Mentor Bios

Cal Al-Dhubaib Cal Al-Dhubaib is a data scientist and entrepreneur. For over five years, he has delivered analytics solutions that solve complex business challenges. His background in systems engineering, digital product development, and management puts him in a unique position to provide data analytic solutions for diverse organizations. Through his career, Cal has cultivated a wide range of skills spanning research and development to fundraising and product management. He loves learning about emerging technologies and commercialization strategies for data driven products.
Jay Apple Jay Apple is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded TenantMagic. TenantMagic.net is an online residential rental application management system that provides the most comprehensive background screening reports available. TenantMagic is free to agents, property managers and landlords.In addition, Jay has extensive experience in operations management, market development and strategy implementation SMBs. He also focuses on integrating new technology with existing businesses to significantly improve efficiency with minimal disruption to operations, policy and procedure development, process improvement and digital applications specifically in web and mobile. His previous experience includes management consulting for Fortune 50 companies. Jay is actively involved in mentoring entrepreneurs and college students.
Victoria Avi Victoria Avi has over 11 years of experience in the sustainability field. She has been creating change in the higher education setting for the last 8 years, managing programs for the Sustainable Business Center, and Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CSU. In that role, she supported the Outreach and Engagement Centers work in sustainability, entrepreneurship, and social innovation.

A transplant from Baku, Azerbaijan, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design at CSU, and a Masters in Environmental Studies at the CSU’s Levin College of Urban Affairs. She is also a recent graduate of the Center for Social Impact Strategy Certificate Program at University of Pennsylvania.

Andrew Balazs Andrew Balazs is Manager of Data Centers and Disaster Recovery at University Hospitals of Cleveland.  He is responsible for the strategic direction and delivery for the Company’s Data Centers and Disaster Recovery.

Prior to University Hospitals Mr. Balazs spent more than 25 years of experience in Medical Mutual’ s systems division, responsible for data center management, hardware/software acquisition and management, distributed system hardware and software, desktop hardware and software, voice and data networks, Helpdesk, and SLA management.

From fall 1993 until spring 1994, Mr. Balazs was a loaned executive, serving as Interim Director of Technology for the Cleveland Board of Education.  Working with the school system, he reorganized its Information Services division to consolidate five IS facilities into one and thus reduce expenditures by 20 percent.  In recognition of his work with the school board, Medical Mutual awarded Mr. Balazs its Chairman’s Sentinel Award.  Before joining Medical Mutual in 1986, Mr. Balazs worked for Sherwin Williams.

Mr. Balazs earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Quantitative Business Analysis from Cleveland State University in 1980 and a Master in Business Administration degree also from CSU in 1990.

Mr Balazs is currently serving on the Visiting Committee at Cleveland States Ahuja College of Business and servers on the Graduate school’s curriculum committee. He is also a member of the Technology Steering committee for the National M.S Society.

Leah Berdysz 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.

Matt Brower A graduate of Kent State University, Matt Brower is seriously motivated. He has a keen insight into customer needs and expertly identifies how to move your business forward. His experience as both a creative and an organizer gives him a unique ability to understand client needs and how to translate them into a workable vision.
Jessica Colombi Jessica is a native Clevelander, having been raised in Shaker Heights. She has an undergraduate degree in Art History from John Carroll University, a Master’s degree from Cleveland State in Social Psychology and Diversity, and is a Gestalt Professionally Certified Coach. Before coming to Cleveland State, Ms. Colombi served as Chief of Staff to the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Jessica has always taken her responsibility to give back to the community seriously by volunteering with many organizations. Currently, she serves on the board of Global Ambassadors Language Academy, a charter school that offers immersion in Mandarin and Spanish. Ms. Colombi is also part of a small team that has developed an Ohio Attorney General certified cultural competence training for law enforcement, and has trained over 100 officers from four counties.
Brandon Cornuke As the VP of MAGNET’s Startup Services division, Brandon Cornuke leads the company’s efforts to help innovators turn manufactured product ideas into growing businesses. He specializes in strategy development, business model design, and lean innovation. Prior to joining MAGNET, his professional path included starting a successful consumer products company, building a corporate innovation group at American Greetings, leading a half-billion dollar consumer electronics business at Target Corp, and consulting with Hitachi’s global IT strategy group. Brandon has an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and is also an Adjunct Professor of Design and Innovation at Case Western’s Weatherhead School of Management.
Michael Dever Michael holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Cleveland State University. He is a systems administrator for the IS&T department at Cleveland State, where he manages projects, supports enterprise hardware and software, and coordinates, focuses and customizes services for the campus community.
Alysha Ellis
Dave Fornari Dave Fornari is an executive with over 35 years of business experience in management consulting and hands-on corporate management. He has successfully led and grew profitable businesses and consulting practices providing high quality and innovative services to strategic clients. Dave retired from Deloitte after 31 years, 22 years as an Energy Consulting partner with 10 years as the Global or US Energy & Resources Consulting Leader. As a Deloitte Eminence Fellow, Dave was a frequent speaker and author on energy and resources strategy and management.

An alumnus twice over, Dave earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1976 and his Master of Business Administration in 1980 from Cleveland State University. He serves not only as Executive in Residence at the Monte Ahuja College of Business, but also on the College’s Visiting Committee. In Fall of 2016, Dave earned the Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Business. View his video from the event discussing his relationship with Cleveland State University.

Jesse Gannon Jesse is a creative problem solver, fearless advocate and trusted advisor.  As an attorney, Jesse has advised and represented workers, retirees, unions, employers, employee benefit funds, non-profits, and small businesses on a variety of matters related to employment law, employee benefits law, collective bargaining, breaches of contract, tax exemption, estate planning, privacy and health care benefits.

Before practicing law, Jesse served for more than eight years as an Aide to United States Senator Sherrod Brown.  During his employment with Senator Brown, Jesse worked on economic development, labor, job retention, job creation, entrepreneurship and small business matters throughout Ohio.  During this time, Jesse spearheaded a number of innovative efforts throughout Ohio to stop employers from closing their manufacturing operations, ultimately helping to save more than 3,000 Ohio jobs.  Jesse was also proud to lead Senator Brown’s outreach and advocacy around the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, where he helped businesses, start-ups, local governments, non-profits and schools find federal funding opportunities.

Jesse received his Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University.  While working full time for Senator Brown, Jesse attended law school in the evenings and earned his Juris Doctor from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law with a concentration in Employment and Labor law.

Anthony Gasparo Anthony was a winner of Startup Vikes in 2015 with his company, PuppyMatch. In a year and a half of business he successfully matched 49 families and revenue exceeded $100,000. In 2017 he decided to focus on completing his degree and paused business operations. He then completed a 9 month internship with the Veale Entrepreneurship Forum, an organization committed to supporting high school entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio. Anthony graduated in December with his bachelors in Finance and is currently an accountant at MAI Capital Management.
Colette Hart Colette Hart is Senior Director of the Centers for Outreach & Engagement in the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University. In her capacity as Senior Director, she is responsible for establishing Centers of Excellence in the College of Business that provide responsive and strategic business educational programs for the Northeast Ohio business community. Colette was instrumental in establishing the Global Business Center and securing over a million dollars in funding to develop interdisciplinary academic, research and outreach programs focused on applied international business education.  The Global Business Center is the 2006 recipient of the Ohio Governors Export Award and the 2010 Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade from the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the 2011 President’s “E” Award.

Colette brings a global frame of reference to her work through her extensive experience engaged in economic development, small business, trade, and education initiatives throughout Europe, China and Chile. Colette serves on the Northern Ohio District Export Council, NASBITE International Board of Governors, Jumpstart Higher Education Council, and the Corporate Sustainable Network Steering Committee. She obtained her MBA at Cleveland State University and her BA in International Relations and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin.

Roger Klee Originally from Toledo, OH, Roger obtained his education from the University of Alabama. Roll Tide! He has worked as a financial analyst, accounting consultant, and as a Manager of Financial and Strategic Operations. He teaches corporate finance, investments, derivatives, insurance, and personal finance in the Monte Ahuja College of Business.
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.
Jeremiah Landi
Dan Maxymiv
Ed O’Donnell Ed O’Donnell is an Adjunct Accounting Professor at Cleveland State University, teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Ed is a practicing CPA with a firm located in Westlake, Ohio. Recently retired from PPG Industries where he spent 27 years, Ed earned his BBA degree from Cleveland State University in 1979 and his MBA from the University of Georgia in 1983.
Jason Perz 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 thrillerbmx.com 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 Tragedyandhope.com. He also still rides frequently and speaks at countless events every year.

Brian Ray Professor Brian Ray has extensive experience in eDiscovery, information governance and data privacy. He and Candice Hoke founded and co-direct the Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection. They also are co-editors of the Center-sponsored SSRN Cybersecurity, Data Privacy and eDiscovery eJournal. Brian also co-founded, with Tim Opsitnick of JurInnov, the Cleveland eDiscovery Roundtable, an informal group of lawyers, judges and academics that meets monthly to discuss issues surrounding electronic discovery, cybersecurity and data privacy issues.

In 2016 Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine appointed Brian to the CyberOhio Advisory Board. He co-chairs the Northeast Ohio CyberConsortium’s Workforce Development Committee and is a member of the Sedona Conference’s Data Security and Privacy Liability Working Group.

Brian also is an expert in comparative and international law. His book, Engaging with Social Rights: Participation, Procedure and Democracy in South Africa’s Second-Wave provides a comprehensive analysis of the South African Constitutional Court’s social rights decisions. He was a Fulbright Scholar in South Africa and has published extensively on comparative constitutional law and social rights.

Professional Experience and Education: Litigation associate at Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio; judicial clerk for Judge Alan E. Norris, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Justice Richard J. Goldstone, Constitutional Court of South Africa; J.D., Ohio State University College of Law (Order of the Coif; Articles Editor of The Ohio State Law Journal, and valedictorian); Fulbright Fellow, Kyoto University; B.A., University of Notre Dame.

Ben Richards As a librarian, Ben Richards works with students and faculty at Cleveland State University to connect them with the wealth of information available through the Michael Schwartz Library and elsewhere. He serves as a resource to the College of Business through instruction, reference services, and managing the library’s collections. Ben received his MLIS in 2014 and has been working at Cleveland State University since 2015.
Blaise Roncagli Dr. Roncagli has been a lecturer with the Department of Finance at CSU since Fall 2011. Prior to that, he spend 30 years in the software industry working for firms like Hyland Software, Rockwell Automation, Sensormatic Electronics, Digital Equipment Corporation and Thorn Automated Systems. He has also worked for several startup firms, one of which was an IT consulting firm he founded with two partners in the early years of his career. Working with small startup firms established his interest in how small firms make their financing and investment decisions, which was the subject of his doctoral dissertation. Dr. Roncagli teaches courses in Corporate Finance, International Finance and Financial Markets and Institutions. He has maintained the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification since 1998.
Meghan Salkin Meg is the Program Manager for the Centers for Outreach and Engagement in the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University. Meg is a two-time alumna of Cleveland State University having earning her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Global Interactions.

In her role, she is responsible for providing exceptional operational support to the Centers for Outreach and Engagement, Small Business Development CenterGlobal Business CenterCenter for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Weston Ideation Lab. Meg manages planning, logistics, finance and communications for many of the Centers for Outreach and Engagement’s programs, workshops, conferences, special events and day-to-day operations. Meg is also instrumental in coordinating, planning and providing support for the Centers for Outreach and Engagement larger, university-wide events such as Startup Vikes and TEDxClevelandStateUniversity.

Jay Schach Jay Schach is serial entrepreneur who holds an MBA from the Monte Ahuja College of Business and a Bachelor’s degree from Bradley University. Jay has a rich experience in a variety of businesses. He serves as an adjunct professor in the Monte Ahuja College of Business specializing in Entrepreneurship, Strategic and Organizational Management. He is also an adjunct professor in Entrepreneurship at Hiram College and Kent State University.
Heather Schlosser Heather is the Marketing Communications Manager at the Monte Ahuja College of Business. She is responsible for internal and external communication on behalf of the college including six academic departments, six centers and two advising units. She collaborates with University Marketing, Admissions, Advancement, Alumni Affairs and Web Operations on university-wide initiatives in addition to planning, managing and executing promotional efforts for College of Business programs, events and other initiatives. She has over 20+ years of experience in marketing communications strategy, advertising management, media planning and buying, public relations, social media, copy writing and digital marketing. Most of all, she enjoys working with students at Startup Vikes (of course!) and in her role as advisor for Cleveland State’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Alec Simon
Alex Simon A recent graduate of Cleveland State University’s Master of Arts in Global Interactions program, Alex Simon serves a Trade Counselor. Alex utilizes his experience in international market research, market selection, export compliance and intercultural communication to assist companies in strategically expanding their global presence. Alex is fluent in Spanish, having spent extended time living and working in Spain and is an avid traveler.
Lauren Smith Lauren has personally worked with nearly 1,000 aspiring entrepreneurs in 5 years working as a start-up coach and instructor. Currently acting as Manager of Entrepreneurial Education at ECDI and the Women’s Business Center, Lauren develops curriculum, teaches training courses, and follows up with clients individually to develop unique and viable strategies to start and grow their businesses.
Jaclyn Sommers For nearly four years, Jaclyn has served as a Market Research Analyst at JumpStart Inc., assisting entrepreneurs all across Northeast Ohio in their market research and validation efforts. Prior to joining JumpStart, she honed her skills in market research and data analysis at leading industry research firm The Freedonia Group, as well as in the consulting space where she spent a lot of time on the phone and quickly mastered the do’s and don’ts of conducting effective customer interviews. Jaclyn is a homegrown Clevelander, with a passion for the Cleveland Indians to match, and enjoys supporting the region’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. She is also Cleveland State alum, class of 2011!
Mike Stuart
Oya Tukel Dr. Oya Tukel is the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Student Services, Director of Student Success and Engagement and a professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management. Her research focuses on efficient project scheduling techniques that managers can use for complex projects.
Katie Van Dyke Katie’s main mission is to support local small businesses that are a critical component and major contributor to the strength of local economies. Focusing on the amazing entrepreneurs in our beloved CLE, her time is spent on supporting their successes.

For the past 9 years, she has worked in the entrepreneurial world; currently as the Director of the CSU Small Business Development Center, and previously as an Entrepreneur Advisor, providing assistance, training and advising to local businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. She has also created many entrepreneurial experiential learning opportunities and training for entrepreneurs, corporate and academic entities. Katie has developed curriculum in entrepreneurship, as well as taught business and marketing classes for ten years as an adjunct faculty member of the Business Division at Lorain County Community College.

She earned her MBA from Cleveland State University and got her start at Ernst & Young as an eLearning Consultant and Instructional Designer and new hire trainer.

Nate Ward As Director of the Global Business Center and the SBDC Export Assistance Network, Nate Ward, has extensive international experience within manufacturing and banking industries. His international business experience includes sales, logistics, marketing, pricing, research and product development. In addition to his diverse cultural knowledge, Nate speaks multiple languages including French, Spanish and Japanese.
Amy Young
Claude Zoghzoghi Claude is a recent alumnus of Cleveland State University. He currently works as a Financial Analyst at a startup company, Latitude Airlines and Aladdin’s Eatery. He is a motivated professional skilled in fundamental and technical analysis, leveraged finance, LBOs deals, financial modeling and team-building. In the summer of 2016, Claude interned in Leveraged Finance-Middle Market Group at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in New York, one of the largest financial institutions in the world. Claude now serves as an FP & A for Aladdin’s Eatery Systems, Inc.