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The day everything stopped Cleveland icons recall the ‘intangible sadness’ they felt when they first heard the grim news By JAY MILLER


ot long after 1:20 p.m. on Nov. 22, 1963, workers at the May Co.’s downtown Cleveland store moved a television set wired to an outdoor loudspeaker into a display window facing Public Square. Passersby soon were clustered around the black-and-white glow. Minutes earlier, President John F. Kennedy had been fatally wounded as his motorcade was carrying him to a speaking engagement in downtown Dallas. For as long as the workday continued, radios and televisions were turned on in offices, schools and factories in Northeast Ohio and across the nation. Many businesses cut short the workday.

“I was on the air, as a matter of fact, and all of the sudden the teletype went crazy,” recalled Bob Conrad, who was a co-owner of WCLV-FM, then and now Cleveland’s classical music radio station. He went to the Associated Press wire machine and ripped the story from its roll. He rushed back to the booth and told listeners that the president had been shot. “We continued what we were (playing) until we got confirmation Kennedy was dead,” Mr. Conrad said. “Then we put the Mozart’s Requiem (the haunting ‘Requiem Mass in D Minor’) on the air.” He then canceled all commercials. “We did that because I remembered listening to the radio when (President Franklin D.) Roosevelt died,” he said. “And that’s what they did.” See STOPPED Page 37

JFK buffs still doubt Oswald’s role in death By DANIEL J. McGRAW

When former FBI agent Don Adams gets called a conspiracy theorist, he gets taken aback a bit. The Akron resident, who was involved in the investigation of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination 50 years ago, doesn’t like being lumped in with some of the crackpots who have surfaced and who seem to grow in number as the years go by. “I was an FBI agent who investigated some threats to the president before the assassination in Dallas, and worked on the case afterwards,” Mr. Adams said. “So I have

studied this for many years and from many different angles, and I have come to only one conclusion: (Lee Harvey) Oswald did not, and could not, have killed the president.” Mr. Adams, 82, who served for 20 years as an FBI agent and for 10 years as chief of police in Fairlawn, has written a book, published in 2012, about his experiences and theories regarding the JFK assassination. The book, “From an Office Building with a High-Powered Rifle: One FBI Agent’s View of the JFK Assassination,” details how he repeatedly was restricted from investigating any possible suspects who were not Oswald. See OSWALD Page 36

The Nov. 22, 1963, edition of The Cleveland Press.


Meet the Class of 2013: Pages F-1 to F-19



74470 83781



WANTED: GM Restaurants frequently need help for ‘front of the house’ ■ Page 3 PLUS: FAMILIES ARE DIRECT WHEN INVESTING

Entire contents © 2013 by Crain Communications Inc. Vol. 34, No. 46



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Cities still see state bill as too taxing Analysis says tax provisions could be costly to municipalities By JAY MILLER

Legislation to streamline municipal tax collection in Ohio moved a step closer to the governor’s desk last week. After more than a year of wrangling between business groups and Ohio’s cities, the Ohio House of Representatives, by a 56-41 partyline vote, sent to the Senate a bill

that would create a single, statewide definition of taxable income for municipal taxes. It also would set a uniform schedule for employers to make withholding payments and would move the state toward a consolidated income tax form. A business coalition that pushed for the changes argued that the crazy-quilt of tax policies in the various cities makes Ohio a more ex-

pensive and less attractive place to locate a business. Cities see the bill, Substitute House Bill 5, as a state assault on the finances of local governments. They won a number of concessions from previous versions of the legislation, but they believe the final bill still includes too many tax policy changes that will reduce revenues for many taxing districts.

“Clearly, there is a desire to make Ohio as business-friendly as possible,” said Mark Engle, a tax attorney with the Bricker & Eckler firm in Columbus. “On the other hand, a lot of these legislators used to be local officials, so I think they’re a little sympathetic to (the cities).” Mr. Engle represents the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, a member of the coalition that pushed the legislation. Michael Summers, the mayor of Lakewood who owned Summers

Rubber Co. in Cleveland until late 2012, said the bill was a significant improvement from where it began during the last legislative session. That earlier bill would have taken tax collection out of the hands of cities and moved it to the state tax department. “It took a lot of pushing and shoving,” Mayor Summers said. “Everybody was in favor of uniformity, but the bill morphed into tax breaks for the rich.” See CITIES Page 38

THE WEEK IN QUOTES “I just got the feeling from the beginning of the investigation that the powers that be … were only focusing on Oswald and were protecting whoever the real shooters were. After 50 years now, there is no consensus as to what really happened.” — Akron resident and former FBI agent Don Adams, author of a 2012 book on the Kennedy assassination. Page One


Sean McNeil was promoted from assistant manager at L’Albatros to general manager of Cowell & Hubbard when the latter eatery opened in 2012.

EXTERIOR NEEDS HELP, TOO The big-name chefs appear on TV, but ‘front-of-the-house’ positions such as general manager are very much in demand in Northeast Ohio



ore chef-inspired restaurant openings mean more choices for Cleveland diners. However,

the explosion of the local culinary scene also is translating into a shortage of key restaurant leaders — most notably general managers — whose performance is expected to harmonize with the caliber of the kitchen. See HELP Page 9

Direct approach can be on the money Wealthy local families are bypassing private equity firms by buying or investing in companies via their own entities By MICHELLE PARK LAZETTE

They could have taken the private equity route. However, a number of wealthy families and private equity executives are putting their money to work by buying and investing in companies not through

private equity or venture capital funds, but directly through entities of their own. Among the so-called direct investors on the prowl for the right opportunities are two prominent families in Northeast Ohio: Monte Ahuja’s family through its MURA Holdings LLC in Beachwood, and

Joe Kanfer’s family through KBZ Partners out of Akron. Mr. Ahuja founded Transtar Industries, a worldwide distributor of transmission parts that he sold in 2005, and Mr. Kanfer is chairman and CEO of Gojo Industries Inc., which was founded by his aunt and uncle and is a producer and mar-



keter of skin health and hygiene products, including Purell hand sanitizer. See DIRECT Page 8

“It’s a gem of a property. The conference center is state of the art. It’s like having a building in the middle of a park, complete with walking trails. However, we’re not certain of the use yet.” — Adam Fishman, a Fairmount Properties principal. Page 9

“I think our product speaks for itself. We use some of the finest ingredients, which has attracted a lot of attention to our huge menu.” — Sarah Forrer, co-owner, Main Street Cupcakes. Page F-9

“If we are known as a tech hub, people will move here. My goal during those 12 weeks (of the accelerator) is to show them this is a damn good place to start and scale a business.” — Shannon I. Lyons, chief business development officer and partner, LaunchHouse. Page F-11




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John Campanelli ( EDITOR:


Scott Suttell (


About time


he children of Israel wandered 40 years in the desert before they reached The Promised Land. It feels like it is taking nearly as long for public policy group ProgressOhio to get anywhere with its lawsuit challenging the creation of JobsOhio. The Ohio Supreme Court two weeks ago heard oral arguments over whether ProgressOhio, state Sen. Mike Skindell, D-Lakewood, and former state Rep. Dennis Murray have the right to sue over the constitutionality of JobsOhio, the private economic development entity birthed by Gov. John Kasich. The high court is not deciding on whether the transfer of most of the state’s economic development functions to a private body that essentially is financed with public dollars violates the Ohio Constitution. Rather, the justices only will determine whether the plaintiffs have the legal standing to pursue their constitutional challenge in court. The decision of the Republican-dominated Supreme Court to take up the case is a victory in itself for the left-leaning ProgressOhio, which has won the support of the conservative 1851 Center for Constitutional Law in pursuing the matter. The reason the latter group is standing with the plaintiffs is its belief — which we share — that taxpayers should have broad access to the courts to enforce the Ohio Constitution’s structural restraints on government. The conclusion of lower courts that the plaintiffs in the JobsOhio case lack standing because they haven’t suffered personal injury from its creation takes a narrow view of who can stand up for the public interest in enforcing the provisions of the state constitution. “The purpose of a constitution is to protect the politically weak from the politically powerful,” Maurice Thompson, executive director of the 1851 Center, argued before the high court. Otherwise, Mr. Thompson said, “we don’t really have judicial review … and the Legislature becomes all-powerful.” A number of justices challenged how broad the right of access should be. Among them was Justice Judith French, who asked, “Is there anybody who is a citizen in the state of Ohio who does not have standing?” We can provide our answer to Justice French’s question. It is “no.” Members of the public should have the right to sue to prevent what they perceive are abuses of the state constitution. In the case at hand, the plaintiffs believe the legislation allowing JobsOhio to lease profits from the state’s liquor operations to pay for bonds that finance its operation violates constitutional provisions against creating or investing in a private corporation. As Mr. Murray, a plaintiff in the case, said quite simply, “Both issues deserve a day in court.” “The ‘standing’ issue had its day today,” Mr. Murray said on the day the Supreme Court heard oral arguments. “The question is whether JobsOhio’s constitutionality will ever be adjudicated.” At least one step has been made in that process. Our hope is that the justices bring open minds to their deliberations over whether the case should proceed.


President slides down a slippery slope been increasing. obody has lived and died with But he and I have known each other the Affordable Care Act more for decades, and once we get past the lythan the folks in the insurance ing about our golf handicaps, we usually business (well, except talk about politics and business for those in the hospital business and the intersection of those perhaps), so when I sat down re- BRIAN two worlds. So, over breakfast, I cently with my pal, Sam (not his TUCKER repeated my theme about the real name), I knew we’d have an Obama administration being interesting conversation. vexed by the very thing that got Here at Crain’s, we report on this president elected twice — businesses of all scale and namely, his team’s skill at poliacross all sectors, but nothing is tics and “framing the discusso common to all the folks runsion.” ning those businesses as the But that’s the same thing that seemingly endless increases in hurts them (such as the fiasco of the talkhealth care costs for their employees and ing points for Susan Rice after the Benghow, or even if, the Affordable Care Act would affect them. hazi attack). It appears that despite the Now, Sam is in the business of helping enormity of the undertaking, some in the businesses figure out the best solutions administration didn’t want to get into to their insurance challenges, and so he some of the tougher elements of the Afhas more than a passing interest in the fordable Care Act and its consequences topic. He knows, as I have written so in 2011, for fear of jeopardizing the presmany times, that the whole health care ident’s re-election effort. system was on an unsustainable path. “Yeah, and how about that name,” Sam He also knows, like we do, that neither said. “I think he made a real mistake by his company nor any of the ones he embracing ‘Obamacare’, rather than conserves can raise their prices by the same tinuing to call it the Affordable Care Act.” percentages that health care costs have I hadn’t thought about it that way, un-


til Sam said it, but he’s right. In trying to do a political end-round the Republicans and their attacks on his signature program, this president might have made a serious political miscalculation. All that has been magnified, of course, by the abject failure of the act’s website,, the precipitous drop in the president’s approval ratings, and the defection of some prominent members of his own party, who clearly started to grow weary of hearing from angry constituents. For years, this president — rightly and wrongly — has been criticized by Republicans. But now he’s getting it from fellow Democrats? Rightly, the president backtracked last week, and said he’d do all he can to stop insurers from canceling policy holders. He jumped on Air Force One and came to Cleveland to trumpet the success of ArcelorMittal’s mill here in a feel-good embrace of American know-how. But that’s not enough. As he should have done years ago, the president needs to add some business minds to his team and right this Affordable Care ship. It’s listing heavily, and the captain needs more than words for it to remain afloat. ■



Re: FirstEnergy Stadium upgrades ■ Didn’t Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam just recently receive $100 million for the stadium naming rights? Let HIM pay for the upgrades! — Mark Mindlin ■ Why not consider adding a dome to the stadium? It would be expensive, but Cleveland could then bid for a future Super Bowl. This would spark economic development downtown like we’ve never seen before. More hotel, restaurants and supporting industry would flourish. It would be analogous to getting the Olympics. — Leland Lewis ■ Seriously? A dome isn’t worth the investment? COME ON! I’m more than willing to sell everything including my kitchen sink if it means I have a retractable roof atop that (bleep)ing thing! If we want to really get an ROI on the stadium, we need to put a

Reader responses to stories and blogs that appeared on:

What should be Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's major priority for his third term? Waterfront development

roof on it. NOW! — Erick Gaines Sanders


Re: RTA’s value ■ Until my company moved to a new facility away from the Red Line, I rode it every day to work. There were days when the weather was snowy and coworkers who drove to and from work took 2-plus hours to get home while the Rapid made the trip on schedule in just 35 minutes! I miss the ease of riding the Rapid and reading the newspaper and not having to worry about traffic and bad weather. People who haven’t tried the Rapid should give it a try for a week and experience the peace of mind brought by not having to drive in rush hour traffic. — Mark Madere See WEB Page 6

Improvement in schools

15.0% Bolstering safety forces

6.7% Attracting businesses to the city

37.5% Other


Vote at:



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A housing vacancy overhang is “holding back construction activity,” according to Jed Kelko, chief economist of real estate data firm Trulia Inc., and Cleveland is one of the places where the problem is particularly acute. Trulia data finds that the vacancy rate is higher today than it was before the 2000 real estate bubble in 86 of the 100 largest U.S. metros. There was huge variation in the October data on vacant homes, from a low of 3% in San Jose to a high of 19% in Detroit. Here are the 10 metros with the highest vacancy rate:

Keep your eyes on them Crain’s will take a look at the people whose work will further Northeast Ohio’s sustainability scene of tomorrow, and who will likely be leading more major initiatives in the future, with a special section.

Metro area

REGULAR FEATURES Classified ....................38 Editorial ........................4 From the Publisher ........4 Going Places ...............14



Letters ..........................6 Reporters’ Notebook....39 Talk on the Web .............4 What’s New..................39

Vacancy rate

Detroit 19.0% Palm Beach, Fla. 12.4 New Orleans 12.3 Gary, Ind. 12.2 Jacksonville, Fla. 11.7 Birmingham, Ala. 11.6 Cleveland 11.4 Memphis 11.4 Las Vegas 11.2 Cape Coral-Fort Meyers, Fla. 11.1 ■ Source: Trulia Inc.;

Difference in vacancy rate October 2013 vs. April 2000 +9.3% +5.0 +4.1 +4.4 +1.7 +1.3 +3.9 +2.3 +3.5 +1.8

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G.D. Crain Jr. Founder (1885-1973) Mrs. G.D. Crain Jr. Chairman (1911-1996) Subscriptions: In Ohio: 1 year - $64, 2 year - $110. Outside Ohio: 1 year - $110, 2 year - $195. Single copy, $2.00. Allow 4 weeks for change of address. For subscription information and delivery concerns send correspondence to Audience Development Department, Crain’s Cleveland Business, 1155 Gratiot Avenue, Detroit, Michigan, 48207-9911, or email to, or call 877-824-9373 (in the U.S. and Canada) or (313) 446-0450 (all other locations), or fax 313-446-6777. Reprints: Call 1-800-290-5460 Ext. 125 Audit Bureau of Circulation





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egarding Crain’s Nov. 4 editorial calling for the Cleveland Indians to change the team’s name and logo: Wow. Crain’s couldn’t be farther from the pulse of the public than with your position on this. I guess that’s why you are producing a newspaper about business rather than managing a business in baseball. The fans don’t want their team monkeyed with for the sake of some current sensibilities that arise from a seemingly noble, if vicarious instinct to exorcise the demons of the past. We exorcise those demons by de-

fanging them, not by raising them to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors. What removing the name and logo of the Cleveland Indians Baseball Club would do is alienate many loyal fans — exactly what you wouldn’t want. And that is what the Washington Redskins perceive, as well. The people whose hearts bleed for imaginary offenses to unknown parties are not the ones who constitute the bulk of the fan base. I have never heard of anyone who denigrates, discriminates against, or abuses Native Americans because the Cleveland Indians or the Wash-

ington Redskins (or for that matter, the Miami Redmen used to) exist. Proponents of political correctness, such as your publication and Bob Costas, gingerly pick moments when they believe it’s safe to tear something down, thereby gaining the potential acclaim of like-minded folks (whom they believe to be ascendant) at the expense of the sensibilities of those they so readily dub “unenlightened,” whom they believe are being routed. “Jumping on the bandwagon” is another term for this. John G. Dzwonczyk Avon Lake


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ore than 600 representatives of business, law enforcement and clergy from across the country descended on Washington, D.C., in late October to jump-start a conversation about comprehensive immigration reform. The reform package passed by the Senate earlier this year is dead-onarrival in the House of Representatives. Our Republican congressmen prefer several bills to tackle individual aspects of immigration, such as border security, guest-worker programs and mandatory e-verification for all employers. While some of us in attendance have taken our leaders to task in the past for this piecemeal approach, fearing that business-friendly measures might get passed while humanitarian efforts languish for several more decades, we now view this as a realistic way to overcome controversy in a narrow window of legislative opportunity between now and the end of the year. One of our speakers prior to the congressional visits was Grover Norquist, conservative originator of the “Norquist Pledge,” under which candidates for federal and state office agree to oppose all tax increases. Mr. Norquist sees the estimated $66 billion increase in federal tax collection over 10 years as reason enough to support comprehensive immigration reform. Other speakers from the Bipartisan Policy Center pointed out that immigration reform would reduce our budget deficit by $1.2 trillion over 20 years and accelerate the housing recovery. Conversely, under an enforcement-only approach, assuming all undocumented persons were removed and future immigrants denied access, gross domestic product would fall by 5.7 % over 20 years and the federal budget deficit would increase, accord-

Web continued from PAGE 4

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■ I agree that the Rapid lives up to its name. I take the Red Line to Tower City from the University-Cedar stop, and it gets there in under 15 minutes, which is definitely faster than rush hour traffic. I have a car, but a pass at $85 per month, tax deductible, beats gas and parking. — Kevin Ziegler

Mark Gilson is president of Gilson Gardens Inc., a wholesale nursery and retail garden center in Perry. ing to the Bipartisan Policy Center. The real facts about immigration are finally emerging. On the one hand, semi-skilled workers in the agricultural and hospitality industries are needed to perform tasks that home-grown Americans will not. One attendee among our group from Ohio, a state representative, described agricultural jobs going unfilled in his northwest Ohio county, crops going unpicked, while unemployment ran as high as 11%. Similar stories emerge from central Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina and elsewhere. In Lake County, each nursery job supports 3.5 jobs in the broader economy. Clearly, a reliable, seasonal work force of semi-skilled agricultural workers is essential in order to maintain existing economic levels, let alone expand our economy. At the other end of the spectrum, scientists, programmers and innovators routinely come to the United States for education. Many are forced to leave after college due to current immigration law. Some suggest we staple a green card to their PhDs in order to change that trend. That’s why Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, was one of the sponsors of our immigration “fly-in.” That’s why Apple Computer recently set up a research facility in British Columbia in order to take advantage of Canadian immigration laws and keep bright graduates in key disciplines in North America, accessible to Silicon Valley. American industry desperately needs immigration reform in order for these high-tech immigrants to stay and generate innovation, enterprise and opportunity. During meetings with individual congressmen, our group from Ohio learned that a piecemeal solution is

Re: Riddell and Elyria ■ A positive relationship between a city and a company would not consist of, “We ... believe the statements are accurate,” or, “We’ll be sure that they have seen our statement on the matter.” Obviously, these folks have not been communicating. And Elyria is still chilling the free market. Instead of saying, “Our town is open for business,” we get, “We’re always concerned with any potential loss of revenue.”

possible within the narrowing legislative window, but public opposition to amnesty might continue to prevent a resolution for the 11 million undocumented now in our country. The truth is that almost no one proposes amnesty any more, although some continue to rally around this non-issue in a lastditch effort to stop reform. Our congressmen rightly insist there should be consequences for those who entered our country illegally. Current reform efforts would require undocumented workers to raise their hands, admit culpability, pay a significant fine, undergo background investigations, learn English, pay taxes, and avoid reliance on social services, all in order to obtain a renewable green card. This process would take place over 15 or more years, during which legal immigrants waiting in line would gain entrance. A recent editorial in The New York Times took President Obama to task for “needless deportations,” over 400,000 per year under his administration, dramatically higher than previous administrations. During a time of sequestration, this is not an efficient, effective or humanitarian way to deal with a population of workers and their families who support our economy and know America as home, yet continue to live in the shadows. Furthermore, by not addressing this matter in a straightforward and constructive way, we continue a painful process of de facto amnesty at the hands of those who oppose immigration reform. As individual Americans, let’s find the courage to address the problem of immigration reform — the entire problem, including the 11 million undocumented people in our country — whether it takes one legislative initiative or 100. We have an opportunity to do the right thing, and in doing so reap longterm economic benefits. ■ Obviously, the city is watching its own pocket and that of the voters. What about the business people who provide every dollar and job the city and its voters need? And I don’t mean special deals for those who figure out how to gain influence over decision-makers. We’ve got that in spades countywide. What I mean is that Elyria suffers from a dearth of capitalism and profits. Because to Elyria, both are dirty words. Until that changes, Elyria can’t change. — William Ferry



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Direct: Investors enjoy many of the freedoms from do-it-yourself approach continued from PAGE 3

They are not alone, according to Floyd A. Trouten, managing director of the Cleveland office of accounting firm SS&G Inc. “What I see right now are a lot of family offices, wealthy individuals saying, ‘You know what, I really don’t need all of the accoutrements of a private equity firm. I can do this myself,’” Mr. Trouten said. “It’s more of a trend now.” Mr. Trouten said the direct approach spares investors the fees they’d pay a private equity firm for investing their money and managing those investments. “I think a lot of the limited partners who used to be in these funds aren’t really happy with the fees they pay and they’re trying to find ways to enhance their return,” Mr. Trouten said. Many of the region’s direct investors say they have become do-ityourselfers for the flexibility. They say they aren’t beholden to the time constraints of private equity funds, which often look to exit investments after five or so years, and thus can remain invested in whichever companies they choose for indefinite periods of time. “You can have more patience,” said Jonathan Ives, managing director for Fifth Third Securities, the securities and investment banking arm of Fifth Third Bank. “It allows you as an investor to avoid pressure to put capital out during peak periods when … deals are more expensive.” Mr. Ives is one of several professional services providers in Northeast Ohio who say they’re advising more direct investors. “They’re in our office, introducing themselves,” said Dominic M. Brault, a managing director with Carleton McKenna & Co., a boutique investment bank in Cleveland. “They’re out shopping. “You’ve got fixed-income rates of return that are really low, and the stock market is kind of a guessing game,” Mr. Brault said. “So if you’re looking for return, a great way to do it is by buying a private company, and if you do it directly, you bypass (others’) fees. If you’re sitting on a pile of money, you have options.”

All in the family Although MURA Holdings has existed since 2009, its search for investments took off when Neil Sethi — Mr. Ahuja’s son-in-law — joined in August, Mr. Sethi said. His full-time job is seeking opportunities to invest in companies — particularly in niche manufacturing, value-added distribution and technology — with revenues of up to $100 million. “This is a piece of our alternative investment strategy,” Mr. Sethi said. Mr. Sethi expects MURA Holdings to close on two to three minority investments by year-end, and he aims to find the company’s first majority transaction by the end of 2014. That investment likely will result in Mr. Sethi operating the target company, he said. The Kanfer family’s KBZ Partners has more of a singular focus. It issued a news release last June announcing it wants to buy a single Northeast Ohio-based industrial manufacturing or service business with annual revenues of $15 million to $35 million.

“Given the fact that Monte (Ahuja) is an entrepreneur (who’s) been extremely successful (and) I myself have enjoyed and really love being part of operating companies ... it’s out of sheer interest and enjoyment (that they are in the market).” – Neil Sethi, right, who joined MURA Holdings in August and is the son-in-law of Mr. Ahuja The plan is for KBZ partners Todd Bendis, a seasoned industrial executive, and Don Zigdon, an experienced operations specialist, to run the business, and “there are no plans to integrate an acquired company with Gojo,” according to the release. “We’ve found out that we really like investing in businesses that we can feel, touch, understand, get to know,” said Marcella Kanfer Rolnick, also a KBZ partner and vice chairwoman of Gojo Industries. While KBZ’s investment wouldn’t be the Kanfer family’s first direct investing, as it has invested in a technology incubator in Israel, “this is the first time that we are going after an established business that actually has a commercialization track record,” Ms. Kanfer Rolnick. “With the market being where it’s at, we felt that prices wouldn’t be overly inflated,” she said. KBZ Partners has no specified hold period in mind for the investment it intends to make. “Private equity normally has a relatively short fuse,” Joe Kanfer said. “We are looking for something where we can build long-term value.”

Attractive alternative Also among those forming their own investment vehicles are executives who’ve left private equity firms; they include Steven Ross, who formed Squire Ridge Co. LLC after leaving MCM Capital Partners in Beachwood in June. Squire Ridge is in the final stages of closing a deal where it is partnering with a private equity firm to acquire a Midwest specialty plastics company with revenues north of $25 million, he said. But, unlike the entities formed by the Ahuja and Kanfer families, Squire Ridge is a “quasi-private equity firm” in that its money comes from Mr. Ross and from high-networth individuals who aren’t looking for returns in a finite period of time, he said. Mr. Ross said Squire Ridge’s model is similar to that of Hunter Valley Co., which closed a deal last March with another family’s investment company to acquire Euclidbased Radix Enterprises, which makes electrical wire and cable for high-temperature use. Hunter Valley also was formed by a former private equity executive, Owen Colligan, who left Rockwood Equity Partners LLC in 2012. Squire Ridge is seeking to invest in companies that are within a short flight from Cleveland, are involved in niche manufacturing or value-added distribution, and have annual revenues of $10 million to $50 million. “We’re talking about deals that fall within the bandwidth of many of the other private equity groups in Cleveland,” Mr. Ross acknowledged. The increase in people seeking to

invest directly in businesses means more competition for private equity funds as both chase what SS&G’s Mr. Trouten called “a relatively finite amount of opportunities.” And, given the lack of urgency felt by many direct investors to sell off the investments they’ve made, their proliferation could mean fewer opportunities down the road for private equity funds, Mr. Trouten said. But, the rising number of direct investors in this region should mean greater availability of capital and more buyers for businesses, local executives say. “It’s giving them (business owners) an alternative to traditional private equity,” Squire Ridge’s Mr. Ross said. “I think that’s a good thing because if you’re a seller and you’re interested in getting liquidity but you’re not interested in going through this process again in five or six years, I think (entities) like Squire Ridge … provide you a good alternative.”

For the love of doing The direct investors who spoke with Crain’s say they don’t intend to have an adversarial relationship with private equity and other institutionalized investment funds. Many of them are investing, or would invest, along with them. “It’s great to have co-investors,” Ms. Kanfer Rolnick said of the direct investment KBZ Partners seeks to make. “It reduces the risk, and it brings more strength to the table.” Investing directly in companies certainly carries more risk, local advisers said. “If you’re buying in a PE (private equity) fund, they may have 10 investments in a portfolio,” SS&G’s Mr. Trouten said. “If you’re doing direct investments yourself, you may only be getting into three or four. You have more potential risk. But also with that risk is a greater chance of a better reward.” John LeMay says he’s aware of some people who’ve set up their own entities for direct investing only to have them not perform well. “Some have had a loss or a bad experience and said, ‘This is not something we should be doing directly,’” said Mr. LeMay, a partner with Cleveland private equity firm Blue Point Capital Partners. However, he noted, “On balance, the trend is more toward getting into it (direct investing) than getting out of it.” Those behind MURA Holdings say the main driver for them in pursuing direct investments is their interest in running businesses. “Given the fact that Monte (Ahuja) is an entrepreneur (who’s) been extremely successful (and) I myself have enjoyed and really love being part of operating companies … it’s out of sheer interest and enjoyment” that they are in the market, Mr. Sethi said. ■



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Help: ‘Restaurant life Fairmount buys former E&Y center is a recipe for burnout’ Co-developer of new continued from PAGE 3

“The front-of the-house management hasn’t caught up with the talented kitchen staff in Cleveland,� restaurateur Zack Bruell said. A willingness to work long hours and a chameleon persona are required, and these sought-after chieftains may not even earn as much as the tip-based salaries of the servers and bartenders they oversee. A Cleveland-area restaurant manager’s annual salary ranges from about $31,000 to $66,000, according to “It’s tough to find a leader who has an understanding of the big picture, has the personality to make it happen and runs the restaurant as if it was their own,� said Brandon Chrostowski, founder of the newly formed Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute in Shaker Square and former general manager of L’Albatros in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood. Statewide, restaurants of all types employ about 527,000, representing 10% of Ohio’s overall employment. That job figure is expected to rise over the next decade to 558,600, a 6% increase, according to the Ohio Restaurant Association. Cleveland’s dynamic culinary market no doubt will influence the sector’s growth, as the urban core and surrounding neighborhoods continue to populate the food scene with quality chef-driven concepts. Those new restaurants will further propel demand for top-shelf management and potentially shrink an already strained labor pool. “Managers are one of the most important roles in the industry,� said Scott Kuhn, chef and owner of Driftwood Restaurant Group. “But their work isn’t glamorous. That’s why you don’t see shows starring general managers on the Food Network.�

Moving on up Some local and independently owned restaurateurs say they’re hesitant to canvass the market blindly for key front-of-the-house positions, because candidates unfamiliar with their cultures may not be able to move seamlessly into roles that match service to cuisine. So, those chefs such as Messrs. Kuhn and Bruell play chess with an employee growth strategy built around internal promotions. Mr. Kuhn said he culled an entire management team — with the exception of a sous chef and a manager — from his 400-employee operation to open Cibreo in September at PlayhouseSquare. Sean McNeil was promoted from assistant manager at L’Albatros to general manager of Cowell & Hubbard when that Bruell eatery opened in 2012 at PlayhouseSquare. Andy Dombrowski’s position has been upgraded three times since joining the Bruell group in 2004 as chef of L’Albatros. He now is corporate chef of the empire. “I don’t make lateral moves,� Mr. Bruell said. “These aren’t jobs; these are careers.� Because Mr. Bruell wants to see all his employees evolve from entrylevel jobs into senior positions, he assures them of a reasonable worklife balance. “The restaurant life is a recipe for burnout,� he said. “So I tell our managers they will have a life and won’t have to work 60 or 70 hours a week.� That way, managers effec-

tively can operate as leaders, Mr. Bruell said. And effective leaders are critical to successful operations, in Mr. Bruell’s view. “The most important part of the experience is service,� Mr. Bruell said. “If your service doesn’t match your cuisine, you’re dead in the water.� Up until recently, Matt Fish always has promoted regional and middle managers from within. But with the impending opening of his fifth Melt Bar & Grilled location this month in Columbus — and a plan for continued store growth — Mr. Fish this year hired a local recruiting firm to help address a projected management shortage. “This is new territory for us,� Mr. Fish said.

Learning curve Dr. Sandy Robinson, vice president of academic affairs at Cuyahoga Community College, said her school’s Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts program is undergoing a reorganization that includes bolstering its internship program to include more restaurants, which currently include Moxie, Mr. Bruell’s establishments and Dante Boccuzzi’s notable eateries. Tri-C is closing in on a replacement for Gregory Forte — who in September retired as dean of the culinary school — and also is hiring a new executive director. That person’s focus will be fostering relationships with local and corporate restaurateurs, hotels and institutions to integrate students into internship and staff positions. “We’ve been getting a lot of calls from restaurants looking for our students,� Ms. Robinson said. Ms. Robinson said Tri-C also is working with Kent State University more closely to direct associate’s degree holders toward a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. Mr. Chrostowski is banking that his training program at Edwins serves as another spigot for restaurant talent. Edwins trains former prisoners how to run all aspects of a restaurant, from front-of-the-house operations to bartending and cooking. Each six-month program should yield about 60 skilled graduates who are prepared for the grind, he said. “Our format gives students the tools to prepare them for a management role at some point in their career,� Mr. Chrostowski said.

tower in Flats pays $2 million for site in Middleburg Heights By STAN BULLARD

A provision of a major lease at Ernst & Young Tower in downtown Cleveland may spawn a significant real estate development in Middleburg Heights. Fairmount Properties, the co-developer of Ernst & Young Tower and the Flats East Bank Neighborhood with the Wolstein Group, on Oct. 24 paid $2 million through an affiliate for E&Y’s former training center, according to Cuyahoga County property records. The 30,000square-foot conference center sits on 26 acres adjoining the east side of Interstate 71, slightly north of the Bagley Road interchange. Adam Fishman, a Fairmount principal, said the purchase was the culmination of an obligation Flats East Bank assumed as a provision for Ernst & Young’s anchor leasing commitment to the downtown

office building. “It’s a gem of a property,� Mr. Fishman said. “The conference center is state of the art. It’s like having a building in the middle of a park, complete with walking trails. However, we’re not certain of the use yet.� Middleburg Heights Mayor Gary Starr is excited about helping the developers and other adjoining property owners find the best and most marketable use of the land. The property may be combined with sites from as many as a halfdozen property owners who want to sell or plan together, the mayor said, to create a larger development parcel of 45 acres. The suburb has hired Clevelandbased City Architecture to do a land-use study plan for a site that Mayor Starr considers “45 acres of some of the most important pieces of land in Northeast Ohio.� “I envision a mixed-use development with office, medical and other types of uses,� the mayor said. “We think that if we combine a lot of acreage in a master plan it will be easier to leverage grants and loans from multiple sources to help develop the site,� he said. “I envision several public meetings to hear what residents want as well as

members of City Council and the Planning Commission.â€? Another large parcel is immediately south of the Ernst & Young site: seven acres on Bagley Road next to I-71 that are owned by Wald & Fisher Inc., a real estate developer based in Beachwood. The company demolished a Harley Hotel on the site about a decade ago. John Fisher, a principal of Wald & Fisher, said he has discussed the mayor’s concepts with him and is willing to participate in a master plan incorporating his firm’s property. He noted that finding ways to help finance projects there may be more important in the immediate future than planning because of continued challenges finding bank lending for speculative real estate development. Wald & Fisher has developed and owns multiple shopping centers, office buildings and townhouse developments throughout the region. The Middleburg Heights conference center, called the Richard Baker Training Center, serves Ernst & Young’s training needs nationwide and is now on the first floor of the new building. The center is named for a longtime managing partner of Ernst & Young predecessor Ernst & Ernst. â–

Wednesday, December 4

oBNtRegistration / Breakfast / Networking oBNtKeynote Speaker & Panel Discussion Student Center Ballroom, Cleveland State University

Cultivating Our Talent Advancing NE Ohio’s Brain Gain for Business Success

Luis M. Proenza


President The University of Akron

In a tough spot Despite their need of top-level management, many proprietors still are discriminating when it comes to sourcing entry and mid-level talent. The staff of Spice of Life Kitchen + Bar interacts like a close-knit group of friends, and that’s no coincidence, said chef and owner Ben Bebenroth, noting those relationships are a result of his selective hiring process, which prioritizes personality over experience. Physical endurance is another key asset. Indeed, Mr. Bebenroth, a former Marine, in spring plans to recruit athletes from local college campuses who can hustle with serving or schlepping heavy equipment during summer events. “Athletes are goal-oriented, understand isometrics and don’t mind pain. That’s the military in me,â€? Mr. Bebenroth said of the unique recruitment approach. â–






Brian Tucker Publisher & Editorial Director Crain’s Cleveland Business

Ann Womer Benjamin Executive Director NOCHE

Dr. Jay Gershen President NEOMED

Kim Koutris Manager HR Central Region KPMG LLP

Susan Muha Executive Vice President Cuyahoga Community College

Presented by: Supported by:

Underwritten by:





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BRIGHT SPOTS Bright Spots is a periodic feature in Crain’s highlighting positive business developments in the region. To submit information, email Scott Suttell at ■ Financial and business advisory firm Skoda Minotti said its chairman, Gregory J. Skoda, was named to the Managing Partner Elite list, an award from industry publication Accounting Today. Mr. Skoda was one of only 10 recipients nationwide. He was recognized for “his outstanding achievements and commitment to growth and innovation over the past 25 years, notably, creating and refining a distinctive business model that not only has led the firm to its evolutionary growth, but also discernible transforGregory Skoda mation amongst their clients’ business,” according to a news release from Skoda Minotti. First established as a CPA firm, Skoda Minotti has grown over the years to include niche practice areas such as information technology, strategic marketing, professional staffing, financial services, risk advisory, and valuation and litiga-

tion advisory specialties. The firm serves small and midsize companies from offices in Cleveland, Akron and Tampa, Fla. ■ OverDrive Inc. of Garfield Heights announced that its OverDrive Media Station, an in-library e-book, audiobook, music and video sampling and checkout terminal, is now broadly available. The media station was launched earlier this year as a pilot program in about 50 public library systems in five countries. OverDrive said the in-library kiosks “enable readers to browse ebooks, audiobooks and other media on a touchscreen monitor in libraries or any location where libraries want to introduce readers to their e-book catalog.” Experienced or new users “can browse, search and sample any of the media they find with the swipe of a finger,” the company said. Without cables or pre-installed apps, patrons can send a link to any title from the OverDrive Media Station to their device for checkout using a QR code, email or text message. ■ Matt Buderer, vice president of Buderer Drug Co. in Perrysburg, Sandusky and Avon, was named the 2013 M. George Webber, Ph.D., Compounding Pharmacist of the Year by the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA). Compounding is the pharmacy


NOVEMBER 18 - 24, 2013

The Development Fund of the method of preparing customized amenity for visitors and businesses Western Reserve also secured a $2.5 medications to meet each prein Akron,” said Peter Goffstein, semillion state of Ohio New Markets scriber’s and patient’s needs. PCCA nior vice president of project develTax Credit award toward the complepresident Jim Smith presented the oper Industrial Realty Group, in a tion of the hotel. In addition to inaward to Mr. Buderer on Oct. 25 news release. “With the groundvesting in the tax credits, PNC produring the organization’s Internabreaking, new tenants we’re adding vided a traditional construction loan, tional Seminar in Sugar Land, and other construction work alIndustrial Realty Group said. Texas. Mr. Buderer and his father, ■ The Cleveland FoundaJim Buderer, tion and George Gund Founthe company’s dation received the 2013 president, own Ohio Philanthropy Innovaand operate tion Award last Thursday, compounding Nov. 14, in recognition of pharmacies in their work in the drafting of Avon, SanCleveland’s School Transdusky and Performation Plan. rysburg. Philanthropy Ohio, a PCCA said statewide association of CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Mr. Buderer is A rendering of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Akron. Construction has foundations, corporate cona third-genera- begun on the project, which would be the first new hotel in Akron since tributions programs, individtion pharma- the Quaker Square Hilton opened in 1980. uals and other organizations cist and “an ininvolved in philanthropy, novator in his field. He has ready underway, you can really presented the awards at its annual pioneered new compounding techstart to feel the momentum buildconference in Columbus. niques and developed a large foring on The East End campus.” This is the first year the award mulary. His grasp of biochemistry Once completed, the Hilton Garhas been given by the organization. and pharmacology has led him to den Inn will be a 135-room, full-serIn announcing the selection, Philgreat relationships with previce hotel with a conference facility, anthropy Ohio president Suzanne scribers, drug companies and pafitness center and indoor pool, acT. Allen said in a news release, “The tients in his community. He has cording to Industrial Realty Group. role these two foundations have been author and co-author on six Construction was made possible played in helping to craft The U.S. patents.” through a partnership with the DeCleveland Plan is groundbreaking velopment Finance Authority of work that truly exemplifies the ■ Construction for the new Summit County and PNC Bank’s commitment and impact philanHilton Garden Inn hotel in Akron Tax Credit Investment Group. thropy brings to critical communiofficially broke ground with plans Financing for the hotel includes ty issues. We are proud to present for a summer 2014 opening. Devela $6.5 million federal New Markets the foundations with our Ohio Philopers said this marks the first new Tax Credit allocation from the Deanthropy Innovation Award.” ■ hotel in Akron since the Quaker velopment Fund of the Western Square Hilton opened in 1980. Reserve and a $2 million federal Send information for Bright Spots to “A new hotel has been a long New Markets Tax Credit allocation managing editor Scott Suttell at time coming and provides a great from PNC.



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NOVEMBER 18 - 24, 2013

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RGI International Inc. helped design the protective and interactive elements of this display of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s visitor center in Greenbelt, Md.

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RGI has set its designs on ‘impact’ of its customers By RACHEL ABBEY McCAFFERTY

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RGI International Inc. of North Ridgeville is looking to create longterm customers with its in-depth approach to design. Before the staff members at RGI redesign a space or draw up plans for a display, they get to know their customer — and their customer’s customers. It’s part of the firm’s “Behavioral Impact Through Design” approach, which has employees focus on what the effect of a design will be on an individual, rather than have them just draw up what the customer says he or she wants. There’s not an exact science to it, president Ryan Gerber said, but it involves a lot of research. The model isn’t new — it’s common in fields such as advertising — but Mr. Gerber said it’s not the traditional method for trade show, display and environment design firms such as theirs. “We learn a lot because it supports what we do,” Mr. Gerber said. And what they do appears to be working. Mr. Gerber said revenue and projects have increased during the past two years as the company’s customers — which includes a lot of manufacturers — recovered from the recession and began spending on marketing again. RGI spent some of the downtime during the recession digging into data, and it now uses more spreadsheets that show customers exactly how their money is spent in real time. Annual revenue is at about $2 million now, Mr. Gerber said, which is growing from recent years but still is less than what the company was generating pre-recession. And RGI, which has 13 employees now, is looking to add to its staff. Mr. Gerber said there are three active postings for design and project management positions. “It feels really busy,” Mr. Gerber said.

The outside of the visitor center at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. RGI began in 2006 and put the plans in motion for its “behavioral impact” approach in 2007. It started using it as an official tagline in 2008, Mr. Gerber said. It’s a continually evolving model. As part of the approach, employees might interview experts in relevant fields, take photos, shoot videos — anything that helps them understand the behavior the customer wants to address in that particular project. RGI does all work inhouse, from the research to the design to the fabrication and building, bringing in additional employees when necessary. Not all customers embrace the “behavioral impact” approach, Mr. Gerber said, as not all projects warrant such a deep dive. But for those that do, it leads to “a longer-term customer,” he said. Bill Buckingham saw RGI’s approach in action at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Visitor Center in Greenbelt, Md., where the consultant is serving as program manager. RGI helped do some renovations on the exhibit gallery in the summer of 2012, including the design of some interactive and protective features

for an engineering model of a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. RGI’s staff made sure to observe the flow of traffic through the center, in addition to talking to managers, Mr. Buckingham said. “They took the time to study the environment and learn the people,” he said. Sandy Habecker, manager of trade shows and events at Invacare Corp., said the maker of wheelchairs and home health care products has been working with RGI for a few years. One recent project was an overhaul of Invacare’s showroom at its world headquarters in Elyria. The project, which was finished about a year and a half ago, changed the space’s retail feel and gave it more of a corporate look, she said. The showroom, now known as “Invacare World,” puts a focus on the company’s tagline of “making life’s experiences possible,” Ms. Habecker said. Before, the space was very product-focused. Today, the company displays large graphics that show customers using the products in a variety of ways. “Now it actually tells a story,” Ms. Habecker said. ■



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NOVEMBER 18 - 24, 2013




Digital check please: Restaurants adapt to technology Still, smart phones can’t replace personal touch


o many diners, mobile devices are another utensil, as integral to facilitating the dining experience as a fork, spoon or knife. From tweeting, posting food photos to Instagram or checking into a restaurant on Foursquare, technology is part of U.S. consumers’ daily diet of entertainment and convenience. And their desire to use options such as touch-screen ordering and mobile payments when dining out is growing, according to National Restaurant Association research. The research shows that 63% of adults have used restaurant-related technology in the past month and are interested in other tech options, such as placing orders and making reservations and payments via smart phone apps. Technology applications still are in their infancy throughout the industry, with fewer than 10% of table service restaurants offering options such as tableside ordering and payment and tablet menus. Among them is Lola on East Fourth Street, which allows diners to order wine on an iPad. However, 54% of those operators say they plan to invest in more customer-facing technology. Digital strategy is a hot topic among thunder::tech’s food and beverage clients, owner Jason Therrien said. However, the integrated marketing agency in Cleveland typically advises its clients against “one-off apps,” Mr. Therrien said. Rather, he directs clients to a mobile strategy that includes developing an interactive web site with online ordering as well as email and social marketing tools. “When these tools are running smoothly and you can prove customer adoption, then move onto shinier objects like native mobile apps,” he said. Pier W this year integrated a custom wireless computer system when its rooftop patio opened. The system lets patio servers use the hand-held devices to take food and beverage orders, which the kitchen receives through its existing system, said Amber Gallihar, senior account executive for LiefKarson Public Relations. The custom software adds extra security because it swipes guests’ credit card information. Ms. Gallihar said the high-end seafood restaurant’s operators don’t have plans to implement the tablet technology systemwide because they prefer servers interact


WHAT’S COOKING with dining room guests the oldfashioned way, through taking orders by hand. While smart phone users appreciate the face-to-face interaction, they still are interested in an option that would allow them to split their check virtually, according to the restaurant association’s research, with 53% of younger consumers saying they would use the feature. Joe Gramc, who frequently dines at and tweets about locally owned eateries in the Cleveland area, said another ideal mobile feature would be a tableside payment system that allows diners to cash out their checks, which frees up the wait staff to attend to other tables. Sans the tech bells and whistles, a solid social media strategy with periodic posts on events, menu changes, specials and customer interaction continues to build diner loyalty. “I can say for a fact, when someone posts their specials or a photo, and it looks good and sounds good, I go there for dinner. Then I’ll tweet about how good it was,” said Mr. Gramc, vice president of finance at Five Star Trucking Co. in Willoughby. “But I’m more likely to tweet about it if they have a social media presence.”

Tasty Tribe tidbits


Servers on Pier W’s rooftop patio now can take your order with a hand-held device, which sends the order straight to the kitchen. The Cleveland restaurant installed a custom wireless network before opening the patio to customers.


The Cleveland Indians are offering some new options for hosting holiday parties. Private dinner parties in the Terrace Club or Collection Auto Club are available, as well as the Visiting Clubhouse, Champions Suite and Heavy Hitters room, inside the executive offices. The Terrace Club or Collection Auto Club also can accommodate lunch parties, with a buffet of $25 per person. Lunch parties feature half-off room rental fees. A three-hour happy hour option at $20 per person includes small plates at the fourth-floor Terrace Club Pub. The room rental fee is discounted 75%. A public “home for the holidays” luncheon is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. Cost is $20. For more information, call 216-420-4840 or email at ■

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NOVEMBER 18 - 24, 2013

GOING PLACES JOB CHANGES CONSULTING PATINA SOLUTIONS: Greg Voeller to national practice director, change effectiveness. SHAKER CONSULTING GROUP: Jacqueline Carpenter to talent analytics consultant.

















SYNERGY CONSULTING GROUP: Aron Kitzmiller to director of marketing.

ENGINEERING MANNIK & SMITH GROUP: Jamie Berardinelli to environmental scientist.

FINANCE LORAIN NATIONAL BANK: Michael W. Bickerton to senior vice president and chief credit officer.

FINANCIAL SERVICE CIUNI & PANICHI INC.: David Reape to principal, tax; George Pickard to senior manager, audit and accounting services. EATON FAMILY CREDIT UNION: Dave Godek to business development manager.

FALLS RIVER GROUP LLC: John Rowell to managing director. MCGLADREY LLP: Julie DiFrancesco to director, health care practice; Lindsey Damron to internal audit supervisor. TRINITY PENSION CONSULTANTS: Rachel Gollihue to defined contribution relationship manager.



E. Collins, Andrew P. Moses and Matthew K. Grashoff to associates.

LODGE AT GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE: Eric Frantz to general manager.

GALLAGHER SHARP: Matthew T. Norman and Holly M. Olarczuk-Smith to partners.


TAFT: William A. Doyle and David S. Schindelheim to associates.

MEDICAL MUTUAL: Chuck Kuhn to director, actuarial services; Bob Imars to manager, technical support.


MANUFACTURING CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC.: Gary B. Halverson to president and COO; James Kirsch to executive chairman.

MARKETING DIX & EATON: Amanda Hayes and Abbey Linville to account executives.

MEDIA WKSU: Ele Ellis to program director.


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HANNA PERKINS CENTER FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT: Pam Millar to associate director, community engagement and school programs; Melinda Rembert to information systems specialist.

REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION REALTY: Michelle Person to sales associate.

RETAIL CARTER LUMBER: Jeff Donley to president, COO; Jeff Seder to senior vice president; Kip Gleckler to senior vice president, field operations.

BOARDS CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC.: James Kirsch to executive chairman.

AWARDS THE HR AWARDS: Aaron Grossman (Alliance Solutions Group) received the 2013 HR Partner of the Year Award.



Send information for Going Places to

CEO aims to ‘wake’ Diebold By RACHEL ABBEY McCAFFERTY

Diebold Inc. expects to turn around its earnings and revenue in 2014, but it won’t be easy, president and CEO Andy Mattes told investors during a conference call on Nov. 12. There’s no “pixie dust” that he can sprinkle on the company to cut costs and drive revenue, Mr. Mattes said. “It’s just hard work,” he said. The company’s free cash flow, gross margin and operating profit are all down this year, Mr. Mattes said. “There’s no question that our cost structure is too high,” he said. Diebold recorded a net loss of $21.7 million in the third quarter of 2013, compared to net income of $16.2 million in the third quarter of 2012. Diebold aims to cut costs by $100 million to $150 million by the end of 2015. Mr. Mattes, who joined Diebold in June, said 2013 was a foundationbuilding year and that a lot of the heavy lifting will take place in 2014. Cost reductions will continue, and Diebold will see the results of its voluntary early retirement plan. That offer just closed, but Mr. Mattes told investors it had a take rate of at least

40%. The company also let about 700 employees go — the majority of those reductions had taken place by the time the plan was announced — and enacted a pension freeze in 2013. But the strategy also includes room for investments. For example, Diebold plans to overhaul its information technology structure with the help of Infosys and Oracle. In a news release, Mr. Mattes called it an “important building block” in the company’s transformation, and said the plan is to create “a world-class IT infrastructure that provides comprehensive and analytical data” that supports the company’s growth. The company also will invest in its sales force in 2014, as Mr. Mattes highlighted improved sales coverage and plans to increase the skills of the sales force as goals. Mr. Mattes reiterated during the call that the Green-based company won’t be just an automated teller machine producer in the future — it will be a company led by services and it has room to grow. He said he likened the company to a “Sleeping Beauty” when he came on board; it’s a bit “more asleep” than he originally thought. The summer was spent looking at solutions. ■



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NOVEMBER 18 - 24, 2013

Cleveland Clinic will evaluate brain health of former NFL players By TIMOTHY MAGAW

The Cleveland Clinic plans to help retired professional football players improve their brain health and overall well-being through a new partnership with the National Football League Players Association. The program, dubbed The Trust, will offer physical and neurological evaluations to former players. Those evaluations will be followed by treatment plans to relieve symptoms, restore function, improve cognitive skills and slow neurodegeneration among those who have sustained recurring head trauma, according to a Clinic news release. The Clinic said it will host players at its main campus, its outpost in Weston, Fla., and the Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. Players seeking treatment also can visit the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., or Tulane University in New Orleans. “Athletic injuries and sports-related brain trauma have become part of the public consciousness and are being viewed as legitimate

public health problems,” said Jay Alberts, director of the Cleveland Clinic Concussion Center. “Former professional football players, in particular, are at increased risk for neurological disease,” he said. “The goal of this program is to identify potential problems — physical, neurological or cognitive — earlier, which may lead to earlier interventions and treatments.” Besides this new collaboration, the Clinic has been involved with concussion treatment and research for the last several years. For instance, the Clinic developed a tablet-based app that offers an assessment of concussion symptoms. In addition, the health system is developing a mouthguard with sensors that doubles as a concussiondetection device. Working with NFL Charities, the health system also is studying designs for better youth football helmets. ■



As Vice President of Business Development & Technology at Alego Health, Mr. Levoy has become a leader in Healthcare IT, contributing greatly to Alego Health’s continued growth and success. As a result of his leadership, Alego Health has been recognized as part of the Weatherhead 100 in 2011, 2012, and 2013. It was also voted one of the “Top Workplaces” in 2011 by The Plain Dealer, and named to the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the US in 2013.

JONATHAN LEVOY VP Of Business Development & Technology Alego Health

HEALTHCARE IT SOLUTIONS www. A l e g o H e al t h .co m

ON THE WEB Story from:





MEET THE CLASS OF 2013 ■ Lynlee Altman, Page F-2 ■ Christopher A. Bayham, F-2 ■ Anne Bitong, F-2 ■ Matt Brakey, F-2 ■ Bridget M. Brennan, F-4 ■ Tim Brokaw, Page F-4 ■ Tessa Burg, F-5 ■ Dan Burkons, F-6 ■ Ken Burns, F-6 ■ Dan Charney, F-7 ■ J. Brandon Davis, Page F-7 ■ Stella Dilik, F-7 ■ Jacob Duritsky, F-8 ■ Michael Foran, F-8 ■ Sarah Forrer, F-9 ■ Troy A. Gerspacher, Page F-9 ■ Rob Heiser, F-10 ■ Will Lazzaro, F-10 ■ Jonathan Levoy, F-10 ■ Shannon I. Lyons, F-11 ■ Cary Majors, Page F-11 ■ Drew Martin, F-12 ■ Jay Masurekar, F-12 ■ Julie Maurer, F-13 ■ Marty McGann, F-13 ■ Brian Muskoff, Page F-14 ■ Scott Orr, F-14 ■ Jeff Pacini, F-15 ■ Laura Passerallo, F-15 ■ Rico Pietro, F-16

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CLASS DISCUSSION A closer look at the 2013 Forty Under 40 honorees: ■ Favorite Cleveland landmark: There was a wide variety of responses, including such Cleveland staples as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and PlayhouseSquare. Other choices included Progressive Field, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Bingham, the Terminal Tower, the Flats and the Free Stamp. The most off-the-wall selection might have been Tessa Burg’s choice of the lakefront Municipal Parking Lot — the preferred tailgating spot for many Cleveland Browns fans. ■ Dream dinner guest: The Class of 2013 had a historical perspective when answering this question. Responses included Winston Chuchill, Leonardo da Vinci, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Edison, Anne Frank, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and John D. Rockefeller. One of the most popular choices, however, was late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who passed away in 2011. ■ Vacation destination: Jobs There again was an eclectic group of answers, including Brazil (for the 2014 World Cup); the Caribbean; Egypt; Greece; Hawaii; Italy; New Zealand; Rome; Scotland; Shanghai; South Africa; Spain; Vail, Colo.; and even St. Joseph, Mich. Two of our favorites, though, were “anywhere” to go whale watching and traveling across the country with family in an RV. Those were the selections of Julie Maurer and Anne Bitong, respectively.

■ Tony Rospert, Page F-16 ■ Victor Ruiz, F-16 ■ Chris Salata, F-17 ■ Andrew Samtoy, F-17 ■ David S. Sawicki, F-18 ■ Marybeth Shamrock, Page F-18 ■ Fattar Thomas, F-18 ■ Ryan White, F-19 ■ Keith Williams, F-19 ■ Kim Wilson, F-19

“She could sell a straw wrapper to the person buying the straw. Where I handle the finances, she excels as the face of the company.” – Kimberly Martin, founder and CEO, Main Street Cupcakes, on co-owner Sarah Forrer (below); Page F-9 The Terminal Tower

MORE COVERAGE Check out this week for coverage of this year’s Forty Under 40 reception, which will be held Monday night, Nov. 18, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. There will be video interviews with each honoree, a photo gallery from the event and much more. ■ For more information on the 2013 event, go to: ■ For more on the honorees, go to: ■ To view past event coverage and honorees, including Marshall Emerson III, co-founder and CEO of I Can Schools, and Colette Jones, vice president of marketing for Positively Cleveland, go to: section/40UNDER40

2013 Forty Under 40 portraits by Jason Miller

Emerson III





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LYNLEE ALTMAN President Pinnacle Construction & Development Group ◆ 39


innacle Construction & Development Group specializes in unique projects — the more bizarre the better, says president Lynlee Altman. For instance, the Cleveland-based company in 2012 re-created the surface of Mars at NASA Glenn Research Center in Brook Park so that NASA could test its Mars Rover. Ms. Altman said it wasn’t a difficult project, but it was an interesting one — and it was definitely one that had to be created from instructions alone. The 25-employee company Ms. Altman started in 2000 also does a lot of anti-terrorism work, building pop-up barriers, fencing and security buildings for the government. It’s work that goes largely unrecognized, she said. “We try to build it so you don’t really notice that. But it’s there,” Ms. Altman said. Pinnacle Construction began as Maintenance Solutions Inc., a company Ms. Altman ran while finishing up her MBA at Carnegie Mellon University and, after graduation, while working in product marketing at Keithley Instruments Inc., a maker of testing and measurement equipment. She left Keithley in 2002 to focus on the company full-time. Ms. Altman received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1996, but a temporary office job at contracting giant Gilbane Inc. in Rhode Island caused her to fall in love with construction. “This is the coolest job ever,” she said she remembers thinking. Ms. Altman said she likes the variety and the permanency of the industry. “You build something, and it’s there 100 years later,” she said. Pinnacle Construction started out with a focus on external building facades and maintenance and moved into commercial construction and federal contracts. The name changed in 2004 to reflect that shift. Scott Minerd, vice president of Pinnacle Construction, said Ms. Altman is skilled at seeing the big picture on projects and on working with the customer to truly understand their wants and needs. And personally, she “brings fun to the equation,” Mr. Minerd said.Ms. Altman became the sole owner of Pinnacle Construction in 2011. Prior to that, she had two separate partners, one of whom was her husband, John DeLillo. Most of her time is spent working on the business, she said, developing the team and developing customers and accounts.Ms. Altman is passionate about the role of small businesses in the community and the economy. She said she is on the board of the National Association of Small Disadvantaged Businesses and does advocacy work in Washington, D.C., on behalf of small businesses. She’s also involved in the local Entrepreneurs’ Organization. “You’d be amazed what a construction company can learn from an investment company,” she said. Ms. Altman said she will be on the board of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization next year. Outside of her advocacy and work-related efforts, she enjoys running and kayaking. She lives in Auburn with her husband and their three children. — Rachel Abbey McCafferty

NOVEMBER 18-24, 2013

Chief information officer

BY THE NUMBERS ■ 50%: AssuraMed’s increase in revenue

AssuraMed ◆ 36

since the arrival of Christopher A. Bayham.


At 36, Mr. Bayham’s career trajectory is no small accomplishment, either. He held his first CIO role at 32 years old for a division of UnitedHealth Group and held a number of high-level consulting roles at Accenture and Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, which now is part of PricewaterhouseCoopers. When he arrived at AssuraMed last year, he was the youngest member of the company’s executive team. “I think he’s a real brain gain, so to speak, for the region,” Mr. Gehrt said. Although he has been drawn to technology since a young age, Mr. Bayham always has viewed himself more as a strategic thinker and a big-picture kind of guy. That’s one reason he went on to earn his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “Technology for technology’s sake isn’t what’s going to change the game,” Mr. Bayham said. “It’s going to be finding a unique way to apply that technology to support the business’ growth.” Mr. Bayham and his wife, Valerie, live in Hudson. They also have a 3-year-old son, Gabriel, an athletic little guy who recently played in his first soccer game. — Timothy Magaw

he first few months at a new job can be unnerving for a variety of reasons. There’s the stress over gelling with your new team or the worry associated with uprooting your family for a gig hundreds of miles from home. But for Christopher A. Bayham, there was the added intrigue of his new employer, AssuraMed, being seated squarely on both sides of the deal-making table. When he arrived at the Twinsburg company in November 2012, AssuraMed was on the verge of acquiring for $150 million Invacare’s medical supply group. And just a few months later, AssuraMed announced it was poised to be acquired by Cardinal Health for just north of $2 billion. As AssuraMed’s new chief information officer, Mr. Bayham played a leading role in ensuring everyone’s information technology platforms played nicely. All the while, he was overseeing a massive upgrade to AssuraMed’s IT infrastructure. Simply put, he hasn’t had much time to relax — and that’s the way he likes it. “It certainly creates a lot of operational and technology challenges in terms of keeping up, but it’ll keep you on your toes,” said Mr. Bayham, a New Orleans native. “I don’t like being bored, and I’ve never had that

feeling since walking in the door.” Mr. Bayham, who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama, likens his work at AssuraMed to being a player on Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide, given that high expectations and high achievement go hand-in-hand. The company has seen its revenues increase by more than 50% since his arrival. “I think his biggest accomplishment has been taking a collection of IT professionals and turning them into a team with a common purpose and goals and working together to deliver big things,” said Kevin Gehrt, AssuraMed’s chief human resources officer. “That’s no small feat.”

ANNE BITONG Executive director

BY THE NUMBERS ■ 3,775: Participants in the Akron Marathon

Akron Marathon Charitable Corp. ◆ 38

in 2003, the race’s first year.


ace week is a blur for Anne Bitong, executive director of the Akron Marathon. There is a “war room day” in which the various marathon committees gather to discuss the final details of the popular event, which has more than tripled from 3,775 participants in 2003, its first year, to 14,135 for the 2013 race, which was held Sept. 28. The course must be set up, a health and fitness expo that draws more than 20,000 visitors is held the day before the marathon, and there are all the runners who stop by to pick up or drop off their gear prior to the race. “We may get an hour’s worth of sleep the night before race day,” said Mrs. Bitong. “By the time you realize, ‘Oh, maybe I should get some sleep,’ you wonder if it’s really worth it and just have your adrenaline push you through.” Adrenaline is a must for Mrs. Bitong, who assumed her current role as the Akron Marathon’s executive director in 2008. She co-chaired the inaugural marathon’s volunteer committee in 2003, when she was the sales and marketing director for Main Street Gourmet, a company based in Cuyahoga Falls that was co-founded by Steve Marks, founder of the Akron Marathon. In late 2006, Mrs. Bitong and good friend Amy Freeman — both of whom had become stay-at-home moms — pitched a job-sharing arrangement to Mr. Marks, who was

14,135: Participants in the Akron Marathon

in 2013.

looking for someone to direct the race. Mrs. Bitong said she took on more of the marketing and sponsorship roles, and Mrs. Freeman — now the race’s vice president — concentrated on the operations and logistics. Less than two years later, Mrs. Bitong became executive director, and the race has grown into a popular event that creates an annual economic impact of $6 million for the Akron area. Mrs. Freeman said Mrs. Bitong had noticed the growth of women in running and began to cater to the needs of female participants. In 2013, there were more than 7,000 females who combined to run in the marathon, half-marathon, marathon relay and kids’ fun run — accounting for 52% of the total field. The inaugural event in 2003

MATT BRAKEY President Brakey Energy ◆ 32


f you get seated next to Matt Brakey at Thanksgiving and want to discuss the latest hot reading material, you’d better bring your electric bill. Heck, bring your company’s, because he might be up for some light reading on the spot. The president of Brakey Energy in Cleveland Heights, a consulting firm that helps big electricity users economize on their usage, still finds intrigue and, sometimes, even a challenge in something as mundane as an electric bill. And a piece of energy legislation or a ruling by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio? Heck, that’s a weekend’s worth of entertainment.

drew 750 female participants. “She wants to keep the organization innovative,” Mrs. Freeman said of Mrs. Bitong. “The thing we’re known most for is our organization. That is a huge priority for us.” Mrs. Bitong pays such close attention to all the race details that she is known to look at every response the marathon’s post-race survey generates. Following the 2012 Akron Marathon, the staff of seven sifted through more than 4,000 surveys. “We gather immediate feedback,” Mrs. Bitong said. “We start analyzing that info and have a post-race meeting with all of our committee members.” Mrs. Bitong said the marathon’s directors have a “policy of five.” If they hear the same thing at least five times on a survey, it’s a subject that needs to be addressed prior to the next race. The focus on the details has helped. Mrs. Bitong said 86% of the runners who participated in the 2012 Akron Marathon returned this past September. Mrs. Bitong and her husband, Jerry, have two sons, Ethan, 9, and Lucas, 7. She is one of seven children. “Family is a very important part of my life,” she said. “There are always family functions, always something going on.” — Kevin Kleps

“I can get pretty passionate about these issues,” he jokes, conceding that such topics are eye-glazers for most folks. But then, that’s kind of why he’s in business. Mr. Brakey’s business involves understanding the ins and outs of Ohio’s sometimes-confusing, always complex energy markets and their regulations. He helps clients that include the Cleveland Clinic and Progressive Insurance to understand both the competitive marketplace for electricity and the rules governing it, so that they can manage their energy usage and its costs. Mr. Brakey wasn’t born with an innate knowledge of the workings of “DSE II riders” on electric rates. They don’t teach such things at Miami University, where he says plenty of classes in economics did help him prepare to understand markets generally. See BRAKEY Page F-4



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BRIDGET M. BRENNAN Assistant U.S. attorney Northern District of Ohio ◆ 38


ridget Brennan had her heart set on starring in the World Wrestling Federation. But fourth graders are fickle, and — probably to her parents’ relief — her focus switched. “Pretty much in fifth grade I decided that was I was going to be a lawyer, and I pretty much wanted to be a prosecutor,” she said in an interview at the Stokes Federal Court House in downtown Cleveland. “It seemed like a good job where you could make things right,”Ms. Brennan said. The Pittsburgh native came to Cleveland and plowed her way through John Carroll University and the law school at Case Western Reserve University. After graduating from law school in 2000, she landed a job at Baker Hostetler LLP in Cleveland. Seven years later, she jumped to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Ohio. Now Ms. Brennan is director of the human rights section in the office’s national security, human rights and organized crime unit. “Coming here (to the U.S. Attorney’s office) was my end game,” she said. “It was just a matter of timing. Positions over here don’t open up that often so it was just watching for when they did.” Human rights and organized crime cases draw headlines, and Ms. Brennan has had her

TIM BROKAW Co-CEO Brokaw Inc. ◆ 37


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im Brokaw, the co-CEO of advertising agency Brokaw Inc., is something of a Cleveland advocate. He thinks there’s a renaissance going on in the city, and he wants to embrace it. “Let’s be real and authentic and true to who we are,” he said. Earlier this year, Brokaw launched a marketing campaign designed to attract millennials in Chicago and New York to Cleveland. The campaign, which played up the city’s affordability and lack of

NOVEMBER 18-24, 2013

BY THE NUMBERS ■ 20: People who have been convicted of


crimes related to bribery and bank fraud stemming from the $170 million collapse of the St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union.

Mr. Brakey had to learn the business, initially, at the heels of his father, company founder Mike Brakey. The younger Mr. Brakey joined the company in 2004, five years after his father started it, and when it still only had about 15 clients and the company was a one-man shop. “I just sort of shadowed my dad,” he said. “I really followed him like a puppy dog.” But while the father taught the son about Ohio’s complex regulatory environment and its rules governing electricity, the market was in the midst of becoming competitive as well. Understanding just how the state’s rules and FirstEnergy Corp.’s rate structure would affect a client no longer was enough; clients also needed to know how they would fare with other electric companies competing for their business. That situation allowed Matt Brakey to grow professionally and take over the business at the same time. Today, Brakey Energy has 10 employees and about 80 corporations and organizations as its clients. Mr. Brakey has no plans to stop growing. He’s studying for his law degree and is expanding the footprint of the business. The firm’s employees all work from their homes, so an additional office has not been needed, but Brakey Energy recently hired its first dedicated salesperson and expanded into the Ohio territory of Columbus-based American Electric Power. It’s tough work, but because others aren’t prepared to do it, Mr. Brakey said he has a good niche. “We list our clients on our website, which most people would be terrified to do because it allows people to poach your business. But I just know there’s no one else doing what we do,” he said. — Dan Shingler

share of high-profile cases. Grabbing the most headlines, locally and internationally, was the prosecution of Amish bishop Samuel Mullet Sr. and 15 other Amish men for attacks on other Amish whom Mullet saw as enemies of his small sect. She led the prosecution of the Mullet clan, working with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Getz and Kristy Parker. Last February, Mullet was sentenced to 15 years for home invasions and kidnappings that ended with hair and beard cuttings that were characterized by U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach as “religious-based disfigurements.” “Bridget Brennan’s in-box is where many of our region’s most difficult and sensitive legal problems go,” said Mr. Dettelbach, who is Ms. Brennan’s boss. “And when she puts them in her out-box, you can be sure they have been resolved in the public’s best interest.” In nominating Ms. Brennan for this year’s “40 Under 40” class, Mr. Dettelbach cited the highlights of Ms. Brennan’s 2012 caseload, which included the successful, high-profile prosecution of the Amish sect leader. Ms. Brennan also is prosecuting bankers, borrowers and investors involved in the $170 million collapse of the St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union. So far, 20 people charged in the

continued from PAGE F-2

case have been convicted of crimes related to bribery and bank fraud; they include A. Eddy Zai, a Pepper Pike financier and developer who in February was sentenced to 7¼ years in prison and ordered to pay $23 million in restitution to the National Credit Union Association. In October 2012, Ms. Brennan also indicted Randolph Linn of St. Joe, Ind., for setting fire to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg. In April, Linn was sentenced to 20 years in prison. “To me this is the ultimate place to end up, being a federal prosecutor in Cleveland,” she said. “It’s a great place to come to work.” — Jay Miller

BY THE NUMBERS ■ 177%: Increase in employees, from 18 to more than 50, since Tim Brokaw and his brother, Gregg, purchased Brokaw Inc. from their father, Bill. pretension in a tongue-in-cheek way, received some local criticism, but it has worked out for the agency. As of the end of September, Brokaw had hired three employees from those large markets. And, because one ad encouraged applicants to “trade in those skinny jeans for some jorts,” they received at least 20 pictures of people in cutoff jean shorts, Mr. Brokaw said. See BROKAW Page F-5

Our colleague

Anthony J. Rospert is making his mark in Northeast Ohio by helping clients achieve their strategic goals and through his leadership of Cornucopia, making a difference in the lives of many in need.

We applaud his inclusion in Crain’s Cleveland Business 40 Under 40 Class of 2013.




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NOVEMBER 18-24, 2013

TESSA BURG Vice president of product and program management SparkBase Inc. ◆ 32


or “a millisecond,” Tessa Burg wondered if she had made the wrong move by taking a job heading up product development at SparkBase Inc., a payment processing company in Cleveland The day before she started, the man who recruited her, chief operating officer David Inglis, died of a heart attack in his sleep. She was shocked by the news. She considered Mr. Inglis a mentor who gave “direct and sometimes harsh feedback” during her six-month stint as director of product innovation for Sideways Inc., a Cleveland-based digital publishing startup that since has shut down most of its operations. Ms. Burg joined SparkBase in August


2011 because she wanted to work with Mr. Inglis. But she stayed partly because she wanted to prove that he recruited the right person. It appears he did, considering that SparkBase promoted Ms. Burg to vice president of product and program management in May. “I’ve hopefully done the best that I can,” she said. “I think that he would be happy.” Product development wasn’t even her specialty before she joined Sideways. As a senior at Mentor High School, Ms. Burg spent a lot of time doing web development in the library, but she majored in entrepreneurship at the University of Dayton. And she spent the next seven years in marketing roles, developing an expertise in search engine optimization. But while she was at American Greetings Interactive, a few of her colleagues noticed how she handled internal software development projects and told her she could develop products, too. One of

them was Andrew Schulak, director of web and mobile development at the unit of card maker American Greetings. “Tessa is one of those people, she can do whatever she wants to do,” Mr. Schulak said. Ms. Burg considers Mr. Schulak a mentor, too. She named several people who’ve served as role models in her life and her career. And she’s always seeking out other people from which she can learn. For instance, the main reason she joined Sideways was to learn from Charles Stack, the software entrepreneur who started the company. Don’t be surprised if Ms. Burg ends up becoming an entrepreneur, too. She looked into starting a company that would develop apps for’s popular customer relationship management software, but instead she opted to continue her entrepreneurial education at SparkBase. See BURG Page F-6

BROKAW continued from PAGE F-4

Mr. Brokaw and his brother, Gregg, bought the agency from their father, Bill Brokaw, about five years ago. Since then, Brokaw has grown from about 18 employees to more than 50; in just the last 18 months, the agency has doubled in size. Brokaw also has been benefited from national buzz, like a recent Advertising Age award that highlighted the agency’s droll culture.

“He really absorbed everything. He was like a sponge.” – Gregg Brokaw, co-CEO, Brokaw Inc., on his brother, Tim Tim Brokaw started as a junior copywriter at the agency after graduating from Colgate University in 1999. The longtime hockey player entertained the idea of playing in the minor leagues, but he opted instead to come home and work for the family business where he had interned. Mr. Brokaw, who grew up in Euclid, now lives in Shaker Heights with his wife, Melissa, and their three sons. Gregg Brokaw, who came back to the company after running his own business in Chicago, said his brother is a natural leader and that he had taken in a lot by starting his career at Brokaw. “He really absorbed everything. He was like a sponge,” he said. Tim Brokaw said he gained personal credibility working as the lead copywriter on a campaign for Parker Hannifin Corp. about how engineers see the world differently. The campaign helped Parker break away from parts ads and resonated with employees of the maker of motion and control equipment. “You have to work twice as hard being the founder’s son,” he said. Today, Tim Brokaw works more on client relationships and new business, which focuses on strategy and identifying potential clients to pursue, while Gregg Brokaw focuses on internal operations. Tim Brokaw said he still loves the creative side of the business, but he also enjoys selling his employees and culture to clients. No one day is the same, he said, and that’s part of what drew him to the business. “It’s so un-boring. It’s something different every day,” he said. — Rachel Abbey McCafferty

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DAN BURKONS Senior director, National Multihousing Group Marcus & Millichap ◆ 34


hen his three-person team at the Marcus & Millichap real estate brokerage sold the Bingham Apartments, 1278 W. Ninth St. in downtown Cleveland, for $40 million last year, Dan Burkons relished the deal for sentimental reasons as well as the commission. It was at a Halloween party in 2005 at the Bingham that he met Lillie, his future wife. Today, they have a daughter and live in Mr. Burkons’ hometown of Shaker Heights, but at that time Mr. Burkons enjoyed living downtown to be near the sports action and East Fourth Street entertainment district. He still gets sentimental when he is downtown, but now it’s usually for business. Mr. Burkons is part of a go-to team in area apartment brokerage with partners Michael Barron and Josh Wintermute. As of last year, the team in the last decade has closed more than 250 transactions totaling more than $800 million and involving 21,000 suites, according to Michael Glass, regional manager of Marcus & Millichap’s Cleveland office. Last May, they found for

BURG continued from PAGE F-5

“I’ve always been a learner of observation — knowing what I’m not good at and really learning from people around me,” she said. For fun, Ms. Burg plays guitar and soccer. She’s a member of the American Outlaws, a group of soccer fans who root for the U.S.


K&D Group, the owner of the region’s largest apartment empire, a buyer for the 980-unit Marsol Towers in Mayfield Heights. However, Mr. Burkons and his partner Mr. Barron reached that type of big deal from starting out small. Fresh out of the University of Michigan, where the history major had decided to pursue a real estate career because of its significant earning potential, Mr. Burkons and Mr. Barron were two of three agents who in 2003 opened the Marcus & Millichap office in the Cleveland market. Mr. Burkons bucked conventional wisdom, which holds that a handful of families own most of the region’s multifamily properties, and they don’t sell. However, he believed there was opportunity. In the beginning, Mr. Burkons lived in the basement of his parents’ home in Shaker Heights — his father and late grandfather are well-known East Side pediatricians — and later downtown with one of his brothers. His friends were starting careers, had apartments and were flush from $30,000 salaries. Mr. Burkons was starving and hustling. The turning point came late in 2003, when he sold a Cleveland Heights 30-suiter for $1.8 million. “That showed me I could make a business out of this,” Mr. Burkons said. When the time came for major owners to sell, his team

got the nod. In a situation where they might have become ardent competitors, Mr. Barron and Mr. Burkons found they could cover more ground by marshalling their efforts, Mr. Barron said. Mr. Burkons’ piece was writing ads and other communications. A breakthrough for Messrs. Burkons and Barron was selling properties when the two Beachwood-based Risman brothers split up. They sold 30 multifamily properties to a dozen new owners in the break-up and went on to sell additional properties to one of the successor companies, Burton Carol Management LLC of Warrensville Heights, according to Joy Anzalone, its chief operating officer. However, do not expect Mr. Burkons to coast. His team has hired two agents in Columbus and one in Pittsburgh, so expansion outside this region beckons. — Stan Bullard

men’s national team. But lately much of her free time has been spent organizing the sequel to Ripple Fest, a festival she launched last February with the help of a national nonprofit called the Foundation for Community Betterment. She decided to organize the event, which raises money for cancer patients, after a few people in her life were diagnosed

with the disease. “If I make a positive impact on one person’s life, then they’ll do the same for others,” she said. The party will be “bigger and better” in 2014, but it will need to wait until later in the year. This spring, she and her husband, Adam, are expecting their first child, a girl. — Chuck Soder

Founder and president TinyCircuits ◆ 39


Congratulations ,


JACOB DURITSKY Managing Director, Research


Crain’s forty under 40 class of 2013 honoree


NOVEMBER 18-24, 2013

sk Ken Burns about his hobbies, and he’ll say he used to enjoy hiking, watching movies and cooking for himself and his wife, Katrina. Back when he had more time. You see, in 2011, Mr. Burns launched TinyCircuits, an Akron company that makes coin-size computer chips designed for hackers and tinkerers — people who want to imbed computing power in a device but don’t know a whole lot about electrical engineering. Now he’s really busy. Those chips ended up becoming pretty popular. TinyCircuits was able to raise nearly $110,000 in donations via, even though its initial goal was $10,000. Afterward, the company had to start mass producing its chips. First, it had to meet demand from its donors, many of whom had been promised “free” products after making a contribution. Now 11 companies distribute TinyCircuits’ chips, and the company generates enough revenue to sustain itself. But Mr. Burns said the process of launching the company was a lot harder than he thought it would be. A professional engineer, Mr. Burns isn’t doing as much product design these days. Now he spends plenty of time building relationships with potential distributors, making sure orders get shipped out, managing his five part-time employees and helping customers. “It’s a lot of long days, but it’s been a lot of fun,” he said. Before starting TinyCircuits, Mr. Burns spent a decade at product design firm Avid Technologies Inc. in Twinsburg, starting as an electrical engineer before taking on more project management duties. For much of that time, though, he was thinking about starting a business. He developed a few prototype products but never took the leap. That is, until he saw a few of his friends do it. “It was almost, ‘Why am I not doing this? You wanted to do this. Other people are doing this. Why aren’t you doing this?’ ” he said.

“It was almost, ‘Why am I not doing this? You wanted to do this. Other people are doing this. Why aren’t you doing this?’ ” – Ken Burns, on starting his business One of those friends was Roy Stevens. He now develops custom circuits through his own company, Henway Technologies, which shares space with TinyCircuits. While working under Mr. Burns at Avid, Mr. Stevens paid close attention to how his older colleague responded to customer needs and kept them up to date on both good and bad news related to their projects. “No matter how bad the project may have turned, he would always make the phone call to the customer. Or look at me with the phone in his hand and say, ‘It’s your turn this time,’ ” said Mr. Stevens, who said they still bounce ideas off each other. A 1992 graduate of Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, Mr. Burns grew up playing with Legos, computers and anything he could take apart. So it was natural that he major in engineering at the University of Akron. Many of the other electrical engineering students changed majors after realizing how hard the courses were, he said. He thinks schools at all age levels need to focus more on getting students involved in hands-on projects that make engineering more accessible, he said, noting that the change is starting to happen. “If you look at young kids, basically, they’re all scientists and engineers,” he said. — Chuck Soder



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Executive director, foundation and system philanthropy

Direct Recruiters Inc. ◆ 37


an Charney says he is a “really, really competitive” person, a trait that seems to have served him well since joining executive search firm Direct Recruiters Inc. in January 1999, fresh out of college. Today, he is president of Direct Recruiters and managing partner of Direct Consulting Associates, a sister company of Direct Recruiters. Direct Consulting Associates provides health care IT staffing and consulting services. Mr. Charney said his first year with the company was a rough one, but that he “figured it out” and soon was given the opportunity to pursue his own clients by his boss and mentor, Shel Myeroff. Mr. Myeroff said he had a habit of hiring employees to work under his wing and to do busywork for his searches, but that he had a hidden agenda — he wouldn’t promote those employees to full account managers until they got in his face and asked. Mr. Charney did that within a year, Mr. Myeroff said. Mr. Myeroff, founder and CEO of Direct Recruiters, watched as Mr. Charney went out after new business. Mr. Charney didn’t give up after losing a deal — he just went back out. “He had that toughness to him,” Mr. Myeroff said. As president, Mr. Charney oversees day-to-day operations at Direct Recruiters and still works with clients. He is in charge of the company’s packaging and material handling segment. He has been involved in the supply chain or industrial automation segment since he began. Direct Recruiters has small

BY THE NUMBERS ■ 10: The multiple by which Stella Dilik says MetroHealth wants to increase its fundraising.

MetroHealth ◆ 39

S teams of employees that have their own area of focus, such as plastics, health care or public safety. The teams operate almost like a business within a business and help niche markets solve their hiring needs, he said. There are about 30 employees between the two companies, up from about seven when he started. Mr. Charney said he has taken inspiration from his father, who is in the recruiting field; from his stepdad, who is a financial planner; and from his grandfather. His grandfather was an entrepreneur who ran dime stores, “which just encouraged me to break off and do my own thing,” Mr. Charney said. Mr. Myeroff said Mr. Charney knows how to bring out the best in people and that he’s the “textbook model” when it comes to leadership. He listens more than he talks and doesn’t have anything to prove, Mr. Myeroff said. When he hired Mr. Charney, it was on the recommendation of Mr. Myeroff’s own mentor, who worked with Mr. Charney’s father. Outside of work, the former football player is a big Browns fan and an avid golfer. He lives with his wife, Amy, and their two children, Matthew, 9, and Annabella, 8, in Solon. — Rachel Abbey McCafferty


tella Dilik says she couldn’t work at a place that she didn’t “absolutely love.” That has helped, because her career focuses on the demanding task of asking people for money, often to help people in distress. “The dollars that you raise impact services,” she said. “There’s a lot of pressure to perform.” Until early November, Ms. Dilik was divisional director of development for the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland, a Christian ministry that offers disaster relief, drug and alcohol recovery programs, food pantries, soup kitchens, and learning and recreational programs for children. The organization’s $44 million budget is raised entirely by donations and some grants. On Nov. 11, she started a new job at The MetroHealth System, where she’s executive director of its foundation and the system’s other fundraising and development programs. She describes the new jobs as “back into my wheelhouse of health care development.” “It’s serving the some of the

same population (as the Salvation Army) — the indigent,” she said. One attraction of the new job is an ambitious MetroHealth growth program that Ms. Dilik is eager to help fund. The hospital that is subsidized by Cuyahoga County is planning a rebuilding of its West Side campus that could cost as much as $650 million. It also has its eye on several additional suburban health centers. In July, it opened its first suburban satellite in Middleburg Heights, and last month announced plans for another that would straddle Brecksville and Broadview Heights. “They’re looking to multiply (the fundraising) by a multiple of 10,” she said. Ms. Dilik joined the Salvation Army in 2008. She previously was

development director at Lake Ridge Academy, an independent school in North Ridgeville, and earlier, a development manager at University Hospitals Health System. Her first exposure to fundraising came while she was working on a master’s degree in English at Cleveland State University. She responded to a Cleveland Clinic ad that, she thought, was for a writing job. But it was in the Clinic’s development department and before too long she was fundraising. “I really fell in love with it,” she said. “It just became a passion and I’ve been doing it ever since.” She credits a series of mentors with helping her grow as a fundraiser and manager. “Along the way I’ve been very blessed to have a lot of wonderful smart people to learn from,” she said. “I try to do the same thing with my staff.” Between her love of the work and raising three children with her husband, she never finished the master’s program. See DILIK Page F-8

Congrats to the 2013 Forty under 40 honorees!

Director of industrial manufacturing URS Corp. ◆ 35


. Brandon Davis wants to “impact the world.” It’s a phrase the director of industrial manufacturing at URS Corp. uses to remind himself of his long-term goals personally and professionally. And it’s a phrase that applies literally to the engineering and construction business. “We live in a built world,” Mr. Davis said. In 1998, Mr. Davis started out in the field as a construction superintendent for Morrison-Knudsen Corp. That company later formed Washington Group International, which eventually became part of San Francisco-based URS. Mr. Davis has stuck with the company through the changes. He received his bachelor’s degree in international business from Cleveland State University in 2000. He moved up the construction side of the company and into the business side over the years, moving all over the continent in the progress. The Findlay, Ohio, native has lived in big places from New York City to Mexico City to Houston, but he said he fell in love with the Cleveland area. “I kind of set my anchor,” he said. “I knew I’d come back.” In December 2011, he took on the role of director of the company’s industrial manufacturing segment in Cleveland. As director, Mr. Davis is in charge of developing the business, securing new clients and making sure existing clients are satisfied. The industrial process group, which includes the


company’s industrial manufacturing segment and its oil and gas segment, performs engineering, construction and maintenance work for clients in the heavy industrial, chemical, oil and gas and food and beverage markets. Steve Hanks, who was CEO of Washington Group when it was sold to URS in late 2007, said he has known Mr. Davis for about 10 years and that he considers him to be energetic, intelligent and positive. Mr. Davis helped the company get a lot of conceptual design work in the oil and gas industries, and his energy and excitement was “contagious” to the more experienced members of the team, Mr. Hanks said. Outside of work, Mr. Davis is involved in a variety of organizations, including the Cleveland Engineering Society; the state’s Oil & Gas Commission, for which he serves as an appointee of Gov. John Kasich; and STEMout, an education outreach program for students that he and his wife started a few years ago. Mr. Davis lives with his wife, Katie, and son, James, in Fairview Park and said he enjoys using his boat on nearby Lake Erie. — Rachel Abbey McCafferty rock khalll com Call 216-515-8420 to receive your planning guide! Collection Auto Group Plaza | 1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44114

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JACOB DURITSKY Managing director of research Team Northeast Ohio â—† 32


acob Duritsky is the numbers guy at Team Northeast Ohio, the regional business attraction nonprofit. And having the right numbers is critical when Team NEO is trying to convince a site selection consultant to put Northeast Ohio on a client’s short list of places to expand or locate a business. “He’s very pivotal to our ability to make the case to businesses we want to convince to locate here,� said Jay Foran, Team NEO’s senior vice president for business attraction. “He homes in on what’s important to companies.� Mr. Foran said around the office, Mr. Duritsky’s persuasive research is called the organization’s “secret sauce� that makes their pitches for Northeast Ohio unique. “We often bring him in to do the selling,� Mr. Foran said. Team NEO competes with economic development organizations from hundreds of communities, all of which, like Team NEO, hope to attract new jobs to their areas. It’s Mr. Duritsky’s research department that makes sure those companies and their site selectors have the most meaningful information about the right community, or communities, in Northeast

DILIK continued from PAGE F-7

“The key to Stella’s success is her obvious personal commitment to the mission of her organization,� said Keith Ashmus, a Cleveland attorney and a member and former chair of the Salvation

NOVEMBER 18-24, 2013


“My parents and I came downtown all the time. We’d go at holidays and to see the Terminal Tower. I had this urban passion.

Co-founder McNulty’s Bier Markt, Bar Cento, Speakeasy, Market Garden Brewery, Nano Brew ◆ 31


– Jacob Duritsky Ohio for their projects — the cost of land or buildings, the transportation infrastructure, the quality of the labor force and the local taxes. “The reason we exist is to get companies information they need to make informed business location decisions,� Mr. Duritsky said. “Quite close to that is trying to figure out the questions they’re not asking that will make a difference.� He recalls a situation a few years ago when he put together a brief report that helped clinch a deal. He learned that access to a group of Fortune 500 companies was important to an expanding business that was preparing to choose between Northeast Ohio and the Indianapolis area. “It turns out we had as many as four times the flights to the Fortune 500 (cities) than Indianapolis,� he said. The Bedford native is very much a city person, and that city is very much Cleveland. “My parents and I came downtown all the time,� he said. “We’d go at holidays and to see the Terminal

Tower. I had this urban passion.� Mr. Duritsky said he was an indifferent student when he left Bedford High School for Cleveland State University, eventually drifting towards its Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. He credits a professor, Larry Ledebur, and his urban economics class with launching him on his career path. “It changed the entire way I looked at things,� he said. “It shaped my thinking about what I wanted to do.� He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in urban studies, building his skills through internships and teaching assistantships. He joined Team NEO in 2008, though he’s not yet through with Cleveland State, where he’s pursuing a doctorate in economic development. Mr. Duritsky lives with his wife and two children in Garfield Heights. — Jay Miller

Army’s Greater Cleveland advisory board. “It shines through in everything she says and does.� As Ms. Dilik puts it: “It fulfils the servant heart in me to assist others who can’t assist themselves.� At the same time, she equates the nonprofit fundraising work she does to a sales job. But it’s really

more than that for her. “The reward is the programs that can continue,� she said. “It is the successes with clients that is the motivation.� But, she added, half joking, “If you can sell philanthropy, you can sell anything.� — Jay Miller

Success Depends on Navigating Complexities

ichael Foran was uncertain about the trajectory of his post-college path. A 2005 Ohio State University political science graduate, Mr. Foran had plenty of options. But law school didn’t fit. Pursuing a master’s degree? Underwhelming. A bunch of buddies left for Denver, New York and Chicago, but his native Cleveland beckoned with untapped potential. “My age bracket was right in the middle of the brain drain. There weren’t a ton of jobs available, but I didn’t want to give up on Cleveland,� he says. “I wanted to make some kind of positive change.� So a mutual connection set up a meeting with Sam McNulty and Mark Priemer, two visionaries with a bold idea to open a Belgian beer bar in a sketchy part of the city, just around the corner from Mr. Foran’s alma mater, St. Ignatius High School, at which he played wide receiver. “I didn’t even know what the hell a Belgian beer was other than Stella,� he says. “I had no business skills, but what I did have was dedication and diligence. I relied on Mark and Sam for patience. “Then out of the gate, it was a straight hustle,� he says, with bartending six nights a week, schlepping kegs and the other labors associated with launching a business. “But I saw the potential for a three-person company.� Eight years later, Mr. Foran is partner and oversees 160 employees of McNulty’s Bier Markt, Bar Cento, Speakeasy, Market Garden Brewery and Nano. The five beverage-centric operations have been credited for re-invigorating Ohio City and transforming Cleveland’s beer culture. “This business is large and small at the same time, so I wear a lot of different hats,� he says. “My passion is analyzing beer business trends, and how our growth strategy fits into the market’s growth.� Mr. Foran and his partners’ next project is developing a “palace of fermentation,� a command center for brewing beer, distilling spirits, aging charcuterie and making

BY THE NUMBERS ■160: Employees Michael Foran oversees at his five beverage-centric businesses — McNulty’s Bier Markt, Bar Cento, Speakeasy, Market Garden Brewery and Nano Brew.

â– 8: Years it took Mr. Foran and his partners, Sam McNulty and Mark Priemer, to build up their current operation. vinegar and cheese. That project, located in the former Culinary Arts Building at West 24th and Bridge streets, is scheduled to break ground in 2014. Distribution beyond Cleveland is on the radar, but that’s a longerterm plan. “We don’t want to grow too fast,â€? Mr. Foran says. “There are a lot of landmines out there.â€? Mark Priemer, co-founder of the all the McNulty-driven brewpubs, says Mr. Foran has been an asset in cultivating the operation’s methodical expansion. “I have no doubt Mike would’ve succeeded in whichever path he chose in life, but I’m definitely glad he chose us and Ohio City,â€? Mr. Priemer says. In a way, Mr. Foran’s career has come full circle. His condo at the Fries & Schuele building stares out at the St. Ignatius football field, which he says offers the larger view of self-reflection, lessons of motivation and teamwork, and commitment. “I’ve stayed in touch with faculty and friends,â€? he says. “The Latin teacher and pole vault coach came over the other day for a beer.â€? Mr. Foran is planning a June wedding with fiancĂŠe Stephanie Miller. Oh, and his favorite smallbatch brew? “The Viking Pale Ale, but Citramax is giving it a run for its money,â€? he says. — Kathy Ames Carr



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President and owner

Main Street Cupcakes ◆ 33

Gerspacher Real Estate Group ◆ 39



arah Forrer’s offer to become the marketing point person of Main Street Cupcakes was right up her alley, and not just because she had the chance to work with her sister, Kimberly Martin, the venture’s founder and CEO. Ms. Forrer’s passion for social media and public relations seemed a natural fit to jump-start the Hudson bakery’s visibility, which when it opened in 2007 coincided with the beginning of the nation’s infatuation with cupcakes. “My sister wanted me to take us national,” said Ms. Forrer, who transitioned from a project manager position at the American Cancer Society’s North and Northeast regional locations. She responded by securing the operation’s certification as a gourmet specialty foods provider and fostering a relationship with the Home Shopping Network, which each day features an online rotation of its 300 flavors. Main Street Cupcakes now has an international customer base, private label partnerships and storefronts in Hudson, Rocky River, Medina and Chagrin Falls (opening late 2013). “I think our product speaks for itself,” said Ms. Forrer, who now is co-owner. “We use some of the finest ingredients, which has attracted a lot of attention to our huge menu.” Weekly cupcake production averages about 7,000, with the majority of Main Street’s business stemming from large events and bulk orders. “We sell out almost every day at each location,” Ms. Forrer said. “Sometimes we get it right and close the door at 4:45 with one cupcake left. Other times we grossly underestimate and run out at noon.” Ms. Forrer said the reputation of the company’s fresh buttercream frosting spread, too, after she connected in 2011 with the head buyer of food development at a prominent gourmet foods retailer, the name of which she declined to disclose. That retailer through a private label arrangement now sells Main Street Cupcakes’ frosting through-

BY THE NUMBERS ■ 7,000: Cupcakes produced each week, on average, by Main Street Cupcakes. out the world, from Hawaii and Australia to the United Arab Emirates. Main Street Cupcakes through similar partnerships sells about 100,000 units annually and also produces its cupcakes under private label deals with other companies. Ms. Forrer’s perseverance has elevated the small-town boutique bakery into a brand, said Ms. Martin, who considers her sister the perfect person for the role. “She could sell a straw wrapper to the person buying the straw,” Ms. Martin said. “Where I handle the finances, she excels as the face of the company.” Ms. Forrer’s active social media presence, including streaming conversations with the company’s 10,000 Facebook followers and interviews with The Washington Post, USA Today, CNN and other news outlets, have propelled Main Street Cupcakes into the national spotlight. Continued visibility is on Ms. Forrer’s mind, and she is intrigued by potentially franchising the business in other states. “We have a relatable business name,” she said. Despite the tasty temptations of her line of work, Ms. Forrer limits her cupcake intake to one a week. “My nemesis is our garnishes,” she said. “I eat a lot of them: chocolate chips, chocolate-covered coffee beans, graham crackers or yummy lemon curd filling.” The bicycling enthusiast lives in Akron with her husband, Brent; daughter, Hadley; and stepson Tommy. — Kathy Ames Carr

roy A. Gerspacher left a cushy sales job at Aerotek — a recruiting and staffing firm based in Hanover, Md. — to lend a hand to the family real estate business. He worked as an agent for three years, then bought the Gerspacher Real Estate Group from his uncle in 2007, just as the industry was about to enter the recession. “It’s been kind of a tradition,” said Troy’s uncle, Jim Gerspacher, who at the time was running the Medina company. “I got started in the early ’90s during that recession. I guess it’s a good time to find out if you’re cut out for it or not. You learn how to do it the right way.” It turns out the elder Mr. Gerspacher made a good choice in his nephew as his successor. Troy Gerspacher, who lived in Lakewood during his time at Aerotek, returned to his native Medina when his uncle came calling. Jim Gerspacher said he wanted to “scale back” from the business. “He took to it like the proverbial duck to water, and it seemed to go from there,” Jim Gerspacher said. Jim is working as an agent — “I only work five days a week now,” he said — and Troy, the president and owner, has guided Gerspacher


Real Estate Group to new heights in the last few years. During the recession, Troy Gerspacher said his company had about $8 million in sales and represented approximately 75 listings that were valued at a combined $20 million. In 2009, the company expanded into property management, and business has doubled in the last five years. Troy Gerspacher said his group now represents about 155 listings totaling $50 million. It had 2012 sales of $16 million. “He’s really taken it to the next level,” Jim Gerspacher said of his nephew. “I think he’s done a better job than I ever did.” A development Troy is especially proud of is one in which he partnered with his brother, Todd. In 2009, the pair transformed

Forest Meadows Villas — a 135unit, 55-and-older apartment complex in Medina built by their grandfather — from a run-down, low-occupancy property to a thriving facility with a waiting list. “Some of that has to do with apartment demand coming back,” Troy Gerspacher said of the popularity of the complex. “We really came in and evaluated everything. My grandfather didn’t spend much money renovating the apartments. “We created a marketing identity for the community,” he said. “The 55-and-older community has changed from six years ago. Fiftyfive is the new 35. We had to identify who we were marketing to. We had to market to a younger crowd, and that seems to have worked. It’s a nice, active community.” The 39-year-old Mr. Gerspacher and his wife, Heather, have a 6-year-old son, Gavin, and a 4-year-old daughter, Marin. Their third child is due in March. Mr. Gerspacher is a big Browns and Ohio State fan who started competing in long-distance runs early in 2013. The former high school football and track and field standout also enjoys working outside — something he used to do as a kid on his grandfather’s properties. “Landscaping my yard is therapeutic,” he said. “You get to actually see the results.” — Kevin Kleps


Congratulations Brandon Davis Congratulations to Brandon Davis from all of his co-workers at URS on his recognition as one of the “40 Under 40”. As a leader in worldwide engineering and construction solutions, our company is committed to growing and s u p p o r t i n g h i g h - p e r fo r m i n g project delivery leaders throughout greater Cleveland.

URS Corporation is a fully integrated environmental, engineering, construction and technical services organization with the capabilities to support every stage of the project life cycle. With an operations center in Cleveland since 1904, URS is one of the largest design/build and environmental contractors in the state of Ohio.



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ROB HEISER President and CEO Segmint Inc. ◆ 38



or Rob Heiser, it’s not who you know, and it’s not even necessarily what you know. It’s what you do with what you know. What Mr. Heiser knows is data and information technology, and, as far as what to do with it, that’s pretty clear to him as well: start and grow companies. His latest venture, which he cofounded with veteran entrepreneur and civic leader Tom Tyrrell, is called Segmint. If you’re imagining a combination of the words “segment” and “mint,” you’re on the right track. Segmint offers clients high-tech marketing strategies that rely on so-called “big data.” The company works with clients, especially large financial institutions, to analyze the spending patterns of customers in order to market effectively to them the goods and services the data indicate will interest them. “In today’s society, you have to be tech heavy, because everything talks to everything,” he said. Mr. Heiser has been at the helm of Segmint for six years. When he founded it in 2007, he’d already honed his entrepreneurial chops


BY THE NUMBERS ■ 18: Age at which Rob Heiser

Vice president of software development

started his first company. It was an Internet service provider that didn’t last. and gained executive experience with earlier endeavors. Before starting Segmint, Mr. Heiser was a founder and president of WiredViews Inc., a web application company that develops and hosts customized business applications supporting marketing, sales, accounting and operations for midsize companies. Mr. Heiser previously spent two years as chief technology officer of SupplierInsight, where he developed supply chain management applications for big clients including Whirlpool, DuPont, Limited Brands and General Electric. His first venture — an Internet service provider he started at age 18 — didn’t work out. But it didn’t prevent him from sticking with technology, and he went on to earn a degree in management information systems at Kent State University. He didn’t head west or east to the coasts like a lot of other IT entrepreneurs, though. “The North Coast is about as close as I got,” Mr. Heiser said. “Nothing beats Midwest values and I want to see those in my

NOVEMBER 18-24, 2013

Dakota Software Corp. ◆ 36

S kids,” added the Ravenna native and graduate of Tallmadge High School near Akron. He might be different than some coastal entrepreneurs in another way, too. Mr. Heiser said he isn’t building Segmint just to make a quick buck, but to keep it growing. That comes from his parents, who taught him that, in business as in life generally, caring about people and the things that matter is an important characteristic. Mr. Heiser said he hopes his employees see that quality in their boss as well. “I think if you asked any of my employees why they like to work here they would say it’s because the management team cares about our success,” he said. “We’re not trying to build a business just to flip it.” — Dan Shingler

omewhere, there’s a worker on an assembly line doing a job that could kill him if something goes wrong. Will Lazzaro’s goal is to stop that from happening. Mr. Lazzaro is vice president of software development at Dakota Software Corp. The company — which moved to downtown Cleveland from Beachwood in July — makes software designed to help businesses comply with the regulations and meet their own corporate responsibility goals. Thus, he’s helping develop software designed to keep people safe and prevent toxins from getting into the environment. Not a bad reason to get out of bed in the morning, from his perspective. “I think that’s something to be proud of,” he said. It makes sense that Mr. Lazzaro ended up at Dakota Software. For one, he has been a technophile since the sixth grade, when he developed a search engine designed to help people pull information about Greek gods from a text file. His dad pushed the 1995 Rocky River High School graduate to major in information technology when he left for Ohio University, but at the time, he was more passionate about history and politics. Those passions soon took a backseat. After moving to Washington, D.C., in 1999, he learned that he’d probably need to get an unpaid internship to start a career on Capitol Hill. “I’ve got a college degree, and I’ve got bills to pay. I’m not sure that’s what I want to do,” Mr. Lazzaro said with a laugh. Instead, he spent the next five months as a technical recruiter. All of the sudden, he had a new career path. “I absolutely immediately fell back in love with technology,” he said. Mr. Lazzaro spent the next five years at Computer Patent Annu-

ities in Alexandria, Va., where he managed a team of patent renewal specialists. He moved back to Northeast Ohio in 2005 to join Everstream Inc., a Solon company that sold data analytics software to cable companies. At Everstream, which was acquired in 2005 for $15 million by Concurrent Computer Corp. of Duluth, Ga., he got his first taste of the big data revolution. There, Mr. Lazzaro filed a patent for an algorithm designed to help advertisers reach a given number of viewers in their target audience, often by running commercials on multiple channels at different times of day. Mr. Lazzaro’s experience with data analytics and the agile method of software development helped make him a good candidate for Dakota Software, which is increasing its focus on product development, according to Reg Shiverick, the company’s president. Other Dakota Software employees want to work for him — even some who work in other departments, Mr. Shiverick said. “He was able to get their respect very quickly,” he said. Though Mr. Lazzaro spent time living in D.C., he much prefers Northeast Ohio, where he and his wife, Laura, are raising three children: Bill, 9; Maggie, 7; and Tom, 5. He loves taking his Sea Ray powerboat out on Lake Erie, but he wishes there wasn’t such a big divide between the lake and downtown Cleveland. More needs to be done to fix that problem, he said. “Cover up the Shoreway and bring the city to the waterfront,” he said. — Chuck Soder

JONATHAN LEVOY Vice president of business development and technology Alego Health ◆ 37


onathan Levoy was always the go-to guy when his mom had questions related to technology. So it only seems fitting that when he joined Alego Health — the company his mother, Jacqueline Forestall, founded — he would help lead the firm’s transition from a sleepy staffing company into an IT powerhouse within a few short years. Alego nearly shuttered in 2009 when the need for temporary nurses dried up as many part-time nurses returned to the work force full time to make extra money during the recession. However, Mr. Levoy, who had spent time as a marketing and operations professional at several service companies, and Ms. Forestall saw opportunity in the ongoing health tech boom and started to place IT professionals at hospitals that needed help installing complex electronic medical record systems. “The market really dictated that we make that move and go in that

direction,” said Mr. Levoy, now Alego’s vice president of business development and technology. “There was more opportunity, the future was brighter and the fields were much greener.” It proved to be a smart move, as Alego’s yearly revenue has increased more than 1,500% since Mr. Levoy’s arrival. Alego’s clients include some of the region’s largest health care providers, such as the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, EMH Healthcare and Sisters of Charity Health System. “I took that IT aspect of what we did under my wing and built it up to where it is today,” Mr. Levoy said. “Today, that’s 99% of what we do.” See LEVOY Page F-11



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SHANNON I. LYONS Chief business development officer and partner LaunchHouse ◆ 31


hannon I. Lyons is determined to put Cleveland on the map for those seeking a place to build companies, and at age 31, she is making her mark one launch at a

time. As chief business development officer and partner of LaunchHouse — a seed capital investment firm in Shaker Heights — Ms. Lyons recruits and vets companies that LaunchHouse can grow. Each year, she helps guide about 10 companies through the 12-week business accelerator that she structured, which takes them from idea to validation and culminates with an event where the startups present to raise follow-on capital. “I’m hungry to do more. I’m hungry to grow,” Ms. Lyons said. “If we are known as a tech hub, people will move here. My goal during those 12 weeks (of the accelerator) is to show them this is a damn good place to start and scale a business.” Ms. Lyons is a respected voice in the maledominated industry of private equity, said Patricia Grospiron, who manages a network of 17 collaborators across Northeast Ohio as director of JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network. “She’s the Energizer Bunny,” Ms. Grospiron said. “She does a lot of things and wears a lot of hats in her participation in the network. She has developed a program and processes for the accelerator (and) she’s developed something that is an integral part of the (entrepreneurial) ecosystem.”


BY THE NUMBERS ■ 60 to 70: Hours per week Shannon I. Lyons


works during the portions of the year in which the LaunchHouse accelerator program is live.

The company also became the founding partner of the HIMSS Innovation Center, the health care exhibition and education center housed on the fourth floor of the Global Center for Health Innovation, the hulking structure in downtown Cleveland formerly known as the medical mart. Ms. Forestall said of her son, “When we moved into the world of health care IT, he was absolutely critical. He brought all of the technical know-how that we needed into the organization.” He was a quick learner who took to the world of health records and health care IT, she said. Ms. Forestall characterized Mr. Levoy as a hard worker with an incredible amount of passion. When asked where he might go in the next 10 years, she said, “Anywhere he wants to be.” “I’m proud of what he’s accomplished,” Ms. Forestall said. “He’s a role model for our other employees because he’s so passionate about the work. His enthusiasm for what we’re doing is contagious. They naturally follow him.” Of course, that’s his mother speaking. Still, the two stress that they’ve been able to maintain a healthy, balanced relationship and are proud of what they’ve built together. — Timothy Magaw

continued from PAGE F-10

■ 10: An estimate of the number of companies Ms. Lyons guides through the 12-week business accelerator each year. Ms. Lyons’ career with LaunchHouse began in 2011, after her mentor and business partner, Bob Means, and she chose office space in LaunchHouse’s facility. Both later became LaunchHouse partners. She had been an entrepreneur herself: While in graduate school, Ms. Lyons started in 2007 her own organizational development consulting firm called Innovatree LLC. Organizational development wasn’t her passion initially. She studied pre-law at Youngstown State University near her native Boardman, then worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs with plans to pursue a law degree. But after being exposed to organizational development, which she describes as the cross section of strategy, innovation and human behavior, Ms. Lyons instead earned her master’s degree in organizational development and analysis. Now, she’s pursuing her doctor of business administration at Cleveland State University. During the weeks of the year when the accelerator program is live, Ms. Lyons can be found working with companies for 60 to 70 hours a week. “We stay up, we sleep four hours a night sometimes, but when we have work to do and

timelines are there, you produce and you produce well,” Ms. Lyons said. “The stakes are higher here. “You have a certain amount of time,” she continued. “The time for life of a startup is relatively short. You have as long as you can support yourself and your concept … and you’re going to run out of money before you run out of time.” Ms. Lyons, who has a 3-year-old son, Keegan, was the first in her immediate family to attain her bachelor’s degree. Her parents, she said, were “absolutely inspirational in terms of work ethic and drive.” “If I wanted something, I had to earn it,” she said. “Growing up that way, I’ve been pushed to find the next level.” —Michelle Park Lazette

CARY MAJORS Vice president, sales and marketing strategy, health care group Steris Corp. ◆ 39


imply put, Cary Majors likes to win. That’s why the Kansas State University graduate pursued a career in sales in the first place, and how he’s managed to climb the ranks at Steris Corp., the publicly traded medical device company in Mentor. “I’m competitive, and this is one of the most competitive arenas to sell in,” Mr. Majors said. “I see it as the big leagues for sales, and I wanted to make my way up there.” Mr. Majors, who now lives in Solon with his family, joined Steris 10 years ago as an account manager and quickly took on more responsibilities. Today, Mr. Majors is responsible for more than 400 employees, more than $1 billion in annual revenue and boasts the title of vice president of sales and marketing strategy for Steris Healthcare Group. Not bad for a decade’s work. It’s been a wild ride, Mr. Majors conceded — one that has taken him cross-country from his home state of Kansas to Steris’ global headquarters in Mentor. In addition to his innate competitiveness, Mr. Majors attributes his success to being flexible and going where he was needed. Because he was one of Steris’ top salespeople, the organization tapped Mr. Majors to turn around sales of a struggling division — something he was able to do in a matter of months. “In large corporations, if you’re solidified in certain geography and not very flexible, you’re probably not going to go anywhere very fast,” Mr. Majors said. “I believe so much in Steris and its mission that I said they could take me anywhere.” Because he has been a member

of so many layers of the Steris organization, Mr. Majors has earned a sense of trust from his sales team, according to Timothy Chapman, president of Steris Healthcare Group. “His sales reps will follow him into battle,” Mr. Chapman said. Mr. Majors admits he sometimes misses having his boots on the ground and the adrenaline rush of moving inventory. Still, he hasn’t left all the sales work to his army of salespeople. He still meets regularly with clients and works with them at Steris’ in-house solutions center — a showroom of sorts that he helped design and that draws potential customers to view the company’s products. “To be visionary and to keep relevant, I truly believe you have to keep your hand on the pulse of the customer,” Mr. Majors said. “You can’t do that without being in front them.” Mr. Majors is not just a salesman but also a dedicated husband and father of three. And while his heart — and his beloved KSU Wildcats — are back in Manhattan, Kan., Mr. Majors is proud to be part of one of the region’s fastest-growing companies in what he described as his “dream job.” “The best sales people never give up and have a passion for what they do,” he said. “People want to buy from people who believe in what they’re selling. I’ve been able to maintain the passion at all levels. — Timothy Magaw

for making a career out of inspiring people. PNC Salutes our own Drew Martin, EVP, Market Manager, Northern Ohio Market, and all of the 2013 Class of Forty under 40 recipients. Leader. Doer. Inspiration. PNC is proud to honor you for all you’ve done. It’s truly great. Congratulations.

©2013 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC



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DREW MARTIN Executive vice president, Northern Ohio retail market manager PNC Bank ◆ 34



our years old at the time, Drew Martin was too young to form the memory himself, but the way the story goes is that once, during a car ride, his grandmother asked to borrow something of his. “And I said, ‘Sure, but where’s my collateral?’” Mr. Martin said. “Apparently, something in the genes had me early.” Thirty years later, Mr. Martin is executive vice president and Northern Ohio retail market manager for PNC Bank. He oversees the operations of roughly 110 bank branches from Sandusky east to Youngstown and south to Green. Mr. Martin’s career with PNC began about five years ago, when the Pittsburgh-based bank acquired National City Corp. At the time the deal was consummated, he was a district manager in the Akron area with five years’ tenure with National City. It is the entrepreneurial responsibility the bank promised him that initially attracted him to the industry. He’d earned his graduate degree in accounting from the

University of Notre Dame and his bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from Evangel University in Springfield, Mo. “The thing that made me come here is they said, ‘We’re going to give you the keys to your own business and get the heck out of your way,’” he recalled. Mr. Martin hails from a family of entrepreneurs. His dad and grandfather ran a large poultry processing company, and as a child, Mr. Martin sold out of the family’s home water balloon launchers he built and toads he caught. Now, he’s a leader in an industry in which he didn’t expect to work — and loves it. “I believe, when we do things right, the ability to impact a lot of lives is really high,” Mr. Martin said. He cited helping people buy homes, refinance debt and prepare for retirement and college bills. Paul Clark, PNC’s regional president for Cleveland, calls Mr. Martin a “natural leader.” “His ability to think strategically when needed and tactically when he must, I don’t see that in a lot of other leaders, not just of his age, but generally,” Mr. Clark said. “I always find that to be a tricky balance, and he does it effortlessly.” Kevin Sloan, to whom Mr. Martin reports, said Mr. Martin’s ability and willingness to communi-


NOVEMBER 18-24, 2013

JAY MASUREKAR Head of gaming, Internet and travel services investment banking KeyBanc Capital Markets ◆ 36

cate what he wants is striking. “That candor is something that you don’t necessarily see at that point in someone’s career,” said Mr. Sloan, west territory executive for retail banking. Mr. Martin acknowledges he doesn’t beat around the bush. “I am the first to compliment and I’m the first to tell someone very directly we need to deliver differently or better,” he said. “If there’s an elephant in the room, I don’t like talking about it second or third.” Mr. Martin lives in Cuyahoga Falls with his wife, Amber, and their sons, Brady, 5, and Luke, 3. Family and faith, he said, are his priorities. He attends Christ Community Chapel in Hudson, is a “big college football fan,” and jogs daily. — Michelle Park Lazette

Stand up and take a bow.

Congratulations Fattar Thomas, Sportservice GM at FirstEnergy Stadium — selected as one of this year’s 40 Under 40 by Crain’s Cleveland. We applaud your leadership with Delaware North Companies Sportservice and your success in supporting the Cleveland Browns and their great fans.

When Jay Masurekar travels to Las Vegas every few months, he isn’t heading there to gamble, but instead to ensure he can compete. As head of gaming, Internet and travel services investment banking for KeyBanc Capital Markets, Mr. Masurekar advises executives and boards of gaming, online travel and cruise companies — among them, Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park and Penn National Gaming Inc. — on financial and strategic solutions he says “they don’t know they need.” “He has done a tremendous job competing in the marketplace, competing against more senior bankers from other firms,” said Andy Vollmer, managing director and group head of the consumer and retail investment banking group and the financial sponsors group for KeyBanc Capital Markets, the investment banking arm of Cleveland-based KeyCorp. “Over time, his clients come to rely on Jay for really good advice and ideas,” Mr. Vollmer said. “From the time he came on as an associate (in 2007), he has found success rapidly.” Mr. Masurekar, 36, and his team guide companies through multimillion-dollar transactions, such as raising capital and mergers and acquisitions. “I get immense pleasure out of beating those (competing) Wall Street banks,” Mr. Masurekar said. “When I see the (almost dismissive) look on their face when I say Cleveland, I like to erase that. I like to show them we can beat them by being who we are.” After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1997 and his master’s degree in 2002 from the University of Mumbai, Mr. Masurekar moved to the United States from India in 2005 to pursue his MBA at the University of Maryland, College Park, and then headed to Northeast Ohio. Mr. Masurekar says he arrived to Cleveland with “nothing but education debt.” Today, he leads an investment banking practice with

“I get immense pleasure out of beating those Wall Street banks. When I see the look on their face when I say Cleveland, I like to erase that. I like to show them we can beat them by being who we are.” – Jay Masurekar a portfolio of hundreds of millions of dollars. “That,” he said, “shows what you can do if you come to Cleveland.” He added, “There were many people who helped me feel like this is my home. I just want to extend the same courtesy to other people.” To that end, Mr. Masurekar volunteers for a few organizations that promote diversity and inclusion, particularly within the Asian Indian community. He’s involved in the Asia Key Business Networking Group within Key and the North East Ohio Marathi Mandal, a cultural organization of which he was president in 2009. In addition, he recently joined the executive board of the Federation of India Community Associations of Northeast Ohio and is on the associate board of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. “Jay cares deeply about his work, and he cares deeply about the community,” said Sudarshan Sathe, a trustee of the Federation of India Community Associations. “He is prepared to look beyond his own interests and his own fulfillment and help the community at large. That is so rare.” Mr. Masurekar lives in Solon with his wife, Gauri Wagle. — Michelle Park Lazette



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JULIE MAURER Vice president of human resources and corporate affairs Echogen Power Systems

President SilverLine Consulting ◆ 36


“She’s one of the most accountable professionals I’ve ever dealt with. You don’t have to chase her down and wonder what the status of something is. That makes the operation of a business so much easier when you have someone with that level of accountability.” – Phil Brennan, CEO, Echogen

MARTY MCGANN Vice president for state and local government affairs Greater Cleveland Partnership ◆ 34


or Marty McGann, his first internship was the launching pad for his career. While still in high school in Bay Village, he landed in the office of Cuyahoga County Commissioner Tim McCormack, doing the usual intern scut work. But he kept in touch, after enrolling at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, and would find his way back to the commissioners’ office a couple more times. That Democratic Party credential helped Mr. McGann win a White House internship in 2000, where he worked for the final months of Bill Clinton’s presidency. Mr. McGann’s job for most of his stint? Cataloging gifts received by the First Family over its eight years at the White House and helping decide which would go to the future presidential library and which would go to the National Archives. The gig didn’t offer a lot of contact with public policy, but he was hooked on politics and government. Now, at the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce, Mr. McGann spends his time talking to public officials in Northeast Ohio and Columbus, championing issues that are important to the regional business community, such as the Opportunity Corridor and the Cleveland school plan. “I’d love to say that I’ve been intentional about my career,” he said. “I was lucky to score my first internship, and from there it’s been pretty organic.” After his time in Washington, Mr. McGann returned to finish his degree in political science and philosophy at Ohio Wesleyan. Then he returned to Cleveland, first to volunteer in Tim Hagan’s unsuc-

cessful campaign in 2002 for governor. “I really loved campaigning,” he said. “Before you know it, I was walking in parades and all that stuff.” After a few years in county politics working first for Mr. McCormack and then campaigning again for Mr. Hagan, who would beat Mr. McCormack for a county commissioner’s seat, he landed at the Cleveland Clinic in 2004, in its government relations department. At first, Mr. McGann worked on federal issues, particularly lobbying for appropriations programs that would fund Clinic projects. Then he moved on to state issues. While at the Clinic, he earned a law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. After seven years at the Clinic, when a similar job opened up at the Greater Cleveland Partnership in 2011, he snagged it. “He has become one of the best hires we’ve ever made,” said Joe Roman, CEO of GCP. “He’s got the technical advocacy skills — the knowledge of how politics works — but he’s got a mature sense of what our real end game is. “You’ve got to make compromises in the business, but making sure he has the end game in mind is one of his trademarks,” Mr. Roman said. Mr. McGann lives on Cleveland’s West Side with his wife, Elizabeth Newman, and young daughter. — Jay Miller

ulie Maurer fondly remembers watching her father, the late Frank Argentine, brandish his briefcase on his way to work at Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. In her eyes, he was the embodiment of success and the inspiration she needed to pursue a career in business. She didn’t want to be a numbercruncher and ultimately gravitated toward a career in human resources. Thoughts of being a doctor were quashed early on after a stint working at a nursing home. However, she viewed a career in human resources as a way to marry that desire to help others and to lay a stake in the business world. The talent a company hires can make or break the business, according to Ms. Maurer. Finding the right folks to grow a business, inspiring the staff to do great work, lifting up employees who might not be pulling their weight — those are just a few of the reasons Ms. Maurer enjoys her work.


BY THE NUMBERS ■ 3, 2, 1: In the last six years, Julie Maurer has given birth to two children, been promoted three times and launched a business. “I love being the brain in the room that knows how to do all that,” said Ms. Maurer, a graduate of the University of Akron. Today, she leads the HR function at Echogen Power Systems, an Akron-based startup that’s developing a system to transform waste heat into electricity. She also steers her own human resources consulting company, SilverLine Consulting. Previously, she held various roles of increasing responsibility at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and interactive marketing firm Rosetta. All the while, since the birth of her first daughter, Ms. Maurer has managed to negotiate every Friday off her schedule to spend time with her family. Over six years, three promotions, a second child and the launch of her own business, she’s still maintained a fourday work week. Of course, that doesn’t mean she works any less. “She’s one of the most accountable professionals I’ve ever dealt with,” said Echogen CEO Phil Brennan. “You don’t have to chase her down and wonder what the status of something is. That makes the operation of a business so

much easier when you have someone with that level of accountability.” At times, Ms. Maurer admits, she has been the bearer of bad news. After all, that’s the nature of a career in HR. However, she prides herself in her ability to understand that’s she’s dealing with human beings. She recalls when her dad, then a senior-level employee with the financially stressed Wheeling-Pitt, was given the option of being laid off or demoted several levels. She remembers what that did to him as a person and her family. “I understand the human element of it, and I don’t forget that,” Ms. Maurer said. Mr. Brennan agrees that Ms. Maurer’s tact in dealing with difficult situations has been a contributor to her success. Her outgoing personality hasn’t hurt, either, as she’s able to bring a sense of levity to the office. Mr. Brennan recalled one time when she held an informal contest to determine who in the office had the best beard. “She brings such energy and positivity,” Mr. Brennan said. — Timothy Magaw




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Worldwide DevOps services practice leader

District manager

IBM ◆ 39


Gilbane Building Co. ◆ 39


rian Muskoff helped UrbanCode grow up. The Cleveland company, which makes software for software developers, was growing fast before he came on board in September 2012. At the time, however, UrbanCode was a little light on management talent, and the informal processes the company had relied on since its early days weren’t cutting it anymore, according to founder Maciej Zawadski. So he hired Mr. Muskoff to turn UrbanCode into a more mature organization. The kind of organization a big company might want to buy. He must have done a decent job: IBM bought UrbanCode last April as part of its strategy to offer more “DevOps” products used to manage the software development lifecycle. Now the man who was UrbanCode’s director of operations is worldwide DevOps services practice leader at IBM, where he’s charged with growing what had been a small services group at UrbanCode. Not only did Mr. Muskoff provide UrbanCode with disciplined processes that put it in a position to be acquired, but he did it without coming off as a disciplinarian, according to Mr. Zawadski, who now is director of the Release and Deploy product line at IBM. “He’s a very easy-to-get-along-with guy,” Mr. Zawadski said. Though his specialty is project management, Mr. Muskoff says he’s more of a generalist. His resume confirms it. The 1993 Strongsville High School graduate studied industrial engineering at Ohio University, focusing mainly on computer systems used to run shop floors. He also has held a pretty diverse lineup of titles. For instance, in about five years at, which no longer has operations in Northeast Ohio, Mr. Muskoff started in project management, spent six months as director of product management and then was named director of customer insight. But many of the businesses where he has worked were tied to information technology. He has been a tech geek since he was a kid. His dad, Terry, was a computer engineer at FirstEnergy Corp. and “always had the latest and greatest hardware around the house,” so with the help of Computer World magazine, he’d write code to create his own games. But he “fell in love with the industry” during a college internship at Realogic, a local tech consulting firm

BY THE NUMBERS ■ 19: Age at which Brian Muskoff, representing Realogic, made a pitch to a committee managing the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

■ 3: Different roles that Mr. Muskoff held during his five-year tenure at that was acquired by Computer Associates in the late 1990s. It didn’t hurt that Realogic let him pitch its services to the committee managing the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. “I was 19 years old, flying down to Atlanta, pitching to the Olympic committee,” he said with a smile, adding that Realogic didn’t win the business. An Eagle Scout, Mr. Muskoff enjoys playing volleyball, catching Indians games and spending time with his wife, Jill, and daughter, Sydney, 10. He also likes traveling to Third World countries and other faraway lands, which has broadened his perspective of the world. For instance, while hiking from Thailand into Cambodia, he spotted a man with no legs, hand pedaling a cart containing food. Many people in that region have lost limbs. At some point, the Eagle Scout plans to go on a different kind of adventure, here in the United States: One day, he wants to start his own company and “grow it from nothing into something,” he said. — Chuck Soder


Innovative legal

cott Orr joined Gilbane Building Co. in his home town after 14 years with one of Chicago’s biggest construction companies, The Walsh Group. He was running construction of a Veterans Health Administration hospital in Columbus for Walsh, and prospecting for projects to open a Cleveland office for the company, before changing jobs to join Gilbane. Tom Laird, a Gilbane executive vice president who runs several Gilbane offices, said he heard Mr. Orr’s name three times in the span of two weeks. He decided to meet Mr. Orr and wound up attracting him to a job in 2011 in Cleveland. Mr. Orr served first as a project manager, and then as operations manager. Earlier this year, he became the firm’s district manager, responsible for both Cleveland and Columbus. While Mr. Orr and his wife, Elise, enjoyed living in Lincoln Park and biking on Chicago’s famed waterfront, they were attracted to Cleveland because they have roots here and it’s a great place to raise a family. “We have major league sports and culture and a city that is easy to live in,” said Mr. Orr, who grew up in Westlake and wrestled and played football at Westlake High School. One of his first jobs was working for the city of Westlake on a summer crew that cut down trees for what became the suburb’s Bradley Road Nature Park. Now he lives nearby. Like his father before him, Mr. Orr earned an engineering degree at Purdue University, but he became interested in its construction program. In its co-op program, he worked three years for a cement contractor at locations around the country and joined Walsh straight out of college. Mr. Orr’s most recent projects include overseeing construction of the Ernst & Young Tower in Cleveland, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s headquarters in Akron and Scioto Downs Slots Casino in Columbus. He currently is running construction of the video slots and related restaurants at the Hard

Managing Partner, Direct Recruiters, Inc. Forty under 40 Class of 2013

ACC Value Champion.

We earn our stripes. |





Rock Rocksino at Northfield Park in Northfield. In Chicago, he worked on construction of a 1 million-square-foot project at Cook County Hospital, among other hospital jobs and multiple transit stations. Mr. Laird said Mr. Orr’s experience is so deep that talking with him is like “talking to someone who is 60 and has been in the business 30 years.” Mr. Orr’s outside activities also are linked to his love for construction. He has been active for years in the ACE Mentor Program, which provides high school students with an interest in architecture, engineering and construction with 15 weeks of exposure to the construction business. He also is a team leader in Rebuilding Together, a program in which construction firms spend a day updating homes of poor or elderly people. Mr. Orr is a committed Browns and Purdue Boilermakers fan. He devotes his free time to his three children and “whatever they have going on” and enjoys biking and skiing with his family. Although Mr. Orr enjoys being a boomerang who returned to Cleveland, he’s also mindful of a big shortcoming he sees from his perch at Ernst & Young Tower compared with Chicago. “We’ve got to do more with our lakefront,” Mr. Orr said. — Stan Bullard

Congratulations to Dan Charney!

honored as a 2012


■ 14: Years Mr. Orr spent with The Walsh Group before returning to his native Northeast Ohio in 2011. Mr. Orr is a Westlake native.

concepts and alternative were critical to being


construction project Scott Orr worked on at Cook County Hospital in Chicago during his time at The Walsh Group.

project management fee arrangements


BY THE NUMBERS ■ 1 million: Square feet of the



Washington D.C.




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Vice president of business development

Vice president and director of marketing

Greater Cleveland Sports Commission ◆ 34

Fifth Third Bank ◆ 37


hen it comes to keeping Fifth Third Bank top of mind in this market, Laura Passerallo must be ready to switch gears quickly. She and the team she leads, after all, are responsible for meeting the marketing needs of four lines of business for the Cincinnati-based bank, and those lines — retail, mortgage, investment advisers and commercial — have differing needs. From Jerry Kelsheimer’s perspective, Ms. Passerallo meets those marketing objectives and, as the youngest member of the bank’s 10-person senior leadership committee for its Northeastern Ohio affiliate, proves she’s a thought leader. “She has the ability to influence those who don’t report directly to her,” said Mr. Kelsheimer, president and CEO of the local affiliate. “She’s a very good communicator; she’s a good problem solver. I see other members of our leadership team bouncing ideas off her.” Ms. Passerallo is not just developing and executing marketing initiatives, he said. “As we think about strategies and business tactics, she tends to be very much involved and engaged in those kinds of conversations,” Mr. Kelsheimer said. Ms. Passerallo’s interest in communicating traces back to her high school days, when she would speak to people about Our Lady of the Elms School in Akron. “I enjoyed marketing the school,” she remembered. “I liked speaking about the school in front of families and students.” She received a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Dayton. Right out of school, she joined sports marketing giant IMG as a sales assistant before leaving to do marketing for a field in which

eff Pacini’s “fork-in-the-road” moment occurred in 2011. After experiencing the daily grind of the NBA for more than four years (almost 2½ years with the league office and 22 months as a marketing manager with the Cleveland Cavaliers), Mr. Pacini had thoroughly enjoyed his last two years as a sports management professor at Baldwin Wallace University. But he wanted to be more directly involved in athletics. “It was a lot of fun, but in the end, I missed the passion and the day to day of working in sports,” said Mr. Pacini. “I faced a little bit of a crossroads because I was being encouraged to either get a Ph.D. or go to law school to continue teaching.” When the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission was looking for a vice president of business development in 2011, it reached out to Mr. Pacini, who said he recommended someone else for the job. “I was comfortable if I went to law school or got my Ph.D and kept teaching,” he said. “I liked what I was doing. But the more I thought about it, I was like, ‘I’m an idiot if I don’t at least consider it.’ ” He ended up making the leap back into sports — but he hasn’t given up teaching. Mr. Pacini oversees the sports commission’s business development efforts. He played a vital role in Cleveland’s selection as a regional site for the 2015 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The event will mark the first time the city will play host to a men’s basketball game with a Final Four berth on the line (two Sweet 16 games and one Elite Eight contest will be at Quicken Loans Arena in 2015). The sports commission, with Mr. Pacini’s help, also submitted successful bids to host 2014 NCAA championship events in women’s


bowling, Division II wrestling and Division II swimming and diving. In addition, on Oct. 31, Cleveland was selected as one of three finalists to host the D-I wrestling championships, in addition to 10 other NCAA championship events that will be held from 2014 to 2018. “He’s been a huge addition to the organization,” David Gilbert, president and CEO of the sports commission. “He’s become a significant leader within the organization and a real go-to person for significant chunks of what we do.” Mr. Pacini credits his father, Lauren, for his passion for Cleveland and his mother, Sue, for his desire to be involved in volunteering. He’s also very passionate about education — so much so that he teaches sports management classes at Baldwin Wallace (Monday nights) and Kent State (Thursdays). “I think it’s inspiring how much passion there is right now and how much optimism there is (about Cleveland),” said Mr. Pacini, who lives in Rocky River with his wife, Megan, and three children — Olivia, 5; Jackson, 3; and Stella, 6 months. “When we had kids, it started to hit me how you’re setting the stage for them, and I started taking it more personally about getting involved, giving back to the community,” he said. — Kevin Kleps

Congratulations KeyBanc Capital Markets® congratulates all Forty Under 40 honorees, including our own Jay Masurekar, recognized for their professional success and civic contributions.

To learn more: Visit

KeyBanc Capital Markets is a trade name under which corporate and investment banking products and services of KeyCorp and its subsidiaries, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC, and KeyBank National Association (“KeyBank N.A.”), are marketed. ©2013 KeyCorp.


she never anticipated working: banking. After two years at Metropolitan Bank and Trust, Ms. Passerallo in 2002 joined Fifth Third Bank. Five years into her tenure there, she interviewed successfully for her current role as vice president and director of marketing for the local affiliate. “When you come down to it, we (bankers) are here to help people,” Ms. Passerallo said. “We’re lucky there are a lot of banks around here. My job is to … get Fifth Third top of radar.” The proud mother of two Cub Scouts — Joey, 8, and Tommy, 6 — Ms. Passerallo serves on the boards of the local Boy Scouts of America and Shoes and Clothes for Kids, and recently joined the Great Lakes Theater board. She lives in Twinsburg with her husband, Dave, and enjoys engaging her family in outdoor activities, such as skiing. Ms. Passerallo also enjoys cooking (her best dish just may be chicken piccata) and traveling. She learned a love of travel from her parents, who emphasized having adventures over material possessions. “My parents are very genuine people and just instilled that everyone you meet … can improve your life,” Ms. Passerallo said. — Michelle Park Lazette



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RICO PIETRO Principal Cresco Real Estate ◆ 36



ico Pietro got his Ohio real estate sales license the day he turned 18. He closed his first sale within a month. However, he already had been buying and selling houses for his own account since he was 14. From that start, his appetite for challenges led him into commercial brokerage and, in 2012, a position as a principal at Independence-based Cresco. By all accounts, Mr. Pietro got a fast start in commercial brokerage as a CBRE Group intern in 1999, but he benefited from growing up in the business. His mother, Kathy Pietro, ran the former Re/Max Experts residential brokerage in his home town of Dover, Ohio. The home buying and selling for his own account was part of her plan to groom him for the family business. “It taught me the value of money: ‘Do I buy something for my bike or put it into a house?’” Mr. Pietro said. “It also taught me what it is like to be an entrepreneur.” Robert Redmond, now a managing director at Mohr Associates, hired the John Carroll University senior as an intern while Mr. Redmond was at CBRE. Mr. Redmond said he gave Mr. Pietro typical internship work. Then he realized

the young man already knew how to make cold calls and find leads. “He was a natural,” Mr. Redmond said. “He was like a sponge. He located a client who wound up producing six leases for us. When someone came in who needed to be taken out at night, he volunteered to do it, and he enjoyed it.” At CBRE, Mr. Pietro was on the team of brokers that sold Tower at Erieview and Galleria in 2002. After that deal, Mr. Pietro said, he was hooked on commercial real estate because of the creativity and steps it took to sell such property. He exited CBRE for Cresco in 2004 for a simple reason. “I want to own a commercial brokerage. That’s not possible at a publicly traded company like CBRE,” Mr. Pietro said. So, he became one of two brokers who launched Cresco’s drive into the office market from its industrial base. Bob Garber, a Cresco principal, said the partners made Mr. Pietro a principal to add a younger person’s perspective to the shop’s ownership. “He’s great at finding business and a sharer who brings other brokers in to work with him,” Mr. Garber said. Mr. Pietro won the highly prized Office Broker of the Year award of the NAIOP Northern Ohio trade group in 2011. One of Mr. Pietro’s clients is Dino Palmieri, the hair salon owner and real estate developer. “If I


NOVEMBER 18-24, 2013

TONY ROSPERT Partner Thompson Hine ◆ 36


get a call from him at 6 a.m. he asks me if I’m still sleeping because he’s been at it since 5 a.m.,” Mr. Palmieri said. “He’s creative. He’s relentless. And unlike many brokers, he understands the financial side of the business.” Mr. Pietro is a self-described sports fanatic who plays basketball three days a week, a relic from serving as captain of the John Carroll varsity basketball team as he earned his business degree. He’s a commanding figure who says he is “five feet 19 inches” tall. Among his trademarks are two Cadillacs — an Escalade he describes as a necessity for work and a 1961 Cadillac convertible he bought as a fun car because “I’ll never fit into a Porsche.” He lives in Pepper Pike with Amanda, his bride in 2011. — Stan Bullard

s a business litigator, Tony Rospert is used to advocating for publicly held companies and other clients in the financial services, real estate and pharmaceutical fields. The partner at Cleveland-based Thompson Hine has resolved his share of disputes, including a case between a developer and joint venture partner over a $160 million apartment complex. But perhaps the most impactful decision of his career was to join seven years ago the board of Cornucopia, a Lakewood-based nonprofit that helps train and employ individuals with disabilities. “When I heard of the opportunity, I knew it would be right up my alley,” said Mr. Rospert, noting he felt a personal connection with the organization’s mission because he has a disabled relative. Cornucopia is a nonprofit arm of Nature’s Bin, a natural foods market in Lakewood that opened in 1975. Cornucopia’s $6.2 million budget supports about 45 full-time employees and an annual community-training program for 200 disabled individuals. “Every dollar spent at the store or on catering goes back to train someone with disabilities,” said Mr. Rospert, who is now president of Cornucopia’s board. “We were a social enterprise before it was even a buzzword.” His tenure as president has included a $1.1 million fundraising campaign he spearheaded to relocate Cornucopia’s catering operation recently from a cramped space within Nature’s Bin to a former McDonald’s located 300 yards away. “We de-McDonaldized it,” he said. The retrofitted space, which includes a state-of-the-art kitchen and offices, enables Cornucopia to bolster its catering operation and serve as a food preparation training center for those with disabilities, enabling them to gain meaningful employment.

Mr. Rospert’s efforts are not singular, as he has worked to activate the board’s advocacy role, resulting in heightened member accountability and community investment. Board treasurer Dave Westerfield referenced as examples Mr. Rospert’s revamped board bylaws that require members to donate to Cornucopia. Members also must provide specific accomplishments and goals on their re-nomination applications. “He sets high expectations of himself and expects others to do the same,” said Mr. Westerfield, a sales and marketing manager at Mentor-based Chemsultants International. “He challenges us to be bold and drive growth.” Mr. Rospert is an active supporter of United Way, where he has served as a loaned executive and as a member of the Western Region and Young Leaders cabinets. He also handles cases for indigent individuals and nonprofits with small budgets. He lives in Avon with his wife, Kristy; and daughter, Kennedy, 5. When he isn’t spending time with family, in the courtroom, out in the community or on the golf course, Mr. Rospert is likely to be judging barbecue competitions. The member of the Kansas City Barbecue Society travels throughout Ohio and surrounding states to help raise money for charity and discern who’s the best behind the smoker. “I’m almost a master judge,” he said. “It’s three hours of pure bliss.” — Kathy Ames Carr

VICTOR RUIZ Executive director Esperanza Inc. ◆ 36


ictor Ruiz believes the country’s social safety net has played a role in whatever success he has achieved. He says the efforts of public and nonprofit social service agencies helped his immigrant family build a life in Cleveland and made it possible for him to attend college. So Mr. Ruiz thinks it’s only fitting that he does his part to keep other children from falling through that net. For now, he’s fulfilling that obligation at Esperanza Inc., a 30-yearold nonprofit with a mission of improving the academic achievement of Hispanics in Greater Cleveland, keeping them in school and preparing them academically and socially for college. (Esperanza means “hope” in Spanish.) “Kids can’t control who they are born to, but we can arm them with the tools they need to make a better life for themselves,” he said. Mr. Ruiz received those tools. He and his brother were raised by a single mother in West Side housing projects after coming to Cleveland from Puerto Rico when he was 5 years old. After Mr. Ruiz graduated from

what is now the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Garrett Morgan School of Science, financial aid from the Cleveland Scholarship Programs helped him attend what is now Baldwin Wallace University, a bus ride from his family’s home on Rocky River Drive. At B-W, he majored in English with dreams of going to law school. But a college-years job with the scholarship program, where he would open the eyes of middleschool students and their parents to opportunities for continuing their education, turned into a career. He stayed on at Cleveland Scholarship Programs — now known as College Now Greater Cleveland — after graduation, rising to assistant vice president and supervising programs in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties. See RUIZ Page F-17



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hris Salata spent seven years at DDR Corp., primarily in the law department. But he spent the last three years at DDR pursuing an initiative straight out of the recovery from the Great Recession: hunting real estate developers with big projects ready to go that could use a partner with the real estate investment trust’s financial muscle. Last March, Mr. Salata joined Fairmount Properties because he wanted to get involved more directly with real estate development and was excited about the firm’s role in rejuvenating downtown Cleveland as a partner in the Flats East Bank Neighborhood with the Wolstein family. “I could have left Cleveland several times for other opportunities,” Mr. Salata said, but he preferred to stay near his family and friends here. Today, Mr. Salata, his wife and their four children live in University Heights, a “five-iron shot” away from the home of his father, a doctor, and his mother. At Fairmount, Mr. Salata works with partner Randy Ruttenberg on developing partnerships with colleges and universities for the firm’s student housing initiative. He’s also raising an investment fund to do retail turnarounds and manages Fairmount’s relationships with about 10 firms that do work for it. Adam Fishman, the other founding Fair-

mount partner, said Mr. Salata was a key acquisition for the company because he brings in-house legal talent it did not possess, has broad real estate experience and displays a taste for entrepreneurship. “We’re very happy to have him on our team,” Mr. Fishman said. If there were a diagram for career success, Mr. Salata’s resume would chart it. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, then graduated with a degree in business from University of Notre Dame after deciding medicine was not for him. He got his law diploma from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Mr. Salata’s initial legal job was at McDonald Hopkins, where he practiced business law and real estate. After a friend alerted him to the opportunity at DDR, he moved on from law practice because he wanted to participate actively in business planning. At the Beachwood-based REIT he served as assistant general counsel and vice president of redevelopment partnerships. “I fell in love with real estate there,” Mr. Salata said. He also developed a penchant for part of it. “The art of the deal is a very big thing for me,” he said. Mr. Salata believes his particular skill is connecting people, whether as the junior

varsity basketball coach at Gesu Catholic School in University Heights, which he attended, or as a member of Big Brothers. In 2001 he was presented the law school’s “Dean’s Student Leadership and Community Service Award.” He now serves on the board of Big Brothers of Greater Cleveland as he has “little buddies of my own to raise.” Mr. Salata will reap a side benefit from being at Fairmount’s offices on West Ninth Street in downtown Cleveland next to Ernst & Young Tower. This year, he will be close enough to his alma mater to serve as an assistant coach for the St. Ignatius junior varsity basketball team. He said he’s looking forward to calling famed St. Ignatius football coach Chuck Kyle, whom he considers a mentor, a colleague. At St. Ignatius, Mr. Salata played football, basketball and ran track. — Stan Bullard

Along the way, he earned a master’s degree in school counseling at Cleveland State University. “I’m not a classroom teacher,” he said. “I’m more attracted to the policy and strategy side.” He spent more then a decade at Cleveland Scholarship Programs, moving on to his current job at Esperanza in 2010. “We engage the community in the education of students in addition to providing direct services,” he said of Esperanza. He said keeping education a priority in a child’s life “is truly a community and family process. It’s not just an individual child process.” Mr. Ruiz said he was fortunate to have a parent who pushed him to stick with education and then to have found teachers who encouraged him. He believes he is passing on his good fortune to the students who rely on Esperanza and its team of 16 staffers and a cadre of volunteers. Esperanza offers a portfolio of programs that offer students and their families help with tutoring, mentoring, scholarships and other programs. “Under the leadership of Victor, Esperanza has truly come into its own,” said Maria L. Spangler, director of community engagement at Sherwin-Williams Co. and first vice president of Esperanza, in an email. “With a growing foundation of support, and proven methods to promote student success, the organization has flourished with Victor at the helm.” Mr. Ruiz lives with his wife and three children in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood. He thinks his greatest contribution, and his greatest skill, is building relationships — with students most importantly, but also with the people and organizations that he and Esperanza rely on for financial support. “Working with kids, working with funders — it’s the exact same process,” he said. “It’s developing trusting relationships.” — Jay Miller


ANDREW SAMTOY Host and producer Civic Commons ideastream ◆ 34 he career change that former associate attorney Andrew Samtoy recently made “comes as no surprise to his friends,” according to one of those people, Meredith Shoop. “Andrew is a consummate people organizer and a phenomenal idea man,” said Ms. Shoop, an associate attorney in Littler Mendelson’s Cleveland office who met Mr. Samtoy through a law fraternity alumni association in 2009. “For Andrew to be in an office all day just wasn’t right,” she said. “What he’s doing right now is right — talking to people, opening dialogues.” Mr. Samtoy, 34, in October began his role as host and producer of Civic Commons ideastream, where he is responsible for moderating conversations about current issues online and at live events. He most recently worked for Painesville law firm Dworken & Bernstein Co. LPA, but his work there wasn’t what has garnered him so much newspaper ink in recent years. It is his co-founding in late 2011 of a movement called Cash Mobs, which organizes groups of people to meet at locally owned businesses for the express purpose of spending money at them. But Cash Mobs is nowhere near the only face-to-face interaction Mr. Samtoy has been encouraging, driven in large part because he believes that “most people are disengaging.” He’s founder, too, of The Cleveland Salon, where people meet monthly at Mahall’s 20 Lanes in Lakewood to discuss important issues of the day; The Charles Club, which meets monthly in the lower level of Cleveland’s Happy Dog for debates; and The Booker T. Cleveland Society for the Learned, a group that gathers to swap and discuss books as well as to network. Notably, all of them are the work of a relatively recent transplant from California, Ms. Shoop said.

continued from PAGE F-16

Ignatius High School — football, basketball and track and field.

Fairmount Properties ◆ 37



BY THE NUMBERS ■ 3: Sports Chris Salata played at St.

Chief investment officer and general counsel



“When you think that this has all really come about in five years — (that) he’s established this depth of connection, the understanding he has in Cleveland — it’s really remarkable,” she said. “If I mention, ‘Oh yeah, you know Andrew Samtoy,’ I am pretty much guaranteed to hear, ‘Oh yeah, I met him through X or through Y. “He models for people a level of selflessness and a can-do attitude that is really infectious,” she said. Mr. Samtoy now is tasked with doing for Civic Commons ideastream more of what he has been doing in his spare time — namely, increasing the number and quality of conversations in the community. “This is an opportunity for me to focus on what I love and what Cleveland needs,” Mr. Samtoy said. “I think that when we get back to those face-to-face conversations, we’re going to see improved communities overall.” Mr. Samtoy, a San Diego native who was born in Lorain, returned to Cleveland to attend Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2005 because he believed law was a profession through which he could impact the world. Today, he lives in Lyndhurst, and makes a point of shopping at locally owned grocery stores and farmers markets. He sails and cooks in his free time, hosts monthly cigar and liquor tastings at his home — complete with informational lectures — and recently acted in the community theater production “Animals out of Paper” at Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland Heights. —Michelle Park Lazette

Cleveland Construction, Inc. is proud to congratulate its Vice President of Construction, David Sawicki for becoming an honoree in the 2013 Crain’s “Forty Under 40” program!

The Residences at 668 - Completed in 2011

David Sawicki has been an exceptional and proven leader in managing the construction for some of Cleveland’s most notable historical restoration and adaptive reuse projects.

The Calfee Building - Completed in 2012

The Residences at Hanna - Completed in 2013

Schofield Building - Completing in 2015

CLEVELAND CONSTRUCTION, INC. General Contracting | Construction Management | Design-Build ‘‘Partners in Restoring Cleveland’’




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running the job for K&D that converted the one-time Hanna Annex office building to apartments as the Residences at Hanna. For K&D, he has regular contact with owners Doug Price and Karen Paganini, who frequently visit their construction projects. Mr. Price describes Mr. Sawicki as “extremely thorough and detail-oriented, which you have to be in the

construction business.” Mr. Sawicki has risen through the ranks rapidly at Cleveland Construction, which he joined 16 years ago fresh out of the muchvaunted construction program at Purdue University after interning two years with the construction company based in Mentor. Keith Ziegler, senior vice president of construction and Mr. Sawicki’s direct supervisor at Cleveland Construction, recalled that when Mr. Sawicki graduated from college, the feeling at the company was that “we had to hire him.” “We didn’t want to let him go away,” Mr. Ziegler said. To become a vice president at the company, Mr. Sawicki has moved through five titles with increasing responsibility. Although Cleveland jobs are a big part of his responsibility, Mr. Sawicki also has jobs outside of

“I said to KPMG, ‘We’re moving to Belgium, do you think I could rejoin the firm?’ and they said, ‘Sure,’ ” Ms. Shamrock recalls. Her specialty is advising clients on tax, regulatory and other accounting compliance issues, especially as they relate to mergers and acquisitions or other major transactions. Her skills came in handy overseas, because she was adept at understanding both the U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) accounting standards, as well as the European International Financial Reporting Stan-

dards, known as IFRS. “It’s much more fun than some of the other aspects of accounting,” she said. Most importantly, Ms. Shamrock developed the rare skill of being able to show companies how to comply with both systems simultaneously when they were doing multinational acquisitions, accessing capital markets or dealing with regulatory changes in one country or another. Her three years in Brussels were great for her, both personally and professionally. Ms. Shamrock says she picked up enough “emergency French” to get by, enjoyed getting to know the nation and its people, and used her home base as a staging point from which to visit Paris and other European hot spots. She rode the trains of Europe on weekend getaways and spent the rest of her time climbing the corporate ladder. Just two years after she returned to Cleveland, Ms. Shamrock was named managing director

Vice president of construction Cleveland Construction Inc. ◆ 36


avid S. Sawicki is playing a key role shaping downtown Cleveland’s future.

In his job at Cleveland Construction Inc., he is overseeing two big projects giving new purpose to two old office buildings. One is converting the 1717 East Ninth St. office building — the former headquarters of East Ohio Gas Co. — to apartments for K&D Group of Willoughby. The other is the conversion of the Schofield Building at East Ninth and Euclid Avenue to a Kimpton Hotel and apartments for an affiliate of CRM Inc. of Cleveland. Moreover, he recently finished

MARYBETH SHAMROCK Managing director KPMG LLP ◆ 37


arybeth Shamrock wanted a career that would be challenging, introduce her to new cultures and languages and allow her to see the world. Naturally, she chose accounting. To be fair, Ms. Shamrock chose the profession for more mundane reasons — in college she realized she was good at math and had a strong interest in business. And for the first six years of her career she was at KPMG in Cleveland, before leaving to work for two years helping another company implement new computer systems. But when her husband’s career called for a move to Belgium, Ms. Shamrock figured correctly that she could combine her skills and her new place of residence into a valuable package.

Congratulations, Lynlee! You’re a Rising Star. Pinnacle President Lynlee Altman proudly joins Crain’s 40 Under 40.


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NOVEMBER 18-24, 2013

town. They range from a metal stud factory in Arizona to multiple Walmarts in Detroit and Atlanta. Now his role is overseeing financing and budgets for the jobs and ensuring proper performance by subcontractors for their roles on the projects. He has a dozen direct reports. Mr. Sawicki boils his field experience down to one observation: “The nuts and bolts are easy. Working with people and communication is what you have to learn.” Both of Mr. Sawicki’s parents attended Purdue, and he intended to be an engineer like his father. However, that changed when he saw the construction program at the college. Growing up in Avon Lake, he liked working with his father on jobs around the house and worked summers in high school for subcontractors for Kopf Builders doing roofing and ce-

of KPMG in 2010 — when she was still only 34. Her time in Europe definitely was a plus, she said. “Knowing IFRS really helps me on projects here as the world becomes more global,” she said She’s been glad to be back, too — though she admits she misses some things about her old post. “It used to be we could get on the train and in an hour and 20 minutes we’d be in Paris. Now, in an hour and 20 minutes we can be in Youngstown,” Ms. Shamrock jokes.

ment work. “I just liked seeing the finished product from my work,” Mr. Sawicki said. Mr. Ziegler said Mr. Sawicki has distinguished himself in handling renovation jobs, which have more unexpected pitfalls than groundup construction. “He has passion and pride in what he does,” Mr. Ziegler said. He said Mr. Sawicki’s wife, Gwynne, put together a book commemorating one of Mr. Sawicki’s prior jobs, the conversion of a former department store to apartments now known as the Residences at Six Six Eight in downtown Cleveland. Mr. Sawicki and his wife have two daughters, 9 and 2, and live in Concord. He is also on a committee at St. Hubert’s Church in Kirtland Hills — building and grounds, of course. — Stan Bullard

Northeast Ohio is home. Ms. Shamrock was born in Pittsburgh, but her family moved to the Canton area when she was 8. She graduated from Jackson High School before attending Miami University. These days, Ms. Shamrock has plenty to keep her busy domestically. Besides running her firm’s local accounting advisory services practice for Ohio and Michigan, she mentors younger colleagues and is raising a 3-year-old daughter. — Dan Shingler

FATTAR THOMAS General manager Delaware North SportService ◆ 39


attar Thomas began his career in the services industry at age 16 as a cashier at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J. Twenty-three years later, he is charge of feeding and providing beverages to more than 70,000 Cleveland Browns fans at least 10 days a year. As Joe Sims, vice president of Delaware North Cos., said, Mr. Thomas “started at the bowels of the stadium and worked his way up.” Mr. Thomas is a general manager for Buffalo-based Delaware North, which is the Browns’ concessions and gourmet catering provider. “On game day, I have 1,300 people that I’m responsible for,” Mr. Thomas said. “We have 29 permanent concession stands and probably another 90 portable or cart locations.” During Browns’ home games at FirstEnergy Stadium, Mr. Thomas makes the rounds, ensuring the massive operation is running smoothly. He wants to be certain the information he is giving to his employees isn’t getting “watered down” as the directions are passed from manager to employee — which means he doesn’t leave an inch of the 1.64 million-squarefoot facility uncovered. “Everything good or bad comes directly back to me,” Mr. Thomas said. “Basically, my company is a subcontractor for the Browns. I am the business leader here making decisions for my company, and I’m the liaison between my company and the Browns. I have my bosses’ standards in mind, and I have the Browns’ standards in mind.” His boss, Mr. Sims, says Mr. Thomas’ work has been well-received by the Browns’ new regime. Mr. Thomas said another change at the top for the NFL team meant an opportunity for him to bring up ideas that previously had been rejected.

“One thing that was huge for me was I was looking at some things that were denied by the prior management, and this regime said, ‘I want you to act like you have never presented anything before,’ ” he said. “It was a chance for me to present my case to the new guys. They were open to trying new things out, and they won’t leave any stones unturned.” Mr. Thomas moved to Cleveland three years ago, when his good friend and colleague, Marcus Snead (the pair worked together at Six Flags in the early 1990s), was promoted from GM of Delaware North’s efforts at the Browns’ stadium to a position at MetLife Stadium — the home of the New York Jets and Giants. Mr. Thomas spent seven years working at American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars, before leaving in 2007 to take a job as director of operations for Levy Restaurants, which has a contract with the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats. In those positions, Mr. Thomas says it was “nothing” for him to work 300 events a year. Now, he says everything “falls” on him, but it’s a position he welcomes — and one that allows him to spend more time with his family, which includes his wife, Michelle. The couple have one son together, Jaylin, 9, and five kids from previous marriages. “I can’t even quantify how much more time I have with the kids,” Mr. Thomas said. “I help with homework and am able to meet teachers. It’s a big difference.” — Kevin Kleps



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Owner and managing partner

Vice president

Price for Profit ◆ 39

Good Karma Broadcasting ◆ 38



hile growing up in Meadville, Pa., Ryan White told people he one day would own a paper clip factory. OK, maybe that wasn’t his real plan. “I didn’t care what it was,” he said. “I just wanted to have a business and be better at it than the next guy who makes paper clips.” Today, he still knows nothing about making paper clips, but he might be good at figuring out how much to charge for them. Mr. White is owner and managing partner of Price for Profit, a Mayfield Heights company that helps other businesses figure out exactly how much they should charge for their products, using information about their buyers, past purchases and other data. The provider of software and consulting services employs 34 people, up from just one when Mr. White founded the business as a solo consultant in 2006. That first year was rough, though: During the 10 years he spent rising through the ranks at label and packaging materials maker Avery Dennison, Mr. White, who was trained as an engineer, saved up more than $200,000. He lost half his savings during that first year in business. Needless to say, he understands he has limitations. “I still have a ton to learn, and this ship can turn at any point,” he said, noting that Price for Profit started making money the following year. That humility is one of his biggest strengths, according to Jerry Grisko Jr., president and chief operating officer at business services firm CBiz Inc. The two men meet every other month to talk business.

“He’s always reaching out to others who may be able to bring ideas or resources to him,” Mr. Grisko said, noting that he probably gets as much out of the meetings as his younger counterpart does. Mr. White also reaches out to the less fortunate. He gives an undisclosed percentage of the company’s annual profits to Drop in the Bucket, a Los Angeles-based charity that builds water wells and sanitation systems at schools in Africa. Money from Price for Profit has been used to install water pumps at 50 schools in Uganda during the first two years of what he described as a 10-year plan. “No matter what else you do, if you don’t have health and clean water, you can’t succeed,” he said. Mr. White started exploring ways to help people in Africa after his sister in the Peace Corps introduced him to a family from the country of Benin. They lived in a hut with no water or electricity, so he helped them move to the United States. They spent about a year living with him and then with his parents before regulations required they return home. He’s now helping pay for the education of their children. He and his wife Lisa have two children of their own: Evan, 9, and Olivia, 7. He enjoys playing volleyball and racing a souped-up BMW M3 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington. — Chuck Soder

KIM WILSON President Slate Rock Safety LLC ◆ 38


im Wilson, president of Slate Rock Safety LLC in Medina, is passionate about helping her employees grow and learn. “That’s just so important to me,” she said. It’s so important that she made it one of the company’s official values, values on which it hires and fires people, she said. The online safety apparel distributor has about 17 full-time employees now and has been expanding in the last three years. Mrs. Wilson’s husband, Chad Wilson, started Slate Rock Safety with a partner in 2007, and Mrs. Wilson became a partner in 2008. She said it can be challenging to work together at times, but that the two balance one another: he’s detail-oriented, whereas she focuses on the big picture. The majority of Mrs. Wilson’s time is spent with the sales team, a part of the business she said she loves. When Mrs. Wilson graduated from the University of Akron with a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders in December 1997, she took a job with Xerox, thinking she would just fill her time before going to graduate school. But it was there, she said, that she “just knew that sales was my calling.” She went on to pharmaceutical sales before choosing to be a stayat-home mom to her two children, Grant, who’s now 10, and Drew, 8. During that time, she also did parttime sales for her husband’s technology company — which has now

become part of Slate Rock Safety — and ran a community calendar portal, She spent some time as director of development for the Medina City Schools Foundation, but soon realized her heart was in the business world. In 2012, she took a position with Slate Rock Safety as the business unit manager of closeouts, overseeing one of the company’s websites. This past summer, she became president of the company, replacing the former partner whose shares were bought by Mr. and Mrs. Wilson. David Sterling, who joined Slate Rock Safety as its marketing manager in May, said Mrs. Wilson is a “dynamic” and “enthusiastic” leader, citing in particular her interest in coaching and teaching employees. He said when he came to the company, she supported his idea to hold meetings that helped employees learn new skills, like working with HTML, even if they weren’t necessarily critical to the company’s mission. Mrs. Wilson said she is driven by her employees growing and taking leadership positions, and by the company’s growth overall. “I’m so accomplishmen-driven,” she said. “I think it’s that salesperson in me.” — Rachel Abbey McCafferty

he day Keith Williams decided to move to Cleveland from Madison, Wis., in 2007, New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain was under attack by a swarm of midges during Game 2 of the American League Division Series. “I grew up in Jersey and I followed the Yankees,” said Mr. Williams, a Good Karma Broadcasting vice president and general manager of ESPN Cleveland for almost six years. “So I’m sitting there, I’m feeling good about my decision, I’m excited, and my wife is like, ‘Hey, what are you watching?’ I told her I was watching the Yankees game.” That was before Mr. Williams told his wife, Sonya, that the game they were witnessing was taking place in Cleveland. “She said, ‘We’re moving there?’ ” he recalls with a laugh. “‘With those bugs? Are you kidding me?’” That early hiccup aside, the couple has enjoyed what has transpired since Mr. Williams — who was given a choice between running Good Karma’s ESPN Radio properties in Milwaukee and Cleveland — elected to move to the home of the Browns, Cavaliers and Indians. Upon his arrival in Northeast


Ohio, Mr. Williams had an ambitious goal for ESPN Cleveland’s top station, WKNR-AM, 850 — secure a radio rights deal with the Browns. “My vision when I got here was to be the home of football in Northeast Ohio,” Mr. Williams said. “So when I first got here, I called the Browns and was like, ‘Who handles your radio?’ I got in with a few guys and I think we submitted on the rights twice in five years and didn’t get them.” The Browns and previous radio rights-holder Clear Channel parted ways following the 2012 season, setting the stage for Mr. Williams and his colleagues at a pair of CBS Radio affiliates — WKRK-FM, 92.3, and WNCX-FM, 98.5 — to team up for a unique partnership that is believed to be a first in the NFL. Late last March, the Browns announced the three radio stations would be the team’s flagship sta-

tions as part of a game-day, radio triplecast in the Cleveland market. Craig Karmazin, Good Karma’s founder, president and CEO, said Mr. Williams “has all of the skills you look for” in a leader. “He cares so genuinely about people, he’s such a hard worker, he’s honest and he’s able to lead by example,” Mr. Karmazin said. Mr. Williams also spearheaded the March 2012 hiring of former Plain Dealer Browns beat writer Tony Grossi to beef up ESPN Cleveland’s website. In September 2013, generated almost 2.8 million page views — a 146% increase from the like period in 2012. In the last two years, there has been a tenfold increase in the website’s traffic. “We wanted to create a culture to be different,” Mr. Williams said. “We’re not a radio company. We’re a sports marketing company that happens to have radio assets.” Keith and Sonya Williams have a 6-year-old son, Bryce. When his busy schedule allows, the former high school football and basketball player likes to golf and ride his mountain bike. Mr. Williams also serves on the board of the Cleveland chapter of A Kid Again, a charity that aims to provide joyful experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses. — Kevin Kleps


Fifth Third Bank. Member FDIC.




1:15 PM

Page 1



NOVEMBER 18 - 24, 2013

Oswald: Theories abound

sus as to what really happened.”

continued from PAGE 1

Doug Horne, author of “Inside the Assassination Records Review Board,” a five-volume, 1,800-page work self-published in 2009, details his experience with the board from 1995 to 1998. Mr. Horne, a native of Kettering, Ohio, and graduate of Ohio State University, was a senior analyst who helped decide which records of the JFK assassination would be made public. His conclusion is that “there was a major medical cover-up by the U.S. government.” Mr. Horne, a 20-year Navy officer who currently works in the U.S. State Department in passport services, focuses on the autopsy of Kennedy and how the records by the medical examiners were altered. Mr. Horne’s examination of the records concludes that photography in the archives did not match up with the film that the official au-

It has been five decades since JFK’s assassination, yet researchers and theorists — including those in Northeast Ohio — continue to study and question what Mr. Adams calls “arguably the greatest murder mystery of modern times.” Mr. Adams’ book centers upon one Joseph Milteer, a segregationist and archconservative from Georgia whom Mr. Adams became aware of a few weeks before the assassination. Mr. Milteer had made threats against the president and had told a police informant in Miami that the president could be killed “from an office building with a high-powered rifle;” that the rifle could be “disassembled” to get it into the building; and that “they will pick up somebody within hours afterward, if any-

For the record

thing like that would happen just to throw the public off,” according to transcripts from the conversation with the informant that are detailed in Mr. Adams’ book. But when Mr. Adams, who had evidence that Mr. Milteer was in Dallas that day, questioned Mr. Milteer a week after the assassination, he said he was told by superiors to limit his questions and not to do any followup investigating. And though Mr. Adams was investigating Mr. Milteer, who died in 1974, he was not informed of the Miami police informant tape until many years later. “I just got the feeling from the beginning of the investigation that the powers that be in the government were only focusing on Oswald, and were protecting whoever the real shooters were,” Mr. Adams said. “After 50 years now, there is no consen-

topsy photographers used, and that the testimony of doctors from Parkland Hospital in Dallas about the condition of the body did not coincide with the body as it was recorded in the report from the autopsy. “What the records indicate is that the body was altered significantly between the time when the president was removed from the hospital and when the autopsy was performed in Washington,” Mr. Horne said. He said the main alternations were done on the back of the president’s head. “It appears that they wanted to remove all evidence that there might have been a shot from the front of the limousine,” Mr. Horne said. Beverly Sadowski, a U.S. history teacher in the Berea schools, will be hosting several Cuyahoga County Public Library events to discuss the assassination: 7 p.m. this Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the Independence branch; and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov.

26, at the Strongsville branch. Ms. Sadowski has studied the assassination for decades and has become good friends with former FBI agent Adams through the years. “What I focus on,” Ms. Sadowski said, “are the people that I see are credible. People like Don Adams are not just trying to push some crazy agenda, but trying to get the truth out. And it is sad that someone like him, who has insight into what happened that day, have been labeled as crackpots by some people.” Her view of what happened? “It is obvious there was some very odd cover-ups by the federal government of what actually happened, so I think that the conspiracy has to go fairly high up,” Ms. Sadowski said. “We may never know how high up it went. But it is clearly evident that the government wanted to get this investigation over with quickly, and to pin it on Oswald without looking at anyone else.” ■

LARGEST SAVINGS INSTITUTIONS RANKED BY NORTHEAST OHIO DEPOSITS(1) Deposits Company name Headquarters address Rank Phone/website

Non-performing loans Net income Top local executive ($millions) Title



% change

2013 entire market share %(2)


Third Federal Savings & Loan 7007 Broadway Ave., Cleveland 44105 (216) 441-6000/









Marc A. Stefanski chairman, president, CEO


Ohio Savings Bank, A Division of New York Community Bank 1801 E. Ninth St., Cleveland 44114 (216) 588-4100/









Jon K. Baymiller president, CEO, NYCB Mortgage Co. LLC


Dollar Bank FSB 1301 E. Ninth St., Cleveland 44114 (216) 736-8900/









Andrew D. Devonshire president, Ohio banking region


First Place Bank, a subsidiary of Talmer Bancorp Inc. P.O. Box 551, Warren 44482 (330) 373-1221/









Thomas C. Shafer president, CEO


First Federal Savings & Loan Assoc. 14806 Detroit Ave., Lakewood 44107 (216) 221-7300/









Thomas J. Fraser president, CEO


Home Savings & Loan Co. 275 Federal Plaza W., Youngstown 44503 (330) 742-0500/









Patrick W. Bevack president, CEO


Westfield Bank FSB Two Park Circle, Westfield Center 44251 (800) 368-8930/









Timothy E. Phillips president


First Federal S&L Assn. of Lorain 3721 Oberlin Ave., Lorain 44053 (440) 282-6188/









John R. Malanowski president, COO


Wayne Savings Community Bank 151 N. Market St., Wooster 44691 (330) 264-5767/









Rodney C. Steiger president, CEO


Geauga Savings Bank 10800 Kinsman Road, Newbury 44065 (440) 564-9441/









Allen S. Lencioni Sr. president, CEO


Hometown Bank 142 N. Water St., Kent 44240 (330) 673-9827/









Howard T. Boyle II president, CEO


CFBank 2723 Smith Road, Fairlawn 44333 (330) 666-7979/









Tim O'Dell, CEO Thad R. Perry president


North Akron Savings Bank 158 E. Cuyahoga Falls Ave., Akron 44310 (330) 434-9137/









Stephen D. Hailer president, CEO


Valley Savings Bank 140 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls 44222 (330) 923-0454/









Ann H. Durr president, COO


Conneaut Savings Bank 305 Main St., Conneaut 44030 (440) 599-8121 /









Philip Heffelfinger president, CEO


Home Federal Savings & Loan Association of Niles 55 N. Main St., Niles 44446 (330) 652-2539/









Lawrence Safarek president


Northwest Savings Bank 2 Liberty St., Warren, Pa. 16365 (814) 723-9696/









Thomas Stanton vice president, Crawford, Lawrence, Mercer and Ohio district manager


Pioneer Savings Bank 6701 Detroit Ave., Cleveland 44102 (216) 961-0422









Virginia C. Barsan president, CEO


First Federal Bank of Ohio 140 N. Columbus St., Galion 44833 (419) 468-1518/









Thomas L. Moore president, CEO

Total assets ($millions)

$ millions 6-30-2013

% of gross loans 6-30-2013

Source for financial data: Thomson Reuters Bank Insight. NA=Not available. Crain's Cleveland Business does not independently verify the information and there is no guarantee these listings are complete or accurate. We welcome all responses to our lists and will include omitted information or clarifications in coming issues. Individual lists and The Book of Lists are available to purchase at (1) Deposit information includes branches located in Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne counties, as of June 30, 2013, and June 30, 2012. All other numerical data is institution-wide as of June 30, 2013. (2) Includes all financial institutions in the 15-county coverage area.

RESEARCHED BY Deborah W. Hillyer



1:35 PM

Page 1

NOVEMBER 18 - 24, 2013




Stopped: Many stores and businesses closed on day of funeral continued from PAGE 1

Viewers of the “One O’Clock Club� on WEWS-TV watched as host Bill Gordon was cut off by an announcement from the ABC network reporting that the president had been “cut down� by gunfire in Dallas. When Mr. Gordon reappeared, Plain Dealer reporter Don Robertson wrote the next day, “His face had aged.� Mr. Gordon’s co-host, the legendary Dorothy Fuldheim, was nearly in tears. “I don’t feel like doing anything,� Mr. Robertson reported her saying. “Who could have done this thing?� The city’s three television stations and most of its radio stations canceled regular programming. The next day’s newspapers were filled with somber type-only ads expressing condolences, some a full page.

An ‘intangible sadness’ Stores and businesses closed or curtailed work for Monday, Nov. 25, the day of the funeral, after new President Lyndon Johnson declared it a national day of mourning. The city’s six department store operators — Bailey’s, Halle Bros. Co., Higbee’s, the May Co., Sears and Sterling Lindner Davis — jointly bought a nearly full-page ad in the Sunday Plain Dealer announcing their decision to close on Monday. General Motors Corp. closed its five Cleveland-area plants for three hours beginning at noon on Monday to give its 18,000 employees time to attend memorial services scheduled around the city. Ford Motor Co.’s 13,000 workers at its four local plants and a parts depot also were given time off to attend services. Lainie Hadden, now a philanthropist and the first president of the Playhouse Square Association, was on her way home from the grocery story when she heard the news on the radio. “I was just looking at people in other cars, and we just looked at each other,� she said. “It was an intangible sadness. That’s what I remember best, the grimness of it all.� “It seemed so unbelievable and it still does; you knew your life would never be quite the same again,� she said.

“I was just looking at people in other cars, and we just looked at each other. It was an intangible sadness. That’s what I remember best, the grimness of it all� – Lainie Hadden, philanthropist and the first president of the PlayhouseSquare Association

“We stopped everything. I remember very clearly, Washington was silent, just devastated. ... Nobody was doing anything, so listless, in a state of shock.� – Robert I. Madison, principal, Robert P. Madison International, who was in the nation’s capital that day

“We had a serious discussion about what had happened for a while. And then we went about our business. Obviously, there was nothing we could do and life had to go on.� – David Morgenthaler, venture capitalist Retired radio executive Norman Wain was an advertising account executive at WHK Radio in 1963. He, station manager Jack Thayer and two co-workers were eating lunch at Luccioni’s, an Italian restaurant at 4213 Euclid Ave., not far from the radio station’s headquarters at 5000 Euclid. “Somebody ran in and told us the news, and we didn’t even finish eating,� he said. “We got up and ran to the radio station to see if we could grab more details.� WHK, then a 24-hour music station, switched to a network news feed and Mr. Wain and his co-workers listened to the broadcast. “Nobody was in the mood to buy radio time,� he said. “But we were dying to see what was going on on television. So I ran home, turned on the TV and spent the rest of the day glued to the set like a lot of other people.� Mr. Wain said Cleveland, like many cities, only had three television stations and they all had switched to news programming. So that day became a more shared experience than it might be today, with so many stations and other media options.

The silence Architect Robert I. Madison, principal of Robert P. Madison International of Cleveland, was in Washington, D.C., that day. He had been hired to transform an old funeral home into a branch of the Industrial Bank of Washington. He was meeting with B. Doyle Mitchell, the bank’s president in the lobby of the existing bank, when they heard the news. “We stopped everything,� he said. “I remember very clearly, Washington was silent, just devastated.� Mr. Madison stayed that night at the Hilton Hotel before catching a flight back to Cleveland on Saturday. “Nobody was doing anything, so listless, in a state of shock,� he recalled. “He had become a hero,� Mr. Madison said. “I personally, and a lot of people in my group, were really committed to JFK. He was the first president of a new era, the first president born in the 20th century.� At the time of the assassination, venture capitalist David Morgenthaler was president and CEO of Foseco Inc., a Cleveland specialty chemical company established by Foseco

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International Ltd. of Great Britain. That day, he was in New York, at the office of J.H. Whitney & Co., the first venture capital firm in the United States and an investor in Foseco. Mr. Morgenthaler was at lunch in the Whitney office, meeting with his Foseco boss and several Whitney partners when someone came in and broke the news. “We had a serious discussion about what had happened for a while,� talking about the new president, Lyndon Johnson, and whether there might have been a conspiracy to kill the president. “And then we went about our business,� he said. “Obviously, there was nothing we could do and life had to go on.�

TV’s big moment This was a time when television newscasts were just beginning to intrude on print’s dominance of the news. So significant was the reliance on print that people followed a breaking story through multiple editions of an afternoon paper. The “Final Stocks� edition of The Cleveland Press carried closing stock market quotes. But that dominance was changing, and that transition must have been on the minds of executives at The Press that day. They scrapped 125,000 copies of the Nov. 22 home delivered edition, printed before the shooting occurred, and kept news boys waiting for as much as two hours on street corners. That way, subscribers wouldn’t feel the need to turn to television for the news. But the Kennedy assassination marked the beginning of television news’ ascendance. “That thing had a profound influence on television and American

viewing habits,� said retired columnist Dick Feagler. “Before then television news was not very much at all, just 15 minutes.� Mr. Feagler was a young reporter at the Sandusky Register that day, waiting in the car of a fellow reporter who had to make a stop on their way back to the office from lunch. He got the news when his colleague came back to the car. “Bang, the unbelievable had suddenly become real,� Mr. Feagler said. When he got back to the paper’s newsroom, he got assigned the reaction story, “one of those typical, ‘How do the people of Sandusky feel about it?’ stories,� Mr. Feagler said. “Everybody was shocked, they couldn’t believe it. “It wasn’t any contest-winning story,� he couldn’t help but note.

How do you spell that? A newsroom isn’t a sentimental or reverential place, so it isn’t surprising that longtime Cleveland journalist Michael Roberts has a humorous, ironic recollection. Mr. Roberts had just started working at the morning Cleveland Plain Dealer earlier that month and it was his day off. But he called the newsroom and was told to come in. He was assigned phone duty, calling people for their reaction to the events of the day. “The funny thing was, nobody could spell the word “assassination,â€? he said of a time before computers and spell checking. “They sent a copy boy out and had him make a huge sign with the correct spelling and they hung it from the ceiling so we could look up and the copy desk wouldn’t have to change all those (incorrect) spellings,â€? Mr. Roberts said. â–

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Markets Served Business • Finance • Education • Government Volume 34, Number 46 Crain’s Cleveland Business (ISSN 0197-2375) is published weekly, except for combined issues on the fourth week of December and fifth week of December at 700 West St. Clair Ave., Suite 310, Cleveland, OH 44113-1230. Copyright Š 2013 by Crain Communications Inc. Periodicals postage paid at Cleveland, Ohio, and at additional mailing offices. Price per copy: $2.00. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Crain’s Cleveland Business, Circulation Department, 1155 Gratiot Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48207-2912. 1877-824-9373. REPRINT INFORMATION: 800-290-5460 Ext. 136

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3:13 PM

Page 1



Cities: Uniformity is key continued from PAGE 3

Bratenahl Mayor John Licastro, who heads the Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association, was not totally satisfied with the final bill but said the legislation shows how government should work. “This was originally a bad piece of legislation,” he said. “But it’s closer to what we think is reasonable. It’s not there yet, though.”

‘A net revenue loss’ Ohio — unlike the handful of other states in which cities can tax income — has allowed communities to create their own definitions of income and set all other regulations for municipal tax filing.

Contact: Phone: Fax: E-mail:

Both sides agreed on the value of uniformity. However, the cities balked at provisions that, they said, were tax-cutting reforms that would reduce tax revenue, which is especially precious after the elimination of the estate tax and the loss of the state’s distribution of funds to local governments. The legislation that left the House still will put a dent in those tax collections. A fiscal analysis prepared by the state Legislative Service Commission said the substitute bill’s provisions are “likely to create, overall, a net revenue loss to municipalities.” The analysis said those losses “may be significant, potentially

millions of dollars annually.” Specifically, this bill includes a provision that require cities to allow a five-year net operating loss carry-forward period for businesses. It also includes uniform tests to determine how what are called occasional entrants — such as homerepair contractors — are taxed by the cities they visit to do their work. Many cities do not currently allow businesses to offset income by earlier-year losses or allow such offsets for three years or less. The current bill is a compromise. Instead of an immediate change, the carry-forward amount would start at 50% in 2017 and increase to 100% in 2022. The occasional entrant provisions would reduce the number of small tax payments businesses make to cities. At present, cities may tax any worker who works




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manufacturers’ group, pushed for the bill. Coalition members argued that with nearly 600 communities with their own municipal tax laws, it has been unnecessarily expensive for businesses to comply with each community’s laws. They cited businesses that had to file tax withholdings to cities for less than $20 a year, which is less than the cost to prepare and file the form. The cities agreed on the basic idea of creating a more consistent system of tax filings, but they balked at provisions that, they said, were tax-cutting reforms masquerading as uniformity. The vote on HB 5 was largely along party lines, with all Northeast Ohio Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against passage of the bill. ■

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4414 Yorkshire Road, Parma, OH 2 bedroom, 1 bath all-brick bungalow With large attic for bonus room and full Suggested Opening Bid: $27,500 basement with fireplace & bar Detached 6,500 SF fmr. bank branch on 3.22 garage and landscaped backyard. beautiful acres. Opportunity for expansion. Open Houses: Saturdays, Nov. 23rd, Excellent commercial location near I-271. 30th & Dec. 7th 1:00pm-3:00pm Full basement with tunnel to drive thru OFFERED ABSOLUTE, windows. Variety of possible uses. 9447 Olde Eight Rd., Northfield, OH


On-Site Inspections: Mondays, Nov. 25th, REGARDLESS OF PRICE! Suggested Opening Bid: $5,000 Dec. 2nd & 9th from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

For Terms of Sale & Brochure, Please Call:


Hanna Chartwell / Chartwell Auctions, LLC Michael Berland, Gordon Greene, Mac Biggar & Anna Maria Hamm, OH Auctioneers

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Crain’s Cleveland Business is the premier source of business news across Northeast Ohio, producing a weekly, four-color newspaper as well as a robust website and broad collection of targeted e-newsletters. Job Responsibilities: • Maintain and up sell existing accounts by traveling as necessary to visit clients in person • Develop and build relationships with existing and potential clients in order to understand their business needs and sell them integrated sales plans (such as print, online, events) to meet their needs • Prospect new business via the phone and in person • Sell various special sections • Provide outstanding customer service • Maintain ACT Database Job Requirements: • Minimum of 5 years of outside sales experience • Excellent verbal/written communication skills • Ability to meet deadlines and handle multiple tasks with accuracy • Previous Internet/media sales • Ability to travel regularly to meet with clients in territory Crain Communications offers a competitive salary, a generous benefits package, profit sharing, and a friendly work environment. This is a great time to join our organization -- a profitable, well established publishing leader. To apply for this position please visit our website at and search under the Careers section.

Business Opportunity for a Qualified Event Manager/Operator for a Restaurant/Party Center in Eastlake, Ohio to: Oversee all Operations; Develop/Preserve positive community/patron interactions; Manage finances, PR; Plan and execute events; Maintain cleanliness of interior/exterior areas; Ensure well-trained, customer oriented staff, Ensure excellent food quality and service standards; Maintain equipment; Ensure overall legal compliance. Mail business proposal/qualifications/additional info requests to:

Vice President of Communication and External Affairs SUMMARY: The Vice President of Communication and External Affairs will be responsible for implementing and managing the governmental affairs, community outreach, and communication efforts of the Port of Cleveland. The core functions of this position are: developing and maintaining strong relationships with federal, state and local elected and appointed officials, staff, trade organizations, local media, and all relevant external stakeholder groups; managing public relations contractors; and overseeing and implementing the Port of Cleveland’s media, communications, and community outreach strategy. Application Deadline: November 30, 2013

For complete posting please visit



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NOVEMBER 18 - 24, 2013





THEWEEK NOVEMBER 11 - 17 The big story: Cleveland Browns officials laid out their vision for a $120 million upgrade of FirstEnergy Stadium that would take place in 2014 and 2015. Owner Jimmy Haslam, CEO Joe Banner and president Alec Scheiner outlined a renovation plan for the 15-year-old building that would include new scoreboards in each end zone that would be triple the size of the current scoreboards; LED video boards; a new audio system; and two new escalators, among other changes. Still to be worked out: How to pay for it. The Browns already have received approval for a loan from the National Football League of up to $62.5 million for renovations.

The other big story:

Lockheed Martin Corp. will close various operations across the country, including its plant in Akron, and cut its work force by 4,000 in reaction to reduced government spending. About 500 people in Akron will lose their jobs. By mid-2015, Lockheed Martin will close locations in Akron, Newtown, Pa., Goodyear, Ariz., and Horizon City, Texas. It also will close four buildings on its campus in Sunnyvale, Calif. Those actions will reduce headcount by 2,000. Lockheed also said it will trim 2,000 jobs in 2014 through “ongoing operational efficiency initiatives” in its company’s Information Systems & Global Solutions, Mission System and Training and Space Systems business areas.

Seeing the light: FirstEnergy Corp. plans to invest an additional $2.8 billion over four years to expand its previously announced “Energizing the Future” transmission initiative. The Akronbased electric company said the main focus of the initial construction effort will be 69-kilovolt transmission power lines and substations in the areas served by Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating, Toledo Edison and Penn Power. The company said the program is expected to be expanded into other FirstEnergy service territories during the next several years. Cardio work: CardioInsight Technologies in Cleveland raised an initial $15 million as part of a long-term financing deal designed to help the heart monitoring technology company finish clinical studies in Europe and get approval to sell its product in the United States. CardioInsight would not provide details about the deal. The company two years ago won regulatory approval to sell its heart mapping technology in Europe.

It was a very good year: The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Cleveland district in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 guaranteed 1,457 loans — more than any year since 2007. That’s 2.4% more than the 1,423 loans guaranteed in fiscal 2012 and 69% more than the 864 guaranteed in fiscal 2009, the trough of the most recent downturn.

Filling up:

Travel Centers of America LLC agreed to acquire 31 convenience stores with retail gasoline stations for $67 million. The Westlakebased operator of highway travel centers said the seller is a private company that operates the stores under its proprietary brand name “Minit Mart.” Twenty-eight of the stores are in Kentucky and three are in Tennessee. Travel Centers said 27 of the locations include the ownership of land and buildings, while four are leaseholds. The typical location includes 10 fueling positions and about 5,000 square feet of interior space.


Ford’s EcoBoost provides Brook Park with a boost

K-12, brought in more than $17.4 million from donors in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012 — a haul that ranks the school first in terms of fundraising by private day ■ Where were you last Thursday, Nov. 14? It schools. If you add boarding schools to the was a banner day for Ford. The automaker mix, University School says that’s the day when it places eighth. sold its 400,000th EcoBoost The gifts are part of engine, which has been a $100 million cammade at the company’s paign University School Brook Park plant since 2011. launched publicly in the The engine, which uses a fall of 2012. To date, turbocharger to enable it to donors have committed generate more power with a $75 million toward the smaller displacement, has effort. been a hit with drivers of pick“Folks really care up trucks and other vehicles about this school, and seeking to economize on fuel. they care about where Ford estimates the engines we are headed,” said are saving drivers 45 million Steve Murray, who is gallons of gas each year. headmaster at University To keep up with demand, School. the company reports it has “Our bold vision and been running the local plant ambitious strategic plan with three shifts, seven days DAN SHINGLER to strengthen our founa week, with more than 1,000 One of 400,000 EcoBoost engines. dation for future generworkers. — Dan Shingler ations have clearly resonated with people.” According to school officials, the campaign supported the construction of a 54,000-square-food academic building at its ■ Out of all the private day schools in the Hunting Valley Campus and state-of-the-art country, University School, which has camspaces for visual and musical arts. The gifts puses in Shaker Heights and Hunting Valley, also will support a new building entrance at is flexing the largest philanthropic muscles, that campus, which will be completed in the according to the Voluntary Support of spring. Education survey from the Council for Aid A new main entrance on SOM Center to Education. Road also will be completed in the summer. University School, which serves grades It will feature the school motto — “Respon-

Money keeps flowing into University School



COMPANY: Cleveland Faucet Group, a Moen Inc. brand

Excerpts from recent blog entries on

PRODUCT: Capstone Three-Function Handheld Showering System The three-function hand shower is marketed to property owners and managers and offers two spray options — full massage or pause control. It includes a 59-inch flexible metal hose for extended reach, allowing users “to take control of their showering experience,” according to Cleveland Faucet Group. “In addition to cost-saving benefits, this versatile shower system can also add safety into the bath without sacrificing style,” says Deena Cave, the company’s brand manager. The product comes with the choice of a wall bracket or a 24-inch grab bar/slide bar, which has a bracket assembly and lever to allow height adjustments. (The grab bar option features the Moen SecureMount system). Each system includes a SecureMount flange that allows the grab bar to be mounted at any angle on the wall, “making it easier for installers to mount the grab bar securely into a stud for safe installation,” the company says. The shower system is certified to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense criteria and flows at a rate of 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), offering more than 30% in water savings from the industry standard of 2.5 gpm, according to the company. Cleveland Faucet Group says the system is available in chrome and brushed nickel finishes, to coordinate with the look of any unit. For information, visit

Smooth rides ■ Clevelanders have little to complain about with respect to traffic, according to an analysis from GPS maker TomTom. In its ranking of 61 cities in the Americas, Cleveland ranked at No. 60 for traffic congestion, one spot above Indianapolis. Ohio’s other two big cities — Cincinnati and Columbus — were ranked as more congested, coming in at No. 47 and No. 50, respectively. The report compares travel times during non-rush hours with travel times during rush hour, with the difference expressed as a percentage increase in travel time during rush hours. The data are based on GPS measurements gathered from drivers. The worst traffic congestion in the United States is in Los Angeles, followed by San Francisco and Honolulu.

Skeleton crew ■ looked at the amazing work Parker Hannifin Corp. and others are doing to help paralyzed people walk again. The piece began with the story of Michael Gore, who 11 years ago fell 12 feet to the ground at his work site near Atlanta, broke his back and was told he could never walk again. But he’s walking now with the help of a powered exoskeleton. Such products are “the stuff of countless sci-fi movies, but the real thing is now nearing commercialization based on work by researchers at Vanderbilt University and engineers at automation giant Parker

sibility, Loyalty and Consideration” — inscribed in sandstone. — Timothy Magaw

Michigan firm establishes physical presence here ■ It has done business for years in Northeast Ohio, and now, a Michigan-based financial advisory firm and its investment banking division have moved in. Three executives with Variant Capital Advisors, a middle-market investment banking firm, and its parent company, Conway MacKenzie, are in offices in the Fifth Third Bank building at 600 Superior Ave. in downtown Cleveland. The move follows Variant Capital’s hiring of managing director Mike Paparella in May. Mr. Paparella has worked in the mergersand-acquisitions field for roughly two decades and most recently was at Candlewood Partners in Cleveland. The new office is the company’s first in this market, but not in the state: It has an office in Dayton and an executive based in Cincinnati. “We do a lot of business in this area already,” said Ken Latz, a managing director with Conway MacKenzie in Cleveland. “It’s important to solidify our presence, we think.” Conway MacKenzie, which is based in Birmingham, Mich., is a financial advisory firm offering turnaround, restructuring and crisis management services to businesses. Its expansion of Variant in this market is driven, in part, by the firm’s “appetite for growing its healthy-company merger and acquisition activity,” Mr. Paparella said. — Michelle Park Lazette

Hannifin,” said. Parker’s Indego system weighs 27 pounds and snaps apart. Owners “can put it in a small bag or on the back of a wheelchair,” the story said. A thinner, lighter version “is going through FDA testing and is scheduled to hit the market in the middle of next year.” The Indego device makes the step for an immobile leg, and turning a corner is more about making tiny shoulder turns in the direction a user wants to go. “The experience is very intuitive and very natural,” said Ryan Farris, the young engineer who co-invented the device at Vanderbilt and now is an engineering manager at Parker Hannifin’s Human Motion and Control Unit.

Heavy metal thievery ■ Metal thieves “are tearing Cleveland apart piece by piece.” So said in a compelling feature about a scrapper named Jay, whose “muscular physique belied the fact that he was once a crackhead.” His life “still revolves around illegally acquired goods, but not ones smoked, snorted, or injected: Jay makes his living stripping copper and steel from abandoned buildings selling his yield by the pound to scrapyards for quick cash,” according to the story. Jay and his cohorts don’t do hit-and-runs: “They worked in teams, living in an abandoned building like this for weeks while meticulously taking apart every square foot for all it was worth,” according to the story. “A scrapper like Jay can earn a couple thousand bucks on a big haul,” reported. “Metal thieves with his approach are so good at tearing things apart, in fact, that sometimes the city of Cleveland has had to replace support beams and girders of buildings ... so the huge structures don’t just collapse. Jay, by his own reckoning, told me he was in the ‘deconstruction business’ — and in Cleveland, business is booming.”



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2013 528i xDrive

279 mo. / 36 mo. lease


$2,000 Build-Out Cash, $500 Loyalty Cash are included in the payment.

• $279 first payment • $3500 Down payment • $0 Security Deposit • $799 Bank Fee • $4578 cash due at signing Stock # B09360


459 mo. / 36 mo. lease


$3,000 Build-Out Cash, $1,000 Loyalty Cash are included in the payment.

BMW Cleveland

• $459 first payment • $3500 Down payment • $0 Security Deposit • $799 Bank Fee • $4758 cash due at signing Stock # B09616

BMW Cleveland

6135 Kruse Dr. • Solon • 1-866-210-6710 36 month leases 30,000 total allowable miles, tax and title fees are extra. For full details contact BMW Cleveland. Offer expires 11/30/2013 440-542-0600

The Ultimate Driving Machine®



LET IT SNOW. LET IT RAIN. LET IT ROAR. Introducing Instinctive All Wheel Drive.TM Jaguar doesn’t care what the weather is doing. The supercgarged V6 Jaguar XF with Instinctive All Wheel Drive* helps keep you in control under any sky. Without sacrificing performance. Visit your Jaguar Retailer and learn more about the only AWD vehicles with the instincts of a Jaguar.






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** Not a substitute for safe and attentive driving, nor can it overcome all extreme circumstances. ✝ For well-qualified lessees as determined by approved lender. All amounts shown are estimates; retailer sets actual amounts. Residency restrictions apply. 2013 Jaguar XF AWD. $2,799 due at signing includes $1,995 down, $0 security deposit, and first month’s payment; excludes retailer fees, taxes, title and registration fees. Actual rates and payment may vary. Lessee responsible for insurance, maintenance, excess wear and excess mileage over 10,000 miles at $.30/mile. Lessee has option to purchase vehicle at lease end at price negotiated with retailer and approved lender at signing. Termination fees may apply. Take new retail delivery from retailer stock by 11/30/13. Jaguar Retailer or approved lender may recind or amend this offer without notice. Vehicle shown with optional equipment. Images © 2012 JAGUAR LAND ROVER NORTH AMERICA, LLC * Lease rates shown for 2013 Range Rover Evoque to qualified buyers through US Bank. $2,995 down plus bank fee, doc fee, license fees and tax. Total due at delivery $4,455 plus local taxes. Actual rates and terms may vary. All amounts shown are estimates, retailer sets actual amounts. Lessee responsible for insurance, maintenance, excess wear and excess mileage over 40,000 miles at $0.30 /mile. Based on MSRP of $42,040 (including destination and delivery). Lessee has the option to purchase vehicle at lease end at price negotiated with retailer at signing. For special lease terms, take new vehicle delivery from retailer stock by 11/30/13. Termination fee may apply. See your Land Rover Retailer or call 1-800-FIND-4WD for qualifications and complete details. ©2013 Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC.

6135 Kruse Dr. • Solon • (440) 542-0600 •

Crain's Cleveland Business  
Crain's Cleveland Business  

November 18-24, 2013