Team NEO Names 2022 Regional Economic Development Champions

Leaders recognized for their work to advance the region

Last week Team NEO recognized three individuals as 2022 Regional Economic Development Champions for their work in leveraging the full strength of the Northeast Ohio Region’s economic development network to advance our region. At the organization’s annual meeting, NEO Rising: Celebrating Today. Building Tomorrow, Team NEO recognized:

  • Business Leader: Jodi Berg, Ph.D., Retired 4th Generation CEO and President: Vitamix and Chairwoman Emeritus: Team NEO Board of Directors

Jodi is passionate about improving lives of customers and employees alike. She led Vitamix through the pandemic and was instrumental in helping Northeast Ohio manufacturing companies keep the supply chain going following the initial shutdowns. With her help, 20,000 Ohioans were able to safely return to work, minimizing negative economic impacts on businesses and individuals. Jodi was recognized for her commitment to embracing true collaboration between regional economic development organizations and challenging the status quo. Having a big vision for the potential of Northeast Ohio, she has served on Team NEO’s Board since 2015, and as Board Chairwoman from 2019 to 2021. She also serves on the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Board of Directors.

  • Economic Development Leader: John Moliterno, Past Executive Director: Western Reserve Port Authority   

A former and first president of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, John was a pioneer in understanding and adopting the regional spirit needed to capitalize on growth opportunities in the Mahoning Valley. He believes that building trust and collaborating among local elected officials and businesses are key for making the community a better place to live. That commitment has been especially evident in recent years through John’s engagement with JobsOhio in relation to improving Mahoning Valley’s inventory of readily marketable sites as well as his strong advocacy of efforts between the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and Team NEO to build a new and strong partnership for the benefit of the Mahoning Valley.

  • Community Leader: Alex Johnson, Ph.D., President Emeritus of Cuyahoga Community College

Dr. Johnson was appointed president in July 2013 following other assignments at community colleges in Pittsburgh and New Orleans. With more than 30 years’ experience as a college president, he has advanced high-quality, accessible and affordable education opportunities and services for all. The education factor is critical for a vibrant economy and necessary for future economic growth. Dr. Johnson has implemented programs to strengthen access, equity, success and completion for the nearly 51,000 credit and noncredit students who attend Tri-C each year. A consistent partner of Team NEO, he served on the Team NEO Board, and has also advanced economic development efforts serving on the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) Boards.

“Our 2022 Champions have been some of our most influential leaders,” said Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler. “They are strong advocates for the Northeast Ohio Region. Each has brought a vision and commitment to advance economic growth and prosperity for our region.”

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of the Northeast Ohio Region. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in the region’s 18 counties; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market the Northeast Ohio Region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people. We do this to build a more vibrant regional economy –  one that is more talented, equitable, competitive, innovative, resilient and prosperous. For more information, visit