Find an Event

Greater Cleveland Middle-Market Forum

05.09.14 7:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Corporate College East, 4400 Richmond Road, Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

Online registration is now closed.

Thank you for your support of the 2014 Greater Cleveland Middle Market Forum, Northeast Ohio's signature event for middle-market companies featuring high-profile mid-market CEOs, best practices and the latest research. The event is sold out, and online registration is now closed.
  • If you have questions or need more information, please email us or call 216.592.2370.


7:00-8:00 a.m.- Registration and Breakfast Buffet

8:00-8:10 a.m.- Welcome and Opening of the Forum

Darin Haines, chair, Greater Cleveland Partnership Middle-Market Committee; chief technology officer, MCPc

8:10-8:50 a.m.- Plenary Session: “The Market That Moves America”

Speaker: Dr. Anil Makhija, academic director, National Center for the Middle Market

The U.S. middle market is the leading indicator of America’s future competitiveness. Consisting of approximately 195,000 U.S. firms with annual revenues between $10MM and $1B, these companies consist of stable, resilient businesses that account for the largest source of sustainable domestic jobs, 1/3 of the country’s total GDP and, if looked at as an individual market segment, the world’s fourth largest global economy.

Dr. Makhija’s presentation will provide meaningful insight on how the middle market is defined, its performance and business outlook, and understanding its unmet needs.

8:50-9 a.m.- Networking Break

9:00-9:45 a.m.- “Growth Champion of the Middle Market”

Growth Champions of the Middle Market, companies that have grown by more than 10 percent post recession, share unique characteristics of their management priorities and the culture created within their companies.

Ken Taylor, chairman and president of Ohio CAT, shares his insights on how his company became a Growth Champion with disciplined, systematic growth.

Moderator: Dan Moulthrop, CEO, City Club of Cleveland
Speaker: Ken Taylor, chairman and president, Ohio CAT

9:45-11 a.m.- The Economy, Policy, Regulatory Compliance and the Middle Market”

Middle-market enterprises face significant headwinds with a struggling global economy, uncertainty with government policy and a constant barrage of new regulations. Our panel of experts share their insights on the impact of these issues on the middle market.

Dan Moulthrop, CEO, City Club of Cleveland
Speakers: Steven C. LaTourette, president, McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies;
Mekael Teshome, economist, The PNC Financial Services Group;
Linda Woggon, executive vice president, Ohio Chamber of Commerce

11-11:15 a.m.- Networking Break

11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions

"Engaging the Organization in Top-Line Revenue Growth"
Presenter: Gretchen Goffe, executive director, The Innovation Initiative, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business

CEOs have recognized an innovation imperative: if you want to grow your business, you need to innovate. Yet the ROI2 varies dramatically. A recent Blue Ocean Strategy review of 108 new product launches revealed that 14 percent created new market space while accounting for 61 percent of profits.

Our presenter will cover the challenges to making innovation happen routinely, a framework for improving return on innovation investment ROI2, and how to see opportunity in change.

“Strategic Operational Excellence”

Presenter: Steve Lundregan, senior lecturer,The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business

Global markets, technological developments, and regulatory pressures demand innovative responses from businesses of all sizes, especially those in the middle market. Emergent strategies, dynamic capabilities, and lean management all take aim at sustainable solutions but often fail to deliver as advertised.

This session explores tools of operational excellence in the context of today’s dynamics, and offers strategic view of when, where, and how to employ them in your organization.

“Performance Management”
Larry Inks, clinical assistant professor of management & human resources, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business;
Ray Noe, Robert and Anne Hoyt Designated Professorship in Management & Human Resources, The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business

Human capital is the number one priority for CEOs in 2014 according to a Conference Board study. This session will focus on the role of performance management systems for developing talent and human capital and improving organizational performance.

Some advocate doing away with performance management because both managers and employees dislike the process and many believe it doesn’t contribute to talent development or improving company performance. Is performance management truly the “Darth Vader” of HR practices?

We will discuss and elicit your thoughts about practices that are working and what needs to be changed for performance management to improve employee performance, talent development, and contribute to organizational performance.

"Customer Focus”
Presenter: Bernie Moreno, president, The Collection Auto Group

One key driver for success in the middle market is the ability to continuously attract new customers and maintain the relationship after the sale.

It’s no surprise that Growth Champions invest heavily in the area of customer relationships. In 2005, Bernie Moreno purchased a small, under-performing Mercedes-Benz dealership on Cleveland's west side. In just one year, under Moreno’s leadership, the re-born dealership earned a coveted “Best of the Best” award from Mercedes-Benz. In less than 10 years, Moreno would grow this business from a single dealership into an impressive collection of 21.

Our speaker shares how customer focus has driven his company’s record growth.

12:15-1:30 p.m.-  Closing Plenary Session: “Morning Wrap Up” and a “Conversation with Stewart Kohl”

This lunch plenary session includes a review of the concurrent Breakout Sessions and the luncheon keynote.

"Conversation with Stewart Kohl:" Moderator: John Campanelli, publisher and editorial director, Crain's Cleveland Business

Stewart A. Kohl is co-chief executive officer of The Riverside Company, a private equity firm founded in 1988 to invest in premier companies at the smaller end of the middle market.

Throughout its history, Riverside has maintained a core philosophy of investing in smaller market-leading companies, enabling it to acquire more than 310 companies in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The firm’s investors include leading pension funds, endowments, funds-of-funds, insurance companies and banks.

Under the guidance of Mr. Kohl and co-CEO Béla Szigethy, Riverside has grown to employ more than 200 people in offices across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. In prior years, Riverside has been recognized by Buyouts magazine as “Buyout Firm of the Year” and by Mergers & Acquisitions Journal as “Private Equity Firm of the Year.” Riverside was also named the world’s most active private equity firm of 2012 by PitchBook.

Mr. Kohl joined Riverside in 1993. Prior to that, he was a vice president of Citicorp Venture Capital, Ltd., the private equity arm of Citibank.


John Campanelli, publisher and editorial director, Crain's Cleveland Business
Darin Haines, chair, Greater Cleveland Partnership Middle Market Committee;
    chief technology officer, MCPc
Dr. Anil Makhija, academic director, National Center for the Middle Market
Gretchen Goffe, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business
Larry Inks, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business
Stewart Kohl, The Riverside Group
Steve Lundregan, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business
Bernie Moreno, The Collection Auto Group
Ray Noe, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business

Sponsored by:

Presented by:

Learn more about the middle market

Our Middle-Market Knowledge Center is an online repository of regional and national data, research and trends. We keep our information current by adding more resources as they become available.

Click here to get started.