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 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
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, 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:
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..
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