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In "Get to NEO a Leader" series, we meet the first-elected mayor of Chardon and the city manager

On the "Sound of Ideas," we travel to Chardon for the next installment of our "Get to NEO a Leader" series. [SevenMaps/shutterstock]
On the "Sound of Ideas," we travel to Chardon for the next installment of our "Get to NEO a Leader" series. [SevenMaps/shutterstock]

Today, we'll start the "Sound of Ideas" with another installment of our "Get to NEO a Leader" series, where we talk to mayors and city managers, in communities large and small, about the places they lead. We started the series shortly after Ideastream Public Media expanded its news coverage to 22 counties back in March. We now reach an area covering about 3 million people - stretching across Northeast Ohio -- from Ashtabula and Trumbull in the east to Erie and Huron in the west, from urban counties that touch Lake Erie like Lorain, Lake, and Cuyahoga, to more rural southern counties like Holmes, Stark and Tuscarawas..

That means there are a lot of communities many of us know very little about. We're hoping this series helps connect and inform all of us living across the region.

So far, we've spoken to Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan in Summit County, Richmond Heights Mayor Kim Thomas in Cuyahoga County, Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley in Lorain County, and Aurora Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin in Portage County.

Next up, we venture into Geauga County to talk to two leaders, Chardon Mayor Christopher Grau and City Manager Randy Sharpe. While Sharpe has been city manager since 2012, this is the first time the city has had a directly-elected mayor. Grau, who was formerly a city council member, was sworn in as mayor in January. They both join me now, thanks so much for coming on the show. 

Later this hour, we'll meet another leader in the region, Cuyahoga Community College's new president Dr. Michael Baston. 

And, we'll learn about new technologies being developed between NASA and GE to push the air travel industry towards electrification.

-Christopher Grau, Mayor, City of Chardon
-Randy Sharpe, City Manager, City of Chardon 
-Dr. Michael Baston, President, Cuyahoga Community College
-James Heidmann, PhD, Manager, Advanced Air Transport Technology Project, NASA Glenn Research Center
-Amy Jankovsky, Project Manager at NASA Glenn Research Center

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”