Rick Blaszak is founder and principal of the Exacta Companies. Based in Downtown Cleveland, Exacta provides land surveying and lien search services for the real estate industry nationwide. With over 200 employees in eight states, Exacta is the national leader in residential real estate surveying and inspections.
Rick is also founder of SurveyStars , a full-suite operational software solution designed specifically for engineering and surveying firms.
He is a 4th generation Clevelander that graduated from Miami University in 1991. He is the proud father of three teen daughters and co-owner of Rebar, a Cleveland establishment.
Bernie Moreno’s meteoric rise to one of Greater Cleveland’s most successful and admired business leaders began in 2005 with his purchase of a small, underperforming Mercedes-Benz dealership on the city's west side. In just one year, the reborn North Olmsted dealership earned the prestigious “Best of the Best” award from MercedesBenz. It would go on to win the award for 10 consecutive years, an accomplishment no other dealer has achieved.Over the next decade, the Bernie Moreno Companies became one of the fastest growing and most celebrated auto-dealership organizations in the country. The company, which now operates a thriving collection of luxury dealerships across several states, has been honored for its growth, client service, and community involvement. In 2015, Bernie Moreno Companies made its first non-automotive acquisition: Hotcards.com, Cleveland's leading online printing and marketing company.Moreno attributes the success of his business to a deeply held belief that shopping for, purchasing and owning a vehicle should be a positive experience with unparalleled service.Moreno has been named Distinguished Business Executive of the Year by Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland, Hispanic Dealer of the Year at the Detroit International Auto Show and Midwest Region Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. He was one of only 50 dealers in North America to be named Time Magazine/Ally Financial Dealer of the Year. He was also recognized as the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Entrepreneur of the Year. He is an engaging and sought-after speaker on a number of topics, including improving corporate culture and client satisfaction.In addition to his business success, Moreno has been widely recognized for his public service and for his commitment to improving the social and economic well-being of the communities where his dealerships operate. He serves in leadership capacities at Cleveland State University, where he is board chair and founder of the Bernie Moreno Center for Sales Excellence, and at the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, where he is board vice-chair. He also serves on the boards of Cleveland Foundation, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Destination Cleveland, the Young Presidents Organization and the Fifty Club of Cleveland.Moreno was born in Bogota, Colombia, moved to the United States at the age of 5 and became a United States citizen at age 18. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in business administration, he began his career in the automotive industry with the Saturn Corporation. When the workday is over, Moreno returns to his home in Westlake, Ohio, where he cherishes time with his wife and four children.
Eddie Ni is the President of Windfall Group and has served in that role since 2003. He is an international, multi-lingual executive with over 25 years of business experience within the United States and Canada. He has also expanded his business portfolio across seas to China. Eddie has a multifarious business portfolio ranging from food services, home décor, real estate investment, real estate development, import/export, education, consulting and much more.
Eddie is very active in community organizations, including the American Fujian Business Association, where he serves as Honorable Chairman. Locally, he is the Chairman of the Chinese Cultural garden Association and the Advisory Board Director of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Cleveland.
Vanessa L. Whiting
Vanessa L. Whiting is currently president of A.E.S Management Corp., the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen franchisee in Northeast Ohio. Founded in 1989 by her late husband, Anthony E. Smith, A.E.S. Management Corp. employs over 350 Cuyahoga County and Summit County residents at its 15 Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen locations and continues to give second chances to those in our community. Ms. Whiting is also an attorney and has extensive experience in economic and community development law, real estate law, including acquisition, development, and leasing and financing, tax credit law, public finance and small business enterprise law. Ms. Whiting frequently served as business consultant to her real estate, corporate, public finance and tax credit clients. She has served as lender's counsel, developer’s counsel, owner’s and buyer’s counsel, bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel and consultant on low income housing tax credit projects, corporate acquisitions, bond financed projects, mixed financing projects, residential and commercial historic preservation tax credit projects, market rate scattered site residential projects and conventional market rate commercial retail developments. She has been recognized in Northeast Ohio Live as one of the top 100 attorneys. Ms. Whiting is also a real estate developer and is currently working on several development projects.
Ms. Whiting practiced law as an associate at the law firms of Bryan, Cave in St. Louis and Calfee, Halter in Cleveland, Ohio. An entrepreneur at heart, she founded her own law firm in 1995 where she practiced until 2007. In 2007 she was recruited to the law firm of Roetzel and Andress as a partner where she practiced real estate development law, tax credit law, community development and economic development law and finance. She re-established her law firm in 2011.
Ms. Whiting possess a B.S. in public policy from Duke University where she graduated with honors, a M.S. in urban affairs and public policy from Southern Illinois University and a J. D. from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne.
Her interests include faith formation, social justice, minority business development, community development, arts, politics, education and health care. Ms. Whiting currently serves as the Co- Chair of the $8,000,000 Karamu Capital and Sustaining Campaign. Ms. Whiting serves on the Metro Health System Board of Trustees and is the Board Secretary. She helped establish and continues to chair the Metro Health System Board of Trustees Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Playhouse Square and the Tri C Foundation. She is an active member in the Cleveland Chapter of Links Incorporated, the Northeasterners, and the Jack and Jill Associates Chapter. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Alpha Omega Chapter, a member of PIFA and an active member of Fairmount Presbyterian Church where she has serves as an elder and was a former Clerk of Session. Ms. Whiting is a former co-chair of the Economic Development Committee of the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP, a life member of the NAACP and a former Executive Board member.
She is the proud mother of three adult children. Ms. Whiting states, faith, family, friends, community and meaningful work are the pillars of her life.
Dan Zelman is the majority owner of Paro Services Co. and Euclid Media Corporation. Paro has interests in the chemical industry as well as in janitorial services and operates in more than 40 states throughout the US. Euclid Media owns 9 publications, including Cleveland Scene locally.
Dan has been an active member of the community for many years and currently serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the Montefiore Home, the Board of the Maltz Museum, and the Board and Executive Committee of the Jewish Family Service Association. He is also a Board member and the Treasurer and Chair of Development for The Jewish Federation of Cleveland. In the past Dan served as General Campaign Chair for the Federation and also held committee positions in several other areas over the years. Zelman is also on the Boards and committees of The Ahuja Medical Center of University Hospital and The Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum.
Dan lives in Moreland Hills with his wife Ellen and has 3 married children all living in the area.