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Civic Commons Names Mike Shafarenko President

CLEVELAND--Feb. 3, 2011--Civic Commons, a newly formed initiative that builds conversations and connections that fuel civic action, today announced that Mike Shafarenko has joined the organization as president.

In his new role, Shafarenko will help transition the organization from its current pre-launch state to full implementation, oversee the overall operations and manage the business model. Shafarenko succeeds Christopher Celeste, co-founder of Findaway World and founder of Hatch, who served as the volunteer launch director of Civic Commons. Celeste will continue in an active advisory role for the organization. “Civic Commons is a dynamic initiative engaging the region in conversations and inspiring actions to improve Northeast Ohio,” said Brian Frederick, CEO of the Community Foundation of Lorain and President of the Civic Commons Launch Board. “Mike’s experience working with entrepreneurs combined with his management experience will help chart the future path for Civic Commons as it transitions from its current beta state into a fully-functioning platform this Spring.” Prior to joining Civic Commons, Shafarenko was the Manager of Operations and Finance at the Fund for Our Economic Future. The Fund conceived of the Civic Commons and is presently incubating the initiative. At the Fund, Shafarenko led the creation and implementation of the EfficientGovNow program, which offers grant funding to top government collaboration and efficiency projects throughout the region as selected by the region's citizens. He was also integral in developing the initial proposal for the Civic Commons.  He has previous experience working at Entrepreneur's EDGE and Case Western Reserve University. He graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. “As a creator of the Civic Commons vision, Mike brings the knowledge and passion required for success,” said Brad Whitehead, President of the Fund for Our Economic Future.  The Civic Commons, established with a $3 million Knight Foundation grant and additional in-kind and financial support from the Fund for Our Economic Future, seeks to educate, engage and empower citizens to be involved and active in strengthening the community using citizen journalism, public engagement and social media. For more information, visit www.theciviccommons.com. ###

 ABOUT THE FUND FOR OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE The Fund for Our Economic Future is a collaboration of more than 100 foundations, organizations and philanthropists from across Northeast Ohio that strengthens the region’s economic competitiveness through grantmaking, public engagement and research.