Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
"I think Ohio can be the next Silicon Valley"
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 10/23/2009 - 08:20.
"I think Ohio can be the next Silicon Valley", said Cleveland Foundation President and "former head of North American research and development for Panasonic" Ronn Richard, for a November 2007 Cleveland Plain Dealer article titled "German solar company plans HQ in Cleveland". The PD then reported: "For months, the Cleveland Foundation has sent teams to Europe in an effort to sell Ohio to solar and wind turbine companies as the right place to manufacture."
Today, less than two years later, the PD reports "IBC Solar to leave Cleveland for San Francisco." "The company has maintained its one-person U.S. headquarters here since February 2008." "Cleveland Foundation President Richard hadn't given up Thursday evening. He was to meet with Buntain today to talk about the company's decision -- and what it will take to keep a presence in Ohio."
Some further details, from the PD:
I find it odd the PD described Richard as "former head of North American research and development for Panasonic", as Ronn Richard had more significant and relevant jobs since leaving Panasonic... most notably working for President George W. Bush, during his 9/11 days, as COO of a division of the Central Intelligence Agency.
REALNEO readers also know Richard as a member of the Board of Directors of post-9/11 Anthrax industry leader Emergent BioSolutions, and the man who leveraged his position as head of America's oldest and arguably most powerful "Community Foundation" to become "Infrastructure Czar" for the State of Ohio, as well.
Having moved the Cleveland's Foundation's role in the region from one of community service to one of undeniable superpower, Richard is largely responsible for Northeast Ohio's near-exclusive focus on developing a fresh water off shore wind industry here, as part of a highly propagandized big-industry mission to maintain our status quo of environmental falure here, beget as "Sustainable Cleveland 2019".
Ronn and his troops have criss-crossed the globe trying to force his agenda on the world, apparently without success.
During the Richard's era in North EAST Ohio, North WEST Ohio has taken a different approach to new economy development and become a world leader in the solar industry... in the same time Ronn has had us chasing off-shore windmills.
The Toledo Free Press reported, on Earth Day 2009, in "Hot potential: Toledo’s solar industry promise": "Already, 6,000 people in the Toledo area are employed at firms contributing to solar cell development and manufacturing, according to the Regional Growth Partnership, a nonprofit economic development group."
The State of Ohio now brags, as proof of success of the Third Frontier program: "The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and investors around the world recognize Toledo as a hotspot for research, development, and commercialization of advanced solar technologies."
Richard "created" one Solar job in North EAST Ohio, that has now left for California.
Richard is starting a new "Co-Op" to put solar panels on buildings at Case Western Reserve University. Probably, solar panels developed at University of Toledo, and manufactured in North WEST Ohio.
In over 6 years, since June, 2003, Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and Ohio have not made good progress, under Richard's leadership.
Real NEO needs real change.
As we reflect upon the unimpressive scope of Richard's achievements, in all capacities we know of, we must ask, how do we elect a new CEO of our community foundation, or force the Foundation to remove itself from the "Economic Development" leadership of our region?
Think about that problem, as you decide how to vote on Issue 6.
And, think about the fact that IBC "liked the city, its geographic location and its highway, rail and maritime infrastructure", but, "it turns out that such a model won't work here", meaning real global industry is not deciding where to base operations based on the Word of Ronn, or the way leadership in Northeast Ohio expects.
Read again the words of the German company soon to "be leavin' Cleveland" regarding Cleveland's "geographic location and its highway, rail and maritime infrastructure": "it turns out that such a model won't work here".
Indicating the planning for our Port relocation is as poorly conceived as was our region's misguided pursuit of a German company that established one employee here, for about a year, and relocated because our regional infrastructure model does not work for the new economy.
Meaning, the port relocation plan is certainly as poorly developed as the Cleveland Foundation solar industry development plan.
Meaining, we need new leadership of Cleveland and our Cleveland Foundation.