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Culture: The Great Deal Closer ... Or Killer

A luncheon roundtable of CEOs and entrepreneurs explore how culture drives growth and its impact on critical M&A decision-making — including how it factors into valuation, integration, and even when it can cause you to walk away from a deal.


Dustin S. Klein
Publisher & Chief Content Officer
Smart Business

Dustin is an award-winning business journalist, bestselling author, and the publisher of Smart Business. Over the past 30 years, he has interviewed thousands of business and civic leaders, and helped more than 50 CEOs and entrepreneurs transform their ideas into books. A trained investigative politics reporter and former digital media entrepreneur, Dustin joined Smart Business in 1997 after serving as an editor at several daily newspapers.


Philip Derrow
Chairman of the Board
Ohio Transmission Corporation

Phil has worked at OTC for 38 years and has done nearly every job from sweeping the floors, to service technician, sales, management, CEO from 1998-2020, and finally Chairman of the Board. During Phil’s tenure, OTC has grown 10 times through a balance of organic and acquisition-based expansion, completing 25 acquisitions in the process. OTC emphasizes its mission and core values as the keys to its employee-centered success. It has been recognized as one of Central Ohio’s Best Places to Work.

Joe DeLoss
Hot Chicken Takeover

Joe DeLoss is a serial social entrepreneur focused on building transformational brands for transformational people. He has spent the last decade building profitable businesses providing employment opportunities for men and women affected by incarceration, homelessness, or other complex symptoms of poverty.
His most recent success, Hot Chicken Takeover, is a fast-casual restaurant chain taking over the Midwest. The business has earned critical acclaim and has created hundreds of meaningful work opportunities in the region.

Matt Golis
Founder & CEO

Matt is founder and CEO of GiveGame, a venture he began last year in Columbus after 20 years of growing startups in California. In the Bay Area, he founded, the original online rent payment service. In 2003, RentPayment merged with YapStone and Colis became CEO. Today, YapStone is the largest online payments platform for property manager and is an 11-time Inc. 5000 honoree.

Clara Kridler
Vice President of People
Root Insurance Company

As vice president of people at Root Insurance Co., Clara Kridler leads and manages a host of disciplines, including human resources, recruiting, real estate and IT. She is responsible for ensuring that Root has the very best people and that those people are operating at their very best. Prior to Root, she served in a variety of roles, including analytics, operations and product management at Rev1 Ventures and Print Syndicate.

Conference Location

401 North High St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Tel: (614) 384-8600