International Community Council
-   Worldwide Intercultural Network

  • Kenneth J. Kovach
  • Aklilu Demessie
  • Lisa Wong
  • Alassane Fall
  • Ingrida Bublys
  • Radhika Reddy

Kenneth J. Kovach

President, Board of Directors

Ken Kovach has built upon his advanced studies to develop a 40 year-plus professional practice in the fields of sociology, human resources development and international development. He has special expertise in the fields of Creativity and Innovation, Ethnic and Minority Group Relations, Leadership Development, and Strategic Planning. He is co-creator of Creativity CampTM - an interactive venue for exploring and applying creativity. He is a Certified Coach and Facilitator for the INTENTIONAL CREATIONTM Assessment and Coaching Program and provides services as an Executive Coach. He is a Board Certified Coach (BCC) by the Center for Credentialing & Education (May 2012). He is a Certified Reiki Master and an Affiliate of The International Center for Reiki Training.

He served as Director of Executive Education at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and developed a highly successful national think tank program. As Director of the Regional Training Center of Cleveland's United Way Services, he co-authored the BoardWALK Series for not-for-profit trustees. In 2008 he authored special performance assessment tools titled Board CheckUpTM for public library boards and individual trustees. He served as Director of the United Way Volunteer Center and Regional Training Center; he was as a founding member of the Advisory Board for VOLUNTEER: The National Center. He was one of the founders of the Northeast Ohio City Council Association (NOCCA) - originally the Greater Cleveland Suburban Council Association. He has served in numerous leadership roles in professional, civic, and community associations. He serves as an Adjunct Faculty at Cuyahoga Community College, and Notre Dame College. Ken served as a member of City Council in Shaker Heights, Ohio, for 21 ½ years from July 1, 1984 to December 31, 2005.

For his work with the international community of Northeast Ohio, he has received "International Service" awards from the American Nationalities Movement, International Services Center, and Rotary International of Cleveland - in recognition of his dedication and commitment to international service in the furtherance of world understanding and peace.

Ken is in his 46th year as Choirmaster and Ecclesiarch at Cleveland's St. Theodosius Cathedral of The Orthodox Church in America. He is President of the Board of the International Community Council-Worldwide Intercultural Network (ICC-WIN) and President of the Greater Cleveland-Volgograd Oblast Alliance (American-Russian Sister Cities). He is a member of the Board of the Heights-Hillcrest Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Russian-American Cultural Society. He serves as an Ambassador for ClevelandPeople.com. He was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame on May 9, 2012 as a member of the Class of 2012. He was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor on June 5, 2013 as a member of the Class of 2013. He received the 2015 "Chamber Bright Star" award from the Northern Ohio Area Chambers of Commerce Association (NOACCA) on October 29, 2015.

Aklilu Demessie

Aklilu Demessie holds M.S in Engineering Mechanics and B.S in Civil Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He started his professional career at Cleveland Pneumatic Company as a Stress Analyst and progressed to Supervisory position in the Engineering Department over the years. Mr. Demessie worked as a Senior Engineer/Group Leader at the former Goodrich Landing Gear (designer, manufacturer and supplier of aircraft landing gear and components-Military and Commercial). He has over 35 years of experience as a professional in this area. Currently, he is a Senior Product/Material Review Board Engineer at the United Technologies Aerospace Systems. Mr. Demessie is a U.S Citizen and a Board member of the Menelik Foundation in Cleveland and an active member of the core group that has helped establish a Sister Cities agreement between the city of Cleveland and Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. In addition Mr. Demessie is a member of the board of the International Community Council and Worldwide International Network (ICC-WIN) of Cleveland Ohio in which 121 countries are represented. He has served as the President of the Northeast Ohio Ethiopian Community Association (NEOECA), President of the Ethiopian Cleveland Connection (ECC) in the 1990s. Mr. Demessie is one of the founding Board members of The Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED). For more on SEED, visit: www.ethioseed.org. He is the Secretary of SEED and has served in this position for the last 22 years.

Lisa Wong

Lisa Wong President of OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates, Greater Cleveland Chapter and co-founder of the Cleveland Asian Festival.

She also serves on the board of the International Community Council - Worldwide Intercultural Network, a member of the Asiatown Planning Committee Task Force and served on the initial board of the Asian Evergreen Housing Corporation during the planning, construction and grand opening of the Asian Evergreen Apartments for low income seniors in Asiatown.

Lisa is a native Clevelander of Chinese descent and a graduate of the Cleveland State University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration in Marketing and a minor in Promotional Communications. She has worked for the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, the Cleveland Department of Public Health, The Plain Dealer, and the Minority Business Assistance Center at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland as a Consulting Business Advisor.

In addition to the Cleveland Asian Festival, Lisa also coordinated other events in Cleveland's AsiaTown neighborhood including the Faces of Chinatown Photo History Exhibit reception, and Lunar New Year Celebrations at Asian Town Center, and Ohio Asian-American Health Conference. She has also provided project support for Asian Services in Action, MotivAsians for Cleveland, the Cleveland Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and the Ohio Asian Business Association.

Lisa is a certified Election Day Official, a graduate of the grassroots program Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland and the FBI Citizen's Academy.

Lisa was honored with the Ohio Asian Leaders Award in 2012, and has also been awarded the OCAGC Distinguished Service Award and Outstanding Achievement Award by the International Student Association at Cleveland State University.


Alassane has extensive breadth of knowledge, core competence, and experience about the continent of Africa.

Alassane Fall was named after his Mom's Dad Mr. Fall is an Africa expert of politics, governance and Leadership. A popular lecturer, he has presented programs in colleges and societies throughout the United States and has published in various topics related to Senegal, Canada, France, West Africa and more. He has been involved with the United Nations-Geneva, the Foreign Ministry of Senegal, the American Red Cross (NEO), the International Institute of Humanitarian Law-Italy, Kansas Correctional Facility of Lansing and Topeka, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants of Ohio, and others. Alassane has also taught at the University of Kansas, Lawrence and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Alassane is from Senegal, West Africa. His passion for world affairs, cultural diversity, and love of teaching grew out of witnessing frequent misunderstandings and mischaracterization of the African continent. Unfortunately, Africa is misunderstood and mistaken. But Africa is not a country; it's a beautiful continent of more than 54 countries within encouraging, satisfying, and exemplary model in every important issue the world faces today. There are countries with strong leaders that are growing politically, economically, socially, and juristically. Senegal is one of them.

Alassane grew up in a very safe, welcoming and pleasant environment. Senegal is a model of democracy in Africa and around the world. With 95% of the population Muslim and only 4% Christian, Senegal has elected for 20 straight years a Christian president. Senegal is known for " TERANGA" meaning Hospitality in Wolof. Wolof is a lingua Franka, member of the Niger Congo language group. And Tolerance, Non-Violence and Peace (Jamm Rekk "peace only"). This is rooted in a Senegalese culture of respect and stability driven by beliefs, behaviors, habits, traditions, morals, and values. Alassane chairs the cultural competency committee.

Ingrida Bublys

Ingrida Bublys, President of IB International Inc., has 30 years in business development and company representation between the Baltic States and surrounding countries, and the US. IBInternational represents a number of US companies in various industry sectors, while also representing and opening doors for a diverse range of European companies in the US.

Graduate of Ursuline College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry & Mathematics. Finished courses in Constructive Public Relations & Communications attends various International Business seminars.

An active member of various business organizations and serves on a number of boards:

  • Kent State University College of Arts and Sciences
  • International Business Network
  • International Community Council-WIN
  • ISM University
  • Chancellor of the Consular Corps College
  • Ohio Commodores
  • Rotary Club of Cleveland

Was awarded:

  • "The Order of Grand Duke Vytautas the Great" by the Lithuanian government
  • American Nationalities Movement's "Eagle Award"
  • Cleveland Magazine, Most Interesting Person
  • Queen of the Cultural Gardens in 1965
  • and various other awards

Ingrida Bublys is the Honorary General Consul of the Republic of Lithuania for the states of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Appointed Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Lithuania on September 16th 1996, with the consular jurisdiction over the territory of the Ohio State, Indiana and Kentucky.

As representative of the government of the Republic of Lithuania is instrumental in organizing trade missions and cultural programs as well as developing the relations of friendship and good understanding between the Republic of Lithuania and the States of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Married to Romualdas Bublys . Parents of five children..

Radhika Reddy

Radhika Reddy has 35 years of experience, including 25 years in USA and 10 years in India, in the areas of international business and banking, economic development finance, real estate development and finance, and other business advisory services. Ms. Reddy founded Ariel Ventures, LLC, in 2001, which has provided business advisory services for over $2.0 billion in public-private finance transactions nationally, utilizing comprehensive economic development financing, including a variety of federal, state, local tax credits and incentives, grants, public and private loans and equity, to support business attraction and expansion, and stimulate economic development in Ohio and nationally.

Ms. Reddy helps US companies meet the challenges of operating in a global marketplace by providing international business services with a focus on US and India. Ariel Ventures has wholly-owned subsidiary in India. Ms. Reddy is a published author and has presented at various national and international conferences in the areas of international business and tax, and federal tax credits. Her international tax article on "Global tax incentives for renewable energy (2001)" was not only published in national tax magazines and text books, but was also presented by her at the Asian Pacific Conference on International Accounting in Brazil, in 2001, to 350 delegates from 40 countries.

In 2011 Radhika and her partners developed a catalytic historic 68,000 s.f. building to create Ariel International Center, a one-stop international business incubator, office, and intercultural event center in Cleveland. They also founded Ariel Economic Development Fund, a venture capital CDFI and CDE, that provides equity and loans to small businesses located in low income areas in OH. In 2013 they developed a 26,000 sf building to create the Ariel Distribution Center with plans to create a foreign trade zone to attract global companies to the region. In 2016 they developed a 26,000 sf building in Old Brooklyn.

Ms. Reddy is on the Ohio Governor's Asian American Advisory Board. She was previously on the Board of Regents Task force for Commercialization of Technology, and the Global Markets advisory team for the State of Ohio. She was nominated by the County Executive to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Cuyahoga County Community Improvement Corporation, the chief review body for economic development lending activity for Cuyahoga County. Ms. Reddy is a board member of ICC-WIN, Global Cleveland, India Ohio Chamber of Commerce, The International Entrepreneurs, NEO International Business Network, and Asian Services in Action.

Ms. Reddy was a finalist for the 2014 E&Y "Entrepreneur of the Year" and Smart Business "Women Who Excel" awards. She was awarded the 2007 Commercial Real Estate Women Cleveland Leadership award and the 2002 International Business Woman of the Year award for Northeast Ohio. She was recognized by Crains as a 2014 Women of Note, and by Inside Business as a 2009 and 2003 Athena Award finalist for her outstanding accomplishments as a woman business leader. Ms. Reddy was nominated to the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2009.

Ms. Reddy has an MBA in Finance & MIS from Case Western Reserve University and a Masters in Accounting / Taxation, from Cleveland State University. Ms. Reddy founded a charity, Ray of Light International, Inc., in 1997, to provide food, clothing, shelter, medicine and education for destitute women, children and the aged, with a focus on third world countries.