The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) is offering a series of Lunch and Learns starting this summer! Lunch and Learns bring together people from diverse backgrounds and organizations in an informal atmosphere to collaborate and learn how you can drive personal, team and business development to the next level. These events are offered every third Thursday of the month from noon to 1:00 p.m.

NOACA is keeping a close eye on the developing situation surrounding the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) by limiting social interactions and in-person meetings. Our number one goal is the safety and well-being of our residents, visitors and communities throughout Northeast Ohio. As such, NOACA will not entertain any in-person participation at the NOACA headquarters until further notice. Therefore, the Lunch and Learn sessions will be conducted as virtual meetings for now.

Join our network and view our upcoming lists of guest and topics. When you sign up, NOACA will send you a notice when the registration is open. A link to the scheduled online meeting will be provided after you register.

Unable to attend?

You can view archived videos of some of our Lunch and Learn events at the bottom of this page.


Planning for Age-Friendly Communities

As Dorothy said in the “Wizard of Oz,” “There’s no place like home.” That is true, no matter how old you are. So, how can communities help ensure that their residents can “age in place” and continue to be active members of their communities as they grow older? The panelists in this session will discuss common issues for older people and present suggestions to help them continue to live independently. 


  • Janice M. Dzigiel, Executive Director, Senior Transportation Connection

  • Mary McNamara, Director of Aging, City of Cleveland

  • Fatima Perkins, MNO, MSLIS, Director, Community Outreach & Advocacy, Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging



Transit-oriented development (TOD) is an exciting and fast-growing trend in creating vibrant, livable, sustainable communities. It involves the creation of compact, walkable, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use communities that are centered around high-quality train systems. The result is a lower-stress life without complete dependence on a car for mobility. Join us as our panelists discuss the benefits of transit-oriented development and what makes a location a candidate for TOD. 


  • Maribeth Feke, Director of Planning, GCRTA

  • Ken Sislak, Vice President, AECOM

October 15

Equitable Public Engagement

An equitable, inclusive community engagement approach helps ensure that the people most affected by a transportation project have a say in the decisions that affect their lives. It is especially important to engage those who have been historically left out of these conversations (e.g., low-income people, communities of color, recent immigrants, and speakers of English as a second language). The panelists for this session will discuss how being aware and accepting of cultural differences can improve the process to make projects run more smoothly.


  • Nelson Beckford, Program Manager, Neighborhood Revitalization & Engagement, Cleveland Foundation

  • Jejuana Brown, Program Manager, GCP Equity and Inclusion

  • Nicholas Gorris, P.E., Deputy Engineer, Geauga County Engineer's Office

  • Joyce Huang, Director of Planning and Placemaking, Mid-Town CDC

  • Richard Wong, Planning Director, City of Cleveland Heights

November 19

"Engineer-Speak" & "Planner-Speak" for Better Understanding & Collaboration

A tight relationship between planners, designers and engineers is crucial to workflow and working together to produce the best community project. Whether these disciplines speak to aesthetics, function, standards or operations, sometimes transportation and infrastructure projects suffer because planners, designers and engineers don't always speak the same language when developing projects. In this session, learn how a planner's view of a project may differ from an engineer's viewpoint, and how an awareness of those differences can lead to more successful projects and more productive relationships.


  • Nancy Lyon-Stadler, P.E., PTOE, Cleveland Office Lead, WSP

  • Katelyn Milius, City Planner, Department of Planning and Development, City of Lakewood

  • Alex Pesta, AIA, AICP, LEED AP, Principal, City Architecture

  • Eva D. Vargas, P.E., AICP, Project Engineer, Mayor's Office of Capital Projects, Division of Engineering and Construction, City of Cleveland

December 17

Attitudes and Progress Toward Regionalism

Working together to achieve common goals and improve quality of life is what regionalism is all about. It can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of local governments, which in turn can help keep taxes and fees lower. Join us as we explore attitudes and progress toward regionalism in Northeast Ohio.


  • Meghan Rubado, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Public Administration and City Management in the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University

Archived Videos

August 20, 2020: Transit-Oriented Development

October 15, 2020: Equitable Public Engagement


© 2020 Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency

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