City of Cleveland announces formation of the new Cleveland Public Market Corporation

(April 2023, Plain Press) The first months of this year have brought major developments for the West Side Market, including the founding of the new non-profit, the naming of the inaugural board, the initiation of the executive director search, and the release of the first phase of the Market master plan. 

     Articles of incorporation for the new Cleveland Public Market Corporation (CPMC) were filed on February 9th, 2023, establishing the new non-profit governing body for the West Side Market.  

     CPMC board members were recommended by the West Side Market Advisory Committee and Mayor Justin M. Bibb. The board will initially be comprised of 15 members, with a maximum 21 in the future. It includes three people nominated by Mayor Bibb, one by Cleveland City Council, and three people nominated by the board of the United West Side Market Tenants Association (UWSMTA). Moving forward, directors will be nominated by the Mayor, City Council, UWSMTA, or the Board of Directors. 

     “The Advisory Committee conducted an extensive process of outlining criteria and recommending initial board members so we could ensure the board represents a broad range of expertise, connections, and lived experiences, reflecting our diverse customer and merchant base,” said Jessica Trivisonno, Senior Strategist for the West Side Market. 

     The inaugural CPMC board members are:  Dave Abbott, retired president of The George Gund Foundation; Carrie Carpenter, Senior Vice President, Regional Manager of Corporate Affairs, Huntington National Bank;  Shelly Cayette, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Cleveland Cavaliers; Amanda Dempsey, previous West Side Market Manager; Colette Jones, Chief Marketing Officer, Cleveland Foundation; Henry Hilow, Attorney, Hilow & Spellacy;  Dr. Don Malone, President of Cleveland Clinic’s Ohio Hospitals and Family Health Centers; Kerry McCormack, Ward 3 Councilmember; Tom McNair, Executive Director, Ohio City Inc.; Randy McShepard, Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Talent Officer, RPM International, founder of Rid-All Green Partnership; Tom Nagel, retired from DB Schenker; Jason Russell, Vice President, Operations and Leasing, Bedrock Detroit; Tanisha Velez, Owner, Cleveland Fresh Microgreens;  Ramat Wiley, Owner, Adun Spice Company; and Ann Zoller, Senior Advisor, Strategy Design Partners 

     The formation of CPMC is part of the Bibb Administration’s strategy to revitalize West Side Market. The non-profit model follows national best-practice for the management of public markets. Mayor Bibb’s nominees to the board are Dave Abbott, Jason Russell, and Ramat Wiley. The UWSMTA nominees to the board are Amanda Dempsey, Henry Hilow, and Tom Nagel. 

     “Establishing CPMC will provide the Market the stability and mission-driven direction it needs to thrive and be preserved as a community asset,” said Mayor Bibb, “I feel confident that this initial board of leaders will set West Side Market on the right path.” 

     The search for the Executive Director of CPMC has also begun, led by Waverly Partners, LLC.

     Moving forward, the inaugural board will collaborate with the Advisory Committee and Market Ventures, Inc. to continue developing a master plan for the Market. 

     Phase one of the plan has been released. The study conducted reveals the important role the Market plays as a source of fresh food for its culturally, economically, and geographically diverse customer base. However, the report recognizes the structural and business challenges confronting the Market, including a high vacancy rate and inadequate retail facilities.  

     The next phase of the master plan will provide concrete recommendations and a vision for the future of the Market. 

     “Despite the challenges that the Market has faced in the past few decades, it continues to act as an anchor institution in Cleveland. Moving forward, we hope to take advantage of the Market’s strengths to ensure it can be a thriving community asset for the next generation,” said Mayor Bibb. 

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