|The MidTown Cleveland community mourns the passing of our beloved founding chairman, Morton L. Mandel, who died yesterday at the age of 98. Mr. Mandel’s legacy of leadership and philanthropy will live on not just through MidTown, but through the hundreds of people and organizations he touched in Cleveland and around the world.|
Mort Mandel’s leadership in bringing together a disparate group of stakeholders to improve the MidTown district back in 1982 paved the way for the transformation occurring in our neighborhood today. Decades ago it may have been hard to imagine millions of dollars of investment in housing, labs, hotels, and offices in the area, but Mr. Mandel had the vision then to understand how important MidTown was to the City of Cleveland and he pursued that vision his entire life.
“Without Mort Mandel, there would be no MidTown. Mort used to say that MidTown is all about hometown people addressing hometown problems with hometown solutions. That said a lot about his vision for keeping things simple and keeping them close to their roots. He brought the good old-fashioned common sense approach he used in his business to the nonprofit world, and invested in people so that they could shape the world for the better. He will be missed.” said Frank Porter, chair of MidTown’s Emeritus Committee.
“Without Mort Mandel’s stewardship of MidTown Cleveland over more than 35 years, the neighborhood would not be where it is today. His insistence that organizational success is about exemplary leadership and “all about who” is an essential part of our organization’s DNA. I am reminded of Mr. Mandel and his legacy every day when I walk into work and see the photo of the Mandel brothers on our wall, and will do my best to carry his vision for MidTown forward.” added Jeff Epstein, Executive Director of MidTown Cleveland, Inc.
“The prosperity and growth in MidTown is largely due to Mr. Mandel’s vision for and commitment to the neighborhood. Because he supported MidTown Cleveland, Inc., our strategy and capacity were greatly enhanced. In his honor, we are inspired to pursue the vision for a vibrant MidTown community that shines brightly in Cleveland and beyond,” said Stephanie McHenry, Board Chair at MidTown Cleveland, Inc.
While we mourn Mort Mandel’s passing, we will continue to celebrate his life and legacy.