Dustin S Klein

Publisher and Vice President of Operations

As Publisher and Vice President of Operations, Dustin manages operations and all things content-related. He is a veteran business journalist, author and speaker; and oversees the editorial content for Smart Business and its business conferences and awards programs; manages the production and circulation departments; the Smart Business Books division; supports the sales team; works with clients to develop customized content solutions; dabbles in business development; and has key responsibilities for the expansion and launch of new markets, and creation of new products and services. As part of his operational duties, Dustin is responsible for developing, implementing and managing the company’s editorial vision, guidelines and procedures.

A 1991 graduate of Kent State University, Dustin joined the Smart Business team in 1997 as a reporter after holding reporting and editing roles at three different daily newspapers. He has held numerous roles at Smart Business, including editor of the Cleveland and Akron/Canton publications and corporate executive editor, where he was responsible for all content-related operations for the publications. He also co-founded, and later sold, Pyramyd Air, an online retailer and distributor, as well as eSports Media Group, one of the Internet’s first pay-on-demand content providers.

Dustin is a native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and a regular keynote speaker on innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship. He has authored or co-authored four books, and has helped more than 20 CEOs and entrepreneurs transform their ideas into books as an editor or development consultant. Among his works, Dustin co-authored Stella’s Way (Daisa Publishing), which chronicles the life story of an immigrant entrepreneur; and edited and co-authored the Amazon #1 Bestseller The Benevolent Dictator (Wiley & Sons, June 2011), which he co-wrote with the co-founder and former CEO of OfficeMax, Michael Feuer. His most recent book, The Unexpected: Breakthrough Strategies To Supercharge Your Business and Earn Loyal Customers for Life, hit the streets in April 2015.

Dustin has received numerous awards for his business writing, column writing and editing, including a 2013 Distinguished Sales & Marketing Executive Award from Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI), and several Best Publication awards for Smart Business magazine. Under his direction, Smart Business Network publications have been honored with more than 100 national, regional and local awards for journalism excellence.

Lee Koury

President, Smart Business Magazines and Events

As President of Smart Business Magazines and Events, Lee has overall operations and P&L responsibility for Smart Business Magazines, Smart Business Events and all related digital properties. The company’s offerings include 17 management journals, conferences across the country and full digital and social media capabilities. As a member of the company’s leadership team, Lee also plays a key role in establishing corporate policies and developing the company’s long-term corporate strategy and growth plans.

Prior to joining Smart Business Network in 2002, Lee founded and chaired the Growth Group and E-Group, which focused on working with middle-market growth and technology companies, at the national law firm of Arter & Hadden LLP. While at Arter & Hadden, Lee was a corporate transactional attorney, specializing in mergers and acquisitions and private financings. Lee has authored and published numerous articles and spoken and moderated at conferences on various topics pertaining to his legal practice. He has also served on the Executive Council of the Young Lawyers Section of the Cleveland Bar Association and on the Advisory Boards of the International Angel Investors Institute and the NEOSA Angel Network.

Lee holds a B.B.A., with distinction, in Finance and Marketing from the University of Michigan, School of Business Administration and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University, School of Law.

Fred Koury

President and CEO, Smart Business Network

Fred Koury co-founded Smart Business Network in 1989 with a single publication in Cleveland, Ohio. In the years since, he has brought the Smart Business magazine concept to 17 markets in 10 states with monthly publications that focus on the management skills and best practices of successful business leaders. While the magazine had a humble beginning focusing on small business news, it grew in size and stature and now focuses on the middle market in print and online. The various editions of the magazines have showcased the CEOs from some of the top brands in the world, including McDonald’s, Southwest Airlines, The Limited, and also featured some of the world’s most recognizable business leaders, such as Ted Turner and Jack Welch. From the magazine base, Koury has rolled out a series of business networking events that connect CEOs with some of the brightest business minds in the nation. The company is also involved with Ernst & Young’s high-profile Entrepreneur of the Year event, serving as the media sponsor in several cities and using its resources and connections to make sure top entrepreneurs get the recognition they deserve.

More recently, Koury has led the transformation of Smart Business from an analog business to a digital one. The company expanded into being a provider of competitive business intelligence, began providing search engine optimization and social media guidance to clients and created specialized online content to meet customer marketing needs. To meet the ever-increasing demand for content for both print and digital outlets, the company started creating custom content for clients several years ago and recently acquired The Wise Group, a company specializing in the custom content field.

In addition to building Smart Business Network, Koury created the largest business-to-business trade show company in Ohio, Premier Expositions. After growing the company in five years from scratch into a substantial and profitable operation, he sold it in 1995 to focus on his publishing operations.

Under his leadership, Smart Business has been active in many local charities, including the United Way, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Youth Challenge, an organization providing activities for children with disabilities.

Koury has served on numerous boards, including the United Way of Greater Cleveland, The National Conference for Community and Justice and St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church. He is a member of The 50 Club of Cleveland, a prestigious group of top business leaders in Greater Cleveland. He also serves on U.S. Bank’s Northeast Ohio Advisory Board, which consults with and provides advice and feedback to the bank’s president and senior management team.

Fred’s formal education includes a business finance degree from Bowling Green State University in 1985 and graduate work at The Ohio State University.