About the Executive
Cuyahoga County Executive
Cuyahoga County Roots
Chris Ronayne is a forty-year resident of Cuyahoga County, currently residing in Cleveland's Edgewater neighborhood. Chris’ father, an Army veteran, and his mother, a small business owner, taught him the values of hard work, perseverance and integrity. Chris dedicated his campaign to his mom, who passed away after a long battle with cancer last year.
Chris and his wife Natalie have been married for nineteen years. She currently serves as the Chief Development Officer for the Cleveland Metroparks. Chris spends most of his free time on the ice as a youth hockey coach for his two children, Audrey and Joe.
Dedicated to Public Service
Chris began his career in public service with the County Planning Commission where he developed community reinvestment plans and in Cuyahoga County government where he launched the Division of Employer Resources. Here, Chris saw the best of county government, where the private, nonprofit and public sectors worked together to achieve results.
In 2001, Chris was campaign manager for Jane Campbell, the first woman elected mayor in Cleveland’s history. At the City of Cleveland, he became Planning Director, where he led initiatives like the Cleveland Lakefront Plan and the Euclid Corridor. As chief architect of the Cleveland Lakefront Plan, he and his team engaged with 5,000 residents in the visioning process, secured tens of millions of dollars in state and federal funds, and laid the groundwork for projects that have received hundreds of millions in investment. Chris then served as Chief of Staff and Chief Development Officer in Cleveland where he oversaw over 5,000 employees and managed a budget of $1.5 billion.
Leadership with Results
For 16 years, Chris served as the President of University Circle Inc. (UCI), a non-profit community service corporation. Chris achieved measurable results, transforming Ohio’s education, medical, and cultural district into a thriving complete community. He delivered more than 2,500 new and renovated neighborhood homes to the area, developed after-school and summer programs that engaged more than 10,000 students each year, helped bring a grocery store to a food desert and connected small businesses to Cleveland’s arts, education and healthcare institutions. He stepped down from his role at UCI in 2021 to launch his campaign for County Executive.
Chris serves on the board of Destination Cleveland, is Chair of the Canalway Partners Board of Directors, and is past Chair of the Port of Cleveland Board of Directors. In these roles, Chris was a leader on innovative projects like the Cleveland-Europe Express container service and the newly completed Towpath Trail.
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