Kirk Neiswander | President and Founder
Founded The Entrepreneurs EDGE in 2005 to foster entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development in Northeast Ohio and support area mid-market companies.
- Kirk was an officer of Enterprise Development, Inc. and created the entrepreneurial programs at the Weatherhead School of Management.
- Over a 22-year career at Case Western Reserve University, he created many new courses, conferences, retreats, breakfast series, recognition events, networking events and specialized services for mid-market companies.
- Kirk serves as an advisor to a number of smaller growth companies and has developed a substantial level of expertise in creativity/innovation, entrepreneurship, economic development, management strategy and planning as well as managing growth.
- He has an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in General Management, and a BA from Denison University in Mathematics/Economics.
Heidi Eisaman | Project Consultant
Part-time (administrative, project, and marketing) assistance and primarily involved with the Leading EDGE Awards Program, golf and networking programs, and EDGE’s civic initiatives.
- Heidi was raised in the Cleveland area and worked for her father’s manufacturing business (a partnership), Anchor Tool & Die Company, during her high school years.
- She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Cornell University and her MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, specializing in the Management of Information Systems.
- She has close to 15 years of experience in several areas, including project development and management, information systems analysis and support and sales support.
- She worked for Ameritrust (now Key Bank) in Retail Operations and Product Development. Following graduate school, she worked as a consultant for Andersen Consulting and then in various areas at American Greetings, including Information Systems, International, and a subsidiary, Plus Mark.
- Heidi is a leader in her community, at her church and her children’s’ schools.
Beth Gantz | Program Coordinator
Assists with the management of the Leading EDGE Awards Program.
- She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Salem College and a M.Ed in Adult Learning and Development from Cleveland State University.
- She has worked for Ursuline College in Admissions.
- Beth owns a hand-painted needlepoint design company, Beth Gantz Designs, and owned a retail store, Stitches, Etc. for 6 years.
Christopher Keller | Program Director
Leads the EDGE Fellows Summer Intern Program, coordinates the InnoQuest Program and Leading EDGE Awards, and organizes and facilitates other EDGE initiatives.
- Christopher was raised in the Youngstown area and grew up working for family-run businesses in the Salem area (The Salem China Company and Brass Accents), which forged manufacturing relationships in Japan, China and Asia in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
- He earned his B.A. degree at Bates College and Master’s (M.Ed) at John Carroll University.
- He is an experienced teacher, community leader and organizer and has 18 years of program development and non-profit management experience at The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, and The Entrepreneurs EDGE.
- Christopher is a leader with community-based initiatives and is a graduate of Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland.
- He serves on JumpStart’s Higher Education Council on Entrepreneurship as well as the Regional Economic Competitiveness Strategy (RECS) Council on Entrepreneurship.
Grant Marquit | Program Consultant
An economic development professional for over a decade, Grant specializes in creating educational experiences for senior management teams that focus on strategy, innovation, organization development, leadership and operational effectiveness.
- He is a veteran producer of Cleveland’s Ingenuity Festival of Art + Technology.
- He is a co-founder of the non-profit Entrepreneurs for Sustainability and continues to serve on the board, and has also served on several other non-profit boards.
- He is also a graduate of Cleveland Bridge Builders’ flagship program and holds a B.A. from The Ohio State University.
Mike Miller | Growth and Development
Works with EDGE on membership growth and development. Having spent 10 years as a CEO and another 20 years in senior management of both large and small companies, Mike is an accomplished entrepreneur and senior executive with an impressive record of success across a diverse category of industries and products. He has a demonstrated ability to build and lead companies to dramatically improve sales, profits, and market share.
- Mike spent 13 years at Leo Burnett Advertising in Chicago culminating in his role as Vice President Account Director on the Procter & Gamble account, Burnett’s largest account at the time.
- During the 90s, he spearheaded a dramatic turnaround at Beltone Electronics in its network of more than 400 hearing care centers.
- From 2000 to 2009, Mike was President and CEO of Broadcast Marketing, a success coaching and training program developed around a unique technology called Talking House. From scratch, he grew the company to over 20,000 members in the real estate and mortgage industries.
- Mike grew up in Northeast Ohio, has a BBA in Marketing from The University of Notre Dame and has a passion for helping senior executives achieve better results for themselves and their companies.
Kelly Mackey | Program Manager
Manages the Leading EDGE Awards Program and assists with other key EDGE programs. She is further helping to develop EDGE’s digital outreach, including web and social media development, e-mail marketing and database development. She is a marketing and brand management professional with significant ties to the Northeast Ohio community.
- She has worked with Sterling Jewelers, The J.M. Smucker Company, La-Z-Boy Incorporated, as well as several local start-up firms in areas including product development and management, supplier management, strategy development, and marketing research.
- She received her bachelor’s degree in International Business and Marketing from The University of Toledo and her MBA from The University of Akron, specializing in Strategic Marketing.
- She is also an EDGE Fellow, having participated in both the summer internship program and the fall InnoQuest Program, led by regional leaders of innovation.
Pamela Schwaller | Program Consultant
Works predominantly with the member programs and facilitates small group meetings, cultivating the membership and developing additional programs.
- Pam brings to EDGE more than 15 years of marketing experience as a consultant for a number of industrial companies and another 15 years in sales and marketing for Caterpillar, Inc. In both arenas she has created communications programs and marketing services to meet customer objectives.
- Additionally, she has extensive background working with industrial dealers and distributors, particularly in implementing manufacturers’ programs.
- She has an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, specializing in Marketing and a BA from Wittenberg University.