Institutions of higher learning (“eds”) and medical facilities (“meds”) are the largest private employers in Cleveland. They serve as powerful economic engines and their purchasing power boosts our local economy. We will have the opportunity to hear from these important anchor institutions about their contributions to our community, policies that spur economic development and plans for the future.
Jeff Epstein, Executive Director | MidTown Cleveland, Inc.
Jeff Epstein is the Director of MidTown Cleveland, a 501(c)(3) economic and community development organization that serves the area between downtown Cleveland and University Circle. Jeff also serves as director of the Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor, an umbrella effort to attract innovative health-tech and high-tech businesses to the area. In his roles with MidTown and the Health-Tech Corridor, he is responsible for marketing, strengthening and redeveloping the neighborhood, attracting and assisting business growth, and connecting the business and residential community.
Jeff comes to MidTown and the Health-Tech Corridor from The Coral Company, where he served as Vice President of Development, overseeing residential, commercial, and mixed-use development projects, capital markets transactions, and consulting projects. Prior to joining Coral, Jeff participated in the Cleveland Executive Fellowship, a one-year civic leadership development program.
Jeff holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and an undergraduate degree in Public Policy Studies from Duke University. Following law school, he clerked for the Hon. Solomon Oliver Jr. on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Jeff serves on the executive board of the Cleveland Tenants Organization and is President of the board at Congregation Shaarey Tikvah. He is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Cleveland. He and his wife, Leah, have a nine year old son and a seven year old daughter and reside in Shaker Heights.
Dr. Isaac J. Kirstein, DO, FACOI, Dean | Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Isaac Kirstein, DO is an osteopathic internist and the Dean of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Cleveland campus that opened in 2015. As Dean, Dr. Kirstein is accountable to The Heritage College mission of training physicians who will practice in Ohio and emphasize primary care. Prior to working for Ohio University, he was the Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of Franciscan St. James Health in south suburban Chicago. In that position he refined a clear vision that medical education can do more than provide a physician workforce, with alignment it can be a tool to lead healthcare transformation. Dr. Kirstein served as the Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Education at his alma mater, Midwestern University - Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. He was the founding chair of Internal Medicine for Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has held national leadership positions including President of the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society and as a member of the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission of Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOA-COCA). Dr. Kirstein resides in Pepper Pike, Ohio with his wife Rebecca and his two sons.
Brian Smith, Director, Strategic Project Development | Cleveland Clinic
A key player in development and implementation of numerous Capital Projects at the Cleveland Clinic, Brian has demonstrated enormous success as the Director of Strategic Project Development. His current role of new business development and project support is enhanced with his ability to interact with the leadership, municipalities, Boards of Directors, Community Outreach & Institutional Development as well as the ability to manage various high priority projects simultaneously.
Since 1993, he has demonstrated strategic development and construction leadership support for new business opportunities throughout the Cleveland Clinic Healthcare System including the Main Campus in Cleveland, Ohio, System Hospitals and Family Health Centers in both the U.S. and Canada.
Scott Pollock, Senior Vice President | Juniper Solutions
Scott is an entrepreneurial and dynamic commercial real estate investment and finance professional with 17 years of experience successfully executing complex purchase and sale transactions, implementing and managing real estate business units, and raising capital for national real estate operators and developers. He has had direct and integral involvement in transactions with a total capitalized value of over $1 billion. Scott’s diverse experience is across a variety of investment strategies and property types, including: office, retail, multi-family, industrial, mixed-use and large-scale land development. Throughout his career, Scott has been fortunate to work with many of the country’s top developers, operators, private equity funds, pensions, REIT’s, and high net worth real estate investors. Scott currently serves as Senior Vice President of Juniper Solutions; a Cleveland, Ohio based Economic Development & Real Estate Advisory firm. In his current role with Juniper, Scott provides strategic real estate consulting services to a variety of Public and Private entities ranging from Healthcare Institutions, Colleges & Universities, Economic Development Organizations, and Anchor Districts.
Dr. Tim Gaspar, Dean of the School of Nursing | Cleveland State University
Dr. Gaspar previously served as Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Toledo from 2008 to 2015. Prior to this he served as Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Winona State University in Minnesota from 1995 to 2008, and as Department Head of Undergraduate Nursing at South Dakota State University from 1990 to 1995. An expert in nursing education, research and health policy, Dr. Gaspar has worked in partnership with and advised a wide range of organizations, including higher education institutions, health-care providers and nursing accreditation/review organizations.
Dr. Gaspar received his Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Utah. He has made numerous presentations at professional conferences and served as a principal investigator or co-investigator for many grants, including Choose Ohio First, which sought to retain primary care professionals to practice in Ohio upon licensure/certification.
Jim Halivand, Director, Economic and Community Development | The MetroHealth System
Jim Haviland is Director of Economic and Community Development for The MetroHealth System. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing MetroHealth’s neighborhood transformation efforts along the West 25th Street Corridor as the System embarks on the historic transformation of its main campus. Jim also serves as Executive Director of CCH Development Corp., a newly created nonprofit development corporation established to assist MetroHealth in providing for the health and welfare of the community it serves through economic and community development activities.
Jim joined MetroHealth in 2016 as the Director of Local Government Relations before being promoted to his current position.
Prior to joining MetroHealth, Jim served as Executive Director for MidTown Cleveland, Inc., a private-sector development corporation with the mission of invigorating the area between Cleveland State University and the Cleveland Clinic. He played a major role in the establishment of the Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor. Before MidTown, he worked for the City of Cleveland’s Economic Development Department as Manager of Business Development and was a retail leasing representative for the Richard E. Jacobs Group.
Jim is a Westlake native who graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University. He is Council President for the City of Olmsted Falls, where he resides with his wife Sheri and is a proud parent of four children.