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EDGE Executive Forum Series

The EDGE Executive Forum is a quarterly breakfast series designed to stimulate new thinking and inform top-level management as it relates to strategy, leadership and innovation management.  Speakers include nationally-recognized CEOs and thought leaders on topics of particular relevance to middle market companies.  Participating organizations are invited to send up to three senior-level guests to each session for networking with like-minded peers, learning and discussion. 

Upcoming Events:

Mergers & Acquisitions Panel

An esteemed panel discussion on Mergers & Acquisitions: From Due Diligence, to Deal Making to Integration.

Friday, February 24, 2017
7:45AM – 10:00AM

Holiday Inn
6001 Rockside Rd,
Independence, OH 44131


After a rather lengthy hiatus, Merger & Acquisition activity has seen a rise in recent years, particularly among our community of mid-market organizations who wish to grow in value. Whether you are setting up to literally merge with another organization, sell, or buy outright, there is much to consider in the process, from finding prospects, completing due diligence and negotiating a deal, to readying the organization and integrating the cultures, assets, brand, operating practices and customers. Our panel will share their experience – including the pitfalls – of a 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.


Challenger Mindset

An acclaimed author and business thinker addressing Change, Culture & Performance, including a deep introduction to The Challenger Mindset.

Chad Dick

Thursday, May 25, 2017
7:45AM – 10:00AM

Holiday Inn
6001 Rockside Rd,
Independence, OH 44131

Are you trying to ‘Do more with less’? Or succeed vs. a bigger competitor or marketplace challenge? Are the conventional approaches of the ‘Market Leader’ not working for you? Is your brand or business strategy in need of a ‘refresh’ to fix under-performance or of a ‘turnaround’ to reverse a decline? Do you want to accelerate your growth trajectory? Need to get your managed team or organization to think and act very differently? Chad Dick, Partner of eatbigfish will share insights on how to transform challenges into opportunities. This interactive session will cover both the fundamentals and the latest thinking on strategy, innovation and challenger culture. In particular, Chad will share the concepts from their latest book, A Beautiful Constraint, which outlines a new method to transform your business’ limitations into innovative advantages.


CEO Panel

Wisdom from the Sages: a panel of venerated CEOs whose business and leadership savvy has led to great value creation of the long-haul.

September 2017


Economic Forecast

An economic forecast from the perspective of a Chief Investment Officer, responsible for putting cash in the right place!

Jeff Mortimer

Thursday, November 9, 2017
7:45AM – 10:00AM

Jeffrey Mortimer is the director of investment strategy for BNY Mellon Wealth Management. In this role, he leads a team that sets capital market expectations and is responsible for making asset allocation recommendations.

Jeff has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining the firm, Jeff worked for Charles Schwab for 13 years in increasingly senior positions, culminating with his appointment as chief investment officer. He also worked for nearly 10 years in boutique firms in the Boston area, serving high net worth individuals and families.

Jeff received a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Babson College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He is a CFA charterholder and a national speaker on issues of investment strategy, the financial markets and the economy. He has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Barron’s, Fortune, Bloomberg and CNBC.


Previous Events:

Economicken Mayland Forecast

Economic Principles the Next President Cannot Avoid

Aside from arming you with the regional, national and global economic indicators that should help you plan for 2017 (Which segments of the economy might be buying?  How might the cost of raw materials change?  What industries are expected to grow or shrink? What will international exchange rates look like?  How might changes in interest rates effect how you spend cash?), on November 17, 2016, Ken Mayland, President, ClearView Economics, LLC gave an enlightening take on the recent elections as it relates to the economy.


small-giantsSmall Giants with Bo Burlingham

On Thursday, September 152016 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.


IMG_1061Creating a Coaching Culture

To Inspire and Motivate

On Thursday, March 17, 2016 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.



IMG_0903Everybody Matters

The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family

Over 100 NEO business leaders gathered on March 2, 2016 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.



Jim Bly 2014Economic Forecast – Mega Trends

During this session on November 20, 2015, James Bly shared how new technologies, demographic shifts, or material changes in industry trends affect the competitive landscape for middle market companies. In this session, a few “guinea pig” companies from our group were used as test cases through the lens of these Mega-Trends. How might The Transition Wave impact a manufacturing business? What will the Unprecedented Population Migration do to your market and customers? How might the realignment of supply chains impact your business?




Past speakers also include famed executive coach and author Marshall Goldsmith; Anthony Williams (Wikinomics); Bob Herbold (Microsoft); Dan Heath (Decisive, Made to Stick); Bob Chapman (CEO, Barry-Wehmiller); Raj Sisodia (Conscious Capitalism); Jeanne Meister, Founding Partner, Future Workplace LLC (Preparing for the 2020 Workplace); Christopher Lazlo, PhD, Case Western Reserve University (Creating Flourishing Enterprises); Dick Rumelt (Good Strategy/Bad Strategy) and Chuck Ames (Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Co.) among others.

Partners have included: Hiring Optics, The HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio, Jumpstart, Inc., Harvard Business School Club of Northern Ohio and the Association for Corporate Growth.

*Invited organizations meet the following criteria: mid-sized (up to $1 Bn annual revenues); significant operations in northeast Ohio; export goods or services outside the region; interested in growing the value of their companies and the value they create for their employees and the community.  They may be manufacturing, service or distribution.  


Grant Marquit, Program Director
216.215.5058 |

Sarah Shoaff, Membership & Sponsorship Development
216.536.9396 |


This Forum is brought to you
with support from our partners at:

Hiring Optics

EDGE logo tag lineEDGE drives growth for companies by bringing together their leadership teams to share best practices and inspire each other to pursue the biggest opportunities. EDGE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and is the only Northeast Ohio economic development group that is focused on helping mid-sized companies strengthen their leadership teams in order to take their companies to the next level. Learn more about EDGE.