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September 11, 2023

Engage! Cleveland Celebrates Exceptional Achievements: Announcing the Award Winners



Cleveland, Ohio —September 11, 2023 –  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  — Engage! Cleveland announced the highly anticipated winners of the 2nd Annual Generation NEXT Awards. The Generation NEXT Awards honor the companies and individuals working diligently to attract, engage and retain up-and-coming professional talent to Cleveland. Winning companies and individuals will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. 


“We are thrilled to recognize the companies and individuals whose remarkable contributions have undoubtedly elevated Cleveland to new heights,” said SueAnn Naso, Board Chair for Engage! Cleveland. “The selection process was rigorous and Engage! Cleveland is confident that the accomplishments of the award winners will serve as an inspiration to others.” 


With the exception of the Lifetime Achievement Award, awards were given to four winners per category – small, mid-size, large employer, and nonprofit/government/public sector. Award winners were determined by a Selection Committee. Engage! Cleveland Employer Member of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards were internally nominated and selected.


The winners of the 2nd Annual Generation NEXT Awards are as follows:


Company of the Year

Small: Ahola HR Solutions | Payroll

Mid-size: Mars Electric 

Large: Oatey Co. 

Nonprofit/Government/Public Sector: JumpStart Inc. 


Program of the Year

Small: Blue Lobster Program, Environmental Design Group 

Mid-size: Young Professionals Group, Maloney + Novotny

Large: Talent Pipeline, Swagelok

Nonprofit/Government/Public Sector: Foundations for Philanthropy, The Cleveland Foundation 


Young Professional of the Year

Small: Patrick Hackett, Axuall

Mid-size: Leighton Rosendale, GNCO, Inc. 

Large: Katie Juhasz, PNC

Nonprofit/Government/Public Sector: Supriya Tamang, Global Cleveland


Mentor of the Year

Small: Jennifer Cohen, Ratliff & Taylor

Mid-size: Amy Martin, TruWest Holdings

Large: Lisa McKay, Swagelok

Nonprofit/Government/Public Sector: Alan Nevel, MetroHealth


Engage! Cleveland Employer Member of the Year

Small: COhatch

Mid-size: The NRP Group

Large: Lincoln Electric

Nonprofit/Government/Public Sector: Cleveland Council on World Affairs


Lifetime Achievement Award: Gary Shamis, Principal, Winding River Consulting 


Engage! Cleveland’s past Board Chair, Gary Shamis, is being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Gary is the Principal of Winding River Consulting and is often referred to as someone who is a strong advocate for the young professional community. 


“Gary was not only a wonderful Board Chair, but a crucial piece in creating Engage! Cleveland and fostering young talent in the area,” said Ashley Basile Oeken, President of Engage! Cleveland. 


To learn more about Engage! Cleveland, please visit and follow the nonprofit on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and TikTok. 


The 2023 Generation NEXT Awards are sponsored by Boler College of Business at John Carroll University, Winding River Consulting, Friendship Circle of Cleveland, Price MDs, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Cleveland Jewish News, National Interstate Insurance Company, HW&Co., Koltin Consulting Group, Staffing Solutions Enterprises, Moloney + Novotny, Global Cleveland, JumpStart Inc., PNC, The Cleveland Foundation, Lincoln Electric, Ratliff & Taylor, The NRP Group, Schneider Smeltz Spieth Bell, Benesch, and Dave’s Markets. 



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About Engage! Cleveland


Engage! Cleveland is a community engagement organization for young professionals and business/community leaders who are passionate about making Cleveland a lasting home for the next generation. Our goal is to attract, engage and retain young, diverse talent to Greater Cleveland by connecting young professionals to people, jobs, organizations, and events. You can learn more at


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