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CLEVELAND, OHIO—After five years as a co-founder and the first chief executive officer of one of Greater Cleveland’s most dynamic civic endeavors, Michael D. Dovilla has decided to transition from his role at the USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation (USSCLF) to pursue a renewed calling to public service. Dovilla’s leadership of the Foundation helped grow it from a vision to a well-established and robustly supported nonprofit, raising $4.1 million for the organization’s support of the fourth U.S. Navy ship named in honor of the City of Cleveland.

“Mike’s rare combination of leadership as a decorated U.S. Navy veteran and public servant uniquely positioned him to serve as our organization’s first leader,” said Jim Folk, Chair of the USSCLF Board of Directors. “The USSCLF will be forever grateful to Mike for his tireless contributions and leadership. The Board expresses its sincere gratitude for his dedication and service.”

“It was a highlight of my career to co-found and lead the USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation from inception to a thriving nonprofit,” Dovilla said. “I am pleased to transition a financially secure, philanthropically embraced, and operationally sound organization to its next leader.”

Dovilla will conclude his service with the USSCLF on Friday, May 10, 2024.

The USSCLF Board of Directors has appointed Brigadier General Peter B. Collins, USMC (Retired) as Chief Executive Officer. A native of Kirtland, Ohio, Collins served on active duty for 28 years in numerous domestic and overseas locations as a judge advocate. After retiring from the Marine Corps, he served as the Executive Vice President for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and a Board Member for the Navy Mutual Aid Association. Collins joined the USSCLF as an Honorary Director in 2021 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2023.

“I am extremely appreciative of Mike’s efforts and dedication to the USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation,” said Collins. “I’m excited about the opportunity to continue serving our organization in this new assignment.”

About the USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation – Established in 2019, the USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation’s vision is to support positive civil-military relations by creating and maintaining a strong, meaningful, and direct bond between citizens of northeast Ohio and the crew of USS Cleveland.  The Foundation’s mission is to send USS Cleveland to the Fleet with the greatest start possible, to support the ship and crew throughout her service life, and to welcome her home to Cleveland at the completion of her Naval service.

About the USS Cleveland – The future USS Cleveland (LCS 31) is a Freedom-variant littoral combat ship currently under construction by Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.  The LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments.  It is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.  The sixteenth and final ship of its class, Cleveland and her crew will be assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 2 (LCSRON TWO), homeported in Mayport, Florida, from which it will deploy around the globe.

For more information, please contact Courtney Smrdel, Director of Operations, at (330) 573-9649 or, or visit

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