|In this blog, I periodically feature our colleagues in government so you can get to know us better. Today, we are talking with Councilman Alec Isaacson.
Councilman Isaacson is an active public servant. In addition to his role on Council, he serves as a member of the Beachwood School’s PTO’s scholarship committee and the Destination Imagination program steering committee. He and his wife Cheryl are past co-chairs of the Park Synagogue committee to engage young families. Please take a few minutes to learn more about Councilman Isaacson as he shares more about himself in this interview.
What is your favorite thing about living in Beachwood? Do you have a favorite restaurant or spot to hang out?
My favorite things about Beachwood are the amenities – great neighbors, strong schools, and wonderful city services. That’s why my wife and I moved here. When the weather is nice I like hanging out at the pool or riding my bike in the park.
Tell us a bit about your childhood.
I grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland – a suburb of Washington D.C. I lived in a nice neighborhood, with lots of nearby friends and things to do. My mom still lives in the house I grew up in, so I get to go back and visit it from time to time.
Where did you attend college?
I studied physics at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
How did you end up in northeast Ohio?
I was working as the IT support person for a large law firm in Cincinnati. I was promoted to a new position which moved me to their headquarters here in Cleveland. Shortly after I moved to Cleveland, I met my future wife, Cheryl, a Lyndhurst native. We moved to Beachwood shortly after we were married in 1999 and we’ve been here ever since.
Outside of Council, what do you do for a living?
I am a technology consultant for CA Technologies, a Fortune 500 software manufacturer. I work with CA’s customers to identify the best solution for their technology and business problems.
If you weren’t in technology, what would be your second choice career?
I’d probably be working in the theater. In high school I was on the school theater lighting crew and I worked my way through college building theatrical sets in the college theater’s scene shop.
How many kids do you have and ages? What do you enjoy most about being a dad?
My wife Cheryl and I have two children. Noah is 10 and Emily is 13. I enjoy watching my kids grow and discover new things. They approach everything with an open mind and few preconceived notions and I try to learn by their example and do the same myself.
What unique perspective do you think you bring to Council and what is your favorite part about serving?
With a scientific and technical background, I think I bring a more analytical and problem solving perspective to Council. I think it’s important that we have many different perspectives within our City’s leadership.
My favorite part of serving is getting to meet lots of people and hearing about their Beachwood experiences. That helps me keep in touch with our community – direct feedback like that is critical.
What advice would you have for others seeking public office?
Be ready to work hard. As elected officials, we need to lead our community into a vibrant future. Achieving those goals takes careful planning, cooperation, and perseverance. You need to keep your eye on the ball and not get distracted.
If you could pack up and leave for a vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
The beach!! Every summer my extended family goes to the beach in Delaware and we have a great time.
What do you do for fun? Hobbies, etc.
I enjoy riding my bicycle. Each year, I participate in a ride called the Tour of the Scioto River Valley (TOSRV) – it’s a 210 mile ride over two days from Columbus to Portsmouth and back. My daughter started to participate in the ride two years ago and my son is looking forward to riding next year.
I also enjoy doing small building projects around my house, growing vegetables in my garden, and reading.
What involvement in community, charitable activities?
I am a member of Park Synagogue, where my wife and I are past co-chairs of the committee responsible for engaging young families.
I also participate in the school’s Destination Imagination program. I was a coach for three years and I’m now part of a steering committee that works to keep that program strong.
I’ve been a member of the Beachwood PTO’s scholarship committee for the past three years and I’m a brand new member of the Schools Foundation Board.
Finally, I’ve had several volunteer roles in my children’s classrooms at Bryden and Hilltop.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people?
I’m pretty handy – I can do basic carpentry, plumbing, and electrical. I’m also pretty good at taking something that’s broken apart, fixing what’s wrong, and putting it back together. A few years ago, I renovated our family room. More recently, I fixed our 15 year old dishwasher – I figured out that a $30 part had broken and was able to replace it, rather than having to buy a whole new appliance.