AJC Cleveland is pleased to present its 2020 Richard H. Adler Community Leadership Award to Dr. Alex Johnson, President of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®).  Since 1996, AJC Cleveland has presented this award to an exceptional civic or corporate leader. 

In announcing the selection, Tom Adler, co-chair of the Award Reception named in his father’s memory, noted about this year’s recipient, “We are pleased to recognize Dr. Johnson for his inspirational leadership, great achievements, and commitment to bettering our community.  His innovative vision has transformed Cleveland, expanded opportunities for higher education, and enabled a generation of students to achieve their dreams.  With a strong intellect, keen insight, and deep humanity Alex believes in possibilities, breaks barriers, eliminates challenges and provides an environment in which staff and students may thrive.” 

Due to COVID-19, AJC Cleveland made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s 25th Annual Richard H. Adler Award reception and to not hold it virtually.  AJC intends to commemorate Dr. Johnson’s leadership next fall, while honoring the 2021 recipient.

“I am proud to accept, on behalf of Tri-C, the Adler Award from AJC Cleveland, who we join in helping to make Cleveland a city where all are welcome and able to thrive.”  Johnson said.  “We look forward to our collaboration for years to come.”

Johnson has served as Tri-C president since 2013 and reshaped the student experience with a strong focus on access, equity and success.  Graduation rates and totals have reached record numbers and continue to climb under his guidance.

His leadership extends off campus and into the community.  Examples include leading a citywide commemoration of Carl and Louis Stokes; co-chairing the selection committee for the Cleveland Community Police Commission; and supporting the creation of Tri-C’s Stand for Racial Justice alliance.

Recently under Johnson’s leadership, Tri-C was selected as intermediary for the Workforce Connect Healthcare Sector Partnership.

The Richard H. Adler Community Leadership Award was established as a tribute to Dick’s legacy and vision for our city.  In his professional life as President and CEO of the Joseph and Feiss Company, as Executive Vice-President of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, and through his dedication to the AJC, he demonstrated the highest ideals of leadership, commitment to our community and philanthropy.

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