About Sage & Maven

We are two people who approach their work via a blend of our identities, education, and our professional experience in non-profit organizations. Our primary focus is social justice and leadership development. As a team, we worked together during some of the most pivotal times of change in Cleveland, Ohio, and in the United States and have watched organizations and businesses struggle to keep up with those changes. We believe our intergenerational and interdisciplinary approach allows us to reach a broad swath of individuals. We accomplish our mission by choosing to decenter the status quo.

Statement of Intent

At Sage & Maven, our intention is to build towards a future where equity and inclusion are positioned as a defining value, and leaders are able to realize their potential by bringing their full, authentic selves to their roles. We achieve this by collaborating with you, our partners, to tailor our services to best meet the needs of your organizations or business.

Our Team

Ryan Clopton-Zymler, MSSA Co-Founder, Consultant

Ryan Clopton-Zymler is an activist, educator, emcee and advocate from Cleveland, Ohio. He is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, with a Master of Science in Social Administration and he received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ohio University. Ryan is a co-founder of Sage & Maven LLC, a for-profit consultancy that focuses on leadership and social justice.

Ryan also currently serves as the Assistant Director for the Office of Inclusion for the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Cleveland Campus. He serves as the expert on addressing issues of inclusion and equity and serves as the primary support for underrepresented minority students in medicine. Prior to starting with Heritage College, Ryan developed the community outreach and education program at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland; during his time at the Center, he also managed the communications department, the internship program, and was the staff lead for the inaugural Pride in the CLE. In 2016, Ryan was selected to contribute LGBTQ-affirming and diversity training content for Information and Referral Specialists at United Way’s 211 National Hotline.

Ryan’s career foundation is in community mental health and he has a rich history of working with youth and young adults. He is actively involved in the Cleveland social justice community - he currently sits on the board of directors for Preterm, has previously served on the board for Stonewall Sports Cleveland, and he has worked with national organizations including Planned Parenthood and GLAAD. Ryan is a skilled facilitator and has been recruited for speaking engagements nationally and internationally, and is considered an expert in social media and media advocacy.

Ryan is also a rotating host for area drag and burlesque shows. He lives in Cleveland Heights with his husband and their dog, Bowser.

Phyllis Harris, MNO Co-Founder, Consultant

With over twenty-five years of exceptional experience with nonprofits, Phyllis Harris has developed a keen passion for nonprofit management, social justice and anti-oppression work to help ensure a better quality of life for all marginalized people. She has served in program development, fundraising, and upper-level management positions where her leadership skills and passion has led organizations and projects to success. She is considered to be a thought leader on issues related to, cultural change and skilled in the facilitation of anti-oppression, anti-black racism, and LGBTQ inclusion workshops. In her role as a nonprofit leader, Ms. Harris is community-focused, believes in coalition building and known for addressing service gaps and problems via collaboration, a positive attitude and unwavering commitment towards reparative justice.

Playing a vital role as an advocate in Cleveland’s LGBTQ+ community for many years, and now in leadership at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, the organization has experienced transformational growth under her direction since the year 2012.

Ms. Harris’ experience in organizational leadership sprang from her passion for the nonprofit industry and her love of civic engagement. She has had the honor to serve with several nonprofit organizations. In addition to her work at the Center she is the cofounder of consulting practice “Sage and Maven” where she supports organizations around issues relevant to strategic direction, organizational culture, equity and inclusion. Ms. Harris has extensive experience serving on local and national nonprofit boards. She was recently appointed to Cuyahoga County’s Community Advisory Board for Equity.

She holds a master’s degree in non-profit management from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts from Baldwin Wallace College. She is a graduate of the 2019 class of Leadership Cleveland and was recognized as one of 2020’s most interesting people by Cleveland Magazine.