Essential to our program

Inspired Coaching

An essential part of being a successful leader involves the ability to be vulnerable with others about where you are headed and how you might get there. Through successful implementation at NLDP, the Mandel Foundation has learned the importance of and value in coaching. As a result, coaching during the program and post-graduation are included in the CDCLP.

CDCLP Coaches




Michael Walton


Coach, Michael Walton, has over 25 years of experience coaching individuals in business, education, social service and grassroots organizations. During his 35-year career as a consultant Michael has been a project manager, lead facilitator, curriculum designer, inside sales associate and business owner. Michael has been one of the most active facilitators of adventure-based experiential education in Northern Ohio, and has demonstrated skill in applying this methodology to a wide range of client groups. He is trained as a coach through the Weatherhead School of Business at Case Western Reserve University and CoachNet Global, and has numerous certifications, including training as a conflict management and mediation trainer by the Kent State Center for Applied Conflict Management. He has worked as a church administrator, an assistant pastor, and a chemical dependency counselor. Michael and his wife Veronica have been leaders in Greater Cleveland’s Urban Agriculture movement since its beginning, and they are strong advocates for food security and healthy lifestyles. Michael values the opportunity to interact with the CDCLP cohort members, as it gives him an opportunity to impact leaders who are making a difference in Greater Cleveland.



Strategy Design Partners

David Fitz


David Fitz is the founding partner of Strategy Design Partners (SDP). David brings 15+ years of experience working in strategy and communications development with expertise in strategy development, organizational and executive positioning, crisis communications, marketing and communications planning, and brand development to name a few. He has worked as press secretary for a former Cleveland Mayor, in media relations for the Cleveland Clinic and as the vice president of public affairs for University Circle Inc. before founding SDP. After earning his bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University, David earned a master’s in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania.



Slavic Village Development

Christopher Alvarado

Slavic Village Development

Christopher is the Executive Director of Slavic Village Development, the community development corporation that serves 22,000 residents living in the neighborhoods of Broadway Slavic Village, a five square mile area southeast of Downtown Cleveland. Slavic Village Development is a forward-thinking, service-driven organization which works with and for its residents, businesses, and institutions to promote civic engagement, community empowerment, and neighborhood investment.

Previously, Christopher was a Strong Cities, Strong Communities Fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. embedded at the City of Cleveland’s Department of Community Development where he designed and implemented projects to turn vacant land held by the City Land bank from liabilities to assets owned and improved by Cleveland’s citizens, businesses, and organizations.

In Christopher’s past capacity with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, he focused on methodologies for sustainability, determining the economic, environmental, and social impacts of development, and coordinating environmental planning with economic development.




August Fluker


August L. Fluker retired in July 2021, following a 36-year career in architecture as principal at the Cleveland based firm City Architecture. He has served as Principal/Managing Member at Fluker Consulting LLC since its inception in August 2021. In Cleveland as well as state-wide, Mr. Fluker has been recognized for his leadership and achievements. In 2009 He was appointed to the Board of Architects by Governor Ted Strickland. He has served on the city of Cleveland’s Planning Commission since 2018. Mr. Fluker has served as board member of the Partnership for Safer Cleveland, Cleveland Institute of Art, St Clair Superior Development Corporation, Baseball Heritage Museum, Cleveland Restoration Society and New Village Corporation.

Prior to forming Fluker Consulting LLC, Mr. Fluker was responsible for client contact, project management and the administration and production of projects at City Architecture for 26 years. His experience and involvement range from large institutional projects to intimate storefront projects, and complex public transportation and infrastructure efforts. Mr. Fluker has dedicated the next chapter of his life to focus on people, context, and intentionality. Mr. Fluker’s immediate step in his new capacity includes serving as a coach for the Community Development Corporation Leadership Program, through the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation. He always starts by asking: How do you change a place?



Northwest Neighborhoods CDC

Adam Stalder


Adam Stalder loves Cleveland, its neighborhoods and its people. His career has been dedicated to connecting neighbors and helping all neighborhood stakeholders realize their visions for their communities. Adam began his career at the Metro West where he assisted businesses and promoted the West 25th Street Corridor. While at Metro West, he developed a strong appreciation for and connection with the Latinx/Puerto Rican community helped develop the La Villa Hispana initiative. After 7 years of service at Metro West, he transitioned to the Detroit Shoreway community where he worked on affordable housing projects and administrative services. In 2020 he was promoted to Executive Director and finalized the merger between Detroit Shoreway and Cudell Improvement, Inc. Adam believes that committed Community Development Corporations are true agents for positive change in communities and will continue to work tirelessly to advance CDCs so that they can better serve Cleveland’s people.



Providence House

Natalie Leek

Providence House

Natalie Leek has over 30 years of experience in non-profit and corporate environments focused in program development, data and outcomes measures, advocacy, marketing, fundraising, and education.

Since 2001, Ms. Leek has been the CEO and President for Providence House, Inc., a non-profit crisis nursery for infants and children focused on keeping kids safe and families together. During her tenure at Ohio’s first licensed crisis nursery, Natalie has quadrupled the organization’s service capacity and revenues, engaged broad audiences in support of her agency, and has positioned Providence House as a nationally recognized leader in child abuse prevention, family preservation, and foster care diversion. In 2019, she and her Board launched “Giving Hope for the PHuture” – a $13 Million capital campaign to expand the organization to Cleveland’s near east side.

Natalie is deeply committed to collaboration and community engagement in both the nonprofit and public sector. She has served on a number of nonprofit Boards and consults with a range of interested parties across the U.S. who strive to adopt the unique program model she has developed at Providence House.

Natalie Leek is an influential voice for our community’s most vulnerable citizens and issues, and a collaborative convener in city, state, and national arenas among nonprofit, government, business and civic constituents who seek positive action and systemic change.



Tremont West Development Corp.

Michelle Davis


Michelle Davis has devoted her career to the Tremont community in Cleveland, Ohio. She was introduced to community development work while serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at the Slavic Village Development Corporation. During her year of service, she discovered her love of helping people find the resources they need to live their best life. Being hired as a community organizer at Tremont West Development Corporation, she is now the Assistant Director and has cherished the opportunities she has been given to work alongside community members to develop and implement projects and programs that improve the quality of life for the Tremont resident and business communities. Keeping with her roots of having served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, she has supervised more than a twenty VISTAs since bringing the program to Tremont West in 2010. Working with the new leaders of tomorrow and learning from them during their service is rewarding and inspiring. Michelle loves spending time with her family; she is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin and friends of many.

Throughout the CDCLP experience, participants will benefit from their relationship with a coach who has deep expertise and experience in the CDC sector. The CDCLP will provide consistent and ongoing post-graduate coaching to ensure that the learning from the program continues and has an impact on individual, organizational, and neighborhood needs and aspirations.