Loving Lakewood: Life’s a Beach Honorees Tim Dewald, Jen & Laird Wynn, Brittany O’Connor, Bryan Evans, Brent Pease & Geoff Mathias (Sauced Taproom & Kitchen) and Kelly Florian.
Eight Outstanding Volunteers to be Honored at Fundraiser on February 27
After riding the wave of a wild year, hang-ten and celebrate all of the amazing accomplishments LakewoodAlive and the community have achieved from the comfort of your own beach blanket! You will feel the rays on your face and the sand on your toes at this fin-tastic celebration of community, connectivity and perseverance.
LakewoodAlive proudly announces Bryan Evans as the 2021 Founders Award recipient and fellow community leaders Tim Dewald, Kelly Florian, Brent Pease & Geoff Mathias (Sauced Taproom & Kitchen), Brittany O’Connor, and Jen & Laird Wynn as award honorees to be recognized during Loving Lakewood: Life’s A Beach taking place virtually on Saturday, February 27, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Each will be honored as part of the evening’s festivities in recognition of their exemplary service to LakewoodAlive and the Lakewood community.
Tickets are on sale now for Loving Lakewood: Life’s A Beach, LakewoodAlive’s winter fundraiser sponsored by Cleveland Property Management Group. Guests are invited to dig up their sunglasses and don their favorite beach ware as they engage in a sunny celebration of the community, connectivity, and perseverance that has built Lakewood into a vibrant neighborhood. This virtual event is expected to sell out, so don’t flip flop on your decision to secure your tickets by visiting LakewoodAlive.org/LovingLakewood.
Each member of this honoree group has made a long-lasting impact on LakewoodAlive and our community. The Founders Award, recognizing one honoree annually, celebrates individuals who exemplify the vision of LakewoodAlive’s founding members through making exceptional contributions to our efforts to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods. Community Leader Award recipients represent LakewoodAlive’s most dedicated volunteers, partners and donors who have supported the organization in numerous ways that embodies the LakewoodAlive’s spirit and its many programs.
The Founders Award
Bryan Evans – Founders Award
Bryan began volunteering with LakewoodAlive’s Design Committee where he donated countless hours to create a master plan for Kauffman Park. This was merely a preview of his incredible dedication to LakewoodAlive. In 2014, Bryan joined the Board of Directors where he served two, three year terms. While on the board, he chaired the Marketing Committee of which he remains a member. Bryan, a Senior Project Manager at Vocon, also recruited several volunteers and eventual board members, ultimately adding significant talent to the LakewoodAlive team. Always supportive and dependable, Bryan is the ultimate volunteer and LakewoodAlive is honored to present him with The Founders Award. “As an urban planner, it’s hard not to love Lakewood,” Evans said. “It’s a living laboratory for all the things us planner-types practice and preach: a dense, walkable, transit-friendly mixed use and mixed income community with great schools, great parks, and above all great people.”
Community Leader Award Honorees:
Tim Dewald – Community Leader Award
Tim, a Senior Account Executive at Dix & Eaton, began volunteering with LakewoodAlive in 2018 as a Marketing Committee member and from day one, hit the ground running. With a background in digital media, Tim offered to volunteer his time to the organization by documenting the work of LakewoodAlive and its volunteers. Tim quickly began developing event videos which eventually led to a remarkable brand anthem video that premiered at the 2019 Loving Lakewood: There’s No Place Like Home 15 Year Celebration. That same year, Tim joined the Board of Directors and now chairs the Marketing Committee. His creativity, along with limitless energy, continues to shine with new marketing strategies for LakewoodAlive’s large scale and fundraising events. Tim has truly elevated the way that LakewoodAlive shares their mission and work. “Lakewood is a special place because of the purpose and power present in its sense of community. LakewoodAlive plays an incredibly important role in developing that sense of place and I want to be a part of making it happen,” said Dewald.
Kelly Florian – Community Leader Award
Kelly has been a longtime volunteer with LakewoodAlive’s annual fundraising event, Loving Lakewood. Kelly, Director of Educational Services for Great Lakes Theatre, is always quick to volunteer to help with all aspects of the event’s planning and often adds the special, finishing touches to the evening’s festivities. Kelly consistently goes above and beyond donating her time and creativity while helping to make this annual event a unique and successful evening. “Volunteering with LakewoodAlive is such a satisfying way to give back to this incredible community, “LakewoodAlive makes it so easy! They are an amazing group of people that work hard to find the need; to define the goals; to organize the people-power; and make it happen. When you have such incredible leadership it’s easy to give of your own time. Did I mention the people? There’s no one I’d rather work – and party – with. Every meeting is a bowl of soup and a glass of wine and a deep sense of togetherness – all working to do good within our community. You can’t go wrong with this organization because this organization is made up of people who care deeply about Lakewood and its residents,” Florian said.
Brent Pease and Geoff Mathias, Sauced Taproom & Kitchen – Community Leader Award
When Sauced Taproom & Kitchen (14701 Detroit Avenue) opened up over two years ago, LakewoodAlive was excited to see a restaurant with a creative and affordable menu coupled with a wide-ranging beer selection. What LakewoodAlive couldn’t have known is how special and supportive this partnership with co-owners Brent Pease and Geoff Mathias would become. “Brent, Geoff and their team have been such a welcomed addition to the Lakewood community and we are thankful for their belief in us and our mission,” said Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive Executive Director. “In a physically small community of 5.5 square miles, there is no shortage of opportunity,” Mathias said. “There’s a shop for every niche. There’s a restaurant for every taste. There’s always something to do. And almost all of it is owned and run by people just like us trying to make it, doing something we love.”
Brittany O’Connor – Community Leader Award
Brittany O’Connor, a Senior Public Affairs Market Manager with Citizens Bank, joined the LakewoodAlive board in 2014 after volunteering and connecting the organization with then Charter One Bank. Her passion for the community and LakewoodAlive shone through early and she became highly involved in several committees including Development, Housing and Loving Lakewood. Brittany’s leadership and dedication was quickly apparent to the board and staff, solidifying her status as a most valued volunteer. Brittany was elected vice president of the LakewoodAlive board in 2016, later becoming board president in 2018. During that time, she helped oversee the successful completion and implementation of a strategic plan along with the growth of many mission-focused programs while volunteering a tremendous amount of time. “LakewoodAlive has accomplished so much over the last 17 years,” O’Connor said. “It has become the go-to organization for residents and small businesses in need of assistance, as well as presenting events that bring the community together and serving as the city’s biggest cheerleader. Over the next five years, I’d love for LakewoodAlive to be at the top of everyone’s list of charitable donations. No matter the amount, a gift to LakewoodAlive is a sound investment and we all benefit.”
Jen and Laird Wynn – Community Leader Award
Longtime supporters of LakewoodAlive, Jen and Laird Wynn are one of the organization’s most valued donors. Owners of Cleveland Property Management, Jen and Laird have raised their family in Lakewood and have been friends of the organization for more than a decade. Cleveland Property Management has served as title sponsor of Loving Lakewood each year since 2017 and has supported other events in the past including Summer Meltdown. The Wynn’s are most passionate about LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program and its efforts to ensure all residents are living in healthy and safe housing. Their personal support coupled with event sponsorship and professional guidance has been invaluable. “We support Lakewood Alive because of the staff’s authentic and energetic commitment to Lakewood. The programming executed by LakewoodAlive consistently provides improvements to the City that are sustainable and result in a more vibrant, engaged community,” reflected Jen Wynn.
“We are grateful to this year’s Loving Lakewood award recipients,” said Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive Executive Director. “Their contributions, not only to LakewoodAlive but the entire community, exemplify the best in each of us and symbolize the power and passion of the people who call Lakewood home.”
About Loving Lakewood
Loving Lakewood: Life’s A Beach features beach-themed food, drinks, décor and entertainment that will inspire you to “seas” the day. Proceeds will support LakewoodAlive’s programming as we strive to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood. While we won’t be able to be together in person, we are still stoked to hang-ten with our friends and supporters. It will be a whale of a goodtime at this fin-tastic celebration of community, connectivity and perseverance. After all, life’s a beach! For ongoing updates, please visit LakewoodAlive.org/LovingLakewood.
Loving Lakewood: Life’s A Beach is generously supported by the following sponsors:
Laskey Costello LLC, Certified Public Accountants
Rockport Advisors Lakewood: 216-226-4562
Tess Neff, Lakewood City Council Ward 1
Pam and Tom Smith