David Beach, Director

David Beach is the founder and executive director of EcoCity Cleveland. He has built the organization into a nationally recognized center of thought and practice about sustainability and the design of cities in balance with nature.

For the past 25 years, he has been a prominent writer, editor and community activist in Greater Cleveland. He has been a member of many local and regional environmental organizations and public planning committees, and he speaks frequently on urban design, land use, and transportation planning issues to community groups, university classes, and conference audiences.

David has deep roots in the Cleveland area: his family has lived there for six generations. He currently lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, with his wife and two sons. He is a graduate of Harvard University.

(Click here for longer profile from The Plain Dealer.)


  • EcoCity Cleveland Journal, editor and writer, 1993-2001. The Journal was nominated three times for national "Best of the Alternative Press Awards" by Utne Reader magazine.
  • Moving to Corn Fields: A Reader on Urban Sprawl and the Regional Future of Northeast Ohio, EcoCity Cleveland, 1996. Winner of a 1997 National Environmental Education Achievement Award.
  • The Greater Cleveland Environment Book, EcoCity Cleveland, 1998.
  • Ohio Smart Growth Agenda (with Stuart Meck), EcoCity Cleveland, 1998.
  • The Citizens' Bioregional Plan for Northeast Ohio (with Bradley Flamm), EcoCity Cleveland, 1999.
  • The New American City Faces Its Regional Future: A Cleveland Perspective (co-edited with David Sweet and Kathryn Hexter), Ohio University Press, 1999.
  • EcoCity Digest, editor and writer, 2003-present.

Ryan McKenzie,
Transportation Project Manager


As our transportation and urban land use project manager, Ryan McKenzie works on programs and policies to improve conditions for walking, bicycling and transit in Northeast Ohio. He is the founder and current secretary of the Committee for Transit-Oriented Development, a committee chairperson on RTA's Citizens' Advisory Board, a member of NOACA's Bicycle Advisory Council, and a trustee of the Cleveland Waterfront Coalition and the Northeast Ohio Regional Alliance.

Ryan's current projects include the Circle-Heights Bike Network, traffic calming assistance for the Ohio City Streets Committee, advocacy for an expanded bikes-on-buses program at RTA, assistance with the City of Cleveland's bicycle master plan, improving information at transit stops, and developing a Citizens' Transportation Plan as an extension of EcoCity's Bioregional Plan. Before joining EcoCity Cleveland, Ryan helped to creat a citizens group called Alt-Trans Cleveland and helped write the book Car-Free in Cleveland.

He has a master's degree in urban studies from Cleveland State University. His background includes bicycle racing and touring around the world, completing the New Zealand Ironman triathlon and developing a mountain biking program at a Carribean eco-resort. He currently lives in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood and is planning to build a straw-bale house.

Marc Lefkowitz,
Web Editor

Since spring 2002, Marc Lefkowitz has served as EcoCity Cleveland's Web editor, helping to develop our site and the site for the GreenCityBlueLake Network into Northeast Ohio's clearinghouse for sustainability information and ideas. Marc has nine years of experience as a journalist, writing for publications ranging from The Cleveland Jewish News to Cleveland Magazine and Inside Business. As an associate editor for the latter, Marc was awarded 2000, 2001 and 2002 Cleveland Press Club awards for feature writing. He found it most satisfying to write on the economic value of environmental and green building issues to a business readership.

Marc received a bachelor's degree in English from Ohio State University in 1992, and a master's degree in urban planning from Cleveland State University in 2004. He lives in Cleveland Heights where he can be found gardening, reading or working on Hotel Bruce, an online publication devoted Cleveland's arts and urban culture.

Dorie Shimelonis,
Administrative Director

As our administrative director, Dorie Shimelonis maintains our databases and financial records, conducts membership outreach, plans events, arranges mailings, and manages day-to-day activities. Prior to joining EcoCity Cleveland, Dorie was director of administration at a local marketing and communications company, and assistant director of the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation.

Dorie has a bachelor's degree in social sciences from Baldwin-Wallace College. Her home is a 1920 cottage in Euclid where she can be found strolling along the lake at Sims Park, gardening, reading or cooking for family and friends.

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EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003

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Rather than follow a mainstream trajectory, Beach returned to Cleveland, where he has become one of the most important and influential environmental advocates in the region, if not the entire state.
Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer


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