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Executive Forum Series

Executive Forum Series


This quarterly breakfast program is designed for senior leaders of middle market growth companies headquartered here in northeast Ohio, and features topics and speakers that are current and important to any business leader faced with top-level strategic and operational choices. EDGE Member organizations are invited to send up to 8 members of their leadership team to each program.

For more information and to register your leadership team and for sponsorship information, please contact:

Sarah Shoaff, Membership and Business Development: 216-536-9396,

Grant Marquit, Program Director: 216-215-5058,


Upcoming Events:


Millennial Generation – Growing and Engaging the Future

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 7:45-10:30 a.m. | Embassy Suites, Independence, OH








Please join us along with the HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio to hear Ashley Basile Oeken, President of Engage! Cleveland and Neal Restivo, CEO of Oatey Corporation discuss the Millennial Generation – Growing and Engaging the Future. Millennials, Gen Z and the Gen Nexters: when engaging these employees where do you begin? Research shows that three out of four Millennials first choose a place to live and then look for a job. Meaning we need to elevate the community and our companies at the same time, finding a good intersection. Millennials need to feel welcomed, valued and supported in their positions. When companies make an effort to actively engage these employees, it goes a long way to assist with the attraction, engagement and retention of this generation and serves as a double win for both employees and the employer. Learn some of the newest data about the next generation in Northeast Ohio as well as strategies to implement in your own companies to attract and retain the best and brightest.


Strategic Innovation 

Thursday, May 10, 2018 | 7:45-10:30 a.m. | Embassy Suites, Independence, OH

Presented by Taddy Hall, The Cambridge Group. Taddy Hall is clearly one of world’s leading experts on innovation and strategy, having worked with such renowned authorities as Michael Porter and Clayton Christensen, and pioneering Jobs Theory.  His work really spans all areas of business, recognizing that people still drive the majority of decisions and choices about what gets bought, sold and delivered.  He is also an engaging speaker who focuses on some deeper issues facing our economy and how businesses may help solve while increasing prosperity.




Leadership Tales that Shape the World

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 7:45-10:30 a.m. | Holiday Inn, Independence, OH








We continue the saga we began in September 2017 with three formidable and venerated leaders from major entities in northeast Ohio. They will share the experiences that shaped their leadership strategies and perhaps divulge the opportunities and challenges that will drive our economy and shape our world in the years to come.

  • Sandra Pianalto, Former President & Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
  • Alexander ‘Sandy’ Cutler, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Eaton Corporation
  • Monte Ahuja, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Transtar Industries


Economic Forecast

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 7:45-10:30 a.m. | DoubleTree, Independence, OH

Andrew Duguay, Senior Economist with Prevedere will present an Economic Forecast for mid-size businesses in Northeast Ohio.  Prevedere is a Big Data Predictive Analytics solution that helps companies increase profits and outperform competition by automating the analysis and identification of leading external drivers that improve forecast accuracy.  Andrew has an MBA, a degree in Economics and multiple certifications from the National Association of Business Economists and Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning.


Thank You, Executive Forum Sponsors:





Past Events:


Regional Opportunities and Initiatives for Mid-Size Companies

January 18, 2018

Northeast Ohio business leaders gathered for this panel discussion with additional invited guests from regional economic development and business assistance organizations including:


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.

Full recap>



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. Full recap>


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>



Mergers & Acquisitions Panel
Friday, February 24, 2017

An esteemed panel discussion on Mergers & Acquisitions: From Due Diligence, to Deal Making to Integration. Our panel will share their experience – including the pitfalls – of successful M&A endeavor. Featuring David Dunstan, Founding Partner and President, Western Reserve Partners; Marilyn Eisele, former President, NDI Medical; Rod Howell, CEO, Libra Industries; Hal Maxfield, Partner, Cavitch. 



img_2697Executive Forum with Bo Burlingham Recap

September 15, 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. Full recap>.