Follow Us On
Issue: January/February 2010
|Tri-C Corporate College has hired Thomas Sohlberg as vice
president for solutions management. Sohlberg is the founder and former
president of Sohlberg Consultants and has served in vice president
roles with National City. Sohlberg holds a bachelor’s degree from the
University of South Florida and a dual master’s degree from Texas Tech
|The Home Savings and Loan Co. has hired Kevin P. Gluntz as vice
president and deputy general counsel. Gluntz has more than 23 years of
legal experience and founded his own law firm, Gluntz Law, in January
2009. Gluntz received a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University
and his law degree from the University of Akron.
|Day Ketterer has announced the addition of finance attorney Paul N.
Edwards. Edwards is the former chairman of the securities law practice
at McDonald Hopkins and has more than 30 years of legal experience.
Edwards will help lead growth initiatives for the firm’s Cleveland
Reminger Co. has welcomed five new partners at the firm’s Cleveland
office. Anthony M. Catanzarite specializes in personal injury,
construction, premises liability and general business disputes. Brian
T. Gannon focuses on medical malpractice and health care law. James O’
Connor, who formerly ran a family-owned business, focuses on
professional liability, complex commercial litigation and employment
litigation. Myra Barsoum Stockett specializes in insurance coverage
litigation and workers’ compensation. Brian M. Zaber joins the firm
with prior experience as a claims investigator. The firm has also
appointed Marilena DiSilvo, John O’ Neil and Richard J. Rymond to the
Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. has hired Tom Cooperstein as the
director of the Real Estate Default Group. Cooperstein joins the firm
with 29 years of experience in the consumer finance industry, managing
multibillion-dollar portfolios and working for corporations such as
Accredited Home Lenders and Associated Home Equity.
|The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority has named Peter Raskind as
interim president and CEO. Raskind is the former CEO of National City
Bank and will hold the interim position for at least three months while
helping choose a permanent chief executive. Raskind received a
bachelor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth College and a MBA with a
concentration in finance from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business
Administration in 1979.
|Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has named Amfred Kulenkampff CFO and
vice president of finance and IT. He has previously been vice president
of finance at Alcoa Electrical and Electronic Solutions and president
of Reum Corp. Kulenkampff holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from
the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and a master’s of
accounting equivalent from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
MidContinental Chemical Co. has added Linas Jokubaitis as a sales
representative to develop growth strategies for fuel and lube oil
additives. Jokubaitis has more than 25 years of experience in the
refining and petroleum marketing industries with previous positions at
Lubrizol, Biz Dearborn and Coastal Chemical. He holds a bachelor’s
degree from Cleveland State University.
|The President’s Council has named Duane Thornton its new president. The
President’s Council is a consortium of 14 business owners that develop
African-American businesses throughout Northeast Ohio. Thornton holds a
bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology from the University of
Virginia and a master’s degree from St. Joseph’s University.
Chairman, Chancellor University
Robert H. “Bob” Barker Jr. went off to Arizona State University with
$300 in his pocket and not another cent to his name. So he worked three
jobs while earning a degree. Maybe that’s why he encourages
college-bound students to do their homework on financial aid packages
and to hunt down every private funding source.
That’s good advice coming from the new chairman of Chancellor
University. An entrepreneur who founded EDU Interactive and Barker
Educational Services, companies to help colleges increase enrollment,
Barker is also a former vice president at the University of Phoenix.
These days he lives in Phoenix, Ariz., but frequently travels to
Cleveland to Chancellor’s main offices.
Class act: Barker finds the business of education very fulfilling.
“What better job could you have than to help people on the way to their
Making the grade: Barker holds a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State
and a master’s from the University of Phoenix. “All of those together
helped me develop a better understanding of not just business but to be
a more well-rounded person.”
Moving up: Barker worked his way up from the bottom in higher
education. “I always wanted to make sure I was doing as much as I could
to make myself indispensable. ... I’ve never asked for a promotion, but
I’ve been promoted several times. If you deliver beyond their
Risky business: “The decision to [start your own business] in the first
place is the biggest challenge. It’s a big gamble. There are always
risks in starting a business, but three years later we’re thriving.”
Business lesson: “Make sure you have a solid business plan and access
to funding. So many good companies start and don’t have a plan to
follow, fall apart and realize they’re falling short of cash. You have
to make sure you have enough cash for today’s needs and if your
worst-case scenario develops.”
Stage crasher: “If there’s a live band or event, then rest assured I’m
going to get up there and start singing with them. That doesn’t mean
I’m good, just that I like to do it.”
Star turn: Two years ago, the Flutie Brothers Band, which includes
former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie and his brother, Darren, a Canadian
Football League star, performed at an event in Phoenix. “He allowed me
to get up and sing with their band, so that was my biggest gig.”
Why did you go the route of being an entrepreneur?
I left University of Phoenix three years ago, after a very successful
career, on my own terms. But then it was time for me to try something
else, and that something was an entrepreneurship itch that needed to be
scratched. I wanted to see if I could do it. It went from a structured
bureaucratic environment at University of Phoenix, when we were
traveling around the country in private jets and going to executive
lunches, and a few weeks later there I was, taking out garbage and
serving as the temporary receptionist. It was important for me to get
back to my roots and re-energize my career. Then low and behold the
board of directors at Chancellor’s University came to me with an
How has technology changed the face of higher education?
Back in my day, if there was a relevant article it meant going to the
library and making photocopies. It was very efficient and time
consuming. Today there’s so much access to so much information. That to
me has been the biggest advantage. Simulations for courses in not just
business but healthcare have helped people learn and it’s clearly a
richer educational experience when you can see things in a virtual
What will your duties be as Chairman of Chancellor University?
First and foremost we manage the business in a manner that’s relevant
to our business model, so we’re meeting our budget expectations. In a
school that’s supported primarily by student tuition, that means we
have to work on meeting or exceeding our enrollment goals which means
that everything we do we do in a compliant manner that applies to our
various regulatory bodies. It’s important to do things well, but it’s
equally important to do things right.
We’re a smaller college today, so you’re not talking explosive growth
of our peers. This is well-managed growth. Our expectations are set so
that we never strain the infrastructure so that we won’t have any
delusion of our academic and student services. We want to recruit and
hire and train the best employees that we can and make sure they are
properly skilled to do their prospective roles. If you do that you
can’t help but succeed.
How has the role of higher education in the business world changed since you started your career?
Our economy has changed since I’ve started. You have to be know to work
in a know based economy and continue to upgrade your skills to stay
relevant. A B.A. of Information Technology would be useless in today’s
technology workplace. It really come down to, if you want to stay
relevant and be competitive – not just you personally, but us globally
-- we have to be constantly upgrading our skill sets.
Advice for someone entering the business world?
The majority of people who I’ve seen succeed in business, including
myself, have developed a very large network of professional associates
and mentors. That to me is critically important. If you think about it,
most of the time you hear about someone getting a job because someone
they knew had an opportunity and brought the two together. I think its
critically important for anyone today to keep improving themselves.
When I look at a resume and I see dated educational experience, I think
about what they’ve been up to. But for people who go to seminars and
have new certifications, it shows you stay engaged in that career.
How should business students pick the right grad program?
The simplest thing is to do your research and if you are considering a
job with a particular company or field, I would talk to hiring
employees and get their advice about where to attend. Those are
important questions to ask. Take the time to speak to faculty members
at that college or university because they’re the ones imparting the
knowledge. You know their knowledge and credentials and experiences and
know that they are experienced in that field.
Commitment to public service… It is critically important that colleges
and businesses and business leaders give back to their employees. We
have a history of that at the University of Phoenix and with my current
businesses, and we most certainly plan on being an active part in
helping Cleveland and the surrounding areas in any way that we can in
terms of giving back to the community. I think all businesses should do
that because it make the world a better place.
|Antonio Catalano has joined Resource Title in Independence to take on a
development role in their retail division. He is responsible for
building new client relationships and sales at the agency’s
Independence office. Catalano is the founder and owner of Title Xperts
and has more than 20 years of experience in the title and real estate
Chairman, Downtown Cleveland Improvement Corp.
Bill West lives part of the year in Bavaria, Germany, and spends much
of his time traveling to Mexico, Canada, Asia, Europe, the East Coast,
California and Texas. As a partner at Colliers-Ostendorf-Morris Co., he
does real estate work for several large corporations, including
aerospace supplier Goodrich.
But West still calls Cleveland his favorite city in the world.
“Cleveland is a very interesting city,” he says. “There’s a certain
pride in the city. If you travel, you’ll go a long, long way before you
find the quality of life we have here.”
West is putting his money where his heart is as the new chairman of the
Downtown Cleveland Improvement Corp. With more than 40 years of
experience in brokerage and law experience, West will oversee the
organization’s efforts to attract more businesses and residents
Cleveland roots: “I was fortunate to grow up in an area with people
very involved in Cleveland. My dad was very involved, and it was always
of interest to me.”
Germany? West’s wife is German, so they spend part of the year in Bavaria, about 35 miles west of Munich.
Building a career: West worked in construction during college and loved
the business. “After I graduated from [Case Western Reserve University]
law school, I said writing papers behind the desk wasn’t for me.” So he
combined the two pursuits in real estate. “It’s a great job because you
meet a lot of people with a lot of different businesses. They’re really
good and interesting people.”
Permanent improvement: In 2004, West, developer John Carney and banking
executive David Goldberg, organized downtown property owners to raise
money for increased security and a cleaner city. Today, the DCIC raises
approximately $3.3 million from property owners that goes to the
Downtown Cleveland Alliance to carry out those activities.
Giving back gives back: “Getting involved with the local community is
good because it gives you more knowledge of what’s going on and where
you fit in the world. Do something you like to do. It connects you with
people with similar interests.”
Ride on: West enjoys riding his BMW motorcycle. He and his wife rode
from Cleveland to the West Coast and up to Nova Scotia. “You really
feel where you are instead of just passing through an area. It’s
wonderful. This is just a different sensation.”
|ACRT Inc., a leader in utility vegetation management, has appointed
Gerald Conn to safety and workers’ compensation manager at its Akron
headquarters. Conn has more than 15 years of experience in safety and
compliance for various industries. He holds a bachelor’s degree from
Kent State University and is an Occupational Safety and Health
Administration authorized trainer.
This record has been viewed 2103