November 15, 2023: Chapter Meeting

Keynote Presentation

TOPIC: Accounting/Finance Hiring Challenges and How the Profession Can Attract More Students
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Barbara Benton, VP of Government Relations, The Ohio Society of CPA’s



Barbara Benton is a veteran lobbyist and association leader who has successfully advocated for the interests of Ohio’s CPAs for over three decades.

In that role, she leads OSCPA’s lobbying efforts at the state and national levels, including managing The Ohio Society’s political action committee.  She represents OSCPA on various coalitions and committees related to priorities of OSCPA and its members, and monitors and analyzes legislative, political and regulatory developments affecting the CPA profession to keep OSCPA members and stakeholders informed.

Barbara is a Certified Association Executive, a past president of the Ohio Lobbying Association (OLA), a recipient of OLA’s President’s Award for contributions to the lobbying profession, and the 2019 recipient of the American Society of Association Executive’s national Professional Performance Award.

Passionate about mentoring young government relations professionals and supporting her community, she has served in leadership roles on several local and statewide boards.  She enjoys traveling, reading, hiking and spending time with her husband, Jeff, and their family.


View Barbara’s Presentation Here!




October 17, 2023: Chapter Meeting

Keynote Presentation

TOPIC: Edwin’s Leadership and Restaurant Institute, “A More Powerful Yes”
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Brandon Chrostowski


ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Founder, President and CEO of EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, Brandon Edwin Chrostowski, is known for impacting culinary and hospitality training both in and out of the nation’s prisons while preserving French cooking traditions.

His mission-driven effort to train and hire former prison inmates at his flagship French restaurant and nonprofit has created a national model for re-entry and an educational pipeline for the formerly incarcerated to learn the discipline and skill of fine dining.

With a one percent recidivism rate, his impactful social program provides more than 100 formerly incarcerated adults with free culinary and hospitality arts training each year.

Since founding EDWINS in 2007, Chrostowski has reinforced his mission by creating the EDWINS Second Chance Life Skills Center; a campus that includes housing, a library, fitness center, kids park and garden as well as providing other wraparound services for his students. Opening late spring, the latest addition to campus is the EDWINS Family Center, which will provides free daycare to EDWINS students during class and service. EDWINS offers a virtual curriculum to more than 400,000 inmates at prisons across the country, and on-site programs at Grafton Correctional Institute and Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center.

Chrostowski’s culinary footprint has also expanded with the opening of Edwins Too, a restaurant and culinary incubator, EDWINS Butcher Shop, and EDWINS Bakery and Diner. All establishments offer deliciously affordable dining opportunities to the Cleveland community and provide careers for EDWINS graduates who want to remain under the EDWINS umbrella.

A classically trained chef and sommelier, Chrostowski honed his skills at fine dining establishments in Paris, New York, and Chicago, including Lucas Carton, Chanterelle, Picholine, Le Cirque and Charlie Trotter’s.

Recognition of his culinary efforts include 2023 James Beard Finalist; IFMA’s 2020 Silver Plate, CNN 2016 Heroes, Crain’s “40 under 40” Awards; The Richard C. Cornuelle Award from the Manhattan Institute for Social Entrepreneurship. Chrostowski was also the subject of the Academy Award nominated documentary Knife Skills – a short film following the opening of EDWINS.

Chrostowski has earned a Bachelor of Business and Restaurant Management and an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America.

He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife Catana and their children, Leo, Lilly, and Lynx.


Thank you for joining us October 17th!


August 29, 2023: Kick-Off Social


May 21-23, 2023: National Financial Leadership Summit 2023

More information on the Financial Leadership Summit HERE

May 4, 2023: Volunteer Event at Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Join your fellow FEI NEO members, family, and friends for a fun night of volunteering at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank distribution center. 

Event Details/Registration

Greater Cleveland Food Bank
13815 Coit Road
Cleveland, OH 44110

Thursday, May 4, 2023
6:00 – 8:00 pm (you must attend for the entire volunteer shift)

Parking is available in the paved lot in front of the building.

Email to register for this event by Friday, April 28, 2023. 
Family and friends are welcome to attend with you, but must be registered ahead of time.

Volunteer tasks may include:

  • Sorting through and Repackaging Incoming Nonperishable, Perishable, and Non-food Donations
  • Shelf-stable Emergency Food Box Packing
  • Commodity Supplemental Food Program Box Packing
  • Backpacks for Kids Kit Assembly
  • Kids’ Café/Summer Feeding Lunch Packing

For all of our shifts, please come prepared to assist with any duty! Thank you for your flexibility!

Volunteers are crucial to all operations of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, whether in traditional roles (collecting, sorting, and repacking donated food that comes through our warehouse every day) or using special skills to support administrative functions or special projects. In 2021, more than 6,000 volunteers contributed more than 75,000 hours of service to the Food Bank, a savings of more than $1.9 million in salaries and benefits, allowing for additional food to be provided to our agencies and clients. Learn more here.