According to the 2010 Census, Hoeferle said, not only are there 60 different ethnicities and/or cultures living in this area — more including the local schools that draw students from around the world — but there is a large increase in the foreign-born population here.
Mosaic is the current name of what used to be called the Ocoee Region Multicultural Services organization, or ORMS.
But, what Mosaic also may be right now is one of the up-and-coming organizations in the Cleveland area few have heard about — until now.
Hoeferle updated members of Bradley Sunrise Rotary about Mosaic in a recent breakfast gathering at SkyRidge Medical Center.
“Mosaic fosters diversity and helps newcomers become good citizens of the community,” Hoeferle said. According to its website, Mosaic’s mission is to helps promote community awareness and the acceptance of ethnic and cultural differences.
Several community leaders currently sit on its board, including Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and David Hudson, director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center.
“But we are not a government organization,” Hoeferle said.
Mosaic also provides newcomers with translation and interpretation services, especially helping new residents assimilate to their new home in Southeastern Tennessee.
Mosaic helps promote legal immigration.
A German Saturday School — which may be vital to the success of international families living here — also is available to learn both German and English. In addition, ESL classes are possible options. The necessity of this service is becoming a growing part of this community, especially with companies like Wacker Polysilicon North America and Volkswagen moving into the Cleveland and Bradley County area.
Cultural sensitivity training is also available, as are Welcome to Cleveland classes.
Maifest is a major annual fundraiser for Mosaic.
Mosaic also works with the TSBDC with bilingual business counseling.
The Montessori Kinder International School and Mosaic are jointly holding an annual initiative designed to give students a journey around the world in a two-week summer camp, teaching students geography, languages, as well as about different cultures.
A Diversity Forum was held in January 2010 at CSCC to discuss the topic of diversity and how it applies to this area. It tries to help people living in Cleveland and Bradley County be aware of the change in its demographics, how to manage this change and also how to help make this area a more vibrant community thanks, at least in part, to these changes.
Hoeferle also is hoping to rekindle the Cultural Fest.
“But it’ll take more than just us,” he said. “We’re just a small organization.”
Mosaic currently partners with several area organizations, including United Way of Bradley County, the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, Humanities Tennessee, the Montessori Educational and Cultural Foundation, Lee University, Cleveland State Community College, the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, Jones Properties and the Going Respectfully Against Addictive Behaviors (or GRABB) Coalition.
Mosaic is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 by several community leaders. It is supported by a United Way grant but dependent on community support. Additional funding is constantly sought to sustain and grow its programs, as are volunteers.
“We’re just starting to tap into the untapped energy around here,” Hoeferle said.
But the organization also tries to give back to the community, despite its limited funds.
“We were proud to be able to give $3,000 to Men and Woman of Action for work toward tornado relief,” Hoeferle said. “We try to keep the money local.”
Mosaic also offers language and training services for local businesses.
Mosaic is moving its offices to downtown Cleveland — 170 N. Ocoee St., Suite 103 (across from the Courthouse) — thanks to the auspices of local entrepreneur Allan Jones.
Hoeferle, owner and founder of Hoeferle Consulting, is a native of Germany, but has lived in Cleveland since 2004 with his wife, Brigitta, also a German native, who owns and runs the Montessori Kinder International School. They have two daughters, Amelie, 9, and Ana, 6.
Hoeferle Consulting’s main goal is to prepare its clients — and their families — to be successful in their professional and personal lives while trying to adapt to a new and different culture and environment, as well as to teach them to learn how to communicate easily. He also helps advise on marketing and public relations projects, business development and providing English-to-German and German-to-English translations.
Hoeferle has a long and extensive bilingual and bicultural background, as well as being fluent in English and German, and having a working knowledge of Spanish. He also has a degree in political science, history and American studies, followed by years of extensive publishing, journalism, editorial and writing experience.Hoeferle can be reached at either 284-5013 or ChristianHoeferle.email@example.com. Mosaic’s website is ClevelandMosaicCenter.com. Board meetings are held from 2 to 3 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month at the Chamber of Commerce. Mosaic is also on Facebook and Twitter.