The Folks Behind the Scenes


Emily Appelbaum
Executive Artistic Director

emily appelbaum

Emily joined Ingenuity in 2015, after returning to Cleveland from the Bay Area where she helped make places awesome through collaborative design, large-scale public art, earthshaking events, and outreach to underserved communities.

She has a degree in Architecture and Urban Studies from Yale, and she has a passion for creative place-making through artist involvement. She serves as Art Director for Brite Cleveland, and worked previously with LAND studio, City Architecture and Westlake Reed Leskosky (Cleveland); and (in San Francisco) American Steel Studios, the Box Shop and the late, great San Francisco Bay Guardian. She has been instrumental in visioning and bringing the Hamilton Collaborative to life.

Operations Manager

Mariah Becker

Hailing from the TRUE mistake on the lake known as Toledo, Mariah relocated to Cleveland in 2015 to pursue a career in Cleveland's film production industry. Falling in love with the city, and out of love in the film industry, she stumbled upon live events which lead to a bustling career as an event manager and the Festival Coordinator of Brite Winter since 2016. Working directly with Ingenuity Cleveland through Brite Winter ultimately opened the path for her current position as the Operations Manager at Ingenuity Cleveland.

When she's not wrangling artists at Ingenuity, Mariah is wrangling cats and dogs with her wonderfully chaotic zoo of family in Old Brooklyn, please politely ignore any animal hair on her clothes.

MB photo
Headshot Emma Morris
Marketing & Development Manager


Emma is a Chicago-area native turned Clevelander after graduating from Baldwin Wallace University in May 2022 with a B.A. in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship. She joined Ingenuity in June 2022 with experience in marketing, social media strategy, and arts administration.

In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, Zumba, and spending time with her cats, Lemon, Larry, and Lady.

Programming & Sustainability Manager

russa wenzel

Russa is a Cleveland native who has spent the last decade overseeing all kinds of events within our city! With a strong passion for inclusive spaces and community engagement Russa first came to Ingenuity in 2018 as a Volunteer Coordinator, her role has since grown to Programming and Sustainability Manager- helping to grow Ingenuity's programming, Ingeneers and annual festival.

In her free time she enjoys kayaking and exploring the outdoors.

Bringing Time, Talent, & Treasure


Executive Committee


kristen hoover

McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal, & Liffman Co., LPA


Rob Elmore

Key Bank


Brett Altier

Ulmer & Berne


Radhika Balasubramaniam

Cardinal Commerce/ Visa


Cena Hilliard
Case Western Reserve University

Dalindyebo Shabalala
University of Dayton

George Smith
Dominion Energy

Dave Thomas
Thompson Hine

Jennifer Jones
Avery Dennison

Laura DeMarco Petkovic
Greater Cleveland Partnership

Michael Bruder
Case Western Reserve University

Brain Wheatall

John McGovern
Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Emeritus Board

Lisa Curll
Sustainability Consultant, Dominion Energy

James DeRosa
Commissioner of Real Estate, City of Cleveland

Doug Hoffman
Principal, Weber Murphy Fox

Joe Marinucci
Former President & CEO, Downtown Cleveland Alliance

Grafton Nunes
President, Cleveland Institute of Art

Tony Sias
President & CEO, Karamu House

Nigamanth Sridar
National Science Foundation/Cleveland State University

David Tabor
Director of Gas Operations, Dominion Energy

Deborah Wilcox
Partner, BakerHostetler, LLC