Skip to Content

March 19, 2019

BlueTree's big 2018: A unicorn, strong exits and new investors

By Jayne Gest

It’s been an exciting and unprecedented year for Catherine Mott and BlueTree Capital, including her venture fund's first unicorn holding.

March 14, 2019

Irwin Car’s Bill Baker: Find synergies in your acquisition strategy

After doing nearly 60 deals throughout his career, Bill Baker knows himself. He’s a niche strategist who looks to buy companies where one-and-one makes three.

March 12, 2019

RPM’s Jim Karman: Skip the drama and avoid turnarounds

Retired RPM International COO Jim Karman reflects on the fateful deal that convinced him to steer clear of turnaround acquisitions and shares lessons learned from his dealmaking career.

March 8, 2019

Atlas Oil founder Sam Simon: How to maximize your deals

The master dealmaker talks about his humble beginnings, his approach to investment opportunities and the importance of being a disciplined dealmaker.

March 7, 2019

vitalxchange's Charu Ramanathan: survival skills trump MBA thinking

The co-founder and CEO at vitalxchange talks about the value of following your instincts and the real skills entrepreneurs need to succeed.

March 1, 2019

Michael Canty: How to navigate the tricky waters of turnaround investing

Turnaround maven Michael Canty offers his tips for investing in troubled companies and shares the strategy that got Alloy Bellows & Precision Welding back on its feet.

February 18, 2019

Market Garden's Sam McNulty

Sam McNulty talks about his approach to dealmaking, the value of strong partnerships and his keys to success.

February 7, 2019

TruWest Cos.: Innovators wanted

Matt Kennedy and Wendy Jarchow explain how TruWest Cos. and River SaaS Capital identify promising investment opportunities and position them for growth. “We’re looking for industries that are ripe for innovation,” Jarchow says.

January 24, 2019

Adam Kaufman

Last year, Adam Kaufman studied an estimated 500 early-stage companies to assess their long-term viability. Helping startups refine their message and pursue their goals brings the entrepreneur great

January 22, 2019

Lazear Capital’s Ted Lape on transparency, creativity and the rise of ESOPs

Ted Lape talks about transparency in dealmaking, when ESOPs make sense and his most memorable deals.

January 17, 2019

Provariant’s Murad Beg

Provariant's Murad Beg talks about how he stays objective to make the right deals for his clients.

January 9, 2019

Flashstarts' Charles Stack

Entrepreneur and early-stage investor Charles Stack talks with Smart Business Dealmakers about the role of confidence in dealmaking and how changemakers can use it to spark investment in Cleveland.

January 9, 2019

August Carlino on negotiating, risk and preserving a legacy

August Carlino talks about what gets his blood pumping, the Rivers of Steel's acquisition of RiverQuest and his advice for other dealmakers.

December 20, 2018

ChromoCare’s Hugh Cathey learns from success — and failure

Master Dealmaker Hugh Cathey talks about what’s changed in M&A, one of his biggest deals and the importance of learning from career wins and losses.

December 19, 2018

FALCON's Rob Huxtable

FALCON Managing Partner Rob Huxtable talks about his tips for finding leaders who can thrive under pressure, rise to a challenge and help PE firms maximize their investments.

December 7, 2018

Tecum Capital’s Stephen Gurgovits Jr.

Tecum Capital Managing Director Stephen Gurgovits Jr. talks about Tecum's evolution as an investment firm, it's appetite for risk and one of his most memorable deals.

November 16, 2018

BGL’s Andrew Petryk

Investment banker Andrew Petryk shares his thoughts and observations about how best to prepare for the M&A process and maximize the result.

November 9, 2018

Explorys co-founder Charlie Lougheed

Charlie Lougheed looks at the importance of clarity, the value of embracing opportunity and why a great idea alone isn’t enough to capture the excitement of potential investors.

November 8, 2018

Blue Point Capital's Jim Marra

BluePoint's Jim Marra about the challenge of competing in today’s private equity market and the best strategy to minimize risk with your investments.

November 2, 2018

Mark A. Filippell

Mark Filippell talks about important points to consider before you put your company on the market and a pivotal moment for M&A advisory firm Western Reserve Partners.

October 26, 2018

Douglas J. Sibila

Peoples Services CEO Doug Sibila talks about his methodical approach to dealmaking and the role networking plays in his company’s M&A strategy.

October 19, 2018

Jon J. Pinney

KJK Managing Partner Jon Pinney talks about the need for speed in closing transactions, his passion for learning and the role Blockland can play in facilitating more business activity going forward.

October 19, 2018

Chas Withers: Build a strong, consistent narrative for your deal

The Dix & Eaton CEO talks about how to tell a consistent narrative that ties together everyone's interests and conveys the value being created.

October 12, 2018

Advanced Robotics in Manufacturing Institute’s Suzy Teele

Entrepreneur Suzy Teele has helped at least 50 companies grow into market leaders, either as a consultant, adviser or executive. In this Q&A, she talks about how entrepreneurs can build relationships to create partnerships or find investors to grow their companies.

October 12, 2018

Richard R. Hollington III

CapitalWorks CEO Dick Hollington talks about the role preparation plays in developing an effective acquisition strategy and what private equity firms do to make sure they stay on top of their game.

October 12, 2018

MRI's John Ensign on strategy, due diligence and 10,000 rats

John Ensign talks about his acquisition strategy and the importance of making in-person visits to potential acquisition targets.

October 5, 2018

Baiju R. Shah

BioMotiv CEO Baiju Shah talks about his approach to building a team that can get deals done and the opportunity that health care innovation presents to other industries.

October 5, 2018

Thogus' Matt Hlavin: Why I take dealmaking slow and steady

The CEO talks about the drive he had to become more entrepreneurial and factors that have kept him from being more active on the deal scene.

September 28, 2018

Tony Ciepiel

Step2Discovery CEO Tony Ciepiel talks about his strategic approach to dealmaking and the importance of reaching beyond M&A as a means of completing deals that can benefit your business.

September 28, 2018

Tom Chema: Getting Gateway done and the value of taking risks

Tom Chema played a lead role in overseeing the public/private partnership that brought downtown Cleveland a new ballpark for the Indians and an arena for the Cavaliers.

September 28, 2018

Austin Capital Partners' Darrell Austin

Darrell Austin talks about the effect that rising purchase prices have had on M&A players who used to be a lot busier.

September 19, 2018

Paul Smucker Wagstaff

Paul Smucker Wagstaff shares his dealmaking strategy, the role that his team plays in M&A transactions and some key lessons he learned from his time at J.M. Smucker.

September 19, 2018

Steve McHale on flawed deals and knowing when to pivot

Steve McHale shares his thoughts on deals he has made and the approach that leaders take when things don’t go according to plan.

September 14, 2018

Dan T. Moore III

Dan Moore reflects on his career in business, his skill as an innovator and how dealmaking has helped bring it all together.

September 14, 2018

Team NEO’s Bill Koehler

Bill Koehler talks about one of the most gratifying moments of his dealmaking career and the value that a formal M&A strategy can bring to your business.

September 14, 2018

EY’s Chris Smyth

We catch up with EY's Chris Smyth to talk about his principles of effective dealmaking.

September 7, 2018

Cascade Partners’ Ken Marblestone

Ken Marblestone explains why he’s always concerned about something and why there are times when you should not take the advice of your financial adviser.

August 31, 2018

Jon W. Park

Westfield Bank's CEO talks about how to build an effective M&A strategy and common pain points that arise when looking to make a deal.

August 31, 2018

Signet's Tony Manna: Why I'm always ready for a deal

Tony Manna talks about his readiness to examine deals and some great advice he got in his youth from Worthington Industries founder John McConnell.

August 31, 2018

Beth Haas

Cyprium Partners' Beth Haas shares her thoughts on how to find the right vehicle to obtain the necessary capital for your business and how to work through any anxiety you may have over working with an outside firm.

August 24, 2018

Ron Weinberg

Ron Weinberg talks about the origins of today’s active private equity market and his hands-on approach to creating opportunities that lead to profitable deals.

August 24, 2018

Independence Excavating's Victor DiGeronimo Jr.

Vic DiGeronimo talks about taking risks and his key to finding happiness when making a deal.

August 17, 2018

JPMorgan Chase’s Rudy Bentlage

Rudy Bentlage explains the value of transparency in M&A activity and talks about how to know when it’s the right to time to consider selling your business.

August 10, 2018

Metz Lewis’ Chris Brodman

Metz Lewis partner Chris Brodman talks about deal-killing issues and the principles of successful dealmakers.

August 3, 2018

Fred Nance

The global managing partner at Squire Patton Boggs talks about the craft of dealmaking and shares the lessons he has learned to get things done under difficult circumstances.

August 3, 2018

Evolution Capital Partners’ Jeffrey Kadlic

Jeffrey Kadlic about what could be done to open up private equity investment to more people, the common pain points he sees in the M&A process and one of his most memorable deals.

July 27, 2018

Stewart Kohl

The co-CEO of The Riverside Co. talks about how he got his start and mentors who guided him early in his career.

July 19, 2018

Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna IV

Hoby Hanna talks about what drove two pivotal transactions for his real estate company, the value he places on market share and his perspective on turnarounds.

July 19, 2018

Calfee’s Brent Pietrafese

The dealmaking attorney talks about recent trends in dealmaking and how to avoid legal headaches when involved in M&A activity.

July 13, 2018

Ancora’s Fred DiSanto

Fred DiSanto talks about his approach to dealmaking, his willingness to take risk and his partnership with Carl Grassi.

July 6, 2018

PWC Group’s Ansir Junaid

Ansir Junaid talks about principles of dealmaking strategy and how two trips led to pivotal business deals that made his business what it is today.

June 28, 2018

First National Bank’s Boyd Pethel

Boyd Pethel talks about why companies seek outside capital, the tools banks provide to help in this process and what Cleveland needs to do to take the next step in its own evolution.

June 22, 2018

Cyprium Partners’ John Sinnenberg

John Sinnenberg talks about his evolution as a dealmaker and the lessons he’s learned from deals good and bad.

June 14, 2018

Michael E. Gibbons

Mike Gibbons talks about selling a business, his perspective on the growth of the international M&A market.

June 14, 2018

Transtar’s Neil Sethi

Transfer CEO Neil Sethi talks about what experience has taught him about the flow of deal activity and the important distinction between markets and micromarkets.

June 1, 2018

Anthony Manna

Anthony Manna talks about his approach to dealmaking and the team he’s built to vet and often take the lead on potential opportunities.

May 25, 2018

Victor DiGeronimo Jr.

Vic DiGeronimo talks about how he got his start in the family business and first began to develop the entrepreneurial and dealmaking skills.

May 18, 2018

Stewart Kohl

The Riverside Co. co-CEO talks about how curiosity fuels his passion for dealmaking, how he judges the success of a transaction and the factors that determine the ideal amount of a capital to provide a young business.

May 18, 2018

Rakuten OverDrive’s Steve Potash

Steve Potash talks about the challenges he faced launching OverDrive in the pre-digital world of the 1980s and the pros and cons of debt vs. equity investors.

May 11, 2018

J.W. Sean Dorsey

Master dealmaker Sean Dorsey discusses how the dealmaking business has shifted through the decades and the insights he’s learned along the way.

May 11, 2018

Tucker Ellis’ Jayne Juvan

M&A attorney Jayne E. Juvan talks about what’s driving the increased scrutiny on corporate transactions and the points companies should consider before entering into their next deal negotiation.

May 11, 2018

AdCap Management’s Joel Adelman

Joel Adelman talks about the keys to raising capital, taking risks and doing business in the disaster recovery space.

May 4, 2018

Stephen J. McHale

Steve McHale about the evolution of Explorys, his altruistic approach to dealmaking and what he’s working on now.

May 4, 2018

Attorney Margaret W. Wong

Margaret Wong started her firm in 1978 and it’s only since 2000 that she became more active in dealmaking. She talks about the important deal she made with her godchild and her approach to making acquisitions.

April 27, 2018

RPM's Frank Sullivan

RPM CEO Frank Sullivan talks about his approach to making acquisitions and how he balances M&A with his leadership of the business.

April 27, 2018

Gregory J. Skoda

Master dealmaker Greg Skoda talks about the philosophy of dealmaking, lessons learned creating CBIZ and why it’s so important to listen.

April 27, 2018

Fifth Third Bank’s Joe DiRocco

Joe DiRocco talks about what you should know about your business before you pursue your next M&A transaction.

April 20, 2018

Developer Scott Wolstein

Former Developers Diversfied CEO Scott Wolstein talks about how to know when to walk away, how to minimize mistakes and why you need a strong team to be an effective dealmaker.

March 29, 2018

PwC’s Mark Ross

When Mark Ross isn’t working with George Lucas or helping the NYSE buy Euronext, he’s leading transactions that range up to $10 billion.

March 29, 2018

LeafFilter’s Matt Kaulig

Matt Kaulig talks about the challenges he overcame to position LeafFilter for sale and the passion he has for making deals.

March 23, 2018

PartsSource’s Philip Settimi

Dr. Philip Settimi about the approach he took to negotiate the sale and why he is more focused on organic growth right now than acquisitions.

March 16, 2018

Rocco Di Lillo

Rocco Di Lillo talks about his approach to dealmaking, the process he follows to learn about the business he’s looking to acquire and why being overly cautious can make it a lot easier to sleep at night.

March 9, 2018

R. Louis Schneeberger

Master dealmaker R. Louis Schneeberger talks about the critical first steps to take when looking to make an acquisition, the importance of understanding your industry and why you need to know who’s on your team before you close a deal.

March 9, 2018

Bobby George: The best dealmakers are the quiet ones

Corporate Management Group President Bobby George about what he needs to see in order to buy a business, the discipline to say no and the respect he has for Cleveland’s top dealmakers.

March 2, 2018

Laudan Properties' Kevin Weidinger

Kevin Weidinger talks about the steps he follows to either make a good deal or gain the knowledge he needs to walk away from the table and get to work on the next opportunity.

February 23, 2018

Exodus Capital's Jerry Kelsheimer

Jerry Kelsheimer talks about his approach to making your business attractive to buyers and the value of viewing your company from the perspective of a shareholder.

February 8, 2018

Edward F. Crawford

ParkOhio CEO Edward F. Crawford offers his thoughts on losing his first business, the value he places on people and dealing with rejection.

February 8, 2018

KeyBank's Kip Clarke

Sharing lessons from decades of dealmaking experience, KeyBank's Kip Clarke talks about his strategies for mastering the M&A game.

February 2, 2018

Chris Quinn: What I learned selling Step2

For InterDesign CEO Chris Quinn, dealmaking is all about trust. “Trust begins the very minute you decide to engage and go through the sale process."

February 2, 2018

Directional Aviation Capital’s Kenn Ricci

Directional Aviation Chairman Kenn Ricci shares his company’s 16.6 Rule and why discipline and rigor — a commitment to a plan — are so important.

January 26, 2018

All Pro Freight's Chris Haas

Chris Haas spent a decade growing All Pro Freight Systems at a “grinding” pace until he realized that growth by acquisition could multiply his capacity more quickly.

January 19, 2018

Resilience Capital’s Bassem Mansour

Resilience Capital Partners' co-CEO Bassem Mansour talks about the shifting entrepreneurial mindset, the value of an unbiased professional opinion and the state of today’s capital market.

January 12, 2018

Lubrizol’s Eric R. Schnur

Lubrizol CEO Eric R. Schnur talks about his approach to M&A and how his range of experiences at Lubrizol has made him a better dealmaker.

January 5, 2018

Michael Feuer: How egos killed an OfficeMax/Staples merger

OfficeMax founder Michael Feuer talks about the times he let ego get in the way of a deal and how his approach to dealmaking has changed over the years.

December 15, 2017

BDO’s Bob Littman

Bob Littman talks about being ready to act, finding the right partner and how options have changed for dealmakers over the years.

December 15, 2017

Chris Hyland: Assume nothing

Hyland Software CFO Chris Hyland talks about the importance of asking the tough questions and why you can’t always trust sellers to paint a true picture of the culture at your new acquisition.

December 15, 2017

Stewart Kohl on the art of the deal

Stewart Kohl talks about how the art of the deal has changed over the last 30 years.

December 8, 2017

Tony Mercurio: Bring more leaders

Tony Mercurio shares his thoughts on how to avoid falling victim to the ticking clock when making a deal and why becoming a regular dealmaker could be deadly to your business.

November 30, 2017

Bob Campana: 'We have a lot of upside'

Bob Campana talks about the state of the current capital market, some tips that guide his approach to dealmaking and one of his most memorable deals.

November 16, 2017

Sotera Health's Michael Petras

Michael B. Petras knows how to grow a business and he spoke with Smart Business Dealmakers about the best approach to take when negotiating deals with other companies.

November 9, 2017

Monte Ahuja on coming back to Transtar

After Transtar filed for bankruptcy, founder Monte Ahuja reinvested in the company and returned as CEO. We sat down with him to learn why he was willing to take back the helm at Transtar and what he experienced on his return

November 9, 2017

UH’s Tom Zenty

University Hospitals CEO Tom Zenty III talks about his approach to dealmaking and explains why culture can make or break any transaction.

November 9, 2017

Steve Demetriou's 3 rules of dealmaking

Jacobs CEO Steve Demetriou shares his three rules of dealmaking with the Aspire 2017 audience during a question and answer session with Smart Business CEO Fred Koury.

November 3, 2017

Riverside Co.'s Stewart Kohl

Stewart Kohl leads a global private equity firm with more than $6 billion in assets under management and nearly 500 acquisitions under its belt. None of that would have been possible if Kohl had not taken the time to prepare for each negotiation.