City Club welcomes two new board members

At our board meeting today, a quorum of directors displayed some deep wsidom and a keen eye to the future as they voted to fill two vacanicies on the board. We are pleased to welcome Louis Chaiten and Sheila Wright to the board. Below are lightly edited versions of their official bios, and, as impressive as those are, they don't come close to describing the serious talent that has just been added to the board. Both happen to be JDs (Marshall and Northwestern); one clerked for Scalia and the other was, once upon a time, the executive director of Cleveland's NAACP (one of only two NAACP chapters in the nation to have a paid ED, for what it's worth). After we spent about half the board meeting today talking about freedom of speech and the increasingly important role we play in providing the community with a space for civil, civic dialogue on contentious issues, Mr. Chaiten noted that he's never been on a board that gets to spend its meeting time talking about freedom of speech.

So, without further throat clearing, please meet Louis Chaiten and Sheila Wright!

Mr. Chaiten is a partner at Jones Day where he works on a broad range of litigation and prelitigation matters. In trial court litigation and domestic and international arbitration proceedings, he has handled disputes involving consumer class actions, financial products, accounting and attest services, pharmaceutical and biologic products, clinical trials, commercial contracts, and wide range of other issues. Mr. Chaiten is also an appellate litigator, having recently successfully defended a financial-services company and accounting firm in a $900 million investor lawsuit, an international iron-ore supplier in a dispute over reclamation services, and multiple financial institutions in litigation over their securitization activities. He also successfully argued an appeal on behalf of an Ohio man wrongfully convicted of murder, leading to the man's release after more than a decade in prison. Mr. Chaiten previously clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, which is responsible for advising the president, the attorney general, and other executive branch officials on complex issues of constitutional, statutory, and international law. He is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and University of Rochester.

Sheila Wright is a widely recognized leader in racial justice and community engagement. As Vice President of the Good Community Foundation and Senior Adviser to Albert Ratner, Ms. Wright works on a range of issues and at a variety of levels, from the grassroots to the governor’s office. She advises corporate leaders on strategies relating to reducing poverty, economic development, growing population and identifying community pathways into the urban core. She frequently convenes state legislators, local governments and corporate stakeholders to design policies that integrate economic development needs with jobs and family service goals to meet current workforce demands. She has also served as a Loaned Executive to organizations and local government assisting with board development, strategic planning, capacity building, project development, network enterprising, public relations, balancing budgets, marketing and design. Prior to joining Albert Ratner’s team, Ms. Wright served as the Executive Director of the Cleveland NAACP where she worked to increase collaboration across the community, advance the civil rights agenda of the organization and raise the organization’s profile across the community. Sheila currently serves on the boards of Global Cleveland, 11th Congressional District Caucus, Council for Healthier Buckeye Advisory Council, Center for Population Dynamics (CSU, Levin), Greater Cleveland Foodbank, Gordon Square Arts District, and Karamu Theater.

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