“As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.”
The year of 2018 concluded with an important historical footnote of African American women in power.
In San Francisco it was the Mayoral election of London Breed, in Georgia it was the emergence of Stacey Abrams as the Democratic nominee for Georgia governor, in The United States House of Representatives it was the election of Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar, in Charlottesville, Va its Mayor Nikuyah Walker and in the White House its Mary Elizabeth Taylor, Senior advisor in the State Department.
Each of these women represent the changing dynamic of power and influence in the landscape of public service, and while some were elected others were chosen.
Valarie J. McCall is that reflection of women empowerment in the City of Cleveland.
McCall is the chosen representative of the City of Cleveland, wearing the multiple hats for the City of Cleveland, serving as Chief of Communications, Government & International Affairs for the City of Cleveland and Mayor Frank G. Jackson
McCall is the primary liaison to local and state government, federal agencies and international organizations, also oversees the administration’s appointments to internal and external boards and commissions, and helps implement the Mayor’s policies to promote regional growth and cooperation. She also oversees the City of Cleveland’s communications strategy, media relations and brand identity.
Representing the mayor to several national organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and the National Black Caucus of Local and Elected Officials, she essentially is a portrait in leadership.
In the the male dominated landscape of public service, McCall has demonstrated to be committed to the bevy of responsibilities she has with the city without fanfare.
During an appearance at the Academy Tavern last week, she kept to the task of supporting minority business and aspiring R&B artist Drew Vision.
It was McCall who served as the lead for the 2016 Republican National Convention for the city and she is already the first African American female president of Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.
Frankly there isn’t enough space to list the various boards she sits on, including the powerful Destination Cleveland and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
McCall, a graduate of Cleveland State University is also recipient of numerous accolades including the prestigious Cleveland State University Alumni Emerging Leadership Award, Ebony Magazine Young Leader of the Future award, Crain's Cleveland Business 40 under 40 award, Kaleidoscope Magazines 40/40 Club, Rotary Club of Cleveland International Service award, Lifetime Achievement award from the Liberia Economic Development Initiative, U.S. Secret Service Appreciation award, Cleveland State University Young Public Administrator of the Year award, Smart Business Magazine Progressive Woman award, the Sales & Marketing Executives Distinguished Marketing and Sales award, and the Conference of Minority Transportation ‘Women Who Move the Nation’ award. She is also a member of the ‘Best Leadership Cleveland Class Ever’ and is the Woman of Color Foundation’s “STAR” Professional Woman of the Year.
In addition to her domestic responsibilities, McCall represents the Jackson administration and the City of Cleveland overseas, including many of Cleveland’s sister cities. She is as a former panel member at the United Nations International Development Organization’s Conference on Urban Agglomerations and a former member of the Rouen Business School International Panel. McCall has traveled to Europe, meeting with leaders in the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Belgium, and Italy. She has also represented Cleveland in China and Japan. She is American Council of Young Political Leaders Fellow and an American Marshall Fellow.
Formally the youngest Cleveland City Council’ City Clerk and Clerk of Council,
McCall is also the City’s former Director of the Empowerment Zone, overseeing a more than $200 million budget, successfully supervising the distribution of funds for job training and placement programs, as well as direct lending programs to assist neighborhood businesses.
From a humble beginning working at McDonalds, the native Clevelander is a graduate of Martin Luther King Law & Public Services Magnet High School. She holds a bachelor's degree in social work and a master's degree in public administration from Cleveland State University, where she also was awarded with an honorary doctor of public service degree honoris causa (with all rights, privileges and honors) and also a doctorate from Rouen Business School International.
Valarie J. McCall may fly under the radar, but the array of responsibilities she handles go above and beyond the call of duty.