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Tony Vento knows in his very soul the power of people coming together in respectful small circles, linked with other circles, for renewing and transforming ourselves, our workplaces, and our communities.

As the founding President of Purpose Matters, Tony is a consultant, facilitator and trainer for reconnecting who we are with what we do at the interior and organizational level.  Tony aligns purpose-centered outcomes and processes, through renewal of workplace culture and leadership from the inside-out that is grounded in meaning as well as integrity, and marked by trust and collaboration.

Shaped by 15 years of applying Appreciative Inquiry in organizational and community settings, he is known for convening transformational conversations that lead to action, bringing people together respectfully from across differences, whether in the education, healthcare, non-profit or religious sectors.

Currently one of two Circles of Trust® and Courage & Renewal® Facilitators in Ohio, Tony is affiliated with the Center for Courage & Renewal cofounded by Parker Palmer. Well-grounded in the principles and practices of the Circles of Trust approach, he offers reflective practices for meaning and purpose, renewal and leadership, having designed and led over 60 retreats in the past 10 years. Research jointly published by the New York Times and the Harvard Business Review shows those organizations that utilize reflective practices have three times the retention of those they want, with the highest markers of employee engagement, 22 percent higher profitability, 10 percent higher customer ratings, 28 percent less theft and 48 percent fewer safety incidents. Yes, purpose matters!

Native to South Florida, Tony loves all water sports especially whitewater kayaking – which, like much of his life, gathers circles of people to build mutual trust, share stories, chart paths, quiet fears and enjoy what can be created by making the most of lively currents.  He lives on the Near West Side of Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and daughter, where they steward an 1863 home just a five minute walk from their parish, St Patrick (Bridge Avenue). As a neighbor to St Paul UCC for 23 years, his family donated the Norfolk pine that stands witness in the sanctuary. Embacing the wisdom of NE Ohio’s seasons has changed his life.

Previously Tony served Case Western Reserve University as President of the InterReligious Council and Director of the Newman Campus Ministry.  He also served as Pax Christi USA’s National Program Director, Coordinator of the Cleveland InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF), and Program Director for InterAct Cleveland, the regional multifaith and multiracial coalition (of blessed memory). His volunteer work includes the Stewardship Team for Network Nights of Neighborhood Connections, and cofounding both the Cuyahoga Community Land Trust for permanent affordable housing, and the regional Coalition with Young Adults.

Tony’s education includes Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and graduate studies in Theology and Social Ethics at St. Michaels/University of Toronto, including study in Italy and Peru.  Recipient of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award in 1997 from the Interchurch Council of Greater Cleveland, Tony was also named among “Twenty People to Watch in the Twenty-First Century” by Northern Ohio Live magazine.

Please be in contact with Tony via tony.vento.cle@gmail.com