As #Blazek Trends #1 in Cleveland, More Of Her Nasty Emails Go Public

Sarah BrowneKelly Blazek's Twitter page before it vanished.

Can the Kelly Blazek Brouhaha get any nastier? Or more viral? Read yesterday's post here.
Apparently so. As CNN, Fox TV, and even the BBC add fuel to the blazing (pun intended) scandal, two more recipients of Blazek's email bullying have come forward. Cleveland Scene received this interaction between the Cleveland Job Bank's self-proclaimed "Mother" and a native Cleveland job seeker:

Hello Kelly,

My name is _______, I currently live in Chicago and am planning on moving back home to Cleveland in the next few months. I was born and raised in Cleveland and am excited to come back, finally. [A] friend of mine referred me to your Yahoo Group and I requested admission, but was denied.

When I told [my friend] about this, he told me that contacting you was the best way to gain access to the group. I am currently active in the employment market and have been in Technology Sales for the past 4 years.

What is the best way to gain acceptance into this group, so I can help find a job?

All the best,


Blazek's response:

[H]ow about starting with NOT presuming I would share my nearly 1,000 personally-known LinkedIn contacts with a TOTAL stranger? How bush league to pull that stunt. It's what kids do - ask senior executives to link in to them, so they can mine contacts for job leads. That's tacky, not to mention entitled - what in the world do I derive from accepting a stranger's connection request? You earned a "I Don't Know ______" from me today, for such an assumptive move. Please learn that a LinkedIn connection is the equivalent of a personal recommendation. If I haven't heard of someone, met them, or worked with them, why would I ever vouch for them on LinkedIn?

My Job Bank is a gift of my personal time and effort to benefit my profession. It's a privilege to help thousands of job seekers - but I have my limits. You have not earned the right to ask me to connect on LinkedIn, and your Yahoo Group request was denied because you didn't provide any information when you requested membership - or failed to respond to a request for more information that indicates your background is a match for the jobs I share.

No more questions or requests. Please tap into the other job seeker resources in NE Ohio for your search.

Kelly Blazek | Principal

Gemba Communications, LLC

2013 IABC Communicator of the Year

Kelly's Nastygrams: Not just for Millennials

Another job seeker, Wendie Forman, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that she reached out to Blazek when she was looking for a part-time job at a local nonprofit. "Her response to me was as horrible as it was to Diana," she said. "I was hurt and very upset. It makes me feel better that at least I was not singled out for her harsh response."

Like the others, she asked to join Blazek's once thriving 7300-strong job list, saying she was looking for a project management position in an academic or nonprofit environment. Forman is a seasoned professional with a bachelor's degree from Brandeis University in sociology, an MBA from Case Western Reserve University and over 30 years of experience in non-profit administration.

> AOL Jobs has project management listings in Cleveland

Blazek replied that she doesn't serve the project management profession and works only with marketing, graphic design and PR job searchers. "My job bank isn't a fit for your background or the types of jobs you seek," she added. "Good luck in your search."

So Forman tried again, saying: "I have worked in Development/Fundraising for much of my career. It was my understanding that you work in this area also... So I am disappointed that you do not believe I could benefit from your work. It is hard for me to understand why there would be any down side for me to be on your mailing list. I would assume that you would want your information to get out to as many people as possible if your goal is to match jobs with appropriate people. The key is contacts and you never know who will benefit from seeing what jobs are available."

Forman added: "I must say I was surprised by the tone of your emails and by your quick denial of my request. I will certainly discuss this with (the colleague) who referred me to you."

Blazek replied: "Did you mention fundraising or development even once in your original note to me? You can 'discuss me' all you want; but I deal with two dozen vague, unclear, and often unqualified job seekers every week for my entirely free, volunteer job search gift to the NEOhio job seeking community... and this back and forth e-mailing to individuals who cannot communicate clearly wears on my patience."

"I'll answer my question for you, Wendie: you never mentioned you were in fundraising," she added. "Rule #1 of job seeking: do a better job communicating what you do and what you're looking for. Nonprofit work includes social work, accounting, case management, client's not an assumption that because you say nonprofit, anyone interprets that as fundraising and development. I said 'I'm sorry' and I said 'Good Luck in your Search' in my response to you. I guess those are construed by you as horrible and rude."

She said Blazek ended with: "Therefore, since my tone is so offputting, I think you'll be happier with the other Job Bank in town. Hint - there isn't one. You have a great day."

Forman tried to start over, graciously complimenting Blazek's good work with the job community and apologizing that they had gotten off on the wrong foot. Forman said Blazek never responded.

Hashtag #blazek and #kellyblazek were both trending in Cleveland yesterday. Blazek's social presence seems to rapidly appear and disappear. Currently, her Yahoo jobs group is gone as is her Twitter profile. She has issued an apology to two of the recipients, Diana Mekota, who originally had the moxie to post the email exchange on social media; and Rick Uldricks, who also went public. Both of them have accepted Blazek's apology.

> Search AOL Jobs and find thousands of open jobs in Cleveland

Note: This tale is more than shocking to me. As someone who once lived in Chagrin Falls, worked with countless talented and creative professionals in Northern Ohio, and worshiped #19 Bernie Kosar, I am personally saddened by Kelly Blazek's inexplicable and bizarre behavior. Cleveland has come so far and made such strides -- yet every city's future is linked to innovation and jobs. This has long been Cleveland's sensitivity and vulnerability. I sincerely admire the way people have pulled together, and are finally outraged at somebody other than Art Modell. <g>
Sarah BrowneKelly Blazek's blog is no more
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