Mentor Bios

Zenobein Adams

Zenobein Adams earned a Masters of Management in 2010; and is pursuing a Masters of Diversity and Inclusion at CSU. Her involvement with small businesses has a range from grass-root startups to Goldman and Sachs qualified businesses.  In 2013 Zenobein was featured on Leon Bibb’s Kaleidoscope for implementing and facilitating a community ‘Think Tank’ for entrepreneurs to formulate a package on vision, mission, breakeven analysis and other available resources for entrepreneurs. Previously, Zenobein has worked with Thrive Incubator and Y.O.U. entrepreneurs projects.  Her motto is that, “strengths begins at the roots” which is the core of any sustainable business.

Brandyn Armstrong

Brandyn Armstrong currently holds an associates degree in Business Administration and is currently working on his bachelors degree in business here at Cleveland State. With the success of his recording product Studio Stick from last years Startup Vikes, Brandyn continues to make a lot of major moves in order to get his product off the ground. He believes that with faith mixed with effort, anything is possible.

Victoria Avi

Victoria Avi has over 9 years of experience in the sustainable business practices field. Sustainability, design, entrepreneurship and innovation are at the core of her work whether she is teaching MBA courses, managing the Center for Sustainable Business Practices at CSU or engaging in civic work. Victoria’s earliest entrepreneurial endeavor was at the age of 9 selling gum to her classmates. She is a double Viking (BA ‘03, MA ‘06). A transplant from Baku, Azerbaijan, she calls Cleveland her new and forever home. #GoVikes

Steve Baden

Having been a general counsel and senior level in-house attorney for more than two decades, Steve Baden is effective at managing and resolving the complex legal needs of businesses. Steve represents clients in consumer goods, manufacturing, direct sales, medical devices and other sectors. He advises clients on matters involving complex litigation; employment; independent contractor/employee classification; product liability; intellectual property; consumer sales trade practices; marketing, advertising and promotion regulatory compliance; equipment and real estate leasing; and vendor, product manufacturing and distribution agreements.

Rebecca Bompiedi

Rebecca brings a deep and proven wealth of experience as a senior executive across a range of industrial businesses. She has developed and led high impact organizations, and was President & CEO of a $35M Services company. Her business acumen and her ability to break down complex business issues has made her an asset to corporate leaders. Her strength in execution has made her a go-to resource for strategic business initiatives. Rebecca has delivered business growth globally, running organizations spanning many geographic locations. She’s been associated with businesses ranging from $20M to well over $3B. She readily engages and brings a data mindset and strong teaming skills to get at the heart of issues and develop a programmatic approach to reaching business goals.

Nour Chehade

With an MBA in Global Relations and Finance from Cleveland State University, Nour is a skilled global business professional with cross-functional background in finance and operational strategies. He has gained knowledge and expertise in international business through his work and travel to many countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Since then, he is been active in the international trade and building networks from all types of industries. Nour’s previous experience has been in running an automotive export trading company and working in global client relations at the Cleveland Clinic. Nour serves businesses located in Medina, Portage, Summit, Stark and Wayne counties.

Jimmy D’Orazio

As an active member of the Cleveland business community Mr. D’Orazio leverages his experience in teaching, marketing, consultative selling, strategy development, consensus building, and project management to prepare students for a successful career. Concurrently his hope is to contribute to the College’s mission to engage and connect the student body, faculty and the local business community.

Jason Estremera

Jason Estremera is an experienced professional, with nearly a decade in the areas retail management, banking, and business development. Mr. Estremera began his career with Kohl’s Department Store in Chicago, where he served as a store manager. In 2010, he moved to Cleveland to work with JP Morgan Chase, as an assistant branch manager in the Gordon Square neighborhood. Mr. Estremera joined the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Business Center and Chamber of Commerce in January of 2013, as the Director of Business Services. In this role, he manages the organization’s education and outreach programs, assisting entrepreneurs and small business owners with business development. Mr. Estremera earned a BS in Textiles, Apparel and Merchandizing from Northern Indiana University, and will complete his MBA from the College of Graduate Studies at Cleveland State University, in December 2013.

Sarah Gartman

Sarah Gartman has worked as a professional graphic designer for over eight years. She has most recently been working on graphic design solutions at Hyland, creator of Onbase. Sarah brings a love for solving problems with design and imbues an entrepreneurial spirit into all of her work, whether it’s in the corporate or freelance space. Sarah graduated from Cleveland State University in 2009 and pursued graduate course work at Kent State University.

Anthony Gasparo

Anthony Gasparro is currently a Junior at Cleveland State University pursuing a degree in Business Administration. He attended and got third place in StartUp Vikes last year. He wanted to offer the most responsible way to purchase the healthiest puppies and that goal turned into PuppyMatch LLC. Since then he has developed a relationship with Camp Bow Wow. They are a national chain of dog boarding and training franchises. They now trust and rely exclusively on PuppyMatch LLC to fulfill their clients’ requests for new puppies. Through his connections as a dog trainer Anthony has added thousands of world class breeders to their network in only a couple of months. In addition to their breeders they are constantly contacting local rescues such as the Berea Animal Rescue and Heart of Michigan Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue to connect clients open to rescuing their next puppy.

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.

Matthew Iorio

Matthew is a champion of the start-up and early stage venture community in Cleveland.  He holds a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering with a focus in medical devices and algorithm development.  His passion for this community has led him to combine these skills to work in technology transfer, consult for start-ups and also work for local incubators/accelerators and a venture capital firm.  He also has experience in open innovation. Currently, he works at Neuros Medical Inc., an early stage venture-capital backed company developing an implantable medical device aimed at improving the lives of those that suffer from chronic pain.

Raj Javalgi

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.

Dr. Joseph Kovach

Dr. Joe Kovach established KoMotion Technologies after retiring from Parker Hannifin Corporation, where he was the Vice President of Corporate Technology Ventures (CTV).  This entrepreneurial corporate R&D team was focused on creating new global businesses which leverage advanced product and manufacturing technologies in the areas of human motion and control, hybrid vehicle systems, advanced composite materials, and hybridized distributed power generation. Currently, the CTV team is in the pre-production qualification stages of launching an advanced prosthetic exoskeleton for people with spinal cord and other mobility-inhibiting injuries.

Prior to this position, Dr. Kovach was the Vice President of Technology & Innovation for Parker Hannifin’s Hydraulic Group worldwide.  In this capacity, he actively led Parker’s Energy Recovery Systems development for vehicles (RunWise), next generation hydraulic Pump/Motor developments, and advanced sensor and control technologies.

Key technologies included hybrid hydraulic and electric components for on and off-road vehicles, next generation actuators, carbon composites, intelligent control systems, and variable power-split transmissions.  His product development and manufacturing efforts led to the new commercialization of 6 new business units with potential revenue exceeding $1.6 Billion, including the start-up of a new Hybrid Drive Systems (HDS) Division.

Neleen Leslie

Dr. Neleen S. Leslie is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a PhD in Mass Communication from Florida State University as well as M.S. degrees in Measurement and Statistics and Integrated Marketing and Management Communication, also from Florida State University. Her research focuses on Multicultural Marketing Communication, Branding, Advertising and Intercultural Communication. She is a native of the island of Jamaica where she lived, studied and worked prior to coming to the United States. She attended the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing with a minor in International Business. Dr. Leslie’s industry experience includes a stint in the Jamaican marketing industry as Brand Manager at one of the country’s largest distributors. She also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS), a non- profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of graduate and professional students in the United States and was President & CEO of Association in 2014. She is also a research affiliate of the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State University.

Shannon Lyons

Business development professional with proven ability to drive business results through applied research in organizations, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Applied research includes methodologies in business modeling, innovation management, commercialization, complex change management and human-centered design. Shannon is a strategic thinker who has worked with teams of all sizes and capacities in order to execute initiatives. Possesses broad knowledge of complexity theory, rapid prototyping and coaching. Ambitious, aggressive, and intensely focused on bottom-line results through the creation of value.

Bob Means
Matthew Migal

Matt joined Levin Swedler Kennedy in 2010. Prior to joining Levin Swedler Kennedy, Matt completed two internships while earning his undergraduate degree. He became a licensed certified public accountant (CPA) in 2015 and a QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor in 2016. Matt specializes in providing external auditing and tax services to privately held businesses and employee benefit plans. He also works with a variety of individuals in the planning and preparation of federal, state, and local tax returns. Matt graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, Specializing in Accounting. In 2012, he received his Masters of Business Administration, from Cleveland State University. Matt is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA), and the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce Young Professional Network. He currently serves as a professional resource for Cleveland State University’s Ohio Small Business Development Center, Loan Review Committee Member for Cascade Capital Corporation, and is a member of the Cleveland Professional Twenty-Thirty Club. Matthew previously served as a board member of the University of Akron School of Accountancy’s Junior Advisory Board. He is also a past participant in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, and Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Suzann Moskowitz

Suzann is the owner of The Moskowitz Firm, which is a boutique law practice focused on technology, trademark, copyright, and related licensing issues.   Suzann opted out of large-firm life in 2010 and now works more closely with creative entrepreneurs, technology start-ups, and established companies to protect their valuable intellectual property and to navigate the evolving legal landscape, including new rules relating to privacy, social media, mobile applications and marketing to children.

Frank Nagorney

As a principal at Cowden Humphrey, Mr. Nagorney focuses on finding business solutions for legal problems facing private and family‐owned businesses. He advises clients on personal issues such as succession planning, estate taxation, insurance and other wealth management issues. As general counsel to business clients, Mr. Nagorney advises and represents them on financing (banking and private equity), business structure and tax planning, restructuring debt and bankruptcy, intellectual property licensing and protection, executive compensation, environmental and other issues.

Ed O’Donnell

Ed is an Adjunct Accounting Professor at Cleveland State University teaching in both undergraduate and graduate business programs. Additionally, Ed is a practicing CPA located in Westlake, OH. Ed is recently retired from PPG Industries with 27 years of service. Ed received a BBA degree from Cleveland State University in 1979 and a MBA from the University of Georgia in 1983.

Toni Paoletta
Toni Paoletta serves as the Manager of the Professional Development Center in the Monte Ahuja College of Business.  With her contagious enthusiasm and knack for making the complicated simple, Toni designs professional development programs that working professionals and corporations require to remain competitive in today’s rapidly changing business climate.  In addition to instructional design, Toni is a certified technical instructor and adjunct faculty in Business and Information Technology for Tri-C and Tiffin University.  She received her M.Ed. in Adult Education from Cleveland State University and her B.A. in Business from Tiffin University.  She is currently working towards a Ph.D. at Cleveland State University.
Dr. Majid Rashidi
Jay Schach
Lauren Smith

With a BSS in Creative Entrepreneurship from Ohio University and an MBA from Cleveland State University, Lauren has always had a love for the self-starting zeal and boundary-pushing challenges of small business. An artist at heart, she has spent the last several years honing her creative problem solving skills in application to entrepreneurial and managerial scenarios, and is currently the Manager of Entrepreneurial Education at ECDI.

Marybeth Stucker

Marybeth is the Director of Operations & Membership at LaunchHouse.  She focuses on building a community of awesome entrepreneurs and the day-to-day operations of the space.  Prior to LaunchHouse, Marybeth worked at KeyBank as a Financial Analyst.  She is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of John Carroll University University where she studied Accounting, Spanish, and Entrepreneurship.  Marybeth has many roles at LaunchHouse: accountant, office manager, mentor, and more. But what she enjoys most is helping people turn their dreams and ideas into reality.

Andrew Somich

Andrew Somich is a Certificated Public Accountant (CPA) at Pease & Associates located in Cleveland and Beachwood, Ohio.  Andrew specializes in taxation for start-up business ventures to large privately held businesses.  In doing so, he has quickly become a trusted advisor in the community.  Andrew offers expert tax planning, compliance guidance, and financial consulting.   His clients represent industries including manufacturing, distribution, construction, real estate, restaurants, and service businesses. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from Miami University and earned his Master of Business Administration from Cleveland State University.  He currently services on the Board of the Cleveland Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA) Committee, Vice President of the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern Ohio.  In his free time he enjoys spending time reading, watching his beloved Cleveland Sports teams, and time on the golf course.

Mike Sturdevant

Virtec Enterprises was built on the simple belief that businesses succeed by consistently solving customer problems through professional excellence and timely, high quality output. Mr. Sturdevant founded Virtec Enterprises in 1997 as a supplier of product development resources. He has 35 years of professional experience and has been lead engineer on a multitude of product development projects. As President of Virtec, Mr. Sturdevant has attracted business from small to Fortune 500 companies that have a need for highly innovative product development expertise. Virtec is an FDA registered medical device manufacturer. Virtec Enterprises’ quality management system is certified to be compliant with ISO 13485. Mr. Sturdevant is a graduate of Fenn College at Cleveland State University.

Katie VanDyke

For the past 6 years, Katie has worked in the entrepreneurial world; currently as the Director of the Small Business Development Center at Cleveland State University, and previously as an Entrepreneur Advisor, providing assistance, training and advising to local businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. She has also had a great time creating many entrepreneurial experiential learning opportunities and training for entrepreneurs, corporate and academic entities. She 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.

Claude Zoghzoghi
Claude is a Junior at Cleveland state university majoring in Finance and Computer Science. He represented the Monte Ahuja College of business at the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium EIW 2015 and developed a business plan based on the Canvas model. In addition, he works as a private investment consultant and conducts research on companies and financial markets.