David Spero was a “rock-radio pioneer” in the 1970’s, and is a "high-profile" music manager and owner of the Cleveland, Ohio office of Alliance Artists Ltd. He has had a colorful and rich career in the music industry and has worked with many of the top musical acts of our time.
In 2000, he accepted a position as Senior Director of Programming for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and went on to serve as a member of their Board of Trustees into 2008. In addition to his involvement with Cleveland's Hall of Fame, on October 7, 2007, Spero himself was inducted as one of the Radio/Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame of Ohio's Class of 2007.
Principal clarinet of The Cleveland Orchestra since 1976, Franklin Cohen has distinguished himself as one of the most outstanding clarinetists of his generation. He has appeared as soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra in nearly 200 performances at Severance Hall, Blossom Music Center and on tour in the United States. As a recitalist and chamber music performer, Mr. Cohen has participated in major music festivals and has been the featured artist with many well known string quartets in important venues internationally.
Mr. Cohen has chaired the Cleveland Institute of Music clarinet departments since 1976, and many of his former students hold important positions throughout the music world.
Along with his daughter, Diana Cohen, Mr. Cohen is the co-founder and co-artistic director of ChamberFest Cleveland. ChamberFest Cleveland presents world-class musicians for an intesive summer chamber music festival, exploring unique and immersive thematic programming, and creating original, engaging musical experiences for its audiences. This annual event nurtures and enriches the appreciation of classical music in the Cleveland community.
Mr Wargo's passion for helping veterans comes from his father. His father was a U.S. Army veteran of three wars and also served our country working for the U.S. Air Force with an 18-year civil service career.
Steve is an accomplished marathon swimmer and has set records on two occasions. In order to raise money for U.S. veterans, he became the first Ohioan, the 16th person ever and the oldest (age 55) person to swim across Lake Erie. His swim was featured in the September 23,2013 issue of Sports Illustrated and a front page article of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on August 16, 2013.
Steve's career has spanned 32 years, where he has held increasingly responsible positions in supply chain management. He is a certified purchasing manager and has held positions as a manager, purchasing manger and supply chain specialist. He also is a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Tom Millard is a Vietnam veteran and a founder of HeroFest. Tom is retired from his career as an entrepreneur and business owner. In his career, Tom was instrumental in developing and running special events. He has promoted rock concerts for some of the premier names in the music industry and was one of the founding developers of the National Rib Cook-off and Minneapolis Rib Fest. He developed and owned a chain of car washes in the Cleveland area as well.
Tom is passionate about giving back to our veterans. The wounds of Vietnam are still very deep. When asked why he feels so deeply about our veterans, Tom will get very quiet and then simply say, "I went through some things in Vietnam no one should have to go through; and when I came home, they threw rocks at me. I want to make sure that our veterans today are treated better. It's time to give back to those who gave so much."
Bruce Knarr comes from a software development, engineering and entrepreneurial background and is a founder of HeroFest. Bruce developed and leased medical database software to major Cleveland area medical providers following a career developing cost proposals for a Cleveland area aerospace engineering and manufacturing company.
Bruce is also an accomplished musician, singer and songwriter with a long history in the local Cleveland music scene. As a songwriter, he is passionate about what he calls "the healing power of music" and how it can bring people together.