Crain`s Cleveland Business



Crain`s Cleveland Business
2:37 PM
Page 1
$2.00/APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Osborne empire
will dwindle soon
Developer has
more than 200
of his properties
headed to auction
[email protected]
Larchmere Road, which is near Shaker Square, is in the midst of a $2.4 million makeover.
Larchmere Road merchants band together
to better survive months of streetscaping
[email protected]
archmere Road on Cleveland’s East Side is getting a
$2.4 million facelift this
That’s the good news and the bad
news for businesses on Larchmere.
For shopkeepers along aging thoroughfares like Larchmere, which is
near Shaker Square, the prospect of
fresh pavement and sidewalks —
and maybe fresh landscaping and
decorative benches — is helpful because it can attract new customers
and generally make the street a
more inviting place to spend money.
But first, the business owners
must endure months — in the case
of Larchmere, from May until October — of orange barrels, parking
bans, treacherous temporary sidewalks and sometimes even blocked
entrances. All of that can reduce
customer flow and sales so severely
that it can sink a struggling restaurant or other fragile businesses.
See BLOCKS Page 6
Most of the real estate empire that
developer Richard M. Osborne says
he has spent 50 years amassing soon
won’t be his if it’s snapped up in auctions he has agreed to in order to pay
off a bank and resolve the bankruptcies of three of his companies.
Between two planned auctions,
more than 200 of Osborne’s properties — much of it in Lake County —
will be for sale as part of a proposed
agreement to settle debts that he
and his entities owe to RBS Citizens.
Seventeen properties valued at
more than $11 million are to be auctioned this Wednesday, April 30, at
the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Independence. They include a 453-space
parking garage near the new Cleveland Convention Center, roughly
120 agricultural acres in Chardon
and several commercial properties.
It is the largest dollar-volume commercial real estate auction scheduled
for Northeast Ohio that Hanna
Chartwell executives can recall.
“Not a lot of people own as much
property as Mr. Osborne does, so
that makes it unique,” said Mac Biggar, president of Hanna Chartwell,
the commercial brokerage arm of
Howard Hanna that conducts auctions.
“There will be some bargains to
be had,” Biggar said, noting that Osborne’s vacant properties are available for “greatly reduced prices.”
The second auction, which will
take place on May 31, will put on
the block some 220 industrial, commercial and residential parcels Osborne owns, according to Biggar
and Osborne.
Auction proceeds will be used
first to extinguish any liens on the
properties, then to pay RBS Citizens, a creditor of three of Osborne’s companies that filed bankruptcy two years ago.
If the properties sell, Osborne estimates he’ll be left with 20 or 30
“I have a lender that I have to pay
off (and) that’s probably the best
way to do it,” he said.
Total appraised value of 11
Osborne family properties
Crain’s has identified as
headed to a May sheriff sale
in Lake County. For more
details, see Page 8.
The impending auctions are included in a proposed settlement
agreement filed in U.S. Bankruptcy
Court in the Western District of
Pennsylvania in the bankruptcy
cases of Oz Gas Ltd., Great Plains
Exploration LLC and John D. Oil &
Gas Co.
The companies filed for Chapter
11 bankruptcy protection in January 2012, stating their financial difficulties were a direct result of the
drop in the price of natural gas. RBS
Citizens, which had lent the companies approximately $30 million, required that the loans be less than
65% of the companies’ reserves, and
as a result of the decline in natural
gas prices, that requirement was
not met, according to court records.
See OSBORNE Page 8
74470 83781
Brandmuscle is growing rapidly,
and its expanded operations are
much more seamless ■ Page 5
Entire contents © 2014
by Crain Communications Inc.
Vol. 35, No. 17
12:57 PM
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APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
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APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
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Gas production fuels excitement
Ohio’s shale gas drilling is producing valuable byproducts
[email protected]
There’s not much drilling for shale
gas in Northeast Ohio, but the
drilling that takes place throughout
the state still will have a large impact
on the region’s plastics and chemical
industries that rely on natural gas for
raw materials.
“The plastics industry is salivating
over this. With natural gas, you also
get byproducts like ethane and
propane and these can be cracked to
make (plastic raw materials) ethylene and propylene,” said Bob Weiss,
chair of the polymer engineering department at the University of Akron.
His knowledge of the topic isn’t
just theoretical. At the University of
Akron, Weiss and his students help
engineer polymers derived from the
natural gas byproducts.
Just a few years ago, U.S. plastic
companies were moving production
abroad, as domestic supplies of
ethane and other raw materials continued a decades-long decline.
But that has changed, as Ohio is
playing a major role in restocking the
nation’s supply of the materials, collectively referred to as “natural gas
liquids,” or NGLs.
The state’s production of NGLs
has gone from virtually zero three
years ago to about 23,000 barrels a
day in 2013, said Jennifer Van Dinter,
spokeswoman for Bentek Energy, a
Colorado-based energy analytics
company. That was before drilling
took off, as it’s expected to this year.
“We think this year, 2014, it will be
more on the order of 123,000 barrels
a day,” Van Dinter said. At current
prices, that’s about $450 million
worth of NGLs per year.
That production, along with NGLs
being extracted elsewhere in the
United States, is a boon to industry,
the University of Akron’s Weiss said.
Not only will companies get a new
supply of close-in raw materials, but
those materials can be derived from
natural gas much more cheaply
than they can be made from crude
oil overseas. U.S. companies also
get methane that costs half or onethird as much as it does for overseas
competitors, making it cheaper to
fuel heat-intensive production of
things like plastics, polyester, paints
and synthetic rubber, he said.
‘Disadvantage’ disappears
Weiss is far from alone as a bornagain optimist.
Nearly every national trade association and local economic developer involved with affected industries
has become a booster for shale gas
development. The American Chemistry Council, for one, has been quick
to point out how new supplies of
natural gas and NGLs are fueling
growth in the chemical industry.
Last Wednesday, April 23, the
American Chemistry Council noted
that its “Chemical Activity Barometer” hit its highest point since 2008.
The day before, it called attention to
comments from Vice President Joe
Biden, who noted in a speech he
gave in Ukraine to support hydraulic fracturing that “53% of U.S.
manufacturing companies operating in China have expressed interest
in reshoring or investing in U.S.
projects to benefit from the success
of domestic shale developments.”
At a recent Canton Regional
Chamber of Commerce event, Paul
Boulier, vice president of business
attraction for Team NEO, told at-
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tendees, “Everything you’re going
to touch for the rest of your lives is
derived from these feedstocks. We
were at a competitive disadvantage
in terms of feedstock. … Now that’s
gone away,” he said.
Boulier wasn’t just speaking as a
booster of Northeast Ohio. He holds
a masters degree in plastics engineering, and he previously held senior management positions at
Northeast Ohio plastics companies
including A. Schulman Inc. and
Core Molding Technologies.
Not that it takes an expert to see a
megatrend like this. In Ohio, there already have been about $19 billion in
shale gas infrastructure investments
announced for the Utica shale. Those
include pipelines to gather the gas
and to move it to processing centers
here and on the Gulf Coast, as well as
for plants that will remove NGLs
from the Utica’s so-called “wet gas.”
But that amount pales in comparison to what the U.S. chemical
and plastics industry is spending
nationwide, as it builds facilities to
use NGLs and create goods like bottles, clothing, toys and just about
any other product made or imagined in the last 50 years. Boulier said
there are more than 100 major
chemical projects being developed
in the United States. They represent
a $72 billion investment, which will
result in $67 billion in new chemical
industry output annually, he said.
Fueling growth
The $67 billion question for
Northeast Ohio, of course, is to
what degree will the region participate in and benefit from this new
bounty of raw materials.
See GAS Page 6
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12:56 PM
Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
search is
Kent State faculty
and some experts
question approach
to president hire
[email protected]
companies — BrandMuscle Inc. in Cleveland,
Centiv Services of Chicago and TradeOne
Marketing of Austin, Texas — now are in
The new version of the company’s BrandBuilder software weaves together technologies
from all three businesses.
“We’re embarrassed.”
That’s how a cadre of Kent State
journalism faculty and alumni — in
a full-page ad in last Tuesday’s Daily Kent Stater, no less — expressed
their disgust for the university’s ardent refusal to release the short list
of finalists considered to take over
president Lester
A. Lefton or detail how it spent
$250,000 on the
For the 11
paid $1,071 for
the ad, it’s a mat- Lefton
ter of pressing
their employer to
follow the state’s
public records
laws. The university,
says it has turned
over all relevant
documents as re- Warren
quired by law and
is now focused on honoring Lefton
and welcoming the new president,
Beverly Warren, now provost at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Kent State’s secretive search
process is in stark contrast to the
transparent presidential searches at
neighboring public universities in
Akron and Youngstown, both of
which have disclosed applicants’
names. Cuyahoga Community College also released the names of the
finalists for its presidency in March
2013, but only after being hounded
by The Plain Dealer.
Perturbed Kent State faculty,
meanwhile, suggest the secrecy
could create a hostile work environment mired in mistrust.
See SEARCH Page 9
Brandmuscle, under the direction of CEO Phil Alexander, has added 11 national and international brands since late 2013. The company now has 175 clients.
CEO says blending of three technology companies has
meant sales and profitability records, plus unified vision
[email protected]
here’s a reason why Brandmuscle expects to keep breaking the sales and
profitability records it just set.
The lines between the three marketing
technology companies that merged to form
Brandmuscle largely have been erased, according to CEO Phil Alexander.
Now the combined company is starting to roll.
Brandmuscle added 11 national and international brands to its list of 175 clients since late
2013, and it posted double-digit increases in sales
and profitability in the first quarter, hitting new
records in both categories.
That growth should continue now that Brandmuscle is operating as one seamless company,
Alexander said.
“No one talks about what we were. Everyone
talks about who we are,” he said.
The final stitches that unite the three former
“No one talks about what we were.
Everyone talks about who we are.”
– Phil Alexander
CEO, Brandmuscle,
on the expanded company
Putting its twist on the Tribe’s roots
To win Indians’ trust, and business, Twist
Creative appealed to team’s bond with city
[email protected]
Prior to November 2013, the Cleveland
Indians hadn’t hired an external agency
to focus on a brand campaign in more
than five years.
To earn the Tribe’s trust, and some of
its advertising budget, Twist Creative appealed to the team’s — and the city’s —
“Cleveland as a city has really evolved
and has really connected people with its
determination and personality,” said
Mike Ozan, who founded Twist with his
wife, Connie, in 2000. “We very much
thought it was important to connect the
team to that same sentiment. That determination, we all feel it and love it.”
The end product was an “Unfinished
Business” campaign that gained some
early momentum on Feb. 28 when Nick
Swisher — the $14-million-per-year first
baseman who never seems to have anything but a sunny day — passed out Tshirts that displayed the slogan during
spring training.
In one of the preseason spots produced by Twist and Authentic Films, a
Cleveland-based company run by the
husband-and-wife team of Kevin Kerwin
and Kate O’Neil, Indians players Jason
Kipnis and Michael Brantley are shown
putting on their jerseys and hats.
See TWIST Page 16
Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona “really adopted”
Twist Creative’s “Unfinished Business” advertising slogan for the
Tribe. The idea came from a conversation with a fan.
2:56 PM
Page 1
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APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Blocks: Newer shops could feel impact
continued from PAGE 1
Believing that a proactive approach might soften the financial
blow that has capsized businesses
along other renovation routes, the
merchants and property owners of
Larchmere banded together early in
the streetscape planning process
nearly two years ago. As a result of
that process, they now believe
they’ll be able to better absorb a
half year of turmoil.
Among the tactics some property owners are considering are appeals for property tax reductions
during the time of the upheaval.
Their early involvement also has
changed the way the reconstruction
will be scheduled, reducing the
amount of time that normal operations of any one property will be
“We’re really quite excited,” said
Susan Rozman, owner of Fiddlehead Gallery, a nearly 2-year-old
craft showroom on Larchmere. “I
find that people don’t pay attention
to traffic problems unless they really hamper people getting into your
store for a long period of time.”
Rozman believes that the renovations will have a greater impact on
the youngest shops.
“Maybe people won’t be as
leisurely to meander to find a newer shop,” she said.
Tackling taxes
Larchmere has a handful of arts
and crafts shops like Fiddlehead. It
also boasts a lively mix of neighborhood staples like hair solons, delis
and an auto body shop, mixed in
with a handful of upscale restaurants and several dozen shops selling antiques and clothing from resale to vintage to high-end
European apparel.
Rozman doesn’t own her building, so she’s not involved with the
plan to appeal for lower property
taxes. But others are responding to
the idea from Charles Bromley, a
consultant with the Shaker Square
Alliance, a community organizing
group. Bromley has been talking to
property owners about seeking
property tax relief as a group that
would argue for a temporary reduction in the assessed value of their
property because of the financial
damage their retail tenants will incur.
The tax savings could offset rent
reductions to retail tenants who
most directly suffer financially because of the road work.
In the past, individual property
owners have filed for reductions after suffering through the turmoil of
major street repair. But this effort is
beginning before the work starts so
that it can benefit retail businesses
Ron Meister, owner of Shaker Quality Auto Body on Larchmere, isn’t going to
seek lower property taxes during the road’s construction.
while they are suffering, not afterwards, when it may be too late to
offer relief.
Businesses do fail when streets
are torn up, parking is banned and,
worst of all, barricades are thrown
up that block entrances to shops. It
happened on Euclid Avenue after
the Greater Cleveland Regional
Transit Authority in 2004 began to
rebuild the city’s main thoroughfare to accommodate the bus-rapid
transit now known as the HealthLine.
That redevelopment is considered a success, with new businesses now opening along the route.
But the dust and debris that accompanied the road rebuilding hastened the death of a handful of Euclid Avenue businesses, including
New Best Gyros and Pizza House in
2006 and the Cleveland Athletic
Club in 2007.
Heidi Rivchun, the owner of Conservation Studios, a Larchmere
shop that restores antique and
damaged furniture, and two other
properties on the street, said she intends to seek reductions in property taxes from the Cuyahoga County
Board of Revision for her properties.
“All they have been doing is raising the taxes as it’s been, even
though we’ve been through a pretty critical period since 2008,” she
said, though she’s not sure the effort will be successful. “At the very
least, it’s an important exercise for
all of us.”
Rivchun said if she is successful
in lowering her tax bill she will pass
along the savings to her tenants, including Bon Vivant Larchmere, a
French bistro. “It’s a small place
that could face a crisis” if business
slows down during the reconstruction, she said.
One block at a time
Other property owners, though,
believe they can ride out the turmoil without tax relief.
Ron Meister, who owns two
buildings on Larchmere and operates Shaker Quality Auto Body on
one of the properties, said he’s not
going to seek to lower his taxes.
“That’s a good way to choke off
income to the city, and what’s the
point?” he said. “We’re going to be
inconvenienced for summer —
that’s all it is. I would rather just pay
my taxes and get my services.”
He will, however, have signs
made that will point customers to
alternate entrances to his body
A key factor for the Larchmere
shopkeepers was working with the
city of Cleveland as it planned the
specifications for the redo. Greg
Staursky, co-executive director of
the Shaker Square Area Development Corp., said his group, the
Larchmere Community Association and the Larchmere Merchants
Association all participated in early conversations with city engineers.
The city agreed to do the work on
a block-by-block basis rather than
closing traffic in one direction or
the other as work progressed and
the community groups accepted
the longer time frame that schedule
would entail.
“There was a critical part early on
working with the city of Cleveland,”
Staursky recalled. “It could have
been done a little bit faster if they
shut the street down and caused a
real inconvenience, but not only
the merchants but the area residents spoke out in favor of doing it
(block by block) and maintaining
Gas: CSU studying Utica’s production
[email protected]
continued from PAGE 4
McDonald Hopkins LLC
Carl J. Grassi, President
Shawn M. Riley, Cleveland Managing Member
Until recently, it was looking as
though all of Ohio’s gas and NGLs
would be processed on the Gulf
Last month, however, Brazil’s oil
and gas service company, Odebrecht, announced it will spend $4
billion to $6 billion on an ethylene
production plant on the Ohio River,
near Parkersburg, W. Va. It said it’s
hoping similar facilities and related
manufacturing companies will
spring up to help build a regional
industry cluster.
Ohio is gearing up to participate.
The state’s economic development
agency, JobsOhio, has asked Cleveland State University to study how
the Utica’s production might fuel
chemical and plastics industrial
growth here.
“We’re doing a study of the nature of the hydrocarbons that will
be coming and, based on that, will
try to draw some scenarios of where
the downstream industry could
go,” said Andrew Thomas, a CSU
researcher and executive in
That study, which started at the
end of March, will be done by the
end of the year. It will give the state
a better picture of the NGLs that
will be produced and processed locally. With that information, economic developers should know better how to pitch the state to
company’s looking to expand their
U.S. operations for plastic and
chemical manufacturing, Thomas
12:58 PM
Page 1
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Osborne: Developer calls banks ‘thieves’
continued from PAGE 1
At the time of the bankruptcy petitions, RBS claimed the total balance due on the companies’ notes
was about $30 million. Since then,
RBS has been paid about $15 million, and claims it now is owed $17
million to $19 million, according to
Robert S. Bernstein, managing partner at Bernstein-Burkley P.C., the
Pittsburgh-based law firm representing Osborne’s companies.
Per a filing on March 19, RBS has
agreed to accept $10.8 million in full
and complete settlement of each
and every claim against the debtors
if it receives the entire amount on or
before June 30. The filing does set
forth terms of possible extension
through Sept. 30.
Now, the companies await a bankruptcy judge’s action on a motion
they filed to approve the agreement
between them, Osborne, RBS and
other entities, pursuant to which
Hanna Chartwell is to sell off real estate to pay RBS and allow the companies to reorganize and continue
their business.
‘They put me in trouble’
In addition to Lake County, the
properties to be auctioned are in
Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Richland,
Portage, Summit and Geauga counties, per a listing agreement filed
with the court.
Meanwhile, 11 Lake County properties, which have an appraised value
topping $900,000 and are ascribed to
Osborne or an Osborne trustee, are
headed for sheriff sale in May.
When it comes to some properties
he’s “let go” to sheriff’s sale, Osborne
said he didn’t have the money to pay
the taxes.
Buyers in the auctions will receive properties free and clear of
any liens, Biggar said. Osborne is
not permitted to bid in either auction, he noted.
Osborne has made other efforts
to pay down the money he said he
borrowed from RBS Citizens for oil
and gas exploration: Crain’s reported in July 2012 that he sold roughly
800,000 shares of Gas Natural Inc.,
the company he leads, to pay down
the RBS debt.
“Every bank I did business with
changed the rules,” Osborne said.
“All my loans were current, I never
missed payments and the banks are
all calling the loans.”
According to Osborne, several of
his lenders changed loan terms, and
others hiked interest rates.
“I made all my money off of bor-
rowing money off of banks and paying them back, and when they got in
trouble, I wasn’t
in trouble,” Osborne
“They put me in
above the law.”
When asked
for comment on matters relating to
Osborne, representatives for RBS
Citizens Financial Group and Fifth
Third Bank said the banks do not
comment on litigation. Inquiries
sent to a few other institutions Osborne named were not answered by
Crain’s deadline last Friday, April
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Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Search: HR consultant says new president must ‘build trust’
Still, others suggest a closed
search process ensures confidentiality for high-profile candidates who
might not want to risk their current
gigs. A backlash of sorts erupted, for
instance, at Youngstown State when
the campus learned its president of
less than a year was a finalist for the
top job at a university in Illinois.
“I get the transparency argument
and understand it and to a degree
support it, but it does have an impact on pools,” said Jamie P. Ferrare,
managing principal at AGB Search, a
Washington, DC-based firm handling the current Youngstown State
search. “There’s no question about
Karl Idsvoog, an associate professor at Kent State and one of the
sponsors of the ad, called the confidentiality argument “a bunch of
horse hooey” and stressed the need
for transparency at public institutions.
“What does it say about the educational leadership of an institution
that witnesses this and not a single
dean or department head is saying
word?” Idsvoog said.
Déjà vu?
This isn’t Kent State’s first rodeo
when it comes to withholding presidential search records. The university only released the names of its finalists from the search that brought
them Lester Lefton in 2006 after the
Akron Beacon Journal drafted a lawsuit, according to Karen Lefton, the
paper’s former general counsel and
now an attorney in private practice.
Lefton said Ohio Supreme Court has
been clear that these sorts of records
are public.
The Beacon Journal, to its credit,
has led the charge in recent weeks
demanding the university turn over
more records related to the search
that brought Warren.
“This seems very blatant,” said
Lefton, who is not related to Kent
State’s current president. “I do not
understand what their thinking is. I
wish we could get to that. Is there
something they think they’re protecting? They named their new president a few months ago, and if they
thought they were protecting something during the process, that time
has come and gone.”
Last week, the University of Akron
unveiled its short list of candidates,
which included former Ohio State
football coach Jim Tressel, to replace
outgoing president Luis Proenza in
July. Youngstown State’s open
process revealed that Tressel also
applied for that presidency.
Starting this week, the University
of Akron will hold open forums with
its finalists. Kent State did nothing of
the sort. Baldwin Wallace University,
a private institution in Berea, even
held open forums with its finalists to
replace Richard Durst in 2012.
Jonathan T. Pavloff, chair of University of Akron’s presidential advisory and screening committee and
university trustee, said the open forums weren’t a knee-jerk reaction to
Kent’s search but rather part of the
Akron’s search process from the
start. In addition to the open forums,
the finalists will meet with various
constituency groups around campus, including faculty and administrators.
“I’m expecting a very lively interaction between the audience and the
participants,” Pavloff said.
Trust building
Lori Long, a human resources
consultant and an associate professor at Baldwin Wallace, said Kent
State may have alienated some of
its stakeholders. She said the confidentiality one might expect in a
corporate search isn’t possible in a
university setting.
“It’s important to get stakeholder buy-in, especially when that person has to influence so many different groups — donors, alumni,
students, faculty,” Long said. “They
all have very different interests in
what they want or expect from a
Long said Warren — who, of
course, had no involvement in how
Kent State’s search was structured
— needs to “make an effort to share
information and make decisions
that build trust moving forward.”
Warren’s selection as Kent
State’s president has been well received, but faculty, particularly
those in the journalism sequence,
have had a hard time accepting
how the search was conducted.
“This goes against what we
teach, and we really believe in the
idea of public records and accountability,” said Jan Leach, a Kent State
associate professor and former editor of the Beacon Journal.
Leach and 27 other members of
Kent State’s School of Journalism
and Mass Communication faculty
A look at Kent State’s presidential
history the last 51 years:
■ Robert I. White, 1963-71
■ Glenn A. Olds, 1971-77
■ Brage Golding, 1977-82
■ Michael Schwartz, 1982-91
■ Carol A. Cartwright, 1991-2006
■ Lester A. Lefton, 2006-14
■ Beverly J. Warren: Will assume
presidency this July
signed a resolution that demands
the university immediately release
all records covered by the Ohio
Public Records Act, including those
used by the university’s search
firm, related to the search. The resolution also urges the university to
pledge that all future executive
searches be conducted in “strict
compliance” of the state’s public
records and open meetings laws
and “reflect our institutional commitment to transparency.”
“Intellectually, I accept the argument that some people require confidentiality to be considered for
these top-level jobs,” said Leach,
who chairs the journalism sequence. “I get that. I do believe a
public institution is bound by the
laws of the state it’s working in and
that supersedes that concern. You
have to understand this is a public
university. This is what happens.” ■
More than 320 people attended Crain’s 2014 CIO of the Year Awards
reception on April 15 at LaCentre in Westlake. The event honors NEO’s
leading information technology executives.
continued from PAGE 5
In Partnership With
1. Brad Nellis, director of NEOSA,
welcomes guests from the podium.
2014 CIO of the Year
Award Winners
Terabyte Award Recipient
Dr. Martin Harris,
The Cleveland Clinic
Small Non-Profit Organization
Toby J. Miletta,
Eliza Jennings
2. Winners and finalists pictured,
from left, are: Rob Sable, Michael
McManamon, Dr. Martin Harris, Amy
Brady, Jeff Mowry, Rachel Johnson,
Russell Grindon, Gary K. Conkol and
Toby J. Miletta. Not pictured is winner
Matthew Dickerson and finalists Chris
Fuss, Kathy Golovan, Dale Phillips,
Deborah Piccus and Ron Steiger.
Large Non-Profit Organization
Jeff Mowry,
Cuyahoga County
3. Dr. Martin Harris poses with sponsors
Margi Shaw and Ravi Marwaha from
First Communications.
Small Private Company
Rob Sable,
Alliance Solutions Group
4. MCPc was so supportive of teammate
and CIO of the Year finalist, Dale Phillips,
they campaigned for him with stickers.
Mid-Size Private Company
Rachel Johnson,
The NRP Group
2014 Terabyte Award
Co-Presented by
Large Private Company
Matthew Dickerson,
Networking Sponsor
Public Company
Amy Brady,
Video Sponsor
Alumni Hall of
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Supported by
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4:23 PM
Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
John Campanelli ([email protected])
Elizabeth McIntyre ([email protected])
Scott Suttell ([email protected])
A lofty update
eisure travelers rate airports on the quality of
food courts, the number of phone-charging stations, the shops, the skylights. For business
travelers, who make up the majority of plane
passengers, it’s all about four words: Easy in, easy out.
Fly into LAX or O’Hare or LaGuardia and you’ll
quickly realize that on this important measure, Cleveland Hopkins is a gem. Where else can you touch
down, pick up a car or jump on the rapid and be downtown, all in 45 minutes?
But even the most comfortable and dependable
shoes need to be shined.
The décor of Hopkins’ main terminal — and baggage
area especially — can be accurately described as outdated, with low ceilings, dreary lighting and sketchy
bathrooms. If a city’s airport makes a first impression,
many parts of ours seem to be giving visitors the equivalent of a dead-fish handshake.
But that is changing. Last week, the airport revealed
plans for a $20 million facelift to the ticket lobby, baggage claim area and facade.
Some critics will say the upgrades, announced less
than three months after United Airlines pulled the
plug on its Cleveland hub, are foolish. Why shore up
and repaint the barn when two-thirds of the horses
have escaped?
In truth, the renovations are long overdue. The main
terminal should be a warm, airy welcome mat to a new
Cleveland, not a bleak look back to the days of George
Kennedy “Airport” movies. It should offer an atmosphere that matches its easy-in, easy-out convenience.
The cash for the project is coming from unspent
general airline revenue bonds, so airlines, passengers
and the airport itself will not face additional costs.
Smart business people and cities look at setbacks —
whether it’s an unsuccessful product launch or the loss
of airline hub — not as a failure but as an opportunity.
We encourage the city and the airport to push ahead
with renovations and then keep going. We want a
reimagined airport befitting our reimagined city.
Step up
e call the center of downtown Public
Square, but if we wanted to be accurate,
we’d call it “Public Squares.”
Superior Avenue and Ontario Street gouge
the space into four smaller quadrants, allowing traffic
and noise to rob the area of its potential as a pedestrian
zone and green space.
The Group Plan Commission has bold and courageous plans to bring the pieces together and create a
stunning new center of downtown. The proposal calls
for the closing of Ontario Street in the square. Traffic
on Superior will likely be limited to buses only. The result will be 5 1/2 acres of park-like space.
If all goes according to plan, a summer night on Public Square will see families watching an outdoor movie
on a massive lawn, children playing in a new fountain
and couples chatting at cafes. Sounds great, right?
There’s a problem. The plan will cost about $30 million, and for the new spaces to be ready for a 2016
presidential convention, construction needs to begin
soon. The project sits at a fork: action or inaction.
Daniel H. Burnham — the mind behind Cleveland’s
original Group Plan of 1903 — famously advised,
“Make no little plans.” We’d like to see the potential
funders of this marvelous plan — corporations, foundations, the philanthropic community — step up soon
and make no little contributions.
Former OSU coach should zip to top
Some institutions are on
im Tressel doesn’t have a JOHN
the edge of what’s being called
Jim Tressel has never run CAMPANELLI a death spiral: Enrollment
drops, deficits are created,
even a small college.
cuts are made, tuition is hiked
Jim Tressel could have reand enrollment drops again.
vealed his knowledge of the
Trustees at Akron, facing a
infamous tattoo scandal to in$15 million deficit next school
vestigators on four different
year, last week voted to hike
occasions. Each time he was
tuition and fees and eliminate
silent. “A deliberate effort to
more than two dozen acadeconceal the situation,” the
mic programs. This comes afNCAA said.
ter other cuts and even some
Jim Tressel remains under
layoffs earlier this academic year.
an NCAA “show-cause” penalty, a strict
The university also is sitting on more
probation, until the end of 2016.
than $400 million in debt. It’s crisis time.
Jim Tressel should be the next presiTo steer clear from the spiral, the
dent of the University of Akron.
school needs three things: more stuFull disclosure: I am an Ohio State
dents, more financial support and a lean,
grad. But I also think I’m right.
mean organization. Enter the coach.
Ten, 20 years ago, putting a figure like
Once he’s named president, the media
Tressel into the president’s office of a Dicoverage will come, as will national atvision I university would have been untention — easily the most the university
thinkable. But things have changed on
has ever received. And the old coach will
get lots of face time.
As the economy improves and tuition
Tressel’s reputation as a master of
soars, college enrollment nationwide has
one-on-one engagement is legendary.
actually started dropping for the first
He makes it a point to speak, listen and
time in decades. (Akron’s enrollment
connect with everyone he meets. Those
this spring is down nearly 5% from last
who say it’s an act haven’t witnessed it
up close.
I imagine more than a few financial
supporters and high-achieving high
school seniors will get the full Tressel
I also believe the university needs to
be ready for a storm of criticism. Tressel’s lack of traditional credentials and
his sullied past are going to bring out
scores of critics. These are the same folks
who said a young coach from
Youngstown State would never be able
to go from facing the likes of Missouri
State and Hofstra to Penn State and
In reality, a university president isn’t
in the lectures or the labs. A degree on
the wall doesn’t matter much. The president’s job is to create a culture of success, to raise money, to attract talent and
to build a consensus for positive change
— the same skills Tressel has shown for
I’m not going to say that President
Tressel will succeed like Coach Tressel,
but I’m not going to bet against it either.
It’s a monumental risk. Many will say
it’s one the university can’t afford to
I say they can’t afford not to.
Re: New arena proposed
for Akron
■ This would be huge for downtown
Akron. The James A. Rhodes Arena is
— Adam Rosen
■ This is not the best use of taxpayers’
money. (The arena would be financed by
a 0.25% hike in the Summit County sales
Those who proposed this idea are really out of touch.
— Sarah Reinbolt
■ The cost of the venture is actually reasonable considering its magnitude
(9,000 seats is modest and practical), and
it will convert the downtown area to a
more beneficial, 12-month hot spot that
will benefit area restaurants and retail.
This is a long time coming, but it will
be a great change.
— Melvin Gaines
Reader responses to stories
and blogs that appeared on:
Re: Tressel a finalist for
U. of Akron presidency
■ Jim Tressel has the right background
and personality. UA is hurting in many
ways right now. What is needed during
this transition is a dynamic personality
who can make things happen.
In a business where perception is
everything, cutbacks, freezes, layoffs and
eliminating departments like theater are
always the wrong answer. They point to
a dying institution. When things get
tough, it’s time to be bold and make big
See WEB Page 11
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for single-game tickets fair
to fans?
Yes. It should cost more to see better
No. Prices should remain the same all
Vote in the poll each week at:
3:26 PM
Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Web: Tressel should be Akron’s choice
continued from PAGE 10
Hiring Terry Bowden as the head
football coach was good for the university’s athletic image. Now it’s
time to be bold in other areas,
rather than timid and conservative.
It’s time to make visible moves that
make students want to come. It’s
time to move world-level research
beyond polymers and become a
leader in other areas of technological development, as well as other
arms of academia.
Ohio wants to be a world-leader
in renewable energy. That’s a good
place to start. Northeast Ohio is a
national leader in entrepreneurialism. There needs to be a program
which speaks to that.
There are new, beautiful apartments for students popping up all
around the campus. Things are
looking good. It’s time to take it to
the next level. I believe that Jim
Tressel is the person who can make
that happen.
— Dave Andrews
Re: $20 million Hopkins
■ It’s about time!
The exterior of both the ticketing
and baggage claim areas are embarrassing. It’s old and dirty looking.
When you stand out there in the
rain or snow, you get drenched. I
hope they also put in heat lamps for
cold winter months.
Renovations at the airport and
Public Square downtown are long
overdue and will help to have a positive effect on the image of Cleveland.
God knows we need it. — Trey Drier
Re: Possible AT&T fiber
■ What AT&T would have the press
and public believe is that they’re engaged in a massive new deployment
of fiber to the home service. What’s
actually happening is that AT&T is
upgrading a few high-end developments where fiber was already in
the ground (these users were previously capped at DSL speeds) and
pretending it’s a serious expansion
of fixed-line broadband.
At the same time, AT&T is
promising a massive expansion in
fixed line broadband, they’re telling
investors they aren’t spending
Terry Bowden was hired as the football
coach at the University of Akron in
much money on the initiative, because they aren’t. AT&T’s focus is
on more profitable wireless. “Gigapower” is a show pony designed
to help the company pretend
they’re not being outmaneuvered in
their core business by a search engine company.
If you read the AT&T press release carefully, the company admits
as much. “This expanded fiber build
is not expected to impact AT&T’s
capital investment plans for 2014,”
notes AT&T.
That’s what they noted last year,
and will surely say the same thing
next year. In fact, AT&T’s been reducing their fixed-line CAPEX each year.
What kind of major 1 Gbps broadband expansion doesn’t hit your
CAPEX? One that’s either very tiny, or
simply doesn’t exist. — John Smith
Re: Lack of capital
for local startups?
■ Local startup activity and
prospects are at an all-time high.
They are not in any way stalled by a
lack of capital.
Although I think the negative tone
of the April 21 article does a disservice to the high level of startup funding activity in Northeast Ohio, the diversity of commenters and their
opinions shows that Crain’s technology reporter Chuck Soder does a
good job of continuing a dialogue
that is taking place more and more
in town: How can we best serve and
promote the startup community?
While there are certainly gaps in
capital in this region, and while the
“series A crunch” represents a seri-
ous supply/demand imbalance,
these are national issues, not just issues confronting Northeast Ohio
Nonetheless, this community
needs to do a better job of the following: educating and promoting angel
investment and properly setting expectations; understanding the nature of entrepreneurship and startups; and recognizing that not every
startup should seek outside capital.
To be successful, an entrepreneur
must realize that his or her goal is to
build a great and sustainable company. To steal a phrase I heard last
week from Chris Olsen of Drive Capital: “Build the company that you
want to build, not the one that you
think investors want to fund.”
— Morris Wheeler
■ The issue in Cleveland isn’t money. There’s more here than you can
It’s the level of understanding of
Web 2.0 and the Internet of Things
by potential investors — terms that
most people with investable funds
do not understand, especially in
Northeast Ohio. The value of capturing a market using these trends
hardly ever involves “making” something and almost always involves
capturing users, eyeballs and or
downloads, something that portends
value based on usage and that requires monetization in ways that live
outside the scope of understanding
of the average investor here.
Our history as the center of the universe for entrepreneurs in the industrial age required vast sums of money
for “capital goods.” That’s the legacy
of an investment model that still burdens us today (but also why there is
still so much money here) and why
medical device startups have found
more funding than almost anything
else. Even most of the loans from the
state, banks and other sources are
commitments to fund buildings and
equipment as opposed to software,
especially as a service.
Now, mind you, a lot of these software startups and incubators are
getting behind ideas that even I
think should have been passed over,
but that’s the real problem — knowing how to vet and coach a startup
into revenue. Charles Stack is the
kind of experienced entrepreneur
who’s “been there and done that”
and can tell a good entrepreneur and
idea from a bad one. But having only
a handful of experienced entrepreneurs who can vet and coach good
ideas to the market isn’t enough.
We need more Stacks and more
funding to sprinkle around to do the
early vetting. Young entrepreneurs
need a model of funding to demonstrate their ideas have market traction, and if they don’t, you lose
$50,000 to $100,000. If it hits, we create jobs and more funding to invest.
It takes risk, but it also takes experience to know which ideas and entrepreneurs are going to get the job
— Ronald Copfer
■ I agree that follow-on funding is
tougher in Cleveland than on the
coasts or even in places like Orlando
(which has a hugely growing startup
scene), but it’s not impossible here.
I share a sentiment that many VCs
(with cash) in the area share to this
day, and that is there are dollars
available if you have a unique idea,
with a scalable business plan and
talented leaders.
Can you get the business to $1
million, $5 million, $20 million
quickly? If not, cash will be tight
— Tony Pietrocola
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Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Brandmuscle: 40% of company’s 400 employees are downtown
continued from PAGE 5
The old BrandMuscle originally
designed the software to help franchisees and branch managers localize their advertisements using art
and design templates approved by
corporate. But now BrandBuilder
also lets local branches order small
batches of printed marketing materials and get them quickly, which
was one of Centiv’s specialties. And
it gives companies a fast way to reimburse or reward those branches
for their sales and marketing efforts, using a TradeOne technology.
Roughly one-third of the new
customers that Brandmuscle
signed last year wanted all three
products, according to Clarke
Smith, the company’s chief strategy officer.
“Having that combined offering
in one place gave us a very compelling story to tell,” Smith said.
The three companies all were
purchased by the Riverside Co., a
Cleveland-based private equity
firm, since September 2011. The
merger went into high gear in January 2013, when the three companies officially became Brandmuscle
“Having that combined
offering in one place gave
us a very compelling story
to tell.”
– Clarke Smith
chief strategy officer, Brandmuscle,
on the company’s combined product
(without the capital “M.”)
Trying to weave those businesses
together was a challenging, timeconsuming task, said Alexander,
founder of the old BrandMuscle.
Today, however, the offices feel like
they’re part of the same company,
he said.
For one, members of the management team are spread throughout Brandmuscle’s offices, and employees regularly work with
colleagues in other states. And the
different offices are getting into the
same habits. For instance, all five
offices have adopted a tradition
from the old BrandMuscle: Each
Monday, they each hold a breakfast
meeting where they recognize employees and celebrate victories.
Alexander knew the integration
was going well when he noticed
that individual offices willingly let
go of accounts when another office
had a stronger relationship with a
given client.
Now that the integration is over,
Brandmuscle can focus on growing.
“The efforts of last year will bear
fruit this year,” Alexander said.
Alan Peyrat put it more bluntly. A
partner at Riverside, Peyrat said
Brandmuscle “could potentially see
four record quarters in a row.”
Working on the core
Other companies can do some of
what Brandmuscle does, but Peyrat
said he knows of no other company
that provides such a broad lineup of
software and services.
And there’s plenty of business to
go around, he added.
“There are still a huge number of
potential customers who really
should be using our services who
aren’t using anyone’s services,” he
Alexander’s home is in Northeast
Ohio, though he has an apartment
near the company’s Chicago office,
which technically is Brandmuscle’s
However, the company’s office at
1100 Superior Ave. in downtown
Cleveland — which houses about
The Solon Select is a
distinguished group
of more than 800
businesses that have
chosen to locate in
the City of Solon.
When It Gets
Down to Business…
Solon Gets It!
The City of Solon welcomes these new businesses:
Champs Sports
Intelligent Mobile Support
Rita’s Beauty Care
Romeo’s Pizza
Silver Commercial Cleaning, LLC
Talmer Bank & Trust
Title Boxing Club – Solon
And thanks these real estate professionals for
bringing new business to Solon:
Terry Coyne – Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Kristy Hull – Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
David Jezek – Developers Realty
Eliot Kijewski – CRESCO Real Estate
Colin Knott – Developers Realty
David Stover – Hanna Chartwell
Don Woodard – Davis Development Group
Solon’s Got It!
Prime industrial, office and retail sites at
City of Solon • 34200 Bainbridge Road • Solon, Ohio 44139 • 440.337.1313
Peggy Weil Dorfman, Economic Development Manager • [email protected]
160 of the company’s 400 employees
— is home to the core of Brandmuscle’s product development team.
That’s a big deal for Cleveland:
Since the merger, Brandmuscle
“has become more and more software centric and technology centric,” Peyrat said.
The local office also houses most
of the company’s sales and marketing employees as well as a few marketing services functions that the
old BrandMuscle started a few years
But no department will be permanently tied to one office, Smith
The Direct approach
One of those marketing services
is growing fast: A year ago, Brandmuscle employed two people
tasked with helping franchisees and
branch managers that wanted to
market their services through social
media. Today, that content team
has 10 employees, eight of whom
are in Cleveland.
The team posts content on behalf
of franchisees and branch managers. For instance, a team member
posting content on a DirecTV dealer’s Facebook page might write
about the Academy Awards, “American Idol” and other programs delivered via DirecTV, a Brandmuscle
Alexander expects that team to
“It could explode on us,” he
Keene Building Products
moving to new location
[email protected]
Mayfield Heights-based Keene
Building Products is planning to
move and expand its manufacturing space.
Keene has purchased 11 acres in
Euclid from MNR Corp. for about
$1.1 million, owner James R. Keene
said in an email provided by a media representative. The purchase includes 11 buildings, some of which
are being rented out to tenants.
There is a 12th building on the
property that was not included in
the purchase, said marketing manager Melanie Debelak.
The company makes “building
envelope” and noise control products.
Keene’s current plant, at 23555
Euclid Ave. in Euclid, has 15,000
square feet; the new plant, at 23700
St. Clair Ave. in Euclid, has 43,000
square feet. There is a total of about
115,000 square feet of space spread
across the 11 buildings, which will
be used for research and development, as well as rental properties.
Keene’s headquarters will stay in
Mayfield Heights.
ON THE WEB Story from:
Debelak said the move would
take about 18 months. Keene is
moving two existing production
lines to the new site, as well as
building a third. In his email, Keene
said the company plans to expand
to five production lines in the next
three to five years. The expansion
would create the need for about 10
jobs this year and an additional 30
in the next five years.
Keene has grown to 50 employees
since it was created in 2002. That
number includes employees at Dependable LLC, a floor product maker with a plant in Rocky River, and
Cansto Coatings, a specialty coatings maker with a plant in Cleveland, both of which Keene Building
Debelak said those plants will remain open, but the new space will
serve as the site for new developments for all the companies. In the
future, Dependable’s plant might
move to the new Euclid location,
Debelak said.
11:27 AM
Page 1
11:26 AM
Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Tracy Coblentz to senior tax
manager and director, Small
Business Growth Services.
MERRILL LYNCH: Katie Solvesky,
Natalie Lariccia and Ben Kirksey
to assistant vice presidents; Jon
Wagner, Eric Fuller, John Slyman,
Raquel Pacheco, Joe Kendrew
and William Miner to vice
presidents; John Damiano, Steve
Mowry, Lee McCauley, Charlie
Bergman and Chuck Boulware
to first vice presidents; Phil Shultz,
Jim Chippi, Stephanie Draper,
Dan Fuller and Ed Boehmer to
senior vice presidents.
to managing director, Risk
International Benefits.
Jeffrey S. Bechtel to chief lending
officer; Mary Ann Stropkay to
senior lender, commercial banking;
Ron C. Schultz Jr., Todd Urmson
and Kurt Raicevich to commercial
banking relationship managers; Ellen
Walsh to SBA specialist.
INC.: Mark Fisher to managing
director, public finance group.
to marketing communications
manager; Kim Eberst to director,
program operations.
Preston to regional vice president,
outside plant/construction, Northeast
SERVICES LLC: Rand M. Curtiss to
KEYBANK: Kenneth M. Greaney
to vice president, investment solutions
specialist, Key Private Bank.
We Solve Problems.
Effectively. Efficiently. Consistently.
36 South Fr anklin Street
Chagrin Falls
We are a different kind of business law firm.
Learn about us at, or
call us to discuss your legal matter.
Topalsky, M.D., to internal medical
Mastroianni to integrated marketing
services leader.
Catie Dargue to community
development manager.
GREATER OHIO: Stephanie Aubill
Heimaugh to sales associate,
David Chuba to manager.
Day to vice president and general
manager, residential and commercial
service line, western operations.
RISESMART: Tony Santora to vice
ROGERS CO.: Jim McGowan
to project manager.
Mitan to senior technology engineer,
data center solutions.
David Balzer and Anthony Lewis
to Sitecore developers; Elaine Allen
to business development executive;
Shaolin Hu to senior developer; Eric
Stafford to staff developer.
CLEVELAND: John Zaranec (OM
Group Inc.) to chair; Anita Miller
to first vice chair; Lisa Buescher
to second vice chair; Marissa
Beechuk to secretary; Ted
Grabowski to treasurer.
COMMERCE: Heathyr Ullmo
(Peoples Bank) to president.
CLEVELAND: Tanisha Rush to
president; Kamla Lewis to first vice
president; Michael Valerino to
second vice president; Amy
to treasurer;
Lisa Nelson to
(Kohrman Jackson
& Krantz) to vice chairman.
Send information for Going Places to
[email protected]
Look for Crain’s new Weekly Report webcast, which will hit your inboxes on
Sunday afternoons. To sign up, go to:
Harbor Group
Management Companyy
is pleased to welcome in the
he fall of 2014
Vorys, Sater,
se LLP
Seymour and Pease
to 200 Public Square,
Cleveland’s Premier
Business Address.
Special thanks to Kevin Yates and Georgee Hutchinson
nted Vorys in
of Allegro Realty Advisors who represented
the transaction.
Resort & Conference Center
Wheeling, West Virginia
Call 800-972-1991 or email
[email protected]
An easy 3 hour drive from Cleveland!
For 200 Public Square leasing information:
Brian Hurtuk, SIOR
Colliers International | Cleveland
+1 216 239 5060
11:46 AM
Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
The Internal Revenue Service filed tax
liens against the following businesses
in the Cuyahoga County Recorder’s
Office. The IRS files a tax lien to
protect the interests of the federal
government. The lien is a public
notice to creditors that the
government has a claim against a
company’s property. Liens reported
here are $5,000 and higher. Dates
listed are the dates the documents
were filed in the Recorder’s Office.
Repo City Inc. Banc Auto
14550 Lorain Ave., Suite 1,
ID: 34-1913407
Date filed: April 2, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding,
Amount: $889,120
Engle Road Realty Inc.
Quality Inn & Suites
7230 Engle Road, Cleveland
ID: 06-1724874
Date filed: April 4, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding,
Amount: $619,158
George Dixon Corp.
Lancer Steak House
7707 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland
ID: 34-1657828
Date filed: April 14, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding
Amount: $230,702
Cabling Professionals Inc.
P.O. Box 770284, Lakewood
ID: 14-1862921
Date filed: April 4, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding
Amount: $147,938
Sam-Tom Inc. Royce
Security Services
3740 Euclid Ave., Suite 102,
ID: 34-1965620
Date filed: April 4, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding,
corporate income
Amount: $97,666
Greensource LLC
P.O. Box 24876
ID: 26-4250003
Date filed: April 4, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding,
Amount: $94,213
Plastic Consultants Inc.
1388 Gladys Ave., Lakewood
ID: 34-1338156
Date filed: April 10, 2014
Type: Corporate income
Amount: $87,480
George Dixon Corp. Lancer
Steak House
7707 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland
ID: 34-1657828
Date filed: April 14, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding
Amount: $84,834
Post Painting Inc.
24816 Aurora Road, Bedford Heights
ID: 34-1700614
Date filed: April 4, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding,
Amount: $59,897
Davcor International Inc.
18579 Pearl Road, Strongsville
ID: 34-1787337
Date filed: April 21, 2014
Type: Unemployment, corporate
income, civil penalty assessment
Amount: $51,788
Premier Restaurant Management
3620 Walnut Hills Ave., Beachwood
ID: 34-1722537
Date filed: April 4, 2014
Type: Unemployment, civil penalty
Amount: $45,919
Bradley Metal Fabrication Ltd.
6211 Cedar Ave., Cleveland
ID: 45-2766043
Date filed: April 4, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding,
Amount: $45,846
Mathews Metal Works and
Ornamental Concrete LLC
7831 Clinton Road, Cleveland
ID: 26-4326447
Date filed: April 4, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding,
Amount: $42,192
ID: 34-1890971
Date filed: April 17, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding
Amount: $36,483
Dynomite Investments Inc.
3250 E. Pleasant Valley Road,
Seven Hills
ID: 20-5398009
Date filed: April 11, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding,
Amount: $34,826
Interactive Search Group LLC
5500 Ridge Road, Suite 211,
ID: 27-0961280
Date filed: April 11, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding
Amount: $32,215
Treehuggers Café Inc.
1330 W. Bagley Road, Berea
ID: 26-2366244
Date filed: April 21, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding,
unemployment, corporate income
Amount: $26,634
n eo m ed . ed u
Eagle Painting LLC
291 E. 204 St., Euclid
ID: 20-3677576
Date filed: April 4, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding,
Amount: $24,468
For daily on-line updates, sign up @
Congratulations on Closing
“The 9” Project
Our legal team is proud to be a part of one of the county’s largest and
most complex real estate transactions.
CBR Regulatory LLC
27800 Belcourt Road, Pepper Pike
ID: 26-2691670
Date filed: April 4, 2014
Type: Employer’s withholding
Amount: $37,357
South Euclid Cement
Contractors Inc.
5770 Alberta Drive, Lyndhurst
Carl Dyczek
Geoffrey Goss
Jack Waldeck
Tyler Bobes
The Real Estate Attorneys of
Cleveland | 216.781.1212 |
3:24 PM
Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Twist: Company fought
to be selected by Indians
continued from PAGE 5
Mixed in are shots of the city,
Progressive Field and fans young
and old donning the Tribe’s “block
C” hats.
The commercial closes by saying,
“It’s about unfinished business. Get
ready. Here comes the Tribe.”
“If you look at our team,” said
Alex King, the Indians’ vice president of marketing and brand management, “it’s always about grit, it’s
about resilience, it’s about never
giving up. That’s really what it was
about — that attitude that they play
with more than anything else.”
‘Ask TERRi’
King was hired by the Tribe in
2011 after a five-year stint at Procter
& Gamble. Prior to moving to
Northeast Ohio, King had spent the
previous 13 months as a brand
manager for the Cincinnati-based
consumer goods giant.
He said one of his first tasks with
the Indians was creating “some
consistency with our look.” For that,
King leaned on the Tribe’s longtime
design partner, Contempo Commu-
The Cleveland company created
a brand platform and “helped define the use of our logo,” King said
— which, these days, has meant a
much more prominent use of the
red “block C” and fewer displays of
the controversial Chief Wahoo.
Another element of the Indians’
brand strategy was to “humanize”
their players, and it didn’t hurt the
Tribe’s cause that prior to the 2013
season the club hired a well-known,
and affable, manager.
During spring training in 2013,
the Indians and Twist partnered on
a series of videos starring manager
Terry Francona. In the “Ask TERRi”
spots — a spinoff of Apple’s “Ask
Siri” feature — Francona gives Indians players phones in order to improve the team’s communication.
The hilarious videos show players
asking Francona for advice on such
random subjects as grilled rib
recipes, the ingredients used to
make marshmallows found in cereal, how to properly wear a hat, and
why the U.S. declared war in 1812.
The videos went viral, and a
longer-term relationship between
Twist’s “Unfinished Business” ads for the Cleveland Indians also showcase determined and gritty Clevelanders.
Twist and the Tribe grew closer to
Mike Ozan, Twist’s president and
chief creative officer, said that late in
the 2013 season the Indians told
Twist they were “going to ask other
agencies to come in and bid” for
their business.
“We thought that was fair,” he
said. “And we went in and competed
Time is running out.
Book your ad today to congratulate
The Cleveland Foundation.
Publication date: June 9
heavily for the business. I don’t
know what the other agencies put
into it, but we were unrelenting.”
‘I wear the uniform’
Twist, which at the time was still
fighting for a longer-term partnership with the Tribe after the company’s brief work with the team in
spring 2013, sent a film crew to the
Indians’ American League wildcard game against the Tampa Bay
Rays last Oct. 2.
A month later, the company,
which has been headquartered at
1985 W. 28th St. in Cleveland’s Ohio
City neighborhood for the last 12
years, was selected as the Indians’
creative partner.
Ozan said Twist and the Indians
have “a multiyear contract in theory.” There isn’t a long-term partnership on paper, he said, but the company
relationship in that manner.
And it turned out that the postseason footage came in handy.
“If you look at our team,
it’s always about grit, it’s
about resilience, it’s about
never giving up. That’s
really what it was about —
that attitude that they play
with more than anything
– Alex King
vice president of marketing and
brand management, Cleveland
Indians, on the club’s “Unfinished
Business” ad campaign
Ad close: May 5
This publication will examine the impact of shifting
demographics, economic turmoil and the emergence of
technology on the oldest foundation in the country.
Contact Nicole Mastrangelo at 216-771-5158 or [email protected]
“Some of those images in our
brand spot were from that (playoff
game) because we thought, ‘Hey,
that might be a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to do these film portraits of fans,’ ” Ozan said. “And you
can see it on their face. It’s real.”
The determined, gritty Clevelander
that Twist shows in its Indians spots
are of course similar to the descriptions many fans and media members
gave of the Tribe last season.
To further connect the Indians —
who, even during an unexpected run
to the 2013 postseason, failed to draw
20,000 fans per game for the second
consecutive year — to the city, Twist
began the “Unfinished Business”
campaign with a simple concept.
“The broader idea,” Ozan said,
“was ‘I wear the uniform.’ That was
the start of the ideas you see,
though it doesn’t really appear
much in type right now.”
Josh Taylor, a Lakewood native
For more examples of Twist
Creative’s “Unfinished Business”
advertising campaign for the
Cleveland Indians, go to:
who is Twist’s director of strategy
and development, said, “We share
ownership of the brand. We share
that connection.”
That appealed to the Indians, and
especially to Francona.
Taylor said the unfinished business idea came from one of the
many conversations Twist had with
Indians fans when it was creating
the campaign.
“Terry really adopted that,” Taylor said. “The team adopted it, and
we packaged it.”
A new Twist on the Tribe
Twist will release different spots
throughout the season, “so the
campaign refreshes,” Taylor said.
“I think that was one of the challenges that Alex (King, the Tribe’s VP
of marketing) recognized from previous years — that when the campaign
launches at the beginning of the year,
it’s basically the same spots that appear in September,” Taylor said.
“And by that time, fans are like, ‘OK,
tell us something different.’ ”
The Indians wanted to build on
their playoff appearance by focusing on their likable personalities,
but they also realized they needed a
few refreshers during the 162-game
grind of the regular season.
“If you look at the campaign,
there are a few chapters for the story of the season,” King said. “And
the first chapter is before the season
starts. Spring is eternal hope and
optimism and excitement for the
upcoming season. We felt like (Unfinished Business) was both taking
what had been started last season
and entering the playoffs, but also
an attitude.”
Ozan believed his team could
help change the negative perception some fans had of the Tribe prior to 2013. His company, which was
born when he and his wife (who is
on sabbatical but is expected to return late this summer) transformed
Connie’s c.ratka design firm into a
bigger business, “is growing very
rapidly,” Mike Ozan said.
“When you get right down to it,
we’re about either changing or creating conversations,” he said. “We
didn’t like the conversation that was
going on around the team (the Indians), and we felt like we could help
change it.”
1:39 PM
Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
They’re advisers, accountants and consultants. And they’re all working
to improve their organizations — and their communities — with their
skills and knowledge. That’s why we think the members of this group
are among those worth watching in Northeast Ohio’s financial sector.
Justin Horton
Wealth adviser /
founding partner
Stratos Wealth Partners
ach move Justin Horton
makes is deliberate and
calculated, from his career
progression to the strategies behind wealth planning for his senior executive and attorney clients.
His tenure in the financial industry began as an
intern with National City Corp., before advancing
as a management consultant with Clevelandbased A.T. Kearney. It was there he planted the
seeds for his current role by conducting financial
planning presentations for executives and helping Fortune 500 companies improve their profitability, before joining Lincoln Financial Advisors
in 2004.
Now as a wealth adviser and partner for Solonbased Stratos Wealth Partners, which he helped
found in 2009, Horton provides a full range of financial planning support, including life insurance,
long-term care, estate planning, investment and
business succession. He has about 75 clients
and manages about $50 million in assets.
“What I enjoy most about the business and
how the value comes into play is helping clients
understand how all the puzzle pieces of their
wealth planning fit into the bigger picture,” he
said. “I feel like the quarterback on their team.”
It’s not uncommon for Horton to meet with
clients five times a year to modify and structure
their portfolio to achieve their goals.
“I take a comprehensive consulting approach,”
he said. “A lot of my clients are concerned about
retirement, and there are so many other factors,
like the cost of college education to estate flow
and beneficiaries. No two portfolios are the
Terri Eason, director of gift planning at the
Cleveland Foundation, with which Horton also is
affiliated, regularly refers donors and other colleagues to Horton for his financial planning expertise. She should know, as someone who’s
watched Horton evolve since his intern days.
“I recall being comfortable enough to bring
Justin in on client meetings because he was so
professional and poignant,” said Eason, a former
director of nonprofit services and a mentor to
Horton at National City. “He’s extremely purposeful in understanding and providing good service
and relationship management.”
Horton is co-chairman of the Cleveland Foundation’s African-American Philanthropy Committee and a board member of the Cleveland Zoological Society. He also is immediate past
president of the Greater Cleveland Alumni Association of Morehouse College, at which he
earned a bachelor’s degree in finance. Horton
earned his master’s degree in business from the
University of Michigan.
He always is on the move. You may find him
running around his neighborhood in Cleveland
Heights, where he lives with his wife, Andrean, or
planning a trip domestically or internationally.
“We have a trip to Spain coming up,” he said.
“We can’t wait to explore.”
— Kathy Ames Carr
Stacy Feiner
SS&G Parkland
hen it comes to helping companies
achieve efficiencies and improve top and bottom lines,
Stacy Feiner zeroes in on people, not numbers.
Feiner, who attained a doctorate in clinical
psychology in 1997, joined SS&G Parkland as a
director in 2013. She coaches business owners
and executives, assists family businesses in
succession planning and works to help companies strengthen the way they oversee, leverage
and optimize talent.
Performance and talent management and
coaching are services Feiner has provided for
years, but SS&G Parkland — an entity of Solonbased SS&G Inc. that provides business valuation, management consulting and other services
to clients — affords her a much bigger platform
of ready, middle-market client companies, Feiner said.
From an early age, Feiner felt “hard-wired” for
being concerned that people live good lives.
“If I could wholesale my psychology to a business owner, and the business owner could create an environment where people could do their
best work, feel productive and find community
and meaning in their work … I thought that was
a really positive way of impacting the world,”
she added.
Business owners usually approach Feiner with
concerns such as not having good hiring practices and feeling at risk because their companies lack bench strength, she said.
In working with Feiner, Brad Sacks said he
has transformed the hiring process of his company — More Than Gourmet, an Akron-based
manufacturer of French stocks and sauces —
and seen “great progress” with key executives
who’ve improved their performance.
“We need to hire really great people, and
that’s a really easy thing said and a really hard
thing done,” said Sacks, the company’s CEO.
“What Stacy has been very instrumental in is
helping bring the science in developing an approach and a process to find, screen and hire
the right kind of people. Then it moves into the
next phase, which is bringing them on board
(and) managing that talent over time.
“There’s a direct savings in a way,” Sacks
added. “The cost of a bad hire is huge.”
There are “huge financial costs to underperformance,” too, Feiner said.
Such underperformance can be rooted in an
unsuccessful selection process, one’s management of a work force or a lack of talent development, she explained.
Feiner lives in Moreland Hills with her husband, Peter McCarren, and their two children.
She loves the outdoors, is a member of the
Western Reserve Land Conservancy and gardens.
A grower of 30 to 40 basil plants in a typical
season, she said, “I am definitely known for
— Michelle Park Lazette
Matt Milcetich
Senior VP / group head
KeyBank Derivatives
att Milcetich was
bound for Chicago or
New York City as they are
major financial centers, but
a job in derivatives at KeyBank kept him in Cleveland.
While interning in the derivatives group at KeyBank as he earned a master of science degree
in financial engineering from Kent State University, Milcetich found substantial opportunities here,
liked the work and enjoyed working with colleagues from around the globe. He also realized
he enjoyed consulting with clients to find solutions to their problems more than the trader’s
role he’d envisioned in a financial center.
“I probably would have moved back,” he said,
as he figures Northeast Ohio might have drawn
him back at a later time in his career because
his family is here and it is a great place to raise
a family. Today he and his wife have a 1-year-old
son and a house in Shaker Heights, which
divides the commute between his job at Key
Tower and hers in Beachwood.
Most of Milcetich’s day is spent on the trading
floor at Key, where he heads a group of 15 in
Cleveland and Seattle. He joined the unit fresh
from Kent State in 2006, initially working in commodities, then working in the sales unit before
adding trading in 2013.
Derivatives are financial instruments that companies may use to hedge their risks to changes
in commodities or interest rates, to name a few.
The derivatives group is a registered swap dealer so it can handle about 1,000 trades annually
for its clients. Its trading book has a face value
of about $35 billion.
With last year’s promotion to head the group,
he gained a strategic role in planning its future.
Douglas Preiser, Milcetich’s boss as chief operating officer of Keybanc Capital Markets Inc.,
described him as “adept at developing creative
solutions to complex problems. He has great
technical and communication skills. He has a
deep understanding of the bank’s activities. He
can express complicated concepts in a simple
way. He understands how his unit’s success relates to the bank’s success, which is not common in young managers. He’s adept at seeing
change and preparing for it.”
Milcetich’s undergraduate degree is in
mechanical engineering from Cleveland State
University. He had worked for Parker Hannifin
Corp. as a project engineer before pursuing a
financial career.
A standout soccer player at Kent-Roosevelt
High School and at Cleveland State University,
Milcetich said soccer has helped him develop
leadership skills, especially when he coached a
girl’s soccer team in the Ohio Premier Soccer
“Speak to a group of teenagers and their parents in a group and you’ll learn to weigh the impact of every word,” he said. He also serves as
treasurer on the board of trustees of America
— Stan Bullard
Scores Cleveland.
Margie Carpenter
Founder / owner
Bell Tower Advisors
he realities of a maledominated financial services world, in Margie Carpenter’s estimation, left her
feeling dissatisfied with a career in investment
management. She didn’t understand the need to
clog one’s title with big important words. She felt
disconnected with the push to “grow by outrageous numbers” in new clients and revenue.
“There was a process that we were strongly
encouraged to follow, using the same reporting,
the same delivery in investment results to
clients, and using industry terminology that didn’t
always resonate with people,” Carpenter said. “It
was a profession of men serving men.”
So after nearly 20 years of enduring the grind
among various investment advisory in Northeast
Ohio, she went out on her own in 2010 and
formed Bell Tower Advisors, an investment management firm that focuses solely on financial
planning for women.
“This is an underserved market. My ideal
client is a midlife independent female — it doesn’t matter if she’s married, nonmarried, widowed
or divorced,” Carpenter said. “I try to be as open
and clear as possible about helping them understand what their financial picture means and how
they can realize their financial goals.”
Carpenter currently manages about 10 female
clients with portfolio values of between
$500,000 and $1 million. She plans to grow her
client base to a maximum of 30, which is a fraction of the client count she used to manage at
other larger financial services firms.
“Some advisers have 300 clients,” she said.
“When I opened Bell Tower Advisors, my goal
was not to be the top-growing or the most-profitable advisory firm. I want to make a profit so I
can live, but I really want to help women manage
their finances,” whether it’s appropriating inheritance dollars or navigating a divorce.
Joyce Poplar, who divorced two years ago,
sought Carpenter’s services after initially meeting with a large banking institution and then a financial planner in Hudson.
“I’m 55, I work for the Cleveland Clinic, I have
four children, and for the first time I was completely financially responsible, so I had to be
careful with my strategy,” Poplar said. “The guy
in Hudson came on so strong, and said, ‘You
need me.’ That’s what my ex-husband said to
me, so I said, ‘No, I don’t.’”
Then Poplar, a Chagrin Falls resident, came
across Carpenter’s ad in a local newspaper.
“She was perfect,” Poplar said. “She teaches
me, and I understand my investments. We review everything quarterly.”
Richard Nash, equity portfolio manager at
Westfield Center-based Westfield Group, said
Carpenter’s personalized approach makes her a
valuable asset to the investment community.
“I look at a person as stock and whether I
would buy stock in that individual,” Nash said. “I
would buy stock in Margie because it would be
successful. There always would be an upward
When Carpenter isn’t meeting with clients,
managing assets or blogging about them, she’s
likely to be reading historical fiction, practicing
yoga, rooting on the Browns or volunteering at
the Gathering Place, a provider of cancer support for patients and families. The Cleveland
Heights resident has two daughters, one in college and the other in eighth grade.
Carpenter received her undergraduate degree
in French from Bates College in Maine, and a
master’s degree in business from Emory Univer— Kathy Ames Carr
sity in Atlanta.
The next “Who to Watch”
section will publish June 23
and will focus on the legal
sector. If you have suggestions,
drop an email to sections
editor Amy Ann Stoessel,
[email protected],
or call 216-771-5155
by noon Monday,
May 19.
1:39 PM
Page 1
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APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Dominic Brault
Managing director
Carleton McKenna
hile growing up, Dominic
Brault’s father put in long
hours at the Ford stamping
plant in Walton Hills, and his mom cleaned houses when she
wasn’t watching the kids.
That work paid the bills, including the cost of sending the
two Brault boys to private school.
Those memories still motivate Dominic Brault to work hard
and to give back to the community.
Today, Brault is a managing director at Carleton McKenna,
an investment banking firm in downtown Cleveland. He helps
business owners sell their companies and raise cash from investors. He also started the firm’s business valuation consulting practice. But he didn’t get to this point by chance.
One could say that his career path technically started during the summer after his freshman year at Case Western Reserve University. Unlike most of his peers, he didn’t work a
retail job that summer: He got an internship at management
consulting firm Ernst & Young. And he spent the next three
summers as an intern at other companies, making the switch
to investment banking in the process.
His academic strategy?
“I’ll have a 3.5 (grade point average) instead of a 3.9 but
really have killer work experience,” he said.
That experience also allowed him to find mentors and
& click “blog”
-orscan the code
with your smartphone.
make other connections in the local investment banking industry at an early age. One of those connections helped him
land a job as a junior analyst with FTN Midwest Research in
2002, shortly after he earned a bachelor’s in banking and finance from Case Western.
While moving through his career, Brault — who also has
worked for Longbow Research and Stout Risius Ross — hasn’t spent much time scanning
“I don’t look for job openings. I know what I want to do,
and I just try to work my way into it,” he said.
Carleton McKenna hired Brault three years ago to start the
firm’s business valuation practice. But Brault also has “a little
more creativity than your average valuation guy,” according
to managing director Christopher McKenna.
But being creative isn’t enough, according to Brault. You’ve
also got to have the guts to make your ideas known. Even if
it’s not a good idea, “it could stimulate thought,” he said.
And if it seems like a good idea? Don’t let it go until you’re
convinced it’s not. “If you don’t get to that point, don’t stop. It
can’t be your boss’s responsibility to follow up,” he said.
He also says people shouldn’t doubt their decisions.
For instance, if Brault hadn’t followed his exact career
path, he wouldn’t have met his fiancée, Rachael Futchi, and
their 2-year-old son, Henri, “wouldn’t be on the planet.”
He considers himself lucky to have had good parents,
Pierre and Christine, who worked hard and spent money
“There are some who didn’t have the fortune of having
good parents. Fortunately, I did,” he said.
— Chuck Soder
Merrill Lynch
Local Touch, Global Reach
hen Bishara Addison says that
her friend, Danielle Syndor, is “always trying to help someone,” she’s
not really exaggerating.
Syndor started her career with MBNA
in 2004, then began working for Bank
of America when it acquired MBNA in
To speak to a professional, call 216.241.3272
One law firm for all business &
finance legal needs Business & Finance Contacts
Corporate Finance
2005. Since 2011, Syndor has been a
financial adviser for the Merrill Lynch
branch on East 9th Street. There, she
said she works with families and business owners who have “at least
$250,000 in liquid assets to invest.”
The position allows her to combine
two of her favorite things: Aiding others and managing money.
“I find that no matter where someone is in life, people need good guidance,” Syndor said. “If you look at
someone, overall the things they care
about the most are family, faith and finances. Money is a portion of their life
that can be very stressful, and I enjoy
helping them.”
Syndor said she spends at least
eight hours per month volunteering.
She is active in NAACP, is on the
board of trustees for Eliza Bryant Village, is the co-chair of Bank of America’s Ohio Black Professional Group,
chairs the University of Phoenix Cleveland Alumni Chapter and is on the economic opportunity advisory committee
for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress.
“She’s so humble,” said Addison, an
executive fellow with the Cleveland
Metropolitan School District. “She isn’t
someone who seeks the spotlight or
the recognition. She doesn’t just do a
good job from 9 to 5. She is always
trying to help someone.”
Syndor never shies away from giving advice on managing money, which
she attributes to past help she received.
“I look at myself as someone who
benefited from others taking an interest in what I wanted to do — whether
it was career advice, life advice or
pushing me to look beyond what my
situation was,” she said. “I talk with
people about financial literacy and career steps, and I enjoy being able to
be a voice for them.”
Syndor lives in Shaker Heights with
her two sons — Noah, 11, and Giles,
9. She is actively involved with her
church, Community Bible Fellowship in
Cleveland Heights, where she teaches
a finance class.
“Between my work, my family, volunteering and church, that takes up a lot
of my time,” she said. — Kevin Kleps
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Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Josha Walker
Manager, Financial & Accounting
FirstEnergy Service Co.
ompliance is the name of the
game for Josha Walker — and it’s
a game she’s worked hard to play.
“I literally am that girl who came from nothing,” said the
first-generation college graduate and CPA. “What I realized
growing up, at some point I have to hold myself accountable
… to be here is truly an honor and a blessing.”
Walker’s introduction to accounting took place when she
was attending a vocational high school in Akron, attending
classes half the day and working half the day.
It was during that time she said she realized “there’s so
much more you can do.” Walker added, “That motivated me
to seek higher education.”
She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from the University of Akron and her master’s in accounting and financial
management from the DeVry University Keller Graduate
School of Management.
Walker — who has been with FirstEnergy since 2009 and
in her current position since 2012 — today oversees a team
of eight, and she is involved in working with different FirstEnergy business units. It is her job to make sure the company
is following such regulations as Sarbanes–Oxley.
“The most challenging part is being able to assess the
risk … what can go wrong,” she said. “It also opens the
door for me and my team to help the business.”
Kevin Burgess, executive director, internal auditing for
FirstEnergy, has known Walker since 2010, and he uses
words like energetic and smart to describe her. He said that
she not only has book knowledge, but knows how to apply it.
“She’s definitely got a lot of potential from a leadership
perspective,” he said. “She’s also very open and is not afraid
to put her opinions out on the table.”
Prior to FirstEnergy, Walker worked at Deloitte & Touche,
starting as an intern in 2003 and moving into a full-time auditing position after college. Walker, who lives in Akron and
has two daughters, a 14-year-old and a 4-month-old, likes to
work with what she calls her “proactive hat.”
“Let’s think ahead and already ahead of the game,” she
said. “My view is a customer service view. … I want to be responsive to the business needs.”
— Amy Ann Stoessel
Effram Kaplan
Managing director /
Brown Gibbons Lang & Co.
ffram Kaplan’s foray into the financial world began as an analyst trading S&P 100 and 500 options and futures.
The business surrounding the investments of publicly
traded companies certainly was intriguing, but he wanted to
know more about what made the smaller businesses and
middle-market firms tick. He transitioned from heavy analytics finance into consulting for former accounting titan Arthur
Andersen and Capgemini, a multinational professional services firm. Then he re-evaluated his career goals.
“I looked at the five years of my career and knew my next
step would be for the long term,” Kaplan said. “I loved the finance, strategy and advisory parts of my career.”
Armed with an MBA from the University of Chicago and an
internship at KeyBanc Capital Markets, Kaplan joined Cleveland-based Brown Gibbons Lang & Co. in 2003 as an associate. He since has worked his way up to managing director
and principal of the investment banking practice’s energy
and environmental services group.
“This sub-sector has a very long runway from a career
perspective,” he said. “I get massive satisfaction in advising
clients, watching how the firm has grown and even seeing industry associations turn to us for expertise because what
we’re doing is of value.”
Kaplan guides environmental and energy clients on mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, and debt and equity
placement. His clients are involved in management of solid
waste, environmental engineering, metals, nontraditional
waste (medical, nuclear and oil) and energy.
From coast to coast, Kaplan’s name is at the forefront of
an energy or environmental company’s mind when a corporate finance assignment comes up, said Michael Gibbons,
founder and senior managing director. Kaplan zigzags all
over the country, meeting personally with clients to make
sure their banking needs are met.
“He has single-handedly become one of the best environmental bankers in the industry,” Gibbons said.
He lives in Gates Mills with his wife, Stacey, and three chil— Kathy Ames Carr
dren: Mia, Naomi and Simon.
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Page 1
Executive VP
Axa Advisors
LLC, Cleveland
regg LaSpisa views financial planGLaSpisa
ning as a way to help people.
said he thinks there’s a lack
of education around issues such as retirement funds and higher education
costs in today’s society. In previous
generations, more corporations and
unions took the lead on benefits like
pension plans, he said, but, today, that
responsibility often falls to individuals.
“The need has never been greater,”
he said.
LaSpisa said the ability to help people is one of the main reasons he enjoys his job as the executive vice president of financial planning firm Axa
Advisors LLC’s Cleveland branch.
Axa focuses on financial advice for
its clients, he said, not on selling its
As executive vice president,
LaSpisa, 40, still works with a small
group of clients, mainly on issues of
retirement and life insurance planning.
He said he makes the process “client
interactive” and eschews financial planning jargon.
He also oversees the training of new
advisers, of whom there have been
plenty since LaSpisa joined the Cleveland branch in 2005.
At that time, there were about 41
advisers in Northeast Ohio, LaSpisa
said. Today, Axa has about 80 financial advisers in the Northeast Ohio
area, which includes the Cleveland office and some satellite locations.
The Cleveland branch’s territory
stretches from Cleveland to Akron and
from Toledo to Youngstown. It has
about 15,000 clients, about 100 of
whom LaSpisa works with personally.
LaSpisa was brought in to help grow
the company’s Northeast Ohio territory, which he has done organically over
the years.
The branch has tripled its revenue
since 2005, although LaSpisa couldn’t
share specific numbers. And, internally, the Cleveland branch moved from a
ranking of No. 65 out of 66 offices in
Axa’s network to No. 3 of 48 in 2013,
LaSpisa said. The company ranking
takes factors like revenue and productivity into account.
Raymond Sussel, a financial adviser
at Axa, said the branch has grown dramatically since LaSpisa arrived. He said
LaSpisa has a nonconfrontational leadership style, but he’s willing to go to bat
for his advisers when an issue arises.
Sussel, who has worked since 1986 at
Axa and the company that came before
it, said he enjoys the autonomy the
company gives its advisers. Sussel is
part of Stratus Advisors within Axa’s
Cleveland branch.
LaSpisa said he prefers to take a
consultative approach when working
with his top advisers. He views it as
more coaching than managing.
Before LaSpisa joined Axa’s Cleveland branch, he had been working in its
Chicago office, which he joined just a
few months out of college in 1995.
LaSpisa has a bachelor’s degree in
business management with a minor in
finance from Loras College in Iowa.
Outside of work, LaSpisa said he enjoys spending time with his family — he
lives in Lakewood with his wife, Melissa, and their four children — going
golfing and watching Cleveland sports
teams and the Chicago Cubs. He also
is a board member for the Ohio
Rangers Football Club, a youth soccer
program, and America Scores Cleveland, a nonprofit that combines soccer
and poetry in an afterschool program.
— Rachel Abbey McCafferty
Middle Market Banking
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APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Tom Fraser
President, CEO
First Federal
he bank Tom
Fraser leads
today is the same one he used to walk
past on his way to St. Edward High
School and the first at which he had an
In the time since the Lakewood native became president and CEO of
First Federal Lakewood in January
2013, it has broadened its reach,
adding two loan production offices and
planning the July opening of a branch
in Cleveland’s Gordon Square district.
The bank has made a more concerted
effort to grow commercial loans, too.
The aim, Fraser said, is to double
the bank’s assets over the next
decade via a “good mix of quality business and home loans.” That will afford
it the “scale necessary to address the
regulations coming down … and give
customers access to cutting-edge
technology,” Fraser said.
“In the face of consolidation and
fewer banks here (based in Northeast
Ohio), we’ve managed to grow and
build a substantially sized community
bank,” he said.
First Federal Lakewood’s headcount, according to Fraser, stood at
390 in mid-April, up 42% from 275 in
Mike Adelman, president and CEO
of the Ohio Bankers League, remembers a couple years back how some
Cleveland-area bankers told him he
ought to meet Fraser.
“They peer-to-peer identified him as
a real mover and shaker,” he said.
“Younger (with) fresh ideas.
“He’s really engaging and sincere
and present,” Adelman said. “In the
current era of technology and multiple
demands … a lot of people pride
themselves on being multi-taskers.
Whatever the situation is in front of
him right now, he’s focused on it.
From what I can see, it looks like he is
pulling together a solid team of individuals to really put that institution on a
trajectory to do some greater things.”
Fraser joined First Federal in 2007,
serving previously as chief lending officer and chief operating officer. Prior
to that, he was a member of the team
that launched in the early 2000s Westfield Bank.
Jon Park, chairman and bank leader
of the Westfield Center-based institution, said Fraser proved a significant
contributor to Westfield’s early success and growth.
“Tom is a quick study,” Park wrote
in an email. “He’s especially skilled at
monitoring current economic and
banking industry events from which he
draws insight and perspective to guide
Fraser earned a bachelor’s degree
in economics and a master’s degree in
history at John Carroll University.
“I always had an interest in serving
our communities,” Fraser said. “I want
First Federal to be part of the vibrant
growth and fabric of Greater Cleveland. (I’m) particularly proud of the fact
that we’re now lending in more neighborhoods in Greater Cleveland than we
ever have before.”
Fraser lives in Lakewood with his
wife, Mary Ellen, and their three children. For the better part of 15 years,
he refereed men’s college basketball
games. A couple times a year, he still
referees high school basketball
He is on the board of the Ohio
Bankers League and Beck Center for
the Arts, and also is a member of
the executive committee for Youth
Challenge, a Westlake-based group
that brings together children with
physical disabilities and youth volunteers for sports and recreational
— Michelle Park Lazette
CM Wealth Advisors
Douglas J. Smorag
on his recent promotion
to Senior Vice President
and Director.
2:57 PM
Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Cuyahoga River dredging will be a relief for ArcelorMittal
[email protected]
While there might still be disagreement over a long-term solution
about what to do with sediment
dredged to clear the Cuyahoga River,
Cleveland’s major steel mill will get
some supply-chain relief with a decision to move forward next month
with this year’s dredging.
ArcelorMittal relies on the river to
receive ore, and like a lot of Great
Lakes steel operations, its Cleveland
mill has been eager to replenish its
inventories after a brutal winter
ON THE WEB Story from:
shipping season that cut recent shipping volumes on the lakes by half.
The company was quick to express
its gratitude with a decision on
Wednesday, April 23, by the federal
government to move forward with
“We are very pleased that the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers will be
dredging the Cuyahoga River beginning this spring,” said Eric Hauge,
vice president and general manager
of ArcelorMittal Cleveland, in an
email after the Corps’ announcement. “Dredging is essential to the
continued use of the Federal Navigation Channel on the Cuyahoga River, the vital means of delivering raw
materials needed to operate the
ArcelorMittal Cleveland steel mill.”
The Corps said it will go ahead
and dredge about 225,000 cubic
yards of sediment from the river —
enough to fill 9,000 intermodal
shipping containers seen on rail
cars and semi trailers. It will dump
the sediment in a confined dispos-
al facility near Burke Lakefront Airport, which will contain any potential contaminants.
The Corps had planned to dump
the sediment, which comes from the
river upstream of the lake, out further
in Lake Erie. But the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the
Corps disagreed over whether the
river has become clean enough to
handle its sediment in that manner,
temporarily halting dredging plans.
Now the Corps apparently will
do, for now, what both the OEPA
and ArcelorMittal were hoping. The
steelmaker weighed in on April 14
as well, saying “the need to dredge
the Cuyahoga River federal navigation channel becomes more acute
each day.”
Ore boats in mid-April were practicing “light loading” to compensate
for river depths that were five to six
feet below authorized limits, the
company said, reducing the size of
each boat’s shipment to the mill.
Politicians on both sides of the
aisle, including both of Ohio’s U.S.
senators, were instrumental and
effective in urging the Corps to
move forward, according to
Total regulatory
assets under
Total number
of local
analysts on
Compensation for services
CBiz Financial Solutions Inc., dba CBiz Retirement Plan Advisory
6050 Oak Tree Blvd. S., Suite 500, Independence 44131
(216) 447-9000/
Fixed fees, percentage of AUM
and hourly
Brian Dean
MAI Wealth Advisors LLC
1360 E. Ninth St., Suite 1100, Cleveland 44114
(216) 920-4800/
Fee only based on assets
under management or set fee
for non-investment services
Gerald H. Gray
CM Wealth Advisors Inc.
30195 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 250, Pepper Pike 44124
(216) 831-9667/
Percentage of assets under
management, fixed fees
Rehmann Financial
29065 Clemens Road, Bldg. B, Westlake 44145
(440) 356-4520/
Fee or commission
Fairport Asset Management
3636 Euclid Ave., Cleveland 44115
(216) 431-3000/
Fee only
Fairway Wealth Management LLC
6055 Rockside Woods Blvd., Suite 330, Independence 44131-2317
(216) 573-7200/
Fee only, based on assets
and/or scope of services
Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC
3500 Embassy Parkway, Akron 44333
(330) 375-9480/
Percentage of assets under
management, fee and
Thomas A.
Thomas A. Haught
McDonald Partners LLC
959 W. Saint Clair Ave., Cleveland 44113
(216) 912-0567/
Fee and commission
Bill Hegarty
Thomas McDonald
president, CEO
MGO Investment Advisors Inc.
24400 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 310, Beachwood 44122
(216) 771-4242/
Percentage of assets under
Michael Bradford Michael Moskal
Cornerstone Capital Advisors
1507 Boettler Road, Suite G, Uniontown 44685
(330) 896-6250/
Fee only
W. Fearigo
Mario C. Giganti Mark
principal, senior adviser
St. Clair Advisors LLC
6120 Parkland Blvd., Suite 303, Mayfield Heights 44124
(216) 925-5670/
Fee only, fixed or based on
assets under management
David W.
Landing Point Financial Group
36350 Detroit Road, Avon 44011-1506
(440) 934-7100/
Percentage of assets under
Inverness Holdings LLC
One Chagrin Highlands, Suite 440, Beachwood 44122
(216) 839-5130/
Fee and commission
Jeffrey van
Richard B. Renner
Vantage Financial Group Inc.
6200 Rockside Road, Cleveland 44131
(216) 642-7878/
Fee and commission
George Szeretvai
president, founder
Aurum Wealth Management Group LLC
6685 Beta Drive, Mayfield Village 44143
(440) 605-1900/
Fee only
Michael T.
Eric N. Wulff
Christopher D. Bart
managing directors
Scott Snow (financial advisors) LLC
24601 Center Ridge Road, Suite 175, Westlake 44145
(440) 871-7669/
Fee only
Scott P. Snow
Scott P. Snow
managing director
Financial Management Strategies Inc.
9050 Sweet Valley Drive, Valley View 44125
(216) 642-1099/
Fee only, percentage of assets
under management
Paradigm Wealth Management LLC
159 Crocker Park Blvd., Suite 400, Westlake 44145
(440) 892-5900/
Percentage of assets under
Rank Phone/Website
Source: Information is supplied by the companies unless footnoted. 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. Should your company be on this
list? Send an email to [email protected] to request a survey.
(1) Companies that are registered with the SEC as investment advisers but do not have full control over where their clients' money is invested are included in the Investment
Advisers list. This criteria is in keeping with the standard used by our sister publication, Pensions & Investments.
(2) As of the most recent ADV filed with the SEC.
Chief investment
Top local executive
Luke F. Baum
Richard J. Buoncore
managing partner
W. Wert
Cynthia G. Koury James
president, CEO
Jeffrey Phillips
Joseph P. Heider
regional managing
JT Mullen
John Silvis
Kenneth Coleman
Heather Ettinger
managing partners
R. Gaugler
Mark S. Weiskind Daniel
CEO, managing director
Ronald E. Bates
Joe L. Flinner
CEO, private wealth
C. Knox
Charles B. Elliott Jeffrey
Marnie Randel
Douglas C. Kuhlman
managing partner
RESEARCHED BY Deborah W. Hillyer
2:58 PM
Page 1
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
Cargo service between Great Lakes and Europe sets sail
[email protected]
ON THE WEB Story from:
Sentry Protection Products, a
Lakewood company that makes
and sells column protection products for use in factories and warehouses, is shipping a container of
its bright yellow, impact-resistant
bumpers to Europe on the first return trip of the Fortunagracht, the
first regularly scheduled cargo service between the Great Lakes and
“This is an incredible opportunity for Cleveland, Northeast Ohio
and Ohio,” said Pierre van
Hauwaert, the company’s international sales and marketing representative and president of AplusB
Export Management, a Richmond
Heights export development firm.
“This adds a whole new aspect to
the supply chain.”
The return trip to Antwerp, Bel-
gium, will include a mix of machinery and containers, as well as some
local beer and a yellow school bus.
The Fortunagracht arrived in
Cleveland late on Friday, April 18,
loaded with containers of consumer and industrial goods, wind
energy parts, machinery and other
industrial equipment. It is expected to make monthly calls on Cleveland through the end of 2014.
Mark Krantz, chairman of the
board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga
County Port Authority, at a news
conference on Tuesday, April 22,
said this is the first direct cargo service between a Great Lakes port
and Europe in more than a decade.
Until now, cargo originating from
or ending up in the Midwest had to
“The board deserves credit for
this foresight and, frankly, for their
courage in launching this,” he said.
“It’s not every day that a public entity takes business risk.”
The Port Authority and Spliethoff
Group believe they can attract customers with a lower cost and faster
transit time to Europe.
Krantz said the response has
been so strong that Spliethoff
Group and the Port Authority are
considering adding a second ship
as soon as mid-summer of this
“We have been validated in this
early response from shippers in
both Europe and the United
States,” he said.
Krantz noted that cargo heading
back to Europe has come from as
far away as Iowa and California.
Included on this first trip to Europe was a yellow school bus that
ACO Polymer Products Inc. in
be shipped to an East Coast port
and then put on a train or a truck.
Trorin Swartout, vice president
of the Amsterdam-based Spliethoff
Group, owner of the Fortunagracht,
said his company was pleased with
this first round trip. He said it will
be more than half full in both directions.
This cargo service is a pilot project
— essentially, a ship chartered by
the Port Authority. The hope is that,
once the service is up and running
and shippers know they can rely on
it, revenue from shippers will offset
the $850,000-a-month cost of the
charter. A Port Authority projection
developed last fall showed the service losing $136,250 in its first
month but ending its first year of operation with a profit of $8,750.
Will Friedman, the Port Authority’s president, lauded his board for
committing the funding for this
cargo service.
Denise Donaldson
(216) 522-1383
(216) 694-4264
[email protected]
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& 5 miles from I-71: 6 Homesites with
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Brunswick just West of Pearl Rd., off Laurel
Rd. near Laurel Square Shopping Center.
3 miles from I-71: 6 Homesites with Pub
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Turnberry Subdivision: Just north of SR 162
near Fox Valley CC. 4 miles from downtown
Medina and 3 miles from I-71: 2 homesites
with Pub Reserves of $26,013 & $28,014
Emerald Estates Subdivision: 6 Homesites
off High Mill Avenue NW, just east of SR 236 &
less than 5 miles from downtown Canal Fulton.
15 minutes from Akron-Canton Airport and
30 minutes from downtown Akron: Published
Reserves from $22,678 - $25,346
For Brochure & Terms call Mike Berland,
Court Appointed Auctioneer (216) 839-2032
Move-in ready property in pristine condition.
Located in Royalton Business Park, this is
part of a Class A Flex bldg built in 2002.
Three combined units totaling 5,400 SF
with front door parking. Reception, 3
offices (2,200 SF), conf room, kitchen,
warehouse (3,200 SF) with three 12’ DIDs.
FINAL On-Site Inspection Date: Mon.,
April 28 from 2:00 P.M. to 3:30 P.M.
For Brochure & Terms call Mark Abood,
OH RE Salesperson (216) 839-2027
– Mark Krantz
chairman of the board,
Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port
Chardon is shipping to its corporate parent, the Ahlmann Co. of
Germany, where it will be used to
transport customers and others
around the company’s hometown
of Rendsburg.
Also, Great Lakes Brewing Co. is
shipping a small number of cases of
beer to a European trade show,
with an eye to establishing international distribution of its Dortmunder Gold and Edmund Fitzgerald brews.
Copy Deadline: Wednesdays @ 2:00 p.m.
All Ads Pre-Paid: Check or Credit Card
5222 Richmond Rd. Bedford Hts
Two Farms and a Jeep
81 Years Accumulation
Contractors Row. Lease or Sell, Stand
Alone Bldg.
Office/Shop/Warehouse -- 4000SF
County, 3.5 mile N of Burton SATURDAY – MAY 10, 2014 – 10:30 AM
Real estate (265 Ac, 7 houses); one owner – 46 Farm Jeep (CJ-2A), PTO,
orig. trailer – Preview: Sun. May 4, 1:30-3:30
Russell T. (Rusty) Kiko, Jr., C.A.I., ext 115, 330-495-0923
[email protected]
KIKO Auctioneers
Parma Warehouse
Clean, Safe and Climate
Controlled. Reasonable rates
up to 3,500 SF
For daily on-line updates, sign up @
Crain’s Cleveland Business
on-line @
For all the latest business
4,445 SF RETAIL/
OFFERED WITH A PUBLISHED 4,445 SF One-story frame building in
RESERVE OF ONLY: $120,000 good condition. Corner lot of .36 acres.
16’-18’ ceilings with overhead loading
door. Excellent opportunity for retail or
office/warehouse for service business
1975 N. DANBURY STATION RD. such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.
FINAL On-Site Inspection Date:
Wednesday, April 30 1:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M.
For Brochure & Terms call Mark Abood,
OH RE Salesperson (216) 839-2027
Global Expansion Consulting
Construction • Acquisitions
Exporting • Financing
3,000+/- SF
(855) 707-1944
Gas Station w/ C-Store of 2,304 SF on huge
1.04 acre corner lot. Complete interior/
exterior restoration. Includes walk-in cooler,
2 upright freezers, refrigerated display case,
3 underground fuel tanks of 10,000, 6,000 &
4,000 gallons. Located at corner of Danbury
Rd. & Bayshore Rd. just off SR 2, the store is
on a peninsula close to the Erie islands, Putin-Bay and Kelleys. Best location for Lake
Erie Perch and Walleye. Attractions include
Marblehead Lighthouse and Cedar Point.
On-Site Inspection Dates: Tuesday, April
29 from 10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. & Friday,
May 2 from 2:00 P.M. to 3:30 P.M.
For Brochure & Terms call Mark Abood,
OH RE Salesperson (216) 839-2027
“We have been validated
in this early response
from shippers in both
Europe and the United
Locally Made
ProMark Cabinets
(800) 690-9409
(216) 453-3654
3,000+/- SF Commercial building on 5,310 SF
site with adjacent 4,320 SF parking lot. Property
features two storefronts with 120’ frontage on
heavily traveled St. Clair Ave. Owned by same
family for 40+ years. Zoned Commercial,
the property is ideal for a variety of uses
including retail, service, restaurant and more
FINAL On-Site Inspection: Friday, May 2
from 1:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M.
For Brochure & Terms call Mark Abood,
OH RE Salesperson (216) 839-2027
Excellent Westlake Comm Dev Opportunity. Exceptional visibility, high
traffic counts. City water & sewer, perfect for a variety of commercial uses.
For Brochure & Terms call Mark Abood, OH RE Salesperson (216) 360-0009
For Brochure & Terms of Sale, Call: Mark Abood, OH RE Salesperson or Mike Berland
Hanna Chartwell / Chartwell Auctions, LLC
Michael Berland, OH Auctioneer
Submit your business card to promote your service.
To find out more, contact
Denise Donaldson at 216.522.1383
Crain’s Executive Recruiter
The Cleveland Museum of Art
is looking for a Director of
Communications & Marketing.
for more information.
Looking for brains?
Call Denise Donaldson for more information
(216) 522-1383
To sign up call
toll-free at
or on-line @
Click on “Subscribe Now.”
APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2014
3:20 PM
Page 1
APRIL 21 - 27
The big story: Philips Healthcare temporarily has suspended production operations at its
medical imaging facility in Highland Heights
while it works to improve its quality control
processes. Philips stopped production voluntarily, but the shutdown was prompted by processrelated issues that federal regulators identified
during a recent inspection. However, “there is
no indication” that those issues have affected
the safety of the medical imaging machines
made at the facility, Philips said in a statement.
Philips makes computed tomography scanners
and molecular imaging machines in Highland
Heights. “Our customers can remain confident
in the safety of our products,” the company said.
Zip it:
The University of Akron, the city of
Akron and Summit County hope to develop an
$80 million, 9,000-seat arena across from Canal
Park in downtown Akron that would serve as the
home court for the Zips’ basketball teams and a
venue for other sporting and entertainment
events in the city. Summit County would own
the arena. County officials are expected to ask
voters in November to approve a 0.25% increase
in the county’s sales and use tax to be used, in
part, to fund the design and construction of the
facility. The city and university are expected to
provide land for the project.
Cleared for takeoff: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is in line for a $20 million
facelift. The city-owned airport hired international architecture/engineering firm Leo A Daly
of Minneapolis and the Cleveland firm Van
Auken Akins Architects LLC to provide design
services for renovations to the airport. The ticketing and baggage areas have been criticized by
passengers as outdated. The fixes may help
Cleveland Hopkins attract new airline service.
United Airlines is ending its hub service at the
airport in June. See editorial, Page 10
Gamesmanship: The Cleveland Browns
sacked Bernie Kosar as a preseason television
analyst. The Browns said they “are in discussions
with Kosar on potential new roles” and noted he
still could be part of the pregame broadcasts in
the preseason. Kosar responded with a statement indicating he believes “this decision stems
from my slurred speech impairment, which is a
direct result of the many concussions I received
while playing in the NFL.” The fan favorite said
he hopes WKYC-TV, Channel 3, will “reconsider
utilizing my in-game talents and overlook my
concussion-induced impairment. I want everyone to know that I still bleed Brown and Orange.” WKYC president and general manager
Brooke Spectorsky denied that Kosar’s sometimes-slurred delivery impacted the controversial move.
A wanted man: Former Ohio State football
coach Jim Tressel is a popular guy: He’s one of
three finalists for the presidency at the University of Akron, where he’s now an executive vice
president, and one of six finalists at Youngstown
State University, where he used to coach. The
Akron candidates will meet various university
stakeholders, including faculty and students,
through early next month. Youngstown State’s
search committee late last week interviewed the
six candidates via Skype.
If the GOP won’t have us …: Cleveland is
among 15 cities that have been asked to submit
proposals to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention. In addition to Cleveland, the
cities in the running are Atlanta, Chicago,
Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia,
Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City. Cities interested in bidding to host the convention must
submit their proposal by 5 p.m. on June 6.
Barrio heads for a new
neighborhood: downtown
mers as well as overflow seating in the arcades in the winter, Pace said.
— Stan Bullard
■ In a switch, Cleveland’s Barrio Restaurant
Group, which runs taquerias in Tremont
and Lakewood, plans to open a downtown
location at 5th Street Arcades partially because of the city center’s growing residential
population. Its focus also will be on
evenings instead of serving the lunch crowd.
The neighborhood feel attracted Barrio,
said Sean Fairborn, Barrio operating partner, as the local chain is “all about being a
neighborhood destination.” He cited more
typical reasons for adding a Gateway-area
store as well, such as proximity to the Gateway sports venues and East Fourth Street.
By Aug. 1, Barrio will
occupy a long-empty
hole on 5th Street’s south
side — its last streetfront
vacancy — and will help
the property strategically, said Dick Pace, CEO
Pace’s firm operates 5th Pace
Street on the lower level of Residence Inn
Downtown Cleveland in the landmark Euclid and Colonial arcades between 530 Euclid Ave. and 527 Prospect.
The specialist in build-your-own tacos,
tequila and whiskey will be open 4 p.m. to
2:30 a.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
weekends. With hours extending past the
workday, Pace said, Barrio is designed to
help build evening traffic to encourage merchants in the complex to stay open longer.
Barrio will have outdoor seating in sum-
Valuation vet’s new gig
offers ‘wealth of resources’
■ A Cleveland native who has spent his career advising business owners — often on
mergers and other transactions — has set
his own succession plan into motion by
merging his one-man practice into another.
Rand M. Curtiss, who provided valuation
services through the firm he founded, Loveman-Curtiss Inc., for 28 years, has joined
Western Reserve Valuation Services LLC as
a director, and is its only professional in
An affiliate of the Cleveland investment
banking firm Western Reserve Partners LLC,
Western Reserve Valuation Services up until now had been comprised of four executives in Columbus who traveled to Cleveland to serve clients in Northeast Ohio.
Now, local clients may turn to Curtiss,
who has advised major public companies,
privately held businesses and startups on
valuation and other financial matters for
nearly three decades. Over that period, he
said, he’s advised some 3,500 clients.
“I will be 64 this year, (and) I have loved
being a sole practitioner,” Curtiss said. “But
as I get older, some clients are saying …
‘How long are you going to be around?’
“This is a chance for me to assure my
clients that even if I’m not around that there
will be continuity of service for them,” he
added. “And it gives me access to a wealth of
— Michelle Park Lazette
Bright idea
Osborn, a supplier of industrial brushes, said the new cutback brush is used
for angled removal of three or more layers of coating from pipe ends.
The company worked with machine
manufacturers to develop the cutback
brush to make removal of pipe coating
quicker and more cost-effective. The
brush “completes the three steps in the
process of standard coating removal simultaneously,” according to Osborn. It’s
designed to clean the pipe edge, remove
the pipe coating and grind the coating angle, all at one time, the company said.
“Osborn wanted to solve a common issue in pipeline construction: preparing
the coated pipes for welding,” said Jeff
Naymik, marketing manager at Osborn.
“The ½-inch thick coating has to be removed from the pipe end and leave an angle so that when welded together the
pipe can be properly recoated to prevent
Previously available only from suppliers
in Europe, the cutback brush features “a
larger diameter and more knots than any
brush currently produced in North America,” Osborn claims.
For information, visit
Send information about new products
to managing editor Scott Suttell at
[email protected]
■ The Cleveland Clinic remains in discussions about acquiring Akron General Health
Through a spokeswoman, the Clinic confirmed it was still in talks with the financially hard-pressed Akron hospital, which it had
originally planned to acquire through a joint
venture with Community Health Systems, a
for-profit hospital giant based in Tennessee.
That deal, which was announced last August, soured in early January, though Clinic CEO
Dr. Toby Cosgrove told
Crain’s later that month
that it still was interested
in a takeover. Akron
General hasn’t said who
else it might be talking
to, and a hospital
spokesman said last Cosgrove
week that no announcements were imminent.
After the Clinic-CHS
deal fell apart in January,
Akron General CEO Dr.
Thomas “Tim” Stover
told Crain’s, “I’ve always
had reserve plans in my
back pocket, which is exactly what we’re going to Stover
have to do.”
Earlier this month, Akron mayor Don
Plusquellic said Akron General and its rival
Summa Health System should merge. Both
hospital systems quickly dismissed the idea.
— Timothy Magaw
Excerpts from recent blog entries
COMPANY: Osborn, Cleveland
PRODUCT: 114-knot cutback
The ‘back pocket’ plan
is still a possibility
■ examined Cleveland
State University’s new strategy to get students
to degree completion faster and
called it “a pretty simple idea that’s
surprisingly uncommon.”
The gist: Students are allowed —
and encouraged to register for an
entire year’s worth of courses before the fall semester.
“In this first year that Cleveland
State offered the option, 60 percent
of students used it,” according to
the story. “Officials expect that figure will
climb to 80 percent next year, as they continue to advertise and sell the idea as a potentially money-saving tool.”
Cleveland State president Ronald M. Berkman told, “I think it’s
going to be of extraordinary importance toward completion. If you expect Course B to
be given in the spring, and Course B is the
course you need to take before Course C, but
it turns out Course B is not given in the
spring. … Those are very, very real complexities for students.”
The website noted that many Cleveland
State students commute, have a family
and/or work part-time. Berkman says being
able to plan ahead, stay on track and save
time and money on the way makes it easier to
balance those responsibilities.
On ice
■ looked closely at
why it’s a big deal that almost half the Great
Lakes are still covered in ice.
As of April 10, “48% of the five lakes’ 90,000plus square miles were still covered in ice,
down from a high of 92.2% on March 6,” the
website said. That March figure “constituted
the highest levels recorded since 1979, when
ice covered 94.7% of the lakes.”
The story noted that as the Great Lakes “slowly lose their historically large ice covers over the
next few months, the domino effects could include lingering cold water, delayed seasonal
shifts, and huge jumps in water levels.”
This also is a big deal, at least in the short
term, when it comes to commerce.
“More than 200 million tons of
cargo, mostly iron ore, coal, and
grain, travel across the Great Lakes
throughout the year,” reported. “Even a little
ice can make a big dent on this total. Only three shipments of coal
were loaded up during March —
69% less, by volume, than last year.”
Indeed, the Rocky River-based Lake Carriers’ Association, in its March shipping report,
cited “ice formations, the likes of which have
not been seen in decades,” as a main factor is
“severely (limiting) cargo movement in U.S.flag vessels on the Great Lakes.”
Two more years?
■ U.S. Rep. David Joyce, a Republican from
Geauga County, probably enjoyed reading a
recent story in about the 2014
mid-term elections.
The story noted that House Democrats,
“battered by Koch brothers ads and facing a
grim outlook for the midterms, are providing
the clearest indication yet of how they plan to
respond: By shoring up imperiled incumbents
and only the most promising challengers, but
most likely leaving some of the party’s upstart
hopefuls to fend for themselves.”
Joyce at one time was a key target for Democrats, said. But “many Democratic operatives … no longer think it’s
possible to unseat” Joyce, a freshman who occupies something of a swing district.
After starting the 2014 election with around
three dozen pickup opportunities, some Democratic strategists now believe “that figure
is down to between 20 and 24,”
12:58 PM
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