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A View from the EDGE

Innovation Processes & a Bit(coin) of the Future

February 15, 2018

Northeast Ohio innovation leaders gathered at Swagelok to explore the business applications and implications of 10 Types of Innovation, Gamification, and Blockchain.

Greg Shaw, Director, Innovation and Technology, hosted and shared one of Swagelok’s guiding operational modes: The Ten Types of Innovation, Laura Steinbrink of introduced the concept of Gamification as a technique to encourage behavioral changes and engagement, Sagar Rambhia, co-founder of Grasshopper Capital (a cryptocurrency and crypto-asset hedge fund), provided a working understanding of this space and the current impact it is having on business innovation.

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Regional Initiatives for Mid-Size Companies

January 18, 2018

Northeast Ohio business leaders gathered for a panel discussion focusing on broad-scale initiatives to help grow the value in their business, from talent access to infrastructure to manufacturing and innovation operations. The panel featured Dorothy Baunach, Interim Director, DigitalCHolly Harris-Bane, Executive Director, NOCHE (Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education); and Brad Whitehead, President, Fund for Our Economic Future and was moderated by, Caroline Taich, Kirtland Consulting, LLC with additional invited guests from regional economic development and business assistance organizations including: ConxusNEOGoodwill, and Great Lakes Biomimicry.  Special thanks to Hiring Optics for sponsoring.

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Market-Driven Innovation and Marketing in Innovation

December 6, 2017 

Marcus Thomas hosted EDGE’s InnoQuest group in their creative workspace along with one of their clients, MTD Products, as we explored “Market-Driven Innovation and Innovation in Marketing.”  The relationship between marketing and innovation is central in determining not only how new products and services are created, but also how they are sold and delivered to customers. In this session, we explored this relationship more deeply and gained an understanding of how customer data helps us discover the holy grail of marketing: One-to-one messaging and delivery.

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Timing is Everything – Annual Economic Forecast

November 9, 2017

Leaders from Northeast Ohio mid-size businesses joined colleagues for EDGE’s 10th Annual Economic Forecast.  This year Jeff Mortimer, Director of Investment Strategy for BNY-Mellon Wealth Management, presented less of a traditional economic forecast, but more a way of seeing how current economic indicators, in the context of economic cycles, influence buy-sell decisions. Thank you to our sponsors KPMG and Hiring Optics.

What made Jeff’s forecast unique is that he paid particular attention to the timing and flow of money and goods so that decisions around making transactions are executed at the time of maximum return for his clients.  This has implications for such top-level decisions like when to buy or sell a company, when to hold or release inventories, and when to enter into foreign markets.  Further, Jeff shared insights on the speed of technological adaptation, demographic shifts and of course the standard market indicators that make our economy tick. Read more>


Technology Driven Innovation

October 20, 2017

InnoQuest participants explored Technology-Driven Innovation on October 20th at Dealer Tire’s newly renovated 165,000 square foot headquarters, located in the historic Victory Center in Cleveland’s Mid-Town, the heart of the Health-Tech Corridor (7012 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH). Check out their new office space in this video.

Dealer Tire shared how it is using platform-driven innovation and partnerships to solve customer issues and drive new value; plus, DigitalC shared how it is helping to guide Northeast Ohio’s priorities and resources towards being a technology hub. 

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Wisdom of the Sages | CEO Panel

September 30, 2017

Leaders of EDGE member organizations gathered to learn with and from an esteemed panel of venerated CEOs, moderated by Jim Bennett, a renowned business and community leader in his own right.

  • Chris Connor, CEO (Retired), Sherwin Williams
  • Kevin McMullen, CEO (Retired), OMNOVA Solutions
  • Tom Murdough, CEO, Simplay3 and Founder of Little Tikes and Step2
  • James Bennett, Managing Director, Bennett Group

In this program, panelists shared insights and experiences on leadership and strategy, including the role of personal development, developing others, the role of failure, market disruption and community engagement. Read more>



Prototype to Production – Resource Allocation: Where the Rubber Hits the Road

August 22, 2017

During the InnoQuest Innovation Management session held at JumpStart on August, 22, Norbert Majerus, Lean Champion at Goodyear shared methods gleaned to commandeer resources – whether material, social or cultural – to speed the rate at which new products and services hit the market full force. Goodyear has shifted from a Project Management culture to a Lean Start-Up process, which resulted in dramatic changes from 10% on-time delivery of new products to well over 90% and from 50% of new products being profitable to nearly all new products turning profits! Read more>





EDGE Fellows | Driving Growth for Northeast Ohio

August 1, 2017

EDGE Fellows presented the results of their research on new business opportunities for existing Northeast Ohio companies to a packed house of business, community and university leaders at JumpStart on Tuesday, August 1. The market studies addressed artificial intelligence / machine learning, topical anesthetic applications, distribution models for 3D printing and personal care products, new custom food division, data analytics business model, colored dispersants, cleaning applications for the marine and agriculture industries. Learn more about the presentations and projects> 





Value Opportunity Analysis: 

Translating Marketplace Insights into Product Specifications

June 8, 2017

CEOs and Presidents of EDGE member companies joined their colleagues in the innovation realm as part of the InnoQuest series at Tarkett North America headquarters location in Solon. Dr. Peter Boatwright, author of “Built to Love: Creating Products that Captivate Customers” and co-Director of the Integrated Innovation Institute at Carnegie Mellon University shared what really drives consumer behavior and how to apply that to your company’s innovation pipeline.The Tarkett team shared their story of co-creation and customer-centric innovation and how their approach to innovation is helping to differentiate them in the flooring industry. Read more>






Volunteer Day at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank

May 26, 2017

EDGE staff and Fellows honored the memory of EDGE staff member and EDGE Fellow, Kelly Mackey, by volunteering together with her family at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. It was a great team effort as we packaged enough bran flakes cereal to provide 934 meals to our neighbors in need.

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The Challenger Mindset – Executive Forum Recap

May 25, 2017

What does it take to be a successful brand challenger, that rebel in your industry who doesn’t have to be all things to all people, defies the status quo in a meaningful way and refuses to be “mush in the middle?” Inspiration is all around us, explained Chad Dick, partner at eatbigfish, who led EDGE member leaders through a workshop to explore the challenger state of mind. Thank you to our Executive Forum Series sponsor, Hiring Optics, for your support. Full recap>





Day at the Ballpark with Breakthrough Schools

Posted on May 19, 2017

THANK YOU, to our sponsors and business mentors for making a Day at the Ballpark with Breakthrough Schools students a huge success! 90 middle school students were paired up with 55 business mentors for a day of fun and learning at the May 17th Cleveland Indians game. Jordan Kline of Breakthrough’s Citizens Leadership Academy even got to throw out the first pitch! Special thanks to company sponsors Fairmount Santrol, Fifth Third Bank, and Nordson Corporation. Read more>






April Newsletter

Posted on April 7, 2017

This month you’ll read about the upcoming opportunity to learn how to transform challenges into opportunities at the upcoming Executive Forum on May 25. The recap including the recorded video from the February InnoQuest Innovation Management session at Polyone featuring Dan Adams (AIM Institute) and Reed Stith who shared marketing tools for dynamic B2B product launches. What you can learn from the world’s most innovative companies ranked by FastCompany. Learn how the Summer EDGE Fellows program can help you capitalize on new business opportunities. Mentor and sponsor students for the day at the ballpark with Breakthrough Schools at the May 17 Cleveland Indians game. Full newsletter>





Transitioning from Commodity to Specialized Business Plus, Marketing Tools for B2B Product Launches

Posted on March 22, 2017

The 2017 InnoQuest Innovation Management program kicked off the year at Polyone in February. Michael Garratt, Chief Communications Officer, shared this journey – offering both success stories and setbacks – and where and how the PolyOne team continues to focus its efforts. Plus, the tour of the PolyOne Innovation Center truly showed the breadth and depth of PolyOne’s expertise and why the military and many leading companies turn to them to solve their problems. Kelly Zelesnik, Dean of Business, Information and Engineering Technology at Lorain County Community College, shared how the new $5M Campana Center for Ideation and Invention (opening in 2017) will provide a valuable resource to the business community for Digital Manufacturing, Prototyping and Additive Manufacturing. Dan Adams (AIM Institute) and Reed Stith shared marketing tools for dynamic B2B Product Launches, including traditional and digital strategies for improving product positioning and acceptance. Watch the recorded session and read more >


internet-of-thingsFebruary Newsletter

Posted on February 7, 2017

This month, Operations and IT leaders of EDGE Member organizations will meet for an in-depth IoT discussion led by Ed Yenni of LogiSync. Learn how the Summer EDGE Fellows program can help you capitalize on new business opportunities. This year, the Executive Forum Series will address four subjects of relevance starting with the M&A Panel on February 24; Change, Culture & Performance in May; a CEO Panel in September; and the annual Economic Forecast in November. CEO of Main Street Gourmet, Harvey Nelson, shared why EDGE is an important piece of the puzzle for his organization. This month, EDGE InnoQuest Innovation Management participants will kick of the year with, “Transitioning from Commodity to a Specialized Business,” at PolyOne. Full Newsletter>



January Newsletter3066605-poster-p-1-these-are-the-top-5-workplace-trends-well-see-in-2017

Posted on January 9, 2017

Happy 2017! In this month’s newsletter you’ll read about the InnoQuest Innovation Management session, Creativity & Leadership; the top workplace trends you’ll see in 2017; information on how to refer a company or apply for the inaugural Scalerator NEO program to help grow companies; how a Northeast Ohio company is creating a learning organization built for growth; and EYE Lighting’s 25th anniversary celebration! Read more>



Creativity & Leadership

Posted on January 4, 2017

Gerard Puccio, Ph.D., Chair of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State, is an authority on Creativity and Leadership, and in a joint session with EDGE’s Innovation and CEO groups, he shared tools for enhancing creative thinking as well as insights on how to foster creativity in others. This hands-on, practical session explored the value of creative thinking as well as ways to cultivate creativity in daily work environments. Dr. Puccio’s presentation was universally appreciated – inspiring leaders to consider how to incorporate these themes and continue the conversation. Mark Olszewski, Strategic Marketing Leader at Philips, also shared how Philips Healthcare continues to evolve its business strategy through innovation to be an industry leader in many areas. Full recap>



biomimicry-2Design Thinking

Posted on November 4, 2016

Two of the nation’s top thought leaders in Design Thinking shared their insights with the InnoQuest Innovation group in October at the Cleveland Institute of Art, one of the country’s best art and design schools. Dr. Fred Collopy (Professor – Design and Innovation, Weatherhead School at CWRU) shared on the evolution of designing and the roles that leaders have in managing the design process. In addition, he facilitated small group work that allowed participants to ideate with specific constraints. Doug Paige (Associate Professor, Industrial Design at CIA) provided insight on how biomimicry (or imitating designs found in nature) is changing the role of industrial design and product innovation. Terrific insights and resources  to explore applications and solutions to every day design issues. The group also had a chance to tour the upgraded CIA school – showing the breadth and depth of programs offered. Full recap>


the-future-of-manufacturing-2020November Newsletter

Posted on November 1, 2016

Register for the Annual Economic Forecast: Economic Principles the Next President Cannot Avoid on Thursday, November 17. Read the IndustryWeek special research report, The Future of Manufacturing: 2020 and Beyond and learn how manufacturers are pushing hard to improve performance across a range of capabilities, starting with improving production processes, strengthening customer relationships and finding people with the right skills and experience. Read about how Jim Allen, CEO, Mold Masters and his leaders have been able to grow to help transform Mold Masters by cultivating ideas to sustain a stable workforce and create profitable growth. Refer a company or apply for the inaugural Scalerator NEO program to help grow companies. Recap from this year’s Mid-Market Executive Golf Outing held at Sand Ridge Golf Club. Read more>


economicforecast2012_logo-630x314October Newsletter

Posted on October 10, 2016

In this month’s issue you’ll find full recaps from the Day at the Ballpark with Breakthrough Schools at the Cleveland Indians game and the Executive Forum with Bo Burlingham, author Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big; information on the inaugural Scalerator NEO program; information on the upcoming Annual Economic Forecast with Dr. Ken Mayland on Thursday, November 17th and this year’s Family Business honorees presented by SmartBusiness Magazine. Read more>



img_2697Executive Forum with Bo Burlingham Recap

Posted on September 22, 2016

On Thursday, September 15th, EDGE members joined HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio members for an Executive Forum with Bo Burlingham, author; Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, sponsored by Hiring Optics.

What exactly is it that makes a company great? That was the question that Bo Burlingham explored in his bestselling book, Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, about 14 small-to-midsize, privately owned companies that are widely acknowledged as being the best at what they do and that have been singled out for their extraordinary contributions to their communities. Read more.



img_9572Day at the Ballpark with Breakthrough Schools

Posted on September 12, 2016

Over 50 business and civic leaders hosted over 100 middle school students from Cleveland’s Breakthrough Schools on Thursday, September 8, 2016 for a day of mentoring and fun at the Cleveland Indians game. Students shared their education and career goals with hosts over lunch in the club section. Thanks to the Cleveland Indians, Breakthrough Schools, and the generous support from hosts and sponsoring organizations! We look forward to another fun day out next season!

Pictures from the game.




terves-teamSeptember Newsletter

Posted on September 12, 2016

In this month’s issue you’ll read about EDGE Fellow, Anthony Manna’s experience in the Life@Weatherhead Blog; a recap of the InnoQuest Innovation Management session that explored Lean Start Up Principles with Parker Hannifin Corporate Technology Ventures and Current, powered by GE; The Technology House 20th anniversary celebration; Terves’ ribbon cutting ceremony as well as invitations to join the Executive Forum with Bo Burlingham of Inc. Magazine on Thursday. Sept. 15th and the Mid-Market Executive Golf Outing on Friday, Sept. 30th at Sand Ridge Golf Club including a presentation by the Ronn Richard, the CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. Read more>


InnoQuest Slides 8-17 pic Current GE

Lean Start-Up Principles

Posted on August 31, 2016

The InnoQuest meeting in August explored Lean Start Up Principles with Parker Hannifin Corporate Technology Ventures and Current, powered by GE – an energy services company created by GE in 2015. Special thanks to Bill Beane and Pam Marvinney from Parker for hosting and to Jeff Nall from Current/GE. Read more.


factoryAugust Newsletter

Posted on August 5, 2016

Did you know by 2020 America will be the most competitive manufacturing economy in the world? Read more about the challenges companies face in article from IndustryWeek Growing the Next Manufacturing Labor Force found in this month’s newsletter. In this issue you’ll also read about the Additive Manufacturing InnoQuest Innovation Session, the upcoming Day at the Ballpark at the Cleveland Indians game on Sept. 8th, and the upcoming Executive Forum on Sept. 15th with Bo Burlingham, Editor-at-Large, Inc. Magazine and Author, Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big … Read more.



July Newsletter

Posted on July 6, 2016

This issue covers the upcoming new business idea presentations by this summer’s EDGE Fellows class at JumpStart on Aug. 2nd, the 1Q peer group recap, the upcoming Day at the Ballpark at the Cleveland Indians game on Sept. 8th, member company news, sales insights from the National Center of the Middle Market and leadership lessons from the Cavs, the 2016 NBA Champions … Read more.







Knowing the Customer’s Applications

… better than the customer does

Posted on June 15, 2016
The InnoQuest session held at Keithley Instruments on June 7th centered around knowing the customer’s applications plus ways to engage your employees in innovation. Mark Hoersten of Keithley and Ellen Zerucha of Tremco shared insightful lessons of their organizations’ innovation journey and Jeff Hoffman, an internationally recognized entrepreneur, shared his insights … Read more.




The Power of Peer-to Peer LearningKRM-20130319-3280

2016 1st quarter peer group recap

Posted on May 17, 2016
Member company CEOs and their leadership teams participated in peer-to-peer roundtable discussions to help drive management excellence and innovation within their organizations. During the 1st quarter of 2016 the CEO, Finance and the President/Senior Vice Presidents peer groups met to discuss growth and change within their organizations. The IT and Operations leaders met to discuss the trends and challenges for the year and share best practices to prepare themselves and their organizations for a successful 2016. The Sales and Marketing leaders met with IT leaders and also with HR leaders allowing for cross-functional learning and alignment … Read more.


3d printing

Additive Manufacturing

3D Printing & Rapid Prototyping

Posted May 3, 2016

On April 20th, InnoQuest Program participants saw first hand how quickly Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing/Rapid Prototyping) is changing the way companies do business. No longer is 3D printing just for prototyping as it is now being used for scaling up manufacturing in dramatic ways. Northeast Ohio is fortunate to have The Technology House here for the last 20 years as they stay on the leading edge of this revolution. Thanks to our presenters: Greg Cebular from The Technology House, Phil DeSimone from Carbon3D and Rob Gorham of America Makes … Read more.



Noche2016winner Logo

Coolest Internship

Posted April 20, 2016

The Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) and Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) magazine awarded the EDGE Fellows Summer Intern Program Coolest Internship. Finalists named in the Coolest Internship category were Cohen & Company, Insivia and The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Special thanks to program director, Chris Keller, the amazing students, the volunteer business mentors and host companies … Read More.


IMG_1061Creating a Coaching Culture

To Inspire and Motivate

Posted on March 21, 2016

On Thursday, March 17th, EDGE members joined HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio members for an Executive Forum: Creating a Coaching Culture. Barbara Singer-Cheng, President and CEO, Executive Core, lead a conversation with present experts including Weatherhead School of Management, Director of Executive Education Professor, Dr. Melvin Smith; Operating Officer, AMETEK, Denise Schier; as well as the audience about their perspectives and discussed … Read More.



Everybody Matters

The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family

Posted on March 22, 2016

Over 100 NEO business leaders gathered on March 2nd, at Lorain County Community College for The Engaged Workplace: Where Everybody Matters, led by Matt Whiat, Partner at the Barry-Wehmiller Leadership Institute. Matt led an inspiring and interactive event that provided these key takeaways that can be applied to how we lead our team in the workplace … Read More.






Marketing & Innovation

Engineers Thinking Like Marketers

Posted on February 20, 2016

What a great way to kick off this year’s InnoQuest program!  We looked at the interplay of Marketing and Innovation with three leaders with varied perspectives on the issue – Charles Stack (StartMart, Founder); Diane Artman (Division Engineering Manager, Parker Hannifin) and Rachel Lindberg (Manager, Brand Marketing, Progressive Insurance).  In addition, we had a terrific discussion around GrafTech’s experimentation with (crowd-sourcing site) and its Kent State Hack-A-Thon event – both helping to engage a broader audience in new product development … Read More.




Innovation ImageInnoQuest: Innovation Program 2016

Managing and Guiding the Innovation Process

Posted on January 7, 2016

Managing innovation is critical to sustainable growth. Entering its 5th year, InnoQuest creates a collaborative forum where mid-market leaders can learn with and from area innovation practitioners and each other. This year’s program topics include: Innovation and Marketing, Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing), Knowing customer’s applications, Lean Start-Up Principles, Design Thinking, Creativity and Leadership … Read More.







2015 Year in Review

Posted on December 17, 2016

Throughout the year EDGE helped companies grow by creating high-impact educational programs, services and events for CEOs/Presidents, key functional managers and emerging leaders – providing the opportunity to learn with and from contemporaries at other companies, share best practices, solve problems and inspire each other to pursue great opportunities … Read More.




Sherwin Williams: Driving Innovation

Incorporating Mega-Trend Analysis and Competitive Landscape into Innovation

Posted on December 3, 2015

At our final InnoQuest session of 2015, Dr. Victoria Scarborough, Director, External Technology and Dr. Morgan Sibbald, Mgr, External Technology and Gov’t Funding from Sherwin Williams shared compelling stories of how innovation has driven growth and how government funding and partnerships have accelerated R&D and product development.  Participants loved learning about their organizational model, how they measure innovation success and how they address open innovation, stage gating, technology scoping and new product development. Participants also toured Sherwin’s Collaboratory space … Read More.




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