Three Hahn Loeser partners were among a select group of individuals honored by Crain’s Cleveland Business as 2023 Notable Nonprofit Board Leaders. Christopher S.W. Blake (Cleveland International Film Festival), Lawrence E. Oscar (Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland) and Sonja C. Rice (Asian American Bar Association of Ohio) were recognized for leading their respective organizations and demonstrating a commitment to the public good that inspires and elevates.
Blake is in his fifth year as the CIFF’s Board President and has “ushered the organization through unprecedented times” according to his nomination. Those times included the pandemic, when Blake stayed for a week at the CIFF offices with laptop in hand after the Cleveland mayor shut down the festival in 2020 and the organization pivoted to an online model. In 2019, Blake also led a team of attorneys and board members to formalize CIFF’s move to Playhouse Square, which became effective in 2021. Blake oversees a 35-member board of an organization with a $3 million festival budget. The 2023 edition of CIFF drew 76,000 patrons, who viewed the newest and best films from around the world. He has served on the CIFF board in various capacities since 2005.
Oscar (a former Hahn Loeser Managing Partner) served on moCa Cleveland’s Board of Trustees for more than 20 years, including three years as Board President and was recently elected an Honorary Director, a distinction reserved for long term directors who have contributed at the highest levels through leadership and stewardship. Oscar helped shape how moCa responded and adapted to changing COVID-19 conditions. He also worked to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility for moCa, while maintaining board stewardship, staff development and community engagement, even when the museum doors were shut.
Rice is a 15-year member of the Board of Trustees of the Asian American Bar Association of Ohio (AABAO). AABAO is the oldest association of Asian Pacific American attorneys in Ohio and is committed to supporting the professional growth and advancement of its attorney members, encouraging active participation of its members in the community, and promoting awareness of the issues facing the Asian Pacific American community. Rice has been a speaker on issues such as taking action against xenophobia and racism against Asian Americans.
“We are very proud of the recognition received by these three partners,” remarked CEO and Managing Partner Stanley R. Gorom III. “Leadership and giving back to the community in each of our six offices is part of Hahn Loeser’s DNA.”