Notables in Education Leadership – Lee Friedman

College Now Greater Cleveland has experienced tremendous growth with Lee Friedman at the helm of the nonprofit.

The nation’s oldest college access organization has increased its budget from $4 million to $35 million since Friedman became CEO in 2010, according to the nomination. She now oversees a staff of more than 200, which includes employees at the organization’s downtown Cleveland office and a team of student-serving advisers. 

College Now “helps students of all ages” find success “in their postsecondary endeavors,” the nomination said. As CEO, Friedman is responsible for shaping the organization’s vision and ensuring it delivers on its mission.

Friedman was among the leaders who helped bring Say Yes Cleveland to the region. College Now administers Say Yes Cleveland’s scholarships and matches each recipient with a postsecondary education mentor, the nomination said. College Now garnered 21 federal grants in 2021-22. The grants totaled $4.1 million and helped the organization serve 13,000 additional students, the nomination said.

In 2021, Friedman was recognized as a Team NEO Regional Economic Development Champion. She’s a former president and CEO of the Downtown Cleveland Partnership and was the inaugural president and CEO of the Cleveland Leadership Center.

The original article is featured in Crain’s Cleveland Business.