A Unique Sporting Event
May 13, 2021
Cleveland was in the national spotlight April 29-May 1 for the NFL Draft – and FirstEnergy was a part of the festivities through the Cleveland Power of Sport Summit at Progressive Field.
The summit was hosted by Velocity – a communitywide initiative of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission – and provided activities, community engagement opportunities and resources in a socially distanced space. Participants included local organizations and companies that are working toward diversity, equity and inclusion.
FirstEnergy hosted an area where people could take part in a diversity exercise to gauge and reflect on the level of diversity in their everyday lives. At a second table, volunteers handed out FirstEnergy and Cleveland-branded items with attendees having a chance to win personal protective equipment packs consisting of a mask, hand sanitizer, digital thermometer and other items.
“The summit was such an important event and our volunteers – all members of our Employee Business Resource Groups – were great,” said Torey Tolson, consultant, Corporate Oversight & Community Involvement. “We received wonderful feedback on our diversity exercise, and our volunteers had the chance to sit in on a number of panels. I learned more about several groups participating in the summit that could be great partners for the FirstEnergy Foundation.”
Deitra Taylor, distribution instructor, and MOSaic Ohio Advocacy Committee co-chair, enjoyed volunteering. “I think it’s important that FirstEnergy employees get involved in the communities we serve. This is especially important when we can interact with the public and truly represent our own diversity within the company,” she said. “Volunteering for this event made me reflect on my personal world. As humans, we subconsciously bond with people who look like us or hold the same belief system. This was an eye-opening event.”
Joshua Goetz, manager, CEL technical support, and member of the THRIVE and Family Network EBRGs, agreed.
“The Cleveland Power of Sport Summit was a new and unique opportunity for me to put my VTO hours to good use. Our daughter recently became involved in the Special Olympics, and I’m seeing firsthand how sports can provide people with different challenges a place to feel part of a team,” he said. “With D&I being a FirstEnergy core value, I felt this event would be a good place to show the community the importance of having a diverse and inclusive culture within a large company. I was proud to be part of that message.”
Helping Cleveland Shine
It takes many moving parts to manage a big event such as the NFL Draft. A major element is the tireless work of people volunteering their time and talents to ensure a successful outcome.
One of the many volunteers was our own Albert Boehlke, Transmission System operation instructor. Albert served as a Cleveland Ambassador at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which also served as the draft headquarters for ESPN.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Albert. “I met ESPN celebrities such as Desmond Howard, Adam Schefter, Todd McShay, Dan Orlovsky and many more. I thoroughly enjoyed helping fans by providing information about the draft festivities as well as questions about Cleveland. I also talked with Desmond and Dan who were very friendly and answered my questions about possible draft picks for the Cleveland Browns.”
Volunteering for the draft was a natural move for Albert.
“I was a FirstEnergy volunteer greeter at the Marriott Hotel for the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. When I saw an ad from the Cleveland Sports Commission seeking volunteers for the draft, the ambassador position was right up my alley,” he said. “Both events provided the opportunity to share my passion for my hometown as well as lend a helping hand for the good of the community.”