President & Chief Executive Officer
Fred Koury co-founded Smart Business Network in 1989 with a single publication on Cleveland's West Side. In the 17 years since, he has brought the Smart Business magazine concept to 19 cities in nine states with monthly publications that focus on the management skills of such successful business leaders as General Electric's Jack Welch, The Limited's Les Wexner and UPS' Mike Eskew. The magazine is now published in Atlanta, Chicago, Broward/Palm Beach, Miami, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Orange County, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron/Canton and Columbus.
He writes In Principle, a monthly column on leadership that reaches an audience of more than 600,000 senior executives through Smart Business. His subjects range from business ethics to improving communications to making tough decisions.
In addition to building Smart Business Network, Fred 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 the company in 1995 to focus on his publishing operations and to create special events, such as the Innovation in Business Conference, which honors the most creative business minds in Northeast Ohio, and the Pillar Award for Community Service, which raises money for The Pillar Fund, which makes annual donations to local charities.
Prior to founding Smart Business Network, Fred served as the head of sales for Sea Star Seafoods from 1986 to 1990, during which the organization grew from two to 32 states. Fred has served on the boards of United Way of Greater Cleveland, The National Conference for Community and Justice and St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church. His formal education includes a business finance degree from Bowling Green State University in 1985 and graduate work at The Ohio State University.
Publisher and Chief Operating Officer
As COO of Smart Business Network, Marzec has responsibility for all product-related activities of the company, including editorial, production and distribution. He has 20 years of experience in business-to-business publishing as a reporter, editor and publisher for more than 20 local business publications.
Michael has extensive experience in managing award-winning publications with multiple local editions, as well as in starting and growing local business publications. He has participated in the launch of 16 titles in more than a dozen different cities. As a member of the company's management team, Marzec has played a key role in establishing corporate policies and developing the company's long-term corporate strategy.
Prior to joining Smart Business Network in 1995, Michael served as a Senior Editor of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co.’s fixed-income research publications; as Business Editor of The Times, a suburban Chicago daily newspaper; as U.S. Editor of the Weekly International Edition of The Japan Times, the largest English-language daily in Japan; and as Editor of the South Florida Business Journal. Michael was also a co-founder of the San Francisco Business Times, helping to successfully grow the start-up business weekly to reach over 45,000 readers in three years. Prior to launching that publication, he was a member of the editorial start-up team for American City Business Journals Inc., helping to start five local publications in different cities, including three in three months.
Michael holds a B.A. degree in English from Columbia College and an M.S. degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Lee M. Koury
Chief Development Officer & General Counsel
As CDO of Smart Business Network, Lee has responsibility for all of the revenues of the company, including print magazines, conferences and interactive/online divisions. He also has primary responsibility for the expansion and launch of Smart Business magazine into the nation’s top U.S. cities and for overseeing all of the company’s market managers, training program and customer service program. In addition, he played a key role in the development and implementation of the company’s new business plan and model for expansion. As a member of the company's management team, Lee has also played a key role in establishing corporate policies and developing the company's long-term corporate strategy.
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.
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.
Dustin S. Klein
Dustin joined Smart Business Network in 1997 as a reporter and was promoted to editor of the Cleveland publication in 1999. In 2002, he was named Executive Editor of all Smart Business Network publications. In his capacity as Executive Editor, Dustin is responsible for developing and implementing the company’s editorial vision, guidelines and procedures. He directs the editorial content of Smart Business publications in all of its cities and manages the content of the company's business conferences and awards programs.
Dustin's previous experience includes reporting and editing stints at the Akron Beacon Journal, Medina Gazette and Lorain Morning Journal. Dustin founded, and later sold, Pyramyd Air, an importer and distributor of fine European and Asian air-powered rifles. He also co-founded eSports Media Group in 2000 after engineering the asset purchase of a failed dot-com venture and redeveloping its business model. He sold his interest in 2003.
A 1991 graduate of Kent State University, Dustin has received multiple awards for his business writing and editing. Most recently, Smart Business received top honors as Best Business Publication in Ohio for 2003.
G. Charles Huebner, CCCP
Chuck Huebner is an accomplished circulation executive and one of only a few in the nation to have attained the status of Certified Controlled Circulation Professional. Since joining Smart Business Network in 1995, Chuck has played an integral role in developing the CxO-focused readership that is at the heart of the Smart Business target market. He is responsible for acquiring, developing and maintaining all Smart Business circulation lists.
Chuck has extensive general management experience in publishing, starting with his family business, Huebner Publications. He has since served as circulation director, general manager, publisher or consultant at more than two dozen publications, including Texas Monthly, Florida Trend and Tampa Bay Magazine. He holds a B.A. in business administration from Kent State University.
Jim joined Smart Business Network as an art director in 1995 and quickly established himself as a strong creative force in the company. In 2002, he was named Design Director with front-line responsibility for all editorial, advertising and marketing design work. Currently, Jim handles primary design work on covers and all feature story layouts in all Smart Business publications. In 1998, Mericsko received the American Graphic Design Award presented by Graphic Design:usa magazine for the design of the SBN media kit. In 2004, he received three American Graphic Design Awards for cover and layout design in Smart Business.
Prior to joining the company, Jim was a full time freelance graphic designer for Scott Advertising & Marketing and Molnar Digital Design in Cleveland. He previously held design positions for The BG News as the Associate Publisher and was a summer intern for The Plain Dealer during college. Jim is a 1995 graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he received his bachelor's degree in fine arts.
As Controller at Smart Business Network, Kathy Deutsch is responsible for the financial reporting of the company and overseeing all aspects of the accounting department. She has been with the company since 1994. During that time she has served in several different roles with varying responsibilities. Prior to joining SBN, Kathy was on the audit staff at Ernst & Young LLP. This position involved reviewing accounting records and preparing financial statements for health care and manufacturing clients.
She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University.