Club Meets with Vice President Biden's Staff in the VP's Ceremonial Room

The Club met on October 11, 2016 with four Clevelanders on Vice President Biden's staff: Steve Ricchetti (of Westlake), the Chief of Staff; Meghan Dubyak (of Shaker Heights), the Press Secretary; Don Graves (of Cleveland Heights), the Director of Domestic and Economic Policy to the Vice President; and Greg Schultz (of North Royalton), a Senior Advisor to the Vice President concentrating on political and intergovernmental affairs. All have rank as advisors or assistants to President Obama. The meeting was held in the historic Vice President's Ceremonial Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building overlooking the West Wing of the White House.

Meghan welcomed more than twenty members of the Club and discussed the history and importance of the Ceremonial Room, once the office of Theodore Roosevelt and General John J. Pershing. She was then called away to a meeting with Vice President Biden.

Steve Ricchetti entered and, flanked by Don Graves and Greg Schultz, spoke for about a half hour. First he showed Club members his own office adjacent to the Ceremonial Room, abundantly spiced with Cleveland area and Cleveland sports memorabilia. Seated again in the Ceremonial Room, he noted that the Administration in general and the Vice President's staff in particular is notable for the number of Clevelanders. Asked what the Vice President and staff would be working on up to the point of the swearing of a new administration, he replied "big ticket items" with the hopes that the new administration would continue what the present staff has advanced. He named such efforts as curbing gun violence, mitigating violence against women, and the cancer initiative.

Don Graves, formerly a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Treasury Department, was called away to a meeting with the Vice President at about the time Steve Ricchetti had to leave but gave some of his background working on jobs and community development issues. His attention currently is on the Vice President's cancer initiative.

Greg Schultz helps coordinate the Vice President's office with state and local governments, police and other public servant groups, and advises the Vice President on political matters. He noted that his job entails a good deal of travel and a great deal of hard work.

When Meghan Dubyak returned she had enough time to answer a question about what she liked about her job. "It's really nice to see Vice President Biden meeting with and interacting with ordinary Americans. In this building we work surrounded by security and guards and so when the Vice President and we can listen to and talk with citizens who live far from here, it grounds us all."