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Cleveland Clinic taps FRDC’s Vickie Johnson

James W. Wade III | 7/16/2014, 9:57 a.m.
Johnson has been involved in many great projects for the city of Cleveland and started recently helping push for raising ...
Vickie Eaton Johnson

Vickie Eaton Johnson will join Cleveland Clinic as Senior Director of Community Relations on Sept. 15. Johnson is currently the Executive Director of the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation (FRDC), where she has served for more than 17 years. In her current role, Johnson has helped foster a strong relationship between Cleveland Clinic and the Fairfax neighborhood.

Johnson is replacing Pamela Marshall Holmes, who currently leads Community Relations for Cleveland Clinic, will become Senior Director of Local Government Relations. Holmes will be Cleveland Clinic’s primary point of contact for policy makers and other leaders in the city of Cleveland. She has played an integral role in hospital community relations for nearly 30 years and will now bring her experience to ensure continued communication and collaboration between the city and Cleveland Clinic.

At Cleveland Clinic, Johnson will lead the civic education and community based programs. As the largest anchor institution in Cleveland, Johnson will be a key part of ensuring Cleveland Clinic’s continued commitment to being a good neighbor and citizen to the surrounding community.

“Pam and Vickie both have keen insights into the needs of the city, and having them in these roles truly exemplifies how important Cleveland is to Cleveland Clinic and solidifies our commitment to the city and its residents, “said Kristen D. W. Morris, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer at Cleveland Clinic.

“Vickie’s commitment to neighborhood revitalization has helped us grow and has established us as one of the leaders in community development,” Baucher said. “While Vickie has many strengths, her greatest assets may be her vision and her ability to build an excellent staff of professionals that she has publicly credited for the many successes of FRDC.”

Since 1997, Johnson has served as executive director of FRDC. In that time, the organization has grown from $26,000 in net assets to $10.6 million. She has directed more than $120 million in new investments in the Fairfax neighborhood, with $15 million planned for 2015.

Two projects that she takes great pride in are the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center (GCIC) and the Langston Hughes Center. Those projects were the tipping point to show the world how a grounded community development corporation can partner with a world class institution in a way that both the community and the institution benefit.

“When we partnered with Cleveland Clinic to do this global project, this put us on a bigger stage, and set us apart from traditional thinking regarding the role played by CDCs. GCIC is a regional asset and from that we leveraged the development of the Langston Hughes Center which addresses health and wellness of the people in our community. Langston would not have happened without GCIC. We took an existing building and made it new again...it represents the past coming together to meet the needs of today and a vision for tomorrow,” said Johnson.

Johnson has been involved in many great projects for the city of Cleveland and started recently helping push for raising funds for the African American Cultural Garden to get completed. Johnson who has always been willing to help other Community Development Corporation has always put the love for her community first. “I love my community and the city of Cleveland and I have worked hard to make sure FRDC is position right for the future. By doing this, FRDC is fiscally strong which puts us in a better position to continue to do community work. As funders’ priorities change, we are less impacted because this nonprofit is run like a for profit business so we can continue to render services and programs that are most important to the people we serve,” said Johnson.

Her area has grown by leaps and bounds with Quincy Place which is where FRDC is located where they beautified Quincy Park. Little further down the street their pattern help the Juvenile Justice Center leveraged new infrastructure, a new park, public transportation and future housing.

“One of my greatest joys is that I have been able to help both an anchor institution and residents find a common benefit. I am thrilled that the Clinic extended an offer to me to replicate this in other communities surrounding the Cleveland Clinic. We have built a team at FRDC that is solidly in place and poised to continue the vision that started 20 years ago,” said Johnson.

The board of FRDC already has plans to have Denise VanLeer as interim Director after Johnson leaves.