Podcast: Smart Leaders

The Smart Leaders podcast features interviews with successful executives driving growth and innovation.


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John Ensign, President of MRI Software

John Ensign, President of MRI Software

August 5, 2020

Operating in a virtual workplace with a global software company provided MRI Software a unique opportunity to quickly adapt to the COVID-19 crisis. President John Ensign discusses what he’s learned as a result of the workplace shutdown, what it means for MRI’s aggressive M&A strategy, and the opportunities this new reality offers to those who embrace the new normal.


Steve Millard, CEO of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce

Steve Millard, CEO of the Greater Akron Chamber

July 28, 2020

How are C-suite executives in the greater Akron region faring during the COVID-19 crisis, and where do they see the regional economy headed? Steve Millard, CEO of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, shares his thoughts on regional collaboration, leadership versatility and how the chamber shifted its 2020 slate of conferences and events to a virtual world.


Ansir Junaid, CEO of SupplySide Group

Ansir Junaid, CEO of SupplySide Group

July 16, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the challenges American businesses face by relying on an interconnected global supply chain. Ansir Junaid, chairman and CEO of the SupplySide Group, shares his thoughts on how U.S. companies are navigating these challenges, as well as what he’s seeing on a global scale through his work as a board member of the Rand Corporation.


Andre Thornton, CEO of ASW Global

Andre Thornton, CEO, ASW Global

June 18, 2020

As CEOs start exploring what a new normal means, one area that remains critical to achieving business goals is managing the supply chain. ASW Global CEO Andre Thornton offers his thoughts on how the logistics and transportation industry is reacting to America’s needs… and meeting them.


Phil Derrow, CEO of Ohio Transmission

Phil Derrow, CEO, Ohio Transmission Corp.

June 2, 2020

Even though much of the nation’s M&A activity ground to a halt due to the coronavirus, Ohio Transmission Corp. CEO Phil Derrow is still looking for good companies to acquire. Derrow explains how OTC shifted operations to adapt to the shutdown and what he’s done to ensure its M&A-fueled growth curve continues long into the future.


Eric Schnur, CEO of Lubrizol

Eric Schnur, CEO, Lubrizol Corp.

May 26, 2020

When the COVID-19 crisis caused shortages in personal protection equipment (PPEs) and disrupted the global supply chain, Lubrizol CEO Eric Schnur was ready. Not only did the multi-billion-dollar chemical manufacturer have a contingency plan in place, but it leveraged its suppliers and relationships to help provide component chemicals to manufacturers to speed production and get PPEs to health care workers. In this interview, Schnur talks about Lubrizol’s $2 million pledge, and how the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio company is preparing for what comes next.


Marcia Ballinger300

Marcia Ballinger, President, Lorain County Community College

May 20, 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis impacts organizations across all industries, higher education has been among those most affected. Lorain County Community College President Marcia Ballinger discusses how the college implemented its existing pandemic contingency plan within days of the state shutdown and was able to shift all learning online, as well as what the future of virtual education might look like.


Hoby Hanna

Hoby Hanna, Howard Hanna Real Estate

May 12, 2020

How has the economic shutdown and stay-at-home orders across the America impacted the real estate market? Hoby Hanna, president of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, describes what changes he anticipates in residential real estate — and how his company has embraced the new virtual environment.


Ethan Karp of MAGNET

Ethan Karp, CEO, MAGNET

May 6, 2020

How much can be accomplished over a holiday weekend in the midst of a mandatory stay-at-home order and general chaos in the business world? Ethan Karp, CEO of MAGNET, shares the behind-the-scenes story of how he and others collaborated over Easter weekend to develop and deploy the Ohio Emergency PPE Makers’ Exchange to get front-line health care workers the equipment they needed.


Umberto Fedeli, CEO, The Fedeli Group

April 28, 2020

Now is a not a time to panic, despite the uncertainty. Umberto Fedeli, veteran investor and CEO of The Fedeli Group, discusses his thoughts on crisis leadership and the importance of staying calm as an investor during challenging times.


Tom Zenty, CEO, University Hospitals

April 22, 2020

As CEO of University Hospitals in Cleveland, Tom Zenty leads 24,000 employees, many of them on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic. In this conversation with Smart Business he discusses the health care industry’s response to the pandemic and what it means to the future of health care delivery in the United States.


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

April 13, 2020

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine took a lot of heat in March when he issued a state order prohibiting spectators from attending the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus. More than a month later his decision has been vindicated as Ohio trails other big states in coronavirus infection rates. In this Smart Leaders interview Gov. DeWine talks about working with business leaders to lessen the damage done by business shutdowns, what a return-to-work world might look like, and how he came to make the fateful decision to stop 60,000 visitors from 80 countries converging on the state capital.