Alex Machaskee Succeeds Anne Mackoul as Board of Trustees Executive Chair

17 November 2011 • Deborah (Malacky) Belonick

(from left) Dean Archpriest John Behr, Alex Machaskee, Anne Mackoul, and Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield.(from left) Dean Archpriest John Behr, Alex Machaskee, Anne Mackoul, and Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield.After five years of laudable service as Executive Chair of the seminary Board of Trustees, Anne Glynn-Mackoul stepped down from the position at the annual meeting of the board, held on our campus November 16–18. Alex Machaskee, retired Publisher, President, and CEO of The Plain Dealer—Ohio’s largest newspaper—and current Chair of the board’s Communications Committee, was elected by his fellow board members to fill the position; the term for Executive Chair, according to the seminary Charter, is one year.

Mrs. Mackoul was elected as the first ever Executive Chair of the board in 2006, at the same time Archpriests John Behr and Chad Hatfield were appointed to their respective positions as Dean and Chancellor/CEO of the seminary. In that role, she has acted as liaison between the seminary administration and the Board of Trustees, effectively cultivating efficient and meaningful governance by the board, and supporting the leadership and management responsibilities of the Dean and Chancellor. She also has taken great care to engage with faculty, students, and staff, and has participated regularly in chapel services and campus celebrations.

“In a process of prayerful discernment over the last few months about the particular needs of the seminary for the years ahead,” said Mrs. Mackoul, “it seemed to me to be the right time for me to step aside as Executive Chair and for the board to elect a successor to accompany the Dean and the Chancellor and, with the seminary’s President and Chairman, to lead the board through the next period.

“I am thrilled that the board has elected Alex Machaskee to serve as the next Executive Chair of the board, and that Alex has agreed to serve St. Vladimir’s Seminary in this capacity. His accomplishments professionally will be of enormous benefit to the seminary, but also—perhaps even more—will be his experience and insight gleaned from his many efforts on behalf of the Orthodox Church, internationally and here in the United States. As I assured Alex, Fr. John, and Fr. Chad, I remain committed to serve as a seminary trustee and to support the seminary’s leadership in their continuing efforts to ensure that St. Vladimir’s Seminary fulfills its important mission,” she concluded.

Mr. Machaskee now serves as President of Alex Machaskee & Associates, LLC, a firm based in Cleveland thaAlex Machaskee in Africa, during his tenure as Chair of the Board of Trustees of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), in 2008.Alex Machaskee in Africa, during his tenure as Chair of the Board of Trustees of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), in 2008.t specializes in Media/Public Relations, Strategic Planning, International Relations, and Marketing and Event Promotion. He has an extensive background in communications and management. As past Publisher, President, and CEO of The Plain Dealer, he was responsible for the overall policy, operation, and direction of the newspaper. He joined The Plain Dealer in 1960, and before being named Publisher in 1990, he had served for five years as Vice President and General Manager. Previously, he had served as Director of Labor Relations and Personnel, Assistant to the Publisher, and Promotion Director. He retired from The Plain Dealer in 2006. Before his career at The Plain Dealer, he worked as a sports reporter and general assignment reporter for the Warren Tribune.

Mr. Machaskee is a graduate of Cleveland State University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Cleveland State University in 1995, from the University of Akron in 1998, and from Heidelberg College in 2006. He has been presented with numerous awards throughout his career because of his commitment and leadership in the Greater Cleveland community, and he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethic Coalition Organization, one of the highest national awards in America.Anne Mackoul, with Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield, receiving a gramata at the board's dinner.Anne Mackoul, with Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield, receiving a gramata at the board's dinner.

Mr. Machaskee currently serves on the boards of numerous cultural and philanthropic organizations: he is immediate past Chairman of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC); in 2004, he was named Lifetime Director of the United Way Services. He was inducted into the Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame in 2001 and inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame by the Press Club of Cleveland in 2006. In 2010 Mr. Machaskee was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame and the Cleveland State University Nance College of Business Hall of Fame. (Read his complete bio here.)

Remarking upon his new position, Mr. Machaskee said, “I did not seek or intend to serve as the Executive Chair of the seminary Board of Trustees, mainly because I believe Anne Glynn-Mackoul has been an excellent Executive Chair, and I know that no one could replace her dedication and passion and professional execution of these responsibilities. 

“I am delighted that Anne will continue to serve on the board and trust that we, together with the entire board, will be able to build on Anne’s exemplary record of accomplishments,” he continued. “I intend to listen carefully to the various constituencies of St. Vlad’s, for example, the students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and obviously the Dean and Chancellor, in an effort to continue St. Vlad’s as the premier Orthodox theological seminary in the world. The work of the committees and support of the Board of Trustees are the cornerstones upon which we will build toward a glorious celebration of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of St. Vladimir’s Seminary on November 7, 2013.”

In reflecting upon Mrs. Mackoul’s tenure, seminary Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield commented, “In my opinion, there could not have been a better person to inaugurate the position of Executive Chair of the Board of Trustees. Anne brought a sense of professionalism to the position, and her sense as a gracious hostess ensured that the transition into the new form of governance was able to evolve as effectively as it has.

“I look forward to working with Alex Machaskee,” continued Fr. Chad, “who again is not only a professional in the way he approaches church life but also has a remarkable reputation throughout the church as a philanthropist.”

Archpriest John Behr, seminary dean, presented Mrs. Mackoul with a gramata at the celebratory dinner that concluded this week's board meeting. During the presentation, he noted that the success of the new model of shared governance was "in large part due to the person Anne Mackoul," who so encouraged the new Dean and Chancellor upon their appointments in 2006. "She has dedicated huge amounts of time, energy, and love to our seminary," he concluded.

View of listing of our illustrious Trustees here.