Melinda McNutt - President
Melinda is proud and honored to serve as President during the Club’s 20th anniversary year. Melinda was named a Top 25 Under 35 Young Professional in 2019 and later joined the board as Social Director. During her time as Social Director, she planned our signature Around Town event where 100 young professionals gathered each month for networking. As President-Elect, she planned the 15th annual Movers and Shakers award ceremony and organized on-going Movers and Shakers Alumni programming. As President, her goals are to implement systems and tools to propel the Club into the next 20 years.
Melinda is a sales and marketing professional with a background in community and economic development. Melinda works as an account manager at GIE Media and has collaborated with and consulted for several organizations, including Team NEO, the United Way of Greater Cleveland, and the Small Business Development Center.
Since moving to Cleveland in 2016, she has volunteered for organizations including Engage! Cleveland's Leadership Council and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance's City Advocate Board and is currently a member of the Phriends Group and the JumpStart Leaders Council. Melinda is a 2020 graduate of the Levin School of Urban Planning where she obtained her Master of Science degree in Urban Studies. Melinda is a proud homeowner who resides in the West Boulevard neighborhood with her American Eskimo, Leo.
Patrick Hackett - President Elect
Patrick is ecstatic to be serving as the President Elect of the Club. In 2020, he was named a Top 25 under 35 Young Professional and has recently joined the board. Patrick is looking forward to working with the President and the Board as we work to progress the organization forward.
Currently, Patrick works in the Inclusion and Outreach Department at JumpStart, Inc. a venture development firm in Northeast Ohio. His responsibilities focus on leveraging data and executing large projects for the KeyBank Business Boost and Build program and other inclusion outreach initiatives in Ohio and New York. Prior to joining JumpStart, Patrick oversaw the business development and production of Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates, Cleveland’s oldest handmade chocolate factory. Before Mitchell’s, Patrick worked at OnShift, a local technology firm that supports post-acute care facilities, in their marketing and operations departments.
Outside of work and 2030, Patrick serves on the Leadership Council of Cleveland Leadership Center, where he sits on the Next Gen Committee. He is a partner for Cleveland’s Social Venture Partner. He is also a member of the Young Professional Advisory Board for Cornerstone of Hope. Patrick received both his BS in Mathematics and Master’s in Business Administration from John Carroll University. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the local art and coffee scene of Cleveland.
Devney Ayers - Secretary
Devney is a creative problem-solver and passionate about helping others achieve their dreams, which is why she is the ideal secretary for our Board of Directors.
Professionally, Devney is a Search Consultant on the Legal team at gpac and a Digital Marketing Specialist at EVelop LLC.
During the pandemic, Devney initiated and hosted monthly social networking events with the Club using the icebreaker platform and is excited to attend in-person events as a Board member. In her second year as Secretary, Devney looks forward to utilizing her organizational skills to help the Club grow and flourish.
In her free time, Devney loves to attend concerts, spend time with friends and explore all of the magic Cleveland has to offer.
Mike Vuraich - Treasurer
Mike Vuraich is a graduate of Ohio University where he majored in Accounting and Sports Management. Born and raised on the East Side of Cleveland, he is the Associate Commissioner/CFO of the Mid-American Conference. In this role, Mike is responsible for the accounting, financial reporting, compliance reporting, benefits administration, and human resources functions for the Conference.
He has served as Treasurer of the Club for five years and is responsible for overall management of the Club’s finances. Mike joined The Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club to connect, both professionally and socially, with other young professionals throughout the city and to make a positive impact in the community. He also enjoys taking part in the recreational sports offered by the Club.
Outside of work and The 20/30 Club, Mike serves on the Board of Directors for Rising Star Academy, a school for children with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities, and the Associate Board for the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. Mike is also a huge Cleveland sports fan and enjoys traveling.
Carly Boyd - General Counsel
Carly Boyd, originally of Dublin, Ohio attended the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign studying broadcast journalism and television production before attending law school at Case Western Reserve University. She is currently employed at Laribee & Hertrick, LLP while focusing her practices on domestic relations involving divorce, custody, support matters and litigation.
She joined The 20/30 Club as a transplant from outside Cleveland, wanting to connect with the city and meet young professionals. The Cleveland 20/30 Club provided her the opportunity to explore restaurants and galleries while learning about the community.
Outside of her professional career and The 20/30 Club, Carly trains for triathlons and is an ally of Cleveland PFLAG. She is a board member of Providence House. She currently lives on the Westside and has enjoyed exploring the Cleveland Metroparks with her dog, Clancy.
Board of Directors
Ahmed Abdelrasoul - Education Director
Ahmed Abdelrasoul is a graduate of Duke University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Economics. He is employed in the financial services industry.
Ahmed has a passion for the arts, philanthropy, sports, and traveling. He enjoys meeting people and learning about new cultures.
Ahmed believes that the 20/30 Club is a great venue for meeting young professionals in the Cleveland area. He appreciates the club’s commitment to organizing great events in areas such as professional development and service to the community. Ahmed serves as the Education Director for the board.
Ewyn Pokras - Marketing Director
Ewyn Pokras is excited to be serving as the Marketing Director of the Club. In 2018, she was named a Top 25 under 35 Young Professional and has recently joined the board. Honored to be serving on the 2021-2022 year, Ewyn is leading the marketing aspects of the organization. Ewyn Pokras is currently the Manager of Partner Services & Relationships at Destination Cleveland. In this role, she oversees back-end partnership programs and operations while serving as the primary contact for partners and and potential partners of Destination Cleveland with a focus on diversity and inclusion to better reflect the community we represent.
Whether it is marketing, budgeting, fundraising, or any other matters her clients have, she devotes her time to work through all the measures with her client's best interest in mind. Working closely with the owners and CEOs of each establishment, her work helps to align each client's individual messaging with their brand, budget and strategic goals.
A graduate of the University of Akron's College of Arts & Sciences, Ewyn's background includes public relations, marketing, strategic planning, operations management, social psychology and fiscal reconciliation for Cleveland area projects, organizations, and small businesses. In fact, it is possible to have seen Ewyn around at some projects and organizations throughout the city; One World Day, Northeast Ohio SPCA fundraisers, Night Market Cleveland, and Cleveland Asian Festival, just to name a few. Ewyn also serves as the Vice President of the Auxiliary Committee and Board Liaison for the Northeast Ohio SPCA where she utilizes her efforts to advocate for those animals and pets who cannot advocate for themselves.
She currently resides in Mayfield Heights with her husband Stan and their adorable pup, Britta.
Madeline Poll - Membership Director
Madeline is thrilled to be serving on the board as the Membership Director for the 21-22 year. With a passion for fostering relationships and being a thoughtful member liaison, this is right up her alley! She’s hoping to further engage the Club’s members and cultivate new strategies for membership this year.
Madeline has been proudly working at a non-profit in downtown Cleveland since 2017 where she holds the role of Manager of Member Engagement. Within that, she recruits and provides service for over 5,000 members and organizations in Greater Cleveland and beyond. She also volunteers for the Cleveland Women’s Recovery Center, where she is on the Fundraising and Event Committees.
As a lover of all things Cleveland, Madeline is SO excited to meet and connect new young professionals to the Land. She also enjoys bicycling, pretending to know how to care for plants, and venturing to new coffee spots. Madeline resides in Lakewood with her 2 dapper cats: Steve and Arthur. Please don’t hesitate to contact her with any questions regarding the Club!
Courtney Lee- Philanthropy Director
Courtney was born and raised in Cleveland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice and currently works as a legal conflicts supervisor.
Courtney joined the Cleveland 20/30 Club to meet new people, give back to the community, and explore new destinations around Cleveland. As Philanthropy Director, she hopes to help spotlight some of Cleveland's local nonprofits and make a positive impact on the community.
In her free time, Courtney enjoys traveling, yoga, reading, live music and theater. She is also a member of Partners, the young professionals group of Playhouse Square.
Dan Norris - Technology Director
Dan is originally from a small town just outside of Athens Ohio where he graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor's degree in Criminalistics. Shortly after moving to Cleveland Dan returned to school to obtain a post-degree in Software Engineering with certificates in Mobile Software Development and Web Development.
Currently Dan is working towards his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Business Analytics from Ohio University. Since 2015 Dan has worked in Research and Development for Hyland Software. He has also been on the board of other non-profits in the Cleveland area.
Dan's favorite Cleveland activities include going to baseball games, country music concerts, going to all of the various local breweries, bourbon tasting, and spending time with family and friends.
Dan Basco - Social Director
Born and raised in the Cleveland area, Dan graduated from the University of Toledo with a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a master's degree in Statistics from the University of Akron. After working as a Statistical Consultant in Columbus for 5 years, he returned to Cleveland in 2016 just in time to enjoy an exciting playoff baseball run! Dan currently works for Bridgestone's Credit Division as a Data Scientist, and is a member of their Leadership Council.
Dan's favorite Cleveland activities include biking and hiking on trails in Cuyahoga and Summit County, going out to local restaurants and breweries, playing beach volleyball, and attending baseball games. Dan is trying to see a game in every major league baseball stadium, and has been to 24 of 30!
Alex Johanson - Networking Director
Proudly serving on the board for the 2021-2022 year, Alex Johanson leads the business networking side of the organization. Alex’s career in commercial real estate sales has given her a foundation to lead business networking and community initiatives within the club. Her role as networking director includes monthly event planning designed to connect the rising talent in the community as well as hosting private CEO dinners - granting exclusive access to members to dine with and learn from the top executives in the area. Alex strongly believes in the power of building a network and expanding one’s business connections for both personal and professional growth.
As a commercial real estate professional at CBRE, Alex and her team specialize specifically in office products, overseeing over three million square feet of office space. Her team focuses specifically on Landlord representation - assisting with sales, leasing and building property valuations throughout Northeast Ohio.
Outside of work, Alex enjoys traveling with her husband, enjoying new restaurants and staying active. Alex volunteers with the Salvation Army, Greater Cleveland Food Bank and her local church organization.
Julie Brown - Communications Director
Julie Brown is a well-rounded marketing and communications expert with 10 years of professional experience. Her areas of speciality include content writing, editing, public relations, social media management, event coordination and promotion.
Julie has done it all and is truly a “Jill” of all trades who enjoys playing with the written word and flexing her creative prowess wherever possible. After serving on the Board of Directors for local arts and culture organizations Larchmere PorchFest and Brite Winter Music Festival (for which she still consults), she looks forward to lending her expertise to the 20/30 Club as Communications Director.
A proud graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University (‘11), she currently heads up the Greater Cleveland Bobcats Alumni Network. When Julie isn’t volunteering her time, you can find her either hanging with her cats in her downtown apartment, exploring Cleveland, catching a ballgame, supporting the local music scene, or on the Cuyahoga in her kayak.
At Large Directors
Polly Mytinger - President Emeritus
Stan Pokras - Data Management Director
Stan is proudly serving on the 2021-2022 board as the newly appointed Data Management Director. He primarily grew up in the Greater Cleveland area and truly embraced the “Cleveland Culture”.
He earned his double BA degree in Biology and History from Case Western Reserve University, followed by his MPH from the Kent State University College of Public Health. Most recently, he earned his PhD from the College of Public Health in Epidemiology in Spring 2020. After receiving his PhD, he dived right into helping utilize his education and experience to combat the Covid-19 Pandemic. He currently works as Manager of Quality Analytics at University Hospitals of Cleveland, where he focuses on publicly reported analytics, clinical data interpretation, predictive modeling, and public health research projects.
Stan joined the Cleveland 20/30 to meet and network with other young professionals in Cleveland. As the Data Management Director, he hopes to be able to help improve the current data management practices in order to make memberships easier to manage, the Club’s website easier to navigate, and to provide a more efficient platform for the Tech and Data team to analyze the information within the Club’s CRM system.
In Stan’s freetime, he likes working on various DIY projects at home, going out to new restaurants and hanging out with friends, spending lots of time with his family, and playing basketball in a local league.
Charissa Choong - Data Director
Carissa Choong, OCED is the Manager of Product Development for Sidwell, a division of the Harris Computer Corporation. She is currently on the Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club as the board Data Director. Carissa graduated from The University of Akron’s Honor College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, and again in 2016 with a Master of Science degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). During her Masters program, Carissa was selected as one of 100 students across the country to participate in Esri’s internship program based out of their headquarters in Redlands, California.
Upon graduation, Carissa began working as a GIS Technical Applications Administrator for Summit County, Ohio and was soon promoted to the role of GIS Manager. Carissa was responsible for the administration of the County’s GIS systems, building custom applications, facilitating GIS solutions in economic development and other disciplines, and conducting GIS analyses. During her time at Summit County, Carissa earned her State of Ohio certification in Economic Development (OCED), sat on various state GIS expert’s panels as an applications specialist, and won an Esri Special Achievements in GIS Award.
In 2019, Carissa began working as the Director of Research and Marketing for a site selection consulting company called Juniper Solutions, a Fairmount Properties company. Carissa was responsible for conducting economic development and real estate research, creating custom Story Map applications, and furthering marketing efforts. During her time at Juniper, Carissa was named a Runner-up in an Esri international Story Map competition in 2020 and had a map she created featured in Esri’s Plenary session for the 2020 User Conference.
In 2021, Carissa was hired in her current position at Sidwell. In this role, Carissa works with local governments and other clients to create innovative GIS solutions to serve internal government departments as well as citizens in client communities. Carissa also is responsible for the modernization of Sidwell’s core product offerings. Carissa utilizes her skills in applications development, economic development, coding/programming, Esri architecture, and GIS analysis to provide the most custom and forward-thinking solutions for Sidwell clients.
In addition to all her accomplishments, she is also a fitness competitor and enthusiast. She is also an adventurous dog mom to her pup, Atlas and resides in Midtown Cleveland.