CEO, Veritix; founder Be Free
Sam is a successful three-time entrepreneur and the founder of Be Free, a comprehensive Internet marketing information services company that processes over $2 billion in annual commerce transactions for leading retail and consumer businesses. In 2002 the company merged with ValueClick, Inc., an advertising and marketing information service company for leading retail and consumer businesses, where Sam served as executive vice president, CTO and on the board of directors.
Prior to Be Free, Sam founded PCX Consulting, Inc., which offered marketing information systems for industry and retail business, and PCX Information Systems, Inc., which offered direct marketing software for the public-utility industry.
Sam served as entrepreneur in residence with Jumpstart, Inc., an Ohio corporation whose mission is to accelerate the growth of early stage businesses and ideas into venture-ready companies. In that capacity he worked with a portfolio of early-stage companies, assisting them through the seed and growth stages.
Sam earned a B.A. in biochemistry from Harvard University, and an MBA in executive management from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.
Talent Partner, Drive Capital; COO Tackk.com; former iTunes & NetFlix Product Manager
Robert is the talent partner at Drive Capital, a Columbus-based VC fund focused on innovative companies in the Midwest.
He’s spent his career split between start-ups and leading technology companies, where he learned that a strong culture is the only true and sustainable strategic advantage a company can build.
Bob was vice president of entrepreneurial talent at JumpStart, an organization that assists and invests in tech start-ups in NE Ohio. At JumpStart, he advised portfolio companies on their talent strategies while providing direct support recruiting board members, executive leaders and staff. Before joining JumpStart, he was director of strategic development at Findaway World, recognized as one of Inc. magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies for 2008. Before returning home to Ohio, he held senior marketing positions at Apple, Netflix and Virgin Mobile in San Francisco and London.
Bob graduated from Stanford with a degree in economics.
IP Attorney, Calfee, Halter & Griswold
Sean is a partner at Calfee, Halter & Griswold where he provides patent infringement counseling and represents clients involved in patent, trademark, trade dress, copyright and information technology litigation. He also counsels clients on all aspects of intellectual property laws, including computer software licensing, protection and acquisition, and managing intellectual property assets.
Sean is the author of “The Doctrine of Equivalents: The Second Prong of Patent Infringement Charges?” for the Ohio State Law Journal. He is a member of the American and Ohio State Bar Associations, and the American and Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Associations. Sean served as an electrical engineer in the U.S. Air Force from 1986 to 1990 and joined Calfee in 1993. He became a partner with the firm in 2003.
A graduate of the Ohio State University College of Law, J.D., with honors, Order of the Coif, Sean received his B.S. from the University of Michigan College of Engineering, cum laude.
Ken is a master salesman and former IBMer whose DNA is growing companies, having started his first business at age 8.
For the past fourteen years, Ken has driven adoption of new payment systems in the on-line world. As the current vp of sales for PayWIthMyBank , Ken has helped change the way commerce is conducted on the Internet.
A 14-year veteran of the payments industry, Ken joined Cardinal Commerce in 2000 and helped take it from start-up to 30,000 customers strong - including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Google. Prior to his time at Cardinal, Ken co-founded an IT consulting firm that he and his partner grew to 50+ consultants, before selling it in 1995.
A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Ken began his career with IBM in the mid-80’s and helped bring the IBM PC and PC jr. to market.
Ken is an avid sportsman and enjoys competition at the highest levels.
Founder, Practice Like Pros
A 16-time Emmy Award winner, popular author and highly acclaimed TV sports executive, Terry started his career with ABC’s Monday Night Football, where he worked with legendary broadcaster Howard Cosell.
In addition to producing MNF, Terry has been Executive Producer of countless high-profile events including the Super Bowl and Olympic Games, Barcelona for NBC. As Executive Producer of CBS Sports, he put John Madden and Pat Summerall together. He also served as an executive for the New Orleans Saints.
In his spare time, Terry has written two popular books – “Fighting Back” (Stein & Day), the amazing story of Pittsburgh Steeler halfback and Vietnam veteran Rocky Bleier and “The Game Behind the Game” (Harper & Row), an inside look at the TV broadcast industry.
The CEO of O’Neil Productions/O’Neil Entertainment, Terry is also the founder of Practice Like Pros, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving safety for high school football players.
Terry graduated from Notre Dame and received his MS in Journalism from Columbia University.
JumpStart Venture Partner; COO Quorum IT
Lee joined JumpStart, an organization that assists and invests in tech start-ups in Northeast Ohio, with 25 years of experience in growing and managing a number of high technology, publishing, manufacturing, distribution, and professional services businesses. His experience spans a number of product and service offerings, including automotive hardware and software information management systems, medical practice management software, electronic medical records, software distribution services, tax processing systems and services, business forms, training and consulting products and services, microfiche production, and electronic cataloging and publishing.
Prior to joining JumpStart, Lee was chief operating officer of Quorum Information Technologies, Inc. Before that, Lee held the position of senior vice president and general manager of ProQuest Global Automotive (fka Bell and Howell Publishing Services). Lee has also held the position of chief operating officer for dealership operations of the National Automobile Dealers Association, as well as a variety of senior management positions in his 15-year career with The Reynolds & Reynolds Company. Lee remains a principal of Growth Partners, LLC, a consulting firm he founded in 1999 focused on providing senior leadership, strategy, market expansion and business development services.
Lee earned his MBA from Xavier University and his B.A. degree in economics from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Jeff is a nationally-recognized expert in the financial services space. He served most recently as the CFO and senior executive vice-president of KeyCorp. His responsibilities included overseeing accounting, treasury, planning and forecasting, investor relations, corporate development, strategic planning and line of business finance.
Prior to Key, Jeff served as president and CEO of MFN Financial Corporation. Before that, he was a senior vice president and CFO of Firstar Corporation. He was involved in its merger and acquisition activities, including the merger of StarBanc Corporation with Firstar in 1998.
Jeff started his professional career with Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young). A Certified Public Accountant (inactive), he holds a bachelor's degree in industrial administration (accounting) and economics from Iowa State University.
Steve recently completed a 34-year career in human resources at Eaton Corporation, a major multi-national diversified industrial corporation. Over the course of his career Steve worked in a dozen different cities and served in a number of different HR roles at the operations and corporate levels.
During his final 12 years he served as a Vice-President, with global responsibility for employee and labor relations, HR policy and practice and HR technology. Steve also spent 18 months as an expatriate in Ireland, managing the start-up of Eaton’s corporate headquarters in Dublin.
Steve has served on the boards of The City Mission in Cleveland, Mission to the Fatherless, an organization that operates orphanages in Kenya, and the Michigan State University School of Human Resources. He has a bachelor’s degree in Personnel Administration from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in Business Management from Central Michigan University.
Toby is a lifelong media junkie, entrepreneur and investor who loves building brands.
He launched his first business (a family shoeshine service) at age 6 and was buying stock in junior high with his paper-route money.
Since becoming an angel investor for BoxCast, Toby has been working to help develop PR /marketing and business strategies. His goal is to ensure that everyone in America is aware of BoxCast.
Prior to joining BoxCast, he was a senior communications executive at SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline) in Philadelphia and London and at KeyCorp in Cleveland. He and his wife were angel investors and senior executives for mental_floss, a media company that they sold in 2011 to the British media mogul Felix Dennis.
Toby graduated from John Carroll University and has advanced degrees from Case Western Reserve University and Miami University (Ohio). He is active in the entrepreneurial community in Cleveland and is on the Blackstone LaunchPad board.
An avid bike rider, reader and Airedale lover, Toby spends much of his free time indulging those passions.
Melanie, the queen of process improvement, is happiest when she’s figuring out a way to do things faster, smarter, and cheaper.
The daughter of a contractor, she grew up on building sites and soon transferred her building skills to the corporate world. She brings a unique combination of corporate and entrepreneurial experience to BoxCast.
In 20+ years of corporate life, primarily as head of organization development for SmithKline Beecham (now Glaxo SmithKline) and for Eaton Corporation, she focused on aligning the people, processes and organization structures needed for effective businesses.
She then transferred those skills to mental_floss, a diversified media company. As an angel investor and vp, operations, she built the infrastructure- supply chain, customer relations, admin – required to grow the company into a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Since the sale of mental_floss in 2011 to a British publisher, Melanie, along with her husband, Toby, has been actively supporting northeast Ohio entrepreneurs and serves on the Blackstone LaunchPad board.
Melanie is a graduate of SUNY Oswego and has a master’s from Fairleigh Dickinson.