Learn from Leaders

Learn from Leaders is just one way the Lakeland Business Management program provides value-added experiences for our students and community.

Access to local leaders in business management, human resources, entrepreneurship and leadership gives students and community members the opportunity to learn from the best, ask questions and gain invaluable insight into the business world.

Upcoming Events

Each event requires separate registration!

  • Feb. 28 | 12:30 p.m. | Webex | Valissa Turner Howard
  • April 4 | 12:30 p.m. | Room T-129 | Mario Jurcic

View the live presentation videos from our previous guests here.

Valissa Turner Howard | Feb. 28, 2024

Valissa Turner Howard

Valissa Turner Howard, Esq. is the Vice President of Talent and Legal Affairs at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. In this role Valissa provides advice and counsel to the President & CEO, as well as strategic oversight in talent development, human resources, volunteer engagement, and organizational culture building work.  Valissa specifically oversees the talented human resources and volunteer experience teams, leading in recruiting and mobilizing top notch talent both paid and unpaid in service to the Food Bank's mission. She also leads the work to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are strengths of the organization, as well as overseeing the Compliance team and legal affairs like contract review, labor & employment, and Board governance issues.  

Prior to joining the Food Bank, Valissa was a senior government employee in Cuyahoga County government, an Associate Attorney with a legal and consulting firm in the Bay Area, clerked for a federal Judge in Akron, worked as a law firm diversity manager and law school senior administrator in Cleveland, and practiced with a mid-size law firm in San Diego.

Throughout her professional life, Valissa has also been a resourceful community leader who is passionate about increasing diversity, equity and inclusion.  In fact, in her first year of practice Valissa was appointed Co-Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association Inaugural Diversity Fellowship Program. Later, she also served as a Member of the Women of Color in Law Board for ten years; Vice President of Inclusion & Diversity at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and as founding Co-Chair of the Women of Color Affinity Group for the Junior League of Cleveland.

Currently, Valissa serves as an engaged member in the following groups and organizations: Ohio State Bar Association Advisory Council on Diversity Initiatives; Case Western Reserve University School of Law Dean's Diversity Cabinet; Lakeland Foundation Board of Directors; Our Hope Our Future Giving Circle; Top Ladies of Distinction, Greater Cleveland Chapter; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Omega Chapter; and Western Reserve (OH) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated.

Valissa has been recognized for her experience and commitment to serve with several awards, including the 2022 Ohio State Bar Foundation Statewide Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and Under, a 2021 Rising Leadership Award from the NAACP Cleveland Branch, the 2021 President's Award from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, 2021 Ruth T. Lucas Award from the Junior League of Cleveland; 2018 Distinguished Young Woman Award from the YWCA Greater Cleveland; 2017 Francis Payne Bolton Award from the Junior League of Cleveland; 2017 Who's Who in Black Cleveland recognition; and 2016 Crain's Cleveland 40 Under Forty Honoree.

Valissa obtained her B.A. from the University of California at Irvine, and received an M.A. and Certification in Diversity Management from Cleveland State University. She received her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law where she was awarded a three-year Merit Scholarship and a 3L Leadership Award.

Mario Jurcic | April 4, 2024

Mario Jurcic

Mario Jurcic is a seasoned entrepreneur and the driving force behind the success of SECURE ITADS, LLC, widely known as Secure Recycling. With an illustrious 19-year career, Mario's journey is marked by remarkable achievements and a commitment to excellence in the field of end-of-life electronics processing and data destruction:

Key Achievements:

  • 2x Inc 5000 Honoree: Recognized as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America.
  • 2x Empact 100 Honoree: Celebrated as a top 100 Entrepreneur under 35, with prestigious award receptions at the UN and the White House.

From Garage to Multimillion Dollar Enterprise:
Mario kick-started his entrepreneurial journey from his parent's garage with a mere $700 to his name. Today, he leads a multimillion-dollar organization equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Renowned as the "culture" guy in the industry, Mario has fostered a thriving work environment at SECURE ITADS.

Industry Leadership:
Under Mario's guidance, SECURE ITADS has emerged as one of the nation's leading electronics processing companies. The company serves clients across the nation, reaching as far as Alaska and Hawaii. Over the span of 19 years, SECURE ITADS has responsibly recycled over 100 million pounds of electronics, with an ambitious target of 3 billion pounds over the next 20 years.


Recent Guests
Spring 2024

Click or tap here to show/hide the presentations and interviews from previous years.


Ianny Martinez I came to Lakeland not knowing anything. I wanted to help people and I knew that I had to go to school to learn about health care. I am so happy that I did this. Lakeland changed my life. Ianny Martinez Medical Assisting

Elizabeth Brassell Lakeland opened the doors of opportunity for me to begin my future. Through Phi Theta Kappa I found my passion for leadership and service. Lakeland has molded me to embrace an unlimited future. Elizabeth Brassell Associate of Arts

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