45 Alumni Named to Cleveland 500

45 Alumni Named to Cleveland 500 Image
45 Alumni Named to Cleveland 500 March 2, 2022

Forty-five alumni were recognized by Cleveland Magazine as top influential leaders on its 2022 Cleveland 500 list.

Forty-five CSU alumni were named to Cleveland Magazine's 2022 Cleveland 500. A list of the most influential people in the community, the Cleveland 500 recognizes these alumni for their leadership and success. The list includes an array of individuals from the business, professional, education, entertainment and technology sectors whose strong leadership is reflected in their achievements and impacts on the community.

“The success of our graduates is a testament to the quality education that students are receiving at Cleveland State University,” said Anne-Marie Connors, Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations and Corporate Engagement and Executive Director of CSU’s Alumni Association. “Cleveland State is clearly a foundation in driving the economy of Cleveland as exemplified by all of these leaders recognized here. We are so proud of the accomplishments of all of our graduates.”

Monte Ahuja (MBA ’75, DBA ’01), Founder, Transtar Industries

-       Ahuja launched Transtar Industries, growing it into the leading U.S. company in the distribution of automotive transmission replacement parts to the aftermarket.

Christopher Matthew Alvarado (MUPD ’99), Executive Director, Slavic Village Development

-       Alvarado also helped start Bike Cleveland and EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute.

Kuno S. Bell (BBA ’90), Managing Partner, Pease & Associates LLC

-       Bell was appointed to managing partner of Pease & Associates, CPAs in July 2021.

Lucinda S. Einhouse (MBA ’86), President &CEO, Beck Center for the Arts

-      Einhouse has worked closely with staff and board of directors to stabilize the finances and grow visibility for Beck Center for the Arts since 2007.

Kelly Falcone-Hall (BA ’92, MA ’95), President & CEO, Western Reserve Historical Society

-      Falcone-Hall was named CEO in 2014 and since then has worked to make the society more accessible to Northeast Ohio residents.

John J. Ferchill (BS ’65), Chairman & CEO, Ferchill Group

-      Ferchill has helped grow The Ferchill Group, having acquired, developed or redeveloped $1.3 billion in real estate assets.

Gregory Allen Freeh (BS ’81), CEO, Fortney & Weygandt Inc.

-      Freeh joined the national general contractor in 1983 and actively develops and monitors strategies for ensuring the company’s long-term financial viability.

Ian N. Friedman (JD ’97), Founding Partner, Friedman & Nemecek

-      Friedman is a founding partner of Friedman & Nemecek. In addition to his practice, he’s also an adjunct professor at the CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law where he teaches cybercrime.

Grace Gallucci (MS ’04), Executive Director & CEO, NOACA

-      Gallucci is responsible for transportation planning and resource allocation for the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency. In 2016, she received a Distinguished Alumni Award from CSU’s Levin College of Urban Affairs.

Brian Lee Gevry (BA ’90), CEO, CIO, Boy Watterson Asset Management       

-      Gevry has been the CEO and CIO of Boyd Watterson since 2006. Prior to becoming CEO, he was the chief operating officer.

Michael Eugene Gibbons (JD ’81), Senior Managing Director, Browns Gibbons Lang & Co.

-      Gibbons is the founder of Brown Gibbons Lang & Company and serves as senior managing director and a member of the executive committee.

David E. Gilbert (MBA ’95), President & CEO, Destination Cleveland and Greater Cleveland Sports Commission

-      Gilbert and his team helped plan and prepare Cleveland for the 2021 NFL Draft. He also serves on the board of the International Children’s Games, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and numerous other local organizations.

Terry H. Gilbert (JD ’73), Founding Partner, Friedman, Gilbert + Gerhardstein

-      Gilbert has represented clients in many high-profile criminal defense and civil rights cases for over four decades.He’s appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show” and CBS News, as well as in many documentaries.

John L. Habat (JD ’83), President & CEO, Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity

-      Habat has led an uptick in the number of houses the organization builds yearly. He announced that he will retire later in 2022.

Alana Jochum (JD ’10), Executive Director, Equality Ohio

-      Jochum has been passionately engaged in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality at the local, state, national, and international level for more than a decade.

Kevin K. Johnson (BS ’79), Managing Partner, NexGen Interactive LLC

-      Johnson is also co-founder of Soul of Philanthropy Cleveland, which gave way to the Cleveland Black Equity & Humanity Fund managed by the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland.

Jason Jones (MBA ’02), Vice President & General Manager, Turner Construction Co.

-      Prior to becoming general manager, Jones led the firm's Special Projects Division, launching its new service line that grew to a $50M operation in the five years under his guidance.

Brent W. Larkin (JD ’86), Writer, The Plain Dealer

-      Larkin was director of The Plain Dealer’s editorial page and now writes columns for Cleveland.com.

Richard T. Lash (BBA ’84), Regional President, Rea & Associates

-      Lash has more than 30 years of experience in the accounting industry. He started his career at Walthall CPAs and was part of the 2017 merger with Rea.

Ronald R. Ledin (BS ’68), Chairman & CEO, Middough Inc.

-      Ledin joined Middough Inc. while he was still a student at CSU. He is a former member of the CSU Foundation Board of Directors, a former member of the College of Engineering Visiting Committee and he also played a key role in the creation of CSU’s Arts Campus.

Martin Regis McGann (JD ’09), Executive Vice President, Advocacy & Strategy, Greater Cleveland Partnership

-      McGann was promoted to executive vice president in 2020.

Sam McNulty (BA ’97), Co-Founder/Chief Beer Taster, Market Garden Brewery

-      McNulty co-founded Market Garden Brewery in 2003.

Randell McShepard (MS ’98), Vice President of Public Affairs & Chief Talent Officer, RPM International

-      McShepard is responsible for managing and evaluating leadership development, succession planning and executive training across RPM.

Tania Menesse (MS ’10), CEO & Principal, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

-      Menesse is the CEO & president of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and promotes its mission to foster neighborhoods of choice and opportunity. 

Douglas L. Miller (BBA ’78, JD ’84), President & CEO, Richard Jacobs Group

-      Since joining The Jacobs Group in 1978, Miller has directed development, sales and lease transactions exceeding $1 billion in value.

Cynthia Ann Moore-Hardy (MBA ’90), President & CEO, Lake Health

-      Moore-Hardy is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, a member of the American Hospital Association and holds numerous titles from local and national organizations for her work in health care.

Jeffrey Daniel Neuman (JD ’83), Director & President, Barnes Wendling CPAs Inc.

-      Neuman is director and president of Barnes Wendling CPAs with over 30 years of experience working with clients.

Shari Lynn Obrenski (M.Ed ’02), President, Cleveland Teachers Union          

-      Obrenski is the second woman to serve as president in the union's 86-year history.

Michael O'Malley (JD ‘92), Prosecutor, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor

-      Prosecutor Michael O’Malley took office on January 3, 2017, with a plan to restore the public’s confidence in the justice system.

Scott Stanley Osiecki (BA ’87), CEO, ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County

-      Osiecki was appointed CEO in 2018 and has been employed with the Board in executive leadership capacities for nearly 26 years.

Theodore J. Otero (MBA ’02), President, Otero Signature Homes LLC

-      With over 25 years of real estate and construction experience, Otero is founder and president of Otero Signature Homes.

Joan Papp, M.D. (BS ‘95), Founder, Project Dawn      

-      Papp founded Project Dawn, which distributes Naxalone kits to reverse heroin overdoses and save lives.

Joseph V. Pease, Jr. (BBA ’79), Founder & Chairman, Pease CPAs

-      Pease is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Ohio Society of CPAs. At 29, he was the youngest chairman of the Tax Division of CPAmerica, Inc.

Jon J. Pinney (JD ’00), Managing Partner, KJK

-      As KJK’s managing partner, Pinney leads the firm’s experienced team of attorneys and staff in serving a wide array of clients.

Steven Potash (JD ’78), Founder & CEO, OverDrive Inc.

-      Potash founded OverDrive, which has become the world’s largest supplier of eBooks, audiobooks, magazine and streaming media.

Radhika Reddy (MAcc ’01), Partner, Ariel Ventures

-      Reddy is well known in Northeast Ohio’s economic development, ethnic and global trade circles.

Kenneth C. Ricci (JD ’86), Principal, Directional Capital LLC

-      In 2016, Ricci received a Distinguished Alumni Award. A 35-year aviation industry veteran and pilot, he flew Bill Clinton when he ran for president in 1992.

Victor A Ruiz (M.Ed ’05), Executive Director, Esperanza Inc.

-      Ruiz works to improve the academic achievement of the Hispanic community in Greater Cleveland and prepare students for college.

Frank T. Sinito (BA ’89), Founder & CEO, Milennia Cos.

-      Since founding his company in 1955, he has expanded its portfolio of apartment developments to more than 275 multifamily residential communities.

Michael Edwin Stanek (BBA ’82), Co-Owner & CFO, Hunt Imaging LLC, Berea

-      Stanek has served as chief financial officer of the Berea company since 1996.

Lisa Marie Stickan (JD ’01), Chairman, Republican Party of Cuyahoga County

-      Stickan is the first woman to serve as Cuyahoga County Republican party leader.

Gabriel M. Torok (BS ‘90), CEO, Budah LLC

-      Torok was CEO of PreEmptive Solutions. He recently sold it and now serves as CEO of Budah LLC and is on the Greater Cleveland Partnership Board.

Ronald E. Trzcinski (BBA ’69), Founder, The Original Mattress Factory

-      Trzcinski was also the one-time president and COO of two of the nation’s most well-known mattress brands, Sealy and Stearns Foster.

Gina M. Vernaci (MS ’03), President & CEO, Playhouse Square       

-      Vernaci will step down as CEO in 2023 after having successfully grown the institution's reputation during her nearly 40-year tenure.

Calvin Daniel Williams (BA ’15), Chief of Police, Cleveland Division of Police

-      Williams was the City of Cleveland’s 40th Chief of Police, appointed to the Division of Police in February 1986.