President & CEO
Smart Business Network
Fred co-founded Smart Business Network in 1989 with a single publication in Cleveland, Ohio. In the years since, he has built the company into a leading multimedia and content marketing business providing print and digital marketing services to a national client base.
President & CEO
Park Place Technologies
President - Ohio Region
BNY Mellon Wealth Management
Ronald has overall leadership responsibility for the region’s investment management, trust administration, business development and private banking businesses. He has more than 35 years of experience in the wealth management industry. Prior to joining the firm, he was with Key Bank National Association, where he was most recently the national sales manager for the firm’s wealth management division.
Dr. Marcia J. Ballinger
Lorain County Community College
Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., has more than 25 years in community college leadership roles that have advanced student success, workforce and economic development, strategic planning and institutional advancement. She was named the fifth president of Lorain County Community College in 2016, and in 2018, the college received the American Association for Community Colleges’ AACC Award of Excellence in Student Success.
She has also provided leadership for the college’s economic development initiatives, and through her vision, LCCC became the first community college in Ohio to offer an applied bachelor’s degree program in MEMS in 2018.
President - Cleveland Region
First National Bank
Jeff is the Regional Market Executive and President – Cleveland Region with First National Bank. In this role, Jeff lead’s FNB’s cross functional business model in the Cleveland market, with direct responsibility for regional Corporate Banking efforts and business development opportunities.Prior to joining First National Bank, Jeff spent 30 years in the financial services industry, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for First Federal Lakewood and also in various commercial banking leadership roles for large regional banks.A native of the Cleveland area, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Bechtel is also actively engaged in the local community as Chairman and President of the Cuyahoga County Community Improvement Corporation and as a board member for Downtown Cleveland Alliance and Achievement Centers for Children.
Provariant Equity Partners
Murad is a partner with Provariant Equity Partners. His responsibilities include sourcing and transacting new investments, as well as managing portfolio company oversight. Murad also provides leadership in deal sourcing to ensure consistency and quality.
Managing Director, Business Restructuring Services
Robert is a Managing Director in BDO's Business Restructuring & Turnaround Services practice. His focus is on middle-market companies, both distressed and healthy, seeking financial financial and operational improvement through interim financial leadership and re-organization. Robert is a seasoned restructuring professional, with significant experience in the manufacturing, distributing, hotels/ hospitality and entertainment industries.
Partner & Vice-Chair, Business Department
Ulmer & Berne LLP
David routinely advises clients in M&A transactions with a focus on buy-side transactions. As a partner with Ulmer & Berne LLP, David coordinates his transaction and finance background and his partners’ strengths in tax, ERISA, real estate, and other key areas with the clients’ accountants and other professionals to deliver results to his clients.
Bob leads Campana Capital, a private equity, venture capital and real estate development firm. Bob previously served as president of P.C. Campana, master provider for the steel and foundry industries in North America. He is active in the community and serves on the boards of numerous for-profit and nonprofit organizations, including Northwest Bancshares.
Tony has led numerous companies including: CEO of Realty One, President of The Flood Company, COO of Vitamix and currently CEO of Step2 Discovery. He has broad experience building international brands and has executed 12 M & A transactions along the way. Step2 Discovery is PE-owned company with numerous brands including The Step2 Company and Backyard Discovery. The company employs over 1,200 people with products and services sold through a wide range of retailers and distributors throughout the U.S., Canada and more than 70 other countries.
President & CEO
Tim is the President and CEO of Kaulig Companies, the Single Member Family Office for Matt Kaulig and his direct family. Throughout his career, Tim has been responsible for the management of significant financial assets for both high net worth individuals and businesses. Previously Tim was a Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager in Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Management Group. He serves as a board member of Leaf Home Solutions™, Ellsworth Advisors, Kaulig Foundation, LeBron Advisory Board, I Promise School, Alex N. Sill Public Adjusters, and Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation. Tim holds a BA in Finance from Kent State University.
Fifth Third Bank
Joe is regional president of Fifth Third Bank (Northeast Ohio) where he is responsible for the growth and strategic alignment of the Commercial, Wealth & Asset Management and Consumer businesses.
He joined Fifth Third in 2017 and he has more than 25 years of financial services experience.
Cascade Partners LLC
Jon has more than 25 years of corporate finance experience as an investment banker and corporate development advisor. He has worked with both public and privately-held businesses on both sides of the table as a buy-side and sell-side advisor. Throughout his career, he has focused on helping company founders grow their businesses by raising expansion capital and advising on acquisitions and then generating liquidity via successful exits. In his current role as managing director at Cascade Partners, Jon leads deal origination and execution for the Cleveland office.
Citizens Bank M&A Advisory
David co-founded Western Reserve Partners in 2004, which was acquired by Citizens in 2017, and has more than 25 years of experience advising middle market companies in mergers and acquisitions and capital raising across a wide range of industries. Prior to co-founding Western Reserve Partners, he was a Managing Director at KeyBanc Capital Markets and Manager of Consumer Investment Banking at McDonald Investments. David started his career at Ernst & Young, where he provided financial consulting and audit services to middle market companies.
Umberto P. Fedeli
The Fedeli Group
Umberto is an active investor and entrepreneur. His firm, The Fedeli Group, is one of Ohio’s largest privately held risk management and insurance firms, specializing in property and casualty, employee benefits consulting, workers’ compensation, environmental risk management and surety. Umberto sits on numerous private company boards, is a managing member of Strategic Value Bank Partners LP, and has previously held positions on the boards of many other public and private entities. He is a member of the board of directors of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and serves as chairman of the Government and Community Relations Board.
North Coast Ventures
Todd is the Managing Director of North Coast Ventures. North Coast has over 300 individual investors that pool their capital to invest in high-potential, B2B, SaaS startups. North Coast includes six funds and has closed $65M+ of capital in 60 early-stage companies since 2007. Prior to joining North Coast, Todd served as a technology strategy consultant for DiamondCluster and AOL, and launched a consumer packaged goods company, One With Nature. Todd holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Kent State University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Alliance Solutions Group
Aaron is the co-founder and CEO of Alliance Solutions Group, a full-service staffing and recruitment firm providing highly specialized offerings within niche industries or specific career disciplines. Established in 2001 and headquartered in Cleveland, Alliance Solutions Group matches talent with opportunity, engaging in thousands of successful placements annually. Aaron received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2015 Award in the Services Category.
Cyprium Investment Partners
Beth is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and structuring investments on behalf of Cyprium, as well as on-going portfolio company management. She has diversified experience within the food and beverage, packaging, distribution, industrial and building products industries and has worked on several of the firm’s Canadian investments. Beth also serves as a member of Cyprium’s Investment Committee.
Prior to joining the firm in 2000, she served in various investment banking roles at KeyBanc Capital Markets and Carleton, McCreary, Holmes & Co.
Beth graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a BA in government and received her MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Additionally, Beth serves on the board of the Cleveland chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, where she is a member of Executive Committee and focuses on the organization’s DEI, Women in Transactions and Young ACG initiatives. She is also a member of the board of Magnificat High School, an all-girls high school and her alma mater, where she co-chairs the Strategic Planning committee. When she’s not traveling or watching her three kids play sports, you can usually find Beth running trails throughout northeastern Ohio.
Chief Investment Officer
River SaaS Capital
Wendy joined River SaaS Capital, part of TruWest, the Kennedy Family companies in 2016. Wendy leads River SaaS Capital’s lending activities, helping SaaS businesses fund their growth plans with non-dilutive capital and managing the company’s portfolio of loans. She has more than 25 years of experience in finance, venture capital and strategic planning at both large corporations and entrepreneurial ventures.
Junaid is Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the SupplySide Group, a privately held group of companies that represent a diverse array of industries linked through a common priority in recycling, sustainability, and/or green technology. The SupplySide Group of companies largely service the moving, parcel, and storage industries across a broad range of products and services from packaging supplies to real estate development and debt funding. The breadth and success of the SupplySide Group is illustrative of Junaid’s combined expertise in global manufacturing, supply chain, real estate, and mergers & acquisitions (M&A) deal flow.
Chair of M&A, Securities & Capital Markets
Tucker Ellis LLP
Jayne serves as co-chair of the Corporate Governance practice group and chair of the Private Equity practice group at Tucker Ellis and as vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Corporate Governance Committee. She is a trusted adviser to investors, boards, and management on corporate transactions, regulatory compliance and fiduciary duties. She counsels public and high-growth private companies, private equity funds and venture capital funds through all stages of their life cycles and has been a key adviser on domestic and cross border deals.
Managing Director, Business Development
At Gridiron Capital, Sean focuses on developing new business partnerships, marketing, communicating with business owners, and managing investment sourcing and exit planning. Prior to joining Gridiron Capital, Sean served as vice president at BB&T Capital Markets in Richmond, Virginia. His responsibilities at BB&T included executing mergers and acquisitions advisory for middle-market businesses, as well as establishing and strengthening business development relationships with middle-market investors. Earlier in his career, Sean worked at Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.
The Riverside Company
Together with Béla Szigethy, Stewart Kohl oversees all aspects of Riverside’s activities. He has more than 30 years of private equity investing experience. Prior to Riverside, he was a Vice President at Citicorp Venture Capital, the private equity arm of Citibank. In addition to his work with Riverside, he serves on the following boards of trustees: Oberlin College (Honorary), the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and the Cleveland Clinic. Mr. Kohl holds a BA from Oberlin College.
Lee M. Koury
Smart Business Network Inc.
Lee is managing partner of Smart Business Network Inc., a national events, media and marketing company founded in 1989, primarily responsible for expanding the company’s Aspire deal-making conference throughout the U.S. He plays a key role in establishing corporate policies and developing long-term strategy and growth plans. Previously, he founded and chaired the Growth Group at national law firm Arter & Hadden LLP (now Tucker, Ellis & West), which focused on working with middle-market and high-growth technology companies.
Senior Vice President
Huntington National Bank
George D. Latcheran is Senior Vice President, Business Banking Market Manager at Huntington National Bank and has been employed with the Bank since October 2018. Latcheran is responsible for assisting in the strategy and management of the local/regional Bank, developing and implementing marketing plan/selling strategies for the Business Banking Group in the Northeast Ohio market, the market's balance sheet growth objectives and operating income objectives, and providing feedback on Business Banking products and services while assisting in the development of these same products. Latcheran also provide oversight in local market approvals, credit overrides, and pricing adjustments while developing strong relationships with essential partners.
President & CEO
Brett is president and CEO of Everstream Solutions LLC, a super-regional network service provider. He has extensive experience in telecom, operations management and business development. In 2018, he facilitated the sale of Everstream to AMP Capital, a global investment manager. Previously, he tripled the company’s size through two acquisitions and oversaw a $100 million expansion of its legacy network.
President & COO
Teresa is the President and COO of Channel Products, a privately held, Cleveland-based manufacturer with operations in the U.S., Europe, and China. Ms. Hack also serves on the Visiting Committee of Cleveland State University's Monte Ahuja College of Business and she chairs their Community Engagement Sub-Committee.
Her recent honors include recognition of Channel Products as a “2017 Smart Culture” award recipient, a ”2017 Distinguished Employer of the Year,” award from the Ohio Cooperative Education Association, “2018 E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year” finalist, “2018 Crain’s Cleveland Women of Note in Manufacturing”, and recognition as a Smart Business Magazine "2018 Progressive Entrepreneur" honoree. She is a frequent speaker on issues of leadership, building a strong culture, and personal development.
President & Managing Partner
Kirtland Capital Partners
Tom joined Kirtland Capital Partners in 1995. Kirtland is a relationship-oriented private equity firm that has been successfully investing in lower middle market companies for 40 years. Kirtland is focused on making majority and minority investments in established, profitable and growing lower middle market companies. Tom is involved in all aspects of Kirtland’s business, including fund raising, deal sourcing, acquiring and divesting portfolio companies and portfolio management. Prior to joining Kirtland, Tom was a corporate attorney with Jones Day.
Senior Vice President – Corporate Healthcare Banking
Huntington National Bank
On June 9, 2021, Huntington Bank competed its merger with TCF Bank. Jamie has joined the Corporate Healthcare Banking line of business as an executive leader at Huntington Bank. Previously, Jamie was the Regional President of Ohio for TCF Bank. Jamie joined TCF Bank (now Huntington Bank) in May of 2013 and successfully built, grew, and managed the Northeast Ohio Region. Jamie was responsible for leadership, growth, strategic alignment, and profitability of the bank and its businesses including commercial banking, treasury management, private banking/wealth management, mortgage banking, and retail banking. Jamie’s 29 years of experience includes commercial banking, investment banking, and consulting. In the financial services industry, Jamie successfully built, grew, led, and managed six profitable businesses totaling growth of $4.6 billion.
Anthony (Tony) is the Founder and Chairman of Signet LLC, a global investment firm. Tony has created collaborative partnerships for Signet, which now owns over 25 companies (10 of which have been startups) in the manufacturing, technology and service arenas; and has also developed over $5 billion in real estate projects (mainly in healthcare and institutional student housing).
Stephen has a 35-year career in founding, investing in and building information technology companies. He is recognized for his leadership in data mining, analytics and business intelligence. Stephen was Founder, lead investor and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Explorys. Formed in partnership with Cleveland Clinic, Explorys addresses the national imperative to leverage electronic medical records for the improvement of Healthcare. Explorys was acquired by IBM in April 2015. Prior to Explorys he was founder, Chairman and CEO of Everstream, which was sold to Concurrent in 2005. In 1983, Stephen founded McHale and Associates, Inc., a USConnect regional office. Stephen is the Managing Director of 23Bell, an Invention Capital firm and an Advisory Board Member to Genesis Inventions. Stephen serves on the board of the nonprofit Center for Families and Children and serves on the investment screening committee for the North Coast Angel Fund and is a member of The Global Center for Health Innovation Industry Advisory Board. He is also an active member of the Entrepreneurs Organization and Chairman of RxRevu Inc. Most recent board positions include Unify Project, Jumpstart, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Clinic Board of Trustees.
Scott L. McRill
Shareholder - Transaction Advisory Services
Clark Schaefer Hackett
Scott is a trusted adviser to clients planning to buy or sell a business across a wide variety of industries. He has led teams that have contributed to well over 100 successful transactions. Scott is skilled in guiding private equity and corporate clients on acquisition and divestiture activity, including due diligence, integration planning and implementation, transaction structuring, valuation, and divestiture planning and preparation.
Perspectives CAC, LLC
Bill is a Vistage CEO Peer Group Chair serving CEOs in the Stark and summit County area. After 35 years as a CEO for businesses that ranged from $30 million to over $800 million and conducting 30+ M&A transactions, Bill now spends his time helping CEOs make better decisions, avoid mistakes and become better leaders.
Bill Murphy has built a practice of highly accomplished advisors and investment specialists whose knowledge, integrity and accountability is focused on providing an elite client experience. Bill has been a Forbes Best-in-State Advisor for 2018 and 2019. With direct access to the resources and strategic solutions of UBS Private Wealth Management, Bill delivers investment guidance and financial education to multigenerational families, entrepreneurs, C-suite executives and select organizations.
Principal & VP of Growth
Bill is vice president of growth for Nottingham Spirk, leading both the business development and marketing initiatives. As a member of the Nottingham Spirk (NS) Leadership Team, he is focused on future growth and sustainability for the firm. He also helps establish NS equity venture companies and serves as an adviser.
First Federal Lakewood
Kohrman Jackson & Krantz LLP (KJK)
As KJK’s Managing Partner, Jon leads the firm’s experienced team of attorneys and staff in serving a wide array of clients including privately held businesses, entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations and high net-worth families. He also has comprehensive experience in real estate development, construction and property management. Jon authored the winning bid to ultimately host the 2016 Republican National Convention and served on the Host Committee.
Squire Ridge Company
Steven is President of Squire Ridge Company, a private equity firm with committed capital that acquires lower middle market companies for long-term ownership. Mr. Ross serves as a board member on a number of privately held businesses including Louver Shop, EnviroScience, Allegheny Performance Plastics, and Proformex, Inc. Steve is Co-Chair of the Advisory Council for the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors Northeast Ohio chapter and is a member of the Cleveland Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).
SVP, Middle Market Banking
Andrew is a Middle Market Relationship Manger where he is responsible for both new client generation and leadership of client relationship teams targeting middle market companies in Northern Ohio. He utilizes the Bank’s full product capabilities, specialty industry expertise and One Team approach to deliver customized financial and advisory solutions. Prior to joining SunTrust now Truist in 2017, Andrew spent 10 years at PNC in Cleveland within the Dealer Finance and Corporate Banking Groups.
Professional board member and mergers & acquisition consultant
Sr. VP - Private Equity Services
Jeff coordinates the analysis of a target company’s exposure to risk in the areas of commercial insurance, employee benefits, retirement plans and life insurance strategies. The group delivers a comprehensive review and understanding of the entire risk profile of the target company; including the insured and uninsured exposures faced by an entity. The group also projects pro-forma costs for the target to allow for reliable financial modeling post close.
Mace Security International, Inc.
Sanjay is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Mace® Security International, headquartered in Cleveland, OH (OTCQX: MACE). Mace® Security International is the innovative manufacturer of personal safety non-lethal products including Mace® pepper spray and is committed to keeping our communities safe. Mr. Singh directs and leads the company’s long-term vision and strategy, corporate governance and allocation of resources. Mr. Singh has held various executive leadership roles in Fortune 1000, privately held and private equity backed portfolio companies across various industries, including consumer products, services and manufacturing. Mr. Singh is deeply committed to the economic growth of NEO and serves on the Boards of Directors of MAGNET and Entrepreneur's EDGE.
Greg is the chairman and one of the founders of Skoda Minotti. He specializes in helping clients grow and develop their businesses. Greg actively works with clients in developing and implementing strategic plans, providing creative business and personal tax planning, assisting with mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, succession, estate planning, and wealth accumulation strategies.
President & CEO
ASW Global, LLC
André Thornton has thirty years of experience in entrepreneurial ventures. Thornton acquired ASW Global, LLC, in January of 2007 after ASW merged with the Cleveland-based company GPI Procurement Services. As the Chief Executive Officer, André sets the direction of the company and directs operational aspects so that they follow the strategic plans and policies of the organization.
Director of Transactions
Floyd is a tax director in the transaction advisory service area. He has been involved in over 335 transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, redemptions, leveraged buyouts, ESOPs, and other structuring formats. His industry focus includes working with manufacturers, distributors, financial service companies, high-tech and software companies, and with private equity/investment companies.
Floyd has extensive experience working with family offices and high net worth individuals and is the lead client service director in this area.
Kevin R. Weidinger
President & CEO
Great Lakes Fasteners, Inc.
Kevin has been forming, acquiring, and operating high-growth companies for more than twenty-five years. In 2010, Weidinger acquired Great Lakes Fasteners (GLF) and has led GLF through double-digit organic growth and has piloted four additional acquisitions to expand the groups reach. Kevin's achievements have not gone unnoticed as his team and portfolio of companies have been recognized on the Inc. 5000® list of fastest growing, privately held companies nationally three times and he was inducted into the EY® Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame in 2015.
Weinberg Capital Group
Mr. Weinberg is the current Managing Partner of Weinberg Capital Group. Prior to joining Weinberg Capital, Mr. Weinberg served as Managing Director of Global Acquisitions and Business Development for Hawk Corporation (AMEX: HWK), a manufacturer of specialized components used in the aerospace, industrial and specialty consumer markets. Additionally, Mr. Weinberg was an Assistant Attorney General for the state of Ohio under the term of Attorney General Lee Fisher.
RSM US LLP
Tom is a partner, audit services, at RSM US LLP. He is a leader of the manufacturing, wholesale and distribution group in Ohio and of the Cleveland private equity practice. He has more than 30 years of experience as an accountant and business advisor, advising clients in industries such as manufacturing and retail/distribution and consults with them on a variety of topics, including financial reporting, strategic planning and estate planning.
Alan M. Zang
With over 35 years in banking, Alan has worked in and managed units in commercial banking, asset-based lending, leasing, international and consumer finance in Northeast Ohio and in other geographies. He has extensive experience in a variety of industries helping companies with innovative solutions to their financing needs. Alan has planned and managed dramatic expansion of new business that broadened geographic reach and increased deliverable product sets.