In Tribute 2018
About In Tribute to the Public Service

The In Tribute to the Public Service Award was established in 1985 to honor individuals who demonstrate exemplary leadership in public life and contribute significantly to the betterment of Northeast Ohio. Over the past 33 years, the program has saluted 38 individuals who have made significant contributions to public service in Greater Cleveland. It is a special event that celebrates the service and support of an esteemed individual dedicated to the mission of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and to the Greater Cleveland community.


Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
Cuyahoga Community College
PNC Bank

Gold Table:

Charles and Charlotte Fowler

Cleveland Foundation
Enterprise Community Partners
Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation
Port of Cleveland
Reverend Hilton O. Smith

Robert and Judy Rawson, Jr.

Steven A. Minter

The Center for Community Solutions

The George Gund Foundation

William B. Summers, Jr.

Have questions about In Tribute to the Public Service? Email: or call: 216.687.2135.