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Michael Daevenport '93 newly invested to operate Grandville stamping firm as minority enterprise


GRANDVILLE, MI – Jireh Metal Products has been acquired by a group of local investors who plan to operate the metal stamping company as a Minority Business Enterprise.

The new owners include by Michael Davenport, Andy Otteman and Gregory VandenBosch, the company said in a news release on Tuesday, May 19. Jireh produces metal stampings and assemblies for the office furniture, hardware and automotive industry.

Davenport, a basketball star at Ottawa Hills High School in the 1980s who went on to star at Xavier University, will lead Jireh as president and CEO.

Seller Ron Wierenga, who has led the company since 2000, will retain an ownership share and have an active role in the development of customer relationships, the company said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As part of the new ownership structure, Jireh plans to pursue Minority Business Enterprise certification, the company said.

The certification "will allow Jireh to provide support to many companies, including current customers, that have supplier diversity programs in place and those that recognize that a diverse supply base offers a competitive advantage in today's multicultural business economy," the company said..

With more than 30 years in business, Jireh employs nearly 100 people and operates two manufacturing plants with 120,000 square feet. The company is headquartered at 3635 Nardin Street SW in Grandville and has a production facility at 864 Productions Place in Holland Township.

Davenport most recently served as the director of community development for First Financial Bank in Cincinnati, where he led the bank's community development strategy. Previously, he served as a regulatory attorney for First Financial, Fifth Third Bank and U.S. Bank, where he managed the implementation and review of consumer lending legislation.

"Jireh's current products and customer base provided our team with a solid platform and the potential to grow with existing customers. We have a great opportunity to extend our relationships with these partners," said Davenport in a news release.

"While we retained all of Jireh's employees in the transition, we are also looking forward to adding additional staff to expand our areas of expertise and industry knowledge."

"Our team has done extensive due diligence on Jireh and knows the business inside and out. With Ron's involvement and guidance, Jireh will be able to continue in the direction that has allowed Jireh to grow with its partners," said Davenport. "We're confident that we'll be able to reach the company's growth targets."

Otteman, a former employee of Herman Miller Inc. and tech start-up, Parnunu, will serve as director of new business development.

The deal was financed by Mercantile Bank. Grand Rapids-based StreamSong Advisors played a key role in the deal structure.

"Providing acquisition and growth capital for proven leaders like the new Jireh Metal Products team is a perfect fit for the Mercantile business model and our local focus, said Kevin Paul, senior vice president of commercial lending at Mercantile Bank.

 

Deborah Brenneman '93 recognized with the 2015 Glass Ceiling Award by the Ohio Diversity Council


Thompson Hine is proud to announce that Cincinnati Labor & Employment Partner, Deborah Brenneman has been recognized with the 2015 Glass Ceiling Award by the Ohio Diversity Council.  This award recognizes women in the workplace who demonstrate leadership excellence, maintain a record of accomplishments in areas of expertise, display integrity and portray the highest ethical standards among colleagues and clients.  Deborah has over 20 years of experience, focusing her practice on representing management in all areas of employment law.  She has successfully tried cases in state and federal courts around the country for global companies, and is a recognized expert in the field of trade secret and noncompete litigation.  She has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer since 2009.  She currently serves as the Cincinnati co-chair for the Spotlight on Women Initiative, a firm-wide program designed to foster an energetic and supportive atmosphere for women at the firm and within the business community. Debbie is the Vice Chair of the board of the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance, which awarded her its Women of Excellence Award in 2010.  She is also a former Athena Award Finalist.

John S. Fronduti '97 Named Assistant Vice President of American Financial Group, Inc.


CINCINNATI, May 04, 2015 -- American Financial Group, Inc. AFG, +0.87% is pleased to welcome John S. Fronduti as Assistant Vice President. In addition, he will serve as Vice President of American Money Management, a wholly owned investment management subsidiary of AFG, where he will provide legal advice in connection with the Company’s investment portfolio. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Fronduti was a partner with the Cincinnati-based law firm Keating, Muething and Klekamp.

John is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

About American Financial Group, Inc.

American Financial Group is an insurance holding company, based in Cincinnati, Ohio with assets in excess of $45 billion. Through the operations of Great American Insurance Group, AFG is engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance, focusing on specialized commercial products for businesses, and in the sale of fixed and fixed-indexed annuities in the retail, financial institutions and education markets. Great American Insurance Group’s roots go back to 1872 with the founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Company.

UC Alum Catherine Neal '98 inducted in the 2015 Western Brown Hall of Fame


Western Brown Local School District will hold its annual Academic Hall of Fame induction at Western Brown High School 6 p.m. Thursday, May 7. The event will take place in the High School Auditeria to be followed by the high school academic awards program.

Being inducted into the Western Brown Academic Hall of Fame is the ultimate honor to be bestowed upon a (Hamersville High School/Mount Orab High School) Western Brown graduate. These individuals will have achieved extraordinary accomplishments and/or excellence in their chosen profession.

Criteria for nomination: Nominee must be graduated a minimum of 10 years and has accomplished achievements above and beyond normal standards including military academy graduate, doctor, lawyer, engineer, veterinarian, education, pharmacist, dentist, architect, music, arts, business, politics, etc. Nomination period closes each year on Jan. 15. Additional information available on the website at www.wb.k12.oh.us.

One of the 2015 Western Brown Hall of Fame Inductees is a UC Alum:

CATHERINE S. NEAL, Esq. – Graduated in 1979 from Western Brown High School. She earned degrees from both the University of Cincinnati Clermont and Northern Kentucky University where she graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA in 1992. She earned a Juris Doctorate degree in 1998 from the College of Law, University of Cincinnati.

As a college student she received the National Business Education Association Award of Merit and was inducted into the Alpha Chi National Honor Society. She was named a Corporate Law Fellow by UC’s Corporate Law Center. She was the recipient of the Brendamour Tax Prize for completing the tax curriculum with the highest GPA; the Ernest Karam Book Award in Legal Research, Writing, and Advocacy; the West Publishing Award for Scholastic Achievement in Criminal Law and was included on the Dean’s Honors List.

After law school, Neal entered private practice with the law firm of Wood & Lamping in Cincinnati. Her work included business law, tax and estate planning matters, maritime law and federal litigation. Her input on a case being argued before the Ohio Supreme Court significantly changed international commercial law in the state of Ohio.

Neal left private practice in 2002 to become an Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Cincinnati Clermont College and was recognized for “Excellence in Teaching” and “Promoting Good Student/Faculty Relations.” Professor Neal joined the Haile/US Bank College of Business at Northern Kentucky University in 2005 where she received “Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Teaching” in 2010 and was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in 2011.

Her research interests include white-collar crime, corporate governance, executive compensation, and corporate scandals. Her work has been published in a number of academic journals, and she is a frequent speaker on business ethics and business law topics. In 2014, Professor Neal’s first book, “Taking Down the Lion” was published . The book is the consummate account of the Tyco International corporate scandal and is based on over two years of intensive research. During this time, Professor Neal was granted unprecedented access to former Tyco International CEO Dennis Kozlowski, his papers, attorneys, family, friends, and former Tyco colleagues as well as transcripts and evidence from two criminal trials. Since the book was released, Neal has appeared on numerous national, regional, and local media outlets. She is frequently invited to speak about her research, among those most recent include events at Sacred Heart University, the Harvard Business School Club and was invited to give the keynote address at Oxford University (UK).

Professor Neal and her husband, Douglas Havelka, Ph.D., reside in the Anderson Township area. They are the parents of a daughter and a son and the grandparents of a granddaughter. Catherine Neal is the daughter of Creston and Joyce Neal of Mount Orab.

Buckley King’s Jeffrey R. Teeters '93 Again Receives “Top 50” Rating from Super Lawyers


CINCINNATI, OH – Buckley King is pleased to announce that Jeffrey R. Teeters (’93) has again been distinguished among a premier group of attorneys recognized as one of the “Top 50 Lawyers in Cincinnati.” Super Lawyers’ 2015 “Top” list features the “best of the best” – those attorneys who have attained the highest degree of recognition for legal excellence, professional achievements, and ethical standards.  Being listed in Super Lawyers demonstrates Teeters’ superior legal acumen, and is a singular honor limited to the top 5% of attorneys across Ohio. 

Teeters serves as Partner-in-Charge of the Firm’s Cincinnati office and chairs its Commercial Litigation Practice Group.  He is the former Editor-in-Chief of the American Bar Association’s publication, Litigation News, and is co-editor of the ABA book, Business Torts: A Practical Guide to Litigation. Teeters provides counsel and representation to businesses and professionals in business disputes, employment matters, with a deep concentration on non-competes, trade secrets, and professional liability.

About Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Every year the research team at Super Lawyers undertakes a rigorous multiphase selection process that includes a state wide survey of lawyers, independent evaluations of candidates by an attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check.  www.superlawyers.com

About the Law Firm of Buckley King

Buckley King is a commercial law firm with offices in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Phoenix.  The firm maintains a culture where integrity, transparency, creativity, better solutions, teamwork and passion is non-negotiable. Buckley King is known for giving straight answers, thinking big picture, hearing clients’ needs, providing practical and effective solutions, and completing engagements on time and on budget. Rethink your outside counsel.℠  www.buckleyking.com.

 

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Henry Ford College appoints new director of labor and human resources, William Lodge '78


Henry Ford College announced the appointment of Bill Lodge as the college’s new director of Labor & Human Resources, effective March 30.

William LodgeLodge has 37 years in human resources, 26 of them in management roles. He comes to HFC from the Judson Center in Royal Oak, a nonprofit human services agency for children with special needs, where he served as director of human resources. His duties at Judson included workforce planning, talent acquisition and retention, total compensation, performance management and employee safety.

Prior to the Judson Center, Lodge was director of human resources and legal affairs for 12 years at GreenPath Debt Solutions in Farmington Hills, a nonprofit organization that provides credit counseling, debt management services and financial education services.

Additionally, Lodge is no stranger to Dearborn, nor to higher education. From 1995-99, he was director of human resources at the Oakwood Healthcare System in Dearborn. He has spent 18 years in higher education – 14 at the University of Cincinnati and four at the Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills.

“I am looking forward to returning to higher education and, in particular, becoming part of the community college world,” Lodge said. “I strongly believe that community colleges are one of the primary solutions to the problems caused by the unsustainable growth in the cost of a college education in this country.”

Lodge earned an undergraduate degree in history from Ohio State University and a juris doctor degree from the U-C College of Law. He also has completed master's of business administration courses at the U-C Graduate School of Business.

Ellen Eardley, '03 named MU Title IX administrator, assistant vice provost


Ellen Eardley, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., has been named the new Title IX administrator at MU.

COLUMBIA — Ellen Eardley, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., has been appointed Title IX administrator and assistant vice provost at MU. She will start the position on April 20 with a salary of $150,000, according to Christian Basi, associate director of the the MU News Bureau.

Ellen EardleyEardley is a partner at the Mehri & Skalet firm in Washington, D.C., and an adjunct faculty member at the American University Washington College of Law. She has been with the law firm for more than seven years.She was one of four finalists selected by a search team late last year. The committee convened in October to fill the Title IX administrator position — the first of its kind at MU. She visited the campus in December for interviews. The move followed investigations into Missouri athletics' failure to report the alleged sexual assault of one of its athletes, Sasha Menu Courey, and similar incidents.

Eardley, 37 and a native of southern Illinois, has a substantial legal history working with Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination at educational institutions, and other cases involving discrimination. "I've been working on cases of discrimination, and particularly gender discrimination, since I graduated from law school in 2003," she said. "I've always wanted to work on issues of gender and the law. It's the reason that I went to law school." Eardley holds a degree in English and women's studies from Eastern Illinois University. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Eardley joined the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C., a leading women's legal organization. The center offers education and policy work, she said, as well as litigation on issues of anti-discrimination. It was founded more than 40 years ago "to expand, protect, and promote opportunity and advancement for women and girls at every stage of their lives." It was there Eardley said she did much of her work on Title IX issues.

Now a partner at her private practice, her focus has been predominantly employment and housing discrimination. At American University, she teaches a course to law students about discrimination issues, including Title IX. Eardley said she is aware of the work that has gone into Title IX initiatives at MU, and she acknowledged the work already put in by interim coordinator Linda Bennett. "My first step is to build on the work that's already been done by Dr. Bennett, the chancellor, the provost, and I also want to spend to time listening to various constituencies on campus," Eardley said. This includes learning about the needs on campus and how Title IX information is disseminated so that the new UM System collected rules and regulations are easily understood.

Eardley, however, did say it will take some time to get the lay of the land and develop  strategic priorities. She said she is already familiar with Columbia. She grew up outside St. Louis and has visited campus several times. Her mother worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "A number of folks that I know personally have attended Mizzou, and I've always had a lot of respect for the school overall," Eardley said. Given her heritage, Eardley said she is excited to make the move from the East Coast back to the Midwest. "When I got off the airplane (in December) in the tiny airport outside Columbia, I felt at home," she said. "I like to see the horizon, and I really enjoy living in a college town, so I'm excited about the move." 

This story was written by Thomas Carter

Christopher Varner, '96 Elected Tennessee Bar Foundation Fellow


Christopher T. Varner has recently been elected a Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, an association of 801 attorneys across the state. Invitations to membership, which is a position of honor, were extended to 29 attorneys this year by the Board of Trustees. The introduction of new Fellows took place at the annual Fellows' Dinner in Nashville.

The Bar Foundation's purpose is two-fold: to honor attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the profession and to administer a grant making program. That project, known by its acronym “IOLTA” (Interest On Lawyers' Trust Accounts), has awarded grants in excess of $20,000,000 to law-related, public interest projects throughout Tennessee.

Mr. Varner is a partner in the firm of Evans Harrison Hackett, PLLC and has been practicing law in Chattanooga, Tennessee for 19 years. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and of the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

 

Mark L. Newmann named as 2015 Ohio Super Lawyers


CINCINNATI, OH( December 03, 2014)-The law firm of Barron Peck Bennie & Schlemmer Co., L.P.A. (BPBS) is pleased to announce that Mark L. Newman, a resident of Symmes Township, has been recognized as 2015 Ohio Super Lawyers®. This recognition continues the tradition of Super Lawyers designation for the attorneys of BPBS. 

mark l. newmannOhio Super Lawyers showcases outstanding lawyers in Ohio who are recognized by their peers for professional accomplishments. Only five percent of Ohio lawyers are chosen as Ohio Super Lawyers. In selecting this year’s group of honorees, candidates were evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.

For over 20 years, Mark Newman has devoted his practice to helping injured and disabled individuals pursue claims related to workers’ compensation and social security disability.  Mark Newman was named an Ohio Super Lawyer in 2006, 2011 and now again in 2015 for Workers’ Compensation area of practice. Mark is an Ohio Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. Only five percent of Ohio lawyers are chosen as Ohio Super Lawyers.

About Barron Peck Bennie & Schlemmer, Co., L.P.A.

With offices in Oakley, Over-the-Rhine and Northern Kentucky, BPBS provides comprehensive legal services for individual and commercial clients in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. For more information on BPBS’s attorneys, practice areas and specific services, visit www.bpbslaw.com or call 513-721-1350. 

Kathryn J. Bross '14 hired as associate by KMK Law


Cincinnati (November 11, 2014) — The Cincinnati law firm of Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL (KMK Law) has recently hired four new associates: Kathryn J. Bross, Meaghan K. FitzGerald, Shannon D. Lawson and Sarah A. Vonderbrink.

Bross, KatherineKathryn J. Bross practices in the firm’s Real Estate Group. Bross’ practice includes a variety of real estate transactions, including the disposition or acquisition of real property and lease transactions of commercial or residential property. Before joining KMK Law, Bross worked for GE Aviation where she performed research, contract revision and drafting in several corporate transactional areas. Bross earned her J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2014, where she was a Notes and Comments Editor of the Cincinnati Law Review and was selected as a participant in the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic. Prior to attending law school Bross worked for an international non-profit as a site coordinator and project manager. She earned her B.A. from The Ohio State University in 2010. Bross is admitted to practice law in Ohio.

Meaghan K. FitzGerald practices in the firm’s Litigation Group. Prior to joining KMK Law, FitzGerald served as an intern in the Office of Congressional Affairs of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) in Washington, D.C., designing and compiling databases for the candidate selection process of the First Responder Network Board. She also researched and prepared materials for Assistant Secretary of NTIA to use when testifying before Congress. FitzGerald earned her J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2014, where she served as a Mentor in the Law and Leadership Program and as a Moritz Admissions Ambassador.  She earned her B.A. from Duke University in 2011. FitzGerald is admitted to practice law in Ohio.

Shannon D. Lawson practices in the firm’s Business Representation & Transactions Group. He focuses his practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and business planning. Lawson earned his J.D. from the University of Kentucky in 2014, where he was a member of the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture & Natural Resources Law and served as vice president of the Black Law Student Association. While in law school, Lawson worked as a law clerk for Landrum & Shouse in Lexington, Kentucky, where he drafted motions for summary judgment and performed legal research.  Prior to law school, Lawson worked several years as an internal auditor for Ashland Inc., where he led an array of financial and operational audits. He also worked as an internal auditor for E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., a Fortune 100 company, and was a corporate accountant at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, now a part of Pfizer. Lawson is a certified public accountant (Delaware, 2009). He earned his B.S. from Delaware State University in 2001, cum laude. Lawson is admitted to practice law in Ohio.

Sarah A. Vonderbrink practices in the firm’s Litigation Group.  Prior to joining KMK Law, Vonderbrink was a co-mediator for the Family Alternative Dispute Clinic, Mediation Center of Charlottesville, Virginia, where she co-mediated parental disputes regarding custody, visitation and child support. Vonderbrink earned her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2014.  While attending law school, she spent her summers working at the Kentucky Court of Appeals and at regional law firms researching legal issues on appeal from Kentucky circuit courts and gaining experience in the legal skills of mediation, deposing parties, attending motion hours and trials.  She earned her B.A. from the University of Richmond in 2010, cum laude.  Vonderbrink is admitted to practice law in Kentucky.

About Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL

The law firm of Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL (KMK®), based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a nationally-recognized law firm delivering sophisticated legal solutions to businesses of all sizes — from Fortune 100 corporations to start-up companies. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers® 2014 recognized KMK as a leading law firm in Ohio in Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions, General Commercial Litigation, and Bankruptcy & Restructuring.  KMK earned three national rankings in Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Venture Capital Law and 37 metropolitan rankings in the 2015 “Best Law Firms” report by U.S. News and Best Lawyers.  Founded in 1954, KMK has approximately 110 lawyers and a support staff of 150 employees. Additional information is available at www.kmklaw.com