Know It All’s


Elias Abou-Fadel

Board of Trustees
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik – Lebanon

Elias holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Chicago-Booth School of Business, and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Paris I-La Sorbonne.  Elias has more than 22 years of experience, of which 17 years in financial and management advisory across sectors in Lebanon, GCC, Europe and North Africa. He has evaluated companies, and advised clients on buy and sell-side. He led reorganization and change management programs, and implemented growth and diversification strategies enabling increases in revenues, reductions in costs, and increases in profits and return on investments.  Prior to establishing his consultancy firm, Elias worked in the banking sector in Lebanon. He developed and wrote policies and procedures according to regulatory and risk management compliance requirements, and was a key team member in the selection and implementation of the bank’s information technology system.  Elias sits on the board of directors and advisory committees of many organizations of which the university medical hospital “Notre-Dame Des Secours” Lebanon. In addition to his board member role in the hospital, for more than 10 years, Elias undertook multiple organizational projects related to activities and business process re-engineering and information system selection.  Elias wrote publications and articles, and lectured in areas related to management and finance in various industries.

Patty Ajukiewicz

Relationship Manager


Patty Ajdukiewicz, Relationship Manger, Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI)

Patty Ajdukiewicz has an MBA from Cleveland State University and Bachelors of Science in Public Affairs from Baruch College in New York City. While in NYC, Patty volunteered as a mentor for underserved students, teaching them about the importance of civic engagement and education. Before enrolling at Cleveland State, Patty interned at the Conference Board in China, where she performed macroeconomic research with a focus on Sino-African partnerships.

Since moving to Cleveland, Patty worked as a Model UN Program Coordinator for Cleveland Council on World Affairs. Patty currently works as a relationship manager at ECDI, where she has originated over $1.5 million in loans to small business owner, and helped over 50 startups open their doors.

Jay Apple

TenantMagic, LLC.

Jay Apple is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded TenantMagic, LLC. TenantMagic provides online software services to the residential real estate market nationwide.Additionally, Jay has extensive experience in operations management, market development and strategy implementation primarily for small and mid-sized businesses. Jay has also worked as a management consultant for A.T. Kearney and, later, with a regional firm. Jay is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and holds an MBA from Cleveland State University. Jay is married with 2 adult children and a golden retriever Torrey.

Leah  Berdysz

Community Outreach Coordinator


Leah Berdysz is passionate about entrepreneurship, wellness, and helping others.

She is currently the Community Outreach Coordinator at LaunchHouse, a coworking community in Highland Heights. Leah’s responsibilities include venturing out into the business community to connect with and support other entrepreneurs. In addition to being a team member at LaunchHouse, Leah is also the founder of Empowered & Poised, a girls wellness and empowerment program, as well as a physical education instructor.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science & Entrepreneurship from John Carroll University. Leah’s experience include teaching Junior Achievement’s Be Entrepreneurial program. She won first place in the 2016 Entrepreneurship Immersion Week and has experience working with numerous start-up companies.

Brandon Cornuke

Adjunct Professor

Weatherhead School of Management
Case Western Reserve University


Peter DeCapua

Business Development Manager


Adam Dunn


Cleveland Co-Labs


Michael Goldberg

Assistant Professor
Weatherhead School of Management
Case Western Reserve University

Michael Goldberg is an experienced venture capitalist and international business leader whose teaching is focused on the fields of entrepreneurship and early stage finance. Goldberg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Design and Innovation at the Weatherhead School of Management. With support from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Goldberg created a massive open online course (MOOC) called Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies, which has attracted over 135,000 students from 190 countries with subtitles in 16 languages (most on Coursera platform). named Beyond Silicon Valley one of the top online classes that “will make you smarter and more interesting.”
Goldberg co-founded the Bridge Investment Fund, a venture capital fund focused on investing in Israeli medical device companies that have synergies with the leading health care industries and institutions in Cleveland.
Goldberg is active in the entrepreneurship community in Cleveland, serving as a mentor to entrepreneurs through Jumpstart and FlashStarts. He has appeared as a frequent guest panelist on MSNBC’s “Your Business” and written on international entrepreneurship for CNBC, and The Huffington Post.
Goldberg earned a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, MA in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Matthew Iorio

Clinical Operations Manager
Neuros Medical, Inc.

Matthew is a champion of the start-up community in Cleveland. Currently, he works at Neuros Medical Inc., a neuromodulation company developing an implantable medical device focused on the elimination of chronic pain in lower limb amputees. At Neuros, Matthew is responsible for the development and continuous improvement of clinical research processes, guidelines, tools, and their implementation. He also manages day-to-day clinical trial execution, including clinical site support, data collection and analysis, and clinical materials logistics. He has a broad skill-set and experience in medical devices, clinical research, operations, market research, open innovation, technology transfer, and venture capital. Matthew holds a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University with a focus in medical devices and algorithm development as well as an MBA from Cleveland State University with a focus in marketing.

Raj Javalgi

Associate Dean
Monte Ahuja College of Business
Cleveland State University

Raj Javalgi is Professor of Marketing and teaches the International Business Strategy course. His areas of interest are International Marketing, International Business, Marketing Research, Multivariate Statistical Methods, and Marketing Management. Raj Javalgi has published in such journals as Journal of International Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Consumer Research, International Business Review, Thunderbird International Business Review. Some of his articles have received best paper of the year awards. Recently, Raj has received two Business International Education grants in a row, totaling $380,000, to build and sustain international business programming. His broad work experience includes assisting SMEs with their International Marketing strategy.

Amad Khatoun

Manager, System Integration

Sportsville, LLC.


Joshua Koszewski


Joshua Koszewski is an aspiring entrepreneur and an MBA student at Cleveland State University. He is a U.S. Army Sniper Vet and served two deployments overseas. After completing his service, Joshua received his B.A. from Cleveland State University where he majored in Operations and Supply Chain Management. Throughout his undergrad, he worked several co-ops and in his free time developed his idea for a startup. Joshua is now guiding that startup through the building process and into its pre-launch stage. As an entrepreneur, he has taken on a number of different roles and became most captivated by developing growth strategies as well as refining his leadership philosophy.

Pascal Lahoud-Abou Jaoude

Assistant Professor
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik – Lebanon

Holder of a Ph.D. degree in Marketing from the University of Lille1, France. Pascale recently joined Asher Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK). Throughout her career, she tries to pass on her enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and marketing communications to students while giving them practical insights on ideation and business planning. Pascale is also an active member of several dissertation committees and a constant source of support to graduate students. Her research interests mainly revolve around regional tourism, communication, and culture. She’s the recipient of Fulbright Junior Faculty Program for Lebanon awarded by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jason Perz

Thriller BMX

After years of professional BMX riding, Jason Perz found himself in and out of jail cells and institutions, battling addiction. But after a rock-bottom epiphany, he realized, this is part of his journey. Jason now runs and travels the country speaking about his experiences to inspire others to have faith in their journeys.

Jason owns two different show teams and a few e- commerce businesses. He is involved with independent media websites including He also still rides frequently and speaks at countless events every year.

Geoff Rucinski


Geoff started in entrepreneurship in his teens and sold his first business the same year he graduated from Kent State University with a MIS degree, along with minors in Entrepreneurshp and Psychology. After getting to the 6-figure mark in a corporate role he jumped back into the unpaid startup space to help develop a go-to-market strategy, build a sales team and successfully connect a pre-product startup with investors. Although still a nights and weekend entrepreneur, working with one of the world’s leading Fintech influencers, he spends his days at Cision. Cision is a media monitoring, database and distribution company that, while employed there, has IPO’d (second largest tech IPO of 2017 – only topped by Snapchat) and purchased/divested multiple organizations through strategic realignment.

Jay Schach

Management Instructor
Monte Ahuja College of Business
Cleveland State University


Jerald Spohn

Search Consultant

SearchPath, LLC.

Throughout his time as a collegiate wrestler at Kent State University, Jerald had been a part of multiple startups. In the time running Spohn Enterprises LLC, he had won the “Best of 2015” and “Best of 2016” awards for his fantastic customer satisfaction. After Kent, Jerald spent time excelling as a consultant for BuildZoom; a San Francisco based startup. He has since moved back to Cleveland, OH, where he is running a SearchPath franchise as a recruiter within Supply Chain Technology.

Julia Wang


Venture for America


Brett Woodard

Associate Director of Entrepreneurship and Internships
The College of Wooster

Brett enjoys helping The College of Wooster students explore and connect their personal, professional and academic interests through a variety of experiential and entrepreneurial programs, from CityTreks and APEX Fellowships to Startup Weekends and pitch competitions. He also helps students apply their liberal arts experience in hands-on learning as consultants for the Applied Methods Research Experience (AMRE) each summer. Brett received his B.A. in Journalism and M.A. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Wooster, he worked with students and alumni in a variety of Career Development roles at Appalachian State University, UNC-Greensboro, Elon University and Saint Joseph’s University.