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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 B.A. from Denison University in Mathematics/Economics.

Sarah G. Shoaff | Membership and Business DevelopmentSarah Shoaff

  • Sarah is a successful sales and business development professional with over 12 years of experience in sales and corporate partnerships.
  • She is skilled in nurturing and maintaining client and business relationships, negotiation, closing sales and exceeding revenue goals.
  • She is an energetic leader and strong team player with proven ability to adapt to diverse environments.
  • She is a 2012 graduate of SOAR, SOAR is a one-of-a kind professional development program for high-potential women.  She graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Communications from Capital University.

Christopher Keller | Director

Leads EDGE’s Innovation Management Program, the Summer EDGE Fellows Program and University Partnerships efforts; serves as the Administrator to the Scalerator NEO initiative; facilitates the regional Scale Up Discussion Group with other economic development leaders; and organizes ongoing EDGE events.

  • 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.

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 as well as the Hessler Street Fair.
  • He is a co-founder of the non-profit Entrepreneurs for Sustainability and serves 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.

Pamela Schwaller | Program Consultant

Works predominantly with the member programs and facilitates peer 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 B.A. from Wittenberg University.

brittany_bushBrittany Bush | Marketing and Communications

Promotes EDGE programs, events, and services and assists team with ongoing programs and events.

  • Brittany has over 8 years of experience in media relations, employment branding, and candidate attraction with national brands.
  • Serves as a leader with John Carroll University’s Cleveland Alumni Chapter and with the Young Professionals of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
  • She holds a B.A. in Communications from John Carroll University

Kelly Mackey | Program Manager

In Memorium

Kelly joined the EDGE Family in 2009.  She started as a Summer EDGE Fellow and a participant of EDGE’s inaugural Innovation Program, then started as a marketing intern following her MBA degree at The University of Akron, and joined EDGE’s staff as an indispensable resource as EDGE’s brand management, email marketing, communications, event planning, database development and social media expert.  Sadly, she succumbed to an all-too-short battle with cancer in May, 2015.  She is sorely missed and will forever be part of the EDGE family.