Passionate people helping to fulfill EDGE’s mission for Northeast Ohio

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.

Christopher Keller | Program Director

Leads EDGE’s Student Programming, heads the Education Advisory Board, coordinates the Innovation Management Program (InnoQuest), and organizes and facilitates ongoing and new EDGE initiatives.

  • Chris 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, Taiwan, India and other parts of 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 20 years of program development and non-profit management experience at The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, and The Entrepreneurs EDGE.
  • Chris is a leader with community-based initiatives and is a graduate of Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland Program.
  • 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.

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.